Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

I'm glad you came to visit my blog for the 2011 One World One Heart blog event. Click on the logo above to see the list of  participants and information on how to join. Last year there were over 1000 participants! This is the fifth and final year that Lisa Swifka, A Whimsical Bohemian, will be hosting this huge event. Thank you Lisa for providing us all with the fun and opportunity to meet and get to know lots of fellow creative bloggers from around world.

Another feature of the event is to post a giveaway on your blog to encourage comments so you can meet more of the other bloggers.

I was a happy participant in 2009 and 2010. If you clicked to see my posts for those years, you may have noticed a trend! While I did not make postcards this year, I am continuing to include a bunch of yarns in my giveaway. 

Here are the "door prize" items one lucky winner will receive from me this year: 
I love couching yarns for embellishment on quilted items. I have included them in several giveaways that I have done throughout my two years of blogging. The yarn package consists of one yard lengths of about 30+ different yarns. They are great for embellishing quilts, crazy quilting, scrapbooking, etc.

In December, Karen of Sew and Sow Life had a giveaway for a little drawstring bag that she made after seeing a tutorial at Quiltcetera and I won it! The little thing is just so cute and the tutorial makes it so easy that I decided to make one for you!

One of the giveaways I entered in the fall included a quilted eyeglass case. While I wasn't a winner, Becky of The Quilting Booklady wrote a few weeks later to tell me that she found another eyeglass case that she had made and would I like to have it! I said, of course, and it's been protecting my reading glasses in my little back pack ever since. It's so easy to make, so I made one to include with the drawstring purse and yarns.

So, that's my offering for the OWOH event for this year. 

Just a few little simple rules to follow if you want a chance to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Comments on other posts are always welcome, but for this giveaway, only comments left on this post will count. 
2. I need to be able to contact you if you are the winner. If your blogger profile does not lead to your email address, you must include your email address in your comment. Anonymous comments will only be counted if there is an email address included in the comment. Any comments without any form of contact available at all will not be included in the drawing.

3. The event ends on Thursday, February 17. I will use to choose the winner after midnight, U.S. EST, at the end of February 17, and then I will email the winner.

Have fun and Good luck!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Finally a Finish: Fast Friday Fabric Challenge

It's been a while and I've finally got something finished to show. Back in October I joined the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. I wasn't able to get anything going for the first few months, but this time I started working on an idea and didn't stop until I finished. 

I decided to combine challenge #51 and challenge #52. I sort of kept the idea I had for 51 and changed the fabrics to be better suited for 52. There is no story behind it. No meaning to any of the squiggly shapes. Just what I felt like doing as I went along with no explanation as to why I did any of it, except that I do make a lot of things using the hexagon shape. If you click on the hexagon label below, most of them should come up.



Monday, January 17, 2011

We have three winners!

This was so much fun! The three commenters that were chosen by are as follows:
 #5 Allie of allie-oops sweet happy life

 #40 Baukje of BusyBeeFree 

 #34 Lee has no blog,  but provided her email address.

Congratulations to all of you. I will be starting to send out emails shortly. Allie will have first choice and after Allie chooses (6 month membership is only for those who were never a paid member) then I will give Baukje and Lee the remaining options.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing machine stuff

Don't forget to enter my giveaway by leaving a comment on the giveaway post. You have until midnight, Sunday the 16th.

So, my son put a plug on the machine and the motor ran when the foot pedal was pressed. But, nothing else moved. He couldn't even budge the flywheel. The first thing I thought of was that there's no oil in this thing! I looked under the machine and you can see no trace of there ever having been any grease there. Usually, when oil 'dries out' there is dusty residue. But here there was nothing. It really looked like this machine had never been used. We placed oil in a bunch of holes under and around the machine. 

