Please Take Our Quilt Festival Pet Project Postcard Pledge!

We are thrilled to announce that Friends for Life, Houston’s fastest growing no-kill animal adoption and rescue organization, will be the beneficiary shelter for Quilt Festival’s Pet Postcard Project! I personally admire this organization tremendously for the work and outreach they do, and it is where I adopted my dog, Clarence.

For this fall’s International Quilt Festival/Houston, we are launching our first of three Festival Pet Projects, and we are inviting YOU for this fall’s show to make fabric postcards that will sell for $20 each to benefit Friends for Life.

Take the Pet Postcard Pledge!

Would you be willing to make and donate a one-of-a-kind fabric postcard? I am hoping we get at least 500 fabric postcards, and if they all sell, that is $10,000! And wouldn’t it be fantastic if we got even more?

We encourage animal-themed fabric postcards but we certainly welcome and would appreciate other themes as well, such as abstracts, landscapes, floral pieces, etc. The point is to raise as much funds as we can!

If you are interested in making a fabric postcard (or two or three or more), here are the requirements:

• Each fabric postcard must be 4″ x 6″ and can have either a horizontal or vertical orientation. They should be stitched (hand or machine) and consist of a front, batting (or interfacing), and a back. As these postcards will not be going through the mail, it is OK if they are in excess of 1/8″ in thickness. So if you want to heavily embellish your postcard(s), go for it!

• You are not limited to making just one fabric postcard. Create as many fabric postcards as you like.

• On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

• These postcards are due at the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 23rd. Please note: this is a received-by date.

• You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival. Please mail them to:

Festival Pet Project
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

The fabric postcards are just beginning to arrive at the office, and here is an assortment of cards by the truly talented Beryl Taylor:

Quilting An Inspired Moment

Yesterday morning the local news was all aflutter about the spaceship Endeavour flying over the city of Houston as it made its way to retirement in California. The 747 jet plane that carried Endeavour took off at sunrise, at exactly 7:02 A.M., heading west and hovering a mere 1500 feet above sea level so Houstonians could pay a final tribute as it flew by.

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Living a bit north of downtown, I didn’t think I would be able to catch it in the early morning skies, but then I heard a loud rumbling, and rushed out my front door in my nightgown…only to discover the noise was from a lawn mower.

But then when I went back upstairs, my house began to tremble, coupled with a deafening noise from the skies. I opened my bedroom window, and after noticing a looming shadow traverse across my pool, I looked up, and there was the most awe-inspiring site: The shuttle Endeavour flying piggyback on that 747 right over my house. To see it so close and see it in person…well, there are no words.

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Photo Credit: (NASA/ Sheri Locke)

 

Years ago, my good friend Cait Florschutz, who was reading a lot of Carl Sagan at the time, encouraged me to read his book Pale Blue Dot. There is a passage in it that is one of the most powerful bits of writing I have ever read.

He writes:

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena….Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

To read the full passage click here, or better yet read the book, but this bit of writing inspired me in 1998 to make my very first quilt block. It was a crazy quilted piece featuring a number of hand-embroidered constellations: Cassiopeia and Gemini, Orion and Ursa Major, and in the center of the block, depicted in a tiny cluster of French knots with thread in robin’s egg blue, was Earth.

I would share a photo of this very first block I ever stitched, but I’d only embarrass myself because the stitching is so bad.

But needless to say, I was inspired by Mr. Sagan’s words to quilt this, and the other morning while watching Endeavour sail across my bedroom window, I thought about how I will always remember that very brief moment in my life–where I was, where I have been, and where I have yet to go. It is a moment that I wouldn’t be surprised inspires a quilt someday soon.

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I hope everyone has a lovely, inspired, and stitch-filled weekend,

Breaking Quilt Exhibit News…

Breaking news from our Special Exhibits Department!

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By now hopefully everyone knows about our Pet Postcard Project to benefit Houston-based animal shelters (and you are busy making lots of fabric postcards), but what you may not know is that surrounding this wall of pet postcards on the exhibit floor, will be an invitational exhibit of quilted pet portraits. And there will be two more years of pet quilt exhibits that will debut in Houston, then travel to a number of our away shows. In 2013, we will host a juried exhibit of quilted pet portraits, and in 2014, we will host a judged contest. More information on both of these opportunities will be forthcoming, but we wanted to share sooner rather than later that we will be hosting these animal exhibits (in case you wanted to break out your camera now and start taking lots of shots of your iguana, Petunia, or Scruff, your pet porcupine).

Fabric Winner

Congratulations to Jerri Stroud! You have won the Malka Dubrawsky fabrics, and I will follow up in an email shortly to get your mailing address.

Maudlin-Free Monday Fabric Giveaway!

It’s a soggy, dreary Monday here in Houston, but we don’t mind the grey skies and puddle-ridden roads…the rain is finally cooling things off.  I hope everyone had a nice weekend; I had a quiet one–my favorite kind–spending hours stitching. I began working on about 20 fabric postcards for our Pet Project, our upcoming fundraiser for stray animals in dire need here in the city of Houston. I like to make fabric postcards in batches, and this first batch features Louie, my 13-year-old Min Pin whose image I screened on fabric, then fused to some pieced backgrounds.

I have a lot of embellishing as well as hand and machine stitching yet to do on these, but I had fun working with such graphic prints for the backgrounds.

