Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Talented Group

Those of us who gather each October for PIQF are a fairly talented group of crafters. Some are a little more into it than others. Someone might be obsessed enough that her daughter had to buy a new suitcase just to hold the craft supplies needed on the flight up (you know who you are). And some craft with the group just to be nice. Most of us tuck our crafting into the crevices not filled by our jobs.

But one of us oozes creativity day and night, and my camera batteries happened to be fully charged when I arrived at her house. She not only has great ideas and follow through, but her color sense is spot on. (I'm also in awe of her ability to finish projects, since mine can hang fire for years before they're completed.) Each year I anticipate discovering what new accomplishment she'll display. Quilts? Gift cards? Purses? Jackets? Floral arrangements?

This year brought glass tiles turned into necklaces with the help of some diamond glaze plus graphics cut from magazines.

This is just one of her amazing magnet boards. I took this photo inside at dusk, but you get the idea.Each one has a different theme--from sophisticated to simple, from trendy to classic, from subtle to outrageous. Each comes accessorized with magnets: some spell l-o-v-e or h-o-p-e or l-i-v-e (which I rearranged to spell L'vie because I can't leave well enough alone) or fit the theme (food, cartoons, puppies). These magnet boards are selling like hotcakes and the craft fair is weeks away. I'd be surprised if she has any left by then.

Her sweetie is a woodworker and a thoroughly nice guy and her house is filled with lovingly built furniture. These hand-carved wooden ornaments exhibit another of his skills.I can't decide whether I like them wooden or painted better. These mini masterpieces would be the first things I'd buy if there were extra money. Dratted depression.

In her free time, when she's not crafting to add to the girls' college fund...she's been busy quilting some graduation presents too--from wild to demure depending on the lucky recipient.
I just enjoy soaking up her creativity. And quite honestly it's nice to chat with someone else who shares my passion for trying something new.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pacific International Quilt Festival Favorites

Quilts I loved!

This little piggy has personality's amazing how a mischievous twinkle can be captured in fabric. He puts a smile on my face!

I loved these Mary Englebreit-style flowers on a quilt sent from Japan (because it is the Pacific International Quilt Festival after all). I plan to use this idea in a Spring/Bunny/Easter-ish wall hanging sometime. This whole quilt was unique because many quilters contributed a small finished block of any size or shape that was then assembled into a large creation celebrating the beauty we find in our daily lives.
Which certainly sounds wonderful on a day like today when my job satisfaction has plummeted and I need the inspiration. What would we do without the arts to enrich our lives?!

Goldfinches, or wild canaries, are a favorite in my garden. This little guy is perched on a thistle for a good reason--they don't mate until the thistle down is available as nesting material.

An interesting but fairly useless fact I acquired this summer.

I loved the animal quilts. This almost has a southwestern feel with warm vibrant colors.

Traditional pattern with a colorful twist.

A family tree quilt.

Knowing the revisions that went on our own personal family tree displayed at our family reunion this summer due to various divorces, I can't decide to laugh or cry over the time to embroider names that might later be somewhat unwelcome.

Yummy delicious texture--I love quilts that are almost colorless so you can appreciate the quilting pattern and stitches. Especially if it's hand quilted!

Way too many machine-stitched quilts at quilt shows nowadays (IMHO). I know time is precious but it seems to me that piecing the quilt is only half the equation--the quilting itself is equally as important. Or maybe I've just seen some quilts that were machine quilted to death.

My favorite flower in any flavor...these are Rocky Mountain columbines. They remind me of the ones we saw blooming just below tundra line at Rocky Mountain National Park. Awesome!

Of course we have the real thing blooming in our garden each spring.

Love the overall flow of a good scrappy quilt.

Or the wonderful use of color and design.

But this little border collie had to be my very favorite this year.
It was a wonderful quilt show and it's probably lucky my camera batteries died or there's no telling how many photos I would have on my hard drive right now!

Sadly I'll never show a quilt at PIQF. I'm not quite that creative and definitely not that motivated. My little creations are solely for my own delight; my own personal little quilt show. I'm inspired by all the fabric artists each year though. I owe them a thank you because I know their influence enriches the projects I embark upon.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I say I go to Pacific International Quilt Festival for the quilts and the vendors, but I really go for the friends I've been meeting there for eighteen years. It wouldn't be fun without my "peeps". We are so lucky to have two families open their homes and hearts to our huge group (California, north and south, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada). See those smiles on our faces? Cheese ravioli with a savory topping that is still stimulating my tastebuds a day later--onions and Italian sausage and ??? I need this recipe!
Some friends have four legs, lots of toys and would rather sniff my shoes than play. I'm always eager to see Toby's new tricks.

The babysitters from eighteen years ago have become young mothers. The babies of yesteryear have grown up through the babysitter stage to the young lady stage. Fortunately a new generation is making its appearance. Last year she was a baby, this year a toddler at play. She'll be one of the babysitters before we know it.

(She's already learned that shopping is serious business. Check out her pink sparkly purse in motion.)

Coming tomorrow: quilts worth writing home about.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Costume Drama

I can't resist sharing this video. Splash and Kiko are darling in their costumes and this just shows how very talented Emily is: dog trainer extraordinaire, artist--and now film-maker!
(WARNING: If you never thought the Far Side was funny, then just move on now.)