Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bright College Quilt and First Customer Quilt

Yesterday, it was wonderful to let the floor guy do his sawing and hammering thing downstairs while I did my quilting thing upstairs. I chose to get back in the swing with this very cheerful Wolfpack Stack and Slash quilt, shown draped over the machine. The topper is a friend of mine from our days at North Carolina State University. We had talked on the phone several times before she showed up at my door with her first two quilts...and we recognized each other! This will be my fourth quilt for her, and the fifth is pinned on the frame.

Once again I was able to use designs from the book, 250 Continuous Line Quilting Designs by Laura Lee Fritz to add a few surprises to this overall meander. She had a few fox and coyote designs that I decided could pass for wolves. Here is a view of a howling wolf from the back.

I also wrote the word Wolfpack in one area in cursive. This quilt top had so many busy fabrics that there were not too many areas where any special designs would show.

One down, two more to go for Karen. Next up is a T-shirt quilt. This one should be very special. Her husband has participated in many missions to repair homes for the underprivileged through a church group. Each year there was a T-shirt for the volunteers. Some of the shirts bear evidence of the hard work done by this team. I have already made some patterns on Golden Threads paper of hammers, saws, wrenches and nails from the same book by Laura Lee Fritz. I have never actually quilted a T-shirt quilt, although my very first customer quilt in 2003 had a little of everything.

I expect there were some T-shirt blocks on there. I bought my Gammill from Linda Taylor in Texas, mainly so I could get the two free days of classes with her. Well, those two free days cost me about a thousand dollars by the time I bought plane tickets, rented a car, and paid for room and board and an extra day's class. Anyway, here was this package sitting on my front porch when I got home. This quilt was to be used as a chuppah, or canopy, for a wedding ceremony, then as a wall quilt. The bride's mother had elicited blocks from family and friends. They included beads, photo transfers, artwork, buttons, and yes, chains, watches and jewelry. I had to get right on the phone to Linda Taylor while she still remembered me and ask how I could quilt this thing without throwing out the timing on my machine as I hit a chunk of metal!

It actually came out kind of pretty, and I'm sure it was a wonderful and meaningful gift for the bride and groom. Don't look too closely at the quilting, but I guess it wasn't too bad for a newbie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're Not Moving...

But it seems like we are, with all the packing up we have done for the last couple of weeks. Today Phase Two of our remodeling has begun...hardwood floors for the dining room, foyer, and living room. Remember our virtually empty kitchen from last week? We have moved a lot of Stuff from the other rooms into here. I spent six and a half hours sealing the grout on Saturday. That tile floor gets hard real fast! I found my old garden kneeler foam pad in the garage and used that while down on the floor.
Here is the living room with nothing in it but some furniture. And some of the cartons of wood flooring that have to sit in your house for at least three days before installation. My dog, Maggy has freaked over all the changes. She was a rescue pet that had been thrown off the back of a pickup truck before we adopted her. Like many troubled students I have worked with, she responds well to structure. This disruption in her space has not been good. I would say she has only been upstairs about once a year in the twelve years we have had her, but she has been bolting upstairs every night after sniffing all these cartons of wood and losing her prime napping space in front of the fireplace.We were told that the crew would move all the furniture, but we had to empty all the drawers, bookshelves, take down knick-knacks, disconnect electronics,etc. Last week, the crew consisted of a Travis Tritt look-alike and three Mexican hermanos. Today the new "crew" showed up. It is one young man, with long goatee, bald head, and multiple scary tattoos from his ears to his Doc Martens. Appearances aside, he seems very pleasant, and I immediately recognized his Long Island accent. I hope he can move everything by himself.

If you ever read the comments from readers of my blog, you will see that I have just reconnected with Kathleen. She is not related to me, but is a cousin of my cousins. Isn't the Internet wonderful? She is from a very artsy side of the family. My father's sister Jeanne, a wonderful artist also, was married to Kathleen's mother's brother, I think. Can't wait to see her blog when she gets it going!

I am actually going to get back on the Gammill this week and start on those customer quilts.

