Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missing You

I can't really say I "miss" stuff when I am here in the south of Italy.

August 25 photo diary project

But I have noticed I miss making quilts. I miss my fabric.

My friend sent me an email with a picture of her workspace. Nothing set up -just a picture of what the space looked like. She and I sew together sometimes. I really loved that she sent me that.

Gail's quilt

Author Margaret Atwood described quilts as flags (taken from Judy's Journal)

Reading Amy Friend's blog this morning, I see that comparison again. I love that thought! Thinking of the motion of a flag when one is under a quilt. Moving, alive, being blown by the wind. It's beautiful. I miss my quilts.

I leave the beach on Monday..

... and head north to Verona where I will be confirming the itinerary for next year's group trip (May 15 to 24). I will be sewing at the Ad Maiora studio for sure.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hand Work

No one in this town does stitching but many crochet. I have seen some beautiful things-table cloths and centro tavola, as they call them.

My friend Lina makes blankets. She used all her leftover bits of yarn to make this colourful work. She made hexagons and then sewed them together by hand.

Lina's crocheted blanket

She used the same pattern for this white one but made the flowers smaller. It is made of cotton.

It is a baby gift...although she is not sure which baby (sound familiar?)

She has them stored in a cupboard as she makes so many (sound familiar?)

Too Much Garbage

If you're going to talk the talk,

Please read. Photo of someone's beach bag.

best walk the walk!!

Why would one want to ruin such a beautiful place?

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Photo Diary, August 17

The Circle

The circle is a powerful symbol. It is a symbol that is found in all cultures.

It means wholeness.

It represents infinity.

The Native American Indians see it is a symbol of equality, where no one person is more important than the other. Circle meetings ensure that all people are allowed to speak and every word and idea is respected. (I have a round kitchen table for that reason)

It is seen as a protective symbol.

It is a symbol of completion.

It is used as a sun symbol.

Sunset from my terrace

Funny how almost everything I have bought from the Pakistani who sell wares on our beach all have circles!

I love being here.

The view from the road as I walk down to the beach

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I am still in the south of Italy enjoying...well everything- the weather, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the fresh fish, my friends, the amazing view from my terrace, the breeze at night so I can sleep, my son who is visiting and who has been away at school in Europe all year, speaking the Italian is good!

My friend gave me a gift, something he painted for me.

It is painted on glass.

All this art work needed was a few strokes to convey the message. Nothing more. Simplicity.

He made it for me because he knows my star story. I saw my first shooting star a few years ago from the terrace where he lives. I made a wish. The following summer standing on the same terrace I told someone I saw my first shooting star "right there" and as I pointed to the spot I saw another one in the exact same place! I made the same wish.

This is the week of shooting stars. The week of San Lorenzo. I saw one last night from my terrace.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quilt Exhibit at Black Creek Pioneer Village

If on August 16 and 17 you are in the area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, get yourself down to see the fabulous quilts on display at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

There are antique, traditional and modern ones on display inside the historical buildings and outside on the grounds.

One of my quilts is there. Not sure where they'll put it but here it is below.

About this Quilt 

This quilt is made of scraps, that is to say no new fabric was purchased for the top. What was used were pieces leftover from other projects. Even the whites are not all the same. I used what I had.

The back is a fabulous chartreuse I purchase especially- a colour that brought the whole thing forward into the NOW. The binding is a bright orange and rust coloured fabric bought new. It has a sharp geometric design that is uneven. It looks fabulous and again brings it to the contemporary realm.

Choosing a back fabric for a scrap quilt can
sometimes be a challenge as the fabric
has to compliment so many colours.

Binding of geometric designs adds some interest. The triangles recall
those on the top.

I often add bands of scrap fabrics on the back,
to add interest or to add yardage!

The pattern for this quilt is an old one from Atkinson Designs called Monterrey Medallions.

I signed up to take the quilt workshop ages ago, in 2005. Everyone who knows me well, knows I do not follow quilt patterns. I advocate expressing yourself and feel much pride when students create something that is their own. I don't feel that in this case I did that. I think that is why the top stayed folded on a shelf until last June (2014). Although the fabrics were my choice, the quilt wasn't ME, it wasn't a reflexion of my style. I copied a pattern. No heart in this work!

I took the workshop because I wanted a "day off" from my mom duties and this workshop gave me that. It was a once-a-month class where you'd get together with friends and catch up and praise each other's blocks. The workshop served its purpose. The process is what I wanted not the finished product.

 I do like it much better now that I added the back and binding that are my style. 
The quilt definitely reads well which is why I submitted it. The contrast is very good and it will look great hung outside at The Creek.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Art Journal Continues

Maria Sfara passed away a few days ago. She wasn't a good friend but I did stop in at the bar that she owned to see her every summer. She was an institution in this town.

The church bells rang all afternoon, every fifteen minutes, announcing her passing.

photo diary August 3

I went to her funeral. I think everyone in the town was there.

My journal entry was about that day.

I 'drew' the sound of the funeral bells.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Lelo is my new friend. He has been dropping off 'genuine' produce for me to enjoy! Some items come from his own garden, like plums and lemons and tomatoes. He's even given me some of his amazing home-made jams; peach and apricot and some made from a South American fruit called feijoa which he has growing in his garden. He's also given me two small bottles of his famous home-made liqueur; one Wild Fennel and the other Nespolino (scroll down to alcoholic beverages). I store those in the freezer. Some local items he buys for me at the market in another town. The ricotta he gets from his farmer friend- can you imagine fresh warm ricotta made from the milk of the farmer's 2 goats?

One morning as I was walking my his home, he invited me in to see his garden.

Flower from Lelo's garden.
Photo part of my "bellezza di ogni giorno" project

Lina, his wife, whom I have known for a few years, wants me to send her my apple pie recipe! I'll have to send her some aluminum pie plates as well as they do not have them here!

What a nice couple. I am so lucky to have great friends.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Disappointing News

I found out today that my piece Last Tree Standing has NOT been selected for an exhibit to be shown at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Carrefour EuropeƩn du Patchwork in Alsace, France.

Last Tree Standing
25cm x 100cm
assorted fabrics, hand applique
 machine stitched,
metal staples
Afghanistan embroidery

The idea for this exhibit was to select from a web site a hand-embroidered leaf made by Afghani women and integrate it into a textile piece. The length had to be 4 X the width. It was open to EU participants only. I was able to apply through my Italian citizenship.

The idea I had at the beginning changed when I saw how large the embroideries were. (green leaves)

Last Tree Standing

The commercial fabric I used as a background had the shadows of trees. It looked to me like a war torn area in a foggy scene and shadows of tree skeletons in the background. Over this background I created a tree only using fabrics I collected from the floor of a seamstress' atelier.

My tree trunk is made of velvets and stretchy polyester, cotton and textured woven pieces and hand dyed silks. I 'painted' the trunk using all the fabrics that were destined for a land fill. I did not purchase any new materials for this piece. The colours are plentiful- purple, blue, orange, brown, green, pink....I particularly like the stapled number onto the trunk- a selvage edge.  It makes a powerful statement.

Last Tree Standing, detail

I really like it. I am sorry the jury, made up of 5 European women, did not feel it worthy of being part of the 60 piece exhibit.

Along with my generic rejection email, I did get a lovely personal email from the organizer. She called it "an exciting piece with profound symbolism" and she liked my choice of colours.

Even with her great comments, it is still disappointing news.