December, 2006

December 22, 2006

I wish you all very happy holidays and a peace filled New Year. I am sending you my christmas letter for 2006. As you can imagine it was difficult to get eight cats to pose. It looks like a reward poster for bad cats!!!

I am very thankful for my beautiful family of individualistic, interesting people. I am thankful for my dear husband Ernest who puts up with me and makes my life a lot easier. I am thankful for my beautiful home and studio. I am thankful for all our animal buddies who have found safe haven with us. Above all I am very thankful for you, my students and friends who have made my life so interesting and full. I am looking forward to 2007!!



Fall was a very busy time for me with lots of dead lines, classes and trips.
My teaching tour to Washington was wonderful and one of the best organized tours ever. I have been travelling to teach and lecture for over twenty years now so I have seen my share of good tours and very bad ones. This tour was one of the best organized ever!!! I do appreciate it so very much.

One night I gave a lecture to the Puyallup Valley Quilters and it was lovely to be back with such a great group. The highlight for me was to meet up with my friend Iva Galloway from Puyallup....We met years ago when she was the featured artist for a big quilt convention sponsored by the Quilt Barn.

This leads me to tell you a story and lecture a bit about copyright (one of my pet peeves). Iva is a whizz at silk ribbon embroidery and is the originator of "Iva's Rose"....the most beautiful and easy rose to make in all of silk ribbon embroidery history.

So why isn't it in "Floral Stitches" you may ask? Because years ago when Iva showed me how to make it....I did not write it down and promptly forgot how to make it. When I was writing Floral Stitches....the rather addled brain cells did not fire on all cylinders and Iva's rose was left out!!!

A few years later Kathleen and Judith from Adelaide, Australia visited us in Los Angeles and Kathleen had a new silk ribbon flower to show me....she called it a french knot rose. It was Iva's rose! A student showed it to Kathleen and she used it in their latest magazine. They were stunned to hear about Iva as the originator of their french knot rose.

They inquired and found out the student had been on a tour of NorthWest United States and someone from the Seattle area demonstrated an Iva's Rose. Kathleen and Judith promised to give the silk ribbon rose its' proper name.
(I will continue on with this discussion after the Washington tour photos.)

Here is the class from the Shiburi Dragon.. What a beautiful store. I managed to spend a bit of money there on beautiful threads and some fabrics. Becky and Jo Scillato were wonderful hosts...Joe makes great coffee.

Here is the group from Centralia. What a great class.

The Group from the Quilters Junction was wonderful. I especially enjoyed being with Lisa's mother who owns the store..... What a neat lady.

I really enjoyed teaching for Rochell's Fine Fabric because I got to see my daughter Madeleine. She drove all the way from Portland to spend the day with us. It was wonderful to see some old friends too. That is Sharon Burrer in the bottom right hand corner...a friend and perrenial student. She gave me the most beautiful framed miniature crazy quilt piece. It sits on the sideboard in my studio....I was gob smacked!!!
Maddy spent the whole day with us. I was thrilled to see her baby!!
Here is Maddy with her beloved dog Belah, a beautiful little border collie, spaniel mix with black, wavy shiney hair. Maddy rescued her from the Humane Society and Belah can't believe her luck!.
Jody was with me in Asyolmar this year for a four day landscape class in March and brought the finished piece to the class at Rochell's. I was so happy to see her again and even happier to see the finished landscape...... I think her proud smile says it all.

Now on to my discussion about the courtesy of copyright.
Copyright is a simple courtesy of giving recognition to the originator. It is also a legal item that is constantly ignored in our industry. What is wrong with recognizing the teacher or person who taught you that special technique or influenced your design?
My version of copyright courtesy is if you use someone else's work or influence in your work....tell everyone about it. If it is going to be on display, write it all out and give credit where credit is due. If the piece is for sale, you must have written permission from the copyright holder to use their design. Otherwise they could sue you!!! Breaking copyright is a cowardly method of stealing!!

I recently judged a quilt show and a small wall hanging looked very familiar. At home I looked up a certain artist and there was the very painting. The wall hanging was a direct copy. When we judge ...the maker is not known so I went back to check out the artists' statement. It stated the maker was greatly "influenced" by the painter and the wall hanging was a tribute to the painter. Tribute!!! It was a total copy.....The maker probably took a picture of the painting, enlarged it and copied it in fabric.

I contacted the Quilt Show managers and showed them the painting. Of course they were upset. Meanwhile, the wall hanging was sold!!!! As a judge it was not my place to write to the maker but I do know the managers let the quilt maker know she was breaking copyright in no uncertain terms!
So always put yourself in the other person's shoes. Think how you would feel if someone copied your work and did not ask your permission or give you credit?


The Landscape Seminar in September was terrific.....We had three Canadians who were a hoot!!! They kept us laughing every day!! The students were wonderful and really made a great effort to pick up all the tricks of the trade. They should be proud of themselves... I am for sure!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy working with a small group for five whole days. I feel it really makes a difference. The student can concentrate on a process and not feel preasured. I also know the students that come to my seminars are very serious about learning. The results are rewarding for both teacher and student.

