Friday, May 26, 2017

somewhere over the rainbow--day 4

One of the many reasons I had for rebuilding my studio after it floated was that the site along the Deerfield River has the best rainbows in town. Rainbows by their very nature are spectacular, aren't they? And seeing a rainbow with the water and the back drop of the mountain is even more spectacular.

Need I say more.

rainbows of summer--96x96 in--copyright Ann Brauer--photo by John Polak

Thursday, May 25, 2017

don't stop thinking about tomorrow--day 3

Yesterday I got to accept the shows I will do for the rest of the year. And what great shows they will be. Sure--I didn't get into everything I wanted.  Rejection hurts but it happens. I knew it might so I applied to several shows that I also wanted to do. They can reject me but they can't keep me down. Always have Plan B. Don't stop thinking about tomorrow.

For those who wonder how I choose, I try for a mix of some shows that I have done before where the audience anticipates that I will be there, some "new" shows or at least shows which I haven't done for a long time but where I do have an audience and shows where I can expand my market by introducing my quilts to people who may not have seen them before.  Of course I consider where the shows are, the ease of doing them, the mix of artists.

My first show will be the Berkshire Craft Show at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington August 11-13. This is the sweetest show that has been going on for 44 years run by  teachers for the benefit of students. Sure the booths are small and spread out but there are some wonderful craft artists who participate and a dedicated following of locals and people who are in The Berkshires to go to Tanglewood and all the other wonderful cultural activities. I have done it for a number of years since it so easy and friendly and I get to sleep at home !!! Check out their web site--you will be amazed at the quality of the work in this show.

Later I will tell you about the other shows and even get them posted on my web site.

For now though it is time to close with an image of my quilt--one fine day.

one fine day--quilt--ann brauer 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

36 years and still standing--prairie scene

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm in Illinois. One of those wonderful magical places that one often only read about. Although the farm was along a river which gave us a few rolling hills, there were also long views of the distant sky. Would the bands of rain we could see in the west fall where we needed them? Would the sun break through the clouds before it set?

Normally we stored the hay and straw in the loft in the barn but one year for some reason my dad baled it and stacked the bales just west of the barn.

I can remember as a child scaling to the top of this pile and sitting there with the best view around just looking at the horizon and dreaming of what lay beyond.

prairie scene--quilt--ann brauer 2017--photo by John Polak

Do you have a memory of a place that you return to try to capture in all its aspects?  What do you think?

Day 2 of my 36 Day challenge.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

36 and still standing

I was writing a proposal for a talk I am going to give next year to a lovely quilt group when it hit me--I really and truly have been in business for 36 years come this July 1. Thirty six years!!! That is a long time. And guess what--I still love what I do!!!

Most mornings I wake up and can't wait to get to the studio. I still have so many ideas of quilts I want to make. I remember in one of Anne Truitt's books she said her problem was not how to get inspired but how to choose which direction she wanted to go. I often feel like that. It is so unfair that my quilts take longer to make than my ideas take to form--does that happen to you?

Anyhow I decided I should celebrate being in business for 36 years--maybe a party. Although that is work.  Maybe a sale. Stay tuned. But also what about 36 blog posts. Short notes on whatever strikes me. I haven't written as much as I might like in the last few years but 36 years is a time for dancing. Strutting my stuff. Celebrating. Don't you think?

So this is my first post. And I will end it with an image of my quilt "green circle" that I still love so much I chose it for the new banner I am making for my studio. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile life is a celebration regardless of what they say. So do give me more ideas of topics to write about. And if you are in Shelburne Falls my studio is open most days so drop by and say hi.

green circle--quilt--ann brauer--2015--photo by John Polak

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

pillows pillows pillows

Pillows--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Think of pillows. Warm. Soft. Inviting. A quick way to redecorate a room. And for me--the maker--they are a fun way to experiment with color and design. After all, it is just a pillow. It doesn't have to always match.

I like having them in the studio--they make the space look more complete. They are one of those smaller items that a customer can choose. And they do sell. Sometimes one at a time. Sometimes a customer wants to redecorate and chooses several.

I don't always notice when my stock gets low. After all, if I don't have them, they won't sell. Earlier this year I noticed that I had very few left. I had shipped a bunch off for an order on Etsy. Another customer realized that they needed a couple for their office decor. Something to comfort the people waiting for their services.

Time to make more. But what would the design be this time? Would each one be unique? Or what about a matched series where they would all coordinate? I love that challenge. Each pillow leads me on to new colors. New discoveries. I could keep looking at what I have and wonder what more I needed. How addictive is that? 

Green first--that was what one customer wanted.

Green pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Then purple. People who like purple, LIKE PURPLE.

Purple pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Then there is blue. And blue. Don't you love how different the two blues are?

Blue pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

French blue pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Rust to coordinate with the other colors.

Rust pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Brown always looks good against the blue, doesn't it?

Brown pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

And then there is teal--how dreamy is this? Doesn't it go with almost everything?

Teal pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Oh there are so many more I want to make. I am working on a grey right now. Then I need a gold--that will be hard. Plum is obvious and fun. Then there is red--not too red. The lighter reds will be a challenge, I know but I can't wait. What other colors should I work on? How would you pair them up? What do you think? Do you ever work in series just because?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paradise Perks

I'm offering 20% off select Old Favorites at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, MA next week-end with this coupon--I'm Booth 135.

You can download my coupon here and check out the others also. I wonder what other quilts I will add to this selection. I must go through my studio and see what I find. They will be work that I love but am not currently making and so I don't tend to bring them to shows and it becomes a Catch 22. Why not? (Of course this offer does not apply to orders or recent quilts but I will try to have a good selection.)

winter light--about 96x96 inches--Ann Brauer

pink butterflies--24x48 inches--Ann Brauer

3 landscapes--36x36 inches--Ann Brauer

skyscraper--8x64 inches--Ann Brauer--select colors available

field table runners--12x40 inches--Ann Brauer (this design only)

river of summer--38x38 inches--Ann Brauer
hidden lake--40x40 inches--Ann Brauer

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I am so honored to have my quilt "prairie sunrise" in the show "Because" at the Motherbrook Galleries in Dedham, MA. If you are in the Boston area, I do hope you will get a chance to check it out. Thanks Iris.

prairie sunrise--Ann Brauer 2016--image by John Polak