Speaking of which, I have a stash of Malka Dubrawsky fabrics that she designed for Moda that I would love to give away to someone who might use them to create fabric postcards for our Pet Project.  Are you interested?

If so, answer the following question and I’ll randomly choose a winner tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

Question: Fall is coming, and with it cooler temps and more reasons to stay indoors and quilt. What are your bigger quilt projects on the front burner right now?

Let Your Weekend Go to the Dogs…Create Fabric Pet-ty Postcards!

Do you have weekend plans? I hope to spend much of my time holed up in my studio making fabric postcards to donate to our Pet Project to benefit Houston-based animal shelters. I am pledging to make (minimally) 50 fabric postcards and I am asking as many quilt artists as possible to create and donate fabric postcards for this cause.

To recap from my last post, we will be featuring a special pet exhibit at International Quilt Festival this fall with a charitable component, a booth of “Critter Cards,” which are fabric postcards donated by quilters from around the world that will sell for $20 each to benefit Houston-based animal shelters. I am hopeful we will raise at least $10,000!

If you are interested in making a fabric postcard (or two or three), here are the requirements:

• Each postcard must be 4″ x 6″ and can have either a horizontal or vertical orientation. They should be stitched (hand or machine) and consist of a front, batting, and a back. As these postcards will not be going through the mail, it is OK if they are in excess of 1/8″ in thickness. So if you want to heavily embellish your postcard(s), go for it!

• Create as many fabric postcards as you like.

• We want you to get pet-ty! For these fabric postcards, keep them animal-themed or related to animals in some fashion. On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

• These postcards are due at the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 23rd. Please note: this is a receive-by date!
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• You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival. Please mail them to:
Festival Pet Project
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063
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For those who have never seen fabric postcards before, here are some I had on hand from when I wore my editor hat, and we issued a Quilting Arts reader challenge celebrating QA‘s 10th anniversary last year.

You can fuse fabrics!

 Dorothy Heldemann-Nelson collaged batik fabrics for the background, then cut smaller fabrics for the candles to free-motion on top.

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You can combine hand and machine stitching…

Quilting Arts editor, Vivika DeNegre,  pieced a background, added hand and machine stitching, then embellished with tin letters you often find in the scrapbooking section of stores to spell out the word “ten.” (And she cleverly used ten stitches and ten threads for this postcard!)

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You can stamp or screen images…

Lynn Krawczyk used her talents as a screen printer to screen ten birds on a wire, then collaged fabrics together, and finally added some simple straight stitches.

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You can take one of your images (say of your pet) and edit it in Photoshop or other photo editing software, then print it on fabric…

Diane Doran altered a photo in photo editing software, printed the new image on fabric with her inkjet printer, then enhanced with metallic paint and machine stitching.

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Or you can embellish with everything (but) the kitchen sink…

Beryl Taylor created a mixed-media fabric postcard adding layers of fabrics and colored papers, shells, hand stitching, and beading.

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Hopefully these postcards will jump start your thinking for making fabric critter cards. I will be featuring as many of your critter cards on my blog as possible as they come in. Please help me spread the word for this project, and if you post pictures of your Critter Cards on your blog or website, please give me the link so I can link back to you!

Pet Lovers Unite! Big Animal-loving Announcement for International Quilt Festival/Houston!

If you’ve been following my blog, you know not only do I love quilts, but animals, too. All of us at Quilts Inc. do, and most of us have rescues as pets. After my most recent rescue, Sweetie, whom I fostered and thankfully adopted out, I thought it would be a great idea to do some kind of outreach quilt exhibit/fundraiser for Houston-based shelters. With the economy the way it has been, and the fact that a lot of strays are wandering the streets in search of food and a place to rest, the shelters in Houston are more than at capacity with animals in desperate need of good, loving, forever homes. These places could really use our help in terms of funding.

So the good news: We talked about the idea at Quilts, Inc., and we are doing a fundraiser at International Quilt Festival this fall to help these shelters, and we want YOU to participate!

Introducing the Pet Postcard Project!
Want to make postcard-sized quilts to be featured at International Quilt Festival/Houston and to raise money for animals in dire need? Make what we are currently dubbing…Critter Cards!

Here are the preliminary details:

1. Make as many 4″ x 6″ fabric postcards (that are no more than 1/8″ in thickness) as you would like to be featured and sold at International Quilt Festival this upcoming fall.

2. We want you to get pet-ty! For these fabric postcards, keep them animal-themed or related to animals in some fashion. On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

3. We will sell the postcards for $20 each at Festival, and all of the proceeds will go to Houston-based animal shelters.

4. These postcards are due at the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 23rd. Please note: this is a receive-by date!

5. You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival.

Please mail them to:
Pet Postcards
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

Louie helping me prep my fabric painting table to make the doggie bone fabric for my Critter Cards.

Send as many fabric postcards as you can create, and send them early! I will be displaying many of your postcards on my blog before Festival to build up momentum for the fall show. In the next blog post I will give more specifics and requirements for this special opportunity, along with a tutorial for making fabric postcards with tips and techniques. I am committing to making (minimally) 50 fabric postcards!

Clarence salivating over the dog bone fabric as it sun prints. (And too bad for Clarence, I threw those bones out as I didn’t want him to digest fabric paint!)

Please help me spread the word about this opportunity to help animals in need!

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