by Sandra Bruce
Although it’s only the beginning of November, this will be my last post until January…the remaining posts of 2019 will be from my Artistic Alchemy cohorts. For the last couple of years my last post of the year has been a look back, and I like doing that as a reminder to myself of all the things I have experienced and enjoyed during the year. I feel lucky to have such a varied and full life, and I acknowledge my Artistic Alchemy “sisters” for helping make it so. I went back into my photo library and challenged myself to pick one photo from each month to showcase. Here goes!
Traveling always affords the opportunity to go to museums and galleries. I had occasion in January to go to San Francisco’s MOMA, which I had not been to since its expansion. Definitely I would never miss a chance to see works by Chuck Close. They are always much more impactful in person, no matter how many times I have seen them. Here is his portrait of artist Roy Lichtenstein.
In February I made up a new lecture for my quilt guild, the Pine Tree Quilt Guild, about what it is like being a longarm quilter, what we do, and why we ask our customers for certain requirements when you bring us a quilt. In my presentation I included photos of myself doing a quilt…start to finish. This photo shows how we even have to get down on the floor with a flashlight sometimes to see what’s happening on the back. Because of a snowstorm, the meeting I was supposed to show this presentation in was cancelled, but I was able to do it in October.
In March I attended Empty Spools for the first time and took a workshop from Susan Brubaker Knapp on painting on fabric. My palette is below…it had been such a long time since I had used one, and it brought me joy.
In April I went to the SAQA conference in San Jose, CA, an enriching experience and a highlight of my year. While there I saw Vivika Negre, the editor of Quilting Arts Magazine, who was giving out little packets of fabric pieces with a needle and thread. Her instructions were to make something from the ingredients in the bag. Having withdrawals anticipating several days without a sewing project this was just the antidote for me! I keep the piece I made on my nightstand (approx. 3″ by 3″), it’s a reminder of my time there which I enjoyed so much.
Traveling has been a feature of the last half of my year. Combined with a teaching trip to Sammammish, WA in June I visited friends in Seattle, Gig Harbor and Auburn, WA. In Seattle I experienced staying in an apartment on the 42nd floor of a high-rise downtown, gulp! Seattle is such a lively town to discover.
I continue to enjoy my longarm quilting business. Especially when I have a customer with a great quilt who says “do whatever you’d like to do”. Here’s a Tula Pink quilt made by one of my favorite customers, where I quilted a design in the center to complement the overall design.
August found me in St. Louis teaching to a very enthusiastic guild there. I taught Matrix as well as Stitching Words, my newest, which is becoming a popular workshop. I have students try different word groupings, including the blast-from-the-past line, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”. The applications for “writing” with a sewing machine are endless. Good job, Deb!
September is always Zephyr month with Artistic Alchemy. It was our 7th year there and it gets better every year. We always do a group shot at the end where we try to round up everybody, and always we do a silly shot, as you can see.
Hitting the road again in October, or rather, cruising the skies, I went to Philadelphia and Fairfax, VA to teach for about a week. There were so many museums and sites I went to, I could do a whole post on them. But I picked out my favorite photo from that trip, a shot taken at the Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia. These lily pads were mesmerizing…I am thinking of a quilt design using my photos….
Which brings me to November…which we are just into. After 29 years spent in my studio, where I have lived most of that time (aside from sleeping), I had new carpet put in. Which meant cleaning it out, moving very large pieces of furniture (flat files, desks, wall units for fabric, etc) and then back in. It was such a task but now that it’s done I am so happy to have a fresh look and a tidy workspace. Ta-da!!
Next week I head to Toronto for my first international teaching gig. I’m so looking forward to it and am excited to discover a new city that I’ve not been to before. I’ve made a list of several museums to check out, with 2 free days I’ll be doing a lot of walking!
My next post will be early January right before I travel to Israel to teach in 4 cities there. Until then, enjoy the rest of 2019 and I hope you have loads of creative time, being with those you love, and fun too. Artistic Alchemy will be prepping for our announcement for the September 2020 retreat, be looking for it in February.