Sunday, January 17, 2010

Twenty Some Years in the Making

Yep.. yes.. I can enter this in a contest for the longest to finish quilt.I started this quilt for my daughter Samantha when she was just two years old. I took a quilting class at a local shop. Ahhh as a young mother I had visions of quilting by the fire and was dreaming of having quilting bees at my home. Well, heck.. twenty years later and this poor thing still was not done. (Samantha all of 24 years old.. now!!!) The really sad thing is this little bugger was completely done by hand.. using scissors to cut the fabric pieces.. no rotary cutter for me. and hand stitched each piece. Then hand quilted using wool batting.. big mistake.. it was so hard to quilt. I dragged this quilt in and out of my life for years. Finally the quilt was complete.. except for the binding.. and it was so dirty.. you can imagine... sooo guess what the fiber expert did.. yep she put it in the washer.. some kind of brain clog due to the shear excitment of a near completed project.. Welp.. for all of you who are gasping at the thought of an oh no.. not wool in the washer.... yep.. it shrunk into the sadest mess you could have ever imagined.. I am the kind of person who does not cry easily.. but when I start.. you cannot stop me.. all those locked up tears just flow out in ocean waves.. I have never been one to cry over "spilt milk"..but shrinking this quilt.. TIDAL WAVES of tears.. I called my fiber in crime friend Kathie P to come to the rescue because she always does.... even when I am lost in my car I call her and she and Bill get out the maps and redirect me... well this time she hugged me over the phone... not much you can doooo.. Waaaa.. I took every quilted stitch out.. and I marched over to Kay' house with the long arm quilting machine and said "fix this now!!!"
I gave this quilt to my daughter this year for Christmas.. I do not know if she will ever know all of the trial and error that went into making this quilt.. I do believe however, that the projects I work on always connect to the "fabric of my life". This quilt represents the trials and the errors and the steadfast love that I have had being a mom..Always wanting to do the very best for my daughters..not taking any shortcuts..even if it meant using tools that took up more time... by golly it is worth it..there will be no stone unturned...because it comes from the heart.. making mistakes along the way.. sometimes huge ones.. but never never giving up.. even when you have made ones innocently ..always having good intentions..(shrinking arrrgh) a huge mistake.. you just don't give up and you try again .. sometimes you have to take it to someone else to fix.. (Like God).. and you see with patience and steadfast love.. things do get mended... the quilt gets complete.. another memory embraced and life moves forward... How simple our lives would be if we could fix mistakes by taking out stitches and starting all over again.. perhaps that is what we need to do..
blessings to all

Friday, January 15, 2010

Early work

Generally I am up fairly early... not that I am particularly productive but I am up and moving about. The quiet that surrounds this country home is very tranquil especially early morning. During the winter months when I look outside the front windows it is still dark yet you can see the blanket of snow that covers the front lawn. All of the lovely pines glisten with snow covered bows. Ocassionally I will catch a glimpse of phesant making there way along the snow covered terrrain. Once I woke up to a backyard filled with wild turkeys peaking in the snow for remnants of bugs or seeds. Early mornings bring new beginnings for a fresh start and it is one of my favorite....
I have a photo of one of my early needle points. This one is actually one of my very favorite pieces. I love the little girl and boy sitting on the swing and I am partial to the colors. Most of all this was a very special time in my life as it was near the birth of my daughter Samantha. I look at that piece and remember my wandering thoughts of her new little life filled with hopes and dreams. Samantha is all grown up now and she is an incredible daughter and person... and she has made all of those dreams come true....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Original Fabric of our Lives"

The term, "Fiber Arts", can certainly conjure up an eclectic array of images and some down-right outrageous responses from those of the population group who do not part take in this creative art form. Just the word fiber..well .. It certainly does lend itself to some sort of Andy Warhol or new wave artistry.

Wikipedia defines "fiber art" as fiber taken from plants or animals, for example cotton from cotton seed pods, linen from flax stems, wool from sheep hair, or silk from the spun cocoons of silkworms. In addition to these traditional materials, synthetic materials such as plastic acrylic are now used. In order for the fiber to be made into cloth or clothing, it must be spun (or twisted) into a strand known as yarn. When the yarn is ready and dyed for use it can be made into cloth in a number of ways. Knitting and crochet are common methods of twisting and shaping the yarn into garments or fabric. The most common use of yarn to make cloth is weaving (1).

Adding to this definition, “Fiber Arts" is not strictly limited to making cloth or clothing as basketry, jewelery, paper, and felting all fall under the fiber arts umbrella. This humble definition does not even scratch the surface of identifying all of the various processes that one can use to create "Fiber Art". (i.e., dyeing, surface design embellishment....ohhh)
Digging little deeper, ....just when did people figure out that using materials from plants and animals, and twisting and manipulating them in some fashion (no pun intended) would produce a utilitarian product evolving into "Fiber Art"?
It certainly does begin with digging, as archaeologists have been uncovering some of the earliest of fiber art-I-facts. And right under my very nose archaeologists from the Meadowcroft Rockshelter have uncovered plaited basketry fragments which is among the oldest plaited or any other kind of basketry recovered anywhere in the Americas. For those of you who may not be familiar with The Meadowcroft Rockshelter, it is known to be the earliest evidence of people in North America dating 16,000 years. www.meadowcroftmuseum.org/
Being curator of this incredible historical site has been the most rewarding experience for me. Knowing that the first evidence of “fiber arts” exists in the place that I spend most of my days brings me even closer to my profession, as I can connect my passion for the fiber arts to my professional passion of history and preservation. It is a perfect unity for me.
Blessings to all,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010



Well, my very first posting! I think this is a wonderful way to begin 2010. I have so many things to share with you as I have enjoyed following so many wonderful people around the world. It is my desire to share my passion for textiles as an art form, as my way of self expression and to preserve the rich textile traditions that have been so carefully passed down through the generations.

I live in a beautiful rural community, and its rich history and longstanding traditions have become a part of who I am. I enjoy the outdoors and I am inspired by a beautiful landscape that blesses me every waking day. I share my little piece of heaven with my daughters and my 2 dogs Gus and Ranger along with all of the wonderful wild life that come close to visit so often. I hope you enjoy visiting with me as I enjoy all of the beautiful treasures that life has to offer.

Blessings to all.