Category Archives: Artist Dates

Artist Dates

All Dressed Up and a Transformation

Winter Bird by Maria Peagler

I couldn’t wait to dress up Winter Bird on my table, with my Christmas china, candles, and flowers.  My kids love having dinner by candlelight and think it’s quite a special occasion when I bring them out.

Winter Bird shadow by Maria Peagler

As I was arranging, adding, and editing the table setting, something started to happen.  Can you begin to see it here?

Winter Bird Light by Maria Peagler

The light.  Soft afternoon light streamed in my kitchen windows, to make long shadows and highlights on the table.  This is exactly the kind of still life I love to capture as a watercolor painter.  Gorgeous depths of color and value created by soft light.

Winter Bird Flowers by Maria Peagler

My kitchen, as well as my entire home, doesn’t get a lot of light.  Our neighborhood stresses a natural, subtle look to the homes, so no one has much in the way of large front windows.  But the back windows are where the sunlight invites itself in.

This elegant setting called for a special dinner:  homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  Yum.

A big welcome to the Color-of-the-Month pattern subscribers!  I can’t wait to see those table runner photos in the online forum.  I’ll be sending you the link to join by email.  Until then, I’ve got a birthday cake to make:  my older son turns 14 tomorrow!

White: January’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to a new feature in 2010 here at Quilts & Creativity:  Color of the Month.  The first Tuesday of each month, I’ll be featuring quilt and fabric designers and how they use the featured color in their palettes.

This month?  White!  Get tips and see quilts from your favorite designers for your own quilts.

5 Creative Ways to Use White in Your Quilt Color Palette

Note:  Slideshare is having technical difficulties, so here are the links for each designer:

Vickie Oehlke, Willowberry Lane, Lattice Stars quilt

Yolanda Fundora, Garden Party, Seascape quilt

Pat Sloan, A Baker’s Dozen

Mary Kay Mouton, Flip-Flop Paper Piecing

Maria Peagler, Winter Bird

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks: Old Glory is Mine!

old-glory-by-maria-peagler

When Carolyn Beam from Quiltmaker asked me to participate in their 100 Blocks issue I was thrilled to contribute, as Quiltmaker is the magazine I recommend most to my students.  It’s a great learning tool, and their 100 Blocks collector’s issue does not disappoint.  It’s packed with appliqued, pieced, and mixed-technique blocks, so no matter what your taste, you’ll find something that you love and can’t wait to make.

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Here’s a sneak peak at the behind-the-scenes detail of my block:

Inspiration: I used my color journal as I discuss in Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts.  You would think I already know what’s in my own journals as often as I write about them.  I was wowed by how many patriotic quilts and memorabilia I had pasted in those pages.  I have three patriotic quilts in my den (above the mantel, over the sofa, and on the foyer wall), but I knew a patriotic block would be a classic that quilters would love to make and use often.  I do wish I could have included photos of my journals here, but they are at Quilter’s Newsletter being photographed for an upcoming excerpt of my book.

Design: I adore simple, elegant blocks, and do not enjoy making quilt blocks with a lot of tiny little pieces.  It’s actually far more difficult to design a simple block that looks sophisticated than it is to make one with 70 pieces.  This one came together after I remembered my mission:  Connecting, Playing, and Longevity.  Old Glory connects me with so many other women of generations past who honored their country by making patriotic quilts.  Playing?  I had fun playing with the pinwheel design in the star area of the block.  I played with several options and decided on this version after I loved the movement it created.  And what block design could have more longevity than a patriotic block?  It’s one that will be made again and again.

Colors:
Red, white and blue of course, but which ones?  The flag block needs high contrast for each part of the design to show well.  I mapped the hue, value, and intensity of each color, so I’d know exactly which ones would work together to create harmony.  Blue is the easiest, as navy is the classic dark, dull blue used in most flags and quilt blocks.  So what about the red and white?  I went to my stash and found two red fabrics:  both pure red (no orange or raspberry hues) and they were a dull intensity and medium value.  The white fabrics were both bright white and would be more intense than cream or off white, but were needed to balance the navy and red.  I adore how they all coordinate to give a crisp look.

Construction: Here’s a secret:  all 1/4″ seams are not created equal.  For this block, and others I’m making for a quilt I designed for a fabric manufacturer’s block of the month, I find a true 1/4″ seam works well for strip piecing.  However, when you piece triangles, a scant 1/4″ is far more accurate, as a true 1/4″ makes the block too small.  Try it on the Old Glory block and it you’ll find this method works beautifully and gives super-accurate results.

