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04/12/15
Art Journaling
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Art Journal, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Documented Life, Life Book, Journal52
Posted by: Mary @ 6:52 pm

There have been too many things going on in my life the past few months so I have not made a blog post for a long while. I wanted to share some of my work now before more time slips away.

This art quilt celebrates my return to quilting after a long hiatus (I had a wart on the underside of my thumb for over a year and that made it difficult to sew or even write). Last month I joined an inspirational art quilt group and they are doing monthly challenges. The March challenge was architecture and I chose to design Postcards from Iran to show the rich history of this country that dates back to the cradle/birthplace of civilization. The architecture is beautiful and so are the people.

This is a spread from Book of Days 2015 V1. The prompt was feathers. I painted a background and did pen and ink drawings and then colored it in with markers. Besides the feathers, I also drew some simple dream catchers and stamped with two of my hand carved stamps. I left two of the feathers uncolored because I liked the way that it looked.

This is from the Documented Life Project and the challenge was to use layers that you love and to see how many layers you could use. I had fun with this!

This one is also from DLP and the challenge was to use under papers. I chose to use papers that I had printed with my Gelli plate. I had a marathon art journaling session on Valentine’s Day and although I was alone, art journaling was a very nice way to spend the day in a snowstorm. It made the day special for me.

This page is from Journal52 and I am doing quick and easy postcard size art and taping it into a calendar planner. This must have been done on Valentine’s Day too and yes I am an incurable romantic and no I don’t want to be with just anybody which is why I have been alone a long while.

Another DLP piece and the challenge for this one was to use a repeated shape. I photographed previous work and glued it down for this page, then added the small dream catcher like circles as ornament and the words that I was feeling at the moment. The work came from a circle book I made with round pages that I had painted with watercolors, written an inspirational word on each page and then stamped them with my hand carved leaves stamp. It is fun re-using your work in another art piece.

I did this today for DLP and wanted to show my work table - the dining room table covered with a vinyl tablecloth. The challenge was to use 5 layers and I did something simple - paint, paint, and more paint and then I used punchinella (sequin waste with little holes) followed by an interesting circles stencil. I didn’t use any water, which is something I really like to do, because the Dylusions journal does not like getting wet and the pages really buckle when you work the paint wet.

This piece was from Life Book and it doesn’t look anything like the lesson seeds of love but I enjoyed doing the layering and used my awesome tree stencil over the layers to give it a floaty look. I added some sideways writing along the trees.


Mary MacIlvain

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11/22/14
Fall Quilt Retreat
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:21 pm

I went to a three day quilt retreat with the Greater Middletown - Heart of the Valley Quilt Guild at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share about my experiences there. I have not been able to participate in any quilt activities the past 6 months because of my cataracts. After the cataracts healed from the surgery in October and I got my new glasses, I was able to thread a needle again, so I was a last minute signup for the retreat and filled the last empty spot. I have been attending quilt retreats for well over 10 years (see Quilt Retreat and Friendship) and these respites from daily life with good friends are very important to me.

Usually I go to a retreat with too many projects to complete and I stay up late and don’t take enough time to relax and visit with friends. This time I was the first one in bed on Friday night instead of doing marathon sewing and being one of the last ones going to bed. I signed up for a chair massage by the fireplace on Saturday and that was wonderful as all the tension in my shoulders melted away. I worked on some small journal page size experimental art quilt pieces without having any plan in mind. I signed up for the art doll class with the talented and creative Pat Gardiner. Her dolls have been exhibited widely including Houston Quilt Festival, the biggest quilt show on earth. While this was not a doll I would have chosen to make on my own, it was a fun experience and everyone in the class enjoyed themselves in the process of making the dolls and sharing our own stories.

Friends are important - the good, healthy kinds of friends who don’t have a hidden agenda and have your best interests at heart. These are the friends who accept you as you are and don’t expect you to compromise your values or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. They don’t cross or push your boundaries - they respect your autonomy as a person and your right to be who you are. That is what friends are all about.

Here are some photos from the quilt retreat. Enjoy!


