Monday, May 30, 2005

The Development of Style, and a GREAT BIG THANK YOU!

As you likely know if you're a regular visitor to my blog, I have been doing some heavy reading on elements of style and art quilting, studying via on-line courses, doing lots of navel gazing, and playing with small test pieces. All of this has been aiding in the development and recognition of my own personal art quilting style.

There are artists out there that are immediately recognizable. Offhand, I can pick a Hollis Chatelaine, a Caryl Bryer Fallert, a Melody Johnson, a Sonji Hunt, a Pam RuBert, or a Pamela Allen at 100 paces. There are others too, but a girl can only spend so much time name dropping.

The interesting thing about the artists I have mentioned is that all of them have distinct personal styles. They may occasionally do something different and less recognizable, but overall, what gives their work away is specific details of how they work, more than just what they do. Yes, there are the obvious things like favored colors, themes, subjects, or textures, but there is also a not so definable quality that screams to me "So-and-so made me!" Often, the work of students made in a workshop lead by a great art quilter will come out in an obviously influenced style, but that intangible "ness", as in "the Melody Johnson-ness" of her pieces, is missing in the work of the students. I'm not sure if I'm making sense here, but if you do get it, that's probably because you recognize the same thing in the work of these people.

I've been navel gazing because although I am just beginning to dip my toes in the world of art quilting, I want to do it in a way that feels right to me. I'm experimenting with techniques, with styles, and with colors. I'm experimenting with my subject matter. I'm looking at other artistic means of expression, such as collage, altered books, painting, etc. All of this, however, is being done in order to find what drives me, and maybe what defines me, as an artist.

I'm not looking to become a creator of instantly recognizable pieces - I'm just trying to find my voice, rather than the influence of so many other great and talented people out there. It is so easy to get distracted and spend my time trying this, that, and the next thing - but I need to also make sure that somewhere amongst all of the incredible and inspiring work that can be seen on-line, I find and focus in on what I need to be expressing, too.

Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda. Anyway, last night I went downstairs to my studio to make some bright yellow daisys on a black background, maybe in a 12" square. What came out instead was "the rust rules", postcard sized. Somehow, in all my navel gazing and exploration of techniques, my own style must have snuck in there when I wasn't expecting it and bit me on the behind. On scrolling through my blog archives, I actually exclaimed (aloud and to myself, confirming my suspicion that I'm a bit touched with the oddness) "Holy crap! Who knew? I have a style!" The best part? If feels right. It feels like coming home. It feels natural.

So, the entire point of this really long and rather boring blog post? Here's a great big THANK YOU to all of those who, along the way, have encouraged me. Your comments have been encouraging, inciteful, and appreciated. You have been a tremendous help in improving my output of completed pieces, even if they are small. You've made me realize that small is just another element of my style. Again, thank you! You are wonderful, and you have guided me quickly and gently through what could have been a slow and painful process. You all know who you are - so give yourself a pat on the back from me - oh hell, give yourself a hug!

Finally, the other thing I now accept about my personal style is my favorite part - I have permission to be multi-faceted in how I express myself, and in what techniques I use. I have permission to continue growing and developing my style. I am very happy with the last bunch of small art postcards I have done. I am also happy making big quilts for wrapping people in warmth, comfort, and love. Both of these things are good. So off I go - either to work on something big and comforting, or to work on something small and embellished. It doesn't matter which - both are within the range of my personal quilting style.

Becoming a part of this webring was the best thing I ever did toward the development of my own personal style. Thank you all! And good night! Elvis has left the building. Applause, applause.

Little Things and More Testing

I had lots of fun on Sunday working with tones of rust and tarnish. I was going for moss greens, but could only control the KoolAid so much. These are my hand dyed wools, in some great greens, and two really weird looking reds. No matter how hard I tried, and how many times I over-dyed, I could not get rusty looking wool. Could that be because wool doesn't rust? Trust me. However, if you don't believe me, go ask a sheep. Dags, yes. Rust, no. Anyone care to comment as to what dags are? Come on, I dare you!

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I took some of the dyed wool and made it into a fabric base, basically just stitched the heck out of it in a hoop with wash away stabilizer, which I then washed away. See, I can read instructions! The result of that was turned into a teeny tiny ATC (Artist's Trading Card, 2.5" x 3.5"). Never one to be easily satisfied, I went a little crazy with bits of amber. Pointless fun!

