Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Official Welcome from Alice

Although ideally, blogs are short, this "official welcome" is important to have to have on record for reference. I have added "welcome" in the Labels area so that it can be Searched for later.

Greetings to Linda, Andrea, Petra, Carolyn, Patti, and Jane!

Rita, Judy, and I met this morning and we have now set up our group and the guidelines.  First the group--our names and where we live!

Alice Baird--Waco, TX
Patti Brooks-Temple, TX
Judy Steward--Hewitt, TX
Rita Schormann--China Spring, TX (Hewitt and China Spring are suburban communities adjacent to Waco)
Carolyn Henson--Dallas, TX
Linda Hicks--Boston, MS
Andrea Willey--Boston, MS
Petra Sharp--Scotland
Jane McTavish--Scotland

As we get to know one another through our quilts and the comments about them, you'll learn more about each of us.  We range from being long-time quilters to novices, to those with formal art training to, again, true beginners.  I would imagine that our ages range from being quite young (from my vantage point!) to being of grandmotherly age.  All of us, though, share a love of quilting and a keen desire to hone our skills at art quilting.  Some of us will continue to keep one foot in the door of traditional quilting, while perhaps others have turned their backs on that and focus now solely on art quilts.  All this we'll learn as our group gets underway.

Here are the guidelines that Judy, Rita, and I came up with:
1.  The quilts will be 12"x12" finished.
2.  They will be "quilts" in the sense of being sandwiched with top, batting, and backing.
3.  The quilt's edges will be finished, but the sky's the limit here.  You can bind them conventionally, turn the backing to the front, zig zag or otherwise decoratively stitch the edges, or even be as "far out" as one of the original 12x12ers were and bind with flexible metal!  Whatever you choose is fine, just so that the edges aren't left raw.

Oh, and the quilts will be truly "quilted"--but again, how and how much is up to you!  Some of us will machine quilt, some will hand-quilt, some will do a combination.  Anything goes here as well!  Some may choose to add embellishments, others may not ever do this.  All of this is up to the individual quilter!
4.  The quilts will be based on themes, which might be either abstract or concrete, again as did the original 12x12 group.
5.  We drew names for the order in which the themes will be chosen.  (more about this later)
6.  We will have two months to complete our small quilts after the theme is announced.
7.  Quilts will be "due" on the 15th day of a month.  Our first one will be "due" on September 15, 2011.
8.  On the day we "reveal" our quilts (hopefully turning them in by posting on The Material Mavens blog), the quilter's whose turn it is to choose the theme will announce the theme.
9.  This first time, the theme chooser will let all of us know by JULY 15, 2011,  what our theme for the first quilt will be.
10.  Here are the names we drew and who will be selecting the theme for which month's quilt:

(1) Carolyn chooses theme #1 on July 15, for the quilt due on Sept. 15, 2011.
(2) Linda chooses theme #2 on Sept. 15, 2011, for November, 2011's quilt.
(3) Jane chooses theme #3 on Nov. 15, 2011, for January, 2012's quilt.
(4) Judy chooses theme #4 on Jan. 15, 2012,  for March, 2012's quilt.
(5) Rita chooses theme #5 on Mar. 15, 2012, for May, 2012's quilt.
(6) Patti chooses theme #6 on May 15, 2012, for July 2012's quilt.
(7) Andrea chooses theme #7 on July 15, 2012, for Sept. 2012's quilt.
(8) Alice chooses theme #8 for on Sept. 15, 2012,  Nov. 2012's quilt.
(9) Petra chooses theme #9 on Nov. 15, 2012,  for Jan 2013's quilt.

Judy, Rita, and I are all so excited about this new group we are a part of!  I can hardly wait to hear what theme Carolyn comes up with!

As for our revealing our quilts and reporting on them--the most efficient way to do this long-distance is to blog about them.  I have already set up our group's blog.  In my first post, I explained how to join Google so that you can post on Blogger (a Google-based blog program), and then I outlined the steps you take for posting and for uploading photos of your quilt on the blog.  

