Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lancaster Quilt Show Wrap-Up

Open for business. 
 This is a photo of my booth at the Lancaster quilt show at The Continental. 
The nervousness disappeared as soon as I started my demos and I had a blast! It was 4 days of sharing Curvalicious and how it came to be.  The reception was over the top.  People were surprised at the process.  My favorite moments were when I saw the light bulb moments and the oohs and ahs when I shared the batik Curvalicious quilt top.  But, my absolute best was when a quilter came by at the end of the demo, declaring it was too difficult for her and the other quilters told her in no uncertain terms that it was not difficult at all.  They got it!  131 quilters are converts.  Thank you.  Thank you for believing in my product.

I met so many new people and I have to say that quilters are the best.  You asked about my teaching schedule and that prompted me to get myself organized.  Click on the header above if you're interested in taking a class or hearing a lecture.  I also have to thank all the people I know that stopped by to cheer me on.  I couldn't always chat, but our eyes met and I knew you were there. 
And of course I couldn't do it without my helpers. 
 I love you all.

What's next for Curvalicious after this debut? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ready, Set, Go!

Here's my booth at The Continental on Rte 30 in Lancaster.
I set it up today and Weds morning I will be "open for business" with lots of help from my friends. Thanks goodness for friends, I don't know what I would do without them.
 This side of the booth looks pretty good.
This side is missing something.  It's missing quilts! Five quilts to be exact.  
You can be sure they will be filling those empty spaces early tomorrow morning.
I'll be demoing Curvalicious hourly.

I was so nervous before the booth was set up.  This is my first quilt show and I don't know what to expect.  So, the question is why do I keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone? I know lots of other people do this too.  Why? Can't I just be happy staying in my studio creating quilts? 

Some days I get this huge burst of confidence and commit to participating in a new project.  Then as the time is near, my confidence starts to evaporate and I start to panic. I get nervous and stressed out and start to curse.... a lot.  How did I get myself in this situation? 

Please pardon my last minute jitters.  As they say in show biz, as soon as the curtain goes up, I'll be fine.
Then I'll end up putting myself in this stressful position again.  Why?

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I just can't believe that I have been home less than a week  and I am back in the rat race, but as my friend Terry says, "It's all good!".  And it is, except that we had 8" of snow.  If I hadn't spent a day with my grandson Henry, I would be so annoyed, but it was so worth it to be home and see him and the huge smile he had for me. 

Last night at my synagogue, we had Art Shabbat.  There was an exhibit of art by temple members who wanted to participate. The exhibit only lasted 3 hours.  We were allowed to show three pieces and I chose these small framed ones.

This is from a series of small quilts I made titled "Leaving Home".  It was inspired by loving and letting my kids head out into the world on their own.
"Chic Shin" was a workshop I taught at a conference for the Pomegranate Guild of Jewish Needlearts.  
I backed it with a beautiful gold and white fabric.  The shadowbox frame was purchased from a second shop.  I spray painted it gold and added the black dots.  It made this piece look so elegant.  
The exciting news is that it was purchased!

I'm sure you will be able to tell what inspired my third piece.
Key West!
It was a postcard size piece that I mounted inside a frame.  
It was a white frame that I painted turquoise and embellished with buttons.

The next item on my agenda is the Lancaster Quilt Show.  I have a booth at The Continental Inn on Rte 30 across the street from The Host Farms.  I decided to take the plunge and share Curvalicious with a wider audience. I am scared $$tless, but I know I need to do this.  In addition to the tool I will have lots of dupioni silk and kits.  It starts on Wednesday and lasts until Saturday.  It's their 25th year, so they are having a huge raffle basket with lots of vendors.  There's a shuttle bus that goes to the AQS show downtown.   I have some great friends that will be helping me out.  
So if you're in the area, come by and say hello.  I will need your support.

Today was the opening of registration for the summer quilt symposium where I teach in Maryland. It's a great 3 days of hanging out with quilters, learning and laughing and eating, although quite frankly the food leaves a lot to be desired!  I thought I would share the three classes I am teaching:
Easy pieced dupioni silk lone star on Friday

My Curvalicious Pillows

Sunday is Beachalicious day.  I found out today that this class is almost full and registration just started! Excuse me while I jump up and down. I'm not used to being the popular girl.

