Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the Streets of Tacoma

The day after we went to the Quilt Show several of us took the trolley back to downtown Tacoma to find the American Art Company which was hosting a show of fiber art. We rode the trolley from near our hotel to the nearest stop and walked, finding interesting and beautiful things all along the way. There are a lot of charming old buildings in Tacoma's downtown area, as well as a lot of public art.

(I love how my reflection becomes the body for the face)

When we got to the gallery we found much to admire inside. It was almost more satisfying than the big quilt show had been the day before, for me. Alongside the fiber art was an exhibit of vessels made of a variety of materials.

"Nest" Erika Carter

"Light Ray" Janet Kurjan

"Sept. 28, 2010-March 8, 2011" Toot Reid

"Flowers in the Dream" Binh Pho

Jacques Vesery

Jacques Vesery

When we left the gallery we came upon a plaza where there were hundreds of words printed on small panels that could be arranged into series or bits of poetry, like those refrigerator magnet words for creating poetry. We couldn't resist creating our own statement.

And on that cheery note, we bid a fond farewell to Tacoma. Our train trip home was quieter than the one up. We were tired. I love these getaways with my friends. I come home happy and inspired.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quilts in Tacoma

Our trip to Tacoma to the APWQ Quilt Show was great. I know I expressed disappointment that the show had moved from Seattle to Tacoma, but Tacoma was also great. Beautiful city, beautiful venue, beautiful weather, beautiful quilts. A hard-to-beat combination. The train trip to Tacoma from Portland is always fun and the view out the train windows, along the Puget Sound must be one of the best train views ever.

When we got to the Quilt Show the first order of business was to go find our own quilts. I know this is crazy, or vain, or something, but somehow it is just what you have to do. Did they arrive? Did the committee decide they were just too awful to hang? Are they hung upside down? You just need to know these things before you can continue on.

Jeri's contribution to the "Spirit of the West" was the first we found. Check.

Reva had two pieces in the Columbia FiberArts exhibit. Here she is with one of them The other was also accounted for. Check.

Mine were both there as well. Check.

 Gerrie also  had two in the CFG exhibit, but I failed to get a photo.

So now that we knew our work was all present and accounted for we could move on to the rest of the show. It was an uneven show in my opinion. Some wonderful work, some less so. A few of my favorites:

"Elemental" by Barbara Nepom

"Crosswalk V" by Beverly Fine

"A Walk in the Woods" by Elaine Millar

"Ruffled Feathers" by Roxanne Nelson

The show was judged so you see a ribbon on that wonderful parrot above. I loved that one, but some of the other winners were a mystery to me. The piece below was judged "Best in Show". It is technically stunning, but, in my opinion, less impressive in terms of design and color use.

"Beauty from Within" by Renae Haddadin

You can see in the detail below what is so extraordinary about this quilt. The quilting is mind-boggling. It is machine stitched, masterfully and with a lot of originality. I'm not sure I would have chosen it as the best, but I guess I understand the reasoning.

It was a great day and we ended it with a fun and very delicious dinner at a beautiful Thai restaurant called Indochine. A near perfect day in Tacoma.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Slide show

I have been taking progress photos from roughly the same location at each step along the way. Here's what has happened so far. I didn't realize when I chose my spot to take my progress photos that there would be a huge pile of dirt in the foreground!

Note: I guess some people are not able to view the slideshow. Can anyone else see it besides me? It takes a few moments for it to come up. If you can't see it embedded here, try this link: https://picasaweb.google.com/terrygrant2/StudioConstruction?authuser=0&feat=directlink 

Later note: I changes some settings. Can you see it now?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shows and such

I have several pieces out and about right now. This one will be seen in the "Deep Spaces" show curated by Larkin Van Horn. I just saw photos of the rest of the pieces for this show this morning and it is spectacular! I am so pleased to be part of it.

Deep in the Forest 18" x 45"
Here are the dates and locations for this show:

September 5 to November 6, 2011
Latimer Quilt and Textile Center
2105 Wilson River Loop Road - Tillamook, Oregon
Opening Reception: Sept. 11, 2011,  Noon to 4:00 pm
28 textile art and 8 special 3D pieces

January 10 to March 12, 2012
Sam Houston University Museum
19th St and Avenue N, Huntsville, Texas
Opening Reception:  January 19, 2012, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

March 28 to June 24, 2012
LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum
700 Second Street, La Conner, Washington
Opening Reception:  March 31, 2012, 2:00 to 4:00 pm

This is my piece for the new High Fiber Diet Show. It is currently at the Singer Hill Cafe in Oregon City. Other venues will be announced on the HFD Blog.

