The National Quilt Museum receives TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

So cool. The National Quilt Museum gets another certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor – for the 5th year running.

If you’ve never been I urge you to go, once in your lifetime. Years ago I won a scholarship to the museum (when it was called the American Museum of Quilts). I took a class with Ruth McDowell – brilliant. The Museum is such an experience. In fact the whole town is a quilter’s paradise.

Quilt Japan

Constellation Beyond Time and Space by Yoko Kageyama

Constellation Beyond Time and Space by Yoko Kageyama

Isn’t this gorgeous?

The colouring is magnificent and the repetitive design in both large and small is very effective.

If I had piles of money I would like to go to Quilt Japan – but until then I will have to enjoy looking at pix or going to the National Quilt Museum to see selected quilts.

Ann Johnston at the Columbia FiberArts Guild

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away …. no, that’s not right, I mean here in Portland, OR – in April. Ann Johnston – one of my heroes, gave a lecture to the Columbia FiberArts Guild and then offered a 3-day workshop afterward.

Hand dyed fabric from Ann Johnston

Hand dyed fabric from Ann Johnston

Hand dyed fabric from Jill Hoddick

Hand dyed fabric from Jill Hoddick

What a fascinating ride Ann has been on. For many years she’s worked with dyed and painted fabric – produced in her own studio. Her book – Color by Accident, was my bible. My Virginia kitchen was filled with ziplock bags of fabulous coloured muslin, silks and sometimes even velvet cloth. Rows of curing yardage spread out on the kitchen table – while my husband was away flying planes, or putting up cellular towers in strange places around the world.

Since then, we have left our Virginia house, where I had the free run of the kitchen for my dyeing projects. We were beginning an 8 year wander, from Virginia to Florida to end up in Portland, Oregon.

My dyeing equipment sold, but I kept all the fabric and schlepped the boxes around from home to home. I still made quilts but surface design and dyeing was off the books.

Now we are settled here in the NorthWest, we have finally decided to buy a home again.

I am thinking…….. maybe I could start dyeing my fabric again?

And if I do, I’ll be following Ann’s books and now her DVD.

Using Pledge to stiffen beadwork

Jean Campbell's tutorial on how to stiffen beadwork

Jean Campbell’s tutorial on how to stiffen beadwork

I am working on a complicated piece with rather floppy components. In the back of my mind there was a vague idea of a method to stiffen these pieces. With a bit of research I discovered a useful tutorial from Jean Campbell of Beading Daily – how to stiffen your beadwork tutorial.

Now I have a vast bottle of Pledge sitting in the middle of my bead studio!

It does work……….

Versailles Cuff – beaded bracelet designed by Melanie Potter

Versailles Cuff - beaded bracelet designed by Melanie Potter

Versailles Cuff – beaded bracelet designed by Melanie Potter

Such pretty colours! This is a gorgeous bracelet designed by Melanie Potter. I took a class with her when she visited the Portland Bead Society back in October 2015.

I really wanted to finish this because…… well, I wanted to wear it!

Very detailed and time consuming but just beautiful. The clasp is pretty interesting – a real fiddle to put together. It might help to have someone else put the bracelet on for you but I have found a way to do it myself.

The cuff is made with seed beads, delicas, Swarovski crystals and pearls.

This is the back:

Versailles Cuff back

Versailles Cuff back

And this is what it looks like laid out flat:

Versailles Cuff laid out open

Versailles Cuff laid out open

Bracken – fractal quilt

Bracken - fractal quilt by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Bracken – fractal quilt by Rose Rushbrooke

Bracken was created for an exhibition, and book authored by Donna deSoto – Inspired by National Parks.

I chose the North Cascades park which is filled with bracken – a type of fern. A fern is a natural fractal. The colours are extracted from a photo.

The piece is 20″ square, hand stitched using both hand dyed and commercially printed cotton fabrics.

Bracken - close up of fractal quilt by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Close up of Bracken

Bracken - detail of fractal quilt by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Detail showing quilt stitches

A book is available with pictures of all the quilts. The quilts are travelling around the USA as a touring exhibition at various venues.