I envision Old Glory set in a quilt with alternating plain blocks and lots of gorgeous feather quilting.  Wouldn’t it look great for July 4th?

Follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily Nov. 9-13 at  for inspiration, ideas and giveaways! The collector’s issue is in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at the Quiltmaker website.

Here’s your own chance to win the issue and make your own quilt using Old Glory!  Leave a comment telling me how you would use Old Glory in your quilt or project, and I’ll choose a winner Thursday.  Watch here for your name to be announced!

Do I Need an Excuse to Visit a Quilt Shop?

More photos from my trip to Athens and Dragonfly Quilt Shop.  As you walk in the shop you’re surrounded by gorgeous fabrics and samples that you can’t wait to make!  Love the beautiful white armoire filled with goodies.  The shop had a Kaffe Fassett table to get quilters excited about his workshop at Dragonfly.  Deb stands next to her quilt made with Kaffe fabrics.  I loved the Dresden Plate quilt – it looked totally vintage.

After I gave Annette her color consultation and we recorded the video, the Cotton Patch Quilters and I went to dinner at Loco’s, which started in Athens.  The moose tells their story.  Later I gave my Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color lecture, but no photos:  it was a whirlwind to end by 9p.m.!

Last, but not least, my Machine Quilting students at Sew Memorable Quilt Shop in Dawsonville.  We had a full house and ladies came with all-metal Singer sewing machines to the latest new Viking, and you know what?  They were all successful!  Can’t wait to see those quilts, girls!

Behind the Scenes

After I shot this video at Dragonfly Quilt Shop in Watkinsville, GA, I gave a lecture to the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild in Athens, and drove home for a late-night arrival.  The same day, my elder son attended a workshop at the local Apple store on how to use iMovie.

I’ve been the computer expert in our home for a long time, and I taught my son how to use Word, how to navigate the internet (with supervision), and even how to create a blog for a math project.  So he was excited to help me with my video.

I planned on creating a black screen with a white title for the Title screen and ending credits, which I can do with the Flip software that came with my camera.  But after he saw my results, he offered to help me do much better.

He showed me how to create the fancy title screen with my book’s cover and the white title superimposed over it, and the ending black frames with the credits on them.  Actually, he wanted to do it all himself, but I’m trying to teach him how to educate others:  never do for them what you can help them to do themselves.

That’s my same motto for my classes.  I never do the work for my students, or else they won’t be able to replicate their experience when they get home.  I gently guide students as to how to achieve results, and everyone’s path there is different.

So thanks, son.  My video looks oh-so-much better.  Who knows what you’ll be teaching me next?

Georgia Quilt Council’s Fall Convention

Quilts on the Square

Last weekend I attended the fall convention of the Georgia Quilt Council in Carrollton, GA.  After all the years I’ve been quilting, this was my first time attending the council’s meeting, and I was impressed.  These ladies know quilting and know Georgia.  I met many wonderful quilters, appraisers, shop owners, historians, guild officers, and teachers.  It was a “who’s who” of quilters in Georgia.  I was so busy in my booth I didn’t take photos of the speakers, but here’s peek at one of the quilts displayed at the convention:

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Carrollton welcomed us with quilts hung in the shop windows on the town square:

Carrollton GQC Quilts

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Quilts Hung in Bookstore

Next was a tour of the facility that will house the new Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum:

Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum facility

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The above photo is of an interior wall of the facility, which used to house cotton bales for GoldKist.  The building was badly burned in a fire in the early 1900’s, and you can still see the outline of the hay bales on the walls.

I had a lovely time at the fall convention, and here’s a quick bulletin of events coming up and an invitation to join me.  If you can’t, hop on over to my Color Mastery blog and enjoy the resources there until you can attend one my lectures or workshops:

Oct. 13, Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color, Cotton Patch Quilters, Athens, GA

Oct. 17, Machine Quilting Mastery, Sew Memorable, Dawsonville, GA

Nov. 7, Color Mastery for Any Quilter, Quilt Shop on the Square, Ellijay, GA

Nov. 23, Simple Color, Stunning Quilts, Scrappy Quilt Guild, Calhoun, GA

Hope to see you soon in one of my workshops – let’s make a colorful quilt together!

