Friday, December 19, 2014

A Private Tour of This Elegant Old House

Victorian Elegance comes alive for you nestled in the bluffs of Historic Dubuque. The Hancock House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shows Queen Ann architecture at it's finest.Built in 1891 by Charles T. Hancock. The third son of John T. Hancock, Charles succeeded his father as head of the Midwest's largest wholesale grocer and distributor, the profitable JOHN T. HANCOCK & SONS.

Today it is a charming B & B run by Chuck and Susan.
Christmas

The dining room

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My first time in Iowa, visiting Dubuque

That's Dubuque in the background
The city of Dubuque is named after Julien Dubuque, a French Canadian fur trader who settled in the area in the 178O's. Dubuque originally came to the region to engage in trade with the Mesquakie Indians who occupied the land at that time. As Dubuque befriended the Mesquakie, his attention turned from fur trading to the abundant number of plentiful lead mines that were located on their property. In 1788, after amicable negotiations, the Mesquakie granted Dubuque control of the lead mines surrounding the Dubuque area.
The mighty Mississippi River

Dubuque is a city located along the Mississippi River. With a population of 58,253, it the tenth-largest city in Iowa.

The city lies at the junction of three states: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, a region locally known as the Tri-State Area. It serves as the main commercial, industrial, educational, and cultural center for the area. Geographically, it is part of the Driftless Area, a portion of North America that escaped all three phases of the Wisconsinian Glaciation.

One of the few large cities in Iowa with hills, it is a major tourist destination, attracted to the city's unique architecture and river location. Also, it is home to five institutions of higher education, making it a center for culture and learning.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BERNINA and sewing

Debbie Cacciamani stitched all of these interesting samples.



I love to see what other people are doing, but of course my very most favorite thing is to learn something new that I would like to sew.
I stitched this sample, not only did I love it, but I know how to stitch it with my BERNINA 830.

Friday, December 12, 2014

BERNINA Creative Center

The 880 classroom
As a BERNINA Ambassador, I was invited to Aurora Illinois and the home of BERNINA of America. What a treat! I learned all about the new 880 machines. (I sew on an 830).

Sewing, embroidering and quilting with the BERNINA 8 Series machines offers everything I need to create great projects.

BERNINA's longarm has some great features. I thought the most important thing about them is that they are designed by a company that started with home sewing machines, no industry machines. I found it very familiar to
use.
BERNINA has Longarms too!













Embroidery machines, oh my.


The BERNINA embroidery machine represents the latest in embroidery technology, delivering the highest quality stitching, ease of use and industrial durability. The machine is perfect to embroider hats, leather, jackets, polos, gloves, denim and other delicate items.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Jewelry

Look for quality – If you find a bargain piece of low quality jewelry that’s kitschy and fun, and you absolutely love it, go ahead and purchase it. But overall, buying vintage costume jewelry of quality makes sense. Quality pieces will hold their value and wear better over time. Look for signs of quality such as pronged settings, substantial weight, smooth plating and sparkling stones.

Certain manufacturers are known for creating jewelry of quality as well: Eisenberg, Schiaparelli, Miriam Haskell and Schreiner are a few names to look for when purchasing high-end pieces. More moderately priced signatures include Weiss and Kramer among many others. Should a vintage jewelry purchase always be "signed?" Not necessarily. There are even more beautiful unsigned pieces available on the secondary market, including those made by DeLizza; Elster known as "Juliana", and all the aforementioned companies made unsigned jewelry at one time or another. It really depends on who you're buying for, since an avid costume jewelry collector will appreciate a signature far more than someone who values the piece as a fashion accessory.


The most important tip, buy what you love!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This Jewelry Lover Buys Again!

I am a jewelry lover with a particular passion for vintage costume jewelry. My most recent purchase is a rather gaudy bracelet and earring set. I am very selective in my choices and prefer jewelry from the '40s, '50s and 60s. It can be found in like new condition at prices and is still affordable. Only looking for large, flashy pieces because that's what I love. If your are in the market here are some tips.

Condition – Try everything on! Make sure it fits. Bracelets can be small, some clasps are difficult. If I can't put it on, I don't buy it! Don’t take the condition of a vintage jewelry item for granted. Extremely worn plating, darkened or cloudy rhinestones, missing parts, clasps that don't work properly, missing stones, and chipped or scratched enamel all lower the value of a vintage piece. Obvious repairs such as sloppy soldering and haphazard stone replacements should also be avoided. That can mean close inspection is necessary to see some of these important details, so take care when examining online photos.

Fortunately, I live in the Seattle area so I have easy access to Rhinestone Rosie. Rosalie Bryzelak Sayyah, an Antique Road Show appraiser, she buys, and repairs vintage jewelry. The store is located at 606 West Crockett Street, Seattle, Washington 98119 - 206.283.4605 rosie@rhinestonerosie.com.
Juliana

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Flapper

Flappers were a "new breed" of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms. Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Wizard

The Wizard

I love the quilting part of the process. But not all quilting has to be 'free' motion. The textural beauty of straight lines is not to be dismissed. The Wizard has lots of straight lines, all stitched with the walking foot. And I must confess that I slipped in just a few free motion flowers.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas is Coming!

Stitching Through the Layers
I'm in a bit of a panic!  Christmas is coming way too fast. If you are feeling the pressure to finish things up, consider Straight Line Quilting.

Santa is Coming to Town.