Mary MacIlvain

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10/19/14
The Impermanence of Things
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 12:20 pm

Yesterday I went to the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) for my Connecticut Chapter meeting of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA-CT). It’s a wonderful museum and I love going there. SAQA-CT meets in various places around the state as we draw members from all over the state. The meeting was inspiring and energetic as usual with discussions about upcoming art quilting initiatives. We took a long break in the middle of the meeting to view the new exhibit, Let Me Quilt One More Day, with invitational quilts from Connecticut quilt artists as well as quilts that span the past 250 years.  The exhibit runs until January 4, 2015 and is a must see. Syl will be there to greet you :-)

It is always great to see the art quilt pieces that members have created. I am a fairly new member and was fortunate enough to meet several quilt artists yesterday who are working in mixed media as well. It is not that easy to find people locally who are doing this kind of work which crosses boundaries and spans different art media in one piece. Most people tend to focus on one type of expression and develop a body of work based upon that, whether it be painting, collage, photography, sculpture, art quilting, surface design, bookmaking, doll making, or something else. If you have a lot of interests it is difficult to limit yourself to just one thing and it is hard to choose. The good news is that you don’t have to choose - you can do whatever you want. It’s your art piece and your expression of what you feel inside and want to bring to life.

The wall of cups at the museum is gone. It has been there in the stairwell for a long while and I knew it was temporary but I was still sad to see it go. I found this picture I took of it the first time I saw it. It’s an installation piece and the entire piece was made of plastic drinking cups that are adhered to the wall in a swirling pattern. It was fascinating to walk around it and look at it and I wish that I had more photos but I don’t. But I will always have my memories of being in the same space as this beautiful work of art and what I was feeling at that time. It does speak to the ephemeral nature of life and the impermanence of things. All things must pass and nothing lasts forever. It is so important to enjoy what you have and the people in your life and be thankful.

You can see the edge of the blue Chihuly glass sculpture on the side of the cup photo. To fill the void left by the removal of the wall of cups , they have brought in a companion Chihuly piece to share space with the existing sculpture. The two glass sculptures are quite striking appearing together like this, as if in a dance of light. When two people come together with feelings of love they each bring their own light with them and together they make a greater light that is more than what was there before. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And yes, that is how I feel and I hope somehow you know this and understand.

It was a delightful day at the museum bringing warm thoughts and feelings to my heart. A day like this lets you leave worries behind and rejoice in being alive. It also makes you realize what is important and what isn’t worth getting upset about. I do fine hand work and like to embellish my small quilts with beads, buttons, charms, yarn, sea glass, shells, and other things, but I have not been able to sew with a hand sewing needle, except with great difficulty, for about a year now. I am finally facing up to the problem with my hand not being successfully treated by the regular doctor, so I am seeing a hand surgeon on Friday to talk about my options and schedule surgery. I need to be able to sew little objects onto things, not just quilts but paper too, so I am going for it! Glue is fine but stitching is more permanent, even in an impermanent world. SAQA-CT will be mounting a second Local Color exhibit in 2016 and I want to create an awesome piece that will get juried into the show.


Mary MacIlvain

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09/27/14
Weekly Round Up
Filed under: General, Collage, Quilt Art, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Quilting, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 7:35 pm

My art quilt group, SAQA-CT, is making small quilts to decorate the 15 foot Christmas tree at NBMAA, the New Britain Museum of American Art. At first I thought that I wouldn’t be able to participate because of my vision problems. But I am happily recovering and healing from two cataract surgeries in August and September and over the past 2 weekends I was able to put together a 7″x9″ improvisational piece for the tree. It is a wonderful museum and I love going there, so this fundraiser is a great way to show my support for the museum. All of the art quilts on the tree will be for sale once the tree goes up. It is a little early to be thinking about Christmas but it takes a lot of planning to arrange for members to make small quilts for this worthy cause and deliver them to the museum.

It has been a selfie week for me. Here I am with my hello kitty clock :-) I texted this photo to my kids this week with the message… “Do you know what time it is? It’s selfie time!” We like to text back and forth and it is a fun way to keep in touch.