Beautiful Mondays

Amicalola Falls on a Sunny, Fall day

Most people dread Mondays.  After all, they mean back to work, away from home and family.  And rainy Mondays are the worst – as it’s doing here in Georgia today (the photo is from Amicalola Falls on a sunnier day).

I’m deciding on a different outlook.  Mondays present a great day of opportunity.  Monday is a day to start fresh, with an entire week of possibilities ahead.  I can’t wait to see what this week brings.  I’m looking forward to new quilt design ideas, fun business opportunities, friendships, and time with my family during Fall break.

What opportunities await you this Monday?

Okay, here’s one:  I produced a new video on fall’s two hottest colors this season, and it’s over at my Color Mastery blog.  Check it out.  Who knows what possibilities await in your stash or the quilt shop?

Side Trip

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We spent last weekend with family attending my father-in-law George’s funeral.  My boys were dreading the long drive home, so I scheduled a side trip to break up the drive and work in a little history as well.  I guess once you’ve been a homeschooling mom, you’re always looking for those teachable moments.

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We decided to stop at Andersonville, the civil war prison site for Union soldiers.  It wasn’t exactly on the way, but we felt like it was important enough to make our trip significantly longer.  My younger son did the Junior Ranger activities and earned his badge, while my older son enjoyed our driving tour, stopping at sites to look and learn.

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13,000 soldiers died at Andersonville, and many states whose dead were among those later erected monuments in their memory.  The Womans Relief Corps had more than one statue, and I did a rubbing of their insignia.

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Of course, I had to know if a quilt had been made to honor any of these soldiers, and there was (please see update below).  James George, a Union soldier who had been captured and stayed at Andersonville six months, later recovered at a Washington D.C. hospital, where Boston women made James an album quilt.

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From the Permanent Collection of the New England Quilt Museum, Photo by David Stansbury.

I have received an email from Judy Schwender, Curator of Collections at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, which offered the following:

There is no definitive evidence that the quilt was given directly to the Union soldier James George by the makers. Since I first saw this quilt ten years ago, I have been gathering information on its history. There is no indication from either the family history, including documents, which states this was the process. If you wish to read what has been uncovered to date, please see the book “Massachusetts Quilts Our Common Wealth”. An essay written by Anita Loscalzo and myself, along with wonderful photographs, can be found on pages 252 through 256. I am continuing the search for information and hope to complete a paper on this wonderful quilt in the near future.

Both Anita and Vivian are skilled quilt historians.  An excellent resource for quilt history is Uncoverings, the journal of the American Quilt Study Group.  You can find out more about articles from this journal athttp://www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/uncoveringSearch.asp .

Seems a bit of controversy surrounds the origins of this quilt and no definitive answer exists.

Fall Workshops and Quilt Shows

Fall just begs for a new quilt, doesn’t it?  I have only a couple of workshops left in the fall schedule!  Be good to yourself and schedule an artist date by signing up for my workshops.  Then get even more inspiration at the fabulous quilt shows coming up – of course I expect you to stop by my booth to say “Hi!” Here’s where I’ll be:

Facebook for Quilters

How would you like to have an exclusive one-on-one color consultation with me for your next quilt?  My July 2009 email newsletter has a special section on social media for quilters.  Today we’ll look at specific ways you can use Facebook to connect with like-minded quilters across the globe, and how you can win a one-on-one color consultation with me! Facebook is a great way to share and talk with the big names in quilting you may not ever have a chance to meet in person, as well as chatting with quilting friends between guild meetings.

Color Mastery on Facebook

Did you know the fastest growing group on Facebook is the 55+ demographic?  Quilters, from hobbyists to professionals like Mark Lipinski, Jodie Davis, Lazy Girl Joan Hawley, and me share and connect with fans and quilting community.  I connect with my students, readers, friends who’ve moved to far-away states, elementary school pals and neighbors on Facebook.

Try it and join my Color Mastery fan page.  Everyone who becomes a fan this week will be entered into the contest to win a color consultation with me on their next quilt.  I’ll announce the winner on the color Mastery fan page on Monday, Aug. 17.  There you’ll see my latest news, events, videos, and catch up!  Join at http://www.facebook.com.  I’m at http://www.facebook.com/mariapeagler.

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Here’s a short video on how Facebook works:

Next up:  Twitter for Quilters!

