Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Compositional Conversations - Stage 8

This very interesting project was designed by Terry Jarrard-Dimond and is described on her blog

There are 14 artists in all that will participate in our Compositional Conversations project. Seven of the artists have taken their turn, and this week it was my turn!

Check out the grid to see how the project has been evolving.

My contribution (Stage 8) will be revealed on Monday, and then the picture of my composition will be added to the grid.

All of the participants in the project would welcome your thoughts and hope you will leave your comments on Terry's blog. Please visit!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Autumn scenes

As the old saying goes, "Time waits for no man" (or woman). The inexorable rotation of seasons moves silently and seamlessly from one to another. Here the old tractor faithfully pulls the bush hog mower through the large horse pasture. It is a good four-hour job and hopefully will hold until spring growth.

Some pears join the canning parade. There are only a few pears left for eating out-of-hand or in a fruit salad. So we think this might (finally) be the end of the canning work for this season...

The wonderful "Autumn Clementis" reaches full flower as it covers a garden pergola with a ceiling of shade and beauty. This plant grows some 20 feet in a year, and once established, thrives in just about any growing situation.

The "Japanese Anenome" is both delicate and sturdy, and finishes up the flowering season in fine style.

The sedum plants grow in the shade and wait all summer to release their distinctive blossoms. If left, they will dry to a deep brown on their stems as winter arrives.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Full-Spectrum Exhibition

Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY, is hosting an exhibition of natural fibers, quilts, and textile arts in their Fine Arts Building from September 10 to December 5, 2009.

After a nice drive to the southern part of New York state on a beautiful day and a short stop at an equally nice quilt store, we arrived on campus.

The campus is beautifully landscaped, and there were many rose bushes still in bloom. But I was equally interested in the grid lines on the walkways and those made by the shadows.

There are three exhibitions:
The Evolution of Natural Fibers
Vibrations - Color Resonance in Antique Quilts (1860-1940)
Contemporary Quilt Show

This is a view of some of the display from the Contemporary Quilt Show.

To see and hear more about these quilts, go to

Viewing all the displays (and making one more stop at another quilt shop) was hard work. So it was only good planning to make time for some needed nourishment for the trip home.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Project Iron Quilter

Ithaca NY Quilt Show October 3rd and 4th, 2009
Tompkins Cortland Community College Field House, 170 North Street, Dryden, NY

With tongues held firmly in cheeks and in anticipation of a fun and an entertaining time for all, the Tompkins County Quilters Guild has announced the first "Project Iron Quilter" competition to be held as part of the Greater Ithaca area Traditions & Beyond 2009 Quilt Show.
The competition is a fusion of two guilty pleasures -- Project Runway and Iron Chef. Eight contestants will have three hours on Saturday (in kibitzing view of show attendees) to create a two or three dimensional wall-hanging based upon a secret theme that will be revealed at the start of the competition. They will then face a panel of judges who will discuss the successes, and near misses, of the art works with the contestants. After deliberation, the judges will announce the winner of the first Project Iron Quilter.

Quilt show attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece in a viewers' choice award. The winner of the Iron Quilter title will receive a top-of-the-line Rowenta iron, and the viewers' choice winner will receive a Rowenta travel iron. Quilt show attendees will have the chance to take home a Project Iron Quilter wall-hanging if they are the top bidder.

Two of the competitors for this special event will be none other than friends Priscilla Kibbee and Pat Pauly. There has been much planning and strategizing going on behind the scenes. Contestants are allowed to bring only 3 pieces of their own fabrics, but can bring all kinds of embellishments, and will have access to a grab bag of fabrics. See Priscilla's blog for more pictures (

And there's been a bit of timed practice sessions, physical workouts (see Priscilla below working out with her antique irons), and even some attempts at "psyching out" where Pat shows us how she measures up. It's been much fun so far, and promises to be a very fun day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


"Purple Sunset" has been selected for the "Quilts=Art=Quilts" exhibition, the 29th annual juried quilt show at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY. This year's exhibition will feature 90 quilts by 67 artists. The jurors, Rosalie Dace, Kerr Grabowski and Margo Mensing, chose from 360 entries by 206 quilters.

