Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick Tragedy Update

Tragedy on Esplanade by Ann Fahl
This quilt has been the subject of many posts in recent months. Recently it has been accepted into the Sacred Threads exhibit in Herndon, VA.  June 22, 2011 - July 4, 2011 Church of the Epiphany. I am pleased that this sad little quilt will get additional exposure.

Ann Fahl

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Gift Debut

At long last, I am posting my 2011 competition quilt. It's title is Spring Gift. When I finished this quilt last year, I felt that it was one of the best I've ever made! It was inspired by the need for a new quilt to hang above the long awaited new furniture in my living room. My vision was to make it simple in subject and strong in visual impact on a field of blue.
Spring Gift, original design by Ann Fahl
I sent if off to Paducah several weeks ago, in hopes it could perhaps garner one more prize before I retire. There's much excitement with the flooding down there, and also the excitement that my book was making its debut. For a few days I forgot about my quilt. Then the AQS prize winners were announced online, so I went to check, Spring Gift wasn't there, and I was disappointed.

All my quilts are made because I find joy in designing and creating them.  Yet it is always a big kick to win a prize. Somehow getting the reinforcement of the judges and that prize check really gives me a thrill and inspires me to make another. I am not crying and I know it is good to just have my quilt hanging in this very famous large show. Somehow, I feel I have lost the prize-winning touch.  Can I find it? Maybe it is time to shift my focus. I just don't know!

detail of Spring Gift
Many famous prize winning quilters stop entering competitions. But I've been having fun, doing this for over 30 years, I'm not ready to quit------yet. So please enjoy my beautiful trillium.  If you'd like to read more about the quilt, you will find it on my website

Have a great Easter.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Of Book Signings, Gettysburg and New Quilts

I've been home from my book signing trip in VA for several weeks now.  Since the drive was so long, my husband and I took the time to take a mini vacation while we were there.

The Friday book signing was not as busy as I had hoped, but we had a really good time and met some nice folks. So, I'm glad I went.

The next day we drove to Gettysburg for a tour of the area. The first afternoon we toured Eisenhower's home; then went to check out the offerings at the museum and welcome center of the Battleground area. I was disturbed by the cyclotron program which was filled with the graphic horrors and physical violence of the Civil War. It is a huge painting, housed in-the-round; accompanied by a light and sound show. I found it very troubling.

Day 2 at Gettysburg we took a personal guided tour of the battlefield with Ed. This was the highlight of our trip. We learned how the battle progressed, the strategy of the generals, and how each location was important to the end result. Ed made our 2 hour tour amazing. He explained everything, answered all our questions and was filled with tales of the 3 day battle.

When we got home, Ken Burns' Civil War was beginning on PBS.  I was Civil Warred out!  When I woke up in the morning I was still thinking Civil War.

A small landscape quilt is what I'd like to make. Since the arrival of my new book, I have been totally distracted by working on the marketing and promotion for it, and I haven't sat at my sewing machine for weeks. The subject of war and violence is repugnant to me, a subject that will be difficult to work on. If it is small it won't take too much time.

Unfinished detail of one of the farms in the battlefield area
The Gettysburg area is hilly farm country. Beautiful, quiet, restful, a place one could go to relax and enjoy nature. There were interesting rock walls and wood fences to mark the property lines. I liked the contrast in textures that they provided. The 24" x 24" quilt top is now designed and most of the pieces fused in position.

How could it be that approximately 60,000 men were killed here in just 3 days? Such horror and violence.Why is it that as human beings try to solve our difficulties with war?
Cannon fused into position
 The top is ready for embroidery followed by the quilting.

My husband Bob has been fascinated while watching this quilt evolve, and has commented on every change or addition I make. This is a good thing.  All these years together, and hundreds of quilts through my sewing machine, this is the one that fascinates him! It must be the cannon.

You'll have to wait to see the finished piece.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Cat Lovers Only?

This morning finished up my birthday festivities, they have lasted over 4 days. We always do something special at coffee when we have a birthday. There is a birthday treat and maybe small gifts and cards.  Even at my age it is nice to be recognized on my special day. There were funny cards and thoughtful gifts, but one in particular stands out.

All of you readers have read much about my newest adventure, publishing my book about my cat quilts.  Perhaps Oreo might be jealous of this particular gift. Should I have named my book something else?

Maybe I could call it A Milk and Dark Chocolate Tale! Here is the gift I got from my friend Carole.  The perfect gift for a cat and chocolate lover.

A two tone chocolate cat!  

I think I'll taste test her ears first!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Blog

Ann all dressed up on her birthday
Yesterday was my birthday. By the time one gets to my age, birthdays aren't quite as much fun as about 8 years old!  My two grown sons came home and we all went out to dinner together, that was great I really enjoyed it. Then we had a little celebration at my critique group; we celebrated my birthday and Robbi Joy Eklow's (we're 2 days apart.) There was a choice of 3 kinds of cake! Can you imagine? Truly this was a celebration!

My plan was to say something meaningful to all of you--on this solemn ocassion, but nothing seems to come to mind.  I had my hair cut, and I put on my Burger King crown to put me in a more festive mood.  Still nothing.

Today, the day after my birthday is David Letterman's birthday and he is one of my favorite comics. He makes me laugh out loud. Then my co-author Jacquie Scuitto sent me this link to Sarah Ann Smith's blog.  Now that made me feel really good.

At this moment only one thing continues to come to mind, as a child this made me think a little bit, then smile. My grandmother used to say;  "Today is the tomorrow you thought about yesterday."

Perhaps tomorrow inspiration will strike!