Welcome to my Blog, A little art, and a lot of Friendship

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fabric Dyeing Class, June 2011

I am giving a Fabric Dyeing class at my home studio in Coarsegold on June 10th. or 11th, you choose the date best for you, some ladies come both days... I still have some openings. This is a fun class where we fill 12 jars, with either a fat quarter or 1/2 yard. Email me, at vivianhelena@sti.net if you are interested, filling up quickly.. I have given this class several times before and everyone has a great time.

Bring one or two items to add to the salad luncheon, I provide the lettuce, bread, dressings and juice. We have fun getting to know each other over a serve yourself luncheon.


My clothes line gets filled in the summer with a variety of colorful yardage. My quilt art piece "Sounds of the Mountains", won a second place ribbon at the Tri County Art Show.. The sky, and mountains are of hand dyed and painted fabrics.. There are many uses for hand dyes, I have a large stash and always have fun creating new pieces.
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Tri County Art Show

I was very lucky at the Tri County Art show this week-end... I entered the "Sounds of the Mountains" Challenge piece and won a second for it.. Delighted. Color is a bit off with the lighting but it does show the quilting and peg boards are not the best to hang on either.

We were very fortunate to have the College let us use 2 rooms to show the variety of art. We usually are at another location but with costs and expenses the Asso. could not afford the rent. This worked out very well and we were able to have the show in Oakhurst again.

Tri County Art Show has had a 25 year run. This year there were about 100 entries, oil, watercolor, pastels, sculpture, digital photography, photography, and Fiber. Each year I am amazed by our mountain Artists.. Many of them will be showing in the Sierra Art Trails for 3 days the first week-end in Oct.


My piece "Moss" attracted the attention of the judge.. I had this piece of bark for a long time, and was just itching to do something with it.

I did apply a wood hardener because I did not want the bark to fall apart and felt it needed something soft washing over it. So I chose hand dyed cheese cloth to weave and sew through it with my hand dyed Pearl cotton, glass, clay and wood beads.

Love Blue Ribbons!
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Batiks and the Circle of Nine

Dar also worked with the star shape but she took the time to add the 4 patch in the corners, which gave it a totally different look.. I took this photo while she had it laid out on the floor.

We put it on a design wall and you can see the subtle changes from just turning the spacer blocks.

Everyone had an opinion and it was interesting how just turning an out side block or the inside spacers could change the whole arrangement of the quilt.

I found Janet's journey in quilting inspirational. She has many talents and I am sure there will be more books in the future. But for now, this one could keep me very busy.. I am sure I have more blocks some where in my stash, to make another Circle of Nine,, but first I had better finish mine,, which I am calling Paducah Nine.. since I bought the fabric in Paducah...
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Circle of Nine Class

I wanted to show the variety of blocks brought to the class given by Janet Houts. Some are pretty traditional. One of the gals found her Stack and Wack blocks in her closet.. this is just the beginning, wonder how it will turn out with the spacers...

Nancy found some blocks from a past project, these are all exciting to watch them change, and grow. Especially the UFO's. Others like me cut apart fabrics that had a variety of prints on a panel.

Everyone worked at their own pace, so these are just a few many of the variety of blocks brought by each lady.

Kathy is peaking over her quilt, and we were teasing how it also has legs.. Kathy started with scraps and pinwheels.. She decided to just use plain spaces, because she is using it for a table topper for the 4th. of July. Kathy is one of those delightful ladies that celebrates the holidays with decorative theme quilts
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Janet Houts, Circle of Nine- book

This week has been very busy and lots of pleasure.. Janet Houts, one of the YoYo Circle and member of Sierra Mountain Quilters, gave a lecture on her new book "Circle of Nine".. I will show my quilt start first but I must tell you this is amazing the different designs that one can achieve.. I did not play around with the design as much as many did. Every quilt was unique, each could have been changed by just turning one series of blocks, or making the spacers differently. To start out with we came to class with 9, 12 1/2" blocks of our choice.. Janet explained how we could make the connecting blocks and we went from there.