I was unable to do much the first week after the cataract surgery, but I did manage to get out my Inner Excavation book by Liz Lamoreux and start on a collage journal spread for week 1. It took me another week to finish but it is OK to slow down and let yourself be in the moment and heal. I have been working primarily in acrylic paint for a while now, so it was refreshing to get out my art bin and pull out torn book pages and snippets of scrapbooking paper. The prompts included taking a photo of a cupped hand holding a small object which was a fun thing to do. I added washi/craft tape to frame the photos. Then I wrote a poem that fit nicely on the left side of the spread. I found the book’s companion blog piece from 2012, Inner Excavate Along, for more inspiration. Liz has such a wonderful approach and I enjoy her insight into the small yet special moments in life. She is also one of the top 100 pinners on Pinterest!

I have been thinking about friendship lately. Sometimes you have friends that you didn’t even realize were your true friends. Something happens and they are there for you and you didn’t know they would be. It is a wonderful feeling to have such a friend - like a hidden jewel. A true friend is such a treasure, more than any riches or wealth can bring. You may not see that friend for a long time but when you see each other again it is just like you saw each other yesterday.


Mary MacIlvain

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03/05/13
Jeanie’s Quilt
Filed under: General, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 10:11 pm

Last weekend I went to a quilt retreat at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, CT. I had a wonderful time in the lodge with my quilting friends and over the long weekend I made this photo graduation quilt for my son’s girlfriend. When I came to the retreat I had a gridded plan on graph paper, 16 photos printed on Printed Treasures pretreated printable fabric, and a sweater box filled with a varied selection of purple fabric. The quilt went together like a puzzle and then was free motion machine quilted on my Bernina. Last night I gave the quilt to Jeanie and she was thrilled to have this warm cuddly memory of her college graduation.


Mary MacIlvain

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10/22/12
Fall Leaves
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:27 pm

The fall leaves in New England always inspire me. This year I did not go on a far flung quest north of here for the perfect moment of leaf peeping foliage viewing. Somehow just being with the leaves here in central Connecticut as they quietly go through their changes has made me reflect on how seasons pass and time changes all.

I have been doing a lot of different creative things since the last post on my blog. Last week I carved some leaf stamps using a Staedtler MasterCarve block and a Speedball Lino Cutter Assortment from Blick Art Materials. It was very easy to cut which was great for me as I don’t have much hand strength and can’t cut linoleum blocks. I painted some wet passages with cerulean blue and ultramarine blue Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylics (I like to work wet) in one of my smaller Strathmore Art Journals. After that dried I grabbed my assortment of stamp pads, stamped some random leaves, and then used a purchased longhand script writing block stamp which I just love. The colors paint my mood at that moment: deep pools of dreaming deep.

What else have I done? I filled a written journal in just 5 months - usually it takes me a year or more to fill a written journal. I usually have a number of art journals going at once but those are worked in sporadically and do not chronicle a sense of time for me. That may change. I have not actually completed one yet as art journaling is something new that I just got into about a year and a half ago after taking the 21 Secrets art journaling e-course at Dirty Footprints Studio. My written journals are a private tool for self discovery and growth and I don’t share them with anyone. That is a boundary issue for me and it is important to have personal boundaries, whatever they might be, to keep yourself healthy and protected. I have written journals that go way back and I always make a point to try to be positive in them as it is not uplifting to go back and read a depressing rant years later.

I have submitted work for publication which is a scary but important step in growth. I sent an abstract quilt diptych (the actual piece was mailed to California) and article for consideration to Art Quilting Studio by Somerset Publications. And I submitted a high-res image of a small quilted piece based on an assignment, in consideration for an upcoming book called Geography of Loss by Patti Digh. It is taking a risk, putting yourself out there and trying to get published. You have to be strong enough to accept rejection which is inevitable in this process and realize and affirm to yourself that your work is good enough and may just not be the right piece for the particular publication or issue.

I would like to end this post with some words about commitment. I have made a commitment to be true to myself and to fully be myself: be is my word for 2012. My intention from here on in is to follow my inner voice and listen to the inner child inside of me who speaks to the creative heart and soul of my being. We can’t hear our inner voice if we are listening to everyone else. We need to choose to listen to another art spirit who inspires and rings true for us. And we can’t be who others want us to be. We can only be ourselves and that is who we need to bring to the table. Prolific writer Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) has said before that it is just your job to show up. That’s it: just you, not someone else who you think you should be.

