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A Post of Potpourri

by Sandra Bruce

Following is my “potpourri” of a post. I can hardly believe we’re into December. Wow, wow, wow! It’s been a few weeks since my last post…. where does the time go?

A fairly clean studio!!! How did THAT happen?

Fall came to Grass Valley in such beauty this year, the trees were even more intensely colored than usual, it seemed to me. I always see the first Fall color in the parking lot behind my long-arm studio downtown. The maples there start to change early.

And then the first rain, or two…such a wonderful sound to wake up to….that soft pitter-patter. The view from my home studio, shiny with rain, always makes me smile. The fire season could not have been over soon enough.

May I digress for a moment. Many of you know whether or not I am in my long-arm studio downtown by the presence of my car sitting in my parking space. I now have a new space, on the other side of the lot, closer to my building. You’re always welcome to stop by!

A couple of quilt show notations: My quilt “Lemon Tree in Tuscany” will be in a regional SAQA show (Studio Arts Quilt Associates) opening in Santa Monica on December 9th, at the California Heritage Museum, until March 18th, 2018.

I wish I could attend the opening, but unfortunately I won’t be able to. I am feverishly finishing up customer quilts that need to be done for Christmas! Here’s the announcement, in case you are in Southern California:

Also in show news, “Zahra, Age 5, Syrian Refugee” came to PIQF with the Threads of Resistance exhibit in October in Santa Clara. Since it was my only opportunity to see it during its 2-year national tour I went to see it. I really enjoyed seeing the quilts in person, and getting a group picture with the other quilters from Northern California in the exhibit. “Zahra” is in good company! And PIQF was a great show, as usual. PS: I am wearing one of Mary Boalt’s fabulous creations, a blouse she made from tea towels. Only Mary!

My latest Matrix quilt, entitled “Summertime”, is from a photo by Suzanne Semnacher. I started it at the beginning of summer, but it languished on my design wall for the entire season until I had time in the fall to finish it. Finally! Here’s the original photo, and then the quilt. You can see that I took some liberties with the colors. I think it was a great composition to work from.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of teaching, but I’m done for the year now, with the beginning of January my next gig in the Santa Cruz area. I’ve taught 2 workshops in Southern California, and several up north closer to home. At the meeting in Mission Viejo, CA I saw a wonderful Matrix quilt made by Angela Miller, a student I had last year in another guild, who brought her finished piece to Show and Tell. I love what she did. It’s so gratifying to see what people go on to make after taking my workshop. Nice job, Angela!

I’ve had a few gentlemen lately in my workshops, that is fantastic too!

And………..speaking of workshops, I’ve introduced my newest workshop, “The ABC’s of Stitching Words”. This is a one-day class where the basics of stitching words with a home machine is explored. Having had a 30+year career in commercial lettering (and illustration) has given me a good foundation for how to do this, and I do quite a bit of “writing” into my customers’ quilts. Connecting words, dotting “I”s and crossing “t”s, I cover it all. There are so many possibilities for incorporating words into quilts, also……making labels, fabric postcards, wall-hangings, etc.  I’m excited to have this new offering, and will be doing a demo in January with NCQC’s “Demo Day”.

Below is Cathy Stone, who has taught me so much in her classes, who took my class in stitching words. She is moving from the area and we are going to miss her!

Also, while on the subject of teaching….I have added a 3rd possible project for a Matrix workshop, along with the “Wake Up Cup” and “Sew Ready” (pincushion) projects. I have created an abbreviated version of Mr. Cardinal, as seen below. I call it “Junior Cardinal”, and will be teaching it in January for the first time. AND… NOTE! I will be teaching my Material Matrix technique next year at our Zephyr Retreat in September, and I already have 3 interested ladies. We will be announcing all the pertinent information early in 2018, keep an eye out on this blog.

I’ve been busy as usual with customer quilting on my long-arm. I am constantly delighted at what my customer come up with for me to create, as with this beautiful batik quilt I did recently for someone.

Totally out of my usual “box”, I am working on a Halloween quilt that will hopefully be done for next Halloween. It is from a pattern by The Vintage Spool, which I spotted at a booth at PIQF. I love doing hand work so a quilt chock-full of hand-applique is just the thing to keep my hands busy on the cold winter nights ahead of us. Here is just one block I have completed, it is really a wonderful design. I can’t keep from adjusting it, though, to suit my own tastes and sense of humor. I will have so much fun quilting it, and it will be a nice “quilting sample”.

Not to forget polymer in my list of what I’ve been doing! Surprisingly, almost every pair in the photo below has been sold, and my inventory is LOW. I had hoped to put polymer into this post to sell, but I’ll wait until my next post when I’ve had a chance to really turn out a good batch. It will include pins, buttons, and earrings.

My last photo, below, is from the holiday season 2 years ago. My friends were at my house and we were creating prayer flags. I had 2 weeks before fallen and broken my scapula, but despite this managed to sew something! Neither sleet nor rain……                                                  I wish for you all a happy December, in whatever way you celebrate it (or not), and hopes for a 2018 that will bring some peace and positivity to our world.

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