New Beginnings

With Labor Day, my birthday and the first day of school (back when I was in school!) usually all falling in the same week, this time of year feels like time to start fresh. It was a great summer, I won third place in the Hoffman Challenge accessories division and started selling my work in a local shop!

IMG_1466Meet Serendipity, my Hoffman Challenge entry. I loved this fabric the moment I saw it and knew I had to feature that little “magic carpet” on my bag. I had started in a completely different direction and wasn’t happy with it so when my friend suggested I look at ethnic bags on line for inspiration, I dumped the first concept in a heartbeat and everything fell into place almost effortlessly. I modified “Abigail” from Chris W Designs for size regulations of the challenge and was off having fun. A skirt from a thrift store provided the brass beads, sequins and dangles and I did a lot of surface embellishing. Here’s a few more shots of my “baby”:

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A local consignment shop, The Artistic Attic, was looking for new artists so I took my purses and other accessories in and finally had some success selling! My Etsy store never took off so this is really exciting for me. I love digging around in thrift stores for fabric treasures to recycle/upcycle into new pieces. “Pebbles” is made from a “new” denim skirt (with tags still on it), “new” suede pants (tags still on them) and a child’s two-piece leopard print outfit. It’s so much fun bringing these garments together into a cohesive piece. I was happy with the results and it’s really exciting to have a total stranger buy my work!

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Front                                       Back

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Detail

My “new beginnings” are off to a good start and my only resolution now is to keep the creativity going!

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Fabric and Fun in Philadelphia, Part 2

Back to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Exreavaganza (www.quiltfest.com) and the real reason for this trip aside from seeing my Hoffman Challenge (www.hoffmanchallenge.com) purse on display: viewing the quilts. Well, okay, after a fair amount of shopping, that is!

This was the first quilt that caught my eye. It’s so pretty, sort of a pastel Amish-style quilt.

Beach Quilt

But once I got up close, my jaw dropped. The quilting was amazing! The center medallion was based on a photograph of the quilter’s children playing on the beach.

Beach Quilt Center

The detail is stunning! She used a copy of the photo as the label on the back. The borders were  quilted with various marine animals, and my favorite is the corner with the jellyfish.

Beach Quillt Corner

I could have stared at this quilt all day. It’s one of those that the more you look at it, the more amazing elements you find.

I have always loved white-on-white whole cloth quilts and this one is spectacular:

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Here is some of the detail

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Here is a hand quilted beauty that I thought was amazing:

Hand Quilted

And the details!

Hand quilt detail

Hand quilt detail 2

Last, but not least is this hexagon quilt. My BFF who quilts is just head-over-heels in love with making English paper-pieced “hexies”. I see hexies in a whole new light, and am so much more aware of them now. I don’t know if this quilt was English paper pieced, but I do know I never, ever could have accomplished what this quilter did!

Hexie Quilt Hexie border detail Hexie Quilt detail

The green border with the black Celtic work was so amazing. Yards and yards of black bias so intricately and perfectly placed was phenomenal. To me, all those loops on the outside edges were the perfect finish.

Hexie edge detail

I could go on and on about all rest of the amazing quilts we saw, but these were the highlights for us.

Next post: Philadelphia’s Fabric Row

Fabric and Fun in Philadelphia

Two weeks ago I left the “herd” in my husband’s care

3 girls cropped

and went to visit my sister in Pennsylvania. She lives near Allentown, but I was flying into Philadelphia so we could go straight to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza  (www.quiltfest.com) in the outskirts of Philly. I had a direct flight (imagine! not going to Chicago on the way to Philly from Cleveland!), was landing at 9 A.M. and we could be at the show by 10. Perfect. Until fog rolled into Philly and my flight was diverted to–you guessed it–Allentown. And sis was already in Philly. Thank heaven for cell phones! Many calls later, it was arranged for me to get off the plane in Allentown, my brother-in-law would pick me up and head to Philly. Sis would head back to A-town. Things were working out. The best thing about this glitch was I got to see this mural in the Allentown airport. Peeps just make me smile!

I felt very welcome indeed!

I felt very welcome indeed!

 Selfishly, the first exhibit I wanted to see was the Hoffman Challenge (www.hoffmanchallenge.com)  to “visit” my handbag, “Moonlit Jewels”, that is part of Hoffman’s 2013 Challenge traveling exhibits.

Moonlit Jewels

Moonlit Jewels

Next post:  Several of our favorite quilts at the show