Five years ago…..

There are certain things in each of our personal histories that we will NEVER forget!!! It may be a wedding, a birth or even a death.

Sometimes though it is an accomplishment and that is what I am remembering today.

In October of 2015, Michael and I participated in a 10 day trek in the Himalayas, climaxing at Annapurna Base Camp!! On October 8, 2015 we reached what seemed to be the top of the world…..

At the top with our guide Badri

After 6 hard days of climbing stairs and crossing rivers, we were there!!

The scenery was astounding…..

….and the sense of accomplishment was huge!!!

Interestingly, one of my favorite parts of the day was spent by myself in a dry lake bed, just enjoying the sight of the mountains surrounding me and hearing the glaciers breaking and falling on far slopes

Naturally, when I got home there had to be a quilt about this trip and inspiration started with the Buddhist shrines and Stupas that we passed on our journey and also the prayer flags that fluttered in the breeze.

Those inspirations and ruminations resulted in “Himalayan Hallows”……

I was pleased when it was accepted as into the “Tactile Architecture” exhibit in 2017 and loved that it traveled during that year.

This is what I wrote about the quilt for the exhibit and I think that it is the best description that I could ever give…..

I almost feel that this quilt should be called “Serendipity” because so many things happened during the construction that were not planned by me but ended up being exactly what I wanted to portray.  I started the project knowing that I wasn’t sure how I would complete it and  that at any point, I might ruin it, but decided that I just wanted to enjoy the process and see what happened.

As I worked on it, I thought about our 10 days of trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp and how the mountain called Machapucherie was always in our view.  It is the highest peak portrayed in the quilt.

I also fondly remembered the Nepalese guides and porters who assisted us on this journey, and of the great care that they showed for each of the trekkers.  I  remembered how hard it was to say goodbye to them at the end of the trip and how we waved and waved until they were out of sight.

Finally, as I worked, I could smell the  wood smoke pouring from the teahouses and hear the sound of  the bells that hung around the necks of the pack animals that walked the trails with us. 

My  husband and I are privileged to have the opportunity to travel overseas often and I love making quilts that come from these journeys, but this one will always have a very special place in my heart and in my mind.

ACCEPTED!!!

Back in April I had talked to Michael about the possibility of my getting  to Houston in November for the International Quilt Festival.   He agreed that it would be a good idea so I started making plans.

The first thing that I  wanted to do was to enter my “Himalayan Hallows” quilt in the show and see if I could get it juried in.  Well that plan didn’t work out so well because the final registration date had passed about 4 days earlier!!!!  But while I was on the site, I noticed that the registration was still open for a special exhibit called “Tactile Architecture” and I decided that since there was a structure in the quilt that I would enter it there.

AND, IT WAS ACCEPTED!!!!  

Accepted-Logo


This is actually a traveling exhibit so it will debut at the Festival and will then travel to other shows over the next year.

The quilt doesn’t have to travel and I debated about whether or not I wanted to send it away for such a long time but several people (including my husband) urged me to do so.

SO, on Monday I carefully packed up my quilt and took it to the UPS store to send it on it’s merry way.   It will be great fun to see it hanging in the show in November and then to hear where else it will be displayed over the next ten months.


Here is one last look…….


IMG_3197



Now comes the critique!!!

 
Now that I have finished the quilt…..
…..I wanted to look back and critique the process that I used. 
 I was excited to try Susan Carlson’s technique and I really like the flexibility and spontaneity that it allowed. However I am not super happy with the raw edges that it leaves. Perhaps I should have used more glue but am glad that I didn’t because, when I started quilting, the thread would shred when I hit spots that had more glue. 
Since this is a very organic structure I am not too worried about the thread but I wouldn’t want to use the technique on certain other pieces. The bottom line is that I think I will continue to use the technique but will mix it with a fusible web at times. 
On the positive, the hand of the fabric is better than with a fusible. 
I also enjoyed using various paints to slightly change the color of the stones and REALLY enjoyed using sponges to apply those paints.   As a matter of fact, without having done this first, I would never have thought to use the sponges to paint the trees on the “No Fishing” quilt.
 So the question is what to do next…. 
 I am in the middle of quilting my Queen size Pineapple quilt and want to have it finished for the upcoming show so that will be my next project, but what after that??
 I am pretty sure that I want to pursue more of these pictorial quilts from our travels. Michael suggested doing one based on the fishermen pulling their nets in….
 I am drawn to the way that all of their legs are in the same position. 
I also thought about this photo of our trek guide, Badri, making a water buffalo very happy.. 
The look on the buffalo’s face is one of pure enjoyment!!! 
I have also thought about the pack horses that we saw on the Nepal trek…..
 The sound of the bells around their necks will stay with me for a long time.
 Then there is this photo of Chinese women enjoying their morning exercises….
 I love the positioning of their bodies and the parasols 
So I will now head off to quilt and ponder what will come next.
Michael is also going to be looking for a new project soon.   Today he finished all of the leather work and just has the staining to do……
….and yes, he does have his next project picked out!!!

Fun With Flags!!!

Frances M. Arnold

Presents

FUN WITH FLAGS…..

 If you are a “Big Bang Theory” fan you will understand this….if not, well you should be!!!!
As I was nearing the end of my quilting, I started thinking again about the prayer flags that I wanted to add.   If you remember, my original idea was something like this…..


And, although I like the look, I really wanted something that provided more perspective.  As I was showing my friend, Anita, the quilt, I noticed that one of my inspiration photos, hanging next to the quilt, had a wonderful series of flags.

SO…..the original flags were taken off of the design wall and I started working on how to work these new flags!!   The first step was to get a pattern that was the right size.   I did this by making a line drawing of the flags…..

…. and then enlarging them using my printer.  When I pinned them up, I knew that I was on to something…..

Hmmmm….this definitely shows promise!!!!

I really wanted the flags to be 3 dimensional (at least the larger ones) so I fused two pieces of fabric together, cut out the flag and then painted the edges with Fray Check.  The smaller ones were simply fused together.

To attach them to the quilt, I put a small strip of Wonder-Under to the top of the flag and then fused it in place.

I found a bit of yarn that worked for the string and finished off the display.

I put the finishing touches on the opening……

After adding some grass quilting around the base of the monument and squaring it up, I could declare it finished!!!!

Tonight as I am finishing the binding, I have to admit that I am sad to see the journey over.   It has been so much a part of my life over the last few months that I feel a  big void.   Michael’s answer was to pick another scene and start another one!!!
Speaking of Michael, his leather work is going well with him finishing the outside flap……
…..as well as the main pocket……

He will soon be thru with his project and I have already encouraged him to take his own advice and simply start another one!!!!

Dueling Hobby Saturday

Yesterday Michael and I both had fun days working on our respective hobbies, in our respective “studios”.  

I spent the day upstairs continuing with quilting the monument quilt…..

I love the texture that you can see in this photo!!

Michael, on the other hand, was in his workshop doing some hand work……

…..and learning how to perform a saddle stitch…..

At day’s end, we both had achievements.   I had completed the quilting (except for the sky….cant decide what to do there)……

….and Michael had finished sewing the flap on the “Possibles” bag that he is making…..

Such a fun day!!!   And, more dueling is expected this afternoon after Church!!!!!