Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swapping 2011

I can't believe I've been swapping little quilts for almost three years. What an adventure!
The following are swaps from 2011, so far.
"Anything Goes"
STUD January/February 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Swapping 2010 continued...

The quilt I made is on the left. The quilt I received is on the right.
"Anything Goes"
STUD July/August 2010

Friday, July 29, 2011

Swapping - 2010

The obsession continues...
A tiny mini swap with the gang at
My Favorite Quilters
January 2010

Thursday, July 28, 2011

STUD Swapping 2009...continued

The quilt I made is on the left. The quilt made by my partner is on the right

"STUD Anniversary" September 2009

"Anything Goes" September 2009
My quilt was made from the little triangles I cut off when making blocks for another quilt.
"Anything Goes" October 2009
I had to try to trapunto the bananas!
"Into the Woods" October 2009
I used a block from a guild block swap as the center and starting point for my quilt. Who says that a UFO has to end up in the project that it was originally made for?!
"Winter with a Twist" November 2009
The idea was to make a winter themed mini using several of a list of materials/textures.
"Anything Goes" November 2009
This is one of my favorite little quilts. It was a little bigger than normal, but I couldn't bear to cut the lion's head off.
"Anything Goes" December 2009

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Swap 'til You Drop 2009

In January of 2009 I joined my first on line swap group.
In the following pictures the quilt on the left is the one I made. The quilt on the right is the one I received.
"Read it, Watch it, Sing it" January 2009
"Paper Piecing" February 2009
"Asian" March 2009
"Anything Goes" March 2009
"Spring Flowers" April 2009
"Alpha Mania I" May 2009
"Twisted Traditional" May 2009
"Anything Goes" June 2009
"Anything Goes" July 2009
"Buildings" August 2009
"Anything Goes" August 2009
I received a two sided quilt!
I didn't realize how much I've enjoyed swapping until I took the quilts off of the wall for a trunk show. These are just the tip of the iceberg!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Artisan Quilters

This is a portion of a page out of the most recent Pottery Barn catalogue. There you can purchase a king size quilt with matching sham for $249, plus shipping costs. Both of them made by "Skilled artisans (who) piece each quilt by hand, stitching the timeless motifs of flowers, leaves, and vines into heirloom quality works of art.".
I wouldn't dream of disparaging the quality of Pottery Barn products. It is one of my favorite shops for window-shopping, but I wonder how they can make such an offer.
With the rising costs of fabric, it is difficult to create a quilt top of any size for less than $200. Then you still need backing, batting, and thread. Assuming that you hand piece and quilt it there are hundreds of hours invested as well...perhaps thousands. It makes me wonder what the hourly wage of an "artisans" is.
On the other hand, if this is the wage of artisans, what does that make the people that I work with. What does that make me? Am I missing something?
Wikipedia.... I don't know how accurate that is, but it is the best I have at the moment. (It comes from writing while sitting in a recliner in the living room and watching a Harry Potter movie). Wikipedia claims the following;
"An artisan (from Italian: artigiano) is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, household items and tools.".
I suppose a quilter fits that definition. Wikipedia goes further....
"Artisans were the dominant producers of consumer products prior to the Industrial Revolution....According to economist John Hicks, merchants and artisans originated as servants to the rulers...."
"During the Middle Ages the term "artisan" was applied to those who made things or provided services. It did not apply to unskilled labourers....Those who owned their own businesses were called masters."
Okay. You could use this word to describe the quilters I know. Master has come to mean more than owning your own business, although it isn't always true that a business owner, being the master of the enterprise, does masterful work. There are probably plenty examples of artisans who work for the love of the craft that do better work than masters who attempt to make a living at it. Maybe that is the distinction that is nagging me.
To me, Quilting is all about of color, love of textiles, love of people and desire to celebrate and comfort them in a manner which will extend to the time when I am not with them. Quilts become my means of offering an extended hug and a shoulder to cry on. Quilts are bound up in and around love and loving. What makes them beautiful isn't the fact that someone paid me to do it. What makes them beautiful is knowing that someone loved enough to go to the bother of creating it.
Love is the thing that you won't find in the quilt at The Pottery Barn. It's absence will keep the quilt in the realm of "functional or decorative household item."
Artisan....I used to think it meant something special. It has become a buzz word in the advertising world. What it really means is "some poor schmo made this by hand."

Oh Pooh!

I can't believe that I haven't already shared this with you. If I have, don't tell me. I'm feeling forgetful enough.
My wonderful STUD partner for the Disney swap made this for me. Joanna, with the unpronounceable last name, from Germany, a.k.a. ShapeMoth, made it.
It looks like a panel doesn't it?! Look closer, she pieced pooh...he is fused and painted and absolutely a perfect replica of an old illustration. Can't you hear him singing, "I'm just a little black rain cloud, hovering over the honey tree..."
"oh bother....."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Happenings

So much has happened since the last time I visited...nothing terribly exciting, or earth shaking...but just when I though the summer was dragging by I looked up and realized that it was flying.
DQS11 has started. This time we've got a shorter turn around and are making more traditional, pieced doll quilts. The are some of the ideas I've had so far.

Fabric choices....

Work in progress...

I made a new quilt for my oldest take a bit of home to college with.

I joined a weight loss program. I was tired of feeling tired and yucky and thought it couldn't make me feel worse.... I joined Slim4Life in early June. Since then, I've lost 26 pounds without even the tiniest bit of exercise.
Got new carpet in the boy's rooms. This is a very good thing.
Messed up my right thumb...before the carpet came, but messed it up worse trying to help the boys move furniture. No, I haven't been to the doctor, but haven't ruled that option out. I just hate to spend the money to hear him tell me to do what I'm already doing.
I'm sure there are lots more things that have been going on...but it is summer...and has been very hot in Dallas...hotter than normal...too much thinking may cause me to over heat and run straight to a nice cold coke, a treat that is sadly not on the diet.
Hope you are all staying cool!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Morning Rituals

I'm sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying the quiet of the morning. There is a dove outside the window singing to me. I love that sound, reminds me of backyard camp outs. I can hear the mantel clock ticking and the quite rush of traffic out on the main road, and the cat munching on kibble.

Soon the boys will begin to stir. Actually John is already up and off to strength and conditioning camp, a.k.a. summer training for football. I'm glad they do it early. I don't want think of the effect the sun would have.
So, I'm sitting in the quiet, enjoying my cup of tea, reading all of my favorite blogs and thinking that maybe I should drop the ones that never seem to post anything if space in my pulse account is at a premium. Then it hit me....someone could do that to me. I had to drop what I was doing and ask you to please not do that. I love the thought that there are like minded people in the world who occasionally stop by to visit. I promise, I wont drop anyone on my end.

Now that I think of it, I am reminded of the old guys who gather each morning at the local diner. They would never drop a friend just because he didn't show up one morning. More likely they would stop by and see if everything is alright. For the record, I am fine, fine and distracted by summer.
P.S. These are not my photos....I've borrowed them from Flickr....I have no idea what paper that man is reading, or what language it is in, nor do I have that lovely wooded view out my window. Sigh.