January 04, 2008


What a year it was!! 2007 just zoomed by! I really do not know how it all happend, where it all went nor how it went by soooo fast?!

I can say it was a busy year, full of lots of excitement and accomplishments!
Because of footwork laid down in 2007 I will be working on a new book, a new DVD and an embroidery tool in 2008! I will also add more Studio Seminar classes and I will be travelling a bit for classes. My goal in life is to cut back on the travel and add more seminars in my studio!!!

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Under the patient guidance of Robert Kaufman, I designed a new line of fabric to be used by quilters, embellishers and crazy quilters...... The line called "Ornamentations" comes in five colour ways and five designs.... These beautiful patterns were very exciting to design, some include my watercolours while others use superimposed laces and spiderwebs! You can choose between a Pastel, light Dusty (Dawn), Medium Dusty(Vintage), Dark Dusty(Autumn) and Jewel tone pallette.

Here is a crazy quilt made from the jeweltone fabrics of my new line. It is aptly titled "Ornamentations"! It incorporates all the different types of fabrics.

We have introduced a washable cotton velveteen named Baroque. It currently is limited to six colours. Best of all is a gorgeous silk/cotton blend called Radiance.

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Robert Kaufman allowed me to choose the new colors and it was such a pleasure....Now we have that beautiful rust orange, old gold and that old looking yellowy green.....The material is a dream to quilt but for crazy quilting it is really good because it offers that rich silk sheen so often seen in the antique quilts.

Last but not least is a jacquard type of cotton that has an old fashined floral design and one with circles.....This fabric has been marbelized to offer a new texture and design to our crazy quilts......

This crazy quilt used the illusion of geometric squares. I must say they were harder to do than the embroidery or the piecing!!! Those points have to meet
and a strategically placed button can cover just so much. The floral embroidery in each center is a collage of old laces, tatted floral shapes, punchneedle embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery and old silk flowers.

I really enjoyed working with the velveteen because it did not slip or slide like normal velvets do.

All the embroidery was done with my new line of silk threads and ribbons from Treenway Silks of Canada.


We were very lucky this year to have lots of visiters. Di Pettigrew from Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia came for a nice long visit as did Phyl and Neil Drew from Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It was wonderful to be able to repay their many years of hospitality. The time just went by too fast.

We managed to get home to Alberta, Canada for my god daughter's wedding.
Also Tara and the kids came home for their annual visit as did, Jason, Brenda and Maddy. I love having them here with us in La Veta.

You can see photos of many of these people in the border and back of our annual News letter.( Top and bottom of this page)

Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson asked me to appear on their internet show "The Quilt SHow" and that was a lot of fun. One of the wonderful perks of having "The Quilt Show" produced in La Veta is that I get to see lots of "Old friends" who come in to be interviewed.

After they have been interviewed they wander over to say hello....... I got to see my dear friend Jean Wells and she stayed with us for a couple of nights. At the same time another dear friend, Mary Fisher was here for an interview. We all managed to spend a wonderful day together in Taos.....

Jan Holland came in like a whirling dervish and reminded me that I had been her very first quilt teacher in Adelaide, South Australia!! We went out on an all day photoshoot and had a great time.


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I finished a wonderful project aptly named "Alta Vida La Veta" which means The High life of La Veta! It all started with photographing old buildings in La Veta and then making them into watercolor paintings.... For this project I used the "Vintage" color line of my new fabrics. The finished size is 42" x 46".

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I really enjoyed the process from photography to watercolour to silk print. I sized the watercolors down to 4" x 6" postcard size and laid them four at a time into a large rectangle. The crazy quilting was a bit challenging with so many postcards in each rectangle but by overlapping some oth the fabrics I was able to make it more interesting. I used the rust orange, marbelized jacquard weave fabric throughout the quilt.

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**By overlapping fabrics in the seams I was able to give a more rambling sence of design to the project. One of my little tricks is to bump two pieces of the same fabric up to each other in the seam lines and then treat it as a whole piece. This helps to blur the seam lines.**

As you can see by these detail photograph....I was able to fussy cut some of the watercolor florals and button hole stitch them down. I think the buttonhole stitch gives a more casual dimension to the quilt. After all La Veta is a big mix of styles, life choices and housing types (not really country, not really city elegance but a big mixture).......

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I decided half way through the project to give it as a gift to our local library. We are very proud of our library and it had just undergone a huge addition and rennovation. Upon showing them the half finished quilt....they decided to hang it over the fireplace in the entrance.......The measurements meant that I would have to add four more rectangles than planned........I even had to do several more watercolors!!!!! But all in all it was a really satisfying project and I am pleased to say it brings a lot of attention to the joys of our little town.


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The Studio continues to be my greatest pleasure. To be able to shut off the lights, to close the door and leave things out on my work table is such a joy. I seem to be producing a lot more work too!

I am enjoying the Studio Seminars very much. The quality of student is outstanding and lots of them are returning this year. It is a pleasure to have students who really want to learn and not be entertained!!! I will always keep the number to six students because that way I can enjoy the classes too!!!

