The Cathedral in Newcastle…

We visited Christ Church Cathedral this morning.

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It’s a beautiful, old Anglican Cathedral that occupies a high point of the city of Newcastle and it was open this morning.

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I was surprised to find a church filled with needlework! The banners are collage quilts!

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As was the altar piece.

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These quilts fit the space so very well. It’s impressive! But wait… there’s more!

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There are needle pointed kneeling cushions in every pew! There may be repeating designs, but I didn’t see any.

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These lovely fiber quilts and cushions, made by hand, make this space feel warmer, more comforting. I am impressed.

A gift from Caryl…

I’ll bet every one of you knows and loves Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s quilts. They are stunning works of art that make you smile all the way through to your heart. Recently Caryl sent me this email:

Since I have retired from teaching and retail, I am, as time permits, offering my patterns and digital workshops free of charge on my website.

I have just uploaded my most complete workshop ever, showing in minute detail how I made my quilt, Soaring Compliments, from start to finish. You will find it and all of my other free patterns and instructions at: http://www.bryerpatch.com/faq/faq.htm

Caryl’s sharing of her knowledge and techniques is so very generous. I know that I am grateful, as are you.

Thank you, Caryl!

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Show and tell…

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Susan Ahmad sent me a photo of her finished Tile Tango quilt—it’s lovely! She told me that she is an avid gardener with a special passion for day and Asian lilies. This flower design felt lily-like to her so she matched the colors of her lilies with her flower fabric, except for the blue. She says she’s still hoping to grow a blue lily.

Susan altered the setting from my original quilt (Tile Tango from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color) removing the corner triangles and adding sashing. It’s a very good look. You know that there is nothing wrong with changing a pattern to suit yourself. Personally, I enjoy seeing how you all make my designs work in your quilts so please do send pictures :-).

Thank you, Susan, for sharing you quilt and the story behind it.

Amy Marson, on embroidery…

My good friend, Amy, offered share more about her embroidery art. Yay!

Do you spend a lot of time commuting? passenger in a car? on an airplane? I do! And I am fidgety, always needing something in my hands to keep me busy.  Well last April I started embroidering when I travel and I am hooked. I have done two famous paintings, The Scream and Starry Night. My favorite part of both of these is the sky done in a big chain stitch.

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I am fairly new to embroidery and I like it when my work looks a bit rough (I am a recovering perfectionist) and not precise.  I really enjoyed trying to figure out what colors to use where and how to make certain sections stand out. I made different choices than the artists just for fun and I am really happy with the results.  My Starry Night hangs next door at my neighbors house (a Christmas present) and I am not sure yet what to do with The Scream. I may keep it…

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A few good things to note. To transfer the pattern I used C&T Publishing’s Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer, a great surface that you can run through an ink jet printer and adhere to your fabric while you are stitching, and when you are done you swish it in water and it melts away!

I got some great needles from Becky (this is a good set) and used a variety of perle cottons (lots of choices here) for much of the designs. I love how the perle cotton sits on top of the fabric. Also, I did not stick with one weight of Perle Cotton, I used three different weights, my goal was to create a lot of texture and I think it worked.

I am a self taught stitcher using Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool and I work very quickly with the goal of done is better than perfect. What am I working on now? I sketched a world encircled by houses, trees and a book. I started freehand stitching and it is coming along beautifully! If Becky let’s me guest post again I will show you my latest project. Until then, needles up!

Amy

PS from Becky: Amy, you can guest post any time!

Storm King Art Center

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, we went on a road trip to the Storm King Art Center. It is an hour’s drive from the city. Jeff drove, Celia navigated, and Steve and I enjoyed looking out the windows :-).

The 500-acre grounds are perfectly designed to house large-scale modern sculpture. We spent hours walking the site and enjoying a perfect day.

The trees and grasses are perfect accents to the sculpture. And sometimes people are the perfect accent!

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The mirrored picket fence was unassuming from a distance but great fun up close, and low.

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My favorite was Andy Goldsworthy’s Wall, behind us, below.

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This trip was Celia’s idea. She has some really great ideas!

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We flew home yesterday. And even though it is always good to be home, we both miss the kids. Luckily, we have been invited to return next Thanksgiving!

Show and tell…

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Quilt by Suzanne Hoffman

Suzanne sent me this photo showing the quilt she made from my Really Simple 9-Patch FREE ePattern. I designed this pattern to show off big prints. It’s a fast and fun quilt that makes especially nice gift quilts.

Suzanne did report that she ran out of sashing and binding fabric, but that it might have been the way she cut the fabric. If you have a similar problem, please do let me know and I’ll change the measurements in the pattern. Happy stitching!

Ask, and you might receive…

I learned a lot from watching this TED Talk by Jia Jiang. He thought about what made him fearful (rejection) and he figured out how to overcome it. His experience makes you realize, yet again, that we are for the most part good and giving people, willing to help each other. Enjoy!