This time next week…

This time next week, I’ll be on my way to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA for their annual Meet the Teachers day. It’s a day for local quilt teachers to promote their lectures and workshops and for guild programming chairs to learn about the teachers located nearby.  I’ve been busily finishing a class sample and preparing my introduction and am looking forward to talking about “Creating Your Story in Cloth,” Extreme Piecing,” “Creative Play,” “Finding My Voice,” and “Quilts in U.S. History.”  I hope to meet you there!

Creative Play Newsletter, Issue 4 – Write it Out

There is a thread that runs through the book I mentioned last month (Jane Dunnewold’s Creative Strength Training) and another book that was a lifeline to me as I climbed out of my pit of creative despair. That book was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and the thread was the importance of writing as a creative tool. Cameron recommends two major creative tools, a writing exercise that she calls “Morning Pages” and creative excursions called “Artist Dates.”  Now, I was skeptical about Morning Pages. I have been keeping a journal since I was 11 so I thought, “Okay, yeah, I’m doing that.” But, I decided to give them a full test before I rejected them and so I wrote the required three pages of stream of consciousness thoughts every day for six months. Most of it is complete drivel and that’s the point. One goal of Morning Pages is to get the crap that goes ping ponging around your head all day OUT before you start your creative work. I could see the benefit of that and I do feel like the Morning Pages I did met that goal.  My brain felt calmer each day and more welcoming of my creativity.  I’ve fallen out of the habit of the pages as life has gotten a little busier, but when I find my mind in desperate need of some calm, I engage in a little Morning Pages writing meditation and find that it helps.

JulieNeu_CP Oct 2016

Rising Star Quilters Guild Quilt Show – Next Weekend!

My guild’s quilt show is coming up!

It’s that time of year again…Rising Star Quilters Guild will deck St. Brigid’s Church in Lexington, MA with more than 130 quilts and quilted items on Friday, October 14 from 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday October 15 from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year members were challenged to interpret “The Elements:  Earth, Air, Fire, and Water” and I will have a piece represented there.  In addition to the bed, wall (“Ravaging Rio and The Ghost in the Library”), challenge quilts (“Running with Scissors”), and quilted objects on display, hand crafted items, including mine, will be available for sale in the Boutique;  there will be scavenger hunts for quilters and for the general public;  a café selling hot and cold drinks and cookies; basket and mini quilt raffles.  Raffle tickets for this year’s raffle quilt “Rhapsody in Blue”, a geometric design that combines rich hues of blues and purples with an exciting “pop” of green accents, will be available at the show; the winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday but you do not need to be present to win.  Rising Star Quilters Guild is proud to donate quilts to Germaine Lawrence in Arlington, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence and Welcome Baby, and to support the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell.

Admission to the show is $6, children 12 years old and under are admitted free.  The building is handicap accessible and there is ample free parking in the church lot.

Visit the guild’s website for more details.

See you there!

Design Wall – Extreme Piecing

This week I am working on a table runner that will be a sample for a class that I am developing called “Extreme Piecing.”  The class will cover creating templates that allow you to then piece anything you can draw, even if it’s complicated. (I almost said, “no matter how complicated”  but you all might remember what a pain it was to piece a 12-point star in the center of “Arabesque #3.” It was possible, but I don’t recommend it!)  I enjoy a good piecing challenge, but this table runner is actually a lot simpler than it looks.


Design Wall – Newtown Blocks

I don’t know what to say about these blocks. How can I not be incredibly affected by these? These blocks represent the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, CT, which occurred in 2012, when my daughter was six months old. She shares a name with one of the young victims. Even so many years later, I cannot make any sense of this massacre and feel just raw emotion when I think of it.


Design Wall – San Bernadino blocks

You can tell by the dates that I am getting close to finishing the blocks for my soon-to-be-renamed “No More Names” quilt. The Newtown blocks aren’t finished yet and that’s not just because they are so difficult to work on; I also ran out of blue fabric. I was able to pick up some more at the fabulous A Notion to Quilt in Shelburne, MA this weekend so those blocks will be soon complete.

So, a little out of order, but here are the blocks representing the victims of the shooting in San Bernadino, California. This shooting happened less than a year ago, but already seems to have faded from our collective memory, replaced six months later by an even deadlier event.