Quilts for Sale

Monday, May 28, 2007

On Memorial Day, Thoughts on Patriotism

My heart is hurting this Memorial Day. I am outraged at what has happened to this nation - so outraged that I am unable to express my thoughts rationally.

Others have written about dissent and liberty much more eloquently than I ever could. Here are their words:

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us. William O. Douglas

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it." Edward R. Murrow

"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair."
H. L. Mencken

"Dissent, rebellion and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots."
Barbara Ehrenreich

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Theodore Roosevelt

Family Members Who've Served This Nation

Uncle Ed Erb during WWII - one of three of my Mother's brothers who served.

Memorial Day

Today we honor the military dead who have served this nation. I was going to post the pictures of departed members of my husband's and my families who have done so, but there are too many. Instead, I honor them by placing their names here:
Three of my Mother's brothers: Ed, Bob and Jack Erb; my father-in-law, Connally Guerrant; my brother-in-law, Bruce Taylor, and my husband's uncle, Wiley Crouse.

Those veterans still with us include: my husband Bill, my brother-in-law Tom Guerrant, my nephew Tom Arnett, my former brother-in-law Dan Cramer, uncle Ralph, twin cousins Chuck and Ralph Mains, cousin Ronnie Erb and my daughter-in-law's baby brother Robbie Stalter, who returned safely Friday after serving 16 months in Afghanistan.

Lastly, my father Kermit vonOhlen, who wanted to serve but was not allowed to do so. His job as a farmer growing food for the nation was considered critical to the war effort during World War II. But he found a way to contribute by also growing hemp, from which they made rope, for the Navy. When my sisters and I learned of this in the '60's, we thought it was ultra cool.

North Carolina Quilt Symposium

"Bee in the Mountains" - the North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2007 was fabulous! Hosted by the energetic and talented members of the Western North Carolina Quilters' Guild, the four-day gathering went off without a hitch. Teacher co-chairs Sarah Wallace and Peggy McCaffrey, along with Peggy's sister Patricia, did an awesome job taking extra special care of us on the faculty.

My personal assistant Honeybee, Dee Dalton, was incredible! She got me and my humongous amount of STUFF settled in, then managed to change into a beautiful dress and help me sell my patterns and hand-dyes at the opening teacher reception that evening. AND, she checked with me several times each day to see if she could help further. Thank you, Dee!

To everyone in the host guild, I send a great big THANK YOU!

I really lucked out on having the very best students in my classes. Thanks for making my job such a joy. You guys rule! Pictures of your projects are posted below. More complete IDs from the Confetti class will be added as soon as I unpack and find my student lists! Love ya!

Remember to click on photos for a larger view.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mars Hill College has a lovely, pastoral setting.

There is even a log cabin right in the middle of campus!

Uh Oh Confetti Ohs

We had such fun in my Friday class! Uh Oh Confetti Ohs was developed as a method for putting a new twist on an old favorite - the log cabin block. Students stitched four wacky log cabin blocks and then altered them to create small artful pieces. See samples of their work below.

A photo of a class inspiration piece is also shown.

Orange Slice, one of my Confetti Log Cabin quilts, was created for a teaching gig for The Quilter's Workshop in Tampa FL. It is one of my class samples.

Barbara Hutton's graphic composition in blue and orange batiks is striking.

Check out Maria Hobbs' outfit which coordinated perfectly with her chosen fabrics. She's a girl after my own heart, as she sews barefoot as I do. You go girl!

Ann Lawson's composition of great looking batiks includes a half-inch red 'cut-through.'

Susie Jacobs finished her beautiful confetti quilt - complete with borders!

Flower babies for her daughter are hidden in the fabrics used by Beverly Metz. Click on photo for a closer view.

Elaine Pleasants was the winnner of the Jane Hall Scholarship to attend this year's symposium.

Gimme Shelter

Whether building funky houses, using wild and wonderful novelties tucked in here and there or trading and sharing the perfect fabric, the students in my Gimme Shelter class were an inspiration and a joy. I can't begin to tell you about the game we played to break us out of that after lunch lull! But Gypsy Cambridge was memorable! See works in progress below.

The class sample for Gimme Shelter was Tartan Town. When creating this quilt, I cruised my favorite thrift store for great plaid shirts. These shops are a fabulous source for unusual fabrics.

Dolores Alonzo says she's "All about the bling." She used an amazing fabric for lawns in each of her adorable houses.

Kathy Bujalski dreams of one day visiting the islands. In the meantime, her cottages will do. Note the fabulous beach house on stilts and the ocean wave which covers two blocks.

Sandy Podojil's imaginative houses included fun touches such as the monster goose and funky plants.

Betty Downey took advantage of a wonderful floral print for background foliage.

Elaine Wilson's houses are ready for trees and fun touches.

Lois McCoy's houses included a nocturnal racoon peeking around one of the structures. Click on photo to find him!

Bonnie Reinecke used a clever background fabric preprinted with clouds.

Gloria Long added a barn so that she could include the image of a rooster.

