Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Going to AQT 2007

Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received a call from Judy at Art Quilt Tahoe letting me know that I won the 2007 AQT scholarship!

I've wanted to go to AQT or Asilomar for years but was never able to make it work with my schedule or budget. Then I saw that AQT offered a scholarship for one student each year and decided that I would apply.

As I partly explained in my essay, learning more advanced techniques and networking with other art quilters and teachers is virtually impossible in Hawaii. We get so few mainland teachers and there are only small numbers of quilters here who are interested in pursuing shows, lectures and events as a participant. That's not to say that there isn't interest in quilting here; after all, most of the islands have at least one guild and there is quite an active and involved community, just on a different level.

I am utterly thrilled that I have been given this opportunity to go next year! It seems like it will take forever for next November to get here, but I know it will be here before I know it. Who knows what other exciting things are in store for 2007?

I've signed up for Carol Taylor's class. Visit her website at www.caroltaylorquilts.com. I'm hoping to soak up more color sense, learn more improvisational piecing techniques (I love to piece the backgrounds for most of my quilts), and master facings. Plus have FUN FUN FUN! I'm sure I'll have more to post about this class as I prepare for it through the year. I can't wait!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Too Much To Do

Last weekend went by in a flash. We managed to get some housework and other chores done which was a relief considering nothing was done when we had company last week.

On Saturday we got down to the beach for three hours and it was heavenly. Cody loves his beach time, and so do we. Last year for Christmas we got two brand new beach chairs from Costco (thanks Dad and Karen!), and we more recently purchased beach umbrellas - now we can spend as long as we like even if we can't find a tree for shade. We never thought we'd be beach umbrella types, but since I've had two skin cancers removed we try to spend most of our time in the shade (slathered in sunscreen, of course!).

Bruce and I cooked a pre-Thanksgiving turkey on Sunday. I thought I'd get all kinds of things done while it was in the oven roasting, but we used a Cooks Illustrated recipe that requires you to turn the bird during cooking. So, between the clean up, prep for the gravy and turning the bird, it was a constant three-hour extravaganza. Definitely worth it, though, because the bird was gorgeous and the gravy was heavenly. FYI - cooking turkey is a scary deal these days, so to avoid those nasty food-borne illnesses cook your turkey unstuffed and buy yourself a good-quality (meaning it will probably cost between $15 and $20) instant-read thermometer so you know your poultry is at the correct temperature (165 for the breast, 175 for the thigh/leg).

Tonight I have to sit down and make a very serious to-do list for all the things that need to get done between now and Christmas, since, TA DA, we are going to the mainland for Christmas this year! This is the first year in the 15 years we've been in Hawaii that we will be celebrating the holidays on the mainland, and we are very excited.

The days are going to fly by before we know it!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

GOOD Things Happen in Threes

My adrenalin hasn't slowed since last Thursday, when I found out about the coffee quilt. And, boy, does it leave you exhausted at the end of the day!

Thursday was the win at the Kona Coffee Quilt Contest. Then, on Saturday, I received a call from Coleen at Viewpoints Gallery with the news that I've again been invited to show at next year's Celebration of Hawaii multi-media art show in February.

Then, yesterday afternoon, I got the news that I am the 2007 scholarship award recipient for Art Quilt Tahoe! I almost fell out of my chair. How great is THAT?

I am still floating on cloud 9 and probably will be for awhile.

I haven't been posting recently because we've had company this week, but I'll be back soon. I'm thoroughly motivated to get back in the studio and get some things done.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kona Winds Take the Blue!

I did it! Kona Winds took the Blue Ribbon at the Kona Coffee Festival Quilt Contest! I'm celebrating with family and friends this weekend, so I'll report more soon. Just had to share the good news.

You can see more information about the contest if you CLICK HERE.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Doing the Right Thing

I'm not much for going back and doing things over. If I'm working on a quilt and something isn't coming out just right, sometimes I will leave it. I guess that's why I prefer applique to piecing, since it doesn't have to be so precise.

However, there is a spot on the agapanthus quilt that is really bothering me, so I'm going to have to go back and fix it. My original intention with the black and white background was to start with the really light (mostly white) B&W's at the top, moving to the more saturated dark (mostly black) fabrics toward the plants for a shaded effect, but I'm finding that the blacks are too dark and competing with the plants.

Can you see what I'm talking about in this picture? It's the area on the lower right.

I think I'm going to replace those 6 or 7 pieces with something a little lighter. I know I will be happier. I want this quilt to come out just right!

Fabric for Landscapes

Every Thursday our group meets at the mall for lunch and a visit to the fabric shop. Yesterday we were treated to a preview of the new batch of Hoffman Balis that had just been delivered to the shop. They weren't even out of the wrappers yet! We were like kids at Christmas. Here are some of my selections:
The Greens

The Browns

The one at the bottom center reminds me of pheasant feathers.

You know you are really into fabric and quilting when you can't resist the new stock!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

ArtShare Meme

I'm joining up with Joanne for the ARTShare meme. The first FIVE bloggers who sign up on this post will get an actual piece of art from me. It could be a watercolor, postcard or something new. We'll exchange address info by email and the little gift of art will wing it's way to you. The only requirement: then you must post the ArtShare info on your blog and send art to five bloggers.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trying to Read

Reading goes in cycles for me. I use my library card religiously because, as my mom says, I “use them up too quickly.” “Them” being books. It’s true because if I’m reading something I like I can finish a novel in less than a week – less time if I don’t have to go to work. And these days, at the astounding non-sale price of $35 for a hardcover, that’s an expensive habit.

I recently read through the entire Henry VIII sagas of Phillipa Gregory, from Katherine of Aragon to Elizabeth. They were entertaining and interesting especially since all I knew about the period was that he beheaded Anne Boleyn. Now at least I know why. But by the time I got to Elizabeth (The Virgin’s Lover), I ran out of steam. Half way through the book I didn’t care about her or what happened at the end. So I took it back to the library.

The same holds true for Charles Frazier’s latest, “Thirteen Moons.” I don’t usually read books about male protagonists, but I loved “Cold Mountain” so I thought I would enjoy this one too. NOT. Barely one chapter into it, and I don’t care about this character at all, so it goes back to the library tomorrow.

That’s another nice thing about the library – no buyer’s remorse! I’ll continue to add books to my request list and see what happens. If you’ve read something lately that you liked, let me know. I’ve found some great reads on the QA ring. Here are some of my recent favorites, in no particular order:

The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See
The Money Dragon, Pam Chun
Mistress of Spices, Chitra Divakaruni
Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl
Crazy with Curry, Amulya Malladi
The Other Boleyn Girl, Phillipa Gregory
Art of Mending, Elizabeth Berg