Saturday, October 31, 2009

"It's a Girl Thing" ATCs and a message for Women

Pink prevailed in the FiberAntics October ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap. Among the eyelets and lace, luscious velvet trims, pearl buttons, teeny bikinis and all-things-bling, there were health-conscious reminders that surfaced in the artist trading cards about the importance of annual mammograms. Although it was not a conscious decision on my part to have "It's a girl thing" as the theme for October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, sending the message to "Get Screened" is always timely.

Here are some statistics in the United States:
•  every 3 minutes, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer,
•  every 13 minutes, one woman dies of breast cancer,
•  there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States,
•  with early detection and if confined to the breast, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.

The small group of artists who traded in person relayed stories of their "annual ritual" and family and friends who are BC survivors. One trader's grandmother, a BC survivor,  is going 30+ years strong. Congratulations! You go, Girl!

If pink makes you think "girl things," I hope you'll take one step further and associate it with an annual mammogram. If a history of this disease runs in your family, talk with your doctor and reevaluate the recommended "40 years of age" starting point for a mammogram—I did, and have had routine mammograms since my late 20s. The procedure is really not scary and the advancements with digital technology have improved processing, diagnosis and treatment.

Studies have shown that mammograms and early detection does make a difference. So, tell all the women in your life to "Get Screened." It's not just a girl thing.  It can make a difference  in everyone's life. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New 2010 ATC themes

Hey FiberAntics ATC Artists! I've gotten inquiries about continuing the ATC swaps next year. If you're all still game, let's DO IT!

New ATC themes are listed below and are posted on the right. I hope they inspire and intrigue.

January: It's about time...
February: Epigrams
March: From the Garage
April: If I were a flower
May: Bridges
June: Folklore Across the Continents
    If you want to participate in a swap, read the ATC swap rules and e-mail me by the registration date for each swap.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Inkle Loom Weaving workshop

    This past weekend, the Riverbend Fiber Arts Guild members demonstrated spinning and weaving at the Ketner's Mill Fair, an annual country craft and art fair in Whitwell, Tennessee. One of the weaving techniques demonstrated was Inkle Loom weaving, and I got to talk with weaver extraordinaire, Mary Lou Scohier, for a step-by-step view of dressing and weaving on this type of loom.

    The Inkle Loom is a classic loom for beginners because of its simplicity and ease of use. The tabletop loom Mary Lou used for the demo was small, compact and very portable but she indicated Inkle looms come in various sizes. She has a larger, floor loom at home. Inkle weaving dates back thousands of years and was introduced in the United States in the 1930s. The narrow format of Inkle weaving lends itself to such things as belts, bands, straps, trims, ribbons, garment decorations and accessories. Creativity abounds with the use of color and pattern. 

    Worsted weight yarn was used for the warp and weft threads on Mary Lou's piece, but any weight of thread, yarn or string could be used. As an art quilter who creates wearables, this opened up my mind to all kinds of possibilities!

    If this technique piques your creative curiosity, the Riverbend Fiber Arts Guild is hosting an Inkle Loom workshop November 14-15. The instructor, Ann Mullican, is a well-known weaver and teacher in the weaving community. Workshop participants (I'll be one of them!) will learn the weaving technique by making a "Woven Doll with Character." Details for the workshop are on the guild's web site. Come and join the guild for a fun weekend of Inkle weaving.

    Create your own Inkle Loom Doll with Character!

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Geometry and Quiltmaking—A Dynamic Duo

    Do you remember high school geometry? Some of the terms, formulas and applications are probably second nature to you if you are a quiltmaker. My niece, Dana, has a geometry class assignment to create a quilted pot holder (OK, a mini-quilt) that is due this week. On Sunday afternoon I got "the call."

    The requirements of the project had to include: a sketch of the quilt top on graph paper, an example of at least six geometry terms, and 3 layers quilted (stitched) together bound with a double-fold binding. Dana and I designed her project so it also included a loop from which to hang it—a most desirable attribute for pot holder.

    Here is the finished project. She chose the 4-patch Broken Dishes pattern found in Jinny Beyer's "The Quilter's Album of Blocks and Borders," and did an EXCELLENT job matching the points and nesting the seam allowances. This was also Dana's first time using a sewing machine.

    We had the all-important safety lesson on how to use the rotary cutter.

    The fabrics chosen were based on color and value to illustrate symmetry, rotation and other terms.

    In addition to being a functional element to the quilt, the machine quilting served as a design tool to illustrate acute angles, parallel and perpendicular lines.

    At one point in the evening, I asked Dana if she wanted to make the geometry assignment a 2-day project and finish it the following evening. In the spirit of a true quilter (and the incentive of extra points), she was determined to forge ahead and finish that evening. So, we auditioned binding fabric, cut strips, and created the double-fold binding. She finished the binding and the hanging loop with hand stitching.

    Below is Dana with her Grandma, taking a picture with the cell phone of the finished project. It deserves an A+. Very well done, Dana!

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Red Bank Market features Arts & Crafts

    This Saturday, October 10, the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association is holding the first ever Red Bank Market. The market will be highlighting Octoberfest with several artisans showing and selling their work which includes fiber arts, artisan and stained glass, hand crafted jewelry, hand-painted furniture, soaps, candles and other uniquely crafted items. I will be there with my artful journals and other fiber art creations. Look for the FiberAntics banner and tent.

    Artful journals by Veronica

    The Market will take place from 11 am to 5 pm at the Red Bank City Park across from Bi Lo on Dayton Boulevard. Fresh produce from local growers, entertainment and food are planned and a live flower swap is scheduled. Come out for a fun day and make the first Red Bank Market a success! Red Bank Market:
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