Art Quilts, Textile Art, Fiber Art

No matter what you want to call it, I’m really excited about our up coming fiber art workshops! It’s great to see how much interest has been shown already. Ruth McDowell’s workshop is already close to filling up!

During this “downtime,” we have been driving around to as many area quilt shops as possible to distribute our fiber art workshop brochure. We have visited many fine shops that I wish I could win a shopping spree in! (But I had to settle for just a few fabrics in each. LOL!) First we hit a bunch of New York shops, then New Jersey, and then Massachusetts. I’ll be adding a quilt shop page on our Fiber Art Workshops website when I’ll list and describe all the shops that we visited.

In New York, much to my delight, we found a wonderful little shop just 15 minutes away from us — Log Cabin Quilts in Ravena. They have a great selection of contemporary fabrics and lots of embellishment goodies. I’ll be working out details for them to put together a trunk show type package that can be available at our inn when the quilt art workshops are in session.

In March, right before the art quilt workshops start we will be upgrading the electrical circuits in the art studio so that we can accomodate lots of sewing machines and irons. We will also be getting some nice ergonomic chairs.

I am remodeling one of the guest rooms this winter — Room 21. It is getting new paint, a new mattress and box spring, new bathroom fixtures, new rugs, and some new furniture. I’ll post pictures when I have some. Right now I’m preparing to do the painting. It will be 3 shades of yellow — from a pale, pale yellow to a nice sunny yellow.

InnSane Thanksgiving Redux

Well, we actually had more than 17. We had 20 staying over, 4 of which didn’t make Thanksgiving but we also had another 3 more guests so we had 19 for Thanksgiving. Some left the next day but most left today. (I’m leaving us out of the count and I may have missed someone.)

We made 2 turkeys with Kim’s stuffing. One turkey was brined and the other was made in the usual fashion with sage leaves under the skin. We had gorgonzola and pecan salad with mixed greens and my famous dressing. I made a great snap pea and onion dressing and a cranberry sauce that was great. I also made a pozole rojo with five types of pork. Kim made her famous pumpkin soup. I also made some sweet potato tamales. We had mashed potatoes and candied yams, my favorite. On the day after, I made a Colombian paella. (That’s with chicken and beef sausage as well as clams and salmon.) Leading up to Thanksgiving, I made Venezuelan Steak and Colombian chicken. Aprepas and also Wiener Schnitzel. (If you’re guessing that we’ll be having some of these great treats next year, you’re right.)

It was a grand Thanksgiving. Plenty of fun. My Uncle Jack and Aunt Pauline didn’t make Turkey Day but did come the next day and stayed the night. My old friend from Smithtown, Donna, came with her mom but left before Thanksgiving.

However, my nieces, sister and brother and their spouses and girl and boyfriends all made it as well as my mother and our daughter. Plus some old friends from CA/Chicago made it, Bill and his family. Cute kids. Stanley came as well as John and his wife.

It was fun. Oh, and yes, we had a nice snow but the roads stayed very clear. So, come on up for the Winter Art Workshops.

InnSane: Thanksgiving

Well, we have 17 people staying here for Thanksgiving and another 4 or so coming for dinner and at least another 4 who’ll pop over for dessert or drinks after dinner.

And I took off line 2 fridges. I had to bring one back on line and now I’m cramming everything into just two kitchen fridges and one service fridge. The freezers are still on line. I am going to take one of them off line before we go to Vienna.

I had some very old friends here from my childhood. And I practiced my posole and some other Colombian steak dishes. Very nice.

Melody Johnson leads off the Art Quilt season

Melody’s quilts have been exhibited in national shows such as, all the Mancuso shows, the American Quilter’s Society, the International Quilt Festival in Houston and Chicago, and five times in Visions, and three times in Quilt National. Her major awards include a 1995 AQS Best Wall Quilt and in 1998, the IQA’s Pfaff Master of Machine Artistry. She has also participated in exhibits in Japan, Great Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Her experiences in Japan and New Zealand have had a major influence on her desire to focus on teaching.

“As a child I thought being an artist meant only being a painter, so I did everything necessary to live out that role. Painting realistically was my aim and achievement, but it gave me no great satisfaction. In my last semester of art school, a classmate introduced me to quilting and something about its scale, process, and non-pictorial geometry attracted me. Once I made that first quilt I found an excitement that was missing from my painting experience. I switched to making quilts and have never had a moment of regret.”

Melody describes herself as an artist whose medium for the last 23 years has been quiltmaking. She was a professional dyer for twelve years and formed a company with Laura Wasilowski, called Artfabr!k. This creative duo traveled to quilt shows and conferences selling their hand dyed fabrics and threads, while at the same time making award winning quilts and teaching workshops in fusing both here and abroad. The Chicago School of Fusing, a completely imaginary school, became world renowned due to the musical antics of these two artists. Her education includes a BA in painting and drawing from Northeastern Illinois University in1981 and an MA in Fibers from Northern Illinois University in 1994.