Namaste,
Mary

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08/19/12
Giving Flight Blog Hop
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 8:28 pm

in our Giving Flight Blog Hop we are celebrating the 1st anniversary of our coming together via Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons: Take Flight. To celebrate, we each chose a way to give back to the world in some way. It makes sense to do this because we have spent a year in this special space, giving to one another. The Flying Lessons Alumni group means a lot to me and is always a source of creative inspiration and friendship.

My choice for giving back to the world is to answer the Call to Artists for Prayer Flags at the Oceanside Museum of Art in Oceanside California. Artists from all over the world are invited to express their prayers and concerns in the OMA Prayer Flag installation at the museum. Each flag is created in the artist’s own style, then hung outside for a while, its words and sentiment dissolving into the wind and being spread to all whom the wind touches.

Here is the Prayer Flag that I am donating to the museum for their installation:

And here is the companion prayer flag that I am keeping at home to remind me and inspire me:

Here is a list of my friends the Flyers who are participating in this blog hop, with links to individual blogs. There are about 400 of us but not everyone has a blog or is able to participate in the blog hop. They are all here in spirit.
Janet Forrest
Cat Athena Louise
Stacey Bockness Curry
Kris Lanae Binsfeld
Renee Burke
Mary Sterk
Michelle Reynolds
Constance Rawlins
Kelly Hoernig
Cindy Jones Lantier
Kathleen Conard
Claudia Dow
Susan M. Walls-Beverly
Linda Barutha
Linda Kinnaman
Cheryl Dossey
Sofia Dabalsa
Jill Lambert
Sally Rose
Ursula Smith
Deborah Eaton
Lori Leissner
Creative Clearinghouse
Lenore Angela
Katharina Star
Rachél Payne
Sherry Richert Belul
Deborah Velasquez
Shannon Etnyre
Live Laugh Love Retreats
Kelley Miller Artworks
Wini Dougall
Carol Bray
Tracy Yarbrough
Diane Enright
Jamie Burch
Mary Cottingham
Susan Dietz
Lori Moon Studio
Kim Hyer
Tina Carlborg
Catherine Pistone
Mary MacIlvain
Carolyn Chenault


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07/21/12
Design Wall Progress
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 9:51 pm

The quilt on my design wall is growing and changing, like me. I started with the same palette of fabrics that I had chosen for my abstract landscape quilt. Some of my favorite ethereals are in that plastic sweater box. The design foundation is based on a 1.5″ square grid set on the diagonal and the pieces I am superimposing over the grid are cut 2″ square, 2″x3.5″, and 3.5″ square. For those of you who don’t sew, a .25″ seam allowance is used in quilting and foot #37 on my Bernina is exactly a quarter inch from the needle to the edge of the foot, so I don’t have to pin or mark the fabric to sew pieces together.

This quilt is abstract and the concept behind the piece is the crossroads or the labrynth. I have been through the labrynth and have been at the crossroads many times. One of my favorite Robert Frost poems is The Road Not Taken, an excerpt quoted here:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I always take the road less traveled so these words ring true for me and are dear to my heart. It is not always easy taking a different path than everyone else, but it is a lot harder being someone you weren’t meant to be. Above all, you have to be yourself. Which is why I am not going to show you the beginnings of a quilt I made in a workshop in April and have put away. Why? Because the quilt is not me. It looks like someone else’s work.

Here is the progression of work on the design wall quilt so far. The triangles sticking out at the edges will get squared off after the piece is assembled but there is more work to do yet. It has been extremely enjoyable to work on this quilt and it parallels some inner work that I am doing. When the mood strikes I add pieces or rearrange to my heart’s content. It is so self affirming for me to work on something in this manner. Make your own path and find your own way.


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12/18/11
Quilt Retreat and Friendship
Filed under: General, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:57 am

Today I realized how much the Heart of the Valley quilt retreats and friendships mean to me. There is a buzz of creativity in the YMCA Camp Hazen Lodge as we all come together for three days of quilting, sewing, eating, and talking. This is a place for friends old and new to share family style meals and special times together. There is a view of Cedar Lake out the wrap around windows in the lodge which brings a peaceful feeling to all. The surroundings are beautiful and there is time for a walk with friends to explore the woods or to sit by the huge stone fireplace and share stories. I have been going to the HOV retreats for many years and it is always a time for renewal and inspiration. Friends are so important and spending a weekend with friends in creative pursuits is life affirming and empowering.