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This was the final piece I made yesterday - "the rust rules". The odd looking sheen is vinyl coating - I coated my rusted fabric with iron on vinyl to protect it (and me) from the rust rubbing off. It also gives it a really neat look. There is a small cut-out in it too. It may need more work - I will look at it again tomorrow. And probably treat it to overkill.

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Now the big question - what the heck to do with all of this stuff? DH suggested I start a collection area below the stairwell, in the den. The lighting is poor, but it is an easy place to add more pieces, or rearrange when the mood hits me. Maybe I should just put up a bulletin board, or some mesh, and pin or tie things up as I make them.

So my next challenge ought to be making something larger than 8" x 10" ... that isn't a traditional quilt. Maybe after the wedding quilt and my brother's quilt are done, I will go Big, Bold, Bright, and purely decorative. I love a lofty goal! Fat chance in hell. Even as a toddler I made little things - tiny drawings that my mother referred to as bumblebees. Apparently I've been practicing most of my life to make tiny little messes, only now they're with fibers and beads rather than crayons, strained peas, or my own poop. Ah, childhood. There are some parts of it I really don't miss.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I'm Lichen this Rock

I'm lichen this pun, too. Tee hee!

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DH is recreating the flower bed next to our front door today, and this is one of the rocks that got ousted, and instead will be given pride of place in the "we are engineers, of course we have a rock garden" garden.

As it is REALLY STINKIN' HOT AGAIN I'm still hiding inside. I make short excursions out of doors, wimper about the heat (I'm such a baby), and duck back indoors where it is warm, but manageable for a pansy like me.

Today is another day of dyeing wool with KoolAid, so will post pictures when it is all dry. For those of you out there thinking that KoolAid only comes in candy colours, I have news for you - it works like normal dye! By mixing base colours (I'm using "Switchin' Secret" for yellow/gold, LemonLime for bright green, Strawberry for red, and Blueberry for the obvious) I have gotten a nice group of yarns in moss green, chartreuse, rust, etc. Yippee!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Reincarnated as Postcards

The test piece I made yesterday rejected its encrusting of beads and shells, and instead ordered me to (gasp!) cut it in two. Don't ever say I don't listen to test pieces. So, now, what was once a test piece is now a set of two postcards. And, they were so happy with the result of the de-beading and separation surgery, they asked for a permanent home on my wall. They haven't told me where yet, but I suspect they will, soon. And here they are . . .

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The angle isn't great (they are actually both 4" x 6", lay flat, and have straight edges), but that's what it took to get no glare on the glass.

I was so enamoured of my new chartreuse postcard-sized wall pieces, that I just had to keep going. So, I pulled out the rest of my varigated Valdani cotton quilting thread and chose a selection of fun analogeous (kind of) colours in everything from hot yellows/oranges to pinks, violets, and burgundies. Garnet stitched away, with break stitching (it certainly feels like a break to do wiggly lines in between tiny circles), couched two threads of yarn around the edge and presto, change-o, one fat eighth of burgundy/brown hand dyed Bali became an 8"x10", two 4" x 6" pieces, and an Artist's Trading Card (not shown).

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Could I be finding my style? Or, is this just more fun with quilting? I really don't care - over the course of one day I've gone from no non-traditional "art only" quilts in the house to having two separate "installations". And, bonus for me, DH likes them too! Wheee heee!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yet another Test Piece

I love chartreuse! And hand dyed wool! And garnet stitch! Happy, happy, happy! Excessive use of exclamation points! Again!

Having kicked myself in the generous patoot, I'm back on the quilting horse - sun painted the fabric and dyed the wool for this yesterday, and did the quilting last night. I wanted to try the garnet stitch, and experiment with really heavy quilting, as well as play with some textural aspects. Love the look of all of it, so will be incorporating those techniques in future work. Now off I go to get some outside time . . .

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Summer outside my Studio

The golden greens of spring have fled, and I'm left with rich and glorius leaf green. Yummy. It was stinkin' hot here today - I burnt my feet on the balcony, so had to play in the grass barefoot to relieve them. Yup, picture me, a dumpy 33 year old housewife, running around the back yard, giggling like a loon.