I embroidered Santa in my spare time. When it came to the quilting, I kept it simple. Changing the size, style or orientation of grid lines emphases the center motif. Here, two different kinds of straight lines, evenly distributed, allow the piece to hang straight and square and set off Santa, the most important part of the design.


Friday, November 28, 2014

The Quilting

Something like these fabrics, placed where you can see them while stitching, help train your eye. 
Let's talk a little bit about machine quilting designs. I prefer machine quilting designs done without a pattern, stencil, or template. It's a style that is personal to each individual, much like handwriting. No matter, training the eye, mind and hand to work together in order to coordinate your muscles to express and control your own personal style takes practice. You see, you must synchronize the speed of the machine with the speed in which you are moving the quilt under the presser foot to achieve a good visual.

Practice, Practice, and more Practice will improve your ability to master machine quilting designs whether it is free-motion quilting, continuous line quilting or hand quilting.

Details, Details

I love to look at the details. There is so much to be learned from the. The creative women that came before us imagined some wonderful things. I remember Easter dresses my mother made for my sister and I one year. White organdy with hundreds of yellow flowers with bead centers all along the hem. I loved that dress!


















Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the  preceding year. The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's Thread Day

I love playing with thread. Yesterday I tried something new from Superior Threads. Designed with award-winning quilter Jane Sassaman, Sew Sassy is a creative quilter's dream thread. Available in 50 bold, bright solid colors, Sew Sassy is a great thread choice for projects where you want to see the stitching from across the room!
    12 wt./3-ply Spun Polyester thread.
    Available in 50 bright, bold solid colors.
Recommended Needle and Tension Settings
Home Machines: Topstitch #100/16. Set tension to 2.0
Longarm Machines: #21 (MR 5.0). Reduce tension as necessary.


I used a Topstitch #90/14 (didn't have the recommended #100/16), and did not change the tension.

Liked it so much, I tried hand sewing with the thread

Friday, November 21, 2014

San Francisco Airport Terminal 3 -- ART



A Wind Flower  2012 Lee Kang Hyo (b. 1961) stoneware with white slip and ash glaze Courtesy of Mindy Solomon Gallery L2014.1205.002
Tall Bottle  2012 Lee Inchin (b. 1957) stoneware with natural wood ash glaze Lent by the artist L2014.1206.006  Bottle Form  1997 Lee Inchin (b. 1957) stoneware with natural wood ash glaze Lent by the artist L2014.1206.007  Flower Vase  2002 Lee Inchin (b. 1957) stoneware with natural wood ash glaze Lent by the artist L2014.1206.004On my way home, I had a chance to check out the art in Terminal 3. As always it was beautiful!

Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions.

 Yeollimun Vases  1979 Roe Kyung Jo (b. 1951) porcelain with marbled design Lent by the artist L2014.1203.009-.010

Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions. - See more at: http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/dual-natures-ceramics-eight-contemporary-artists-korea#sthash.6GYnLbZJ.dpuf
Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions. - See more at: http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/dual-natures-ceramics-eight-contemporary-artists-korea#sthash.6GYnLbZJ.dpuf
Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions. - See more at: http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/dual-natures-ceramics-eight-contemporary-artists-korea#sthash.6GYnLbZJ.dpuf
Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions. - See more at: http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/dual-natures-ceramics-eight-contemporary-artists-korea#sthash.6GYnLbZJ.dpuf
Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions. - See more at: http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/dual-natures-ceramics-eight-contemporary-artists-korea#sthash.6GYnLbZJ.dpuf
Terminal 3
Terminal 3

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simple Surfaces at SCVQA


Chuck with his embellished apron!

 
Learn all about applying paint sticks and foil to cotton or silk quilts and clothing. Come explore lots of different ways to creatively apply these fun and permanent mediums to your own projects in this casual, hands-on workshop.

Great students..a good time was had by all!















 

Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association

Friendly, is the best word for the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. Lots of activities. Be sure to visit if you are in town!  


Bi-Annual Quilt Show
The SCVQA Quilt Show is a members only show presented every other year.

Block Party
Participation in Block Party involves creating the block presented at the meeting and bringing it to the next meeting. A drawing is held for the collection of blocks. If there are enough blocks, there are multiple winners.

Boutique
Books, fabric, magazines and notions are for sale in the lobby before the meeting and in the break between the meeting and the speaker's presentation.

Fat Quarter Frenzy
To participate, members bring in a fat quarter that fits the theme for the month. A drawing is held. The winners receive a portion of the fat quarters collected.

In Town Retreats
Sewing retreats are held locally for members to get together and sew for a weekend in a group setting.

Marin Retreats
Sewing retreats are held in scenic Marin for members to get together and sew for a weekend in a group setting.

Opportunity Quilts
Opportunity Quilts are made by SCVQA members. The proceeds from this opportunity quilt are given to SCVQA.

Philanthropy
SCVQA members enjoy giving back to the community. Quilts and blankets are made by members and donated to those in need.

Quilting 101
Quilting 101 is a tutorial offered by members of SCVQA to help new and experienced members to become more familiar with a variety of quilting techniques. It is not associated with regular classes or visiting teachers.

Quilt 'til you Wilt
One Saturday a month, members have the opportunity to get together for a mini retreat to sew together for the day and finish some of those UFO's.

Round Robin
Groups form intermittently to participate in round robin challenges in which quilt centers are handed off to each participant for their contribution to the quilt top.

Show and tell included this piece made after my last visit to SCVQA

This one too!