Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sisters Fun, and Class #3

Visiting Sisters, Oregon is so darn much fun! Here are three quick reasons why:

#1. Businesses are extraordinary and distinctly unique. 
Take, for example, the Sisters Motor Lodge where my husband and I stayed. The motel was opened in the late 1930's, so the complex is old. Instead of killing its character, the present owner has gently restored and updated it to keep its charm while adding comfort.

Our adorable kitchenette, right out of the forties!

It's as clean as a whistle, and has beautiful grounds with seating that invites relaxation. Plus it's right downtown, so we walked everywhere. I love it there!

#2. It is a small town chock-full of creative people. 
Chuck and I bumped into Valori Wells at a wine bar one evening. Valori was friendly and chatty and, before I could thank her for organizing, she thanked me for coming all the way to Sisters for Quilters Affair!

After that, we ran into each other a number of times. So often that I eventually declared it was time for us to do a selfie...she agreed!

Valori & me
#3. You never know what you will find! 
My husband and I came across Cinderella's steampunk-style coach and couldn't resist a closer look. It was one of several intriguing assemblages outside a local gallery.

I can't say it enough. There are so many things to discover in Sisters!!! 

On to Class #3: Design with Rosalie Dace

Rosalie Dace is an artist whose work I admire, so I leaped at the opportunity to take her design class!
Elements II: Fire, by Rosalie Dace

We dove right in by choosing a single shape and working through a number of exercises in black and white. As the day went on, we were challenged to add lines, colours, different shapes, etc. until we'd filled a board with design possibilities.

Some of my exercises

Between exercises, Rosalie would show us techniques she uses in her own work.

Sample of facing a circular hole.

On day two, we were invited to make small quilts based on our design exercises. We were also welcome to continue working with paper and glue, doing more design explorations. 

I did neither. 

While listening to Rosalie speak about her work, something 'clicked' and I suddenly started seeing things with fresh eyes. Something happened for me on a deeper level. 

I spent my time harvesting images from old magazines to help me process and cement a budding understanding of abstract art that I can't yet put into words.

I nominate this for "most unflattering picture of the year"!
The lighting was horrible. I assure you we both look much healthier in real life!

It was inspiring to hear Rosalie speak of her process, and to see (and touch!) her work in person. She encouraged photos for personal use, but asked that we not share them. Some of the work she showed in class has not been published yet, so must not be revealed.

I was sad when classes came to a close on Friday. It signaled the end of an exciting week.

Linking up with:
Whoop Whoop Friday, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict 

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Classes in Sisters & TLP Update

First up, Cityscapes, with Hilde Morin

As soon as permission was granted, I grabbed photos of Hilde's class samples. Of course, phone pictures fall short of the real thing. The sense of scale is lost and details disappear, but I took them anyway! You can see professional photos of Hilde's work on her website.

Malecon, by Hilde Morin
60" x 47"

Anonymous Script, by Hilde Morin
26" x 19"
Everything in Hilde's work is pieced. Piecing overlapped buildings, sky, and ground requires a "big picture" way of thinking. Once you have the big picture in mind, thinking in lines and deconstructing it is the key to piecing it.

In two days, my work did not progress very far. Some people zipped right along, but I spent a fair bit of time selecting fabric and piecing my first buildings.

The beginning of my Japanese cityscape.

Hilde is a generous teacher and makes herself available to her students by email after class. I may have to take her up on that offer. Piecing the curved building into the picture will be a challenge, but...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

If all else fails, applique to the rescue, but don't tell Hilde! Ha!

Hilde & moi
Class was over too soon!

On to the next...Printmaking, with Sherrill Kahn

This woman is an unlimited wellspring of creative ideas and information! We spent most of the day watching demo-after-demo as techniques flowed along from one to the next.

Sherrill demonstrates some gelli prints
After the first set of demos we were sent off to our workstations. When faced with blank fabric, my mind went blank as well. The choices were overwhelming! What had I just seen???

At that point I realized that I should make notes. Copious, detailed notes! 

It would have helped to refer to Sherrill's book, but my copy was resting comfortably in my suitcase at the motel where I'd forgotten it. Grrr.

So, naturally, I shopped instead of working. 