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To top it all off, I dyed some super textured wool with KoolAid, then I pulled out the sunprint paints and made some new messes. So now I'm out of creative funk land, and merrily making an 8"x10" piece using chartreuse hand painted fabric and moss green wool. Heavily FMQ'ed. With beads. And some shells. Weeeheee! And I didn't even need to stash roll! (Okay, I did a little bit of that).

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Please Excuse me while I Whine

And here I am. In a creative funk. Feeling overwhelmed. Surrounded by so much beauty and inspiration, yet unable to capture it. I look at the incredible work of others in this webring, and should be inspired. Instead, I'm in that "I could never create anything so incredible" place. And that place sucks!

So, what to do? Scrubbing the kitchen floor comes to mind - I already cleaned bathrooms and organized my beads. If the kitchen floor doesn't cure me, I guess it will be off to tidy my stash. And read a few books. And watch the season finale of Lost. And wish I was on a tropical island, kept busy by freaky uber-natural occurences. Isn't uber a fun modifier? Or whatever grammatical part it is? AAARGH! Brain cannot focus.

I think maybe it is time to bring out the big guns: Barbara Olson's Journey of an Art Quilter, and Sandra Meech's Contemporary Quilts Design Surface and Stitch. I've been saving them for just such an emergency. Yup, I firmly believe that a creative funk IS an emergency for a fiber artist. Especially when I look at my work of the last few weeks - other than the rust dyeing, it has all been traditional style quilts. Maybe Sandra M. and Barbara O. will jump start my creative juices. If not, I will crawl into a hole and hibernate for a week. Or, commit myself to making a minimum of one 8 1/2" x 11" piece per day, for the next week - trash or treasure, at least I will be working.

And if that doesn't work, I will dump my stash out on the floor, lay down in it, sprinkle myself with beads and feathers, and stay there until I'm okay again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

. . . and for short, it's the Smoked Salmon Quilt

This started out as the Ugly Fabric Quilt. After much prompting from people who have seen my quilts and wondered if any were for sale, I decided to make a "For Sale" quilt with some fabric I was not particularly attached to - the cloisonne plates floral print. This was a quick and easy quilt to make - 12" blocks, alternating blocks pieced from coordinating fabrics. It is 5 blocks wide by 7 long, so either fits a twin sized bed with a decent drop, or makes a great nap quilt. I quilted it with my free flowing leaves quilt design, in a great varigated teals / greens / blues Valdani thread. The back is 320 count ivory sateen (feels even better than flannel to the touch), and I used Christmas green in the bobbin to highlight the quilting, as it is so hard to see on the front.

Note the location of Bean in the photograph. No, I didn't place her there. She (naturally) laid down directly on the area where it goes from completed binding to binding that still needs to be hand stitched down on the back. Note the look of disdain and superiority on her fuzzy face. I can just hear her thinking "I wouldn't have taken a photo until it was finished. But that's just me. Whatever you want, Mom, whatever you want. Sigh."

My mother and I went back and forth a bit on the name for this one. We both like fun names, which, by necessity, are often quite long. For this quilt, we discussed the plates fabric, the smoked salmon colour of the solid fabric, the orientation of the strata fabric, and the way the pale smoke fabric reminded me of bleu cheese. Aaah, food and geology. So, the final name had to be . . .

I'll have smoked salmon on my tectonic plates, please. Could you serve that with a slide of bleu cheese? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

Why I wasn't Blogging this past Weekend

I missed all of you out there in BlogLand! Going through the AQWebring this evening took forever - so much to catch up on! Excessive use of exclamation points!

We had a cloudy and somewhat windy long weekend here, and DH was pretty much glued to the PC - I think he took over most of the British Isles, and a large portion of Europe, circa ?1400?. The photo below is him with Peanut, the trusty computing sidekick. Apparently using the computer is just not proper unless she is there to help. Sigh.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Blossoms in the Back Yard

Not my back yard. Nope, no such luck (altitude a little too high). This is a photo Mom's husband, Horst, took of the ?crabapple? tree in his back yard. He's really handy with a digital camera. I love the colours - rich yellow greens are some of my favorites.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

On Closer Inspection . . .

I hung my newly rusted fabric over the stairwell railing, and the next time I walked by it, something jumped out at me. Well of course it did. That's what he does. However, it is usually at the Roadrunner, not at me. Do I hear a "Beep Beep" in the background?

