Category Archives: Gail Baar

Fall Wrap Up


IMG_0065I have had way too much fun this fall with all things art and otherwise. As a result, I have been less than attentive to this blog as two people have recently reminded me.  I think it is just like anything else you procrastinate with: the longer you put it off, the harder it is to return to it.  So I will try again.

I kicked off the fall with an entry into Artprize 2014.  It is always a whirlwind of excitement, social events surrounding art and of course, the art viewing. The art viewing experience alone  takes up hours of walking amidst the crowds to a destination and then viewing a portion of the 1700 plus entries. This year was no exception.

I was a part of the Cathedral Square venue  which had a great selection of artists and proves to be a growing destination site. 18,000 people passed through the doors to see art from 56 artists.

Some highlights –


Elizabeth Brandt‘s piece

Elizabeth Brandt's entry titled" Random Thoughts"

Elizabeth Brandt’s entry titled” Random Thoughts”


Blair Reinckman

Blair Rieckmann's "The Shortest Route

Blair Rieckmann’s “The Shortest Route


My entry

Rooflines #15, Colleen Kole ©2014

Rooflines #15, Colleen Kole ©2014



Visitors viewing Elizabeth Brandt’s “Random Thoughts”


Kids education days which is my favorite part of the event.

Kids education days

Kids education days

I loved their silly questions. I loved their thought provoking questions . And I loved their open eyes and surprised look when I explained what I did. There is no better than than watching kids get excited about art. This is a significant perk for me in participating in Artprize.


Gail and Bill Baar came to spend a night and attend the artist opening at the DeVos Center. Gail had a primo spot there. I took them on a whirlwind 3 hour trip around and I exhausted all of us.

Gail Baar Colorforms

Gail Baar “Colorforms #55

It was great to catch up and we also snuck in a trip to Meijer Gardens before they left.

Gail and Bill at Meijer Gardens

Gail and Bill at Meijer Gardens

I was lucky enough to have an interview on a local radio station WGVSU and was fortunate to not say anything too silly. (Thanks Betsy for the opportunity!)  It was nerve racking but not as intimidating as I thought it would be. And then the icing on the cake was a photo in the Sunday paper of my little old piece that was a total surprise.


In late September, I fulfilled my last duty as member to the workshop committee for my local guild,  the West Michigan Quilt Guild.  I was classroom monitor for the first day of Jacquie Gehrig‘s workshop titled  ” Slice and Insert Improvisations”. She is a kind, energetic and a “meet you where you” are kind of instructor. She is very passionate about the Modern Quilt Guild and a great ambassador for it. It’s no wonder she received Professional Teacher of the Year for 2014.

Jacquie Gehrig  workshop

Jacquie Gehrig workshop

Jaquie Gehrig workshop

Jaquie Gehrig workshop

October was filled with family. I had a quick trip to visit my daughter Hope in Iowa for parents weekend. I am proud of how hard she is working to make her way in the competitive pre-vet world.



Lots of soccer games and my son Ben was named to the Olympic Development team which will mean trips to Sarasota, Phoenix and Costa Rica in the next 6 months.  Big news indeed but again he is such a hard working driven kid whose work is paying off.

Ben , my goalie man in mid-air

Ben , my goalie man in mid-air

We ended on a sad note with saying good bye to Grandpa and father-in-law Thurm . Death is always a lesson in appreciating the time we have today.  We will miss you Grandpa.

It has been marvelous fall filled with art, friends, family and the making of things.





Congrats my friend!

     I was so excited to get this postcard in the mail this week!  My friend Gail Baar is having a show at the Raue Center for the Arts and it opens this weekend April 28th. I met Gail a few years ago at  a Nancy Crow workshop-she was the quiet one sitting next to me. I remember looking up at her work wall on the second or third day and knowing she would be going far. I felt as if she had her own style two years ago. We have kept in contact and she has been working very hard the past two years. How many pieces have you finished in the past year, Gail? Hard work and talent have paid off for her. Congrats and someday I will be able to come and see your pieces in a show.

 Well, yesterday was my fabric dyeing day. I took your advice and worked on tans and browns. Some good results with the lighter colors. The pile that is ironed is the keepers. The pile behind it turned out grainy-as if the dye wasn’t mixed enough. Bummer because it was an eight step gradation. It will be overdyed today. Need greens yet. So much for getting it done in one day. The thing about dyeing is that you have this big quantity of mixed dye left that you are compelled to use up. Which in turn means you buy more fabric…

   I tried one thing yesterday that seemed to work. I soda soaked the fabric first. Then, I squeezed the dye on in another container, mushed it around and then dumped the excess out. Then I laid the fabric flat in the grass to dry. Popped it into the washer-presoak and extra rinse( no rinsing prior to) and dryer and I had fabric with good results without batching it overnight . I followed the directions in this Frieda Anderson’s new book, Fabric To Dye For. This is what I did for the lighter fabrics-you must wait until it’s fully dry and then she says it processed. I’ll keep trying it and let you know if I get consistent results.

     Might be taking a break for the next week as I need to drop my machine off for service. Plus with my foot I am very slow and far behind in general stuff….Yikes! I’ll let you know.

Happy sewing my friends!