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Twenty-one years ago, following my heart bypass surgery, I received tons of get-well cards. One envelope contained these amazing original watercolor cartoons by my dear quilting friend Nancy Brown, from Oakland, California. They lifted my spirits then, and still make me laugh all these many years later. I know you will get a kick at seeing these. Nancy is known for her amazing animal portrait quilts—appliquéd and quilted by hand—and they all have amazing expressions and personality.  Many of them feature my hand-dyed fabrics, which always makes me happy. Be sure to leave a comment…I know Nancy will be watching. And…keep an eye out for next week. I’m going to feature some of Nancy’s quilts that are in my collection. May we all mend our broken hearts and share in the goodness of love that always surrounds us… if we will just keep our eyes open.

 TRY THE JIGSAW PUZZLE

Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!

 

 

2021 52 Week Challenge Class

52 Week Challenge Class: Street Photo
Photo by Toni Donaldson

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Toni says:

This week was a lot of fun although it is hard to take pictures of strangers without bothering them...trying to just aim the camera came up with a lot of ceiling or floor shots!

2021 Smart Phone Challenge Group

Challenge: Lone Tree
Photo by MJ Hovis

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MJ says:

Yet another golf course picture. Just basic editing to brighten the colors. 

 

2021 Critique Group

Challenge: ICM
Photo by Bob McInteer

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Bob says:

I set out before dawn with the intention of finding a place with lots of lights and perhaps the moon or the silhouette of the mountains. I was then going to do a tripod-mounted in-camera zoom with a time exposure.

After driving around for a while I was dissatisfied - Albuquerque is such a spread-out city I couldn't find the density of man-made lights to make the cool shot I envisioned.

With daylight rapidly approaching I decided to switch my approach. I set up my tripod inside my car on the passenger seat and the dashboard, focused ahead of the car and set exposure slow enough to get motion blur. With my intervalometer snapping away I drove around taking lots of photos. I stopped a few times see what they were looking like and made slight adjustments like zoom and horizon.

I remember when I drove under this flyover I was thinking it might be a good shot. I cleaned up some bug splats in LR, did basic adjustments and finished it up in Topaz.

 

Ricky's Challenge Photo:

Challenge: ICM
from the 2021 Critique Group

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Ricky says:

The town park during golden hour. This was a bit or rotation and zoom a that same time.

 

 

 

 

 

All That Jazz by Ricky Tims 

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This is such a fun quilt and I had more than a blast making it. Get ready for this story!
 
Ninety-five percent of the blocks…I didn’t make. I was a bit short of blocks when finishing the border on this so I made a few. Starting in 1994, I began teaching a foundation class that started with the students making two, 5-inch blocks on a muslin foundation. These were “string pieced” the old fashioned way (our grandmothers did this). All blocks are string pieced on the diagonal. I would hand out the fabric for the center strip. The rest of the strips were from student’s stashes. Notice for example the black and white center strips. I might have used black and white for a year of classes all over the world. Sometime I would hand out pink - or blue - or…? In a class of twenty-five students, we made fifty blocks to play with and combine on a design wall in various arrangements.
 
We progressed on to the 2nd and 3rd excerises which became more complex. At the end of the day, students would often leave behind their two blocks. Taking home just “two random blocks” was not that desirable to the students. When I packed up after class, I often was leaving with 20-30 blocks. Over the years this added up. In truth, I made four quilts made from these leftover blocks. This was the biggest quilt on (and the last one) and measures about 90” x 90”. It is also the only quilt that I’ve fully quilted on a longarm quilting machine. I’m a domestic, sit-down, push-the-quilt, sort of guy, but I had fun playing with this overall, free-form feather quilting.
 
If you are looking for happiness - make a scrappy string quilt.

 

All That Jazz detail 

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All That Jazz detail

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 TRY THE JIGSAW PUZZLE

Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!

 

2021 52 Week Challenge Class

52 Week Challenge Class: Composite Montage
Photo by Charlene Shaw

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Charlene says:

A simple overexposed Easter Lily and a gauze texture. Played with hue, exposure and brightness. I like the dreaminess of the two and how sometimes I can’t tell where one begins and the other ends.

2021 Smart Phone Challenge Group

Challenge: Stairs/Steps
Photo by Star Carpenter

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Star says:

A restored Victorian staircase caught my eye at the golden hour. I liked the leading lines and lighting of the image. 

 

 

2021 Critique Group

Challenge: The Story
Photo by Pam Clark

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Pam says:

My daughter-in-law cuts her sons' hair at home, which saves the family a lot of money. Here Oscar is getting his haircut.

 

Ricky's Challenge Photos:

Challenge: The Story
from the 2021 Critique Group

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Ricky says:

Anyone venture a guess as to the roads and road conditions in my neck of the woods? And you might guess the what I drive, and the brand of tires I have.

 

 

Challenge: Stairs/Steps
from the 2021 Smart Phone Challenge Group

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Ricky says:

These are the steps on the back of my house leading up to my studio. There are no stairs in my house. However, I liked the simplicity of lines and the fairly tight framing. This was editing in BeCasso.

Serenity by Ricky Tims (March 2021)
19.5” x 24.5” hand-dyed fabric, machine appliqué, free-motion machine quilted
based on a photo taken on the island of Madeira, by Hugo Dos Santos

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Inspiration comes from many sources. Often it is an event, or an emotion. Sometimes it comes from stories, people, or places. I was in the mood to create. I had a small window of creative time and took advantage of it by creating this small piece based on a photo that was recently sent to me which was taken on the island of Madeira (southwest of Portugal). My goal was to use my hand-dyed fabrics and create a colorful version of the scene. I really enjoyed the process. I personally don’t give this one an A+, but the impact of having time to create it scored a home run for my soul.

 

Inspiration photo by Hugo Dos Santos

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Serenity detail

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 TRY THE JIGSAW PUZZLE

Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!

  

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