How did Wile E. Coyote get in there?  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My First Rusted Fabric

Here it is - after two days of baking in the sun, then an overnight drying in the hot water heater room, I've neutralized, rinsed, and ironed my first piece of rusted fabric. It started out as a half yard of bleached PFD Dyers' Cloth. I followed instructions posted on QuiltArt List, and they worked like a charm! The colour is great - more orange than I expected, but looks really neat, with the darkest areas where it was touching the rusted metal, and lighter areas evening out (I kept it good and soaked while it baked in the sun). This is a fabric alteration technique I will definately be doing again. Now I just need to find more rusty things to play with.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Things I've Learned about Quilting

Vacuuming and laundry duty today was actually interesting, as I used the time to do a bit of thinking about my growth as a Quilter. So, here are some of the things I have realized about where I was, and where I am now.

1. I no longer believe in UFOs (Un-Finished Objects). When I first joined a quilting guild as an absolute newbie, I was given strict guidelines about what is considered a UFO, and how incredibly bad it is to have a number of them. Oh, the guilt. Oh, the stress I subjected myself to, trying to finish projects that should maybe never have been started. Now, with a little more experience under my (not quilted) belt, I have a new attitude. F#@k UFOs! The whole concept stinks! They aren't unfinished objects - they're test pieces on a concept, that proved the concept was not worthy of more time as it stood. They are ruminations on an idea. They are a way to chart growth. I no longer need to force myself to finish things better left unfinished - they instead go on a particular set of shelves, which I now refer to as The Lessons Learned Library. No guilt. No stress. Just valuable lessons that I can apply in future, successful work. And, if I'm ever stuck for something to work on, I can pull one out and try a new approach - like cutting it up into smaller pieces and giving it a whole new lease on life. Yup, a much better attitude.

2. I no longer listen to that little voice that says "It's fine that way, just leave it." Why? Because that little voice is a BIG FAT LIAR! It's NOT fine that way. If I leave it, I will always be bothered by what the little voice told me to ignore, and chances are the piece will stagnate and become a frustration to me. So, my stitch ripper and I are now on really good terms. Yup, I've unpicked seams that didn't quite match, even though they were close. Yup, I've unpicked free motion quilting that was only a little disjointed. Yup, I've unpicked quilting in the ditch that missed the ditch by just a hair in a few places. Why? Because back when I didn't do the un-doing, I lost all pride in the work. If I'm going to spend time and money on a piece, then I want to be able to display it with pride, not stick it in a closet because that one mismatched corner really bugs me. Now, I finish and display my work with pride and with joy.

3. I no longer dive right into full scale projects. My days of cutting the pieces for every block right off the bat are over! Test pieces - it's all about test pieces. So what if I end up with a zillion little test pieces? They don't need to end up in a large project - they were simply to test for a bigger piece. Nobody needs to see them, and they aren't the end goal. They are simply a way to test out colours, patterns, value (my biggest issue), and quilting designs. Sometimes, they are even a way to test a new embellishment technique. And that's just fine. If I run out of the beads / yarn / ribbon later, I can remove it from the test piece. Yup, it may sound wasteful, but which is more wasteful: two or three 12"x12" test pieces, some rejects, the final accepted and used as a guideline for the development of a full sized piece, or a whole king sized quilt, cut, pieced and then rejected for lack of adequate value shifts?

4. I no longer believe that everything I do is art. Just because I made it myself, doesn't mean I have to love it. And if I'm not loving it, I don't have to finish it. And there's no need for guilt about it (see Number 1, above). Now, each piece I do gets a cooling off period (locked away in the dark for a bit) which allows me to forget the details, and then when I bring it out for display, I can look at it with a fresh eye. I no longer put my name on anything until I am completely satisfied that I can be proud of it. If a piece still looks finished when I pull it back out of the closet, I will label it and call it happily completed. Other times, I recognize the piece still needs some work. The great thing is, during the cooling off period I often get ideas for improvement of pieces. So, after allowing for a suitable amount of time (gotta be sure about the improvement), I will liberate the piece from the closet and make the improvements, then back in it goes for cooling off before I sign it. It works for me, and ensures that I really am satisfied with each finished piece.

