Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Review, Exhibitions and Happy Dances

Happy Dancing!
 I've had such a good week I'm like Joy Joy Joy!
First - my book Lovely Landscape Quilts gets excellent reviews from Quilting Arts Magazine!  Well, this is sort of last week's big news.


Remember my quilt Interwoven?
 (See my blogpost Here and Here)
Well guess what? My quilt got accepted into the traveling exhibit of "The 9 Patch - New Quilts from Old Favorites" with the National Quilt Museum!  I'm so very pleased by this. 

Then, my daughter got flowers from a new beau and they are resting on MY table.  (You got to celebrate the little things in life, you just got to. Bad grammar and all.)

*Insert smiley face*
Ellie Cat stalks the Flowers
*Cue theme music from Jaws*
 THEN - I get a letter from Quilter's Newsletter Magazine that they want to photograph Sunset Sentinel for publication! Wow, I remember drooling over quilts in that magazine 20+ years ago. I can't believe they want one of mine.  I'm so humbled. 

Sunset Sentinel
When Sunset gets back from the AQS Show in Albuquerque I'll be sending it off to Colorado for photography.  Did I mention that Sunset was accepted into this show?!

And did I mention that Night Hunter was accepted into the Road to California show?!


I started a new quilt. I wanted to redo one of the projects from my book because I think I can do a better job and make a bigger one for show.  Here is my messy getting ready to cut strips sewing room. (You can see the quilt I'm revisiting in the back....) 
Cathy's organized messy tables
 Yes, you can be organized and messy at the same time!

Working from the ground up

Working the mountains 
 The highest mountain will be tricky - it can NOT end up looking like a big breast, lol.

Starting the sky

Rough draft done
 I'm not sure I like the dark strips at the top - they might get the old heave ho.

One last thing. Or maybe 2 last things. Not 3 though.

See this photograph?
Leonid Tit's scene from the Carpathian mountains

When I made my quilt Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset, I was inspired by Leonid's photograph. I had found the photo poking around on google and of course there were thousands of copies of this gorgeous scene, none of which had his name associated with it. Furthermore, it was featured in several free download desktop wallpaper sites.... I never knew who took this photograph.

Well, it turns out that Leonid is on facebook and google+.  He posted one of his photos and it was so similar to this Carpathian mountain photo that I tracked him down.

Then I did the right thing. 
(Though it was a scary thing because he could have said NO and then I'd have to do something else with this new quilt I am working on, and I REALLY didn't want to do that, I REALLY like the scene I'm working on!)

Anyway, I asked him if I could use his photo as the source of my inspiration for a quilt.
He said YES.  Doing the right thing is always right, isn't it!?

Say for example I had chosen to ignore what I know about copyright law... that would mean that every single time I showed this quilt, I would have a niggling sense of wrongness. That would mean that every time I looked at this quilt I would have a bad feeling about it. My conscience would be pricked. I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy the work of my hands because I'd know that I had done something wrong.

Plus, people might think that I myself was that brilliant a person that I could have come up with this landscape idea and these colors.  Alas, I'm not that smart.

Furthermore, by asking for his permission I'm helping him to draw a bigger audience and perhaps? a market for his photography.  Leonid is from the Ukraine and the Carpathian mountain range is really a continuation of the Alps in Eastern Europe. His photographs are gorgeous and are frequently picked up by photostock and sold.... 

All in all, it has been a great week for me.  Ellie Cat too. She loves playing with my discarded strips. 

All tuckered out
 You know, we all have good times and bad times. It is so important that we celebrate in the good times and then remember them when we hit the hard times.  Life is a mix of both and right now is good.

Comments ? Questions? I hope you are having good times of your own.


  1. I am in the middle of fixig dinner, and I was your post and just had to stop to comment. Wow, wow, wow....great day and congrats on all your success. A cover, no less!!
    Doing the right thing is always right....and you feel it inside.
    My comment really is for your current re-do. Right off my impression is wonderful! As to the strips at the top....yes you need a tiny bit of dark to bring the light out....but how about a bit more rosy to purplish tone that the darker blue. again, congrats!

    1. It was a gooooood week, but I think I already mentioned that, lol.
      You have a good idea about changing the tone on those top couple of strips, I'm going to try it! And if the quilt is a success, I'll owe it all to you. :)
      Good Idea!

  2. Congratulations on all your successes. I clicked your links to Interwoven and read with interest the making of your joyful quilt. I love your work and especially appreciate your testimony and keeping a clear conscience. You have a great piece and I hope to meet you some day, maybe in Paducah. You see, I too am a finalist for Nine Patch -- New Quilts from an Old Favorite.

