Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Season for Reflection

Last week marked the culmination of several important events. The first was The International Quilt Market in Houston, which was early this year and had vendors scrambling to prepare their wares in time, including me! Here is a picture of my booth. I decided to be spare and modern this season, with just a black surround to show off the new fabric and patterns. (More about them next week!)

My sister was kind enough to take time off to help "mind the store". It was a nice opportunity to introduce her to the "wonderful world of quilting". The booth was perfectly positioned on a main isle, so even though I could not wander, I was able to greet all my friends as they happened by. As always, Houston Market was a grand time to reconnect, review and to see some extra ordinary quilts.

Many new projects were being promoted, of course. One of these was a new book by Eleanor Levie called Unforgettable Tote Bags. This is another of her collaborative projects in which she invited several quilters and designers to create or decorate a practical and ecological tote bag. Here is my contribution, a liner for your bike basket-very green-no plastic bags and no gas!

This design was inspired by the new European craze to personalize your bike with paint, flowers and found object collage. We used Prairie Gothic fabrics and plenty of Art Girlz felt beads, of which you can never have too many!

After my return from Market, the MetCap Bank hosted an opulent opening for my show. It was a dark and rainy night in Chicago, but the beautiful Tree Studios and so many old friends made it a night to remember! The work is on display through January 15, so please stop in if you have a chance.

So now I am sighing a breath of relief and trying to regroup for the next season of dreaming, designing and SEWING! I am taking the month of November to work on a new art quilt, which is much overdue and heavenly to be working on as we watch the autumn landscape make dramatic changes everyday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A New Season of Possibilities

Hello, everyone! The Idea Book is back in gear after a busy summer and bursting with new projects and patterns to share with you. First of all, my new FreeSpirit fabric line will be

introduced at Houston Market this weekend. It is called "Sunshine & Shadow". The title, of course, is also the name of a traditional quilt design, but it also refers to the many moods of our Midwestern garden. You will see some of our favorite plants portrayed for this new season of sewing. For a sneak preview, visit my website.

Next I want to invite you all to visit my show of art quilts in the historic Tree Studios in downtown Chicago. Tree Studios is a lovingly restored building which once housed many famous local artists. This sizable show is a collection of many classic and seminal pieces from my quilting career, including the "Willow" quilt which was named "One of the Best American Quilts of the Century". It has not been shown publicly since the 1996 International Quilt Festival when it was awarded "Master of Contemporary Artistry".

The show will run through January 14 as part of Art Works Chicago: A Progressive Corporate Exhibition of Chicago, a program supported by MetCap Bank to feature exhibitions of work by prominent Chicago-based artists displayed in the workplace setting.

To see the show, please stop by the Metropolitan Capital Bank at Nine East Ontario during business hours or call for an appointment, 312-640-2300. I encourage you to collect a group of friends and make a day of it... great city shopping near by!