So, my quilting attitude has changed. I don't charge in half cocked. I take my time. I test things out first. And I'm proud of my work, now! The failures are small and easy to live with. The successes are worth all the prep work. My quilting attitude has it's own rules, and they might not be White Glove Quilt Police worthy, but they work for me.

One more thing - those people that suggest to "gift" away UFO's? They should be gifted with as much crap as possible. Really, if I think it is so crappy I don't want to finish it, then why the hell should I impose it on anyone else? Aargh! What idiocy. Note - This opinion does not apply to the beautiful projects unfinished due to health issues, death, etc., so please don't Blog-Flame me on this one.

However, I do believe in occasionally getting together with a quilting friend and going through The Lessons Learned Library. Sharing those past lessons learned can be valuable to both parties, and who knows - they may see something they absolutely love and know they can use it. Then, they can go ahead and take it. But unsolicited "gifting" of crap? Nope, not from this Quilter.

Okay, enough ranting. Begone Logan! Back to the Studio!

Monday, May 16, 2005

My Studio Confidante

Diane, our webring leading lady, asked about our Studio Confidantes, so I thought I'd share mine. I have a Modbird by Lisa Congdon winging its way here, but as it has not yet arrived, Princess Pissy of No-Pantsia is my sole Studio Confidante.

Those of you thinking "Hey! What about Bean?" should not worry - she is so much more than a Studio Confidante - she is more like the Supreme Ruler of all Cuteness within and around the Studio Domain.

Princess Pissy of No-Pantsia (or P.P. No-Pants for short) was created using a Kumiko Sudo pattern (from Omiyage) and has mohair and silk roving hair. She is new to the studio, but with her attitude, fits right in. Generally she can be found hanging around the design wall, as she is shown here. When not assisting with design arrangements, she may be found buried under fabric on the cutting board, or inspecting thread in the thread drawers. She stays away from Bean, as Bean is fond of silk / mohair blend for snacking, and P.P. No-Pants is quite happy with her current configuration of hair. Plus, glue removal from the scalp is a painful thing.

Princess Pissy of No-Pantsia. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005

My Aunt Carla's Divine Little Purse

Sorry about the picture - I had to jamb the front and back views together in a very non-technical manner. Carla, you did a great job, and I am proud to show your work on my Blog. Hopefully, more will be forthcoming! Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

Laughed 'til my Throat Bled

No more need be said. Okay, I'm a liar. Go to the bathroom. Make sure your bladder is empty. Now go to: Stitchy McYarnpants - the MOKS (Museum of Kitshy Stitches). Make sure you read all volumes.

Take a break. Drink water (stay hydrated). Pee again. And, if you're comfortable with some downright NASTY humour, check out Steve, Don't Eat it! WARNING: Do not view while eating. Or digesting. Or thinking about eating. Or around children. Or if you have issues with profanity. Otherwise, go right ahead.

Guess you didn't get all the pee out, did ya? Wipe seat. Calm down. Breath. And thank whoever invented Blogging for creating the kind of medium that we can all use to share deep and meaningful things. Yup.

Bitten by the Bug, Waiting with Baited Breath

So after spending the morning looking at Deb L's great Rothko's Puppies, reading Sonji's archives, and going over Mrs. Mel's great post The Lazy Dyer, I have been bitten by the dyeing bug. Hard. Next step . . . shopping! Such a sad thing to have to do. Sigh.

So, off I went (in a virtual sense) to G & S Dyes (source for dyeing related products in Canada), to order a bunch of fun stuff. Dixon Chan, owner, was very helpful (there's nothing like having a phone conversation with the owner), and I ended up ordering just the basics to start out - turquoise, yellow, fushia & black Procion MX dyes. Oh, and some silk yardage - cause if I'm just learning, it should be on silk???? Okay, fine, just because I recently did a silk throw for my couch, and absolutely loved the sheen and texture, and now I wanna play! With silk! 'Cause my other addictions aren't expensive enough already! Aargh!

And, after contemplating the damage I had already done, off to Lunn Fabrics for a bolt of PFD dyer's cloth. And a bunch of their tie-dyed fat eighths. In case mine suck.