Barbara Hutton is making a block to represent each of the eight houses she and her husband have shared. Each will have its own mailbox and street address. The house on the upper right shows the beginnings of the backyard fence.

Aussie Armorel McClintock's houses included a sewing cottage with measuring tape 'smoke' coming out of the chimney. The cottage will also have a mushroom pin cushion shrub!

Sisters Lois and Elaine were attending symposium together. How cool is that?

I made a little Dream Box for my "Stamp Your Art Out" class.

Stamp Your Art Out

The students in my Saturday morning class - Stamp Your Art Out - were able to accomplish amazing things in only three hours. We painted, printed, stamped, sun printed and more. See some of their incredible art below.

Jane Johnson's leaf printing was masterful. Such perfection!

Janet Gray achieved an ethereal frosty look by using Setacolor paint and salt.

Amazing results can be achieved just by sprinkling salt on freshly painted fabrics!

Suzanne Sproul placed pine needles and leaves upon freshly painted fabric before placing it in the sun to react. Pebeo Setacolor Transparent paints, which are heliographic, were used.

The finished print.

By painting, stamping and printing, Marge Bennett created a lovely pastel image. Her flower stamps were huge - at least 6" across - and were found in the interior paint section of her local WallyWorld.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Blue Ridge mountains just over the Tennessee line.

Crossing into Tennessee.

Guess Where I Went Today

I've just gotten home following three fabulous days of teaching for the North Carolina Quilt Symposium in Mars Hill. What fun! I had the very BEST students, saw many dear friends and enjoyed the beautiful campus of Mars Hill College. Wanting to get some mountain photos before heading back to Charlotte, I drove north on I-26 to the first scenic overlook where I shot the hazy, hazy Blue Ridge. It was just another few miles into Tennessee where the view was just a tad clearer.

I'll post photos from my classes tomorrow. Watch for them!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Beautiful Bride

I wanted to share a photo my dh took of our God-child on her wedding day.

A brilliant young woman, she is in the doctoral program (on full scholarship!) at Princeton University. She was valedictorian of her high school class, graduated summa cum laude from college in North Carolina and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. We are very proud of her.

It seems just yesterday we were learning of her birth. It has been a privilege and an honor to know this wonderful young woman who is so dear to our hearts. Click on photo for a larger view.

Comfort Food

Although we were well into our meal, you can see how ample the portions were at Cedar Lakes! Butterball, the wonderful young man who checked our meal tickets each day, was kind enough to take this picture of my students as well as those participating in Open Studio.

Dining at Cedar Lakes. Photo credit: Butterball

Cornbread Salad

At Cedar Lakes Craft Center where I taught recently, the food was way too good. One of our favorite treats was Cornbread Salad, a dish developed by the sister of one of the chefs, who gladly shared the recipe.


To 1 gallon crumbled cornbread or corn muffins, add:
3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
3 large cucumbers, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced (red Bermuda ones add color)
1/2 C. mayonnaise (only 1/2 C. as vegetables will add additional moisture to cornbread)

Blend well. Keep well chilled. This is very good!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are so blessed.

"Motherhood - all love begins and ends there." Robert Browning


On my drive home from Cedar Lakes I stopped at Tamarack (Beckley WV) a magnificent round building housing the best of West Virginia crafts. In addition to being a feast for the eyes, the facility offers lunch from the Greenbrier. YUM!

News you can use: The tamarack is an American larch tree - Larix laricina. Who knew?

Huge daffodil sculpture at Tamarack.

Home from Cedar Lakes

What a grand experience! I've just returned from teaching a four-day surface design class at the beautiful Cedar Lakes Craft Center in Ripley WV. The weather was perfect, the food DIVINE and my students terrific. Because classes are small, we had a chance to get to know each other as well as the artists working in Open Studio next door. What a great group!

Craft Coordinator Gloria Gregorich and staff were wonderful, making sure we had everything we needed for the best possible experience.

I've posted several photos of student work from my class. For a larger view, just click on any image.

Cedar Lakes offers many classes plus two quilting retreats each year.
For more information, check their website: www.cedarlakes.com

Dawn at Cedar Lakes. In the morning chill, a mist rises from the warmer lake water.

The covered bridge is a popular spot.

The Log House at Cedar Lakes.

Sally Rowe shares her incredibly imaginative fabrics. A West Virginia artist, Sally has quilts in several corporate collections including that of Senator Jay Rockefeller (who is lucky enough to own five!). See more of her work on her website: www.sallyrowequilts.com

Liz Nutter and her fabulous fabrics. Liz and her wonderfully free spirit kept us entertained all week.

Elaine Fugate neatly packs up her lovely fabrics.

Dr. June Varner displays many of the stunning fabrics she created.

We painted silk scarves with Pebeo Setacolor transparent paints. June chose an Arashi technique with beautiful results.

June examines a piece of her Shibori. We moved the studio outside as the weather was beautiful all week!

Elaine and June neutralize freshly discharged pieces.

Elaine hangs her newly discharged fabrics.