Scarlett Rose's Blog: Scarlett Rose's Celtic & More

May 9, 2014

Had it really been 12 years since I went to Paducah? Yes, it was April of 2002 the last time I was there. So much had changed, but so much has stayed the same. The quilts were stunning, with so many wonderful designs and new techniques. I enjoyed viewing them all and I learned a lot in the process.

This time, I stayed with friends in their motor home at the Fern Lake Campground. It's on the free shuttle route, so getting around works pretty well. The only snafu I hit was the night I had planned a party for some Japanese quilter friends. They came around 5pm and we had a gift exchange, food and fun until just after 8pm. I had talked to the bus driver for our route and thought he would be making his last run about 9pm since that was when I had come back to the campground the night before, after my class. He ran very late though and we wound up taking the quilters back to their hotels by car. Luckily, my friends had their tow car and the campground manager offered to drive some of them in his SUV.

Other than that, everything else ran fairly smoothly. I enjoyed the foundation pieced Double Wedding Ring class I took from my friend, Sumiko Minei. I also learned some new tricks from the All Star Review. That event was set up differently than it used to be. Before, you went around to different tables as teachers demonstrated their tips. Sometimes you didn't get around to everyone before the event was over, but you did get a stack of all the handouts. Now, the event is videoed and projected onto a big screen so you can see the teacher doing their demonstration while you sit in the audience. No running around! You get all the handouts as you come in so you can follow along as they talk. It was awkward for some teachers if they weren't used to being on camera, but it worked much better overall than the older way.

I talked so much while I was there that I'm still hoarse two weeks later! Big quilt shows like this one are wonderful opportunities to meet and chat with quilters from around the world. I met Australian quilters, German quilters, English quilters, Canadian quilters and quilters from all over the USA as well as meeting up with my friends from Japan. I found out that of the 405 quilt entries in the Paducah quilt contest there were 68 quilts from Japan, 36 from Illinois, 26 from California, 21 each from Florida and Washington state. Most states were represented, as well as a wide range of countries, some with just a single entry.

Going through the Quilt Museum was very informative. I really looked at all the previous Best of Show quilts, which have changed radically in the 30 years this show has been held. They set the quilts in pairs, one older quilt next to a much newer quilt, to contrast the changes that have occurred in the quilting world. Very dramatic!

I've posted pictures of the Celtic quilts I found at the show, some of the quilts made by friends who were there and pictures of the party in my Paducah album on Facebook.
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Published on May 09, 2014 09:59 • 36 views • Tags: aqs, celtic, paducah

February 27, 2014

What an adventure I had this last week and weekend! It was my first visit to Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy (TESAA) in Williamsburg, Virginia and I was thrilled to be invited to participate as one of four guest artists. Traveling at this time of the year can be risky, especially with the Polar Vortex storms that have been so devastating for parts of the country, but I really lucked out and had no difficulty in flying across the country from California to Virginia. I changed planes in Chicago, where it was very cold (20's) and got to see the lake completely frozen, with snow drifting across it. The sight gave me flashbacks to the Disney movie, Frozen, which I'd seen a couple weeks before and I could hear "Let It Go" playing from my memory!

Elly introduced all of us guest artists at the Dessert Reception on Wednesday night, where 3 of my Celtic quilts were on display (Triple Celtic Crosses, New Circuitry and San Kamon). The other artists were Lisa DeBee Shiller (my hotel roommate), Mercy Savage and Ann Hondt. We shared a room at the conference center, which was called the Guest Artists Studio.

I taught a one day class, Triple Celtic Crosses, on Thursday. The students had a good time and learned a lot about making your own bias tape, how to interlace the bias to make a Celtic knot and the secrets of my hand applique technique. I really enjoyed teaching this class!

On Friday I dressed up for the Afternoon Social, topping my outfit with my own silk flower fascinator. With space being very limited in my luggage, I made this fascinator so it would lay somewhat flat and be rolled up in bubble wrap so it could travel safely. I used a pair of cosplay cat ears on a headband to hold the fascinator on my head. I'm very glad I had bought the cat ears at SacAnime in January. I didn't wear the matching tail, though....

