Selvages! I've been collectsing them a long time, and have made a few projects, one a twin size quilt, from a pattern in Karen Griska's book about selvage quilting. (see her blog in the sidebar here, Selvage blog) I save selvages from my quilting and others have given me collections of their selvages. This is a zip bag the size that a queen size comforter was packed in. It's BIG and the selvages are packed rather tightly.
The current project has to do with women poets who are usually marginalized by male academic critics. In fact, they have always been marginalized and few are taught in high school or college courses. Often it only Emily Dickenson is known. So it seems appropriate to include their pictiures, names and a few lines of their work among rows of selvages. I've just begun the project. You see a panel for Maya Angelou. It's unironed and the edges only look neat because I've cropped the photo. Eventually a dozen blocks will be given the proper quilt treatment with borders, batting and backing and a wide border that will give me space to list many more poets and a few of their words.
I'll make a dent in my selvage collection but I'll still have a good collection for whatever project comes next.
A year ago I thought this would be an easy job, the photo had been blown up and I could copy. Not easy at all. I got so discouraged I put it aside for most of a year. In the last couple of weeks I've taken the lower part of the picture apart and redid it. It's not right yet, but it's better and I don't have the patience to keep puttering.
Aside from that lesson there's the usual lesson of misjudging the color contrasts. I should have had a darker background. Well, live and learn. What I think I learned is that I don't have the artistic eye for proportions needed for a realistic portrait. I'm happy with Finn's hair and sort of happy with the gray streak in Rachel's hair. That's about it. Oh, I think I'll go back and give Rachel a small pearl earring. On to other kinds of quilting challenges.
Since I've been reading blogs, of course, I come across cute kid photos. They're all cute, I can see that, but I know the Mama or Gramma or Great-gramma who posted it saw an even cuter kid.
So this is Stella and I'm "Great" and her Mommie, Cori, has a good camera and a perfect model. She even makes the cold, cold snow look cuddly and wonderful.
This little quilt (about 18x22) is a sort of color wash background illustrating William Carlos Williams' little imagistic poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" which is written in the blue rectangles. Here''s the poem.
So much depends
on a red wheel
glistening with rain
beside the white
I've puzzled over this poem for years and now I've been told that he means simply, we must pay attention to the little things around us. Okay? Okay.
The quilt is done except I need to get some silver paint and give the wheelbarrow a few splashes to "glaze" it . I'm thinking of three other short poems that I might treat in the same way, although not necssarily with a background of squares -- a small series. That wheelbarrow is certainly red, isn't it?
I looked out the window just a bit ago to see a not very pretty head, on a not very pretty neck pass the shrub just outside my window. Quick as I could I grabbed my camera. On those long legs, finding nothing of interest on the snow or on the now bare brown lawn they were moving along. I got one picture anyway.
Now and then I see wild turkeys when I'm driving but I have never seen them on this lawn before. They are BIG birds. I am always thrilled when I see them because when I grew up I understood that wild turkeys were nearly extinct. The first ones I saw were in Indiana about twenty-five years ago. Now, of course, they are all over the country -- or a large part of the country. It was the same with deer. There were none near the Indiana farm where I grew up, but later on, when I was married and living in the east, I sometimes when home to visit my mother and we would go to the near-by state part around dusk to look for deer and often saw them. Now I know deer are all over and cause traffic accidents often. I still get a warmth in my heart when I see a wild deer.
I understand the ecology and the way farming has changed in America, and that that has led to growth of more woods than there used to be, more wild places for wild creatures. But here, of course, these are wild creatures wandering around very populated areas. This was a delight today that seeing half a dozen robins combing the now uncovered (from snow) lawn was not.
Often the most enjoyable quilting for me is impulse quilting -- not very different from impulse shopping, except quilting is a commitment to more time because it's rarely a quicky quilt -- as in 3 or 4 hours -- more like my free time for at least a week.
This is a paper pieced quilt, most people could guess that. There are 80 pieces in each of the whirligigs. I"m calling it "A Slice of Lime" since that little bit of lime works well in all the colors.
The impulse arose simply. I decided to straighten my sewing room -- generally a mistake. Maybe not mistake but doomed to failure impulse. As I was straightening a pile of how-to books, a paper piecing book I had not seen for several months begged to be noticed. This particular design looked both interesting and easy, maybe even on the quick side. he blocks are 12x12, so the quilt, including the one inch green binding border is 100 inches perimeter. It could have been my guild's show challenge--- if I had used the blue fabric that is a requirement in the blue block. But I didn't think of that quickly enough.
I'm very fond on serendipity and of impassivity. I don't like to get involved in very, very time consuming quilt projects and lately enjoy making little wall quilts most of all. So this was relatively quick, easy and I like the colors.
This months' BOM for the Bayberry guild is so easy I made four blocks. In fact, since one simply cuts out a 12-1/2 inch square of black and then sews together strips to make a 12-1/2 square, two can be made quickly. With the squares right sides together cut then on the diagonal and then sew the diagonal together -- there's ironing involved of course. After making the first pair I quickly made a scond pair. And then lay them on the floor in two different layouts. (They aren't sewn together, of course.)
I've seen this called Roman Stripe. One could make quite a dramatic quilt very, very quickly and use up a lot of scrap strips.
As usual I must complain that I can't seem to get true color with this camera. The black really IS black. I imagine many blocks will be brought to the Bayberry meeting later this month. No two alike -also something I like a lot about scrap quilting.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!