Forwards Backwards

Well I think I will begin by going backwards!
Day 14
I arrived home from my two week Master Class at the Barn and proceeded to unload the car and spend an entire day "Ciolinoizing" my room. This is a process named after Sandy Ciolino, a wonderful friend and master machine quilter. It involves cleaning every square inch of my studio with a Q-tip. Since my room was so empty I took the opportunity to completely rearrange it and cleaned it from top to bottom. I rearranged all my fabric scraps according to the Karen Schultz rolling technique and now can easily see all the little scraps of wonderful material that I will probably never use!

Day 13
I was supposed to sleep until 7:30 to have a civilized last day breakfast with bunk mate Connie Carrington. We have stayed together at the Rosabella B&B and I promised myself that I would enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and not be crazy. Instead, I woke up at 4:30 am and proceeded to drive home. Instead of one of the Rosabella's fabulous breakfasts, I munched on popcorn, cookies from the Barn, and a piece of yummy banana bread from the B&B. I made it home in record time and unloaded the car to an empty house. Dave arrived home from the Middle East, and had a minor car accident 1/4 mile from our house. He is just fine but our 15 year old Volvo may have seen its last legs.

End of Week 2.
Naturally I worked like a bandit all week. I spent the majority of the second week finishing up a piece and then starting an entirely new piece. This was challenging since I mostly brought black and white fabrics to work on my scribbles. I figured it would take most of my time to construct them. So, most of the cottons that I did bring were acid colors as well as some Pimas that I bought from Nancy's stash. I finished my second quilt 1 hour before presentation, which left me a full hour to relax... the first time in two weeks.

We did our walk arounds to see everyone's work and it was amazing. We all agreed not to post photos of our work, but here is a lovely photo of the inspiring women who I spent 10 days with. John also left me with a present of 3 bricks to add to Max's collection.

Beginning of Week 2

I started a pretty complex construction using colors from my Mexico series. I was working for 2 days on oranges, reds and greens and asked for a crit from Nancy. While she loved the colors, she doubted that I could make it work with the color stash I brought. So I switched gears, removed all of the green and started all over. Luckily Sandy Ciolino had just the right shade of brown that I eventually added in as my background.

I started off the second week really wanting to do a large scribble quilt and spent the first two days tackling that. Most of Sunday and Monday was devoted to sewing in two large curves. I thought I would lose my mind since it was taking too long. So, I ditched that I thought that I would get more out of the class doing more composition. I am not sure if I will ever do a really large curve piece- at least not before I retire!

The weekend between the classes.
Since it was the weekend I decided to relax but instead I got up super early to go to an Antique Extravaganza in Springfield Ohio, about 1 1/2 hours away. My partner in crime was Jayne Willoughby. I picked Jayne up at 5:45 am and we headed out in the coldest wettest weather ever. Neither one of us was prepared for the elements, and this gigantic flea market is mostly outdoors. Jayne had the good sense to buy a wool coat, and I am sure if there had been a sweatshirt dealer they would have made a fortune. Instead we looked for some goodies. I found this lovely display of antique bottle openers that Denise collects. I was able to purchase a stamp pad, a lovely bird feeder and a beautiful sling shot.

We spent 3.5 hours there, had a lovely warm lunch and headed back to the Barn which was opening at 2. We were able to work for another 4 hours in the Barn before having a relaxing dinner with a good friend, Robin Fan. All in all it was lovely to connect and spend so much time with both Jayne and Robin outside of the Barn. While I do not get to see them often, I feel very close to both of them.

End of Week 1
I almost finished one composition before heading out for the weekend. In this composition I worked with bended lines, a variety of widths of lines, and I auditioned colors for the Mexico series. I was not sure if I would like this piece, but in the end it was okay. I may even quilt it up. I think it would be more effective if I blew it up much larger.

Beginning of week one.
I had an agenda and a to-do list that I thought would take me through two weeks. I was bound and determined to figure out scribbles, and it took me about 2 days to to that. I did three compositions before throwing in the black and white towel. Being surrounded by so many artists using color, I was weak- and I succumbed to rummaging through my stash. Sewing scribbles in not for the faint hearted. It is tedious and takes lots of time, and I think it could be effective, but it will take a lot of perseverance.I did spend time trying different techniques. For instance, cutting the curves on the bias was a lot more successful than cutting it on grain. And I used several techniques for piecing in the background. My very first attempt was rather labored and didnot produce a nice finished result. But conferring with Sandy I was able to recut the curves and got a much better piece. But boy does it take time.

Day One and Two. Arrived at the Barn to see all my old friends and meet new ones. It is lovely to not have butterflies in my tummy. We spent the first two days watching presentations of our work. It was a wonderful way to get introduced to new friends and see the new work and progress from the last class. The presentations were windows into what makes each of us tick, and explained why each of us has a distinctly different voice. But more about that tomorrow!