Friday, November 04, 2005

my friend Rachael

I'm always very conscious as I write my blog about other people's privacy. Just because they know me doesn't mean I can write anything and everything about them all over the web. So I had to decide whether or not to tell ya'all about my field trip yesterday. I went with a couple of friends to the island of Zamalek to visit a well-known quilter. Do I tell you about it?

Well, since Jenny Bowker has her own blog (Postcards from Cairo - it's one of my links) she's not a privacy fiend. And since I'm only going to say really wonderful things about her, that can only be good publicity for her teaching, right? So, yes, here we go. (And as for my friend, who we'll call S, who figures in the story, well that's the price she pays for knowing me. ba ha ha.)

Got a call yesterday from S, who recently returned from the states with a new Bernina sewing machine. She was having some difficulty with it and here in the wilds of Egypt, there are not many technical advisors. Jenny stepped immediately into the breach and offered help so three of us made the trip up yesterday. Jenny was sweet and wonderful and got the problem sorted in no time.

The cool thing tho was getting to see the Australian Ambassador's residence with high, high, white walls and gorgeous quilts on them. Jenny does a lot of art quilting and her machine quilting is fabulous. I'm very jealous - but I know it would take me 20 years to get that good (not to mention the fancy sewing machine that would make the task so much easier...). Her quilts all hang flat and smooth - so different from mine. I'm not feeling intimidated tho - my quilts don't HAVE to hang that well, they don't have to be so smoothly professional. I can appreciate it, without needing to do it myself.

Speaking of quilting, I've been working on Cranky Witch again. I'm now quilting on my third fan unit. Pretty soon (NOW) I'm going to have to decide how I want to make the fans go. All the same direction, round and around colliding in the middle, or maybe moving in diagonally... Decisions, decisions. I'll try to explain that better in a future post, for anyone who is trying the fans themselves.

Anyway, now we get to the fun part of the post. Pictures of my friend Rachael Thomas' work. I was telling you about her the other day - she's the one I made a Devil Bob and Monster Bag for. She is incredibly talented and I'm trying to coerce her into starting her own blog. So hopefully this will be some positive encouragement in that direction. I have her permission to do this, so here we go.

I'm not even going to begin to describe all her work (I want her to do that), we're just going to look at some of my favorites. These are quiltlets using her version of Susan Shie's techniques (which I call crusties).

First off is Happy Boo Day. I am so incredibly jealous of its recipient (who is not me, but is another October baby) for getting this wonderful guy. I often get that acquisitive urge looking at Rach's work. Mine, mine, mine (like the gulls in "Finding Nemo"), pretty shiny, mine. My favorite bit is those eyes. No need to wonder why clowns give some people nightmares.

I LOVE this devil. I'm amazed at how similarly Rach's and my minds work - devils just gotta have that evil whispy mustache and spikey beard. The ears are perfectly pointed and I love how she did the nose. Doesn't this look incredibly firey?

And Rachael's recent entry into her quilt guild's "Charm and Grace" competition, in which everybody had to use a piece of fabric with very old fashioned, sweet looking gloves on it. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this quilt. I guess the end product is sweet in a way, sorta, as sweet as black magic love can be. You can tell these two are ga-ga for each other. The details: the warts, the bloodshot eyes, the beady spider. Fabulous. Well-deserving of the ribbon Rach won for Viewers' Choice.

Ya'all can tell why I'm so fond of her work, right? Definitely our senses of fun and humor match.

This is hardly the only kind of quilting that Rach does and barely touches the surface of her crafting. No, she probably isn't right for the Quilt Mavericks (altho she's certainly got an "in"), but blogs, just like people, don't all have to match. Blog and they will come. Start putting really great work out there and others who share your interest will find you. She's a great writer as well, and I enjoy every single email I get from her. Now she's gonna feel the pressure of high expectations that I'm putting on her, but its all TRUE.

And some of the rest of you out there - who aren't already blogging - you start too. Blogging is an incredible way to make contact with other people you didn't even know where out there but who you will become incredibly emotionally attached to. At least I am, to all of you.


Darcie said...

Thank you Tonya, for sharing pics of Rachael's work! I am picking my jaw up to keep from drooling on my 'puter! ;-) Love the "fiendly-looking" clown! (Not a typo!) His teeth are the coolest!!!

I can't agree with you more...blogging has done so much for my selfconfidence and creativity level. I can hardly ever wait to see what my QM friends have been doing...or what they've been experiencing in their life...both creatively and personally. When I talk about you all, I say..."my quilt blogger friend so-and-so did this today..." I've been inspired in so many ways.

I'm all for blogging...whether it's kept public or private.

Great post, Tonya!!!


PS. I've never taken the time to check into your Blog Links...but Jenny Bowker? Your friend? How cool is that! ;-)

PSS. And I was so excited to finally learn just a few days ago that you are living in Cairo. I told my family..."Yeah, Tonya lives in Cairo...." Emotionally attached, you say? Naaah! ;-)

Finn said...

Hey girl..wonderful Friday morning treat...your sharing of Rachel's work...I am stunned by her's beyond wonderful.
Especially love the challenge piece..that must have set a few people back on their "sweet" heels...LOL.
Her embellishing is over the top..I am so impressed, by yours and now by hers...and I'm learning..*G*G*G*G*G*
I have a couple of small wall hangings that are finished but I have never "liked". Perfect place to play with yarn and other threads, embroidery, buttons and such. They may NOT be more loveable when I'm done, but what a great sketch pad they make..more Tonya, more !!

Hunter said...

Aloha Tonya:

I agree about blogging. I came over to your visit after you commented on my blog. I'm on Maui, Hawaii and there's no way we would have met with you living in Cairo. :)

Your site is so much fun and now I get to wander and read all your archives.

Take care and I'll post more about my quilts in Tropical Screamer. I'm going to take some pictures later today.

Great meeting you.


Bonnie K. Hunter said...

Love the post, and all the hallow-weenies! I am envious of your outting....sounds like you had a great time!

About the fans..I like the around and around in a spiral and colliding in the middle come what may :c) I'm doing one where I go just in one directions across the quilt, but it isn't as much fun to quilt that way, starting at the bottom corner and working towards the top!


jenclair said...

Great post! I would never have dreamed how much I would enjoy blogging, and how much I'd miss it when things come up and prevent my reading and catching up on people I've never met.

I love Racheal's work! Thanks for posting the pics...