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10/02/11
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Quilting
Posted by: Mary @ 6:14 pm

My friend Betty is making and donating quilts for this worthy cause and I want to let other people know about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. She has encouraged me to get involved too especially since smaller quilts are easier to complete and I have difficulty working on (wrestling with) large quilts now because of my hand injury. My beloved aunt has some dementia so this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

“The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative™ (www.AlzQuilts.org) is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer’s. The AAQI has raised more than $591,000 since January 2006.

Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer’s.”

You can view some of these wonderful quilts on this Flickr stream and some of my friend Betty’s many quilts are displayed here.


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08/13/11
Rainbow Leaves Quilt in Show
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 6:34 pm

My rainbow leaves quilt was in the GHQG quilt show last weekend. Fall is my favorite time of year and this was a perfect theme to design a quilt for my antique four-poster bed. I chose a rainbow of colors in my favorite fabrics from stash. This is an original paper pieced design that was laid out in Adobe Illustrator. It was machine pieced and machine quilted by yours truly. It is a bit like wrestling an alligator to machine quilt a bed size quilt on a Bernina 1090 with a standard size opening but I rolled and tugged and pushed and pulled and did it in stages. The background area is quilted in loose puzzle piece shapes so that the leaves pop out and the strip pieced border has freeform leaves quilted into it.


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05/22/11
Swan Quilt
Filed under: General, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:48 pm

The swan quilt is finished. It’s small, 22″ x 28″, and I found a place for it on the wall above the table where my sewing machine sits. It is hand quilted, something that I don’t usually do any more as machine quilting is faster and easier. Still, there is something about sitting in a comfortable spot and working the cloth with the needle. And it’s portable and can be brought to a get together with quilting friends. The design is from a large stencil I came across on one of my quilting adventures years ago. This was another time progression piece or UFO, unfinished object.


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03/09/11
Spiderweb Quilt
Filed under: General, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:10 pm

I have always wanted to make a string quilting spiderweb quilt. Recently I found a free pattern for this quilt design at Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville. Bonnie has almost 4 dozen free scrap quilt patterns at Quiltville with easy to understand instructions. Last weekend I went on a quilt retreat and came home with the beginning of my own spiderweb quilt. All you need to get started is the Quiltville spiderweb pattern, some 8.5″ by 11″ paper, and a bag of scraps.


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02/26/11
Mariner’s Compass
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:33 am

Mariner’s compass designs have always intrigued me. The compass rose or wind rose, found on a nautical chart, radiates out from the center and is used in sea navigation. If you google images for “compass rose” you will find some beautiful images. Mariner’s Compass Quilts by Judy Mathieson is one of my favorite quilting books with inspiration about this design, mariner’s compass patterns, and information on how to draft your own pattern.

Recently I created a paper foundation pieced (see Carol Doak for info on this method) pattern for a mariner’s compass block that goes together in 8 sections. For coloration I used light, medium, and dark blues. It is very important to have value changes (light to dark contrast) so that the design pops out and you can also vary the colors in this design. Here is the 12 inch block that I made to see how my pattern would go together. Three more of these blocks and I will have a striking table runner.


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02/14/11
Memorabilia Crazy Quilt Finished
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 6:45 pm

The embroidered crazy quilt with photo transfers of my children is finally finished! It was still in progress last August as chronicled here and in January with the help of a few snowstorms and being temporarily snowed in I got motivated to make that final push to finish it. It is small, 16 inches by 20 inches, looks great hung on the living room wall, and makes me smile every time I walk by.

The books I used for crazy quilt embroidery inspiration were: Elegant Stitches, Crazy Quilt Odyssey, Art & Inspirations, and The Crazy Quilt Handbook, all by Judith Baker Montano, along with The Magic of Crazy Quilting by J. Marsha Michler. I used specialty fabrics, mostly satins, silks, brocades, and some shiny fabrics, collected over a period of time. Embroidery threads and silk ribbons came from my local needlework shop, Thistle Needleworks.

The individual blocks with details, shown from top to bottom below the quilt are: my daughter holding the milk snake she pulled out of the water at Highland Lake in Bridgeton, Maine, both of my kids soaking wet in the water play area on a trip to Storyland, New Hampshire, my son driving his uncle’s party boat on a lake near his home, and the Luke and Leia Star Wars costumes that I made one Halloween.


