Sunday, January 23, 2011

2012 Quilting Arts Calendar competition

Detail from my submission for the 2012 Quilting Arts Calendar.
On Friday, I learned that the piece I submitted for consideration in the 2012 Quilting Arts Calendar has made the list of finalists! There are 21 artists and 22 pieces on the list on editor Pokey Bolton’s blog. And I know a bunch of them; all are wonderful artists. One, Faith Cleary, is a woman I met at International Quilt Festival last year while taking one of Judy Coates Perez’s classes. 
Faith Cleary with one of her pet portraits on a Christmas stocking.
Faith and I struck up a conversation, decided to have lunch together, and had the most wonderful time. Then this year, when I was back in Houston for Quilt Market, she showed up in a class I took with Bonnie McCaffery! It just seems like fate that we know each other. It was my birthday, and she offered to take me out for lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant she knew, and then she drove me all over Houston to see points of interest, and took me to her house to see her darling studio. After seeing her wonderful work, I encouraged her to talk to Quilting Arts, and to enter the calendar competition, because it is right up her alley this year. 

Detail of Faith's work
Faith specializes in pet portraits sketched in thread, and this year, the theme of the competition is “Getting Pet-ty.” Take a look at Faith’s amazing work on her website. She creates very realistic thread-sketched portraits, then frames them or places them on pet carriers, handbags, chairs, pillows, stockings, you name it.

So imagine my excitement when I saw that both of Faith’s entries were on the list of finalists, too! I am so thrilled for her, because she is simply a sweetheart, and because she is an amazing artist.

This is part of what I love so much about being part of the quilting community. There are all these warm, wonderful people who share a passion for quilts, fabric and threads, and every time you turn around, you meet and make another fabulous friend.

I don't think there is any rule about showing the piece you have submitted, but I prefer to wait until the calendar comes out, or the pieces are shown for the first time (this year, at International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati). So the little photo at the top of this post is all I’m revealing for now. The final list of 13 pieces (one for each month and one for the cover) will be announced on Pokey’s blog on Feb. 11. I have my fingers crossed for both Faith and me.

The Sketchbook Challenge: Sketch #11

This is my latest sketch for The Sketchbook Challenge. While teaching this weekend in Georgia, I stayed with Mary and Dan Colley of Athens. I had stayed with them last fall when I was in town to speak and teach at the Cotton Patch Quilters. They are really kind and wonderful people. Dan is a professor of microbiology at the University of Georgia, and is doing ground-breaking research on schistosomiasis, a horrible parasitic disease that affects many people in developing countries. 

Mary kindly agreed to host me, even though they were in the middle of a major kitchen renovation. She warned me beforehand that things were kind of crazy at her house, but it didn’t scare me. It’s crazy all the time at my house!

While I stayed with them, I sketched this beautiful antique dresser in my room. I find dressers very appealing somehow. They all have very distinct personalities, and it is interesting to see how different the styles can be. I sketched a previous host’s dresser last week. I like the clean, spare lines in this drawing.

Teaching at Dragonfly Quilt Shop

I have just returned from teaching two classes at the Dragonfly Quilt Shop in Watkinsville, Georgia. (Watkinsville is just outside of Athens.) I taught two classes, Thread Sketching, in which students make a small piece with a thread-sketched dragonfly, and Start With a Photo, where students create my Round Red Barn design. (For details on these classes, click here.)

I had wonderful students of all levels – some were completely new to free-motion stitching, and some were already experts. I hope each one went home having learned something new. Some of my students had taken my Wholecloth Painting workshop from me when I visited the Cotton Patch Quilters in September. Here are some photos of my students and their work. It is always interesting to see how different each project turns out because of the fabric and thread choices of the students.

Dragonfly Quilt Shop is a gem of a quilt store, with a wonderful owner (Debora Exum) a very helpful and friendly staff, and a great selection of fabrics. The emphasis is on bright contemporary fabrics, including many by Kaffe Fassett & Brandon Mably, and Amy Butler. There are lots of small projects like purses, bags and aprons, great books, and patterns for children’s clothing. The classroom space was also great.

I get to come back to the beautiful Athens area this fall: I’m speaking and teaching at the Hall County Quilt Guild in Chestnut Mountain this October!