Thursday, June 30, 2011


Look what the UPS man delivered today. I've been waiting and waiting for these threads. They're from Superior Threads and they are the new King Tut solid color cotton 40wt/3ply threads. These are heavy weight cotton which I've been wanting for quilting and up until now the King Tut threads have all been variegated. Variegated threads seem to be really popular among a lot of quilters, but it's not what I want to use. So now I have these solid colors.

I also ordered a bunch of the Superior titanium coated topstitch sewing needles. According to Superior's website, the titanium coating makes the needle stay sharp longer and outlast any other topstitch needle on the market. Since I know I use my needles far past their prime (it's that thwap thwap noise that is the clue), I am looking forward to using these needles. Also, the Topstitch needle is recommended for all the kinds of stitching I do - piecing, applique, quilting. It has a larger eye and a deeper groove and a sharper point (which should stay sharper with the titanium coating, right?) Sometimes the threads I've used fray from being pulled back and forth through the machine, so I hope this prevents that from happening. These needles are supposed to be great with metallic threads also, but I don't use metallics very often. Maybe I will now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back from QSDS

Last week I took a 7 day Master Class with Judy Hooworth at QSDS. This year the symposium met at the Columbus College of Art and Design instead of in a motel conference site and just that one change made it feel much more like an art event. The campus is in downtown Columbus, Ohio and within walking distance of the Columbus Museum of Art and several art galleries. We were surrounded by art and even the students were highly decorated.

We stayed in the regular dorms, which were decent. Four people to a suite, with single bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Better than any dorm I ever lived in, but that would have been back in the dark ages when women had to be in by 10pm. The classes were held in a former car dealership building which is in the process of being renovated. My class was held in the garage area, a huge cavernous space which dwarfed our little group of 9 people plus the teacher. The lighting wasn't great, the power kept tripping when there was one too many irons plugged in, but it was terrific to have unlimited space in which to work. When I needed an extra table to support what I was quilting, I was able to go get one and set it up, no problem, and I didn't infringe on anyone else's space. Occasionally the garage door would open and a truck drove in to load up or unload, but that also meant that I could drive my car in and load it up right next to my work space. Talk about convenient!

The class itself was terrific. With so few people, Judy was able to spend lots of time with every one of us. We went on field trips to the Museum of Art, The Wexner Center, and an exhibit at the Jewish Community Center. Of course, there was the trip to see Quilt National and all the fantastic art there (and some that I wondered why they were there, but that's always the case). We also went to the Riffe Gallery, where I have a piece in the show. This is a terrific gallery right in a downtown Columbus office building and it gets tons of foot traffic. The show is on the first level and it's hard to miss.

Back to the class ... I worked on a piece that was nearly finished but had some problems. I was able to resolve these, do the work, then put that aside to work on something else. I have been using small pieces in my backgrounds and had been thinking about using bigger ones instead, and I put together the beginnings of a huge (about 8'x8') piece. I have to think a lot about how I am going to proceed with that one.

I also worked on another small piece and painted the graffiti line in white on it. Judy suggested that I add more graffiti lines to give the piece more depth. I took a picture of the piece with the white line with my iPad, then imported it into a drawing app (ArtStudio) and was able to try out various new graffiti lines. This is the drawing I did. I've done it on the piece itself and of course couldn't quite duplicate this exactly. I like this effect and will continue to experiment with it.

There were some interesting sights in the building. The CCAD students do fashion design and here are some of the mannekins lined up in the storeroom.

Looks like they were experimenting with dripping paint. Cool design.

And have you seen one of these? We called him "Flat Man" because he is on the street in the crosswalk. There were 3 that we found on the campus, but I've also seen one in Chicago, and heard about them being in other cities. He looks like he is cut from pavement marking tape. I've used all sorts of search terms in Google but haven't found anything that is pertinent to this guy. Anybody know anything?

Thanks for all the suggestions for the SAQA piece title. I decided to go with "No Way Out". I've sent it off and it should appear on the SAQA site within the week, I hope.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Birthday Boys

These are the Birthday Boys. Today is my son's birthday. And 100 years ago today my Father was born. These two pictures were taken in the early 1970s and I thought it would be especially appropriate to post them today.

Happy Birthday, Brian! Happy Birthday, Dad! Love you both!

Monday, June 06, 2011

SAQA Benefit Auction

It's time again to support the SAQA benefit auction with my donated 12"x12" piece. I really wanted to get one submitted in time for the early deadline to be eligible for the publicity stuff, but nothing I did was pleasing me. And I certainly don't want to have something up for auction that might not do well. I guess that is everybody's fear - that her piece will be unsold at the end. Even people that I think should not have to worry about that still worry about that.

There are quite a few pieces already donated. You can view them here. The auction doesn't start until September and then they do the reverse auction thing. Bidding starts at $750 the first day, then drops on successive days to $550, $350, and so on. I would love for someone to want my piece badly enough to buy it on the first day, but that's a pie-in-the-sky wish, I think.


I need to give it a name. Untitled just doesn't cut it for me. I can't fill out the donation form until I come up with a name. Suggestions?