The show runs from November 1 to January 10, with a preview reception on Saturday, October 31, from 6 to 8 pm.

"Purple Sunset" is machine-pieced and machine-quilted hand-dyed cotton fabrics.
It is 50"h X 27"w and was completed in 2009.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Still Harvesting

Our tomato crop was almost non-existent this year after being hit by blight. But some of the plants are still trying to produce a bit of fruit. The plum tomatoes in the bowl are from varieties that we usually grow, and the ones in front are a new (and really large) variety. We wish we'd had a large crop of these for making tomato sauce....

The red raspberries are slowing down a bit, but still producing at least a quart a day. They'll keep going until we have a hard frost.

These are two 5-gallon pails full of medium- and large-sized peppers. There are still more smaller peppers growing on the plants.

We like putting away stuffed peppers in the freezer, but we're running out of freezer space!!

It's been an unusual growing season for the summer squashes. These came from the plants we started at the beginning of the season -- almost 4 months ago.

And the green beans are still producing too, with more coming on the vines. We're hoping we don't have a frost right away and can continue to enjoy all these goodies from the garden.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The new camera

Marcia's brother Ken and sister-in-law Patty visited us over the weekend, and we headed to the Steamboat Landing restaurant in Canandaigua for Saturday night dinner.

Bill and Patty wait after dinner as Marcia and Ken try out her new camera. Ken spent a good part of the time he was here "mentoring" Marcia on the use of her Canon EOS 5D Mark II and its accessories.

The interior of the restaurant features recycled Douglas Fir timers (as does our studio). They were installed by the same builders who designed and built our studio, New Energy Timberframers. The restaurant was built in 2001, and the wood was originally from the Welland Canal locks in Niagara Falls.

The pictures were taken in "raw" mode and developed in Adobe's LightRoom software. The possibilities for improvement are amazing, and Marcia and Ken tried out several of the software's many features.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Discharge Day

The weather was agreeable for some outdoor discharging, and Pat and Nancy came prepared with many items that we could use as resists on our fabric.

We used diluted bleach in spray bottles, bleach pens, and SoftScrub and then treated our discharged fabrics in Anti-Chlor.

Nancy brought a wonderful collection of washers and some letter forms to use as resists.

I borrowed Nancy's snow yardstick that made great discharged patterns.

You can tell by the sunglasses that the afternoon got sunny, and I was outside long enough to get a bit of a sunburn even though it's mid-September.

Here are a few of our pieces drying on the lawn.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

First, the excuse.....

Someone asked about the lack of blogs on the status of the gardens....
Marcia and her surgical boot were some impediment to our harvesting activities. After a brief recovery from a little hammertoe procedure, she - like frontier women of old - returned to our fall gatherings.

The wonderful red raspberries continue their bountiful production. We freeze some individually on trays for later consumption and spread the rest on a daily cereal breakfast and a lunch salad.
The statice and globe flowers are picked and then hung upside down to dry for later use. Many of our in-house arrangements need brightening, and these candidates should do the trick.

Our pear harvest is usually bi-annual, and this is their off year. We did not spray them afer applying some early dormant oil, but managed to get enough for a few jars. The deer enjoy any that drop on the ground from the remaining crop still on the trees.
The growing winter larder is added to with more bean salad ingredients and a few jars of sweet pears, along with more stuffed peppers that are already in the freezer. We have more of each to follow.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Quilt Visions

Jet Trails #6 is going to San Diego for the exhibition "Interpretations" at the Visions Art Quilt Gallery. It is one of the 37 pieces that were selected from 217 entries.

The exhibition will be held from November 14, 2009, through January 17, 2010, and going to San Diego (one of my favorite places!) to see it is a very appealing thought....
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Compositional Conversation - Stage 4

"Plan C"

Our 4th artist has completed her turn with the project organized by Terry Jarrad-Dimond.

Shelley Brenner Baird is a fiber artist from Ohio who has a background in printmaking and photography and has been working in painted and screened whole cloth.

Check out Shelley's description of her interaction with the piece (and see the Plan A and Plan B versions) at