Mechanism, underside of machine

My son took apart the flywheel area and we put oil in there, too. After putting it together, he managed to loosen up the whole thing. And, yay, the needle was going up and down! So, I put a piece of paper in and nada. The feed dogs wouldn't stay up! There is a dial to turn for different levels of the feed dogs and when I turned it back and forth, the feed dogs came up, but when starting the machine, they wouldn't move back up after moving down. 

feed dogs dial
So, I thought, great, I'll try freemotion! I took off the presser foot and stuck a piece of fabric in, started the machine, and promptly broke the needle because I pulled to hard! If I have any left to right threading needles in the house, I wouldn't have any idea where to find them. So, I have to wait until I can find a nearby place that sells them and then call a repair guy to figure out the feed dog problem. Oh, when I broke the needle, the little wire piece right above the needle that holds the thread down, also broke!

I also have a Featherweight and a regular Singer machine, but don't know where the extra needles are for those, or if those needles would even fit this machine.  

My Bernina 1630 is in need of servicing, but I keep putting it off because the dealer is so inaccessible. Due to making many of the streets downtown into pedestrian malls or off limits to private cars, you can't drive up to the store anymore. They would also be able to repair this 'new' machine. I'm going to find out if they'll pick up and deliver. They didn't used to, but, you never know. Otherwise, I'll need to find out if there's anyone else in Jerusalem that will service Berninas.
In the meantime, I want to let you know that Etty, of the Quilting Corner blog, is running a giveaway for the blog's 200th post. Etty takes time to manage this blog for one of the quilting groups I belong to, showing work of the different members. Go directly to the giveaway post and enter to win some vintage quilting books from the 80's. You have until Monday the 24th to enter.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blogiversary and 100th post Giveaway!

You've probably been surprised that I've been posting so much in the past two weeks. Well, I've been trying to reach 100 posts so it would coincide with two years since I started the blog. And, I did it! I never knew I had so much to write about.

I started this blog two years ago and this is my 100th post. That means it's time for a giveaway!

When I renewed my subscription to The Quilt Show recently, they sent me three gift certificates and I am giving all them away here. They are as follows:

1. One six-month new star member subscription to The Quilt Show. This is good only for someone who has never been a paid star member of The Quilt Show before. Value - $24.95

2. One gift certificate good for buying the rights to view one whole past season of The Quilt Show. This is good for anyone who is not a star member, who was in the past, or who is now but wasn't always. Any season that you haven't paid for in the past can be bought with this certificate. Value - $19.95

3. One gift certificate good for any three individual shows of any past seasons. Same conditions as number 2. Value - $7.95

Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims with guest Carol Doak last January

When the Random guy chooses the three winners, the first commenter chosen will have first choice of which prize they want, and so on.

To enter, just leave a comment here on this post and this post only. You have until midnight U.S. EST, Sunday night, January 16th. That's Monday morning in my time zone, which makes it easy for me to choose the winners right away.

Because I'd like as many people as possible to know about this giveaway, I'm giving you another chance to enter. If you post about it on your blog, come back here, and in a second comment, tell me that you posted it on your blog. In other words, if you post about it on your blog and only have one comment on this post, you will get only one entry. 

Also, please make sure I will have a way to contact you, either through your profile or by leaving an email address.

Let the games begin!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Titling your quilt

About a year ago I sent a message to the Quiltart mailing list asking for advice on how to decide on a title for a quilt. I received a bunch of replies and just now got around to organizing some of them to share here. I asked for permission from the people who shared the following insights, to post it on my blog.

From Toni Mitt,  Under the dining room table :

Giving your art a title is really personal, I think.
I used to do oil paintings, and rather than give them a title relating to the subject itself, I referred to the time when the painting occurred.  For example, I did a painting of my daughter leaning against a wall at Disney World.  I called it October 13th­the date of the picture I took.  I’m sure t confused viewers, but it was my own little inside joke.

That said, I also think a lot of art pieces kind of name themselves.  I often think of a title right along with creating the piece itself.

Here’s an essay about this subject by Robert Genn, who writes “The Painter’s Keys”, an artist’s newsletter.  I learn a lot from him.


 From Corky, Fiber Thoughts : 

As for names - usually one comes to me as I'm working on the quilt. Once I posted a photo of a quilt on my blog and asked for suggestions.  The name that quilt ended up with wasn't one of the suggested ones but it did evolve from one of the suggestions.

