Monday, July 30, 2012

finally a blog post

OK--I confess. I just have not had time to write a blog post for quite some time. Indeed quite frankly I am not sure how anyone has time in the summer. After all, I can't resist the lure of my garden. What is new? Any tomatoes yet? Yes. A few cukes too. And even a baby pumpkin or two. And of course my flowers. This is peak season for the daylilies. How brief that time is. I must inhale all the colors as deeply as possible.

Then I also have a couple of craft fairs to prepare for. The Berkshires Craft Show August 10-12. Oh I do love that show. Put on by the teachers at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington. I do hope to see many of you there. You can learn more on their website here: Then the American Craft Exposition in Evanston, IL. Such awesome work there. Their web site is But more details in my newsletter which I promise to get out soon.

For now I need more rolling hills. I sold a couple at the Guilford Show. Send another couple to the People's Place Quilt Museum in Intercourse, PA. Visit them here:  You know the design. Almost like little movie scenes. I start with a wonderful fabric or two. This one is particularly dreamy isn't it?

Then I cut a lot of fabrics that go with this fabric. The same intensity of color. Just the sparkle of the blue. The dusky grey accent colors that add the depth.

And start to piece. Slowly at first as I explore exactly what the fabrics can do. Note how I tie off the threads if I stop the piecing in the middle of a block.

And I pin it up on the design wall.  See the sparkle of the wave fabric. That wonderful hint of bright blue that almost glows. Little by little it grows. Sometimes so fast I forget to take pictures.

Don't you just love the sweep of colors in this quilt?

Then I sew it together. I am always amazed how much more finished it looks, doesn't it?

And another very soft rolling hills is done. This one I call gentle ocean though it could also be the rolling hills of the Berkshires in the mist. I can't wait to show it at the next fair.

And you--do you find the demands of summer hard to balance? Are you lured outside by your garden?  How much time do you spend on the internet when the weather is lovely?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I can do anything you can do....

OK--this seems to be the summer of putting one's thoughts into song. You know the dueling musical ads of Presidential politics. No, I won't go there. Yes, I have definite views which my astute readers have probably figured out but this is a blog about quilts.

Instead the song that has been going through my mind is the one from Annie Get Your Gun--you know where she sings "I can do anything you can do better" and ends with a triumphant "Yes, I can. Yes I can. Yes I can."

Great music to have running through your mind as I try to make a really long table runner using my thing piecing. One of those ideas that I had been dreaming of for years until finally at five one morning I figured out how to do it. And I decided I just had to see if my idea worked.

Just do it as another famous ad would say.

And that is what I did. "Yes, I can." "Yes I can." "Yes I can." If you know what I mean. Yes it is 80 inches long. What do you think?

It could also hang over a bed, couldn't it? Or a sofa.
 What do you think? Why do I get inspired just before a craft fair? Do come down to see me at the Guilford Craft Show if you are in the area. Of course now I want to sing that song from Peter Pan--you may remember the lyrics--"I got to crow."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wordless "Wednesdays"

OK--I do know it is Friday and I also know that this post is not completely wordless. Me. At a loss for words. No, that is probably not going to happen. And what can I say, I did intend to post on Wednesday but....

After all it is summer. I have to rush out to my garden to see what is blooming. And when I get home from work I do confess it is just too hot to write a decent post. Besides, and this is actually the real reason, I just finished reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Have you read it? I certainly couldn't put that book down--if you are hunting for a book for the summer.

Maybe I was inspired by Major Pettigrew to choose this fabric. Sure, it is geese not ducks. But still it seemed appropriate. (And if you don't get the reference you may just have to read the book.)

Yes, it should be another rolling hills. After all, one of my favorite galleries The People's Place Quilt Museum--has ordered a couple and I need to have a selection for the Guilford Craft Expo next week-end in Guilford, CT. So I found some co-ordinating fabric and began piecing. Don't you just love the subtlety of these colors?

And this is where it does get to be wordless for a while. What fun to see the patterns form as I make more blocks.

I sewed it together and hung it up. Not bad. Conveys the feeling of late autumn doesn't it? That particular type of day. A bit of chill in the air. The beauty of the subtle colors. The interest of the individual fabrics. Can't wait to show it at Guilford. Yes, I do have a couple other rolling hills for the gallery, of course. I always try to give them the best selection.

And you--have you read Major Pettigrew? What did you think? And now I have a favor to ask. I have finished Major Pettigrew. What else can I read with the same subtle humor and the complexity of characters? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

joy in the garden

OK--in case you haven't figured it out--I love my garden. It is wild and unorganized. Planted so full of flowers that this week-end I did not even go look at more Japanese iris. I need to figure out what I can limit or move before I add anything else--sigh!!  Rows of daylilies that fold onto each other. Peas draped over fences. Leeks just starting to fatten up. What is it about color that moves me so? Why is there so much joy here? Why is this the place I go when I just want to be--if you know what I mean?

How can I resist my new daylily--jolly red giant. So tall and proud making a statement of being.

 The casual exuberance of Easy Ned. So bright and cheerful.

The perfection of this one--not sure of its name. Look at the details. So subtle but sure of itself. I had a plant that had grown there may have died out. But still lovely isn't it?

The extravagance of my Japanese iris chigokesho. I just got it last year. I confess I could not resist all the detail and the colors. Delicious aren't they?

The contrast of the daylily ping and the iris foreign intruder. Aren't those colors wonderful together? And yes there are more "susans" and daisies than there should be. Room perhaps next year for more iris and daylilies.

And you--do you have a garden? What the delights you are seeing this year?  What are your favorite flowers? Have you figured out what makes gardens so joyful?

Monday, July 2, 2012

the quilts of Ann Brauer--it's hot out there

OK--it is officially summer. The weather outside is HOT HOT HOT. My daylilies have just started blooming and they look absolutely fabulous. The Bridge of Flowers is amazing this year with flowers overflowing the sides.   They have finished filming in Shelburne Falls. And I do now have an air conditioner in the studio so I can continue to get ready for the three craft shows I have scheduled this summer.

First I am pleased to announce that my quilt--prairie sky--was published in Machine Quilting Unlimited this month. Then July 19-22--that is Thursday through Sunday I will be at the Guilford Craft Expo on the Town Common in Guilford, CT. I have been doing this show for a number of years and think it is wonderful. Do note they have added Sunday hours again this year. There is lots of wonderful work there including the leather of my friends Dick and Dianne Muller and the amazing garments of Loraine Jackson. If you like to see great workmanship do check out the care she puts into her clothes. I will be previewing a lot of my new quilts with the very intense piecing so I hope many of you will be able to stop by and give me feedback.  We are all in Tent B--my booth number is B20. For more information check out

Later in August I will be doing the Berkshire Craft Show at Monument Mountain HIgh School in Great Barrington, MA and then the American Craft Exposition in Evanston, IL. When I am not at a show I will be busy working--in air conditioned comfort if necessary--at my studio although do call first if you are coming from a distance.

And now for the quilt of the month. Another hard choice this month but I have chosen red sky. This quilt is 32 x 48" and normally sells for $820. I love this piece and indeed just pulled it out to show a customer but it looks so much so  like summer that for the next ten days--or until it is sold I will sell it for $600 plus shipping and any sales tax. You know the routine.