Janet and her sister Jean Ann have done a wonderful presentation, there are 25 wonderful unique Quilts with excellent directions.

How ever there is nothing better than having a signed copy, and having the "teacher" right in your midst. Janet lives in Idaho and is setting up her teaching and lecture schedule now, her sis lives in Georgia, and is available for lectures and teaching.
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Lura Schwarz- Smith




Lura Schwarz-Smith is one of my neighbors and an Internationally known Quilt Artist. She was the featured artist at our Quilt Show last week. Her space was near ours so that we could chat in a quiet moment,, but she was kept busy both days.
The photo shows her demonstrating Tsukineko paints for Nancy Hyde on Nancy's Fish T-Shirt.
The photo of her prize winning quilt had been printed on the T-shirt.. and Lura punched the colors up with the paints..

Lura brought a wonderful groupings of quilts that showed how she transformed her quilting from the traditional to the more innovative techniques that she and hubby Kerby are teaching. Our guild felt very privileged to have Lura with us, she has a busy teaching schedule.

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Sierra Mountain Quilt Show, fantastic

Last week-end we had the Sierra Mountain Quilt Show.. and they do have a web site.. Kathy and I designed "Mountain Picnic" Quilt for the class we needed to teach in order to have our Show at the Yosemite High School.. We designed a quilt that was great for beginners and also for the advanced quilter.. We wanted to have a pattern that would teach, piecing, applique, machine and hand, and English Paper Piecing.

Our goal was also to have a quilt where the quilter could add a little of their own personality. They chose their own colors, and placement of the applique blocks.. This is a great teaching tool, because with a little homework they could have a quilt in the 6 weeks we had to teach the class..

We met once a week, and had a bit of home work, although they also had plenty of time to work in class. Kathy and I encouraged adding some beading, embroidery, rickrack and to experiment with the new techniques. This was a fun class, and we all learned and enjoyed it.. Patterns are available by contacting me on my email.

I am a member of the YoYo's Circle.. We have fun challenges . Our latest one was a portrait class, shown to us by Charlotte Rogers,, I wrote previously about the day she came to show us her technique at my house.. Here are the quilts displayed at the quilt show..

One of the attendee's pulled me over to compare me to mine... and asked is that really your personality? I have no now idea if it is, maybe 6 months from now I might put something totally different together.. But for this experiment it was great fun and laughter.

Give it a thought.. Do you have a teacher close by that you could invite to your circle, yes, we paid her for the day, enjoyed a salad luncheon and gave her a ride with one of our other members.. She lives about 50 miles away.. It was a day to remember.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Sierra Mountain Quilters Quilt Show

Our Talking Bear in Oakhurst was dressed for the occasion. We had a lady and her son stop in because they saw our Quilt Show signs on the highway,,, They were from Australia.. signs do work!

Julie and I in our booth.. It is so nice to be able to set up on Fri. evening. We have managed to set up the same day, but I always think we look more frazzled.

We had lots of interest and many people went to the Timberline Gallery to see more of our art. I do have a nice list of ladies interested in the Fabric Dyeing class in June and also for my English Paper Piecing class, date to be determined. Let me know if you are interested.

Chuck from Central Valley Sewing Machine and Fabric Store has a new toy... It prints on fabric and T. shirts, I think he did a great business with everyone wanting their prize winning quilt on their shirt.. I made photo cards of my piece "Sounds of the Mountains "Quilt and he will have both the T. shirt and the card on display in his store.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Sierra Mountain Quilt Show- NOW

Sierra Mountain Quilters Quilt Show opens tomorrow Sat. May 14 th at 10:00 AM. Julie Mitchell and I have a booth, SO be sure to stop by.. Yosemite High School, on School House Rd, in Oakhurst,,, We will be there from 10- 5, and Sunday 10-4,,, with the drawing for the Opportunity Quilt on Sunday afternoon. Lura Schwarz- Smith is our Featured Quilt Artist.. one great chance to see her quilts up close and talk to her about her new book... Get it autographed also.