From Delores Hamilton
Rarely do I start with a title, although I have been tempted at times to create something based on something I've written or someone else has written.  For example, I recently wrote to another QuiltArt member about a quilt I made from remnants.  After telling her where the remnants came from (boxes of stuff leftover from a dry cleaner's that does alterations), I wrote, "After the remnant rampage...." and then thought, wouldn't "Remnant Rampage make a good title for a quilt"?  

If you ever read Dave Berry's columns when he was still writing them, he'd frequently come up with names for Rock bands.  I would read them and think, "What a great title for a quilt."

Sometimes when I'm making a quilt, I come up with a title before I finish it.  For example, I made a king-sized quilt to replace the slowly disintegrating one on my bed, and when I had about half of it constructed, I pinned it to my design wall and then sat on the floor looking at it.  It was filled with wild colors and I kept thinking about how it made my heart sing.  Bingo!  "Wild Thing; You Make My Heart Sing," by the Troggs.  In fact, I've used song titles for several of my quilts.

But look back at the paragraph above.  Do you agree that "Slowly Disintegrating" could be a title, assuming the content of the quilt in some way exemplified it? 

Typically, there is some part of a piece I've made that calls to me: a certain color, a fabric that elicits an image or emotion, the main idea behind the quilt, and so on--"Magenta Magic," "Illumination," "From Joy to Sorrow and Back," "A Square in a Square Squared."

However, most often I don't think of a title until I finish a quilt.  I pin it to my design wall or across from my sewing table (a different room), and at some point, something comes to me that triggers a title.  For example, I made two narrow pieces independently, but when I put them next to each other on the design wall, I realized that they flowed together.  "Flow" is the title for the resulting diptych. 

If you're muttering to yourself at this point about how easy it seems it is for me to come up with a title, my friend Floris could empathize with you.  She usually can't think of a thing to title her quilts.  So, she sends me photos, either when the top is done or the quilt completed, and I send her back a list of words that the quilt makes me think of.  She's fond of one- or two-word titles, so I try to keep my suggestions short.  Occasionally, though, my weird sense of humor gets triggered and I send her off-the-wall ones, too.  Sometimes she uses just part of one of my suggestions, or my suggestions make her think of something else.

I offer this service to a number of quilters.  You are welcome to join that group.  It's free, but if, at any time, you find my suggestions unhelpful, then you can choose not to send me photos.  A variation to this is to post your piece on your blog and ask the entire list to offer suggestions.

In the meantime, your idea to add "#5" to your "Miniature" title is fine.  In fact, one QA member suggested that if you work in a series that you should begin the numbers around 4 or 5 so that if you enter the quilts into a juried exhibit, the jurors will think you're heavily into make a series.  

A guy in my critique group facetiously suggested "Untitled, I," "Untitled, II," "Untitled, XVII," etc.  

As a final suggestion, look for words as you read or watch TV.  Search through your music and DVD collections for titles (titles are not copyrightable, so you're safe in conscripting any song or movie title).  For me, I'd need to write them down, knowing I'd never remember them.  Or, if there are certain words that you love (I'm a writer; I fall in love with words), write those down, too.

From Jamie Fingal, Twisted Sister: Artwork by Jaime Fingal:

This is what I do to find a title for my abstract quilts.  Most of my titles are a play on words, since I do enjoy having fun in my work.  I pin my art quilt on the design wall and start writing on post-it-notes and pinning them next to my piece - sort of a brainstorm session with myself -
1) what is the main focus of the piece?
2) what shapes?
3) colors?
4) what does it say to me?
5) what was I thinking about when I made it?
6) is there movement?
7) does it remind me of a song?

Then I go an do something else, and usually I can come up with a name while I am doing another project.  I walk by the board, sit down and see all of the notes that I have written.  And all of a sudden it comes to me.  My latest piece on my blog  when I first posted this, I had no idea what the title would be.  But since the main focus is a square and the piece had alot of movement - it is "Square Dance."
Anonymous (this writer didn't reply to my request for permission, but I thought it was interesting):

I used to rely on a poet/friend to help with this, but she has moved and no longer available.  One technique she suggested is to make LOTS of little slips of paper with words on them.  Put them into a container and pull out two or three.  Keep doing this until something hits you as "right" for the piece.