My Guest Artist table displayed all my patterns, for quilts as well as embroidery. While I sat at the table, I worked with my twilling stitch, hand embroidering a Danu block when things were quiet. It was very busy during the lunch breaks each day, with more quilters stopping by after the classes finished in the afternoon. I had a stack of my workshop brochures (which ran out too soon) and my business cards on the corner of the table, right in front.

I'm really hoping that I will pick up some bookings for this September, when I return to the East Coast to teach for the Pine Tree Quilt Guild in Maine. Any bookings elsewhere would be wonderful, too. There were quite a few quilters from other countries attending TESAA, along with all the US quilters. I think the attendance was something like 260 quilters altogether. I got to greet several quilters that I've known from other quilt conferences and who I haven't seen in some time, plus meet several quilters from online groups like Facebook that I hadn't seen in person before. There were quite a few quilters that were happy to discover a Celtic quilt artist at TESAA and I'm glad to have met them.

Sunday afternoon was sunny and beautiful, so I took the shuttle over to Colonial Williamsburg and spent two hours walking around admiring all the old buildings. It was a long hike, but well worth it. There were people in period costume walking around, with carriages taking visitors on sedate rides around the area. I wish I'd had enough time to visit the museums, too, but I hope I'll get the chance to return and spend more time there. This time, it was great to see the old brick buildings, which I went up and touched, just to be able to say that I touched something that old. Out here in California, mid to late 1800 buildings are about all we have!

My flight home was also uneventful, for which I'm very grateful. Another big storm is currently hitting the parts of the country that I was just visiting, so I'm glad to be home. I bought some goodies while I was at TESAA, some absolutely gorgeous hand dyed pearl cotton thread from Sharon Schamber and some beautiful pearl cotton from a German thread company, that I'm looking forward to trying out on some of my Celtic embroidery designs.
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Published on February 27, 2014 11:24 • 43 views • Tags: applique, colonial-williamsburg, elly-sienkiewicz, fascinator, williamsburg

December 31, 2013

I'm starting off the new year with an anime convention trip! SacAnime, in Sacramento, CA, is featuring one of my favorite manga artists, Svetlana Chmakova. I'm taking my Dramacon Ultimate Edition hardback of her first manga series in hopes of getting her to autograph it for me.

My great niece Whitney is coming with me and we plan to cosplay, of course. She's into Vocaloid characters, so she'll be dressing up as her favorites. I have a costume for Konan, a character from Naruto and I've just made a costume for Kaede, a character from Inuyasha. I haven't watched Inuyasha in years, so I've been rereading the manga to refresh my memory. A little research on the Internet gave me all the details I needed for my costume.

It was easy to make a white kimono top and red hakama since I have the Folkwear patterns for those traditional Japanese articles of clothing. Whitney has a long gray wig that I can borrow, so I'm all set. I also made a duffle bag that I can wear cross body to carry my purse stuff and be more in character.

Time to start packing and then prepare some food that we'll have for our snacks and lunches. We're staying with friends, so I'm cooking beef curry the first night as a thank you. A blackberry cheesecake is also planned. Yum!
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Published on December 31, 2013 05:22 • 34 views • Tags: anime, inuyasha, naruto, vocaloid

October 22, 2013

I've been stitching like crazy on my block samples for Ireland next June. I love the Brigid's Mantle colorway and I hope that quilters will like it too. I've gotten three blocks done! Want to have a look at them? They're in my Samples Album on Facebook. You don’t need a Facebook account to see them, so you can just click on the link and the album will be available to you.

I'm working away on the Brigid's Cross pieced and embroidered quilt top. I have four more crosses to embroider, then it needs to be quilted. I'm going to do some hand quilting with metallic thread and the usual stitch in the ditch by machine. The embroidery is with gold metallic pearl cotton, which is a bit tricky to handle, but it's worth the effort. I'm doing the stem stitch and it looks fabulous in gold.

