Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Old Father Time with his scythe, carrying in the New Year
Happy New Year!

My goals for myself have changed over the years when it comes to making and trying to keep New Year's Resolutions. 

Eat better! Exercise more! Save money! are constant "friends" (used lightly) who walk with me always, but now I'm more realistic about goals I can keep for more than 10 days. 

This year More Sailing!
I obviously need summer, non-frozen water, and warmer than 35degrees outside to make that happen.

Use Less Plastic!
This one I've prepared most for and am super excited about. We now have nice lunch bags, metal straws, beeswax sandwich wraps, tupperwares for salads, real silverware already in said lunch bag, and lots of travel mugs ready to go. Oh! I also have already put the grocery shopping bags IN the car!!! HA!

Lastly, More Quilting!
It's been awhile, so I decided to start where I always start and try again. Here is the scrap bin......

In December 2011 on this blog, I talked about this and started cutting up my stash. Inspired by Joan Ford's books, I'm ready again to scrap my way to beautiful new quilts. 

The idea is that if you cut your stash into 2", 3 1/2" and 5" squares, plus adding a focus fabric, you have endless possibilities for beautiful projects. My start of this is below......I'd love to show you how much progress I made on the bin, but I'm afraid it wouldn't translate in a photo. ;-)

I also dug into the UFO bin..............WOW! and they are all blue!

 My blue trees.............

 Oh! A new book all about blue and white quilts.........

The table runner I made for my 40th Birthday Quilt Show Extravaganza and Auction. 
Seems I have another one in the stash.

An unfinished pattern test which might make a lovely winter mantel runner.

A Jacob's Ladder table runner................

And finally this beautiful kit to make with our daughter......

I think I will be busy. Remembering that every morning has the power to be a new New Year's Day..... a poem from the public domain to inspire us all.
Happy quilting and happy living, Friends.

New Year’s Morning

Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year’s heart all weary grew,
But said: “The New Year rest has brought.”
The Old Year’s hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but, trusting, said:
“The blossoms of the New Year’s crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead.”
The Old Year’s heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: “I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year’s generous hand
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all my failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet peace where I leave strife.”
Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.

Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year’s morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true; 
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hi Friends and Followers, 
I woke up today with all my usual good intentions and the thought of what 2019 might hold on my mind. What New Year's Resolutions should I actively pursue? 
(Other than my annual desire to lose weight, exercise, eat better and save more money.)
The blog came to mind. I should say hello and tell the world where I've been.

Wow! It's been three years since I've actively been blogging. That seems impossible. Time does certainly fly right by when you are having fun. 

In the Fall of 2016, I accepted a teaching position in a small city surrounded by the most beautiful country upstate New York has to offer. The experience has truly changed my life and our family's........ well, everything. Now I am........
Elementary Music Educator in three buildings, with three choruses, and on an incredible team with 5 other fabulous musician/ teachers. I've traded my Mama homewear for these and an awesome uniform of black plants and whatever is handy for a nice top. 

On Friday's we dress down and this particular Friday was Field Day! I was a crossing guard for the event....(as no one wants to see me run, HA!)  Here I am leading the whole school and about 300 parents in our version of the YMCA! We do have fun at my new job!

As for the family, well these children keep growing.........They are 12 and 8 and very active with music, Cub Scouting, and here our trip to Rose Island off the coast of Rhode Island. We spent three days camping in a Colonial barracks and living without electricity. It was quite an adventure. We also did some hiking and ocean kayaking around the island. Check it out........https://www.roseisland.org/

 Otherwise, we sail our small boats, are busy with church activities, playing our instruments, doing complicated math homework, or otherwise running around with our activities.

Finally the union of my work and home life comes on Saturdays. For the past 12 years,  I have been teaching with the Capital District Youth Chorale. Here is a photo of us at the Palace Theatre in Albany for the Magic of Christmas. Our daughter now sings with the Chorale and is in the photo below (as am I). What an amazing parenting moment!

Therefore Friends, I can't promise lots of Quilting will happen here, but the goal for 2019 is to try to get back to it. Until then.........enjoy the photos, the stories, and keep doing whatever you love. 