Here is something pretty funny: I have invited Martha Stewart's blog team to look at my page. She will feature some bloggers on her TV show. Now, I have done lots of Martha-type activities in my time, such as growing herbs, stamping my own Christmas wrapping paper, making note cards from pressed flowers, and of course sewing up a storm. But, the whole cooking scene is not exactly my favorite. I throw about two big, big parties a year, one of which is catered. I cook when necessary, but why spend all that time working on something that is going to disappear within minutes? LOL I do like pretty things, and I hope that my quilts are all Good Things.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Pete Turner art

Great mail today...a thank-you card from my father for his birthday surprises. Isn't this a happy scene? He says it took him about an hour. I love the colors, the serene setting with mountain ridge in the background, and the whimsical title "Grazy Day." Thanks, Dad!

If anyone would like to see the With One Voice art quilt exhibit in detail, there is now an on-line catalog with a close-up of each quilt and the artist's statement. This will be a good way to waste time, er uh, happily be inspired and delighted at these very unique quilts. If you click on the quilt photo, you will be directed to the page for that quilt. If you start with the first one, you can click Next to view the entire show on at a time. Nicely done, Lynn!

Phase One is done!

Here is a peek at our new porcelain tile in the kitchen/eating area. I would love to show it flooded with morning sun, but so far, the sun has not cooperated with the nor'easter off our coast.

To show how badly we needed this new flooring, here is a comparison.
This is the old vinyl floor with a big crack at the entrance to the powder room.

Here is the new Toto toilet, now thankfully out of the living room and installed in the powder room. We are proud of that bad boy! Before, we had one of those low-pressure toilets. Awful, awful!

I think I have mentioned before that one of my sons works for a plumbing supply company. He has helped us get some fine new fixtures at a low cost. This Toto has won awards for best-performing toilet! At home shows, they mount it in a Plexi-glass stall and flush golf balls through it!

It is so funny that Dave grew up to be a toilet salesman. When he was a little boy, he was fascinated by toilets. He immediately wanted to visit every men's room in every restaurant so he could try out the toilet. Potty-training that kid was a breeze! I was glad he was a boy so his father got the rest room escort duties.

Anyway, one of the features of this toilet is that the seat and lid return gently to the closed position with only the slightest of touches. It is a pretty good party trick. People have been known to enter a bathroom with one of these potties, and shriek with laughter as they watch the seat slowly, gently descend. No banging of lids! No fear of amputating part of the male anatomy as the seat unexpectedly slams down!

That reminds me of a hilarious magazine article my husband and I read back when we were first married. It must have been in Playboy. (Yes, my husband just reads it for the excellent non-fiction articles.) This particular article was all about the danger of "Bijouna!", the author's term for the dangerous unexpected dropping of the toilet seat. Not being a person who is required by polite society to lift the seat in order to use the facility, namely a male, I had no idea of the dangers involved. Bijounas are more likely to occur when the tank is covered with one of those fluffy toilet ensembles.

Well, enough about this topic. Not very quilty today! Hope you got a laugh or two.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exhibits, Prize, and Blog Awards

It is officially an exhibit! Breaking Traditions 2008:With One Voice is now hanging for exhibit at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan, this weekend. These twelve-inch quilts look great pinned together as one large piece! This exhibit of art quilts celebrating the good in this world has raised $1085 for the American Cancer Society. My quilt, Second-Hand Rose, is the last one on the right in the third row from the top, . I also found out that I won a participation prize of some Artgirlz products, which is kind of fun! Thanks to Lynn Krawczyk, the challenge coordinator, for allowing the use of her photographs. She has done a fantastic job raising money for cancer with this project.

Now I must also give thanks for two awards that I have recently received.

From Susan Loftin of Sunrise Quilt Studio, I received the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I had not "met" Susan before she bestowed this award on me. When I browsed through her blog, it was interesting to see that she is also working on a Grand Canyon landscape quilt! Except hers actually has some fabric on it. Mine is still a drawing, but it is now enlarged to about 24 x 36. I want it to be bigger, maybe 40 x 60.

The rules for this award:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.

2. Put a link to the person you got the award from.

3. Nominate 5 blogs

4. Put links to the blogs.

5. Leave a message for your nominees.

I also received an award on the same day from Lynn Majidimehr at
LAM's Blog.

Isn't this cute? I was really proud that Lynn passed this along to me, because she is an art quilter extraordinaire and also a pattern designer. Lynn was in the same inspirational online class with me, Think Like an Artist with Pamela Allen. But even before that, we were reading each other's blogs. She is also signed up for the Journal Making for the Fiber Artist workshop with Sue Bleiweiss. Here are the rules for this blog award:

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on the blog.