Each year in October, I go to Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, California. It's the nearest international quilt show that I can even drive to instead of fly, and I've been to all but two of them. I was amazed to find so many Celtic quilts at this year’s show! I’ve uploaded the pictures to a Facebook album on my Celtic & More business page.

These are the high resolution pictures that I took with my digital camera. I just love Sue Prins’ quilt! She's the most amazing Celtic knot designer, with intricate patterns that just blow me away. Her quilt was all hand done, too!

I also took pictures of quilts that just caught my interest and I put those in another PIQF album on my personal Facebook page. These are quilts that had themes, techniques or embellishments that caught my eye. The designs are eye popping on some quilts and they are pretty amazing!

I used my iPhone 4s for most of these and I was pleased with the way they turned out. I just got this new cell phone at the beginning of October and I’m amazed at the quality of pictures that it takes. It even has a flash! Technology sure has improved with these phones. I think we've got Star Trek communicators beat, easily. I used to wish for one of those back when I watched the various Star Trek series on TV.
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Published on October 22, 2013 10:04 • 68 views • Tags: brigid, celtic, embroidery, quilts

September 22, 2013

In the last couple weeks, I've been rediscovering some events, unrelated but memorable, in my life. It's amazing to me when this kind of thing happens, usually in bunches like it has. What have I rediscovered? Well, I've been a fan of Frances Hodgson Burnett since I saw the Little Lord Fauntleroy movie back in 1980. I also watched, and loved, The Secret Garden series on PBS in 1987. What I just found out was how many other books she wrote! Wow.... All because I decided to watch some old movies.

When I checked on Amazon, most of her other books are free to download for the Kindle, so I did that immediately. Now I'll read more of her work and see if there are other stories that I like as well as the ones she's best known for. I've seen A Little Princess, too but I don't think anything else of hers has been turned into a TV series or movies. This will give me lots of read for a while and I'm glad to have found more of a favorite author's work.

Because I was able to go to a small quilting group gathering on short notice, a friend passed along some quilt blocks to me on Friday. We'd been talking about our local PBS station, KIXE, who had done a quilting series starting back in 1999 through 2005. I had volunteered a lot of my time to work on the series and I had learned so much about television production in the process. While cleaning out a storage cabinet, I'd come across some VHS tapes I'd made of the quilt programs when they'd originally aired. One of the other quilters has the ability to copy VHS to DVD with a device she purchased some years ago, so I was trying to find out if she would copy my tapes.

Since everyone at the meeting had watched the quilt programs and most had also volunteered at least some time to help out, we discussed the shows in depth. That's when one friend mentioned that she still had a stack of quilt blocks from a contest that was held as part of the promotion for one of the shows. We looked at the blocks and they sure brought back memories! My niece Heather had made a block and she had received 3rd place in the contest, winning $25 as a prize.

All the blocks were supposed to have been put together into a raffle quilt, but it hadn't happened. I think it was because the blocks were so different. They have the theme in common, but the fabrics and colors are so varied that it would have been a real challenge to make a pretty quilt out of them. What am I going to do with the blocks? Well, I'm going to take them to the Thursday quilt group this week and see what the quilters think. It's a larger group, so there will be more opinions to choose from. If I can find a volunteer, then I may pass the blocks along. We'll see... In the meantime, I'll photograph and document them for my records.

I finally took my wedding video into Costco to have it copied onto DVD. That VHS tape I wanted to have done professionally since it's so precious. I got the dvds back last week and we watched one of the dvds to see how well the video had transferred. It looks okay, but when we watch the video on our old VHS player, it still looks better. Oh well, if that's the best that can be done, at least I have it in a form that will last longer. I was getting concerned that the VHS tape would go bad at some point.