Now I'm not sure if I can wait until it all arrives. Well, I suppose in my eagerness I could clean the laundry room and prep it for morphing into a dye chamber. I like the sound of that - touring people around the house they already get introduced to My Studio and My Fabricland - now My Dye Chamber will be the third stop on the "She spends all of our money on quilting" tour. The laundry room has a large sink, a bit of counter space, a window (lots of great mid day to afternoon light), and a door into the garage for extra space or ventilation.

Now I just need a way to turn my washer and dryer into a temporary dyeing surface - next shop, looking for plexiglass. Gotta love the internet. I can spend scads of dough, site unseen, and have it all delivered, without ever having to leave my dinky little town in the mountains. Yippee!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Woken at 2am by the Smell of Smoke

Here's the thing - only two people live in this house, and neither of us smoke. So, when at 2 ish this morning I smelled smoke, I got curious.

So I sniffed DH quite thoroughly - it wasn't him. He did smell kinda funky, but not smoky funky. Okay, out of bed, sniffing my way around the room (picture a rat in a maze, sniffing its way to the food). Nope, not any candles lit. Nope, none of the plugged in stuff giving off electrical fire smells. But hey, the smell is really strong at the open window - so, the source of the smoke must be outside. Great! I can go back to sleep and not worry. Back into bed. Tossing, turning. Almost asleep and then - man, the smoke is getting heavier. Substantially.

Back out of bed. Robe on, search the house (back to rat-like sniffing my way in the dark). Nothing. Checked out all windows - no obvious fires, no evidence of backyard barbeque type fires either. Humm. Okay, clothes on (DH still sleeping soundly, I'm on my own here), hat on (bed head really scary), now sniffing around outside in the dark. Startled a deer that was standing in the middle of the street out front (couldn't decide which way to go??). Around back. Ooooh, smoke is smelling stronger here. On the patio RIGHT OUTSIDE MY STUDIO WINDOW it is really really really strong! Ohmygawd - there is a fire right outside my studio!

Three really large (and heavy) buckets of water later, it is out. Apparently, the friend we had over for dinner last night, a smoker, decided to butt his after dinner cigarette in a planter box full of peat moss. Yup. Not terribly bright. It must have smoldered all evening, then finally got into burn mode in the deep of night. The planter box is toast (burned through one side), there is soggy peat moss all over the gravelled section of the garden, and I have soaked down the wooden patio boards and the side of the house. The smoke is still lingering under the balcony, so the smell is really strong, but all embers appear to have been extinguished.

What really scares me is this - I am a very poor sleeper, so sometimes take a sleeping pill to help me stay asleep. What might have happened if I had done that tonight? I won't dwell on it, but let's just say we will be adding extra smoke detectors this week. And DH would have slept through the entire thing, except for me yelling about not being able to find the big bucket, and where the #@%* do we keep the hose. In fact he is already snoring again. Sigh. So now I will sit and blog, and every half hour go out and do the sniff and poke test to make sure that we, and my studio, are safe.

And the guest we had over tonight that inadvertently started the fire? Let's just say he will be provided with an ashtray, but asked to go out to his vehicle to smoke from now on. We will no longer be a "go ahead, you can smoke on the patio" kind of household. Not so long as my fabric stash might be in jeopardy. Nope. Never again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kevin Loves his Quilt!

Kevin was absolutely thrilled with his quilt. He will be picking it up next week, but was really happy with the photos - loved the hunting / fall woods theme, and is excited to know it will be his. He also says he owes me big now - but I finally feel like obligations have all been met. Now I have to make a Care & Feeding book for that quilt. Off to my studio...

Care & Feeding Instructions to go with Gifted Quilts

I have decided to include small notebooks when I give away or sell a quilt. The one shown below is my prototype, made to go with my king sized bed quilt, shown in a previous post. The books will be covered with fabric left over from the quilt construction, with a bit of embellishment for fun. The prototype is covered with the russet fabrics from the center of the Double Dutch Rose (also used in the LeMoyne Stars in the drops around the quilt).

The notebooks will contain information about the quilt maker (me), the completion date, my signature and card, and contact information. I will also include washing instructions and info on general care. I also may include information about the design process, the selection of fabrics, why I chose to quilt it the way I did, etc. That is the stuff that interests me most when I look at quilts made by others, so this is a way for me to include this info to go with each quilt.

