Thursday, February 23, 2012

Details of Round Robin In A Day

 Just some detail pictures of this Round Robin In A Day quilt that resulted from the recent CQFA meeting.  I think I like it even better now that I've quilted it.  And I certainly like it better than what it started as before the four CQFA artists got ahold of it.
 One of the edges had this pink border, but I added all these details to tie it together with the rest of the piece.
An interesting mix of fabrics, embellishments, and quilting lines.
I'll post an overall finished picture of this when I get the binding done.  Hopefully it will have a name by then too, because Round Robin In A Day 2 is not doing it for me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rainbow Crow

 Posting my Bag O' Stuffquilt the other day reminded me that I'd never posted the incredible one I received in this round of Baggos.  This awesome piece was made out of my gallon zip-lock back of random stuff.  Pretty amazing huh?  The artist is Dolly Smith, who is a FiberPirate and a very talented artist and quilter.  The quilt measures 17"wide x 39"high and is entitled Rainbow Crow.  She also sent along the story that goes with it which you can read at the bottom of this post.  Little did she know how much I love mythology, Native American stories and crows.  I count myself very lucky to have received such a beautiful quilt.

 Beaded snowflakes
 The beaded gift of fire and one of the rainbow feathers.

 The rainbow crow in all his beaded glory.
 The layered details are so fun to discover, I swear I find new ones every time I look at this quilt which is hanging up in my studio.  Very inspiring!
This is the story of Rainbow Crow, a Lenape Indian legend.

When the earth was young, Rainbow Crow had the most beautiful plumage and sweetest song of all birds. The land was warm, but it began to snow and all animals did not know how to live in the snow. Rainbow Crow flew to Sky Spirit for help.

Sky Spirit gave Crow the gift of fire. Rainbow Crow flew to earth with a stick of fire. The smoke darkened his feathers and burned his throat. When he landed on earth, fire melted the snow and all animals were warmed.

Crow wept. His sweet song was now a rough "caw" and his beautiful feathers were black. Sky Spirit came to Crow and said, "For your selflessness and generosity I give you the gift of freedom. You will never be hunted, for your meat is burned and smoky, your feathers are black and will not be wanted, and your voice is not sweet and soothing. But when the sun shines, all will see the rainbow in your plumage."

Crow was content. 

Thanks again Dolly!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sunsets Are Series

 I was just looking at these pictures I took recently of a really spectacular sunset in Santa Barbara.  And realized that they really are a series.
 Just struck by that, the sun does this (twice!) every day for us, and it's always different.  Never the same twice.
Just like any good artist, endlessly pushing for innovation while working in a series.

There are just so many variables for our human perception of the sun's daily series work. We really are lucky aren't we?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Frozen Moats and Red Sunsets

Some random picture from The Forbidden City in Beijing.  This was the sun set towards the end of our day there.  Shows the pollution pretty well, the sky reminded me of when we have forest fires in our area.

The moat outside the Forbidden City walls is huge, we were close to the center of one side when I took this picture.  Yes it was completely frozen over, and no, nobody was ice-skating on it.  Alex bought one of the ubiquitous face masks at a 7-11, it worked well for the pollution and the cold.

Another side of the frozen moat.  I really liked this picture of Zach.

One of the corner towers as seen from outside the city walls.  It really reminded me of something made out of Legos until you look closer and see all the curves and intricate designs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Table-Full of Work

A table-full of all the work I made at the recent CQFA retreat in Half Moon Bay.  It was a successful retreat for me, I brought the right amount of stuff (instead of way too much), had enough interesting fabrics to work with and was inspired by all the others around me busily working on all their own projects.  I worked on quilting something from last year's retreat (Back right side), made a collaged quilt with old calendar towels and started quilting it (back left), finished quilting the recent round robin in a day project from the last CQFA meeting (that's in the left front), assembled a top inspired by Hong Kong (center front), assembled a remnant fabric plus special hand-dyes top which needs to be quilted now (right front).  Once all of these are done done I'll post better pictures of each one with closeups.  Promise.
I really was inspired to get so much work accomplished, it felt really good to concentrate on making new things in a room full of fun people to talk too.

