Monday, March 30, 2009

The POWER of a Quilt

by Eileen Doughty

An email
from a local gallery/library space dropped into my inbox Wednesday. The subject line was "Conversations About Iraq: A Public Art Project by Jeremy Deller". Hmmm, another talking heads event, sitting at little tables looking at slides, I assumed. Skimming down the email, the words "Al-Mutanabbi Street" jolted me. To most Americans they would mean very little, but to me they sum up my emotions about our war in Iraq. They also brought me back to an art quilt I made in 2007.

In March 2007, the booksellers street, al-Mutanabbi (or al-Mutanabi) was bombed by Iraqis. I read an eye-witness account describing flaming pages from books floating above the buildings. Baghdad was once the literary center of the Muslim world, and this street was the very heart of that long tradition, "the nexus of Baghdadi cultural and intellectual life". The explosion killed many people and destroyed shops and businesses. This would not have happened if our war in Iraq had not gone so awry. Even worse, to me, was that it symbolized a sort of suicidal destruction of the love and respect for knowledge and learning; and symbolized the loss of the future for Iraqi children. I could not get that scene out of my mind. The quilt I made is shown with this blog entry.

I read that email again, carefully this time. The event was not some dry academic talk, but was to take place on the National Mall near the Smithsonian Castle. It is touring much of the U.S.; at each city they set up in a public place and invite dialogue about Iraq. One of the participants is Iraqi and experienced much of the war first-hand; another is an American Army reservist who served a tour in Baghdad. With them is a bombed-out car (see photo above and below) from al-Mutanabi Street, transported on a flatbed trailer. Washington, D.C. was to be their first stop, and they were there only one day - the day after I received the email notice - before driving to the next city on their tour.

So Thursday, March 26, I scratched everything else off my calendar and took the Metro downtown. I did not go to the Smithsonian station, but instead planned it so I would walk around the White House. It was a lovely day, with the magnolias starting to bloom and the old elms starting to set their seeds. The Obamas' new vegetable garden and a beehive had been added since my last visit. So beautiful, peaceful, and dignified. (see photo)

It was less than a mile to the designated spot on the mall. About a block away I saw the event's small pop-up tent, and then the mangled, rusty remnants of the car. It had been raining earlier and threatened to start again momentarily, so there were not a lot of people about, just a few hardy tourists, lunchtime joggers, and a school tour group or two. I walked into the tent and introduced myself to the young man who turned out to be the reservist, Jonathan Harvey. I explained that I had a piece of art inspired by al-Mutanabi street with me, that I wanted to show them. As I unrolled my quilt (it is only 22 x 17 inches), his eyes got bigger, and he called for Esam Pasha to come over. As I explained what the quilt meant to me, my feelings about that bombing spilled out and I started to cry.

I have had one other experience with my emotions being almost literally stitched into a quilt: the one I made the day after September 11, 2001. Something about describing these quilts brings up the powerful emotions and thoughts that caused me to make them in the first place, and I find it difficult not to get choked up when showing them to someone. After a few minutes I got control of my voice again. Esam asked me a few questions about the quilt, such as where I got the words for the shops (thank goodness he confirmed that I wrote the Arabic properly). A reporter from the Washington Post, who had been standing nearby, introduced himself and I agreed to be interviewed. (My interview is on page 2 of the article.) A photographer took several pictures of the quilt, and they thanked me for bringing it - it was just the sort of thing they hoped would happen.

The reporter and I then went over to the destroyed car. He asked me what I was thinking. "I hope no one was in it," I said, and he assured me that was the case. Somehow it left me cold - an almost unrecognizable piece of metal, impersonal. It is outside my experience to truly appreciate emotionally, even though I do intellectually.

I saw a group of middle schoolers with a few adult chaperones approach up the walk, no doubt between stops on a tour, no time to waste. Esam walked alongside them, pointing out the car, trying to converse with them. Most averted their eyes. One boy said, "I'll give you three dollars for that car." Oh, to be young and oblivious.

Sometimes, it seems, our quilts take us on adventures that don't end with the last stitch. My feelings about what has happened in Iraq, and the tragedies that have befallen all the generations of Iraqis but mostly the youngest, will continue to be as raw as my quilt's unbound and unraveling edges.

P.S. I read in the last month or so, that al-Mutanabi street is starting to recover. One of the surviving members of a key bookstore there has reopened and is doing well. May it never again be such a terrible sight. -- Eileen Doughty

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Samaritans

It has been a week of miracles and special kindnesses and I just want to share a few of them with you.

