C L I C K II February’s Journal

C L I C K II  February's Journal
Winters in the woods of Trout Lake can be pretty isolating. Having a hobby is sanity-saving. January through April is my time to create since distractions are few, unlike the summer months when distractions are many.

One February, I decided to try some fabric “journaling”, Reverse side C L I C K II February's Journalusing a different technique daily. I completed what I could each day, then set the piece aside. I made up techniques as I went along, some more successful than others. It proved to be a true brain-stretching exercise in creativity.

Inspiration came from various sources, a spider which visited in the night, a peacock feather, ground-hog day, leap year,  a piece of copper wire, a lunar eclipse, my Mom’s favorite saying about my children…”The apples don’t fall far from the tree”, a piece of melted tarp, and an especially stressful Presidents’ weekend visit from the grand kids.

As the end of the month approached, I sorted through my assortment of pieces and set aside my favorites. A total of 16 were successful enough to make the cut. Now what to do with them? CLICK went my brain.

So, with puzzle piece backing designed and appliqued, header made, fasteners attached, C L I C K II February’s Journal was completed before the end of the month, just in time to be entered into the Vermont Quilt Festival.

The piece gave me what I consider to be one of the greatest accomplishments of my quilting career…..a 100 point score from one of the judges! I’m sure this will be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for this very non-traditional quilter. CLICK II was also given the award for Best Machine Embellishment, an award I happily accepted though I have no understanding of why it was chosen since it had almost no machine embellishment on it. Such is the life of the quilt show entrant…..one of.those HUH????? moments.  Hey, I’ll take whatever I can get!  My quilting buddy, who was present for the announcement, couldn’t help but chuckle about such an award being given to a piece made on my no-frills 35 year old Montgomery Ward sewing machine since Pfaff had sponsored the award. I’m still smiling about that one.

Home! Glorious Home!

Sunrise on Trout LakeI have just returned from a three-week visit with family in Portland, Oregon. I must admit that it is a fabulous, fun, funky city filled with every type of art one could imagine. Nature, in all its glory, moss-covered trees, lush greenery, flora and fauna as far as the eye can see filled me with the anticipation of Spring.

I arrived home to a foot of new snow, not exactly my idea of Spring! However, the sight of snow-covered pines was  beautiful  to behold. I live in God’s country, on Trout Lake in the Adirondacks.

I am, by nature, an early riser, up before the sun. It was this trait that allowed me to catch the glorious sunrise in the photo. It was taken on a December morning when the sky was especially beautiful.

Barefoot and in my pajamas, I grabbed my camera and ran out into the cold. I know from experience, exceptional sunrises come and go very quickly. No time to worry about jackets and shoes. There was a clear coating of ice on the lake and the sky was reflected on the ice. Oblivious to the cold, I shot several photos, each capturing the beauty of that morning. It was worth whatever discomfort I felt.

A poster size copy of this photo is framed in my home. It reminds me daily of how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such inspiration. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

A New Twist on an Old Favorite

Burgoyne Surrounded by the Polka Dot People's Posse 001A couple of years ago, while sorting through an assortment of past quilting projects, I came across a wall hanging I made in the early 1990s. It was a pretty decent version of Burgoyne Surrounded. Not yet ready to donate it to Goodwill, I wondered if there was some way to update it and make it a part of my “Inside the Box” series.

My first thought was “Burgoyne Surrounded….by what?” Having tossed around several ideas, I decided to surround him with an army of people. Off to my good old reliable graph paper I went to design my army. That completed, I chose a black and white color scheme because I feel the red/white/black combo is most effective.

Problem #1. I wanted the background to be white, which meant my army would be black. In this day of political correctness, I was certain someone in this vast world would find that offensive. What then? How about black with white polka dots? Nobody could be offended by polka dots!

Problem #2. How do I get my polka dot people running around the corners of my piece. Try as I may, I admit to utter failure. For once, my graph paper method of design just didn’t work. None of my people wanted to run around a corner. Think, Nance, think. Well, all armies need flag bearers, so into each corner went two single dot flags. To my eye, that worked.

I gave each member of the posse a brass shield, once part of a 1950s stretch belt, attached the border with brass rings to the Burgoyne center, stood back and smiled. Yep, vision achieved. Burgoyne Surrounded by the Polka Dot People’s Posse

I’m happy to report that this piece won the Best Use of Theme at VQF in 2011. The theme that year was Yankee Ingenuity. This year’s theme is A New Twist on an Old Favorite.