Glad to be back and Happy New Year, 
This Quilting Mama

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Along the Spice Route

Along the Spice Route
Along the Spice Route is an exhibit of 41 wall quilts interpreting a spice used in cooking today and its country of origin. In addition to the artistic interpretation of a spice, the goal of the exhibit is to provide a learning opportunity to the origins of spices, learn the importance of early trade routes and the connection between countries. Curated by Ann Reardon and Paula Golden.

Below are my 12 favorites from the 
 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXII
September 2015 in Oaks, PA

The Color of Enlightenment-Saffron by Ricki Smith Selva
"Saffron can be used as a dye as well as a spice. This quilt depicts the saffron robes of a Theravada Buddhist monk in Southeast Asia. The golden-orange color, which represents wisdom, strength and dignity, traditionally came from using saffron as a dye. A captivating photo taken by Katine Rogers in 2011 was the inspiration."

Road to Mathura- Ginger from India by Carole A. Nicholas
"Ginger was first grown in southern China. It was soon to be distributed through global trade networks along the spice route to India. It can be used fresh or as a ground powder. Ginger has a fiery taste with a hint of citrus. Here, three women take their head loads of pungent, peppery ginger root to market in Mathura. The ginger plant depicted in the filigree stone screen ("jaali")."

 Za'faran-Saffron by Ricki Smith Selva
"Saffron is the world's most expensive spice. In Afghanistan saffron cultivation may offer a legitimate alternative to opium production for some farmers. The handwork is lovingly offered as homage to the painstaking work that yields this gorgeous spice, and especially to the farmers of Kandahar Province who are risking their livelihood to become part of saffron's enduring story."

Hildegard's Herbal- Asafoetida by Patricia Powers
"Asafoetida" is a spice from northern India. It has a bitter taste that is softened by cooking it in hot oil or butter. In this quilt Hildegard von Bingen, a nun renown as a great healer. Hildegard was born in 1098. Her words on Asafoetida in her manuscript "Physica" are shown here. Her theories and those of oriental medicine have great similarities."

Banda Niera-Nutmeg by Karen Starnes
"Nutmeg was highly sought after spice due to its medicinal properties, as well as hallucinogenic effects when consumed in large quantities. "Banda Niera" depicts mid 1500's Dutch traders negotiating a nutmeg purchase on the shores of Banda Island. Their ship awaits in the bay between the settlement of Banda Niera and the volcano named Fire Mountain."

The Spice Bazaar- Cumin by Karin Tauber
"Cumin seeds come from a plant with lacy white/pink flowers, a member of the parsley family. Its flavor is pungent, earthy with a sweet after taste. A spice bazaar is depicted where cumin is found in many forms. There are dried bundles on shelves, dried seeds in sacks, ground cumin in clay pots and a bowl of black cumin in a corner. Inspired by a Silvia Hanna Dahdal oil painting."

Mustard Seed- Western Asia by Susan Fox Price
"Mustard seeds come in three varieties: black mustard, brown mustard, and white mustard. In the time of the ancient Spice Route it was popular in China, India, and the Middle East (Western Asia). This quilt focuses on the Middle East where black mustard grows. We look from inside a stone house over an ancient village with fields of mustard in the distance."

Turmeric by Alicia Cox MacWright
"Turmeric grows wild in the forests of southern Asia. It has been used in southern India for thousands of years as a dye, a medicine and a culinary spice. It was used to dye the clothes of temple dancers known as "devadasis". My quilt show these dancers performing the Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian dance that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu."

Tanzanian Cardamom by Peg Green
"Cardamom appears to have originated in the Kerala hills of southern India. Cardamom trade came overland into Asia Minor and by sea to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa. It is used in many spice mixtures and to flavor coffee in some parts of the world. Here Cardamom flowers in stages from buds through blooms and seedpods drift down across the surface of the scene."

 Cinnamon by Jill Jensen
"Cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, this type is what is known as "true" cinnamon. Its flavor is sweet with a woody aftertaste. It is used in many dishes world wide. I was drawn to cinnamon not by the flavor or scent but its rich reddish-brown color. I have used block printing and fabrics that I have discharged. The designs are reminiscent of Sri Lanka and the leaves of the cinnamon tree."