    1. Ooooo, You had the 1st Place in the Lily contest didn't you?! I'm so pleased to meet you. I will be going to Paducah this year - are you going to be there for the book signing on Friday morning? Maybe we can visit each other!

      I just looked through your blog, you are awesome. So every year you design a quilt for that contest? Wow, that is cool. I saw your sister using Elmer's Glue, is that how she glues down the little patches? I've used it before, but watered it down too much and then it didn't stick.... and then not watered it down so it was too thick to spread easily.... Then just gave up and went back to my glue sticks.

      It really nice to meet you Julia, I hope we can meet this year. In the meantime, I'm going back to your blog. :)

      Thanks for the compliments by the way!

  3. I just saw your book on Quilting Daily. I attempt making landscapes. I looked at Amazon at the preview of your book, but I have some questions. How big are the quilts? I am trying to make something bigger than 36" and having a hard time. It looks like you are not using freezer paper (yes!) It looks like you are not using fusible all over (Yes!). Do the projects in your books have an explanation how to put them together or are they inspiration photos? Thank you.

    1. Some quilts are between 50-60 inches, some are small maybe 24-36. The beginning projects are small because we all need to walk before we run and the bigger the landscape, the more issues to deal with keeping the straight rows straight. (If you want your straight rows straight...)

      Last week I posted a review from Quilting Arts Mag and took some shots of the inside of the book - shots you won't find on amazon but maybe they can help you see more of what it is like.

      In November I posted a project I'm teaching for a class where I use a tricot fusible foundation and lay strips of fabric on top of it, then fuse and quilt the thing. I don't press fusibles to the wrong sides of my fabrics.

      Freezer paper is what I use making templates for appliques. All the trees and branches patterns in the book are in a paper insert and they are real size. I do recommend tracing them to freezer paper because then you can reuse the pattern over and over and I like that since I make a lot of trees.

      I hope this helps! Thanks for writing in. :)

  4. I bought your book back in late January from a vendor at the Myrtle Beach Quilt Party. As soon as I have finished up two charity art quilts I'm diving in and getting busy with your process. The look of strip quilting is something I want to incorporate into my techniques. I'll report back later with a picture!
    Hugs and thanks for all your hard work in authoring the book! Congrats!

    1. I'd love to see what you come up with Mary. And ain't it the truth that there are always always always some quilts we have to finish up before we can make the ones we really want to!? Anyway, I hope you like the book and please holler if you have any questions.

  5. This an old file, so I wonder if you still read posts, but I have to laugh about your mountain looking like a breast.Whenever we would go to Mammoth (Ca.) to go skiing I would tell my girls "Look, there is mama's beautiful breast mountain".. Such a lovely smooth mountain it is !!

    1. Yep I'm still around! My mountains are a bit more pudding these days, lol. I don't feel a need to go into details ha ha. Gravity has it's way on all of us. I once had a woman in a trunk show ask me if I couldn't make a landscape with just 2 mountains, one really high and the other low. Before I could answer her friend jabbed her with her elbow and said it would look like she was having a mammogram!
      Enjoy your day!

  6. I cannot believe this ! I NEVER comment on blogs. But now this is the 2nd time I am commenting to you. All those trips to the mountains have awakened a love of backpacking in my oldest daughter. She just got back from a 5 day trip backpacking in the back country of Yosemite. Whenever she is in the mountains she swims in a lake there. and sends us a picture of her standing in the water like the girl in happy dance . Her arms stretched out above her head, her back turned to us. So..... I NEED to make that quilt with the background of "water" She will be all black also, but no skirt. Just her long legs. At least, that is my plan . Thanks to you !!

    1. Sounds like a great plan! I'm glad I could help put 'feet' on your inspiration Ria. I have a daughter in Montana and I love the mountains, too. We used to hike a lot, but alas, no road trip out to the mountains for me this year. If you would like, I'd love to see a photo of your quilt when you are done!

  7. How does one even get started doing a quilt like this? It’s fascinating! I’m obsessed! I truly want to do a sunrise quilt for a dear friend of mine who has a special relationship with them! You crest such beautiful quilts!!!

    1. Thanks! My first strip pieced/appliqued sunsets were a mess. I've learned that you sort of have to blend and introduce bright colors in small amounts to make them work. You could buy a fabric with gradations and add extra color using Inktense Color Blocks, this would probably be the easiest way to create one. If you give me a couple of days or a week and wait, I've been working on a another sunset at Monument Valley. I added extra color in the sunset sky using these watercolor color blocks - they are pretty easy to use!