Monday, April 30, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I have to admit that I didn't like the theme of "maps" for the small quilt that I'm doing. I waited until very close to the deadline to begin. And then, the dance began.
*I decided to use beige Kona as the base fabric and went to the store and found exactly what I needed. And then, I couldn't find it. What? How is that possible? And yet I know to not look too hard because my eyes keep coming back to a piece of muslin
*I went to the art store for a pigment pen and in my happy search for just the right color I picked up a brush pen instead of a micron. When I start my words, the lines are too bold. At that point I can easily start on another piece, but the art store is ways away and I keep going.
*At the quilt show, I bought a tube of Smooch Spritz, with this quilt in the back of my mind but with no real plan. It's just the right color to add an antique look.
*The piece is way out of balance, the "continent" white spaces aren't right. The map lines and quilting do nothing to restore balance. I'm not happy. Someone gives me gentle advice about just starting over when the piece just doesn't seem right. I appreciate the advice but I don't take it this time.
*I make the accent GPS pieces and I like those, just what I wanted. I arrange them on the quilt but the balance still is not right and even though the area is large, there are too many GPS pieces. I leave it for awhile and come back and take off my favorites, the ones I did first, and it's better.
*I've had a hand-dyed piece of fabric laid aside for the border from the beginning and now it just isn't right, it's going to just disappear. I know just how that binding is going to look, straight edge, conventional but with lines of beads interspersed along the edges. I think several times about looking at my bead inventory to see if I have the beads I need, but I don't do it even though it's a pleasant thing to do.
*Maybe, perhaps, a curved border would be better. Nothing seems right. And then I spot a remnant that I got last week. Bright turquoise with leaf outlines that could just read as waves instead. I haven't done a border like this in years, and yet . . . More width on the tops and bottom than the sides. Gentle flowing curves. And just like that, the balance is here. The boredom of the piece is gone. It says what I want it to say, shows the evolution of the map.
And I can free motion on that border, how fun is that, just the opposite of what normally happens. And then the beads. This is turning into fun. But what should I put on the label? Made by me, and the Universe?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I thought first of those pictures of very old maps. Vague maps with more writing than actual pictures because, after all, the thinking was vague. I started with a piece of muslin (only because I couldn't find the Kona I bought for this project) and drew an abstract land shape, then used a micro pen to write words. Lots of them. I bought a brush pen by mistake, so the words were more bold than I'd pictured, but that's ok. Then I used a bit of Caramel latte Smooch Spritz in the lovely glass tube to add just a little color.
Next, I superimposed lines for roads and rivers like a more modern map might have. Painted a spots of yellow for cities. Remember what treasures those maps used to be? You might pick them up at a Welcome Center or from AAA every few years. Carefully save them in a drawer.
Even though I'm not done, I did the quilt sandwich next, then quilted grid lines. Grid lines were an important part of reading a map. You might note that Bluffton, Ohio, for example, might be B,19 on the map and you'd look for the intersection of those lines.
The last part will be to make something that looks like the GPS on your car or your phone. Angular roads, purple for the road you're traveling. Curved arrows to show you which lane to take for your exit. You get the idea. Maybe there will be more than one stand-alone piece. My thinking about this is that we don't treasure maps like we used to. We just put in the data and the device tells us how to get somewhere.
This (or these) will go somewhere on the quilt, appliqued on the top. I want to show maps from ancient to modern.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
For this quilt, there was a lovely red and white skirt with lots of fabric that I could use for borders for most of the blocks. Borders add color and help make the blocks all the same size. In this quilt, the tee shirts have been stabilized, making them like a woven fabric that won't stretch. The borders are finished and the arrangement will probably be as it looks now. In some ways, the hardest parts of this quilt are finished.
Now for a little rest. Rest means more thinking. What kinds of sashing? What color? And for this quilt, what will the back look like? I have a couple of tiny tee shirt rectangles that I'll include in the back. Parts of another skirt, a red and white gingham that is too light in both color and fabric weight for the front but which should surely be included.
I like the livliness of the quilt so far because this young woman had lots of interests and exuberance. I'm thinking of bright sashings, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
I am a such a fan of the crystal guy at Findlay Market. He has a nice selection of pretty crystals and polished stones, as well as spools of colored cords. If you are buying a crystal for yourself, you select a crystal and a cord and he will make sure that the cord fits around your head and shows you how to tighten it to the desired length.
I asked him if it was bad luck that I lost the crystal I purchased in December. I was a little reluctant to hear the answer, although I haven't had any bad luck. He said no, that crystals are like cats - they really belong to no one. You can't really own them.
Nevertheless, I look forward to the day that I find the necklace. My other one, because I bought a new stone today.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Although the lighting on the picture isn't good, I have to include a picture of Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists' Cincinnati Landmarks quilt. I kept coming back to it, standing back and watching people look at it. Forty-three members of the guild worked on it, a real collaboration.
Below is my friend Holly's quilt. Holly's quilt guild is Cincinnati Modern Quilters and they did variations of the Ohio Star for their display. I love her use of gray, would never have thought to do that.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
And how fun to ride the bus across the river on a pretty Sunday morning and stroll on over. By the time I left, the downtown was bustling and I wondered why it's been so long since I've been there. I think the last time was with Aaron, some time before Christmas.
It was a treat to visit the Sulky and Superior Thread booths for some new threads and the ProChemical booth for some new paints and dyes. Of course, the best booth was Luke's Viking booth, always well done, and I got to visit with my working buddies. And I saw lots of people I knew here and there.
For now, Journey Group is at my house tonight and I need to get my head out of the clouds and clean.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
What I love:
*The little owls. This is a chance to use those new duck fabrics that heavier than the basic cottons.
*The little touches of mini piping. The instructions call for lots more piping, but I like just a little. I don't have the mini piping foot, but the 2-3 mm embellishment foot works great for this.
*The way the bag handles slip into the bag. Pretty ingenious.
*The contrasting fabrics at the bottom and lining.
*The button and loop at the bottom (I added that.) Hint: add a small button under the larger one for space for the loop to slip under.
What I don't:
*All those little credit card pockets on the front. Twelve: crazy. Next time I'll just add a pocket or two inside.
*The little cell phone pocket on the back. Next time I'll just add a full pocket across the back instead.
*The lining doesn't tack down. I went across the piping one last time to pick up the lining and give it a little stability.
I'm pretty excited to make the changes and try this again.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I'm making a list of the colors I need because it's almost time for the International Quilt Show in Cincinnati. Last year the Pro Chemical people told me they come every year and I hope to see them there. I've been looking forward to the quilt show for weeks now, ready to see some beautiful things. What a treat that it's only a few miles from home. That week, I'll be working at the store on Friday and Saturday, but I'll be there bright and early Sunday morning.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
You've seen this Nora picture before, but I found an older package of photo transfer paper and wanted to try a sample to make sure it was still good. It was.
Long day today after a late night last night. Turns out that I didn't have to be nervous after all. It was disappointing that, in North Carolina, there was a commercial during "My Old Kentucky Home" and Sarah missed that part.
Monday, April 2, 2012
A little humor, though: one of my West Virginia friends posted on facebook that "in West Virginia we've been burning couches for years." I'd like to think, as a Student Affairs person, that there will be some productive conversations about this at UK.
But, instead of watching the game, let's look at Aaron, being all happy with the skateboarding helmet from Aunt Sarah. He uses it for bike riding and is pretty pleased with it.
And let's look at Nora, all happy at Steak 'n Shake, sitting across from Aunt Tina. I can't believe how much that girl has grown up in first grade. It was quite awhile after her softball game, but she loves that uniform.