 Saffron by Paula Golden
"Saffron is carefully harvested from the flower of the Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Saffron is the dried vivid crimson stigmas of the blossom. Hundreds of flowers must be harvested to produce a commercially useful amount; because of this it as remained "the gold" of the spice trade."

Merci, Edmond Albious Vanillla, Madagascar by Beth Wiesner
"Vanilla comes from Madagascar and neighboring islands in the Southwestern Indian Ocean. It is derived from orchids and is the second most expensive spice. Thanks to Edmond Albious for discovering a hand pollinating method that saved the vanilla orchid. A window, based on an historic arch in Ambohimanga, Madagascar, frames the view of the vanilla crop."


This post is dedicated to my fellow blogger Tasha at The Purple Cook and to my other girlfriends, Barbara, Heather, Cindy and Greta, who have the gift of knowing how to use spices in their cooking.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ARTAA at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXII

The Introductory Tour of ARTAA Presented by the Adirondack Regional Textile Artists' Alliance (ARTAA) as seen at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXII

“In Anticipation” by Lucille Makrin of Cambridge, NY
Lucille writes, “This piece began as an ARTAA theme “Flight.” A photo captured by my son at the Adirondack Balloon Festival, September 2009, was the impetus. They were blowing up “Where's Wally” and my 3 year old granddaughter was waiting to see “Nemo” inflated. The shadow of the observers is on the back side of the balloon as seen throught the inslide of the balloon. How cool is that?”
Note: Lucille is my Mother-in-Law. The son and granddaughter mentioned above are my husband and daughter.

“Life II: I have a Teenager” by Lisa B. Filion of Queensbury, NY
Lisa writes, “Living with a willful adolescent gives me plenty of material to use in my art in this second piece of a series about my life. Brightly painted and snow dyed fabrics reflect the colorful world I inhabit these days.”

“The Devil Made Me Do It” by Nancy DiDonato, Diamond Point, NY
Nancy writes, “Inspired by a church's stained glass window, this machine appliqued piece was created using batik fabrics for the “glass” and multiple layers of grey satin stitch to replicate the leading.”

“For Sale” by Eileen Donovan of Queensbury, NY
Eileen writes, “This piece was created with transparent paints and resists. When completed, it makde me think of family farms that have been lost with the advance of highways and development.”

“Dunes” by Joanna Monroe of Hudson Falls, NY
Joanna writes, “I spent many hours hiding in the dunes when I was a child. The sunny ski and blue water horizon altered when I changed position. Terns defended their nests in the fluttering forest of green and brown beach grass by dive blombing intruders. Sand stuck to everything. It was good.”

“Torn Apart and Going In Circles” by Karen Sturtevant of Clifton Park, NY
Karen writes, “I have a fondness for circles and they appear frequently in my art work. The title “Torn Apart and Going In Circles” says it all about this piece. A whirl win of circles flying freely about, changing direction many times as I adjusted my course and vision to keep up with them.”

“Dreaming” by Kris Gregson Moss of Queensbury, NY
Kris writes, “Dreaming refers to my wish to visit Russia. This quilt was created to travel to St. Petersburg with the ar tquilt group, Fiber Revolution in 2010. It is based on a well known cathedral in that city.”

“Contemplation” by Sherrie L. Turkheimer of Saratoga Springs, NY
Sherrie writes, “Contemplation” is about design and composition. Vibrant colors, subtle values, interesting textures, meaningful lines and shapes. I like experimentation and pushing the boundaries. I love line drawyings and the subtleties of positive and negative spaves. Always evolving to another level of ability and artistic growth is important to me.”

“Feathered Tulip” by Gail B. Frenz of Brant Lake, NY
Gail writes, “As a traditional quilter, I challenged myself to create an original art quilt. With careful planning, the curved piecing proved to be easier than I expected. I feel a great sense of accomplishment as I view my feathered tulip, which is guaranteed not to wilt.”

“Stop and Smell the Roses” by Patricia Spillane of East Greenbush, NY
Patricia writes, “My original rose photograph has inspired many projects, but my favorite thus far has to be the thread painting of this work. Ghostly, imaginary images slipping out into the border satisfied my desire to combine photography, drawing, and fiber in the single piece of art.”

September 2015 in Oaks, PA