Art Week: Gee’s Bend Quilts

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Today’s the final day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week, and I’m concluding with a bang:  quilts from the Gee’s Bend quilters.  I’ve featured works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Previously I featured works of sculptureglass, and wood.

Even though the Gee’s Bend quilters are from our neighboring state of Alabama, I’ve managed to miss every gallery showing of their quilts.  When they were at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, our family was in the middle of a move.  When a play based on their story was featured in Dahlonega, I was teaching.  I’ve finally gotten to see their quilts in person!

More pieces from the show:

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Gee’s Bend quilters rely on simple designs and piecing, coupled with bold color schemes for a dramatic impact.

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This is a Housetop design, a variation of Log Cabin, often seen in Gee’s Bend quilts.

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The exhibit is in a show home in Big Canoe, and this is one of its closets.  This would be my dream closet, full of about $35,000 worth of Gee’s Bend quilts, at least.

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So much of color is intuitive – even with no formal art training, this quilter used the complementary colors of yellow and violet for vivid contrast.

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A bold interpretation of a Bow-Tie quilt, done in black and white solids.  Wow.

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The red fabric in this quilt is satin and it practically glows.  You can see the sheen in the photograph, but it’s even greater in person.

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The fine art show included some smaller Gee’s Bend quilts in the $500 price range for people who wanted to start their art collections at a smaller scale.

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This quilt was my personal favorite, as it had so much going on I could have looked at it for hours and admired the fabrics and piecing.  The quilting was a simple cross-hatching, just perfect for a quilt that had such busy piecing.

The Big Canoe Fine Art show continues through July 19, and you can stop by and say hello to my husband David of Peagler Custom Homes.  He has two gorgeous homes, one on the golf course, and another on the lake, that are themselves works of art.

Tonight I’ll be at the Ann Litrel gallery from 5-9p.m., and I’ll be speaking on “Color Artistry in Quilt Creation.”  Hans Rueffert, the local Jasper chef and Food Network star will be cooking up dishes across the street at FoxTales Book Shoppe and signing his visual feast of a cook book, Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow.  I own a copy of his cookbook and you should too.  Hans found out he had stomach cancer after his stint on Food Network and has a philosophy on life that is not to be missed.  Tonight’s Friday Night Live theme is Beach Party.  See you there!

Art Week: Wood

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It’s wood day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week.  I’m featuring works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Previously I featured sculpture and glass.

The wood pieces in the Big Canoe Fine Art show ranged from furniture to instruments to models, and they were intricate, superbly-crafted, and sophisticated in design and theme.

The sideboard shown above housed beautiful stained-glass inserts in the doors, and the sides of the sideboard had concave curves instead of straight lines.  Not easy to do.

More pieces from the show:

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Twig chair with leather seat and carved back.

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Hand-carved barnyard and barn.

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Exquisite armoire with burled wood.

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Funky vanity with working soap dish and drawer.

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Beautiful chest with hand-forged iron detail.

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My favorite piece:  a handcrafted mandolin, lovely to see and hear!

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And a sneak peek at tomorrow’s quilt day from the show:  two Gee’s Bend quilts in a study with a desk that has a propeller in the top.

Quilt show this week at Ann Litrel gallery.  My talk is tomorrow, July 3rd, at 7p.m.  Friday Night Live in Woodstock runs from 5-9p.m. and it’s Beach Party-themed this month.  See you there!

Art Week: Glass

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It’s glass day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week.  I’m featuring works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Yesterday was sculpture and you can see it here.

The glass-blown artwork in the Big Canoe Fine Art show was gorgeous, light-filled, and oh-so-delicate!  I’m not in the right phase of life to have fragile sculptures like these in my home.  Two active sons and a dog don’t make for an art-display friendly environment.  That’s what made it so fun to view it in another home!

Two more photos from the show:

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Quilt show this week at Ann Litrel gallery.  My talk is Friday, July 3rd, at 7p.m.  Friday Night Live in Woodstock runs from 5-9p.m. and it’s Beach Party-themed this month.  See you there!

Art Week: Sculpture Day

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It’s art week here at Quilts & Creativity, in honor of my upcoming talk at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock. I dropped off the quilts today and got a behind-the-scenes tour from Ann, and her gallery is gorgeous. Her paintings are luscious and color-rich.

I’ll be talking about my color inspiration, how I approach color in my art, and how color in quilts is truly unique from other art forms.  Join us for a fun night out on Friday, July 3 at 7p.m.  Woodstock will be hosting its monthly Friday Night Live, where shops, restaurants and merchants stay open late until 9p.m.  It’s a great family night out for everyone.

