Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's Boring Here...

After reading a few blogs showing felting, dyeing, beautiful stitching, I had to share the exciting work I'm doing. How about lots of piping and bias binding on a curved edge? Why did I think this was a good idea? I'm counting on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and other Saturday morning radio to get me through. As for the little critter in our front yard, maybe he's bored too? He stood there, posing, long enough to think it over.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Just some random stuff, a break from only posting on Wednesdays. Create a Connection recently published the idea of looking out your front door and taking a picture, first to the right and then to the left. So here goes.

It is finally spring here; in fact yesterday was an all-time record breaking, global warming kind of day with high of almost 80. So those daffodils at the edge of the woods will be open later today, and the crocus will be gone. Unfortunately, spring means all sorts of yard and garden work which I do not enjoy at all. Spring cleaning is okay, raking, weeding, etc., no.

I went to a guild meeting last night and found it surprisingly enjoyable. I took the QOV that Deb Geyer quilted and it was well received, always gratifying. The program was on hand applique, not a topic that interests me, but the presenter did a terrific job, giving everyone a little kit to work on, and sharing some tips like how to make a quilter's knot. It was also interesting to see how other people who already know a great deal about applique handle various tasks. So I learned something and used the time to do some hand sewing chores I had been putting off. Also I had the pleasant surprise of discovering that my old Hoffman quilt which I put on display at a local quilt shop in January won best wall quilt, so I've got a little gift certificate to use. The owner told me she had a sale offer which she declined on my behalf. I think I'm sorry about that.

Time to clean, walk, maybe study French for my class tomorrow, and then quilt the aqua Hoffman. Life is good--who needs excitement.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I have sewn together my class project, choosing the more realistic of the ideas I was playing with. I'm trying not to second guess myself about this. Now I'm mulling over how to finish it. I could either finish it simply with no border at all, just a tight close-up effect of the flowers, but I'm also auditioning a few fabrics for a border of some kind. I think I want the plain finish, as it's more dramatic, but I really love the way the batik on the right looks with the design. There's plenty of time to think about this, because I'm now starting the very tedious process of marking, layering, and quilting the Hoffman challenge quilt. Since it's very traditional, I'm just doing a close grid in the center and parallel curved lines in the border. This is something I can do without problem (knock on wood), and should fit the design. I must say that after a break from the Hoffman, it doesn't grate on me as much as it did--not not quite so Awfully Aqua.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Return of Winter

Here's a picture I took from my dining room window this morning--I was using color film, but the world was totally black, white, and grey. Incredibly beautiful. When I went for my camera there was a crow perched on the top of the tree, the perfect finishing touch, but he was gone when I came back. I love winter, and although it's good to see more daylight and more green, I was glad for one more touch of wintery beauty.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Workshop Creation

I have started trying various compositions for the shapes I made in my workshop last week. The pictures aren't quite right because I was trying to photograph the layout on a table. First I tried the vertical arrangement, but the way the flowers are floating bothers me, although I know this is too literal.

Then I did the horizontal, flower arrangement one. Very conventional, I think.

Then I tried this one, the least realistic, with all the shapes radiating out from center. It looks a bit like you're looking straight down from above. I've been leaning toward this one. Try to imagine it without the distracting background--I don't have a big enough piece of fabric for this at the moment.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Service Project Kids Quilt

Here's the kid's quilt I just quilted and bound for the Quilt Studio service project. Debra, Jen, Julie, and Barbara were also involved in this. Isn't it a striking, masculine looking quilt for a boy? I quilted it with 12 weight thread in a pattern to echo the nine-patch design; this makes it even more graphic. A value of this project to me was that I did something way out of my comfort zone. I would never have put these fabrics and colors together, but I like the way they turned out. I'll be sending it to Amy next week to go the Children's Campus in Bethesda.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Since I got back from Bloomington I've been dealing with a sick husband and two sick cars, so it's been hectic to say the least. It seems like things may be looking up now however, and also Blogger has decided to work for me, so here are a few more pictures from Jane Sassaman's class at the IHQS.

The idea of the class was to choose a flower, sketch it in several different ways, and finally produce a very abstract version of it. When the flower is basically reduced to shapes you can then decide on a composition and then finally move to the sewing. In a two day class we only did the sketching and shape cutting. The first picture is of the shapes I had by the end of the class. Although I like the colors, the shapes are not finished, not even satisfactory, and just sort of thrown on a dark background. I need to do something with the flying saucer-like thing on the left, and the leaves need more detail--they currently resemble sting-rays. (I do have a plan for both these steps.) My flower is something called astrantia major which most people, including me, had never seen, but it's a very interesting plant with pointed petals surrounding a large puffy center. I can't even think of another flower to compare it to.

The second picture shows a classmate's work, much farther along, even with a good composition. And the third picture shows Jane helping someone refine her sketch/shape. I loved doing this and am looking forward to finishing the project after I get some other work out of the way.

Monday, March 05, 2007

IHQS and J. Sassaman class

I had the greatest time in Jane's class at the IHQS! A wonderful teacher, delightful person, and interesting classmates, all of whom were way above my head in terms of artistic ability. But as I told Jane, one advantage of being old is that you don't really embarrass easily any more, and I just enjoyed myself tremendously. The quilts at the show were less interesting this year. Many of them I had seen before, either in reality or in pictures, and many more looked like something I had seen before.

Here's the Best of Show, made by Linda McCuen, who apparently also won the $100,000 quilting challenge for another quilt. This piece is lovely, amazing machine quilting. It's a traditional applique pattern with original quilting and trapunto designs. She used a ecru innerlining to make the trapunto darker so that it stands out. Linda was in my class; see, I said these were talented people.

The winners are on the IHQS web site, so these other quilts are just ones I liked. This is a striking portrait quilt; although it's not as intricate as many are, I thought the features and expression come through well. N

I have always loved the Carolina Lily pattern, but it's often very stiff. This setting is much more contemporary than usual, and I think gives it new life. Too bad about the blurry picture.

I did this part of the post yesterday and had to stop. Now pictures of the class and of any other quilts will have to wait until Blogger recovers from its current problem. Also, Firefox won't show me the letters in the visual verification thing, but won't let me post a comment without entering them. What's with that?