Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Sunday Gardening

I spent part of Sunday doing some gardening. This is a wonderful purple petunia that I found for half price because the plastic hanging basket it was in was cracked. I transplanted it into a planter I had and it will welcome guests as they come into the backyard for the wedding.

I found a smaller version of the big pot that I had already filled with herbs, so I added the rosemary plant to it along with several more basil plants and marigolds.

I haven't decided where to put the hydrangea yet, but isn't it gorgeous?

I cleaned out the little corner bed and added purple impatiens and petunias as well as a variegated hosta.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Anna and Matt's wedding quilt: The quilting begins

This is the "Single Girl" pattern by Denyse Schmidt for Anna and Matt's wedding gift and the hand quilting has begun. I'm doing a quilting pattern I've used before that is actually a sashiko embroidery pattern of interlocking circles. The intersection of the circles creates a flower and it is called the seven treasures of Buddha. When I made this t-shirt quilt for Dan, I used it.

It's one of those quilting patterns that lets you quilt across the hoop without breaking the thread, so it goes very quickly.

I use a 360 degree protractor to mark the circles and one of those little chalk markers that wipes off easily.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Anna and Matt's wedding quilt: Basted

The nice folks at Randy's Quilt Shop were good enough to allow me to use four tables in their classroom Sunday to baste Anna and Matt's wedding quilt. It's all finished and I'm ready to start quilting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival: "Curiouser and curiouser" --A quilt begins

Welcome to the third Bloggers Quilt Festival. I've participated in both of Amy's other two festivals. My first original quilt was the subject of the first post and, in the second festival post, I shared a quilt I made for my husband. Regular readers of my blog know that I've spent lots of time this spring making two, large quilts for my daughter and her best friend who are both brides this year. Rather than go back over that ground, I decided to share the beginnings of a brand new quilt for the third festival post. I'll be updating this post throughout the week as this new quilt takes shape, so please come back to see how it's progressing.

Over the years, I've found that my best ideas for quilts come from a confluence of things, a sudden mashup, if you will. This idea came from buying some new rubber stamps, lots of visual stimulation from the 1960's retro fabric designs in the quilt shops and online, hearing the old Jefferson Airplane song, "White Rabbit" on NPR, and my love of Lewis Carroll's Alice books.

I have owned these two books longer than any others in my collection. My parents read them to me when I was tiny and I have always adored the Tenniel illustrations. Since the copyright on them has expired, all of the rubber stamp companies are taking full advantage.

Here's part of my rubber stash.

Black and white are figuring strongly in this quilt. I am envisioning a sort of op art, fractured surface, interrupted with partial stamped images.

Little bursts of color will peek through the black and white areas.

Composition will be strictly improvisational, but inspired by Tenniel. I'm planning on calling the quilt, "Curiouser and curiouser" because I've always loved that phrase from the book.

10:00pm Friday update

I have eliminated several fabrics. Here are all the fabrics for the front.

The two end fabrics were used as the color inspirations.

The wonderful black on white fabric that reminds me of psychedelic rabbit holes will be a wide border and the tone on tone gray op art geometric will be a thinner border. A very thin black strip will separate them.

This fantastic Alexander Henry fabric called "mocca" will be the back with the other two fabrics used as the label.

Saturday 22 May 10:00am update

The solid black and white fabrics are all pima cottons. Here are the first stamped strips.

All the strips are being cut free without using a ruler. Here are the first few pieced together. I think I'll go back and take more off that yellow on the left side. I learned all of these improvisational piecing techniques in working with Nancy Crow, so I won't be sharing specifics. Treat yourself and take a class with her some day. I cannot say enough good things about her.

Saturday 1:00pm update

The first set of strips.

Second set of strips.

First two cuts and the chess board begins.

Saturday 4:00pm update

Here's the top pieced without borders.

A detail of one of the Alice stamps.

Saturday 9:30pm update

The top is finished. Color was needed between the two borders, so I opted for the red with multicolored circles instead of the black and white small dotted fabric. I'll work on the back and the label tomorrow. Sweet dreams everyone.

Sunday 23 May 10:30am update

Experimenting with the layout for the label. I'm using my new typeswriter stamps for the first time.

This is the test stamp. I iron freezer paper to the back of the label to stabilize the fabric when I write or stamp on it.

The basic label is finished. I iron it to set the ink and then add a border.

The back with the label set in is finished. Now I will sandwich the quilt.

Final update: Monday 24 May 9:15pm

The center is pin basted and the borders are thread basted. Quilting will have to wait until Anna and Matt's quilt is done. I'm guessing you'll see this one as a finished piece around the middle of July. Thanks for visiting and participating in the festival.
"Good times," as the Delicious Dish ladies say.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anna and Matt's wedding quilt: Top is finished!

The top of Anna and Matt's wedding quilt is finally finished. I used the shibori knot design in the blue colorway for the borders. I'm using the white mottled with blue for the bias binding. Both of these fabrics are represented in the rings of this "Single Girl" pattern. Back to Safety Pin Studio to piece the back and finish the continuous bias binding. I'd love to be quilting on this by tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Spring 2010

Our ambitious friend, Amy, the Park City Girl, who now blogs at Amy's Creative Side, is getting ready to host her third Blogger's Quilt Festival. If you haven't participated in the past, don't miss this one. It's about the best way I know of to find wonderful, new blogs and to find new readers for your own blog. It's very cleverly organized. The bloggers create posts that go up the first day of the festival and Amy links all of them from her site. She also offers lots of great giveaways, so it's fun all round: eye candy, good reading, and prizes!

For her first festival, I posted the story of my first art quilt called "Danny's Left Arm." For the next one, I did a post about my lucky quilt, "Improvizo!"

I hope you'll come back for my festival post and also check out lots of the other great bloggers who participate. Thanks, again, Amy!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom who will be 90 next month. The picture above is Mom holding my brother Dan and me modeling lipstick for the first time! It was taken at my Grandmother Warner's house (check out the phone!!) late in 1954.
This year, I especially appreciate being able to call and wish my mother a happy day. To my dear mother-in-law, Peanuts, let me say that all is well here, but we miss you fiercely.

"Death is Nothing at All"

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other
That we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
We enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
Let my name be ever the household word that
It always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am
Out of sight? I am but waiting for you
For an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner .

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Lovely gifts from my friend

"It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm..."
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

An envelope was waiting for me when I got home from school yesterday from my friend, Mary, who blogs over at Mary on Lake Pulaski. She is participating in a towel swap and was kind enough to send me one, too. Take a look at her post about the swap. She also sent me the magnet pictured above that reads, "Friendship." One of the primary reasons I love blogging is that it brings people into your life that you probably wouldn't have met any other way. Mary is one of those people. She was one of the first people to comment on my blog (who wasn't related to me!) and I've so enjoyed getting to know her through her blog and our emails. Thank you, my friend, for your thoughtful kindness and lovely gifts.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Shout out to Sharon B.

Thanks to Sharon B. who blogs at the remarkable Pin Tangle for another backlink as she works her way through the alphabetical listing of needlework blogs. She already listed me in the "Q's", but was kind enough to cross-reference me in the "T's". Sharon is an extremely gifted needle artist and offers her readers not only beautiful examples of her own work, but wonderful resources on the needle arts as well. Please click over and pay her a visit and then add her to your feed.