1. I sent a message to Cabin Fever Quilt Guild in Orlando, asking if their guild would be interested in making a raffle quilt for the ALS Association to help raise funds for research. Joyce Scarbrough and Trish Bowman stepped forward. Trish, who is starting up a new business with her long arm quilting machine has offered to piece the top and provide the quilting -- without charge. We met today and I instantly felt like we were old and dear friends. Quilting tends to bind us together, doesn't it? We picked a pattern and Wednesday morning we're going fabric shopping together. I am still in shock that anyone would set aside a month of her life without batting an eye. Joyce stands at the ready to assist in any way. If you're interested in a view of the pattern we chose, look at the photo of Eleanor Burns Egg Money Quilt. The second pattern from the top right -- a kind of starburst or tulip design depending on what your eye sees -- will be repeated on each block of the quilt top and then surrounded by similar borders as is on this quilt. Made using Florida colors, I hope it will spark alot of quilt lust!

2. The Quilting Arts group have helped me find a delightful solution to my sewing machine quest. I have been seeking a machine for several years, and for the past few months have been checking out various machines. Most of them costing about $1000 more than I'd like to pay. Well the group pointed out a dependable machine that many of them use and adore: A Brother 6000. It seems to do all of the things I need a machine to do and the cost -- $170. A miracle. I ordered one this weekend and can't wait for its delivery. Thank you, you wonderful people. Someone on that list has the answer to everything! This little machine is computerized so it will help me bridge the gulf between my 1970 Kenmore and the new technology. At that price I won't hesitate to experiment and use the machine, and if I find I need a machine that cost $1000 more -- I'll be ready for it after learning everything on this one. Not to mention my husband is in accountant heaven over the price.

3. Not exactly quilt related, but definitely Good Samaritan and miracle related. The dear friend of my husband who has been doing yard work for us has been overwhelmed with family responsibilities lately and when our yard began looking like an unused pasture, our neighbor, Bill, sneaked over and mowed it. Then under cover of 'I need the exercise' offered to mow it all of the time. He was so convincing, we said yes, if he would use our equipment to do both yards. Its a deal!

4. And dear friend, artist and art quilter, Eileen Doughty will be posting a blog any day now. You won't want to miss it!

I would love to hear your Good Samaritan and miracle stories. Please share.


Friday, March 27, 2009

JOIN UP -- Today's the date for EARTH HOUR

My daughter-in-law sent me this. I had posted a blog about it on my Observations site, but it is worth a mention here. I hope we can all participate and Vote YES for our planet! NO to Global Warming! -- Dawn


On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm, I am taking part in Earth Hour - a global event in which millions of people will turn out their lights to make a statement of concern about our planet and climate change.

I want to invite you to join, too! Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour got started just two years ago and is now the largest event of its kind in the world. Last year, more than 50 million participated and the lights went out at the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Coliseum in Rome, just to name a few. Even Google's homepage went black for the day!

In Israel, President Shimon Peres personally turned off lights in Tel Aviv.

This year, Earth Hour will be even bigger - already 250 cities in 74 countries have agreed to take part including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville with more signing up every day. Around the world, cities like Moscow, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai and Mexico City will turn out their lights.

But Earth Hour isn't just for big cities-anyone can participate. To get a better sense of the event, check out this video at YouTube .

Participating in Earth Hour is easy, fun and free. I hope you will join me for this amazing event.

To sign up, visit Earth where you'll learn more including ways you can spread the word about Earth Hour, plus creative things to do when the lights go out in case you need inspiration!

We want the US to turn out more lights than any other country in the world during this historic event so please pass this note along to anyone you think might want to take part. Let's all turn out and take action on March 28 at 8:30 pm.


Monday, March 23, 2009

My View: Fussy Cut Mariner’s Compass by Ann S. Lainhart

Fussy Cut Mariner's Compass by Ann S. Lainhart
AQS Publishing 2009
[click here to buy]
US $24.95

Everyone has a life list of things to do before we die whether formal or just a few thoughts stowed away in the back of our brains. One of mine is to construct a Mariner’s Compass – just one. When I can do that, I will consider myself a quilter. Ann Lainhart is definitely a quilter many times over. She has created a book full of her Mariner Compass creations.

