Monday, February 22, 2021

 I have a great announcement! Here it is: 


I have a new landscape quilt book coming out in February 0f 2022. It will be published by C&T Publishing and in addition to my quilts, new techniques, and lots of tips and tricks, it will feature

some of my very favorite and famous landscape quilt artists - I will include profiles on each of them as well as showing their incredible art. I'm also working on a script for an upcoming workshop on Zoom through my publisher, C&T Publishing called Creative Spark. My first workshop will be featuring a lesson on Quick Little Landscape Quilts   - specifically on designing, again with lots of tips and tricks. I'll keep you posted!


Fondly,

Joyce


Sunday, December 13, 2020

 

            Here is my new "brand" designed by Mike Simmons

 

 

Merry Christmas to all of my friends, family, peers, etc.

2020 has been quite a year, hasn't it? I've been working on a ten-month project so I have been quite busy during this COVID pandemic.

At least it has kept my mind busy and focused versus concentrating on

the horrible state of affairs around us.......I am so excited to learn today that Washington State will be getting the first round of vaccines

tomorrow and the amazing health workers, firemen, emergency personnel will be first on the list to receive it. Those living in care facilities will be next, thank goodness. Since I am 75 years young with a few health concerns, I am hoping my husband and I will fall into the next category. My husband is 89 so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will getting a vaccine within the next few months.

 

Yes, I have been creating quilts and writing and will share with you the news of my "project" in early February. It has been fun but hard work with more work to come in the next year.

 

So, what has been keeping you busy? I bet a lot of you have been busy making quilted treasures as Christmas gifts? Alas, I haven't been this year but maybe by next Christmas I will have time!

 

Here is our annual Christmas photo card for this year - I try to find a "winter"  quilt to feature each year. This quilt is called Winter Wonderland.

 

I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and happy quilting!

Fondly,

Joyce R Becker

 

Saturday, October 24, 2020




 Well, somehow summer is over and fall is upon us. I love looking at the gorgeous colors surrounding us outside. All of a sudden, the temperatures are falling and there is definitely frost on the pumpkins at night. The photo above, is of our dog, Blondie and I created her using a photo, which I had blown up at a local copy store, then I traced her onto Pattern Ease - a product that stays in the quilt. I used lots of different types of mediums to create Blondie, including unraveled yarns, fabrics, fake fur, and actual Blondie fur (from when she was groomed). Her face is the actual photograph also enhanced with other mediums. I can't show you the whole quilt yet, but I thought it would be fun for you to see how much fun I had creating her. 

This post is short and sweet, but I just wanted to say hi and wish you good health and I hope you are having fun creating works of art at home.

Fondly,

Joyce

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Filming a lecture and trunk show

Videotaping 

So here we are filming a lecture and trunk show that I am hoping to be able to present online soon for guilds, groups, seminars, associations, etc. My talented step-son, Mike Simmons, who is a professional videographer generously did the filming for me and his wife, Charlene, acted as his assistant. I could not of done this without them and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. If you are looking for an professional team, then you need to contact Mike and Charlene. Their rates are very reasonable and they will travel if necessary. Contact information:

EMail:msimmons@simmonsvideoproductions.com or 970-589-9825 They produce, direct, film and edit!

Recording and taping a lecture and workshop is definitely hard work and requires a lot of organization and per-planning. We filmed in my studio and in the main living area of our home. I included a segment on how to decorate your home with your landscape quilts in the hopes that more quilters will decorate with their art!

Stay safe, wear your masks, and wash your hands.....and Happy Quilting!

Fondly,

Joyce

Monday, August 17, 2020

Joyce R Becker, Landscape Quilt Artist and Author

I know it has been a very long time since I posted on my blog and I apologize. During this pandemic and current situation in the United States  it has been difficult to stay grounded and not steeped in negativity, hasn't it??


In spite of the current state of affairs, I have done my best to stay incredibly busy, working on new quilts and writing. I can't share everything yet but there will be more news in the future regarding what I have been working on. I have been very disciplined and most days, I work around seven to eight hours a day. 


The scene above was taken around a year ago. I have been friends with a group of women quilters for good grief, around twenty-five to thirty years - we are an off-shoot from the Evergreen Piecemaker's Quilt Guild in Kent, WA.  We have been very fortunate to go and visit one of our member's summer cabin once a year on Heron Island, Washington. It is a beautiful small island and in order to get to the island, we have to take a small ferry that holds about six vehicles. Once we are there, our host fixes us a magnificent lunch and her husband treats us with fresh barbecued salmon. 