I am working in a different format now with landscapes. It involves my photographs, scanned into Photoshop and then made into sketches and blown up to a specific size.
Each student chose a photo and I had the photos and sketches enlarged. It helps to speed up the process and the finished piece is an accuate rendition of the photo. Each student can add artistic license as they see fit.

Here is my first Seminar Landscape class. Upper left is Gabrielle Chatham, Pearl Hamilton, Me. Seated is Anne Sheedy, Lynne Pettico and Lorraine Stobey. We became so attached to each was very hard to say goodbye at the end of the five days.


"Speak no evil, Hear no evil, See no evil"... does not keep three wise cracking Canadians from being the life of the party!!


Here is Gabrielle with her landscape of an abandoned adobe up in the Wahatoja Valley. This wonderful view was easily handled by Gabrielle and I was so pleased at how fast she picked up "thinking like a painter". Gabrielle and Anne are sisters from Waco, Texas. They were such fun and even celebrated their birthdays with us. They refer to each other as "Sister" and made us all smile with their sisterly comments!!

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Lorraine chose a scene from British Columbia that I took two summers ago. It is one of my most favorite scenes so I was especially pleased she chose it. It was a difficult piece because so much is involved in the background and midground. But...if anyone can do it, Lorraine can!! She was our resident dye expert and we were all glad for her help!! Lorraine is a true artist.


Anne did a wonderful job, even with the crazy quilt portion which went on and on! She has a good eye for colour. Above all Anne worked very hard to use the techniques to her advantage.This is a vertical scene of the Wahatoyas from La Veta Pass. I was so pleased with her effort and know she will finish it . There will probably be a bit of sisterly competition too.


Lynne chose a view of the Upper lake overlooking the Cuchara Valley. She did a wonderful job of capturing the layering that makes up the mountain range. I am looking forward to seeing her completed piece as there is lots of room for beading and detail. (Lynne loves the beading) Lynne has signed up for next year so maybe I will see it then!!


Pearl chose one of my favorite La Veta views which is up the Wahatoja Valley and just above the Little Kansas Canyon. The ancient knarled Juniper has died due to the drought but the view is still spectacular. Pearl had the least experience of all the students but you would never know it. Her delight with the progress of her landscape tells me she will finish it and hang it with pride. I was very pleased with her progress. Pearl is the queen of cheese cloth!!


The success of my Seminars is also due to the kind hospitality of many of my La Veta artist friends who welcome us to their homes and studios.

They graciously let us troop thru their homes and interesting studios. I try to limit it to half hour visits but they always go overtime due to my friends wonderful hospitality.

Just up the road from me is my friend Dulaney Lingo who is so multi talented it just makes my head swim...

She is my computer guru who can answer any of my computer questions without giggling. She works in Fimo clay and glass. she is a knitting fool (is even going for her Knitting masters!), she is a bookbinder, photographer, printer and graphic designer. Dulaney designs one of a kind pieces of jewelery and has been published many times.

I think one of her greatest designs is her amazing contemporary home. Dulaney designed her home using glass, cement, steel and tin...The studio and home are installed in one huge space and it looks wonderful. I love to see the surprise and delight when the students walk through her front door. It is like another world of praciticality mixed with fantasy and design.

So thank you to Dulaney for being such a great friend and mentor.


Joan Hanley invited us up to her beautiful home for wine and a visit. It is always wonderful to go to Joan's house. Not only is it beautiful in it's own right, the views from there are breath taking. You can see for miles on a clear day. She was hard at work on a painting for Ricky Tims
and Justin Schultz. They had commissioned her to paint a scene of their property known as Autumn Rock. We were thrilled to get a first peak at it.
Here is a photo of Joan and Charles with the painting.


Joan also showed off a wall hanging I created for her
last summer as part of a barter. I enjoyed the challenge
of fitting all her family photos into the crazy quilted wall
hanging. I use the prepared silk fabric from Dharma Trading.
It takes the ink beautifully and the fabric remains soft.
That is Joan in the center as a young woman.

She has five children and has decided to have professional
prints made for each of them. We both think we got the
best part of the barter. I now have a beautiful sculpture
of a young Afro American man which has center stage
in my studio. Joan is a marvelous painter and sculptress.

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We were very fortunate because my dear friend Ricky Tims was home. Usually Ricky and I are like ships passing in the night. Either he is on the road or I am and it isn't common for us to be in town at the same time.

So it was a real treat to visit Ricky and his partner Justin Schultz. We got a tour of their quilt gallery, the dye studio, their new offices and the brand new recording/film studio. Wow! our chins were on the ground. It is amazing to see what they have done with their new work space.

Then to top it all off Ricky played us a beautiful piece from his new music c.d. The students were so pleased and so was I. I am very lucky to have such a good friends as Ricky and Justin here in La Veta. When ever I have problems with my Mac computer...they always ride in to the rescue. When ever I need advise on quilt related problems...they are there....come to think of it on any level...they are always there....just dear friends......