My new stamps
When I came back I used my new gelli plate and one of my new stamps to start the layering process, adding some stencil work and a wash of (new) Dye-Na-Flow paint. 

Kinda looks like crap, but that sometimes happens during the experimental phase of learning! 

Sherrill was encouraging, praising my use of positive and negative stencils and suggesting the wash to unify the piece. Maybe I'm failing to see its potential?

Even though I didn't produce a whole lot, it was a fun day and my head is still spinning with ideas!

Sherrill & me
Can you believe she's 73???
Only one more class to go, but it can wait. I didn't realize I had so much to say about everything, and this post is already getting long!

Now for The Library Project update!

I love the library project! 

It has pushed me to tackle projects that would otherwise still be on my "some day" list. You know what I mean. You know exactly what I mean!

Trying to be reasonable, I chose four projects to work on this year. To see what I chose, click here.

So far I've completed two of the projects, and one of them was the "scariest" one on my list! 

I started "easy", with Scrappy Plus.

To see Scrappy Plus in progress, click here, and here, and here.
To see how to do a flange binding by machine, click here.
To see the finished quilt, click here.

Then I dove head first into the one that scared the pants off me. Piecing Irish Lass was easy, but quilting that was scary!

Quilting in progress

To see more about Irish Lass, click here, and here, and here.
To see the finished quilt, click here.

After my busy time in Sisters, Rayna Gillman's "therapy strips" sound good, so a free-form quilt will be my next Library Project goal.

This one is moderately scary. The strip piecing will be fun and relaxing. Putting the strips together...well, we'll see!

Linking up with:
The Library Project July Report, at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Design Wall Monday, at Patchwork Times
Anything Goes Mondays, at Stitch by Stitch
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River
Fabric Tuesday, at Quilt Story
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Largest Outdoor Quilt Show in the World!

We are home and the excitement is over, but memories of our Oregon vacation are vivid and sweet!

While I took quilting classes for a week, my husband entertained himself by riding his ATV (all-terrain vehicle) in the desert.

Our truck didn't fit in the motel parking area, so we parked out of the way.
I'll admit I was a bit worried at first, but there was no need to call Search and Rescue. I'm relieved to say that he found his way back every day. Whew!
In the evenings we "tasted" our way through town, enjoying frozen yogurt, craft beer, local wines, artisan foods, and gourmet meals.

We also poked through shops and wandered the streets, getting to know every nook and cranny of downtown Sisters.

Inside the clock @ Beacham's Clock Company
Classes were fun, but I'll save those pictures for another day. Today we'll jump right to the big finale... 

Quilt Show Saturday! 
First thing in the morning, local fire fighters brought out the ladder truck and climbed on the roof to nail quilts to the side of the Stitchin' Post

Yup, you read that right. NAIL.

The thought of nails puncturing these beauties gave me pause, but obviously they needed to be fastened securely. The quilts in this display were made by Stitchin' Post employees and I'm sure everyone knew how they'd be hung. It is a very special annual tradition!

Employee challenge quilts on display.
Not to worry...All other quilts in the show were secured with clothespins instead of nails!

There are plenty of verandahs in Sisters because buildings are required by law to reflect an 1880's "old west" theme. Not only are verandahs shady and charming, they are handy for hanging quilts!

Without further ado, here's a glimpse of the show as I saw it:

Sisters Art Works building

"Painted Forest", by Scott Hansen
Quilted by Angela Walters

"Live Oaks 4", by Lou Ann Smith
Special Exhibit by ab-strakt-ed

"Uptown", by Elizabeth Hartman

Gibson Girls, by Carolanne Olson
"Dreaming in Color" special exhibit by the Undercover Quilters Book Club

And the Flag Was Still There, by Rob Appell
Quilted in Honor special exhibit

Daybreak, by Julie Herman (shown here, with her quilt)
Quilted by Angela Walters

Pick Up Sticks, made by Nancy Kennedy
Quilted by Nancy Stovall

The Open Door courtyard

Snow Strings, by Pat Pease
Challenge: Unusual Materials

Silent Reflection, by Wendy Hill & Pat Pease
Challenge: Pass it Back and Forth (Do Not Speak)

Just a tad crowded!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but how many photos can go in one post? It was tough to keep it reasonable, believe me!

Linking up with:

Whoop Whoop Friday, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!