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11/18/10
Creative Quilt Retreat
Filed under: General, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 8:37 pm

The quilt retreat last weekend at YMCA Camp Hazen was wonderful. It was fun, relaxing, creative, and best of all, great to hang out with old friends and new. Sewing machines and fabric were everywhere.

My friend Pat taught a class for a crazy quilted embellished box to hold jewelry, treasures, and what not. We used pieces of satin, brocade and velvet along with bits of lace and trim. Mine came out gorgeous and just needs some beads and charms to be complete. The box is a modern updated version of Victorian style.

Pat shared a little doll pattern with me too. I was not in the mood to make a doll, but Pat’s dolls were enchanting so I started a doll on Sunday and am finishing her at home. The dress and hair were added last night and now she would like some beads, charms, earrings, and a necklace. The doll’s name is Amethyst and she shines bright and rings true. The cat found her on the coffee table tonight and thought she was a play toy so I had to intervene.



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11/01/10
Fatbook - Shell Page
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Mixed Media, Creativity, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:07 pm

Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month is here once again! What may seem daunting at first, a call to make art every day, can be looked upon as a gentle invitation to create. The hardest part is getting started, but once you begin things just start flowing.

Right now I have a lot of art projects in process and some almost started. To add to this, last night I decided to create a 6″ square fabric fatbook similar to the fabric books they do at Artfest in Washington state, except those are 4 inch square and participants swap pages with each other. My pages will express ideas that come to mind while working in an improvisational way to come up with something new. Current reading inspiration has been Fabric Art Collage - 40+ Mixed Media Techniques by Rebekah Meier.

This fabric collage page, front and back, was inspired by October beach. Techniques used include free-form applique, raw edges, and a clear contact paper threads and snippets pocket with seashells tucked inside.



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08/15/10
Crazy Quilt and the Passage of Time
Filed under: General, Creativity, Family and Friends, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 1:20 pm

This small crazy quilt piece is something that I have been working on over time, hence it represents a time passage piece. It depicts a few special moments captured in time. My children were younger when I made the photo transfers and assembled the crazy quilt blocks. Most of the time I enjoy taking it out of the specialty threads basket kept on the side table, look at it and fondly reminisce, and then put it back. Sometimes I add some embroidery stitches to the piece.

Lately I have been reflecting on the passage of time and how things change and yet how things remain the same. The threads of friendship connect us to one another and remind us of that special circle that goes around us. When you see an old friend after a long span of time it is almost as if the time between collapses and disappears. You catch up on things, renew the friendship, and the connection can grow stronger. Friends are truly wonderful.


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05/10/10
Aunt Ethel’s Quilt Sandwich
Filed under: General, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:15 pm

The quilt top for my Aunt Ethel got layered and safety pin basted last week, a major accomplishment. Crawling around on a hardwood floor is not my idea of a good time but taping the backing down taut ensures a smooth and pucker free quilt sandwich. Machine quilting something this large on a regular sewing machine is a little bit like wrestling an alligator but it builds character. This design is a simple tiling pattern that my friend Cindy found at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I used floral fabrics from my collection. This is not an art quilt which is what I prefer, but my aunt does not want an art quilt - she likes flowers and wants something pretty for her bed. One thing you always need to keep in mind when you are creating something is who is this for? When I am doing something for someone else my intent is always to visualize and bring to life what it is that they may not quite be able to express. Currently my focus is to create what is inside of me and express myself fully and move away from being other directed. I still have a need to do things for others and this does not at all detract from my own creative expression but rather enhances it.



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02/06/10
New Quilt for Aunt Ethel
Filed under: General, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 11:13 am

After seeing the quilt we made to benefit the Lupus Foundation at the Heart of the Valley Quilt Guild Saturday Sew-In in January, I decided to start a new quilt using my own version of the pattern for my Aunt Ethel. In order to make it scrappy I am cutting each large square from a different floral fabric from my collection. the corner square fabric is a medium gold with stars and the retangles are a cream on cream pale floral fabric. So far I have 16 blocks assembled into one 4×4 unit here. After putting together a total of 6 sections I will design a border and then machine quilt it.


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