It is wonderful to have the students for five whole days!!!! They have full use of my studio and many come back to work in the evenings...... A lot of people bring their husbands and partners.....There is so very much to do in La Veta!!!! Our evenings are relatively free and every planned event is strictly optional.

I will keep updating the enrollment for the 2008 classes.

As of February 12, 2008.

Crazy Quilting..May 10 - 14.....................filled

Crazy Quilting..April 12 - 16.....................filled

Photo To Needlework...July 10 - 16...........four openings

Cottages Galore....June 14 - 18................filled

Landscapes...August 2 - 6........................two openings

Crazy Quilting...September 13 - 17...........one opening

Under The Sea....Sept. 26 - Oct. 1............four openings

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Over the year we have had window and door shutters added to the Studio/Guesthouse..... The french blue color really makes the difference. The grape vines are up and all along the porch now......We enjoyed sharing the grapes with our many friends..... They are Concord grapes...very sweet and even more delicious because we grew them!!!!!! This christmas we even received several jars of grape jelly form some friends who were more industrious than me!!

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The class above is the April Crazy quilt class. We had everything from snow, wind, rain to sunshine. We never knew what to expect!

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Above are two wonderful classes. The one on the left is an advanced class of returning students. They came for the Cottage class, The class on the right is an embellishment class. They returned with four crazy quilt squares and learned lots of new embellishment techniques.

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Above is the May Crazy quilt class. They were a wonderful group and we had a lot of fun......Several of the girls are returning for more advanced classes this summer.


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I thought you might enjoy seeing two crazy quilt purses I made with my new fabric line. The purse on the left is from the Autumn line and the purse on the right is from the Pastel line......

They were made as part of a purse display for the Paducah Quilt Show. I like working with the cotton fabrics more than I thought I would......The designs are very rich and overlaid with gold and that adds a lot.

Of course it depends on how much you want to carry in your purse.....but I made a mistake in the size of the gusset on the pastel purse. The opening is very small and the purse is very deep. It looks like an elongated bell. I should have made the bell shape much shorter with side gussets instead of just one on the bottom.......So many times we are so intent on the embellishing and forget about practicality!!!!!

The purse closures are vintage bakelite and I found them at Sarah's in the Paris Flea Market...... The tortoise shell looking purse closure is vintage Art Deco! I have been saving them for a long time.


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We have lost a very dear friend and the world has lost an Internationally acclaimed artist. Joe Dudley Downing died in Menerbes, France on December 29th., 2007.

We met Joe a few years ago while on a holiday in Menerbes, France. He made a great impression on us and we spent a lot of time with Joe.....just talking and listening to his wonderful stories..... He loved strawberry ice cream and cookies and shared them with us......He taught me how to look for the light in a picture.

I don't think I know of anyone else with such a gentle soul. He made such an impression on me that I went home and made this collage of Joe and the doors in Menerbes. We kept in touch through the mail and were looking forward to seeing him this May in Tennissee at his big museum opening. Although Joe will not be there.... his memory will live in my heart forever.


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Although I am known for my crazy quilting and silk ribbon embroidery.....I do enjoy free form embroidery......Trying to create a landscape or seascape with fabrics and threads is one of my greatest delights.

This year Maddy asked me to make her an aquarium piece for her bathroom.....Of course I said yes..... I really enjoyed the challenge and used several wonderful fish fabrics I had in my stash.......I like to cut them out....burn the edges to give a drawing edge and then hide them under bits of oragnza ribbon and fabrics.

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By layering pieces of organza and netting you can create the illusion of depth in these pieces. I prefer silk organza when I can buy it. It gets a nice brown burn line and does not flare up like the others.

The biggst challenge for my students when they are working "underwater" is to remember that there is still a foreground, midground and background to the piece. Mixed medium pieces offer a great challenge.

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I hope you all have a very happy and peace filled New Year. I am looking forward to 2008. My family is well and happy.

Madeleine is moving to Charlotte, North Carolina and that will be a big adventure
We travelled there together in early December, prepared to hate it ....but came away loving it.

Jason is recovering from his bike injuries. He was run over by a car and suffered terrible injuries. While his racing days are over.....he is grateful to be alive and has turned to his love of photography. Brenda deserves an award as wife of the year. She is so good to him!!!!! I am a lucky mother in law!

Dana, Eric and Kelse travelled to Yokohama to have Christmas with Tara, Yo, Rie and Gen. I was so glad that they were together for the holidays. I have such wonderful grandchildren.....

Kristin, Jim, Nicole and Gabriel are doing well in Los Angeles. Jim is still playing jazz piano and Kristin is soooo busy with her students.

Ernest is watching yet another football game as I write this letter! He loves the winter because everything slows down. All the cats are in their designated beds and Ella is snoring a new song!!!! Life is good in La Veta...

Love and Best Wishes............Judith


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