Saturday, January 29, 2011

ATCs: What's your Coffee Mate?

Ever stop and think about all the things that go with coffee? The ATC artists who participated in this month's ATC swap have illustrated quite of few. Here are their responses to the theme, "It goes with my coffee." What's your favorite coffee mate?

Left: "It goes with my Coffee— Friends"
left: "Brain cells awaken, thoughts of a treat, and the news..."
right: "Bright eyed. Bushy tailed."
left: "What goes with my coffee? A coffee mate."
right: "Perfect morning with a friend."
left: "Splenda and the daily Sudoku puzzle."
right: "Not your Mother's Cream and Sugar."

left: "Coffee and something sweet"
right: "It goes with Coffee"
Here is the back of "Coffee and Something Sweet"—a gingerbread cookie.
I'll take two to go, please

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ATC swap this Friday

The first 2011 ATC swap (Artist Trading Card swap) is this Friday, January 28. The theme for the January swap is "It goes with my coffee" and I have been diligently working on my cards. I can't divulge all the details right now, but I did have to do some R&R (reconnaissance and research)—and a little taste-testing (think Krispy Kreme)— before construction. Here is a snapshot of the work in progress.
The local traders will meet at Panera's at Northgate at 4:30 pm. on Friday. I'll post photos of the cards I receive in the trade upon my return. They are either clever, funny or insightful and always beautifully and thoughtfully crafted.

This is the third year I've coordinated and hosted the ATC swaps. (Happy Anniversary to all the ATC traders!) Search the FiberAntics archives for photos from previous trades. Swaps are open to new traders. If you're curious, check here for an overview of how the swaps work.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Knitting Classes begin January 31

The holidays are over, a new year has begun, and it's time to find a new, creative outlet. Now is the perfect time to learn to knit!
I'll be teaching three knitting classes at Chattanooga State this semester.
  • In my Beginning Knitting class starting January 31, we'll cover all the basics to get your needles going. 
  • In Knitting II starting February 28, we'll move on to ribbing, cables, and seams while making a fun pair of Fingerless Mitts
  • We've added a new Lace Knitting class starting March 28. Students will create a beautiful lace scarf.

If you've always wanted to learn this timeless, yet contemporary art form, register today at 397-3100 or on-line at Make new friends and learn a new, creative skill!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cuddle Quilt Quest went over the top

The Choo Choo Quilters rallied for an amazing finish to our Great Cuddle Quilt Quest, a program conceived by me and my friend and fellow guild member, Deb, that we started in May of 2010.

Starting off with an easily do-able step in the quiltmaking process, Deb and I issued monthly 12" block patterns to our guild's members. The blocks were collected and sorted into color-coordinated sets for quilt tops. For the last eight months, guild members participated with whatever step(s) they chose: making blocks, sashing and sewing tops, quilting and/or binding.

The final "Call for Cuddle Quilts" came at yesterday's guild meeting and resulted in a final tally of 73 quilts! It was an amazing feat for a guild of about 20 members and included 10 bed size quilts.

Our initial goal was 51—one quilt more than the guild record of 50, about five years ago. I think we more than outdid ourselves! The quilts will be donated to Children's Home/Chambliss Shelter in Chattanooga.

For fun and easy-to-construct quilt ideas—for cuddle quilts or for your own quilts—I like Karla Alexander's techniques. Find them in any of her books:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Design for Quilters: program starts tonight

Get ready to flex and tone those right brain muscles! At the Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting tonight, I'll be kicking off the 2011 program on design fundamentals for quiltmakers. I've teamed up with three other talented (and crazy!) women for this year-long program we're calling "Inspirational Quilting." We'll be covering the elements and principles of design through exercises, readings and group critiques.
The idea was conceived in the fall of 2010 and we researched several potential "textbooks" for the program. We're excited about using "Fearless Design for Every Quilter" by Lorraine Torrence and Jean B. Mills as our guide. In planning out the lessons, there were a few topics we wanted to include or cover in more depth. So, we'll also be incorporating exercises and group activities from other resources (bonus content!).

Tonight's lesson, which I will be presenting, is called, "Learning to See Again." I've got some contour drawing and other right-brain stimulus planned. I've pulled out my tackle box and sharpened all my B and H drawing pencils. What fun to be using them again!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow shovel anyone?

We got dumped on again. All of the southeast did. And, my DH (a southern guy) is finding the benefits of using a real "snow" shovel (yeah, one of those wide, flat red ones) to clear a path from the back porch to the yard." You can get a good workout doing this," says he.

The big black dog is a great supervisor. The snow doesn't phase him. He finds a good vantage point and plops right down in it.

Lucy, the neighbor kitty, has been hanging around and wanted to get into the snow-shoveling action. He's not much help, but sure is amusing when he tries to jump up on a snow covered car hood (and doesn't quite make it). Ever see a cat do acrobatics?

And our fuzzy, blue-eyed huskie just loves it! She blends right into the landscape.

And me, I've got the kettle on and I'm preparing lesson plans for my quilt guild's (Choo Choo Quilters) upcoming yearlong inspirational quilting and design program. We're using Lorraine Torrence's book, "Fearless Design for Every Quilter" as the textbook. I'm collaborating with a team of 3 other motivating and talented women on the program and I'm kicking it off with the first lesson, "Learning to See Again."

Get ready for some contour drawing and other right brain activities!
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