2. Put a link on the blog to the person who awarded it.

3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.

4. Put links to those you nominate and

5. Advise those you have nominated.

Oh my, how am I going to nominate all these blogs? I certainly did not have time to do this when I received the nominations on September 15. I have about sixty-five subscriptions in Google Reader, which lets me know when they have been updated. Many of these blogs have received multiple award nominations. This is not following the rules, but I hereby pass these awards along to any of my blog readers who would like to be nominated. I enjoy reading blogs and am so inspired to see the beautiful creations of talented fiber artists out there. If you would like to be officially nominated, I will certainly do so.
Thank you, Lynn and Susan, for passing along the award to me. I "heart" your blogs and think both of you are Kreativ Bloggers.

Changes Coming

Here is a look at a weather-maker just off the coast of North Carolina. This one is not a hurricane, but I just came back in from an invigorating walk with Maggy. It is very gusty and quite cool. We should be getting some rain pretty soon, and already have some limbs down.

I did not have a new Work-in-Progress yesterday for my usual Wednesday post. But here is the back of The Green Man quilt with the label I made prior to sending it off to Innovations. I fused some leaves from a commercial print fabric to form a border around the computer-printed label. I wanted the quotation on the back to explain the text that I quilted into the piece. You can see the quilting much better on this light-colored hand-dyed back fabric. Look how many times I changed threads- that is MOST unusual for me!

Actually, my Wednesday Work-in-Progress was the new kitchen floor. The tile is now installed, and it looks GREAT! Needs to be washed again today, but after I do that, I will post a picture. I have to seal the grout on Friday or Saturday. The wood floors will be installed in the other areas downstairs starting on Monday. Lots going on!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Former Life as a Model

In yesterday's post I mentioned that there was a round of story-telling at my father's birthday party on Saturday. Each of the seven children and some of the other guests stood up and told stories about my father. Many of my sibling's stories included the times they were left behind or lost on some outing with my father, on Jones Beach in Long Island, an aircraft carrier...and all ended with how each one of us felt loved and cherished by both our mother and father despite the large family.

My story was about growing up with an artist for a father. I thought everyone's father was able to draw and paint! Isn't that what fathers do? I had access to fun toys like pastels, paints, colored inks, speedball pens, and opaque projectors. But there was a price to pay when the breadwinner is working in the advertising business in New York City. Many times Dad stayed up all night working in the studio at home to finish an illustration by a deadline. For almost every vacation, my mother had to do all the packing and then the driving because Dad had to finish a project before we went away. Dad's jobs often included human figures because of his talent at drawing them realistically. To help with that effort, he would sometimes use his Polaroid camera to shoot the scene using models to help with shadows, folds of clothing, proportions, etc. Sometimes he and the other artists in New York would "pose" for each other at the studio. Sometimes he would hire models from an agency.

The story I told at the party included my favorite story about my father. In his early days in New York in the late 1940's, he had to do an illustration featuring a beautiful, elegant woman, and asked the agency to provide a model. He could only afford a top model for a half hour, but he split the hour's fee with another artist who also needed a female to model for a love scene.The agency said that they had a young girl just out of high school who was available. Dad asked her if she had an evening dress she could wear at the session, and she brought her high school prom dress. When she showed up, he admired her beauty and finished his part of the hour's photography session. Then the other artist asked Dad to be the male model in the love scene, because he couldn't afford a professional male model. So, happy to oblige, Dad got to do some hugging and smooching with this beautiful young lady.

Are you curious yet? Scroll to the end of this post to find out the identity of the mystery Top Model.
Anyway, after working in the city all day, Dad would often have to come home and do some photography for a job using his own supply of models of all ages. Either my mother would take pictures of him, or he would photograph her and/or one or more of us. The living room would be transformed with backdrop, photo lights, props, and tripod. For this kind of modeling, you did not need a flawless complexion or perfect smile. You just had to stand still, often in some uncomfortable position, for several minutes at a time, with a big smile on your face. All of our childhood albums include strange photos like this one.
My brother Chris and I were included on this shot, which was supposed to be a scene in a cave where we were admiring the stalactites. This was one of the illustrations for a fifth grade science textbook. When we moved to North Carolina from New York, my sister was in the fifth grade, and this was her science book! Her teacher did not believe her when she said that her father had painted all the illustrations, and those were her sister and brothers in the pictures.