When I first leafed through the book, I admit, my thoughts went instantly to Jinny Beyers. Her fabrics would fit these projects beautifully. And her first award winning quilt, Rays of Light, the one that catapulted her into the limelight, featured a center not unlike what Lainhart has created. Perhaps the author was inspired by Beyers’ work. Well, I’m inspired by what I saw inside of this book.

Lainhart explains that the best materials for her “fussy-cut Mariner’s Compass must have a symmetrical design: that is, the printed motifs need to reflect one another in mirror image on each side of a center line” – real or imagined. And the fabric should have these symmetrical designs repeat. She offers examples of what can be taken from one piece of fabric and how to find the best positions for fussy cutting.

I particularly appreciated her Florentine Compasses quilt in which she features four Mariner’s Compass patterns cut from the same fabric, but the pieces are fussy cut from different parts of the fabric pattern. A great example of what a difference positioning can make. And, for someone who hates to waste fabric, it show me a judicious use of fabric.

The author devotes Chapter 2 to Drafting Mariner’s Compass. Most of her blocks are one of three sizes: “a 16-point Compass with two rows of points that finishes 12-inches in diameter; a 32-point Compass with three rows of point that finishes 18-inches in diameter; or a 48-point Compass with three rows of points that finishes 30-inches in diameter.”

Shades of my high school geometry class! Yet she insists that her method requires little math. Her encouragement gets me past the math angst. I move to her tips on preparing templates and the step-by-step block construction of Chapter 3. I’m encouraged that she teaches this technique to classes and her students find success with their own creations.

She emphasizes contrast in the various points, and gives valuable advice for piecing the blocks and finishing the compass. If you notice, the compass lies within a circle – not the easiest piecing project, but she helps with that, too. And even adds instructions for fussy cut backgrounds.

The book includes high-quality four-color photos of the author’s work as well as clear and concise graphics and directions. No crowding in this book. As with other AQS publications, there is a nice balance of white space and quality printing on glossy substantial pages. It almost passes for an art book and would look good on the coffee table.

I’m not convinced that I can succeed at this project (knowing my own limitations) and I’m still pulled toward foundation piecing for a Mariner’s Compass. But I’m sold on the fussy cutting aspect of this design and figure if anyone could talk me through it – Ann Lainhart could.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Maria Elkins 'Making Faces' for Quilting Arts TV

Faces. Portraits. Drawing people has been my passion ever since my art teacher taught about proportions in the seventh grade.

In the early 1990s, I saw the incredibly exciting work of Charlotte Warr Anderson, and I finally realized that quilting and portraits could be merged. For the last fifteen years, the majority of my own quilt making has focused on people and portraits.

In January 2009, Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts Magazine contacted me about possibly filming a DVD workshop. I was in shock. Whatever could I talk about? Pokey laughed, and suggested a workshop on portrait quilts. Duh!

For the next couple of weeks, I was dazed and paralyzed, but then I panicked and started working in a frenzy to develop a curriculum and sew a series of samples. I fretted over what to teach and how to present it. I spent hours organizing each segment. I had to have a partially completed sample for each step of each project, and I had to have a spare for each step just in case something had to be re-filmed. Then it was time to practice, practice, practice so I knew what I was going to say.

When D-day finally arrived my husband, Dave, and I drove up to Cleveland, and I started to get really nervous. I’m an introvert. I don’t do public speaking. What was I thinking? Why did I ever say yes to this?

We arrived at the hotel and I decided to iron my shirts and some fabric. I had the steam iron going full blast for about thirty minutes when suddenly the smoke alarm went off and the entire hotel was evacuated. I was petrified! Did the steam from my iron set it off? Thankfully, no. It was an alarm at the far end of the building.

Monday, I reported to the studio at 9 a.m. for make-up. Yikes! I never wear make-up. I looked weird, but they assured me I'd look "right" on film. Then the waiting game began.

My 10-minute segment for the PBS Quilting Arts TV show was scheduled to film the very last spot that day. So I waited, and got nervous, and tried not to rub my make-up covered nose when I sniffled. And then I waited some more. While I waited, I met some terrific people: Pokey Bolton, Frieda Anderson, Yvonne Porcella, Laura Wasilowski, Malka Dubrawsky, Julie Balzer, Loralie Harris, Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero, Jay McCar

roll, Alisa Burke, and all the other wonderful folks (Kathie Stull, Katherine Lamanscu, Helen Gregory, etc.) who make this all possible.

I was in awe. Why was I there?