It is such a joy to sit and listen to the quiet, to hear the wind rustling through the towering Douglas fir trees and the Cypress trees. Occasionally, there is the call of a osprey or an eagle. We treasure our trip each year, treasure our friendships, and laugh till we cry. This year, unfortunately, there will be no trip.....which makes all of us sad. It's like Joni Mitchell said in her incredible song, "You don't know what you got till it's gone...."

Meanwhile,, we continue to try and laugh, find joy, and love one another in our solitude. 

I can share with you that in the future, I will be presenting a lecture and workshops through a platform with my publisher, C&T Publishing. My step-son and his wife will be here tomorrow and he just happens to be a videographer.....we will have fun trying to film a lecture and trunk show. I bought one of those big ring lights, a microphone, and a new snazzy cell phone (and a great new laptop for editing) so that we can do the filming in our home. So, it's new adventures for this seventy-five year old landscape quilter.....I will try and post some photos from our session so you can see how it went.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting

Love, laugh, and find joy

Joyce



 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

It's Been Way too long......



As usual, I am way behind on blogging and everything else on the planet so I won't apologize but just say "It's good to be back today sharing with you."

As always, the holidays get the best of me and it seems we are running around like crazy people trying to get everything done. We keep trying to simplify as we have a very large family but I guess since we are Golden Oldies now, it just takes much longer than it used to.

Since we talked last, we made a trip to Carlsbad Beach to stay in a Timeshare across from the beach. It was a very bittersweet trip as we said our final goodbyes to our sweet granddaughter, Wendy, who was thirty-two at the time. Wendy, unfortunately, was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. We spent time with her, her daughter, parents, and our other granddaughter 
while we were there for two weeks. Wendy lived until early January and our hearts are still breaking.

Most of you know how very difficult it is to be creative when your heart hurts and it took me quite a bit of time to find the inspiration to begin working on a quilt again. It is a fairly large quilt for me, 47" wide and 52" long and is titled  Precious Moments With Blondie. I have a photo for you but it is only the back of the quilt while it dries from being blocked with the label ready to be attached. As soon as it is done, I will photograph it and post it here on my blog. Meanwhile, I will show you the back and how I block my quilts these days. I guess you may wonder why I block my quilts and why it might be a good idea for you if you are making landscape or art quilts. Have you ever gone to a quilt show and saw quilts that don't hang straight and have wobbly edges? Blocking prevents these mishaps from happening. When you block your quilts, you are basically bonding the three layers together with water and your iron so they lay flat and nice.

My good friend Sonia Grasvik taught me how to block quilts and although I used to block them on the floor on a rug, these days my tired old body is just cranky and creaky and I can't get down on the floor that long without having pain. Pictured, you will see an insulation board from the hardware store on my quilting table. I actually had it cut in two at the store but I taped it together as this quilt is so big, I needed both parts. Here are the steps for blocking:
  1. Purchase a vinyl flannel backed tablecloth large enough for your quilt to fit on. FYI, Dollar Store tablecloths melt, spend a couple more bucks and get a quality tablecloth
  2. Place the tablecloth on top of the insulation board or on your carpet with the flannel side up.
  3. Place your quilt back side up on top of the tablecloth. 
  4. Do not stretch your quilt but pin the quilt into the insulation board using t-pins so your quilt won't shift.
  5. Get a large bowl and fill it with water.
  6. Head your iron to high, no steam
  7. Get a flat tea-towel or use a piece of muslin
  8. Dip the tea-towel into the water and get it saturated or wet throughout but not dripping. 
  9. Lay it down on top of the quilt, starting on one side. Make sure the tea-towel covers the edges or binding of the quilt. 
  10. Press until the tea-towel is dry
  11. Continue wetting the tea towel and moving it and pressing until you have gone over the whole quilt
  12. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on, it helps speed up the drying
  13. Depending on the season and how warm your home is, your quilt can be dry the next day or take several days
Do not remove the quilt until it is entirely dry 

Image preview 

Novel update 
I am still trying to get my novel, A Quilter's Journey published. It is currently under review with a publisher and additionally, I am trying to get an agent. It seems finding an agent should be easy but with a novel with a quilting slant, it is considered a "niche" market. During 2019 I took an advanced fiction writing class because I wanted to focus on "showing" vs. "telling" in my novel. So, I rewrote again for probably the 6th or 7th time, I've lost track......Anyway, I am not giving up. If I must, I will try and publish it as an E-book on Amazon but I would rather go the other route. Wish me luck! 

Happy quilting, xxoo Joyce