When it Rains I Make Make My Own Sunshine
This piece is sold already, but I think the new owner is going to leave it in the show until it finishes.

I will also have two pieces at the APWQ Show in Tacoma this weekend, in the special Columbia FiberArts Guild exhibit.

Mt. Hood from the Air

Our STASH group is leaving tomorrow morning and taking the train to Tacoma for the APWQ show. It has always, in the past, been held in Seattle. Since I so love Seattle, I am a little disappointed in that change, but I think there were financial reasons for the move. We always have a good time and I'm sure this will be no exception.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And the winner is...

Jeannie in Richland, WA is the randomly chosen winner of the Masters Art Quilts, Vol. 2 book! Jeannie, I know you will love this book. I have been making my way through my copy and finding so much inspiration in it.

Thanks to all 95(!) of you who left me comments. I wish I had a book for each of you. There are still books being given away on other blogs. Check the Lark Blog for the schedule and links to the blogs.

Monday, August 22, 2011

To find life waiting for us...

My friend, Laura Nissen, posted this on Facebook today:
Sooner or later we will come to the edge of all that we can control and find life, waiting there for us. Rachel Naomi Remen
Boy does that resonate. Earlier in the week a former co-worker, who I do remember as a bit of a control freak, posted on FB that she was finally, slowly learning to let go of controlling everything and how much happier she was as a result. I believe it is the key to being happy. Really. "Change the things we can, accept the things we cannot change and have the wisdom to know the difference." It is really the only way to live in this crazy world, as I see it. There are days that the state of the stock market could shut me down, or the actions of other people, over whom I have no control. I write the happy news here, but life is what it is. Don't begin to think that anyone has it easy. But at the edges of all that, life is waiting.
How lucky I feel, despite all the disquieting news and day to day worries. I step outside my door each morning and see the workers working away on my studio. I confess it is one thing over which I feel a degree of control.  So that brings me to today's photos.
It is now all enclosed. I can walk around inside and get a feel for the light that will be coming in and the space around me. I looked up, today, through the holes in the roof that will be skylights and loved those little rectangles of tree branches and sky above. The loft is a revelation. It is bigger and more expansive than I expected. The view from the windows up there is a whole new perspective on my little world. I think the workers will be building the stairway tomorrow. I can hardly wait.
That is my son-in-law, Carlos, up in the loft taking some pictures. He designed the building. I think he is pleased.
I am enjoying the process. One of the carpenters whistles as he works. They play Mexican music on their radio. Occasionally the combined stress of all the power tools they have plugged into the one outlet out there throws the breaker and one of them comes to the door to politely ask me to flip the breaker switch back on. They are usually at work before I am awake and gone promptly at 5 pm. I tell them to come into the house if they need water or the bathroom, but they never do. I'm sure they don't understand how grateful I am for the work and what they are creating for me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Holy moly. Look what they did on the studio today!

The second level is beginning to appear. There is a loft that will extend over more than half of the studio and is it ever cool! Ray and I climbed the ladder and walked around up there today. I have been thinking of the loft pretty much as storage space until I got up there today. It is such a wonderful space, with a big window there in the front. I want to drag a sleeping bag out there and sleep there tonight! (I won't)

There is a branch from one of the trees that pokes right into that upstairs window. It will be trimmed, but I loved how the tree was reaching into the space.

So I am thinking a lot about how to arrange things in the space and what I will need that is different from what I have. For several years I have stored my fabric in wash pans from the dollar store. This has really worked nicely for me, but I have not been happy with the wasted space on the shelving I have been using. I looked at different storage systems and asked for ideas on the QuiltArt list and I think I like the IKEA Trofast system. It is pretty versatile, using plastic tubs that slide, like drawers, into a framework. Here is the frame I like:

The tubs come in three sizes and various colors. Emily went to IKEA last weekend and I had her get me three of the medium size tubs in white.

Here are the contents of two of my old dishpans.

Nearly all fit in one of the IKEA tubs.