Throughout the day it was fascinating watching Pokey. The entire season of the Quilting Arts TV show is filmed during six consecutive days. All of the guests come at different times, so everything is filmed completely out of sequence and then reassembled later so it looks like it was filmed all at the same time. Pokey was continually changing outfits depending on which week that segment would eventually air. They had photos of each outfit so she would always put on the right clothes and the right accessories. She’d run into the studio and film for ten or fifteen minutes, run out, change clothes, run back in, and do it all again.

When it was finally my turn, I rushed into the studio and set up my stuff. Pokey came in. I must have said something, because suddenly it was over!

What did I say? I’ll have to wait to see the TV show!

Dave and I left for dinner. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was exhausted. How could filming for 10 minutes make me so tired? I slept for an hour, and then got up to start practicing what I would say the next day. He finally convinced me to go to bed around midnight, but at 3 AM I woke up

and my mind took off running. I never did get back to sleep.

The second day I arrived for make-up at 8:45. I was scheduled to film my DVD workshop, "Making Faces," at 4 pm. By then I had chewed off all the lipstick, and the conceale

r couldn't possibly hide the dark rings under my eyes, but I tried to pretend I was calm, and I tried hard to remember everything I wanted to say. It was a huge relief when my filming was done. By then it was getting late, so we packed everything up in a hurry and hit the road for home. I was sure I’d immediately fall asleep on the way home, but no, my mind was going faster than the car. All I could think of were the things I forgot to say!

Looking back, I realize what a huge gift Pokey offered me. I had to work incredibly hard to prepare in advance, but I loved the process: everything from working through the steps in my mind, to organizing the teaching materials and making the samples. Filming the workshop pushed me way outside my comfort zone, but if there is a “next time,” I think I’ll be a little less nervous.

It’s always scary to offer yourself up to the public since you don’t know how they’ll respond. Is there anyone who really wants to make faces other than me? Maybe no one will be interested. Nevertheless, I know that I’ve made the offer with the best that was in me, so I’m content to leave it at that. Now I can return to my quiet studio and try to figure out how to put everything away!

Click here to order her DVD: Making Faces.

Photos: 1. Violinist (Maria's eldest daughter Lydia); 2.

Pokey Bolton and Maria

on the set; 3. Bethany (youngest daughter) in Magenta; 4. Maria's Making Faces DVD with husband Dave on the cover; 5.Making Faces (Bethany on the left, Lydia, right.)

I first saw Maria Elkins' work while looking for extraordinary examples and unique uses of the Ohio Star pattern for an article for Quilters World. When I saw her

Ohio Dreaming, I fell in love. It said so much and was so beautifully made. (See blog dated August 22, 2008). Her quilts (along with several others' work) were featured in that article: Travel the Galaxy of Ohio Stars. The image of her quilt has stayed with me, maybe because I'm an Ohioan dreaming to get back home and she was a transplant to Ohio, dreaming of her roots. But, as you can see from this blog Maria Elkins is modest and humble -- and greatly talented. Thanks for accepting the invitation and for providing a fascinating guest blog. -- Dawn

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Barbie dolls and breasts

1 Billion (Estimated): Articles of Clothing Manufactured for Barbie and Friends Since 1959

The Barbie doll is celebrating her 50th birthday this year. And yes, I am old enough to have been around when that first one in her striped swimsuit, high heels, and heavy eye liner hit the store shelves. My mother was appalled -- $3.00 for a doll that had breasts and no clothes to speak of -- no way. So I do not own nor have ever owned one of those antiques now worth quite a bit more than that original price.

$27,450: Current Estimated Selling Price of the Original 1959 Barbie in Mint Condition

Several quilters have celebrated the birthday with quilts. I particularly like what Carol Thompson, art quilter and member of the Quilt Art list, created. (See her tribute to Barbie quilt.)

She made a journal size tribute and wrote of her own Barbie experience: "I didn't play with Barbie but myyounger sister did. I can remember her stuff spread all over her bedroom. I was older and had outgrown dolls. Or at least I thought so."

I was aware that NOW (National Organization for Women) thought that Barbie was a bad icon for young girls -- "promoting unattainable expectations." Well, I can't remember having the kind of measurements or knowing anyone, except maybe Dollie Parton, that Barbie boasts, so there is some truth to that.

I had also heard the story behind Barbie's creation. But I didn't know that Barbie's 'mother,' Ruth Handler of Mattel, "devoted her later years to a second, trailblazing career: manufacturing and marketing artificial breasts for women who had undergone mastectomies."