I also attended the Big Canoe Fine Art Show and was delighted with the vibrant colors, shapes, and textures contained in the exhibit.  I’ll be sharing photos with you each day, revolving around a theme.  Today is sculpture, Wed. will be glass, Thursday will be wood, and Friday will be quilts, Gee’s Bend quilts to be exact.  Don’t miss a single day!

Here are some of the sculptures by local artist Eric Strauss of Ellijay, GA:

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Artful gate.

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Gate detail.  The roses look like you could pluck them right off the gate.

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Reminiscent of Leonardo’s horse.

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Whimsical birds in a fountain.  The gurgling water sounded meditative.

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This sculpture greeted us as we drove toward the Art Show home.

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Oversized apple and pear, with blown-glass and metal sculptures in background.

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This bowl radiated color and light.

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Mother and child.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing glass pieces from the show.  Enjoy – and stop by for a visit if you live in north Georgia.  It’s gorgeous in the mountains right now!

A Real Book’s Lasting Value

Color Mastery Fan

I want my work to last.  Longevity is one of the three main goals I have for my books.  The other two?  A post for another day.

I realized long ago that it took just as long to write a book that was trendy and out of print after two years as it did to write a classic.  And as a quilter and artist, I appreciate books that provide me with lessons for years to come.

Bookshelf

I often hear people complain about how expensive books are, which is why I go for those that provide me with lasting value.  I enjoy patterns, booklets, and other fun diversions.  But they don’t have the lasting value of a book.

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Color Mastery has nine quilt projects.  If you bought them individually in a pattern, each would average $15.00.  Multiply that times nine and you get $135.00.

Color Mastery also has 11 exercises, and has twelve months worth of class material.  I teach shop owners how they can offer a different class each month using the exercises and projects in the book.  A full-day class averages about $60.00, and 12 of them would be $720.00.

$135.00 worth of patterns/projects, and $720.00 worth of classes is a total of $855.00.  Still think a book is expensive?  Look’s like the world’s best bargain to me.

The real test of a book-lover’s book is this:  does it provide those things that make a reader’s life easier, that will make the book last, and makes it easy to find, or get more information?  I printed Color Mastery on museum-quality paper using the best photographer and printer in the industry.

I included an index to make information easy to find.  Look at the latest quilt book you bought:  I bet it doesn’t have one.  Publishers are skimping on this kind of stuff and betting you won’t notice.  Bibliographies too.  I want to know how to find out more information when I’m interested in a topic, and I know my readers do too.  And librarians love them.

Does the book’s binding last?  Is it sewn or glued?  Color Mastery’s is sewn, of course.  And it has a spine, so you can find it on a store shelf or your own.

Look for these qualities when you buy a book.  Be a discerning consumer.  Expect them in your books and ask for them.  And support quilt book authors who give you the best.

Color Mastery Gallery Talk

Ann Litrell, a local painter in Woodstock, Georgia, invited me to speak at her gallery event to raise funds for charity.  Here are the details from Ann:

Gallery Show and Fundraiser – The Colors of HOPE: Author and quilter Maria Peagler, with local quilter Mary Litrel, will show selected quilts from their collections at the gallery on July 2-4. Ms. Peagler will give a talk on Friday evening at the gallery for the Woodstock Friday Night Live event. “Color Artistry in Quilt Creation,” 7 pm.

A quilt by Mary Litrel, entitled ” Esperanza,” will be donated for a raffle, with funds being raised for the HOPE Center in Woodstock. The final raffle drawing and winner will be announced immediately following the Freedom Run in downtown Woodstock on July 4. Raffle tickets will be sold at Ann Litrel Art, and at Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists in Canton, www.cherokeewomenshealth.com.

If you’ve never visited downtown Woodstock, you owe it to yourself to check it out:  it is absolutely charming.  Quaint.  All those adjectives for a downtown area you can stroll through and never want to leave.  It’ll be a great way to spend a hot summer day and evening.

Ann is an excellent artist, and has a collection of her paintings at her website.  Don’t miss the Woodstock Depot series, where she paints the local train depot in the styles of great masters Monet, Van Gogh, and others.  That takes talent.  Then check out my own Learning from the Masters series on the great quilters of today and what we can learn from them.

