Monday, February 27, 2012

A Peek at "Quilts in Color" part 1

I drove down to the Anderson Arts Center to see the quilt exhibit again, and to take all the photos that I didn't have time for the day of the opening.  It's a lovely old mansion, filled with light and beautiful views. I will begin showing you the exhibit Quilts in Color, one artist at a time.

January 29-March 25, 2012
6501 Third Ave.
Kenosha, WI  53143
hours 1-4:00 Tuesday through Sunday

View from one of the upstairs galleries.  Lake Michigan was very churned up on Sunday.

I'm going to begin with Gloria Hansen's gallery. Her work was lighted, gloriously, get it?  I have always been attracted to the color and movement in her work. Years back I was quite taken by a tiny piece called "Blushing Triangles."  I liked the colors, her threadwork and the visual impact of the quilt.  This was my chance to see more of her work in person.
Circles Collide, by Gloria Hansen.  Here is one of her medium sized pieces over the lovely Italian marble fireplace.  

Gloria Hansen lives and works in East Windsor NJ.  She is considered a pioneer in uniting the quilt maker with the computer, and in 1996 she co-authored The Quilter’s Computer Companion, a ground-breaking book published by No Starch Press. She also wrote or co wrote 13 titles in the Free Stuff on the Internet series publishing by C&T Publishing. Her latest book Digital Essentials, the Quilt Maker’s Must Have Guide to Images, Files, and More, published by Electric Quilt Company.

Color Fields 1 by Gloria Hansen.  Candace Hoffman, the curator adds 3D pieces throughout the galleries.  

Detail of above quilt showing the metallic thread use.

The above quilt was the smallest in her gallery.  It was my favorite because of her expert use of a flat iridescent thread, probably Sliver or Glitter.  The twinkle that the metallic thread added was beautiful.

Gloria’s work has been exhibited throughout the country and abroad for over two decades. She says “My work is about geometric shapes, photographic imagery, and visual ambiguities expressed in cloth and stitch. In this collection of work, I’ve selected quilts spanning nearly a decade in time. The common thread among the pieces are bold color and geometric pattern. I designed each quilt using computer software."
Perspectives II by Gloria Hansen.  This is machine pieced and hand quilted. When I stepped back from this quilt, the dramatic perspective was a surprise.
"The oldest piece is from 2001, and it features fabrics that I hand painted or dyed. The remaining works all feature fabric that I digitally painted using computer software and then digitally printed with archival ink onto silk or cotton fabric. The surfaces also include some traditional media, such as fabric paints and pastels. The oldest work is machine pieced and hand quilted, the other seven pieces are machine pieced and quilted.” Her work has been included and appeared in shows, competitions and galleries around the world.

Upper--Squared Illusions IV,  Lower--Witley Decay 2, by Gloria Hansen
Upper--Going in Circles, Lower--Going in Circles II, by Gloria Hansen

This is the end of the Gloria Hansen exhibit. Be sure to visit both her website and blog to learn more about how she works. Thank you Gloria for sharing your work with us.

My next installment will feature quilt artist Marcia Stein.

Ann Fahl

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You're Invited to Visit my Website

After months of work, my redesigned website is up and working.  It looks a little different, it's cleaner and simpler!  At the top of each page is one of my "trademark" embroidered Ginkgo leaves. This gives it a less cluttered look.  The home page has only a short welcome message, a photo of one of my quilts, and a notice of what event I will be participating in next.

The shopping cart works a little differently than before.  The "Books" page has a nifty little gadget.  When you mouse-over the titles of my publications, the image changes on the right.  I thought that was cool! We've added a link to all the publications my work has been included in at the bottom of the Biography page.

Detail of Tea and Daffodils by Ann Fahl
So, pour yourself a glass of soda or a cup of tea, and come visit my new and improved online studio at , be sure to read the short welcome!  Sorry, this is the best I can do for cookies!

Ann Fahl

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Fold and Store Quilts!

It's been quite awhile since I taught at a guild in Virginia.  Before my lecture, I had dinner with about 6 women, and one of them mentioned how she folded and packed her quilts.  She folded her quilts on the bias instead of the the straight of the grain.  The bells and whistles went off in my brain--this was the answer on how to safely pack quilts when I teach and send them to exhibits.  Of course it also works when quilts are stored in a closet somewhere.
One of Ann's quilts folded and ready to pack, ship or store in the closet
Everyone loves "show and tell" at their quilt meetings, I've probably been to hundreds.  I could just cry when someone opens up their quilt and there is a hard crease right down the middle in two directions.  Once that crease is set, over time, it will never come out.

With the consent of that quilter in Virginia, I wrote and published a short article on folding for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in the January 2006 issue.  This little article has gotten more comments, feedback and requests to reprint in local newsletters, than anything I have ever written.  So if you are tired of having heavy creases down the middle of your quilts, this is what you should do:
Lay your quilt on a table, bed or on the floor.  Fold one 
corner across the quilt on the bias.
Fold up the next corner, the same way.
Fold the third corner, the same way.

 Then fold the last corner as shown.
 The finished package should look something like this.
If the package still needs to be made smaller, fold again much the same way.  Or open it up and refold.

