Tuesday, May 31, 2011

not only patchwork

When I am in Italy, I do squeeze in some time for "holidaying". Last week, some of my quilting friends and I went to Forte dei Marmi, near Firenze.

I took a picture of the trees. Look how they are pruned,
so they grow out flat. Good quilting design idea!
stopping for a rest. Great colour!!
Maria Teresa and I showing off our new bags!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Visit at Yoko Okuyama's Home

Yoko is a world-renowned architect and artist.

Yoko Okuyama and I celebrating at her home

She is from Japan and has been living in Verona for about 12 years.

view of Verona roof tops from her apartment window
The view reminds me of italian Daniela Cassani's work.

D. Cassani's work entitled: Lemon Trees in Town

With the help of Ad Maiora, Yoko is putting together a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the tsunami with all moneys collected going to the Japanese Red Cross.

The concert is on Sunday, May 29 @ 5:30 pm, at the Circolo Ufficial, concerto di musica lirica vocale. I plan to attend.
We were invited to celebrate the up-coming event at her home.

Her latest art works hung in her apartment are made of rice paper. Textile art.

Yoko and her art work

She has digitally transfered her work onto silk. Maria Teresa gave me one of the silk scarves as a gift! Lucky me to have wearable art!! and such a special friend. Thanks MT.

in front of the wisteria, notice the scarf!

Yoko and soprano Nami Shigihara wave good bye

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dijanne Cevaal

Dijanne is an Australian textile artist and my new friend.

Dijanne and I at Italia Invita in Parma
She was exhibiting at the Parma textile forum in May.

exhibition space for Dijanne Cevaal's works

detail of "All the Perfumes of Arabia"

detail of "Sentinals of the Earth" 

detail of Sentinals #1

you can view her work and read about her Sentinal series at
I served with her and two others as juror for the Herbarium national contest and learned so much from her comments.

All teachers were asked to participate in the FIRST and LAST exhibit. Embarrassing!!-but I agreed.

amazing that she could go from this to what she is doing now!
The exhibit was meant as an INSPIRATION
to all quilters and textile artists to keep going forward

It would not be fair if I did not put in MY first work (left) YIAKS!
entitled: "Sampler renamed Was'n Me!"
because I copied a pattern and the teacher chose my fabrics.
My last piece , Course Correction (right),
silk screen, paint, paper, thread, foil, netting, linen, cotton
At the moment, this piece is hanging at the wine event, Cantine Aperte,
at the Villa Monteleone in the Valpolicella.
I bought one of Dijanne's smaller pieces as a reminder of our time together. I'll bring it when I teach my free motion classes, seeing as I always show her book at the end of the class. She has just written another free motion idea book, published in french by Les Editions de Saxe, entitled "Le Pique-Libre - 72 nouveaux blocs". I have purchased it as another resource for my students.

We hope to be able to exhibit together in the near future. Thanks Dijanne for mentioning me on your blog!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

picture catch-up

Just recapping and adding pictures of some of the things I did in the last few weeks...
Remember Parma?

people preparing the prosciutto bar for lunch during the textile forum
Students Giovanna and Valentina working with paper in my class,
"Using Paper in Textile Art"

Student Monica's work in progress

Student Adriana's work in progress

Patriza Girlanda demonstrates at the JUKI booth,
the main sponsor for the event.
Her works hang behind her.

While in Parma I stayed in the country-  in Torrechiara.
the view from the kitchen window, the castle Torrechiara in the distance
morning view out the guest bathroom window-
what a way to wake up!
Below are some of the entries from the national contest, Herbarium.

entry by Giuliana Nicoli
Pia Puonti's work, contemporary category
a 3-d "garden" with REAL live insect
that found its way inside the exhibit hall!
Erika and Marzie's cooperative work
 first time they attemped free motion quilting!

Teresa Gai's work, art quilt category

Work by Maria Luisa Comand
title: Made in Italy, 50% seta, 50% cotone
Best of Show Award

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teaching in Bologna

Spent a great weekend in San Lazzaro di Savena, just outside Bologna, at Cucilandia Bologna, http://www.cucilandiabologna.it/

arriving by train
 What an amazing store! The students were enthusiastic and many signed up for all four classes.

I love all the mess as we create!

Orietta made a cherry clafouti for us to share during break.
 I love her "pie transporter". She made it!!
Which is the pie and which is the bag?

at dinner with store owner, Adele Fideghelli, and store partner and
sewing machine mechanic, Fausto Bonfiglioli

I had a walking tour of Bologna guided by Erika and Silvia, both creative quilters and artists!

walking with Erika in front of the Seven Churches, which are seven churches
built during different periods side by side and joined together
to accomodate the growing congregation
talking into the wall -something kids love to do because
as you talk the people behind you facing the other corner about 10 feet away
can hear you PERFECTLY! What fun!!

driving past the beginning of the arches

part of the 666 arches, Portico di San Luca

view of Bologna from the sanctuary San Luca

Silvia's textile work- the one she is holding up is entitled
"sotto gli alberi"

The hospitality was amazing!-at the store and at Adele's home. Thanks for the fabric, Erika, for the gelato and the walk, Teresa, and to everyone, thanks for our lunches, dinners and our time together. Thanks to Adele and husband, Leonardo, for everything. They sent me back to Verona with great memories and a kilo of fresh cherries picked by the contadino next to their house, a huge chunk of Parmiggiano Reggiano and a balsamic vinegar from Modena that is 35 years old, thick as honey.

They have invited me to return and share with them more of my scrap quilt projects. I look forward to recieving photos of their finished quilts! Don't forget ladies!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I am still here

Well, I am still in Italy doing lots of wonderful textile things but am having some trouble posting pictures.

I just returned from Parma where I taught (Using Paper in Textile Art) at their textile forum, Italia Invita. I was part of the jury for the national contest, Herbarium, along with Gabriella Manara (Italy, vice president of Quiltitalia), Philippa Naylor (artist, England) and Dijanne Cevaal (artist, Australia)- those of you who have taken my free motion class may remember Dijanne's book which I show at the end of class. I participated in the First and Last exhibit showing, of course, my first quilt and my last and also translated (english to italian) for two of Dijanne's classes.

It was a busy weekend seeing old friends and setting up more teaching and exhibits.

I have lots of great pictures to show you and as soon as I can I will post them!

Don't give up on me! Check back later.

Monday, May 9, 2011

latest teaching engagement

I am back in Italy. I just spent 4 days teaching in the north-west of the country. My friends picked me up in Bergamo where we walked around the city and had a wonderful lunch together.

Santa Maria Maggiore in Piazza Duomo, Bergamo
   Laura and Paola in Bergamo

We drove to Clusone, at 650 metres above sea level. Gorgeous views!

view at breakfast
view from the top of the hill in Clusone

 I love their streets.

The city also hosts a JAZZ FESTIVAL in July which was recently voted the 4th best in Italy! I left from Pisogne. The train choo-chooed all around the lake. So beautiful!

It is really wonderful sharing my love of textile and patchwork while discovering the country of Italy and making new friends.
a student's example of free motion quilting technique
students from one of the 7 classes I taught

Some will be driving to Parma and Bologna where I will be teaching in the next few weeks to see me and take some more classes. Two new friends are planning to drive the 1.5 hours to Verona at the end of the month to meet up with me.

I look forward to going back and teaching more classes at their store. The students were really great! They are looking forward to putting the tips and techniques they learned to work!

Laura and I in her back yard-love the mountains!

Thank you, Laura, for the opportunity, the laughs and the hospitality!!