Ernest and I journeyed down to Houston for a family wedding. My dear cousin Fay Walker's only child, Jessica Walker married her sweetheart Chris McFarland and it was a wonderful party!!! Jessica was a beautiful bride as you can see.
The wedding service was beautiful and the reception was such good to see cousins and their children....but the best time of all was the dance....I think dancing is in our genes....we just can't help ourselves!!!!


They had a great D.J. who was lots of fun...he had a dance contest for the the tune of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. Everyone formed a circle and who ever wanted to perform could go to the center.....all these young men were there strutting their stuff. All of a sudden my husband was in the center, a dancing fool...up on his tippy toes, clapping under his knees, sliding to the left and the right....he was a star!! Ernest made us laugh and cheer and just be glad to to there!!!! it was soooo much fun. The DJ asked him his age and was flabergasted to hear he was 69 years old!!! He out danced everyone.
I think Ernest danced every dance with the younger cousins and bridesmaids...


I had just ten days to prepare for the Houston Quilt Show which was a bit scarey. I prepared 156 kits for my five classes and it was an awful job.....I do not like preparing kits but it helps my students who come in from all corners of the I do it. As usual the classes were chok-a-block full. I have included the Crazy Quilt class photo to reprersent my six classes.....There was a lovely group of Japanese ladies in the class and they were a delight.

It is hard to believe that The International Quilt Show can get any bigger but it just keeps on growing. We now take up the whole convention center which means 12 football fields in length, 1400 vendors and 57,000 visitors.

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I caught up with old friends, did some net working, and even managed to walk through some of the quilt!!! it is a humbling experience to say the least. I did go by to see my entry ( the only crazy quilt in the whole show) and it was a real rush to see it. When I got there a lady and her friend were standing in front of it and the lady was explaining my quilt to her friend....I did not have the heart to walk up beside took this photo.....I hope she was saying nice things!!!!!




Last but not least it was off to Bedford, New York before I could put my suitcase away. I had a lecture a class with The Northern Star Quilt Guild. What a beautiful area and what lovely people. My hostess was outstanding even though there was a Santa Clause hunting in her back yard....( it's a long story) She even stayed up late one night with me to watch Emitt Smith win "Dancing With The Stars". ( I called home and made Ernest vote for me) Thank godness for Tivo.
The trees were simply beautiful even in the foggy rain. I have never seen so many leaves on the ground.... I did manage to snap this river photo as we were off to class in the early morning. I think this is a terrific candidate for a fabric landscape.

The class was wonderful and the highlight of the day was that Mayann Weinberg took me to the stables to see her magnificent horses.....simply beautiful....I did meet her fourteen year old daughter who had just finished riding....I can only imagine how beautiful she must look up on that 19 hands horse.....Thank you Mayann. And thank you to the Northern Star group for making my last gig of the year a very pleasant one.


My Dear Husband, Ernest Russel Shealy celebrated his 70th birthday on November 27th. and we had a celebration dinner. I let him invite twenty friends and then prepared a roast lamb dinner. We had drinks and tid bits in the house and then walked over to the studio for the big surprise.....I had emptied out the studio and set up two long tables....I broke out the good china, silver and crystal and set up a european bistro cum studio was great and everyone really had a good time....especially the birthday boy!!

It was a lovely evening and Ricky Tims gave the birthday toast which was very touching...The wine flowed and the food was good ....a great evening
Dulaney Lingo was also celebrating a birthday so we combined celebrations and even had two cakes.... a lemon and a chocolate.... yum yum.


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That is what it is all about good friends and family.....
Ernest is my right hand and the rock of the family. I could not do my work and travel the way I do without him. It is not easy living with an artist and Ernest manages better than most. He is my greatest fan and always encourages me to do my best.

Dulaney loves to knit and she is really good at it. She decided to knit Ernest a hat....and it was the hit of the party....It is a lovely yellow and black with rastafarian twisted pom-pom on the top complete with ear flaps and long braided ties so he won't lose it.....every body had to try it on....lots of fun. She made us really laugh about the knitting process...apparently the yarn kept stretching and it just grew and grew.........

By the way, the fabric picture of Ernest hanging in the background was made by Charlotte Ware Anderson. I commissioned her to make it from a photo I used when entering him in Good HouseKeeping's Mr. Mom contest 2002.
He did not win but everyone in our family thinks they made a big mistake!!


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I continue to work on my cottage watercolour series. So far I have twenty two La Veta cottages and seven sheds and barns.... I have the idea of using them in a La Veta Crazy Quilt.
My fabric line is coming together very well.....what a wonderful experience it has been. The group at Robert Kaufman have been a delight to work with.

Over the last two days Colorado has been socked in with a huge blizzard. The highways were closed and so were the airports. Down here in La Veta it was not so wind but lots of snow. we are so very thankful and will take the moisture in any form......
My dear husband....ever the L.A. boy...cannot get used to the snow. Here he is out by his truck, trying to dig out. ( He managed to get out and while delivering our holiday chocolate truffles got stuck in two driveways!!

Goodbye for now. Enjoy your holidays. Peace to you, your family and friends.
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