Several trips down memory lane and all of them very good memories. I'm working away on my new projects and getting plenty done, but there's still lots to do. I have a two day class coming up this week and I'm looking forward to teaching at that as well. Back to work I go!
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Published on September 22, 2013 12:17 • 46 views • Tags: books, friendship, wedding

August 22, 2013

I've been world building, working on the descriptions of the characters that make up my new Celtic design series. Wow, it's been incredible to go through this process and unexpectedly learn about them myself!

The preprinted block for Caer is finished and she's #3 in my Legend of Merlin series, meant for embroidery. I wrote up a description of her that I've already posted on Facebook, but I'll share it here as well.

"Caer, Harbinger of Dreams.... An ally of Merlin, she is a powerful shapechanger and when seen in her swan form, which wears a golden necklace, any dreams should be heeded for they contain information that may greatly affect the future of the dreamers!"

I've chosen several colors to print Caer in, but one particular coloring I'm calling Destiny Revealed, which is a white background with Pure Soul and Hidden Treasures colors. I'm embroidering the other blocks, Aine and Danu, also with matching white backgrounds, for a very unique quilt. Can you guess who they are all pointing towards?

"Danu, Mother of the Elves... Legend says she wields the power of healing through transformation, with her ability to change Mages into Elves, a people fiercely loyal to her and who see her as their mother."

Chosen Path of Danu is made up of the colors of Regal Born, Pure Soul, Hidden Treasures and Secret Desires printed on a white background.

Aine, Queen of the Fairies, Wielder of Fairy Dust..... Her Life's Promise coloring is made up of Regal Born, Pure Soul and Hidden Treasures printed on a white background.

I used the twilling stitch to hand embroider this beautiful version of Aine with Weeks Dye Works pearl cotton thread in Whiskey, Ultraviolet and Caribbean.

While working away on these characters, something very serendipitous occurred!
I can't reveal it yet, but it has made my plans for Ireland all the more exciting and something that I think will catch the imaginations of the quilters who attend the Quilt Festival. At least, I hope so!

Other projects have moved ahead, some smoothly and others somewhat bumpily, but I'm juggling so many things at once.... By choice, of course, but sometimes I wonder what I've gotten myself into. Now I'm off to stitch with quilting friends for a Thursday afternoon break.
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Published on August 22, 2013 13:54 • 74 views • Tags: celtic, embroidery, merlin, twilling

July 23, 2013

I'm thrilled to share with everyone that I'm going to be teaching at the International Quilt and Craft Festival in Ireland next June! Wow, it's been a really incredible week.... This fabulous news was just announced by Jim West on the Festival's Facebook page.

The other teachers who were also announced are Edyta Sitar, John Flynn, Ricky Tims, Pam Holland and Angela Madden. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with them in Ireland, some for the first time, and with others whom I haven't had a chance to visit with in quite a while.

I'll be teaching three half day classes, with more information about those classes to be announced later. Jim is very busy with plans for next year's festival and he will be updating the Festival website on August 1st.

If you're interested in attending the Festival, please keep an eye on their website because tour information will be posted soon. You can sign up and join any of the escorted tours going to Ireland, with whichever quilting personality you prefer. I'll be one of the escorts, so if you'd like to join me in touring Ireland, I'd be glad to have you along!
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Published on July 23, 2013 10:44 • 137 views • Tags: celtic, ireland, quilting, teaching

June 28, 2013

It may be summer at last, but I'm busy working away on several projects and I've just finished my first modern patchwork quilt, using a traditional Irish symbol as the inspiration. The Brigid's Cross pattern, both in printed and digital format, is almost ready for publishing, so I'm going to hold off sharing any pictures of the finished quilt here until the patterns are ready and uploaded. Sorry about that, but I really couldn't wait to say just a little something about it! Please check my website or visit me on Facebook by the end of this weekend to see the announcement of this fun pieced pattern.

