Monday, November 26, 2012

having fun with colors

Yes, tis the season. time to make sure I have lots of the smaller items that I know people will want to get and give. The potholders and eyeglass cases. The placemats and table runners. You know the drill.
After all, I do have one more craft show to do--and what a show it is also. CraftBoston at the Cycloramo on Tremont Street in Boston, December 7-9.  Have you ever been? What a wonderful building. Just being inside takes you back to another century. So much detail and extravagance. And yes, the work is gorgeous too.  Ninety of the best fine craft artists around. Definitely worth the trip into Boston. You can even take the subway. For more info:

But I digress. You see, I have been doing lots of color progressions. You know--placemats in gold or brown. Rusts or reds. Always fun to do. And they do look great if I do say so myself.

Placemat in gold--by Ann Brauer. Quilts.

But then I decided it was time to play. What if I made a placemat that used green and brown and yellow? Maybe a bit of rust. That would be fun, wouldn't it? And give me a new challenge.

Placemat--earth tones by Ann Brauer.  

How cool is that. Maybe I need to make a table runner also. Part of my landscape series. It could even be a wall hanging, couldn't it?

Table runner--by Ann Brauer. Quilts.

Yes, maybe an eyeglass case. Why not?

Eyeglass case--by Ann Brauer. Quilts.
Yes, I'm onto something. Maybe I should do a set with more rusts than green? That could be lovely. What other colors? Why do I always get inspired at the last minute? Does this happen to you, too?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

now that's a lot of sewing

I will be the first to admit I have a love-hate relationship my new long table runners--or are they wall hangings? Don't you just love how they seem to stretch on forever. So complex and substantial with  colors that almost shimmer in the light. That expanse of freedom and hope.

But they sure do take a lot of sewing. Think of it. About 50 seams that are about 8 feet long. Whew. That is well over 100 different fabrics to get the right color selection. And the most discouraging thing is that after I have finished one seam I have added a total of 1/4 inch to the quilt. That's not very much. The ball point pen in the hotel room is wider than a quarter of an inch.

And when I start there is nothing there. No color. No sense of motion. Just a long black seam.

Even after a few more it still looks rather blah!!! (Yes, it was late in the day when I snapped this picture but still you must get the idea.) This image is less than three inches. UGH!!!

Carry on though I must. There is a bit of British in my background I remember.

So finally there is the hint of color. Progress. One of the slowest aspects is that every seam or two I must stop and cut more fabric. Quilts do take on a life of their own and I must pay attention to this one.

How long will I linger in these colors. How slowly it seems to go.

I confess I guestimate and then finally measure. Seven inches done. Then eight. Then nine. Aren't I finished yet. The last two or three inches just seem to drag. I don't even let myself stop and take pictures. I must sew. Another seam and then coffee. Finally it is done. I cut it to size and sew on the binding. Even the hand finish work goes on and on as I grow increasingly impatient to see the finished quilt.

Finally though--aren't the colors wonderful!

I hang it in the booth at the Washington Craft Show. Yes, it looks perfect. All is forgiven.  And then so soon, it is gone. Already it has found a great home. Almost too soon but no--I want it to be happy. And besides I can always make another one, right?

Does this happen to you? Do you have projects that just seem to go on and on even though you know the finished result will be worth it in the end? How do you approach them? What do you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the quilts of Ann Brauer--Turkey Day edition

OK--finally I have a chance to e-mail my trusted customers. Sorry for not sending you a monthly e-mail at the beginning of the month--it is a long story and not worth going into. But....I did want to make sure you knew about the Washington Craft Show. It is next week-end November 16-18 at the Washington Convention Center. I do love this show. The work is incredible. Each artist--and all of the exhibitors are artists--is stretching their medium in ways that constantly delight and surprise me. I have been working hard for this show--making lots of my new long table runners--or are they wall hangings.

If you are in the area, I do hope you will make time to drop by. My Booth this time is 602--at the back of the hall.

Then on Friday November 23 Shelburne Falls celebrates its annual Moonlight Magic when the streets come alive with candelaria. The Women's Club sells cookies and merchants are open late. I will be open at least until 8 pm celebrating with several in store specials so I do hope those in the area will make a point of visiting.

And for those who have been wondering--yes, the Quilt of the Month is back!!! Cheers. This time it is my quilt--hidden lake. I made it a couple of years ago after spending a week hiking in northern New Hampshire. I loved the glimpses of lakes through the lush green of the forests. This quilt is about 45 wide by 43 inches tall. Normally it would sell for $1200 but for the next ten days or until sold, it is $700 plus shipping and any applicable taxes.

And if I don't see you, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Friday, November 9, 2012

riffs on the dawn

What a difference a day or even a week can make, don't you agree?

The sadness and uncertainty of Hurricane Sandy--oh how my heart aches for all those who suffered so very much. And especially those who are still in its grip of destruction.

The nor'easter that kept our sky grey and damp. For so many it was adding insult to injury.

And of course the nervous anxiety of Tuesday. Trying to wait patiently. Trying to say it would be OK. The feeling of relief that it is over. That democracy really and truly does work.

The dark of Standard Time. Hard to get used to, isn't it? Hard to celebrate the morning sun.

But today. Finally. The sun shines bright and clear. Melting the wisps of snow on the lawn. Promising to warm the corners of the house in a way that even the strongest wood fire just can't. How energized I feel. How eager I am to get to work. To finish getting ready for the Washington Craft Show, November 16-18. Hard to believe it is so close, isn't it? Hope to see some of you there.

This is my quilt--riffs of the dawn. I made it a couple months ago but have waited until the perfect day to show it. What do you think? How did you survive the past week or so?