The photo at the top of this post is my first "posing" job, with my father rearranging my arms for the shoot. This one was for an ad for Johnson and Johnson baby products.
Here are a few others:
Fifth grade science book again
with my mother...don't remember the product. Something for ironing?with Mom and my brother Tim this time. I think this was for the Kool-Aid national art competition, for which my father won First Prize and got some big bucks.

I have no idea why I was required to pose with bow and arrow...but I was about sixteen, and here is the artwork that my father magically created from this skinny daughter. It is framed along with another illustration.

Wow, I was skinny!
This was probably the easiest modeling job ever...sitting with a Readers' Digest Condensed Book in my hands.

Could that photo have evolved into this drawing??? This one was for an insert in the power company's monthly bill. The hammock gig was not too bad, either...
As Chris and I got older, we became the models for most of the adult figures, thus relieving my mother from being the adult female model . My father could just shoot the pictures instead of also having to pose. Here is some sort of suntan lotion ad, I guess.

Ah, the happy family...with baby doll and little girl from across the street who helped out. We did have a shortage of little girls in the family, but plenty of little boys.

Happily doing laundry...this is the apron I made in sixth grade Home Ec. I still have it!

One of my father's big clients in North Carolina was the Hanes Company. We did LOTS of photo shoots for a sweatshirt catalog.
Thanks for taking a trip back in time with me.

And now for the reveal...

The lovely young model was none other than Grace Kelly, who went on to become a famous leading lady of Hollywood, and then Princess of Monaco. Sure wish we had those photographs!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What a weekend!

Another big weekend in the mountains...this time for a gathering of the Turner family and friends to celebrate my father, Pete Turner's, 85th birthday! For the first part of the gathering, we rented the local community building and had birthday cake, fellowship, and story-telling. One of my contributions to the party was this crown for the birthday boy! Since he is an artist, his crown is trimmed with paintbrushes. Here is Dad with another artist he worked with at Ferree Studios in Raleigh.

Dad started off the story-telling. Here he is showing an illustration he is working on for a children's book. The author is another resident of his retirement community, who also came to the party.
After the birthday party, we retired to my sister's land at the family homestead where the men have created what I call the "city park." Here we had music and singing, horseshoes, barbecued chicken, and lots of fun. This is me with my new short haircut, and three of my five brothers: Pat, John, and Tim.

My family was there, including the grandkids. Here is Lily in a very good mood when she woke up in the morning. Notice she is wearing "jewelry" with her pajamas!

Here are two of our neighbors' grandkids that we often see in the mountains. Ricky and Aaron were very amused by one of those musical birthday cards. This one plays the beginning of the song "Wipe Out."
With all the cooking and party prep and visiting, I did not get to spend much time on the mountain this weekend. But after everyone left, Charlie and I took one Gator ride to the top. The leaves are just starting to change color.
It was a gorgeous weekend, with cool temps and clear blue skies.
A last look from the top of the hill before heading home.
Today I will be getting two quilts ready to send off to Innovations, and getting ready for the kitchen floor to be installed on Wednesday. Better get going!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ring of Peace

Now finished except for label: Ring of Peace, my newest trapunto quilt.

Ring of Peace, 13" x 13", 2008.

Batiste wholecloth top over cutaway batting, fuchsia felt, and regular batting. Quilted on Gammill Longarm machine. Quilted motifs tinted with Tsukineko inks and colored pencils. Embellished with hot-fix crystals, seed beads, and a double row of variegated fibers. Bound with hand-dyed silk ribbon.

I decide to make the roses look a bit like the popular Peace Rose, which features subtle pink and yellow tones on white petals.

I hope that Ring of Peace is a subtle reminder of my wishes for world peace.

The rose wreath was designed by Julie Mullin of Apex, North Carolina, and is included in her Earthlines: Flowers collection of patterns.

Ring of Peace, Back

Ring of Peace, beaded rose detail

Ring of Peace, detail

This quilt is being donated to my Guild's quilt auction to raise money for charity.

October 4

2:00 PM
Annual Heritage Day
Historic Oak View Park
Raleigh, NC
Isn't this a great poster? See more information about the auction on the Capital Quilters Guild website. They are also raffling an "Opportunity Quilt" with very personable kitty cats.