Lots of beautiful Quilts to see, Bed turning, history, exhibitors, beautiful weather, fun in the mountains... Come by and say hi,, Julie has her wonderful Spirit Figures for sale, and I will be demonstrating English Paper Piecing and selling patterns, & thread.. and you can sign up for classes in English Paper Piecing, Fabric Dyeing, and class on making fabric Post cards!!! Lots of fun, don't miss it..
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lessons learned or forgotten

I think I remember why I don't do exact piecing.. I did not like Geometry in School, and well, maybe you can understand.. Does this dislike of exacting, precision work, stem from the past and school years?

Janet Houts was a member of our Sierra Mountain Quilters till she moved to Idaho. She is still a long distance member of our YoYo's. She and her sister Jean Ann Wright have a new book out called "Circle of Nine". Janet is coming to teach at the guild in May, a week after our Quilt Show. I am excited, I love her book and the creative way to make a variety of Quilts using a base block..

Getting ready for the quilt show is crazy enough, but I thought I could just knock out these 12, 12 1/2 in. blocks for the start of Janet's class.

Not counting cutting the fabric,, I have spent 2 hours and have one square done.. And the worst part is it is not 12 1/2 in. I hope Janet has some great idea on how I can cheat... The other thing I had forgotten, that if you put light colored hand dyes on very dark blue fabric and then trim the 1/4 in. shows.. so all my orange stars are double fabric, the color is more intense.. Hummm, nother problem??? This might be my signature block on the back.. will try using a scant 1/4, I always forget that trick...

Now I remember why I don't do this type of quilting. Off to paint something... and pack for the show.. or weed, take a deep breath, the other 8 squares will wait...
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Paducah, walking old town

This lady was a mime in front of one of the cafe's. She would suddenly move and surprise people walking by... This was great fun to watch.


This wonderful tile fronted building houses a very interesting group of studio's.. I purchases some blue lapis pieces to make into jewelry for the Timberline Gallery.
Susan Sorrell and Rose Hughes had quilts for sale here also.


Texture is amazing in old areas, bricks that had once been painted with the blue, and now have over painting of rust red and greens peaking through.

And a metal "quilt", was high up on the side of a building. The sun splashing light and darks.. Love strolling the older districts.
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Paducah, walking around


We walked from the AQS center, to the Museum, and along the river front.. We climbed to a 3rd story porch and had a view of the river, along with taking photos of the paintings on the permanent cement barriers.


You can see a bit of the grass on the river side, but that soon was swallowed up with water, there are the permanent concrete barriers and then the movable steel ones.

So many historical scenes were paint on the concrete barriers,,, too many to take photos of all of them.


We were told Finkles was another of the places to visit, fabric and venders, this is in the old part of the town... There is so much history to read and see. Wonderful weather after the rain,
no humidity, a cool breeze, could not have been more perfect.
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Jefferson Street Studios, Paducah

Thanks to Rayna Gillman posting on her blog about Helen's wonderful hand dyes at Jefferson Street Studio's, we found it and were delightfully impressed with the fabrics, art quilts and other art by John Hasegawa and Lily Liu.

Of course, I bought some hand dyes and enjoyed a nice chat regarding living and working in Paducah. How they came to live there and put their building, work room, home, and gallery together.


It is not in old town area but near enough. It was an old Maytag building, but they still had lots to work on to make it perfect for them.
His ceramic studio is up stairs, the fabric dyeing is in the back, and they have a small garden also.. What more could you ask for. A beautiful Space for a gallery and showroom
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Carol Bryer Fallert, Paducah

This is the amazing front of Carol Bryer Fallert home, studio, and store.. if you see the movie Stitched you will find out how this came to be.. It is walking distance to the Quilt Museum. This is every aspect of her life rolled into one. What an amazing building, and she thought of every small detail.

Yes, I bought some fabric! Lighting is perfect and wonderful, quilts are gorgeous, and Carol was there to greet us and show us around.

She had this space set up as a gallery for this week, and also had quilts made by friends hanging on the walls. I think that this space is also a studio, class room.

If any one has a perfect place to work this would be it. And yes, I have more photos,, put chose these to show on my blog.
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