Saturday, June 16, 2018

Forgotten quilt -- Surprise!

 These two quilts are actually one quilt -- it should be called "Surprise". I had actually forgotten all about it until I began looking through my quilts today because it had been suggested I give one to a woman I've known since she was born (she's the age of my oldest daugter). I have seen her very rarely in the last 25 or so years. But she and my daughters (both of them) will be visiting tomorrow.

I am happy when I'm told someone might like to have one of my quilts -- I have far too many and am happy to give them away to appreciative recipients. I take for granted she will be appreciative. When going through the particular comforter bag this was in, I found another two sided quilt.  I really should do that  more often. It's  a way of using up my large stash and  it's fun to make them.

 I plan to finish another  quilt tomorrow that could well have been treated this way but I didn't think of it. But probably I will think of a design to use later on in the summer and do another two-sided one. What fun!  In fact I'm working on a quilt made of squares right now that could lend itself to such treatment.

Friday, May 18, 2018

a la O'Keefe

In the last few days I made the small quilt on the header with two seashells, and then made this even smaller quilt (about 8x10) for a challenge to make a quilt inspired by an artist. I chose Georgia O'Keefe and tentatively named it, "If Georgia lived on Cape Cod ..." I did not know she had ever painted seashells. That was because I did not go to the book of her life and work that is on my book shelf until after I had  finished both. I found the picture here as well as others similar to the two shells on the blue background in the header. 

Like nearly everyone on Cape Cod, I have a collection of shells I've picked up when walking on the beach.  These shells rest on a book shelf in front of to-read books. I love their shape and color and texture. This was a wonderful challenge.  I rarely quilt in close rows as I did here but they seemed to need a quilty background.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Roses in the Rain

I just made this little art quilt for a partner in a swap (on Swap-bot), it's called, Roses in the Rain --the rain being the quilting and the many little crystals following the "rain". 

We don't have roses yet, it's a very late spring that seemed to be  holding its breath -- partially opened daffodils and forsythia for a week of chilly rain the end of the April. But now that May is here the sun is out and the temperature heads toward 70 in the afternoons. The flowers are abundant, the grass is brilliantly green. Yes, spring finally came. The roses are not going to wait much longer either. But we will have rain too.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jack's pillow - Old Clothes

One pillow, two sides ( bad photography).  The poem below explains the pillow's origin. Technically the background fabric was from an old shirt, which had two distinctly different designs in colors that were almost the same.  Each side of the pillow shows one of the designs.  Using the same star pattern, each seemed to cry out for different colors.  The pattern is one of Carol Doak's paper pieced designs.
This is a favorite that I have used several times. 

                  OLD CLOTHES

Don't we all have ancient garments we love—
the ones we change into after a busy day
when we come home to relax?
My soft moccasins with indestructible
plastic soles have barely any shape after
many many years. Wearing them I see
the dinky shoe outlet store in Batesville,
Indiana, known for its casket factory.
Batesville also has a small hospital.
I had seen my mother; it would be the last time.
I needed something else to think about.
I bought bright pink suede slip-ons.

Old clothes tell stories. When Jack
blogged he hated to give up an old shirt,
much washed, much faded, he thought
he might toss it in the trash. His photo
showed lovely pale colors. I wrote, “No. Don’t.
Let me make something for you.” Sue,
shared my feeling. We have reincarnated
his shirt. She in fiber art, I quilted a cover
for a small pillow.
Garments and their owners grow old,
worn, softened, faded, tired.
Even when still loved some are
dumped in the garbage,
given to the thrift shop,
stashed in assisted living,
bedded in the nursing home
until a casket becomes the repository,

Thursday, February 08, 2018

An unpredictable winter

So far the winter has been utterly unpredictable. We had only one fairly serious snow storm and then splatterings. Rain, sun, warm-ish one day, frigid another.  So, no three or four days  housebound because of serious snow. This is not a complaint, really, but a reality for December, January and, so far, February.

 Quilting time has been less than expected or hoped for but the challenges of the Uncommon 'Threads group continue and that keep my head busy. This quilt (without it's binding but otherwise done, was to be something inspired by Japan.

Actually I have not particular feelings about Japan. Of Asian countries it holds very little fascination for me. But thinking about what to do was an excuse to delve into my stash and see what forgotten fabrics I had. I found several with cranes and crystanthimums, and flowers and then I found the upper left fabric which  is not specifically Japanese but has cranes. I don't know when it entered my stash, but at least 15 years ago The other pieces, red, white and black, each have writing that may be Japanese or may be Chinese.  I had just about the right amount of each, a square 8th or a little more. There was a small piece closely printed with a variety of kimonos. I was able to cut out a dozen which I fused onto rectangles of white, black or red and then sewed in a semi-random way to the top. Adding the border was a reasonable balance of the  colors. A little 35x35" quilt that pleases me.  Simply.  I feel about it somewhat like I feel about Japan -- it's okay.  Simply that. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Year 2018!!!

How amazing!  When I was a kid I thought that living to 2000 would be an astonishment.  But here I am at 2018 and going strong. Making quilts, writing poetry and prose, teaching writing, living in a place I never imagined I'd be with totally unimaginable amounts of family nearby and a community of like-mined friends, many associated with continuing education, many associated with quilting and quite few simply people I know and enjoy.

The quilt I have just posted in the header is one I finished last spring after spending much time during the winter tying it rather than quilting. I had not tied a quilt in many, many years but this one is such a simple, old fashioned sort of  simple design I thought it needed to be tied.  I made it the easy modern way, the strips that were sewn together, cut up, resewn -- but never did I sew those two-inch sequares one by one. I like the quilt a lot. And for this winter, and as long as it will take because I will not work on it regularly, I am making another of 1 inch squares by the same method. This simplest of designs appeals to me just as the complex and challenging paper-piece quilts do.

I have been remiss in not writing this blog for some time, I will become more attentive and so I won't write a great deal now. I  have quite a few quilts to write about ... and I  must begin a new one today or tomorrow for the Uncommon Threads art quilts group. More anon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cabins in the Snow

As those who know their traditional quilt blocks will immediately recognize, this little quilt is made of four log cabin blocks.  I'm sorry the photograph is not good enough to show the designs on the various fabrics or to show the 80 little glittering crystals. It is made from my stash of gray and very light fabrics with the exception of the next to last longest grey fabric.

The quilt is the result of the current challenge of our Uncommon Threads group. Each of us chose a piece of fabric from our stash, put it in a plain brown envelope. At our meeting a month ago we mixed the envelopes and each chose one (not our own). It was to be used anyway the quilter wished. As soon as I saw the gray fabric with random white dots I knew I would do something about snow.  I pulled out my stash of gray and found the other pieces which also hint at snow. The idea of a log cabin was almost immediate, so I chose the needed light fabrics. It was quickly made and I'm happy with it as we move into the snow season here. The finished quilt is about 30x30.  I'm eager to go to our meeting later this week and see what others have done with their mystery fabrics. We are a very eclectic group, each quilt will be quite different from the others, probably most will be about this size, or smaller.