Here is my friend Jaye hard at work on her FOTY (Fabric Of The Year) quilt.  This year the shape is triangles.  She spent a whole lot of time arranging them to get the color effect she wanted and then was painstakingly sewing them together in groups.  Not all together by the time the retreat ended so we helped pin everything in place to the flannel design wall so she could roll it up and take it home.  That's a pretty handy thing those portable design walls.
I wish I'd taken more pictures of what everyone was working on, but I guess I was immersed in making my own stuff this year.  Can't wait for next year's retreat!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Very First Windmill

Just trying out the template from Come Quilt With Me that friend Jaye and I are using for a our next hey-cut-me-one-of-those-out-of-your-fabrics-when-you-feel-like-it quilts.  She's already cut me a huge stack to work with, so we're on our way. It's a pretty easy block to put together, once I figured out how the markings on the the corner worked.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

All We Ever Hope For Was The Dawn

 Watercolor crayon, words say "All We Ever Hoped For Was The Dawn."  I should have taken this picture after the page was flattened out after drying, it looks so funny like this.
So many layers to this one, I was going for a look of transparency, December 16th, started with pen doodles in a pattern, then stamped the words MESSY MESSY MESSY and another stamp that has always reminded me a bit of fingerprint.  Overlaid on top is a light was of watercolor crayon.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sleep, Sleep Through The Night

Here's another recent gift I've made, this time for my newest niece Charlotte!  It's a double flannel blanket, started out at about 1yard and 1/4.  I received one like this and it was one of my favorite gifts I ever received as a new mom.  Just such a handy size and shape for all sorts of situations.  It will get softer and softer every time it gets washed.  I thought this donut hole print was fun and lively.
I was going to stitch words all around the edge, but it felt a little too stiff, so I just stuck to the first part of a e line of a song I used to always sing my boys to sleep with.  "Sleep, Sleep Through The Night".  Nope, they don't remember me singing it to them, so I did when I was asking them and they liked it.
MLK by U2
Sleep, Sleep Through the Night
And may your dreams be realized
If the thundercloud passes rain
So let it rain
Let it rain
Rain on me
So let it be
So let it be

In case you've never heard the song, give a listen, it is not your usual U2 song, and it starts out very very quietly.

Friday, February 03, 2012

This Could Be A Good Time

 Another imaginary landscape in watercolor pencil and crayon for December 13th.  No words this time.
For December 14th, a collage with fabric scraps, printed paper napkin, stamped images, pen, circular ink daubers.
Words in the margin say: Dragonfly says.  Words in the collage say This Could Be A Good Time.
Which is one of my favorite lines from a great song called "High Sierra Morning" by Diane Patterson off her new CD World Awake.  I had just gotten to see her perform live, and this song was one of the ones stuck in my head (in a good way!)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Sweet Citrus Bells

Holy Cow! I finally finished a quilt! It's been a while, so this is a big deal here in High-Fiber-Content-Land .  A long, long time ago, I received a gallon zip-lock bag filled with fabrics,trims, beads and other bits, also known as a "Baggo" (a bag-o-stuff).  And I was to make a quilt out of it for an unknown member of one of the online fiber groups I belong to (Hi FiberPirates).  I also sent in a bag of my own stuff and had already received an utterly fabulous quilt back.  So this quilt is long overdue.  I actually made most of it in January. As in January 2011. Ahem. But then it sat there for a long time, because it was done to a certain point, and it just wasn't working past that, and I was just plain stuck.  I hardly ever get stuck like that.  But there it was. For months.

As you can see, I got unstuck eventually and finished it.  I couldn't tell you how exactly.  Just the passage of time, or maybe the pressure I put on myself to actually do it, since I was enjoying the Baggo quilt I'd received months ago.  It got finished, all except hand-sewing the binding, label and sleeve.  That took me another two months to finally manage.  Not sure what the issue was there, but at last.  It's done, and I'm pleased with it, and I hope Dolly likes it too.
The whole quilt came about because of the Tangerine Sours Altoids tin she sent some of the embellishments in, it really got designed all around it.  And several times I almost pitched that idea, of having the lid be on the quilt, but as you can see it survived.  As an aside, boy was that ever fun when I was flattening it...My teenager came running, rather alarmed at all the racket, "Mom, what are you doing?"  I paused, with hammer raised, grinning "Making stuff."  heh.
The lovely heavy bells made a wonderful tinkling sound as I finished hand stitching everything.  Here you can see some of the leaf beads as well as the leafy ribbon that I used out of all the embellishments that came in the Baggo.  There were a lot in there to pick from which made it fun.
So now on to finishing more quilts...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Blow Me Away

 Watercolor crayon and pencil along with ink drawing for December 10th, words in the margin say:
Blow Me Away
For December 11th, A magazine picture collage, with pen marking, and printed and solid tissue paper. The words say:
Is Your Tank Half Empty or Half Full?