I walked Rita through the steps today during our meeting.  Rita, Judy, Linda, and Andrea have already "joined" the blog as authors.  I will be emailing each one of you, inviting you to join this group blog.  When you receive the email, it will explain to you how to go to the blog and "accept" the invitation.  Essential in doing the revealing in this manner is having a digital camera and knowing how to post photos!  If anyone does not have a digital, perhaps you could print a photo, mail it to me along with the narrative which discusses the quilt, and I will post it for you.  But you'd have to do this prior to the deadline, so that everyone can read about and see your quilt on the "due date"! 

I have set the blog up so that anyone can comment.  You just type your comment into the comment box, sign in with your Google account (if you've set that up), or sign in anonymously.  To do that, just use the pulldown menu and click on anonymous.  Please, all of you, try doing that and commenting so that I'll know that you got to the blog!  If you do sign in anonymously, put your name in the comment box along with your comment! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet Judy, Alice, and Rita!

Judy Steward in blue, Alice  in pink, and Rita in tan!  Rita and I took off our glasses because the light from the window was reflecting off our specs!  We look happy and excited, and we are, because we are delighted about The Material Mavens!

I am hoping that each one of the "authors" of this blog will post a picture of yourself.  Then, as the summer goes by and we are all working on our first quilts for this group, perhaps each of you will write a short paragraph, introducing yourself to the rest of us.

Coast to coast quilt connection

Here in Boston, it was fun visiting with Alice, Judy and Rita in TX via Skype and hearing a summary of what they talked about at the first meeting. I look forward to hearing Carolyn Henson's theme for July-September and then thinking of mine for the next session. Hope the Waco trio can find themselves on the computer.

Greetings from Rita, Judy, and Alice!

The stash in Alice's quilting room--this is in lieu of the photo we took of the three of us and then could not find on Alice's computer!  She has much to learn about her new iMac.  Sorry!
Greetings, friends!  Alice will soon be emailing everyone with what we've come up with about our art quilt group.  Right now Alice is showing Rita how to post a blog.  Stay tuned for more exciting news!  Bye for now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I talked to Patti and she is on board to be a part of our group. Her final day of work is Thurs. so she is looking forward to retirement and taking every opportunity she can to do things she wants to do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Step--Set Up a Blog!

I've set up a blog for our 12 x 12 type quilting group.  This will be the place where we will show our quilts every 60 days in digital images that we post here.  We will also briefly describe the process of constructing our quilts.  In that description, you might

1.  give your first reaction to learning of the new theme
2.  talk a bit about the planning stage
3.  talk about the construction of the quilt, once you had an idea you felt you could work with
4.  include details such as techniques (piecing, applique, etc), the fabrics and any other products you used, what sort of batting, what's on the back, etc.
5.  how did you finish the edges of the quilt

I am the "administrator" of the blog, but I will add each of our group members as "authors," which means that you can go to this blog and compose on it.

Blogging really isn't difficult.  It involves some very simple, straight-forward steps:

1.  First, you'll need a Google account.  Just go to Google and type in "getting a Google account" and you'll be directed to a page where you can set it up.  You will use your own email address (it doesn't have to be Gmail) and you'll create your own password.
2.  I will have added you already as an "author" to this Blog, of which I am "administrator."
3.  Once you have your Google account and your password, you will go to Blogger and sign in.  Just Google "Blogger sign in" and it'll get you there.
4.  Sign in with your email address and your new Google Account password.
5.  Then you'll be directed to your "Dashboard".  There you'll click on New Post.
6.  Once you get to the page where you compose, you title your post.  Let's all title our posts with our first names, the theme, and then whatever you've titled your quilt.  Thus suppose our first theme is "summertime."  So I would title my post as Alice's Summertime Quilt--And the Livin' Is Easy, for example.
7.  Then you'll click on the little photo icon in the toolbar, and that'll take you to a page where you can
add images.  You'll browse for your quilt's photo on your computer, open it, and voila, soon it will appear in the box on this page.  You'll select it, and voila, it appears on your post.
8.  After you write your post, you'll click on publish.   From there you get a page that will let you view your post.  All of the other group members will be checking in to see who's posted and when they see yours, they'll go to it.  We can then all make comments about each other's quilts and posts down below on the Comments section.