The remainder of the notebook will be left empty, with the request that the new owner feed the quilt regularly (ie - make notes about use, etc in the book). What I'm hoping for is things like notations of trips the quilt went on, any moves it made, what that mysterious stain was, if it has any emotions attached to it, etc. Those who get the quilts down the line may want to know this stuff - a mini quilt history in a tiny book. Imagine if Jane Stickle had done this? Even if nobody ever does feed the notebook, the idea still stands with the basic information I will include on completing the quilt.

Care & Feeding Instructions + About this Quilt Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

Now my Stuff has its own Blog

After seeing Lisa Congdon's great Blog where she displays and sells her Modbirds, I decided to create a blog for my stuff, too. So, I have added a link (sidebar) to That Logan Chick's Stuff, and will add stuff as it gets made. Why? Because we are going broke supporting my stuff creating addiction! Hopefully, the Stuff blog will offset that somewhat. Here's hoping. Fingers crossed.

Two of my "Cache at Hand" purses. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kevin's Quilt - Hunting Season. A nap quilt, it is 5" wide x 7" long (for use with a recliner). Posted by Hello

Airing a few large quilts. Posted by Hello

Detail of Hunting Season quilting. Free motion quilted with a leaves in the wind pattern (turned a doodle into a quilting pattern). Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Quilting on Command

Okay, I'm sure that other quilters out there can relate to this. Have you ever shown a house guest some of your precious quilted masterpieces, only to have them say "So when do I get mine?" Aaargh! I hate that! Anyway, a friend of ours (we'll call him Kevin, that being his name and all) did this to me a few months ago, and was apparently quite serious, as he has since asked after "his" quilt a number of times. So, this week, while humming and hawing on a number of smaller and more art-ish pieces in the process of being embellished, I decided to give myself a break and do a large quilt. Sounds backwards, but that's where I'm at right now. Plus, a break from beading will do my injured quilting finger good.

I pulled out the fabric I purchased with him in mind (a batik with elk, bears, wolves, moose, and deer on it along with leaves and pine cones - extremely outdoorsy and masculine) and selected coordinating batiks and balis from my stash. The theme for fabric selection was easy - hunting season! He is an enthusiastic hunter and outdoorsman, so I choose the colours of the local woods during hunting season (the late fall into early winter). I included a light cloudy fabric, a deep spruce blue-green, an orange, a dull brown, a rich brown, and a golden beige. Woo hoo! Colours that don't go well together! That'll teach him for expecting me to make him a quilt. Darn it.

When I realized how much fabric I loved would be leaving my home to be in Kevin's quilt, I decided to go with a simple design (punish him for taking fabric I love by giving him a boring quilt). So, I cut squares in 12", 6" and 3" finished sizes, and put them together in the most boring way I could. That'll teach him for demanding a quilt from me. Poop on him.

The cutting and piecing took two evenings, and I have now been quilting for two days (on my fifth bobbin). Of course, I am now in love with the quilt, and will find it hellishly difficult to part with, boring design, weird colour combination, and all. Why? Not only do I like the fabrics individually, together they have really grown on me. In daylight, they glow with the subtle fire of the northern Canadian wilderness in November. Which they should, as that was the palette I chose.

But beyond that, I tried a new quilting technique (I was so sure it would fail - teach him to demand a custom made quilt). For all previous large quilts, I broke them down into sections, quilted each section, then put them together with connection strips (see my bed quilt, early archives). For Kevin's quilt, I decided to just shove it under my machine and damn the consequences. Of course, you can shove an awfully big quilt in the neck of the Janome 6500. Instead of it dragging down and wrecking the free motion quilting (as I expected), it is quilting beautifully. And, the new pattern I decided to try doin' with the dogs down, free hand fallen leaves with a spattering of critter tracks, is great! In fact, the leaves may be my new pattern of the month (yes, I FMQ bore easily).

So, within the next two days this quilt will be finished and ready to ship off - which will piss me off mightily. I should hate it, and be thrilled to send it away, but noooooo, now I love it. Damn you Kevin! Damn you to ... Angry photos to be posted shortly. Grumble grumble complain. Musterfuss. Ergh. Et cetera. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

DH - this time it stands for Da Hotty! Posted by Hello

Peanut enraptured with her Mom (me) on the other side of the screen door. Posted by Hello

Bean enjoying a batting nest. Posted by Hello

Four hours later, snow is gone! Posted by Hello

Living just below the clouds. Posted by Hello