When you open up the quilt after it has been folded like this, the folds will soften and disappear in a very short time.  Why?  Because every fold that has been made is a soft one, the fibers aren't folded or crimped  on top of each other--always at an angle.

All quilts should be folded on the bias, or rolled to prevent permanent creasing. I heartily recommend this method.  When sending to a show, it will arrive without the big crease in the middle, it will look much better.  The same goes for antique quilts, it may be too late to "save" some of them from heavy creasing because the damage has already been done.  In general even old quilts will be happier folded this way.

Practice this a couple of times and you'll figure out how to do this.  Even blankets and bedspreads can be folded and stored this way too.  Go to your closet and find something to fold!  You will be impressed.

For a more recent post please see this blog.

Ann Fahl

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When Your Sewing Machine goes on Vacation!

Last week my sewing machine started making little birds nests on the top side of my embroidery.  For days I tried to figure out why this was happening.  What was I doing wrong? What could I change so this would stop?

Nothing seemed to work.  So my machine went in for repair. This is the machine that I use for all of my free-motion work. What was I going to do while it was gone?  

I decided to clean out the closet where I store all my extra office supplies, photography, and stuff. It's probably been 25 years since I've done anything with the closet! You can imagine the state of confusion it is in. So what am I waiting for?  I unloaded the whole closet then the sorting began.  I'd been stuffing things in this closet and closing the door really fast.

Only a portion of the dusty slide boxes and notebooks

All those slides, they'll have to be sorted and mostly thrown out.. Because I am spending lots of time on my family history I need a place to store all my large notebooks and files. Today was recycling day, and you should see the huge load of old papers, magazines and junk we set on the curb!

After replacing two of the sagging shelves I began putting all my notebooks and supplies back in. This little task seemed to take forever, but it is great that it's done.
Look not at the beauty and organization, be impressed with the remaining space!

It's not my idea of a vacation, but it really feels good have space again and all my genealogy notebooks will occupy my top two new shelves. The extra surprise was I found all kinds of little surprises. A brand new pair of little Gingher scissors, a photo of my son with his first remote control airplane and a half yard of beautiful tapestry. 
Included in the treasures found were: my childhood animal collection,
new pair of Gingher's and a large hunk of a beautiful tapestry
Enough cleaning and organization.  I'm going to pick up my machine and finish up a really beautiful quilt for Houston.  Bye.

Ann Fahl

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15--Remember the Maine Day!

Valentine and Ginkgoes, Quilt by Ann Fahl
For Valentine's Day we have lots of red and pink, mixed up with hearts and lace.  Time to put it all away because today is Remember the Maine Day.

My father would always put on his little rusty orange metal pin that he found in an antique shop, and tell everyone about Remember the Maine Day.  My two sisters and I would be rolling our eyes, this time every year, we always hoped he would forget to put it on!

Newspaper headlines

Now I feel the need to make February 15 a special day, not just the "let down" after all the Valentines and roses.  This is the day the USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, it started a war in 1898.  Now we know that the ship wasn't attacked, the explosion came from within the ship!
Wreckage after the explosion
Just in case you want to learn more about the Maine and how it all happened, here is a good link. And here is a another more current link.  This isn't quilt related at all, but it is a part of me and how I grew up!

I have been busy quilting a wonderful new piece, which is why there haven't been very many new posts lately.  Eventually, you will all learn about what I've been doing!

Have a great Maine day.

Ann Fahl

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Amazing Show Opening

Portrait of a Quilter's Helper by Ann Fahl
Sunday was the opening of a new quilt exhibit at the Anderson Art Center.  What an amazing show. Along with my work are quilts by Rhonda Rodero, Melody Johnson, Barbara Schneider, Marcia Stein and Gloria Hansen. Each artist had their own gallery space, everything was  beautifully hung and well lighted; all the quilts glowed on the walls. As the opening reception was drawing to a close, I was told that I needed to go upstairs immediately, and that it was important.  My feet were beginning to hurt, I didn't want to go upstairs again, but I did.

Drink of Water by Ann Fahl
Remember my blog about the missing 8 carton shipment? 

Well, I met Jane, the lady that lived in the house where all my quilts were all mistakenly delivered. So here is the "rest of the story." Jane and her husband were both home that morning, they heard the truck pull up, drop the boxes on the driveway, heard the door close on the truck and it drove off.  When they went outside they saw the huge pile of boxes that weren't for them!  Thinking they were very heavy, they didn't want to move them. Her husband called UPS right away and told them all the boxes were mistakenly delivered and please come get them.  After waiting "long enough" Jane decided that some stronger action needed to be taken, so she called UPS and told them to hurry up, there were boxes filled with "fabric" sitting on her driveway and they were responsible.

Looking at all the quilts on the walls surrounding me, I realized that I had just found out  what had happened to them in the big mixup on their return home. Jane and her huband got the ball rolling, long before I even knew that something had gone wrong.

I big thank you to Jane and her husband for making sure UPS picked up the big pile of boxes and ultimately got them to their correct destination. My show never would have happened without them.

Ann Fahl