Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumnal Impressions!

What a great day here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, home of Virginia Tech! Liz and I have been trying to get our 10,000 steps in every day, sometimes we slack off, but overall we have been achieving our goal ; )
Earlier we were walking by a neighbors garden and the light wind was making the sunflowers dance in the dappled shade. The leaves are starting to turn brilliant shades of gold and auburn. Liz and I were really delighted to experience one of the many nature's splendor.

Falling Leaves Quilt Pattern is a celebration of the annual display of brilliant autumnal leaf color. Green leaves abound during the summer months because the pigment chlorophyll masks lighter yellow pigments and other compounds known as anthocyanins. However, with shorter days and subsequent cooler temperatures, plants stop producing chlorophyll, and as it breaks down, leaves change from green to a host of spectacular fall colors.
This quilt pattern is available in and includes a full color picture of the finished quilt, full-size foundations, assembly diagram, yardage requirements, and instructions to make the quilt shown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Excess versus Necessity

Nikki Giovanni once told me that the largest issue that we needed to confront was that of excess versus necessity. Every economic system has it flaws, but capitalism relies on excessive waste to thrive. In order to maintain our social expectations we need to consume products quickly and appreciate the rationale behind built-in obsolescence and the quick paced creeping featurism of technology.
Bernard London coined the phrase planned obsolescence in his pamphlet, Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. In the 1950s the amazing industrial designer, Brooks Stevens, reintroduced this concept to the public with his interpretation of planned obsolescence , "Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
Capitalism was taken by surprise in 1960 when Vance Packard wrote his pivotal book, The Waste Makers, where he exposed "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals." Nikki Giovanni said that we need to think about necessity and what re really need to be happy. Are our lives defined by possessing that latest gadget?
HA Schult is an artist forcing us to think about much larger issues than his "Trash People" sculptures. It is the conversation that artists start that reflects a society and its time. What do you think about the HA Schult's Trash People? Where do you stand in regards to the argument of Necessity versus Excess?

Liz and I have been fond supporters of recycling! This is especially true in our quilting studio. When we started quilting Liz and I were still in college and we could not really afford fabric, so we bought our first stash at an auction. Our bag of scraps from another quilter helped us begin our enriching journey. Then we started combing the thrift stores for wool skirts to make a vest for Liz, and blouses for interesting fabrics to use in our quilts. We still have some of those fabrics that we use from time to time.
Over the years we have made dozens of scrap quilts and in the Twirling Sunflower Quilt you can see the great use of scraps!
Gather up your scraps and stitch this colorful portrait of a dazzling sunflower. You can use your scrap collection as we have, or limit your palette by choosing just one or two fabrics. Either way, this delightful wall hanging is sure to add a touch of fall's splendor to your home.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars in difficulty (Easy/Moderate)
Finished Size: 18" × 21"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Give Peace A Chance!

President Obama is trying to assist in finding an amicable resolution to the Mideast conflict again. I wish him luck and I will dream of world peace! The headline on reads "Netanyahu calls Abbas his 'partner in peace',"which could be the beginning of something this world really needs, peace.

Clay Bennett truly sums up the issue with his cartoon ; )

Liz and I designed this block in support of world unity! World Unity quilt block is a simple foundation paper pieced quilt block.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mecca Hits The Big Time For Islam!

The world's largest three billion dollar clock is a skyscraper over Mecca! The clock has four faces that are 141 feet across! This is huge! We may have to rename Big Ben in London. This amazingly ornate clock sides are decorated with more than 90 million glass mosaic pieces.

The construction of this clock was to mark the beginning of Islam's holy month of Ramadan, which is about a month of restraint from eating, drinking, and sexual activities from dawn to dusk. Fasting teaches Muslims the importance of patience, humility, and a deeper understanding of their spirituality. During this month Muslims set out to read the entire Qur'an through Tarawih.

Time will tell if this clock can hold this position of being the biggest clock in the world, as every nation wants to make the biggest everything! Maybe this clock will start the enlightenment of all humanity and wake us up to the fact that we share far more than the minor differences we have in belief. I will meditate over this as I quilt today ; )

Five Pillars of Islam
Designers: Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Finished Size: 90" × 102"
Rotary Cutting & Machine Piecing

Life for most Muslims is guided by a set of five core principals, or pillars. This quilt honors our Muslim friends with a design ghat symbolizes the relationship between the pillars and its people — a set of interlocked links that inextricably linked.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rings of Praise

Quilters love no more than an ordinary person, but they are loved for generations! ~ Stephen Seifert ~

Rings of Praise
Designers: Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Finished Size: 84" × 96"
Foundation Piecing
Ramadan, the most venerated month of the Islamic year is a time for renewal. During this time, muslims study the Qur'an and put those teachings into action. Colorful rings interlock and spread out, like prayers, to make this striking quilt.

Ramadan begins around August 11, 2010 and will finish on or around September 10, 2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is Martha Stewart the New Paul Newman?

When Paul Newman started branding himself as a tiny boutique operation, he merchandised Newman's Own foods. His product line included fabulous tasting salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsa, popcorn, and even pizza. He donates the companies profits to charities and over the past 28 years he had donated over $300,000,000! Wow! What a guy ; )

Martha Stewart turned 69 yesterday, happy birthday! Today Martha Stewart is being compared to Paul Newman, because she is merchandising herself on everything from paint to doggie designs to crafts to wedding supplies and now she is going into cosmetics. It is amazing how image is everything in selling! I guess she gained a tremendous amount of momentum when she was released from prison.

Paul Newman is an amazing actor and outstanding philanthropist! He serves as a good role model and I am proud of anyone who looks up to him, which I do. But to compare Martha Stewart to him is a gaffe and is truly appalling. What do you think? Where is the sanity in this world?
I am not sure if perfection can be achieved through the purchase of products with someone's name on it, but many people feel that Martha Stewart has an enlightened sense of perfection, which is packaged with her name on it. Matthew Arnold said that "The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. " Today Martha Stewart is the lighthouse guiding our dollars into her pocket.

Patriot's Point Lighthouse Quilt Pattern
Finished Size: 8" × 9"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Whether found on the coasts of oceans, lakes, or the gulf, they hold a special mystique for those who delight in them. They guide us on our journey toward safety and joy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pythagoras' Lute Quilt Pattern

Pure eye candy! There are talented quilt designers out there and Liz and I are proud to be amongst them! We have been and continue to be recognized as the most talented quilt design duo! This quilt explores the stunning beauty only found in pure mathematics. Pythagoras' Lute Quilt Pattern is based on Pythagoras’ Golden Triangle, this astounding quilt is a study in both color and geometry—it is sure to become a favorite conversation piece!

Quilt pattern includes a full color picture of the finished quilt, full-size foundations, assembly diagram, yardage requirements, and instructions to make the quilt shown.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars (Moderate to Challenging)
Finished Size: 34¼" × 36"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

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