Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

65 Blocks

Last Sunday was exactly 65 days from my birthday.  I know this because I stitched my last three-inch block in my 65 days project on that day. And, much to my amazement, I didn't miss a single day. On the fourth or fifth day I didn't remember until I had turned the light out at 11 PM. After lying in bed for ten minutes, telling myself I should just forget about it and go to sleep, I got up and stitched for my requisite five minutes and went back to bed. For some reason, I never forgot after that. Some days I stitched for much longer, but it was that five-minute minimum that got me through when my schedule got really crazy.

My focus changed as the blocks began to pile up: at first I was trying to express my mood or something significant about the day, but then I played for a while with just different patterns lines could make, until I began to look for interesting lines on my walks with Terra or around the house or in art I liked. The concentric arcs in the one in the lower right corner, for example, were suggested by raindrops falling in the puddles of the driveway and this one was inspired by stones in a creek bed that form a kind of path, which is a recurrent theme in the blocks.

So I now can hold in my hand the number of years I have been part of this crazy life, and I am missing the ritual of choosing a pattern or figuring out how to represent or suggest something in line only and then doing the quiet stitching. The only one I don't like is one from the day I had a fever of 101 degrees, but I guess it certainly represents how I was feeling.

Of course the next challenge is putting these together. . . into what? But I am ready to play with them.

And if you are still with me, thanks for the company!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day indeed--a warm sunny day that kept whispering "Perfect for dyeing." So I started running through my list of Dyeing Projects I Want to Do When the Weather Gets Warm Enough and decided to begin with another attempt at oatmeal resist. I was planning to overdye my first attempt but thought it might be interesting to try a second layer of resist--so soon it was covered with oatmeal and drying in the sun.
Since I was on a roll, I covered another half yard with oatmeal and put it out to dry. And while I was waiting for the oatmeal to cook, I overdyed a piece I had been contemplating for a long time--hope I didn't ruin it!
I prepped some more fabric for resist work and mixed up some dye paste and played with printing, none of which you will see because I realized I needed to practice this a bit and this was the practice. But I have gotten the practice out of the way.

As the oatmeal cooled, I worked on the background quilting for the big piece that is getting very close to being finished, and did my daily hand stitching (more on that later). And I still managed to find time to do a load of laundry, put these babies in the ground

and cook this for supper.
This is before the cheese goes on, and I must, in all fairness, disclose that my husband did help chop the veggies.

So after dinner I was ready to sit and tie knots and watch the second episode of the PBS Sherlock. But it was a good day--doing all the things I love (aside from the laundry).

We'll see if my energy continues today, which is rainy and cool (not a good day for the oatmeal to finish drying), and has not started out well as we deal with a hot water heater crisis. But if you are still with me, I hope you are having a very good day and thanks for the company!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Favorite Color

Indigo Bunting
Oh, if I could only put that blue on fabric!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


"Serendipity" is one of my favorite words and at first, when Deborah announced it as our next challenge word for the Art 1016 group, I was pleased.  But then I began to think about how I would represent this word in a quilt and nothing came to mind. After weeks of not coming up with an image, I decided I was trying too hard and I would let serendipity take over. I would start with a background fabric and immediately I went to my pile of snow dyes, for that process is a true example of serendipity. I chose a piece with teal-y blue tones that move into earthy browns and watery greens and lots of interesting texture.

I made some slashes with a hand-dyed blue and then I was struck so I set it aside for a while. Later I began playing with shapes to add and nothing was working until I chanced to draw a nautilus-like shape and I wondered what if I exploded that shape.
I liked it enough to add another and then added some French knots in perle cotton at various points to add more texture to the machine quilting I had done on the background. But it needed something more so I added the exploded circles in the midsection. In honor of the serendipity nature of the piece, all the gold pieces are machine appliqued, raw-edged and non-fused so the edges are soft and fuzzy.

It is, of course, 10 x 16 inches. And, if you want to see how the other members of the group interpreted this theme, visit our blog.

Thanks for the company, if you are still with me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And more!

Here are the rest of the quilts on the theme of spring from our local challenge group, as usual a wide and beautiful variety of interpretations:
Starting in the top left corner, Louise did an Asian-flavored piece (not a surprise) that has tiny fireflies at the top made out of knots of netting and peepers created from the shape at the bottom; Anya did an eye-catching abstraction of a May pole with typical Anya-colors, even though they were from others' scraps; you've already heard about mine; Susan keyed off a Whitman poem and created an ode to the first dandelion with a clever abstraction of that flower against the last snows of the season; and Peggi threadpainted a tiny peeper on a frond with scraps used as the background. Nancy was not at the meeting--seems like we are always missing one member.