Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last year for the AAQI


Fade to Gray

It's official. This is the last year for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. We expect to reach $1,000,000 raised for research near the end of the year if all goes as planned. It's a good time to end.

First came"Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece." Later,  "Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" the long narrow Name Quilts. Those, by the way, will  be auctioned off this year, 26 per month, starting in March. (Mine was #25). 
For Women Who Wear Purple

What began as one person’s response to sorrow and frustration has grown into a national charity embraced by a large portion of the quilting community. More than 13,000 quilts have been donated, turning sweat equity into over $883,000 for research so far. For many donors these quilts were healing works of art which helped them grieve as they stitched for the greater good. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AAQI’s two traveling quilt exhibits about Alzheimer’s. Through this artistry came the realization for many that they were not alone on this journey of heartbreak; others understood, perhaps for the first time, what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s really means. Together quilters have funded 11 research studies at six universities and a medical school. Three more studies will be funded this month and hopefully more throughout 2013. Because of the AAQI, scientists know a little bit more about Alzheimer’s than they did before. Hopefully this understanding will bring us all closer to a cure. Click here to learn more about this great project

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Time for Reflection

I loved making, or I should say, embellishing garments for the now historical Bernina Fashion Show.

High Society
Everyone knows of my love of all things shiny. Combine this with my favorite co-conspirator in fashion, my Bernina, and the result is High Society. This charming 1950’s ensemble is reminiscent of a simpler time when afternoon cocktail parties were in vogue and even the most sophisticated ladies longed to be Grace Kelly and secretly swooned over Gable and Bogart.

Fashioned of luscious green-gold silk shot with turquoise, discovered in the Fashion District of Los Angeles, the dress features a tight-fitted bodice and  a sweetheart neckline. The very full skirt swings easily with the satisfying swish of real silk that makes every woman feel beautiful. The long petticoat you see playing peak-a-boo at the hem is 80 yards of ruffled turquoise nylon net sewn to the bottom of a petticoat.

Shanghai Lights, expresses the intense pinks and oranges splashing over this vibrant city at sunset. 13 million inhabitants respond by radiating color and light back into the night sky, exciting the senses and quickening the pulse of visiting travelers.

Shanghai Lights is an explosion of color. The long coat of luscious coppery rose Thai silk chiffon fused over orange polyester organdy is enhanced with nearly a mile of gold, pink, copper and red metallic threads which interweave to create an exciting partnership of color and shine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mah Jongg

Mah Jongg
Melody Crust
Dimensions: 62”w X 69” h

Mah Jongg. An ancient Chinese diversion concealed by the royalty for centuries. A game. Color and texture in dots and tiles interweaved. A puzzle. Intricate geometric designs in endless combinations. An attempt to express the essence I experience. The flexibility and softness of fabric allow my hands to create what my spirit feels. Was I Chinese royalty in another life?

Many commercial cotton fabrics create the design. This quilt is hand appliqued, machine pieced and quilted.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Orion Rising

Guest Artists today are Mary Zagozda and Sandy Pihlgren, they shared the following with me...
 Melody, we finally finished Orion Rising for our fundraiser auction!  Has anyone else contacted you to say they made your design?  Do you happen to know how many pieces of fabric are in the quilt?  If you don't know, I'll let you know!
Thanks for all you do.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Minnesota Quilters, Inc. 35th Annual Quilt Show and Conference, June 13-15, 2013, Duluth, Minnesota

Come join me at the Awards Banquet Friday, June 14, 2013 for my fun and witty presentation: So Many Ideas; So Little Time
This lecture is a humorous look at how I designed and made my latest contemporary quilts including some from my books. Hear from my own lips how I recovered from quilt disasters and made "silk purses" from "sows ears". You can relate to these true confessions of the struggles and foibles of a prolific quilter. Lecture includes projected images and showing of many quilts.

Take a class or two!
Machine Quilting: Two Days, Wednesday and Thursday June 12 - 13, 2013
How many times have you heard, a quilt is not a quilt until it is quilted? Well here's your chance to learn to quickly finish your quilt tops from the classes you have taken. The techniques that you will learn in this one class can turn your tops into heirlooms.

Eye Candy Quilts
3 hours, Friday Morning, June 14, 2013
Eye Candy Quilts are stunning mini–quilts that are so much fun to make they should be illegal. They can be finished in practically no time and adding beads, buttons, ribbons, paint, feathers and a myriad of other commonly available materials is so fun and easy that any quilter will be dazzled.

Borders: The Final Chapter Saturday, June 15, 2013
Pieced borders add something special. They can change the look of a quilt and add a wonderful finishing touch. Learn to add grace, spontaneity, sophistication, or any effect you desire to your quilt. Solve the mystery of designing and sewing borders to fit your own quilt. Remember that with good planning a pieced border can be less work.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Ringling Museum

Who knew? I assumed that a Circus Museum would be on the grounds, but there was so much more!
John Ringling, one of the five original circus kings of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was blessed with entrepreneurial genius and through his success with the circus and other investments, became quite wealthy. In 1911, John and his wife, Mable purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota, Florida.   In 1912 the couple began spending winters in Sarasota and later decided to build a home there. The home is a splendid Venetian Gothic mansion Cà d’Zan.

Cà d’Zan - from the front

Cà d’Zan - the grand living room

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Florida Sights

Seabird Sanctuary

The volunteers call him "Mooch"
This fella is a visitor looking for a hand out
Located on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is a truly unique place.    Founded in 1971 by zoologist Ralph Heath, the Sanctuary is the largest non-profit wild bird hospital in the United States. It is staffed by experienced professionals assisted by over a hundred dedicated volunteers. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, and indoor and outdoor rehabilitation areas. An average of 23-30 wild birds are admitted every day for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of these injuries are directly or indirectly attributable to humans.

University of South Florida Botanical Garden - a visit to the gardens was lovely, but I must say a bit confusing. It was 80º but I had to keep telling myself is was winter. Very few flowers were in bloom! But the Hibiscus were there waiting just for me!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Beach

Lido Beach

I'm a California girl who loves the beach! Florida has great ones. Lido beach is wonderful, lots of lively action. I learned that "Lido" is the name of the beach in Venice, Italy.
Siesta Beach

 Designated on May 28, 2011 by "Dr. Beach" as the No. 1 Beach in America, Siesta Beach also has earned a reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Siesta's fine white sands, unlike any other beach sands, are composed of 99% pure quartz, causing them to stay cool even on a hot sunny day.
Caladesi Island State Park

The ferry
But I think my favorite was Caladesi Island. As one of the few completely natural islands along Florida´s Gulf Coast, Caladesi´s white sand beaches were rated America's Best Beach in 2008. Maybe it was the added mystery of the access.  The park is accessible only by boat or ferry.