Archive for October, 2007

WorkerDudesDid I mention that my studio is in my home?  Yes, in fact, it’s on the other side of this wall.  As the workerdudes hammered and stapled this lovely Tyvek around the house, my spools of thread hurled themselves from their shelves to have a party on the studio floor.  What does a spool of thread look like when it’s dancing?  I don’t know; they all rolled under the furniture and hid!

It’s been three or four weeks of construction at the homestead.  Windows, roofing, siding, floor refinishing, and now, painting.  It’s a painful process that involves lots and lots of hammers.  Who knew that even the painters would show up with hammers?!  When it’s all done, the house will be lovely, water- and air-tight, and more energy efficient.  But is this enough to make me happy?  Apparently, no.  But I’m a firm believer in making lemonade out of a less-than-ideal situation.  TyvekScrapsDid I mention the hammers?  Hmm, what wonderful, positive thing could come out of this never-ending noise fest? 

Uh, huh.  Tyvek.  After a little dumpster diving for scraps and trying to make the workerdudes understand that I actually want the leftovers, I have a huge bag of Tyvek scraps!  If you are in one of my art quilt classes, get ready!  (I feel like Oprah: “Tyyyyyy’-veh-ekkkkkk!”)  You’ll each get a little miracle fabric when I see you in our next class.  For the rest of you, is there any construction in your future?

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Have I mentioned that I love to teach?  Truly, I do.

Trees Workshop with the Richmond Quilt GuildHere’s a class picture from the workshop I taught this weekend for the Richmond Quilt Guild in Richmond, Virginia.  These ladies bravely wielded their rotary cutters without the aid of rulers to “draw” trees and then created their very own forests.  I am so proud of their work!

I created the original Trees quilt as a timed exercise.  TreesA very talented art quilt instructor, Judy House, challenged us to prepare the design and materials for a landscape quilt and then do the actual work in one hour.  Yes, one hour. 

 The trunks are pieced into the background, even though it looks as though it’s appliqued.  I believe this quilt is a perfect example of letting your fabric do the heavy lifting.  This design is more simplified than my original plan, but I also think it’s better. At the end of the hour, the center panel was pretty much done.

Trees hangs in my studio and reminds me to keep it simple.  In 2006, it brought home a second place ribbon from the New Jersey State Quilt Convention.   

To see more Trees workshop pictures, visit my website www.MoonlightingQuilts.com.  If your guild would like to learn to make their own Trees, contact me at Cyndi@MoonlightingQuilts.com

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It’s About TimeI love a challenge!  Don’t you?

When Mary Kerr invited me to participate in her Vintage Revisited challenge, I was torn.  I don’t “do” vintage, but I do love a challenge and I was honored to be included on Mary’s list.  Of course, I accepted.

Since then, we’ve received four vintage blocks and I’ve made three quilts (Yes, I’m way behind schedule!).  The second block Mary sent us was a teal and cheddar odd fellow’s block.  It sat on my design wall for a long time before I finally had a vision for it. 

I had just returned from a class at QSDS with Melody Johnson when things finally began to click.  This quilt, aptly named “It’s About Time,” was completed quickly.  I used lots of Wonder Under and designed intuitively, cutting freeform and embellishing with all kinds of vintage clockworks and home center hardware.  I enjoyed making this piece more than I thought I would when I first saw that teal and cheddar block.

I’m not the only one who loves a challenge.  The editors of the $100,000 Quilt Challenge magazine love the second round of Mary Kerr’s Vintage Revisited Challenge so much that they’re including it in the first 2008 issue!  You’ll be able to see the entire second round in print.  To see all the quilts in the challenge so far, visit www.MaryWKerr.com where you can also see which quilt shows will feature the Vintage Revisited collection.

I do love a challenge.

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BeachCoffeeThere are lots of theories of creativity.  Do this, do that, think this, think that.  I believe that we should all do what works.  I can’t tell you what to do, but I can share what I do.

 I surround myself with things that make my heart sing.  I read a lot of books about design, techniques, and the creative process as others see it.  I work with different media and different tools so that I don’t get stale.  I teach and, in doing so, I learn.

And… (Here it comes!  This is why you’re reading this post.) I think it’s important to fill the well.  I cannot work all the time and keep up the quality of my process or my product.  I have to give my brain (or call it the subconscious or the muse) a chance to recharge.  I have to fill the well. 

I like to go places.  My DH and I just got back from a week in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Drinking a cup of coffee and watching the Rowan on the Beachsun come up over the ocean is one of life’s pleasures.  And you cannot beat the challenge of making art with the treasures you find on the beach. 

When I’m on the road, I like to check out the galleries to see what others are up to.  While in Salvo, NC, I discovered a wonderful place called the Pea Island Art Gallery.  I just wanted to move right in!  The art was inspiring and the atmosphere was relaxed.  Kim Robertson, the proprietress, was welcoming and knew a little something about each artist, most of whom she knows.  If you’re headed there, check it out.  If the Outer Banks aren’t in your near future, check out the website: http://www.peaislandartgallery.com/.  Very, very cool stuff.

So, my well is full for now.  I had sunrise coffee, and I had sunset cosmopolitans.  I collected rocks and shells, and I checked out some of the local galleries.  I took walks on the beach with my husband and with Rowan the Wonderdog.  Now I have to get back to work and make some stuff. 


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