Monday, June 29, 2009

Project Potpourri

There has been lots of activity here that has not been reflected on the blog lately. Sorry about that! Confidentially, I have been scheming on a new book and much energy has been devoted to that purpose. I have also reviewed and approved the strike-offs for the next fabric line which is called Sunshine and Shadow, so my mind is racing with possibilities for using the new designs and colors.

In the mean time, Prairie Gothic continues to inspire us to create more fun projects. One of my favorites has been these delightful tea cozies. Everyone who sees them in the studio immediately puts them on their head, myself included. So perhaps we will have to make some smaller versions for human ornamentation. The cozies are made of four panels with a finishing band at the bottom. But best of all is the fancy topper made with a yo-yo and two ArtGirlz felt beads.

This vintage Sassaman fabric works wonderfully with a hydrangea featured in each panel. The purple band at the bottom grounds the design and adds a little extra weight to keep out the cold air. The topper is especially fun in these lively colors! Thanks to Super Susan, my assistant for perfecting this delightful pattern!

I have also done some teaching this summer.  At the Genesee Valley Quilt Show in Rochester, New York, I was lucky to reconnect with one of my former students, Martha Lorshbaugh. She got extra points in class for wearing a skirt made from this seasons Sunflower fabric!!!!!! 
I am susceptible to "buttering-up". Thank you, Martha, you made my day!

Another friend, Pam Matthews of Pam Matthews Designs sent me this photo of a fresh new bag idea using the Coneflower fabric on the outside and lined in pink Bird's Eye. The bright lining makes everything easier to find in a deep bag.

Next we have two new quilts which exploit the kaleidoscopic potential of the symmetrical Prairie Gothic fabrics. Melissa Peda calls this piece, Midnight Queen. It is a glowing combination of color and graphics. I like the way the composition radiates from the complex center to a quieter border.

Melissa has also created this refined kaleidoscope wall hanging, below, Dusky Mandala. The Teasel fabric in the center actually seems to blend into the surrounding dots. She has used the sprinkling of white in the two outer borders to great advantage, too. Look closely because she has also appliqued some critters here and there!

Thanks to all my buddies for applying their energy and skill to these Sassaman fabrics. I am a lucky girl to have so many talented friends!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Graduation Day

I have been on "spring break" for the month of May. In this pleasant recess from travel I have been able to revel in the fresh breezes of a new season which has been prolonged by coolness and rain. The shade plants are having a robust celebration... the iris, hosta, trillium and columbine are proudly presenting themselves. Between rain drops, Greg has finally prepared the vegetable garden and planted the tomatoes, peppers, squash and other delights. Greg's helper, Pumpkin, takes time out to be the Queen of the Green, above.

This Columbine plays host every year and greets all our visitors at the front door. She is especially happy this season. She looks like a marvelous floral chandelier with all those dangling blossoms. And she shows nicely next to the newly painted house.

In the midst of all this merry making, we have a few other things to celebrate, too! We have a niece graduating from high school and a nephew graduating from 8th grade. One of my favorite high school graduation gifts was a set of sheets and towels (of my very own!) to take off to college. It was a symbol of my independence and potential... a "new beginning" present. 

So, I am doing the same for my niece, who is will begin college in Florida this fall. But, of course, this gift has to be personalized and I know Maddie loves the color orange, so ORANGE it is! I started by making her two coordinating pillows, both with a little turquoise for balance.

Then we purchased a set of very orange towels to decorate with appliqued ribbons in one of the same pillow fabrics. I used turquoise top stitching thread on both edges to jazz it up. The fabric is from last season's Hothouse line for FreeSpirit.

Since we know she will be spending lots of time at the beach, poor thing, we threw in a beach towel and I appliqued a butterfly in one corner. Here a froggy friend enjoys a sun bath before it all gets wrapped up in ribbon and tissue. I hope that she enjoys using them as much as I enjoyed making them!

What about the nephew, you ask? He already has an Aunt Jane pillowcase, but I may make him another with an iTunes coupon attached.

My teaching schedule sabbatical ends tomorrow, so today I will absorb as much spring as possible! It looks as if the sun will be shining and the breezes cool. A perfect spring day!