Handler was herself a breast cancer survivor and when she went to find a prosthesis, there were none to be found. She was told to take a bra and stuff some stockings in one side. For a more complete history of Barbie's life and times and beginnings, visit the article by Elaine Woo of the Los Angeles Times Daily Mirro.

Perhaps the push to cure breast cancer may have gotten a start with the buxom little doll. If breasts were not ummm front and center before in the minds of boys and girls and their parents, they certainly were after millions of naked Barbies populated almost every household for the past 50 years.

Kyra gives a different perspective on the Barbie phenomena in her Black Threads blog along with links to a variety of 'Barbie' quilts. That blue-eyed blond icon of feminine beauty didn't seem to leave any room for brunettes, let alone ethnicity. Kyra's own quilt speaks volumes of the impact of that little doll.
And a rather interesting group who 'alter Barbie' and associated dolls into new and amazing ways have a blog and an entire show of their work in San Francisco -- where else?!

Happy Birthday Barbie -- you definitely changed our world. For the better or worse -- I think the jury is still out on that one.

105 Million: Yards of Fabric Used For Barbie and Friends' Fashions Since 1959

But she does put alot of people to work and these days employment speaks loudly. "Evelyn Viohl, senior vice president of Barbie design for El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel, says that the process through which the latest Barbies come to life does mimic a traditional ready-to-wear label. "We like to call it the House of Barbie," says Viohl. "

Here are a few other links you might enjoy at Barbie's expense. The first site speaks of the trouble Barbie has caused -- 'boob jobs' and other body alterations and refers to uses for the dolls rather than put them in landfills.

If you have a link to other Barbie sites, I'd be glad to include them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nine Patch=Joy!

While sipping my morning coffee and surfing the net, checking my favorite blogs and ohhhing and ahhhing over what other people are creating, I visited Stacy Hurt's blog. She has posted photos of her newly finished, just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Double Irish Chain quilt.

I smiled and felt my whole world relax. I thought of my simple little Sunday embroidery project taken from one of Alex Anderson's books, I think, that used nine patch in the borders. It is sweet and innocent in every way -- perfect for a child. Maybe it is the child in me that likes those little squares so much.

I always smile when I see that plain little square teamed up with a bunch of its buddies and forming a simple, pristine, no fuss, no fro-fro, checkerboard.

What is it about that simple square. That basic combination of lights and darks layout that always draws me to it. I realize that if I glance around a quilt show, the first thing I turn to is a quilt that boasts that simple pattern. It isn't that I don't adore all of the curves and diamonds, rectangles and craziness of every other shape. But those humble little squares always brings me back to my center of joy.

Maybe the link between the nine patch and folk art or country connect me with my agrarian roots, but I'm not drawn to the 'country' look usually. I most enjoy the nine patch teamed up with something wild and funky like Carol Soderlund's award-winning Covenant. This quilt draws me back again and again with its use of traditional patterns in such an other-worldly way. When I see the photo of Covenant next to my little tea-time creation, I have to laugh out loud at the comparison. It is definitely beginner and master side by side, yet the nine patch does its duty in both pieces.

The sense of space and dimension and the use of lights and shadows is powerful in Carol's work, don't you think? I can't think of a more perfect construction. And there, front and center, are my favorite nine-patches.

My first doll quilt was made of those squares. My favorite Sunday project included nine-patch (see above), and the first full-size quilt I ever completed was a Double Irish Chain. My son slept under it for several years before a house fire destroyed it. Maybe I yearn for those simpler days. Or maybe I just enjoy clean straight, orderly lines in this chaotic world. I'm feeling the need to lay down my crazy quilt fabrics and hunt up a couple fun contrasting colors and just start piecing nine patches.

They work particularly well as borders to set off something spectacular. They're not proud, don't need the limelight. Humble.

One quilter referred to the nine patch as 'magical'. Yes.

I think they are and versatile and flexible and able to fit into any construction no matter how many curves and frills and embellishments surround it. Always recognizable and never tries to put on airs. It is what it is. Solid. A great foundation that holds up whatever is teamed with it. Of course there are some abuses forced on this little square -- poor choices of color for one. But even then, a scrap quilt of squares pieced together find a way to shine.

Thanks Stacy for reminding me of my first love. I've included several of Carol's creations. Her Covenant, Now the Green Blade Rises, and Winter Heat.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

MY VIEW: Judith Baker Montano "Teaches You Crazy Quilting"

The more I see of C&T Publishing's At Home With Experts series teaching DVDs, the more I love them.