I put my fabric in standing upright, so the edges of all the pieces are visible, pretty much. I like this system. I can pull a tub out and take it to my work table and find what I need. When I am done I can poke the fabric back into the tub without disrupting the rest. It is a system of controlled chaos. I cannot deal with neat, tidy stacks of folded fabrics on shelves, because they are neat and tidy for only as long as I don't need one. Now I need to deal with thread. I have yet to find a great system for spools of thread. I have lots of them and they are all different sizes.

I am really beginning to "see" how this might come together. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Masters Art Quilts 2 Giveaway!

I am a sucker for beautiful books and I have a special affection for the books from Lark Publishing. One of my favorite Christmas presents of the past few years was their first volume of Masters Art Quilts. I keep going back to it—so inspiring, as all their books are. Their newest release is Masters Art Quilts, Volume 2, which is equally beautiful and inspiring! I am really pleased to be able to offer a copy as part of their introduction to the book.  Leave me a comment on this post within the next week. On August 23, I will randomly pick one of the commenters to receive a free copy! Cool, huh?

For the next month bloggers will be giving away copies of Masters 2, so if you don't win mine, you will have lots of other opportunities. Check the Lark Blog for the schedule. Tomorrow my friend Linda Teddlie Minton will be giving away a copy. Check out her blog for details.

I should also mention that Lark is the publisher of Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge. I am one of the Twelve authors and I still have a copy of our book to give away soon as well. I thought my 1212th blog post would be a good time to do that, but I wasn't paying attention and I hit post #1212 last week! So I will be celebrating the final reveal of our Twelve by Twelve Colorplay challenge on September 1, so be sure to watch for that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A good day

A beautiful summer day for sure, but it was a good day in other ways. Today was our grandson, Marco's first birthday. I haven't finished his quilt, but he got other presents and like most one-year-olds, was more interested in the wrapping paper and the envelope the card came in than he was in his presents, though he was pretty sweet on the soft doll his sister gave him. We all celebrated with dinner on the deck, followed by birthday cake.

Cake is an acquired taste! (Aren't those three little teeth cute? He is getting teeth asymmetrically)

Today the workers started framing the studio. This is the stage where things really start looking like something.

By the end of the day it was taking shape.

Good things today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Horse weekend

My brother, sister-in-law and their daughter, Jamie live in Idaho, but were here in Oregon for a horse show this past weekend and Ray and I tagged along for part of it. Jamie has been riding since she was a child and is now a college student, who still is passionate about her horses. She takes part in dressage competitions and I find it all quite fascinating and beautiful. It is a type of horse showing and competition that originated in Europe centuries ago and most of us see only as part of the Olympics—very traditional and stylized, with very strict guidelines and rules. Jamie, my cool, sometimes goofy, and ultra modern niece puts on her traditional riding gear and suddenly becomes a classic, timeless and elegant horsewoman. Pretty amazing.

The show was held at the DevonWood Equestrian Center, which it turns out, is fairly close to where we live. It is right off one of the main highways in this area and I have driven past it many times, but had no idea of the beautiful facility hidden up behind the trees. It felt like a movie set. Over acres of rolling grassy hills, there are a number of outdoor arenas, stalls, barns and this impressive covered arena. We walked through the building and were a bit blown away by the luxuriousness of  the accommodations. The stalls in this building are built from finely polished woods and brass hardware. The walls are lined with beautifully framed artwork. The whole thing is very upscale. Of course we learned, too, that monthly boarding fees for a horse are more than most of our monthly mortgage payments!

Jamie came with her riding groups from Idaho, who adorned their assigned stalls with posters and glittery decorations. We hung out at the stalls with the kids for awhile and I was impressed with how much hard work and attention to detail goes into these competitions.

Jamie and her pony, Amy, warming up before their test.

Amy is not Jamie's only horse, but she has had Amy for a long time. Amy is small and Jamie was hoping to sell her to a younger rider, which is one reason she came to this show. With any luck, this would be their last competition together.

The test in the sand arena consisted of a series of proscribed patterns and movements. The judges sit in the cute little "house" at the end of the arena.

Sunday afternoon was Jamie and Amy's last test together. My brother recorded it in photos and video.

This morning they headed back to Idaho, without Amy. Yes, she was sold to a cute young rider who lives in this area. Amy will be a wonderful horse for her. It is what they came to do, but it was pretty sad for Jamie and her parents. Amy has been part of the family for a long time.