Why am I posting about it already then? Because I'm so excited about having created a quick and easy pieced quilt pattern that fits the Modern style. I had no idea I could come up with anything that would fit this description, but I have been looking at lots of Modern quilts recently. It's the big trend now in quiltmaking and I already know what I like and don't like about Modern quilts. It took some figuring out, but hey, that's part of the fun of designing.

I'll be adding this Modern quilt design to my workshop brochure on Google Docs this weekend, too. I've already scheduled the first class for Brigid's Cross on August 17th at my local quilt shop, the Blue Iris, in Palo Cedro, CA.

I am ready to announce that Aine, the first design in my Legend of Merlin series, is now available as a hand embroidery pattern or as an e-Pattern. I know many quilters would prefer to pick their own background fabrics for their embroidery blocks, so I'm going to make all these special Celtic knots into regular embroidery patterns as well as printing them on my custom colors of fabric for embroidering. I hope I'll get to see lots of pictures of projects as quilters and embroiderers start stitching it for their newest projects!
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Published on June 28, 2013 11:33 • 77 views • Tags: aine, brigid, brigid-s-cross, celtic, cross, irish

June 12, 2013

Whew, I think I'm still recovering from Fanime (Memorial Day Weekend). It was a blast with my great nieces Whitney and Linzi along! My niece Heather came over from Livermore to meet up with us on Friday, then I drove us over to the San Jose Convention Center after we'd all gotten dressed up in our yukatas. I've posted a Fanime 2013 photo album on Facebook that anyone can view, so you can see our costumes and a few of the pictures Heather and I took during the weekend.

We decided that each day would be different costumes, so the plan was for Saturday to be Steampunk and Sunday was Cosplay. There were some glitches at Fanime, such as the line to pick up our prepaid badges took 4 1/2 hours to get through.... Not as bad as we heard for some, since there were 6 hour waits on Thursday and earlier on Friday. The costumes you can see in line helps pass time, plus most people are friendly and chatty. We brought snacks & water, so no one got starved while we waited.

The events we attended were great fun and just walking around both Fanime and Clockwork Academy (steampunk) to see all the incredible costumes kept us busy. Each day started with dressing up and getting to our favorite parking area before noon, then we made use of the free shuttle between the two conventions to get around as needed.

I made sure everyone was prepped with their water & snacks, carried in totebags, which could also be used for purchases since vendors couldn't give out bags. My wish list for next time is for costume coordinated totebags, so they wouldn't look so out of place. I had an ice chest in the trunk of my car so we could refill during the day. With everything that was going on, we didn't get back to the house where we were staying until midnight each day.

I didn't get the chance to work on any of my projects while I was at Fanime. Heather did, since she had some of her crochet stuffed in her totebag. It was interesting to watch her working on her crochet project as people walked by and noticed what she was doing. She wasn't the only one who had brought something like that because I spotted a very stylish steampunk lady doing hand cross stitch at a table as we passed by!

My new Modern Quilt is almost finished. I machine quilted it after consulting with Tenna, one of my Thursday Quilting friends, about what design to use in the quilting. She offered some great suggestions, which I used for the quilt. I'm just finishing the hand stitching of the binding with two more sides to go. A little more work on the pattern and it should be ready, too. I may go ahead and schedule a class for this quilt design at my local shop, the Blue Iris, to see if the quilters here like my design.

I'm busily hand appliqueing the Celtic Rings bed scarf that is the sample for the Applique Academy class I'm teaching next February. It's coming along well and I'm already thinking about how I want to quilt it. I think I'm about halfway done with the applique, which goes fast with my homemade bias. It's all Celtic, with an alternate design option if students want to be more traditional.

After a couple of very hot (over 100 degree) days last week, it has cooled back down to a more reasonable 80s/90s range. I plan to take advantage of that and get as much work done as I can. This is the slow time at JCP until the Back to School season starts, so I'm ramping up my efforts with my quilting and trying to get as many things done as possible.
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Published on June 12, 2013 10:00 • 127 views • Tags: applique, celtic, cosplay, fanime

May 21, 2013

I can't believe it's been a month since I wrote a blog entry... But it has been a very busy month!