Judith Baker Montano obviously excels at and thoroughly enjoys making crazy quilts and sharing the techniques and the craft's history with others. She's already written a small library of books, including her Crazy Quilt Handbook, which is in its 2nd edition.

But her instructions in this video goes far beyond the making of one quilt genre. She draws on her education and experience in the production side of fabric design as well as her background as an artist to teach about color choices, fabric coordination, and quilt embellishments that would be well received by a fabric artist working on any type of fabric project.

Montano's credentials, quietly mentioned, leave no doubt that she's well qualified to do more than teach crazy quilt construction. She's worked with a variety of companies as a colorist, and fabric designer and who knows what else. She brings experience, talent and ability to share what she knows with others.

Her encouragement makes me feel like I can actually create something beautiful. And the crazy quilt really draws me in. I can't cut straight lines without a great deal of concern and angst and sewing precisely with my old 1970 Kenmore just isn't going to happen. But none of that is part of making a crazy quilt using her techniques. She begins with a five sided piece of fabric plunked down a bit off center and at odds with the 12-inch square of heavy weight muslin on which she lays it. Her rules please me: no parallel lines, seams should not meet, everything should be off plum. Then she adds fabric to this first square, choosing the longest side for her first seam and then proceeding clockwise (unless you're left handed, then counter clockwise) around that first piece of fabric.

Her rules contain simple common sense. It's okay to let two solid colors abut one another, but never two patterned fabrics. Her completed quilt carries the same fabrics or some of the same fabrics throughout, but each fabric only appears once within the indivudal square.

The entire quilt's construction is ultimately more like a pillow. You use backing the same size as the top, stitch with right sides together and then turn and knot rather than quilt the project. Of course the sewing is just one of equally delightful steps in the construction of the 'quilt' that is not a quilt -- no quilting on it.

She doesn't scrimp on embellishment information, either. Ribbon flowers, several embroidery stitches, the use of laces and trims and how to make choices when putting this all together. The only things omitted were beading, fine embroidery, and applique techniques.

Her tools are simple -- a straight basting size machine stitch, glue sticks, scissors and steam iron. And of course a stash of fabric and embroidery thread that made me drool.

The DVD is beautifully photographed, edited, divided into chapters, and professionally done. Each step is performed by Montano along with a variety of visual aids and examples. And since it is divided into chapters, I can easily go to an element in the training that I want to review without wading through the entire 180 minute program.

This is a video I will watch again and again. Montano is personable and a delight to spend an afternoon watching and learning from. The cost, $20.95, seems reasonable for a series of lessons you can watch as often as you want until you have mastered the techniques. An added bonus -- seeing so many samples of Montano's work. And, if you're interested in signing up for a live class -- this DVD gives you a good idea of her personality and how she conducts her classes -- two good things to know before investing in a class or workshop. I have to admit, I would be first in line for one of her workshops after watching this video.

NOTE: After writing this review I spent two days sorting through fabrics and trying to recreate what Judith had explained on her video. I need to watch it again, but I'm pleased with my first attempt. My husband will be sad to learn that I NEED MORE FABRIC! Her instructions really made this a much easier venture than if I had just tried it without knowing where to start and how to proceed in a orderly manner.

And here is my first effort at a Crazy Quilt Square -- before embellishment. Any comments or suggestions? What do you think Judith? A lost cause?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Buy American!

I like the ring to that title:

Buy American! Buy American!

In the past it has been Buy America -- we're for sale! But this is a new morning and I like the idea of supporting my country one product at a time.

My question is -- can artists find products that are American made? Our country has been looted and plundered and our jobs shipped overseas -- do we still make decent products here?

Anyone want to step up and recommend an American made product? I'm off to the library to do some research. Let me know what American products you buy. They don't need to be simply art or fabric products but anything from toilet paper and light bulbs to cosmetics to tea and cummerbunds.

A quick Google search brings up several listings under the topic USA made products.
Still made in the USA,
American Made products and services,
Americans working.

You will be encouraged to know that the USA continues to make Taxidermy tools -- helping hand hangers, solid waste equipment which is MUCH different than solid waste materials. And maybe of interest to Virginia Spiegel and her sister -- fishing poles!

One site calls buying American the "Next American Revolution!" and "Patriotic Spending."

So, did you find products you purchase on any of those lists?