Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It was made from two packs of charms squares that I received as a gift at our last quilt retreat in Reedsburg. I used the squares to make pinwheel blocks and added some yardage as borders and backing.
The funny thing is, the very first quilt I EVER cut and sewed into squares was given to Heli at a baby shower before her first son, Juhan, was born. It was flannel cut into strips and made into a rail fence pattern. At that time (about 5 years ago), I knew nothing about machine quilting--just a little about patchwork. So, I tied the quilt and used satin for the binding.
After that, I started reading magazines and books about piecing and sewing...and the rest is history.
While I am thinking about or working on art quilts, I find it fun and relaxing to do a little something like this, especially for friends. It's wonderful just to finish something, it gets me out of my head and into the world for a bit, and it cheers my heart.
I just learned another friend will be having her third daughter this summer, so I have fabric all ready for her baby quilt. And, of course, my own grandchild is due in July, so I'll have a few things to make for that little rug rat as well. Fun!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Anyway, I was inspired right away by the calico. It reminded me of my mother--not that she wore calico often--but it had a retro/old fashioned feel. It also reminded me of full-skirted shirtwaist dresses woman wore in the 50s, so I had my idea.
This is "Washday". This is the whole piece, and a pic of the detail.
The calico is used as the grass in the background. I wanted it to look different than it does in the dress, so I painted it. I made the clothing from scraps, and used the trims in the packet to embellish them. The little bloomers are my favorite, although I like the way the dress turned out. The sky and cloud are commercial fabrics.
It does remind me of my mom, as she hung clothes on the line every week, even in winter, when the clothes would freeze stiff then dry. We had a ringer washer, and that, along with the clothesline, made washing a full day chore. As a child, I helped her by handing her the clothes so she could hang them on the line using those old, one-piece clothespins. When the spring-types ones came on the market--she was very excited. They were more fun!!
I still miss the scent of my clothes after they'd hung on the line all afternoon. I do not, however, miss the scratchy towels. Mom never spent money on fabric softener!
Even though I have a modern washer and dryer, I still try and hang sheets on the line very chance I get, to re-capture the feeling. I now wish I could find the old clothespins--I liked those better.
I managed to use a little of most of the trims. A piece of yellow ribbon, a few buttons and the tiny bugle beads were all that I didn't use. The pic is my leftovers.
This was a fun project. It is also my very first journal quilt, and I thought it fitting to honor my mother. She died more than 12 years ago, and I still miss her every day. But--I know her spirit is well and is with me.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Now--I took a fabric dyeing class with Nancy back in August, but I have not done any since. Fortunately, I found my notes! So last week I scrambled around town looking for dyes and soda ash and urea.
No one in town carries urea (even Farm & Fleet!), so I never did find it. Now I'm wondering if my results would be different if I had. Looks like I'll have to get it online.
I checked with Nancy to make sure I had the steps right, and plunged in.
Here are the results:
These two, I thought, came out really nice. Good marbling and nice color. Since I want to do a few sunset/sunrise pieces, these will come in handy. But then...I saw this one:
Note to self: Never again try to combine burgundy, bright yellow and navy blue. I guess I'll be able to use bit of this--the red into the yellow is kind of interesting...but...well, we'll see. These were done by the method Nancy and others have used: fabric in the bin, snow on top, pour dye over, wait. When they were finished, I had a goodly amount of dye left in the bottom of my bins, so I threw a couple more pieces of fabric in them. Only one came out:
The others were pretty muddy. But, again, I may be able to use bits of them for something.
I now realize what it is about hand-dyeing that is so compelling:
You try a few techniques, and things don't turn out exactly as you pictured. So you keep trying. Now and again, you produce a beautiful piece of fabric. Then, thinking you can duplicate it, you try again...and again...just knowing that the *next* one will be perfect! Just like gambling! You just never know when you're gonna hit that jackpot!
I am totally addicted!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Many responded with really good words; words with which I would agree: create, forward, joy, anti-procrastination (which I think we agreed was accomplishment or energy...), explore, stretch, play, ME!
My word for this year is
I wrote it on a piece of paper and stuck it to the wall just next to my (Quilting Arts) calendar and above my ancient radio/cd player. Since I cannot work on anything creative without music, I will be sure to see it every day. The reasons I chose this word are very personal, but mostly it's because last year, I found myself stymied and bogged down by obligations and responsibilities that were not of my own making. I didn't create as much as I wanted to, and even though I attended two retreats and a couple of classes, I feel like I didn't accomplish enough, art-wise. It was a frustrating year in many respects.
So--now it is 2010--a brand new year with fresh hope. While the same obligations and responsibilities still exist for me, I have decided that I shall grant myself a sort-of freedom from them. Certainly, I would not shirk my duties, but neither will I let them get in the way of what I want to do for myself. Just a different way of looking at them...not as barriers, but simply necessary chores which I will be happy to dispatch.
In this year, I will have freedom.
Freedom from fear, failure, doubt and self-pity.
Freedom to create, accomplish, enjoy and take joy in my art and my life.
A little perspective, maybe...