I have also resorted to using Bablefish (internet site) where you can put the word in as English and ask for it to translate it into another language.  This could be problematic as we all have read pretty silly translations of directions, etc. which only vaguely tell you what to do in English.

Alyson B. Stanfeld sends out a weekly newsletter which includes things she writes about on her blog. In June she wrote a piece on 5 Reasons to Title Your Art.

I also did a simple google search for how to title artwork. I'm sure that with different keyword searches I would find more. Here are some of the interesting links that came up:

How to Title Your Work of Art  
This one will choose a title for you! The Abstract Art Title Generator



Friday, January 7, 2011

Sewing machine found in garbage

Recently my husband was passing one of the familiar local huge garbage bins and spied a box on the side that looked like the shape of a sewing machine case. 

He decided to check it out and, sure enough, there was a real sewing machine in there. It looks barely used, but it is old because it is made from the heavy metal (steel? iron?) that the older machines were made of.  The thing is really heavy.

The Hebrew letters on the right side say "Totzeret Yisrael" - product of Israel. On the front it says "MARDIX Super IV-M". We couldn't find anything about it on google. I haven't looked for a serial number yet or anything to indicate a year. There's no manual.

I haven't tried it out yet because while the wires and foot pedal are there and there is one bobbin case, one bobbin and one presser foot, the plug end of the wire was taken off and I'm still waiting for my husband to put a new one on.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cool Mixer!

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking in a mall and couldn't resist taking out my camera when I passed the window of this appliance store!



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meeting Carol Doak

One of the highlights of my trip in November was getting to meet Carol Doak, the Queen of Foundation Paper Piecing! She was teaching at a guild in New Jersey on the last weekend that I was there. It was about a 50 minute drive from my parent's home, so who could resist! I've been helping Carol to moderate her Yahoogroup over the past several years and we've been corresponding, so it was exciting to finally have the opportunity to meet in person. We spent some time at her hotel before going to the guild. I brought some of my mini foundation pieced quilts for show and tell and Carol show and telled images from her iPad! Carol is such a lovely and sweet person and I very much enjoyed getting to know her.

Carol's lecture at the guild was fantastic. She is lots of fun and funny, too! We all enjoyed her Powerpoint presentation about her quilting life and her trunk show of many quilts, especially all those wonderful minis.

 One of the nicest things was that Carol gifted me with a small quilt top. It's the actual top that was made for and shown on The Quilt Show episode that featured Carol teaching her brand of foundation paper piecing. How cool is that!

If you love quilting and are a foundation paper piecer or just want to learn FPP, you must join Carol's Yahoogroup. She gives us loads of free patterns and it's one of the best groups around with a wonderful group of members.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Marking pens

One of the things that I bought during my trip to the U.S. were several different marking pens. My intention is to use them to mark the YTRR mini quilt that's still waiting to be quilted. I have extra fabric and want to test different pens. The small package, by Clover, I bought at the City Quilter. The first two on the left, I bought at a sewing supply shop right across the street from F.I.T. in NYC. The first one on the right, I bought here at the Quilt Center shop in north of Akko.

If anyone has any advice for me on their experiences with any of these markers, that would be great. As I mentioned, I plan to test them on the same fabrics that are in the little quilt top before I do anything serious with them.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sew many sewing machines!

While in Florida, my daughter and I did some shopping on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road. We went into a most unusual clothing store. Hundreds of old sewing machines on display! There were other old pieces of textile related equipment, too. It seems that this company, All Saints, has a chain of stores in the United States and Europe and all of the stores are displaying hundreds of machines. So cool! You can see photos of the other stores by searching in the link that I gave you above.

Here are just a few of the photos that I took there.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

[1-1-11] Coming up: The 2011 One World One Heart Event

The 2011 One World One Heart Event, hosted by Lisa Swifka of  A Whimsical Bohemian, will be taking place from January 30 thru February 17. The link is also in the OWOH button on my sidebar. This is the fifth year (and final, as Lisa claims) for the OWOH. This will be my third time participating. 

Go check out the details and the rules and decide if you'd like to join us. It really is a lot of fun!

Here are the links to my 2010 participating post and my 2009 participating post. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to be offering this year, but I can tell you it won't be postcards this time.