Archive for May, 2010

The “Rose of Sharon” Project

Hats off to Sharon Pederson, and her Nine Patch Media business partner Elizabeth Phillips, for putting together the Rose of Sharon project. It was premiered at the International Quilt Market in Minneapolis last weekend where quilt shop owners go for the newest fabrics, thread, books, and gadgets.

The Electric Quilt Company hosted the Rose of Sharon block contest at the end of last year which netted 850 different blocks made by designers in 11 countries. Sharon and Elizabeth whittled the entries down to 50, and Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  selected the top 12 designs for Sharon’s quilt shown here.

It’s called “Roses of Remembrance” because Sharon and Elizabeth made the project into an opportunity for the designers to share their connection with Alzheimer’s (if any) and for the partner companies to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Sharon made the quilt reversible. On the back of the quilt you can really see Barbara Shapel’s quilting!

Sharon’s new “Rose of Sharon” book, due out this fall (Martingale & Company), includes an introduction I wrote about my mother and the beginnings of the AAQI.  Sharon’s “Rose of Sharon”  instructional DVD from Nine Patch Media will also be available soon.

Shops throughout the country will be able to offer quilters a “Roses of Remembrance” BOM (block-of-the-month) with fabrics from Island Batiks.

AccuQuilt has Go! Dies for all the Rose of Sharon appliques, and Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design (OESD) has each block design digitized for machine embroidery and/or applique.  Aurifil has put together two Rose of Sharon thread collections to stitch and quilt everything together.

Quilt Market is always exciting, but this year it was especially so.

May 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm 13 comments

More Bowling

I’ve been working on more techniques and samples for my Fabric Bowling workshop. I’ll be teaching it at the Valdez Quilt Festival in Alaska in September. I’ve been having way too much fun!

The first experiment was forgetting the fabric wrapping all together. I just took the ecru-colored cotton clothesline, some bright variegated thread and had at it. At this angle you can see that the tail of the clothesline was inserted into the bowl, comes out over the top and moves around the outside of the bowl, ending in a curly thing. Pretty handy that I goofed and missed stitching one of the coils down as I made the wall of the bowl. That gave me my “opening!”

The thread really changes the character of the bowl. Now I’d like to try thread in different colors AND just plain old ecru. Sort of a “white on white” bowl.

I was on a no-wrap kick, so the next thing I did was throw some clothesline in with the hand-dyed underpants. Oh, THAT was fun!

I had a pot going with a series of reds with some yellow mixed in. (Somebody is running around with matching panties!) I was trying to come up with alternative “rims” that added more stability. I really like the statement that this rim gives the bowl. Plus it gives you something to hang onto.

I suppose I could have just stopped there, but added some swirly things on the outside walls. I need to try another one with plain walls to see if I like that better.

And no, I couldn’t stop. Here’s another bowl with hand-dyed clothesline in BLUE.  I really liked the way this rim turned out. Interestingly, both rims start out the same way.

I’m not sure I like the dimples in the swirl. That’s my hand stitching to hold them down. I now have a better way to stitch them down that doesn’t show as much and is twice as fast.

While I like the fabric wrapping a lot (and just invented a new Power Wrapper) I do like the clean look of the dyed bowls. I’m starting to dream about bowls.

Here’s the last bowl I made. This was also made with hand-dyed clothesline, but instead of the “dunk and twist” method, this was dribbled.

I wrapped the clothesline about corrugated plastic and dribbled dye of various colors to make the variegated pattern. The rim was made by finger crocheting through loops I made on the last “go-round” on the machine. It’s a very wide rim compared to the others. I’m pretty happy with the colors and the rim.

Don’t ask me how I ended the clothesline on the side. I couldn’t do it again if my life depended on it!

All I can say is I’m having a ton of fun with this. They hand-dyed clothesline gives the bowl an entirely different look. If that’s a look that you’re interested in, I have small amounts of hand-dyed clothesline available here.

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May 19, 2010 at 11:23 am 49 comments

I’ll Be On The Quilt Show!

Yours truly will be a guest on The Quilt Show!  Look for me on a monitor near you some time at the beginning of 2011.

If you can’t wait that long, and you’re a member of The Quilt Show, come to the taping! It will be on August 10th and “admission” is a completed, fully registered Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt!  Alex and Ricky are making my dream come true — to look out over the audience and see every single person holding a little 9″ x 12″ donation quilt for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Either that, or possibly catching a glimpse of George Clooney in the back row. I could go either way.

Space is VERY limited. Put “Ami Simms” in the subject line when you request tickets for the August 10th taping.

If you can’t make the taping but you’d like to influence history, in your comment to this blog post tell me what you’d like me to do on the show. Let me rephrase that. I’m not showing my hand-dyed underpants, juggling is out, and there will be no cooking segments.  What else are you interested in seeing? What questions about the AAQI can I answer for you? What skills are you all excited to learn that I might happen to know?  What annoying habits should I try to stifle? All suggestions/comments welcome. Tell your friends.  And send Rolaids. I’m already getting nervous.

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(By the way, if you like me here, please “like me” on Facebook too, then we can be “friends.”  And I Tweet too.)

May 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm 34 comments

Back To School

I go to Daddy’s school every year to talk about being a service dog. Actually, Mom does most of the talking. We go with Aunt JoAnne who brings her Leader Dog puppies. I’m retired now, but I still know my stuff.

This year Aunt JoAnne brought Maggie May. She was “career changed” because of her hips. I think her hips look swell, but Leader Dogs for the Blind only accepts perfect dogs. She also brought her new puppy, Kaiser. He’s a German Shepherd.  I am the yellow dog in the picture in case you didn’t recognize me in my red backpack.

After we talked about stuff we got to receive pets and love from the students, which was my favorite part.

We all remembered to be gentle and I tried to give as much of my stray fur away to the students as could stick to their clothing. Mom brushed me real good before we went, but I stil managed to leave a little bit of me behind.

Yesterday was a really fun day. Today after the newsletter goes out, we’re ironing fabric for Mom’s trip to North Carolina. Then the quilt auction starts around lunch time. It’s a full day.

Tail wags to you,
Madison T. Dog

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May 1, 2010 at 8:38 am 9 comments


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