Thursday, March 28, 2013

Art Scrap Quilts, Pepper Cory

Pepper Cory was yesterday's speaker at the Bayberry Quilt Guild's meeting.  Her topic was "Art Scrap Quilts" -- a talk she's given a number of times and did fluently and humorously using eight or ten quilt tops (far easier to pack for plane travel than finished quilts) -- several antique and some yard sale discoveries.

This is a topic close to my heart because I think, for many, "every day" quilters who do not think of themselves as art quilters, making scrap quilts is, in fact, a creative and artistic process.  I always feel that way when making a scrap quilt, like the log cabin one I'm currenting making (see post below) Nearly every choice of a piece to add is an artistic decision.  With the log cabin quilt my parameters are light and dark -- and the little contrasting color squares are dug out of my stash each time I finish four blocks that will go together.  Most of my scrap quilts -- and a very large number of my quitls are in the "scrap" cagetory even when I'm using stuff from my stash that is not technically "scrap" -- i.e., I may be using fat quarters never before used.  But I save scraps from all projects and try to include them in later projects. 

Pepper is from North Carolina, works with several fabric companies designing  fabrics and designing stencils for quilts.  She was one of the most comfortable and likeable speakers I've heard lately.

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Age Old Sign of Spring

Ten day old lambs -- in this picture mama sheep has two twin, white daughters (one not in photo) and a pen-mate has two little boy lambs, one brown and one "apricott".

There's a "Farm", not a real working farm but one with special animals -- though not a petting zoo sort of place -- where Rachel and Cori often take the little boys.  I heard from someone who lives very near that lambs were born a few days ago.  Sunday was a chilly blue sky day so I went with them to the newborns.  Another two sheep are expected to have lambs any time now. 

The farm is also home to two very hairy donkeys, twos Shetland cows, Scottie and Fiona -- very long haired and beautifully horned -- a ram who fathered these lambs -- long thick wool -- a pair of goats, plus some chickens of a very fuffy sort.  They all seem to be breeds chosen for adaptation to the kind of winter we have. They have enclosed shelters but not really barns, and they have sectioned pastures.  The farm is at the edge of a marsh with a boardwalk to a viewing point where one would want to have binoculars for bird watching on a nice spring day.  I have no idea how this farm operates, we saw a woman and a man tending the animals, giving them buckets of food, late in the afternoon. The woman held a lamb up for the boys to touch and "baa" back to for a while.  No admission is charged.  One just parks and wanders around.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

First day of sring

The first day of spring, yesterday, this was what I saw when I looked out my window a little before dawn -- a white and gray world, a couple of inches of wet, fluffy snow clinging to the haphazzard branches of my little forsythia bush. I had noticed tiny tree leaves trying to open and thought: one nice warm day and that brush will be covered wit yellow flowers. 

Obviously spring is a bit delayed this year.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another WIP - a woven quilt

I wove this "quilt" -- it will be a quilt although right now it's a weaving -- over the weekend.  Years ago a friend gave me a sizable bag of strips, most about one inch wide.  I don't know why she had them but she knows I am a fabric pack rat.  A couple of years ago I made first a couple of small quilts by weaving the strips, then adding batting and a backing and quilting.

That was a lot of fun so I made the quilt below using mostly the light fabrics with a bit of black for accent. It's about 30x30 and I've become very fond of it. And I kept thinking I would use more of that baggie of strips "some day."  Some day because Saturday and Sunday and I used mostly the brighter strips, plus I added a few more to balance out the design which evolved intuitively.  Obviously, lights then brights, then lights again with a bit of black at each end.  Simple and elementary. I love working intuitively.  And now what?

Now I must decide on a border treatment, what you can see that seems to be a bit of border is actually masking tape holding the finished pieces in place on the wrapping paper that I used on top of the table on which I worked.   This one, as you see, is longer than the first -- I have a spot in which I want to hang this. 

I will treat this one as I did the first, which is I hand quilted the woven part working diagonally and ending up wit a simple diamond pattern  Then I added the borders and machine quilted the light border. 

Sometimes I seem to be especially in the mood for starting quilts.  I've got the log cabin which is in the previous post, going and now this woven one.  And there is another ongoing very long term project that involves a lot of embroidery.  Always something of interest to do.  Absolutely never bored.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

WIP, i.e., work in progress

I'm hard a work although I had a brief hiatus.  My sewing machine was acting up.  I found there is only one reasonably nearby place for serving so off I went on Tuesday to a fine fabric store in a town some 20 miles away.  I discovered that the technician comes in only one day a week which happens to be Wednesday.  He had time to fix my machine so I went back the next afternoon and picked it up. Twenty-four hour service is very wonderful as far as I'm concerned! Worth the drive.

So I've got three projects going.  One is many quite small squares which won't be ready for any kind of photography for, maybe, months.  Another is a woven quilt such as I made about three years ago although in very different colors.  I'll continue working on it tomorrow and may have it all woven by evening which will be far from the end of the process.  My third project is a new log cabin quilt of which this shows the first four of what will ultimately be 36  ten-inch squares.  I green squares makes this a "streak of lightening," or "stair step" log cabin.  I'm enjoying it and using up some of my sizable collection of dark and medium blue fabrics as well as lots of lights in yellow, white, pink and green pastels.  Not all the stair steps will be green, this is going to be a surprisingly colorful quilt.  I'm really enjoying seeing it begin to take shape.  More anon ... meaning in a few weeks,  I think.  (Just in case you wonder why it looks so unfinished in the middle, it is simply pinned to my design wall, the squares are not sewn together yet.)