Event:  Color Mastery Gallery Lecture
Date:    July 3, 2009
Time:   7p.m.
Location:  Ann Litrel Art, Woodstock

Gather your quilting girlfriends and make it a girls’ nite out to benefit a great organization.

Self-Portrait

I took this photo of me around Mother’s Day.  I’m in my bedroom, painted a creamy yellow color, which I love but so many find it difficult to get right.  Behind me is a quilt made for me by my bee group:  we each asked for specific blocks that we would put into a quilt, and I wanted house blocks.  The whole notion of home and nesting I love, and this quilt hangs in my room to remind me of home, family and friends.  Many made the traditional Schoolhouse block, but Ginger made a Mayan ruin reminiscent of her trips to Mexico, Cheryl made a birdhouse, and my funky home sits in the center.

My boys’ artwork and photos are tucked into every nook of my dresser, which we’ve had since our first apartment.  It was our first big purchase, and was oversized for a tiny apartment, but has proven durable and fit into our homes since.  The artwork is my favorite way to greet the day, and includes a bookmark from kindergarten, a Mother’s day bonnet made from a paper plate, a sonogram photo of a baby that didn’t make it to us, birth announcements, and even my own class photo from first grade.  I take a copy of this and show it to the students I speak to at schools.  Giggles abound as they try to pick me out of the class photos, and it helps to show them that even adults were kids once!

I could have all these precious items in an album, but I prefer to have them out where I can see them everyday, touch them, and remind me of what a delightful and abundant life I have.

Magical Moments

Sketching mesmerizes people.  When people learn I’m a quilter, they often offer comments such as, “Oh, my grandmother did that,” or “I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that.”

But tell them I sketch, or even better if they see me sketching, and they are truly facsinated.  They stop what they are doing to watch me or even come over to watch my penstrokes on the page.  Sketching really does attract a crowd.

My friend Karin took these photos at Symphony on the Green, including these of my family:

An orchestra, art, family, and a beautiful day.  A perfect summer recipe.

And a by-the-way note:  Annette, one of my students at the Stitching Barn Color Mastery class, tried my recipe for the Five Bean Pot from my May/June email newsletter.  She noticed, however, it called for only four cans of beans.  The can of baked beans is the large, double can, and I count that as the fifth can of beans.  Since I have kids at home, I try to make my recipes as kid-friendly as possible, so that’s why only four types of beans in the Five Bean Pot recipe.

Annette loved the recipe and you will too!  You can see my newsletters over here.  And sign up for them here.

Color Mastery Workshop at Stitching Barn

Color Mastery Workshop at the Stitching Barn

I spent a gorgeous weekend in Eatonton, GA, near Lake Oconee at a delightful new shop called the Stitching Barn.  Becky Pittman held her grand opening last week and invited me to present a Color Mastery workshop on Saturday.

The shop really was an old dairy barn and is absolutely charming, both inside and out.  Here are photos of the front, with a lovely porch and old equipment.

Stitching Barn Front

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Becky has not only lovely fabric, but knitting and smocking supplies as well.  I met her knitting and smocking teachers, both experts and so willing to share with their students.  Becky runs the shop with her daughters, so quilting is a family affair for the Pittmans.

Great retreat potential at the Stitching Barn.  Gather your quilting buddies, rent a lake house, and take a workshop from Becky.  Sounds like a delightful plan to me.  Let’s go!

Over at my Color Mastery blog, I’ve posted photos of the exercises we do in class and some interesting results we had from them.  Don’t miss it!

My Picks from Spring Quilt Market 2009

As I walked the aisles of Spring Quilt Market, I saw hundreds of quilts, but only a few really stood out as having an outstanding use of color.  Here are two of my favorites:

Pam Mostek's Picadilly quilt

This quilt is from Pamela Mostek’s Piccadilly fabric line, and it is stunning.  My photography does not do it justice.  The violets, greens, browns, and yellow-orange colors in her fabrics come together to make an outstanding symphony of color.

Mellow Yellow quilt

Remember here when I shared the forecast for new colors?  Here are black and yellow, and put together in an adorable quilt.  The manufacturer had three quilts made from this fabric line, and this was my favorite.

Favorite products?

Pincushions!  Can a girl ever have too many pincushions?   I know I certainly can’t, and I fell in love with these:  Fruit Salad Pincushions from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.  Oversized strawberries and watermelons, filled with  Sweet Dream cotton stuffing from Quilter ‘s Dream so the pincushion stays in place, instead of falling off of my cutting and sewing tables.  Definitely on my summer To-Do list.