MAQ is really the best value around.  Check out their website:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Plein Air Painting

There is a group of Plein Air (outdoors) painters here in Key West that meet once a week.  Each week it is a different location.  I have seen them on different street corners and have been curious.  I was excited and nervous at the same time when I was invited to join them.  I was told, just come and sketch. Since they mainly use different houses for their subject, I thought this might be great inspiration for a quilt.  I have a spot above my couch that has a couple of posters hanging there now and I would love to hang a quilt there.

When I arrived, they were spread out on the 4 corners of the intersection, choosing different points of view.

They all had these portable easels and other accessories.  Some of them used brushes.  Some of them used brushes.  Some of them used acrylic paint.  Some of them used oil.  I was there with my little sketch pad with a pencil and I sat on the curb! Intimidated? You betcha, but these ladies (and gentleman) could not have been nicer. 
Here is a sampling of thier works in progress. I am amazed by their talent.

Here are my sketches.  It's a beginning. 

I learned it's about perspective and observation and believe it or not, I found it to be very peaceful.  I got lost in thinking about what I was drawing and that erased all my worries about getting ready to leave in 3 days. I will look forward to joining them when I return next year.  There is certainly lot of room for improvement.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What am I going to do with all those silk blocks?

This is my 12th and final block.  I love the layering of the flower and the buds and the circles inside.

This is one layout with all of the blocks:
But I really want a central design with the flowers around the outside:
It's just a question of what to put in that center panel. Hmmmm.
Do you have a favorite block?  I have a few.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscar Night

A new tradition has been started in our courtyard.  It started with the Superbowl.
We all gather to watch TV on a  big screen using a digital projector.
For the Oscars, everyone brought an hors d'oeuvre.

Here's ours, Buffalo Chicken Bites.  I don't want to brag, but they were delicious.
Everyone asked for the recipe, so here goes.

It starts with:
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 lb Cooked Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 package (48)Won Ton Wrappers

Grind or chop the cooked chicken into a coarse texture.

Melt the butter and add all the ingredients to the chicken and mix by hand.

Place 1/2 a heaping tsp in the center of a wonton wrapper.
Using your finger, wet all 4 edges of the wrapper and fold it in half diagonally.
Seal it tight and then seal it some more using a fork.
Makes about 40.

Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes,
until golden brown.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Curvalicious Bags

My plan was to make a large batik Curvalicious bed quilt.  Stitching the fused circles by hand was to be my "sitting" project on a tour to Budapest and Hungary.  There was a lot of sitting time on the flight over and back and time spent waiting for the group.  I don't like to fuse down all the circles at once, since inevitably the fabric begins to fray.  I know I have shared this before, but you can always find an iron in a hotel.  It's either in your room or a call down to the front desk results in one appearing at your door.
This was half of the quilt and quite frankly, I just thought it was too much, and this was only the first half.

So I decided to cut it up and make 2 bags from it and a tablerunner,
 and then I would see what else was left over.

I am far from an expert in making bags.  The first bag I wanted to create was inspired by this little double zipped purse. I take it with me all over the island.  It's large enough to carry my little wallet and my phone. The two zippered compartments are separate, and I can sling it over my shoulder.
My "wants" for my double zippered purse were:
                           1.  Two independently zippered compartment
                           2.  to wear it over my shoulder, which means a comfortable strap
                           3.  Large enough for serious travel
                           4.  Large enough to hold a sketch pad, digital camera, wallet, phone and umbrella, + ??
                           5.  Finished inside seams
                           6.  Inside pocket for my phone and keys

Most of the requirements were pretty easy to meet, just by making the bag larger, so I started with a piece of the Curvalicious fabric that measured 12" x 30".  I knew my struggle would be with making sure there were no raw seams inside, so I made a little prototype.
The dot fabric represented the zipper.
I cant tell you how many times I had to refer to my prototype before finishing 
my Curvvalicious Double Zip Bag, perfectly sized at 10" x 15".
The local fabric store that also does upholstery put the grommets in for me.
(Thanks Nick.)

One bag down and one more to go.  

A big beautiful tote bag, large enough to hold projects or for an overnight trip. It has a square bottom and interior pockets and a comfy strap.
This is my first project with horizontal Curvalicious stripes.  I like it!