First up, I have some great news - I'm going to be a guest artist at Elly Sienkiewicz's Applique Academy next February! I also get to teach a brand new Celtic applique class for one day. More details to follow as I finish up my class sample and get all my information turned in. I think the signups for the Academy aren't until August, so there's plenty of time to decide if you'd like to attend. The Academy will be in Williamsburg, Virginia on Feb. 19th thru the 23rd, 2014. If you belong to a quilt guild, work with a quilt shop, retreat or other quilter's gathering in the area, I can add bookings to my trip, either before or after. Please download my workshop brochure for information about my class and lecture offerings.

I don't know how it happens, but whenever I start work on a new project, I get so many ideas going on at the same time that it almost drives me crazy. I can think of so many variations and color choices that I spend lots of time drawing them up so I won't forget them. Good thing I use Electric Quilt 7 nowadays.... I used to draw up my ideas on graph paper! That really dates me, but hey, I am what I am. Anyway, the point is that I came up with a design that I can split into two projects. One design is for my class at the Academy and the other will become my first Modern Quilt pattern! Hurray, I've joined the Modern Quilt Movement!!

I bought fabric in Vacaville on my way home from giving a lecture in San Mateo last week. There's a Super Joann's there that I drop into every now and then. It has a good range of Modern prints, so I was able to find the perfect fabrics for my pieced sample quilt. It's an overall pieced design, something I haven't done in a while since I usually add some applique, but this design came together fast and is fabulously striking looking, with just the right touch of abstract. I did more research when I got home and I'll include some of the historical information with the pattern, since I'm turning a traditional Irish good luck symbol into a pieced quilt pattern.

The sample quilt top is finished already. After doing the math, I strip cut the pieces and sewed all afternoon yesterday. I sewed the rows together last evening after Antiques Roadshow and gave it a final press. Today, I'm going to hunt for some backing fabric from my stash, but I'm also going to start packing up for Fanime this weekend. I have a feeling I may not get to start machine quilting this new sample quilt this week, but I'll have everything ready for next week.

The sample quilt for my Academy class is applique, of course, so I'm working a bit more slowly on it. I have fabrics ready and I may pack some work with me for any quiet time that I just might have this weekend. While playing around the applique design, I did make up a variety of color combinations that included some rather bright and lively colors as well as the traditional color combos. I'm looking forward to what my students might choose for their projects!

In between all this quilting, I've been learning about Google Drive (Docs) and what I can do with it. I had my pdf catalogs (retail and wholesale) on a nice download site for several years, but recently I noticed a dropoff on the number of downloads. When I went in to have a look, I found that the site had added popups and more pages to click through to get to the pdfs, so people weren't going through all that just to get my pdfs. I don't blame them! What a hassle... Anyway, it's taken a while for me to find an alternative. My website provider doesn't allow me to upload anything larger than 5mb, so I was stuck with where to put my retail catalog, since it tends to run around 11mb in size with all the color pictures.

I've been on Google for a very long time, but hadn't paid attention to their storage/sharing options. when I went to download a free quilt pattern a couple weeks ago, it hit me that I could use Google Docs (now Google Drive) to share my catalogs! Wow, I may be slow sometimes but I do get there eventually. There was no problems with the sizes of my catalogs and I've already uploaded my retail and wholesale catalogs, plus my workshop brochure there. If you choose to download any of them, please let me know how it works out. I tested them myself so I think I have them set up correctly, but you never know for sure until someone else tests them too.
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Published on May 21, 2013 09:33 • 256 views • Tags: applique, catalog, modern, quilting

Scarlett Rose's Celtic & More

Scarlett Rose
I'm a Celtic knotwork designer, quilt artist, author, quilt teacher and quilt judge. My website is www.ScarlettRose.com

My favorite genres are fantasy,science fiction, paranormal and mystery books. I a...more
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