Batting!  Quilter’s Dream is my absolute favorite batting to use, as it makes machine quilting easier and less of a chore to glide the quilt sandwich through the machine.  Not only do they have the awesome new Sweet Dreams 100% cotton stuffing (mentioned above for the pincushions), they also have a new product made from recyclable plastic bottles, and I can’t wait to use it.  It’s called Dream Green, and it’s actually a light green color and feels great.  Again, a must-try for the summer.

Fabric!  Here’s a stunner, but my favorite fabric from this spring’s quilt market actually is a line of neutrals from Maywood Studio called Paisley.  It draped their tables, my buddy Joan Hawley has a new Claire handbag made from it, and they had a Birds and Bees quilt made from it that was beautiful.

I know I’ve got all kinds of project waiting for me in my quilt studio.  It’s been too long away from my sewing machine, my journal, and my fabric.  Excuse me, but I’ve got to get quilting!

Spring Quilt Market Round Up

Shop Owners and Teachers at Color Mastery Schoolhouse Lecture

I attended Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh this year as a vendor for the first time.  It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with quilt shop owners and teachers to find out what they needed from publishers.  Here I’m educating shop owners on Color Mastery and the twelve months of classes they can teach from it.

An amazing transformation happens at Quilt Market:  it starts as an empty convention center and in the span of two days magically becomes the most beautiful city of quilts you can imagine.  Here’s the before and after of the Willow Ridge Press booth:

Willow Ridge Press booth before

The necessities every booth must have, complete with adoring husband ready to help!

Maria Peagler in Willow Ridge Press booth at Spring 2009 Quilt Market

And here’s the booth finished with all the quilts, books, handouts, the author herself, and of course, chocolate!

I met all kinds of wonderful people, like Bev Vollaire Ferro of Tiger Tape, Mark Lipinski, saw my buddy Kay Mackenzie, my photographer Gregory Case, and here’s Beth from Lizzy B Cre8tive in my booth:

Beth of Lizzy B Cre8tive and Maria at Spring Market

Tomorrow I’ll show you my faves from all the new quilts, fabrics, and patterns the best and brightest in the quilt world are offering.

A Color Feast at Sew Bee It

First impressions mean a lot, and I was greeted with a feast of color and a warm welcome as I entered Sew Bee It quilt shop in Ringgold, GA.  Owner Gloria Black gave me a warm hug, introduced me to her fantastic staff, and gave me a tour around her incredible shop.

If I worked at Gloria’s shop, I’d be broke all the time, because every dime of my paycheck would go for the fabric she offers.  Tons of Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler, Meinke, dupioni silk, beautiful threads and embellishments.  And the samples.  Lots of samples!  And book! I could go on, but you get the idea.  Gorgeous stuff.

We had about 70 quilters attend the lecture on color – a packed house for a small quilt shop!

I will definitely visit again when I have time for some retail therapy.  Until then, next stop:  Sew Much Fun in Columbus, GA!

Color Lecture, Southern-Style

All we were missing was a glass of iced tea as I gave my Color Mastery on the front porch of Magical Threads in Dahlonega, GA.  Pictured here with me are Betty, LeAnn, Anita, Cheri, and DeLynn.  Anita and LeAnn were just starting out as quilters, having made several baby quilts, while Cheri and DeLynn were art quilters.  And they were all thrilled to learn how they can each use their favorite colors in their own quilts, even though they all like different colors and have unique styles.

I’ll be away from home and the computer as I travel to middle and south Georgia this weekend and early next week, and promise more tour photos and news to come!

My Slideshow’s Gone Viral

Guess what? I’m a Rock Star!! Or so says the team over at Slideshare.net. They notified me my slideshow on How to Make a Quilter’s Color Wheel has gone viral, with over 400,000 views.
Here’s the link to the slideshow and the free color wheel chart you can download to do your own. If you enjoyed the slideshow, check out the video tutorials I’ve done on YouTube: short, fun, easy tips on how to get better color in your quilts. I post a new one each month, so subscribe and get them delivered to your mailbox. I’ve got a variety of ways you can stay in touch. You can subscribe to my blog, to my email newsletter, and to my YouTube channel.

My middle-school-aged son will never believe it: Mom’s a Rock Star!