Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ladies of Leisure

Photo #1: "Ladies of Leisure" - created from a panel purchased in Portland, OR.

I’ve discovered I have totally confused myself on what the name of this quilt really is. I've been calling it Circle of Friends, and it has morphed into Ladies of Leisure, but sometimes I forget, and it becomes Circle of Friends again. I will have to make a label, and soon.

Now that I see it like this (as if from a distance), I think I would have liked it better without the dark red border. I'd like to see it displayed like the art work at my local Ethiopian restaurant - stretched between a four-sided twig frame, with lengths of sisal or hemp strung between the wood and holes punched in the quilt. Too late for this one. Maybe next time.

The fun thing about panels is making them your own, absolutely different than what anyone might do with the panel. For this one I did free motion quilting around the background leaves, and added not only the border, but piles of beads. There is a mix of polymer clay beads I made, semi-precious stone beads, many beads strung on "tiger tail" wire and tacked to the front of the quilt.

I didn't particularly enjoy sewing on all the beads, but the finished product made it well worth it. What I need to do is to find a "more funner" way to add embellishments.

Photo #2 shows hot-fix beads that I used for the ladies' jewelry.

Black-white gradation

On Thursday and Friday I cut and pieced the strips for the background of my tree applique quilt, name yet to be determined.

The background is a gradation of vertical strips of 17 fabrics from black to white (left to right) for a 30x60 wall hanging.

I had originally planned on having each entire strip a single piece of fabric, but when I looked at all those quarter yards - 44" x 9" of fabric - I decided I'd cut a bunch of 9" x 2.5" strips and stagger the pieces from one side to the other, something like vertical bricks. I laid it all out on the pingpong table, liked what I saw, and pieced together the first four columns.

Then I didn't like what I saw. What had been charming and unusual about the fuzzy raw edges of the strips during the layout stage was hidden when sewn. I painstakingly took all the strips apart and re-sewed them, lapping the end of each short strip over the strip below, wrong side to right side, and then sewed the finished long strips right sides together, as usual. See photo of unfinished top, above.

Now I need to decide what color to make the tree trunks (I've decided to do two trunks instead of one). I know I want the leaves (about a dozen of them) to be yellows and greens. I'll play around with what I have and see what inspires me.

Meanwhile, I will try to post my travel adventures in the days ahead.

Cabin on the Lake

This week I finished, and tied with pearl cotton (because I wanted it to drape softly), the twin-size flannel log cabin quilt, "Cabin on the Lake," for which I had completed the blocks in July. Finding enough blues that were not green-blues or purple-blues was very difficult.

Now that I see it in a photo, I'm thinking the lightest blue blocks are too light. Too late now...


Catching up on quilts, part 1

Between my last trip (to Idaho) and my next one (to Ukraine, first leg of which starts tomorrow), I have been busy pretending to be a textile/fabric artist, or at least crafter...

I finished the last of my collection of scrap-fabric fractured 16-patch pot holders (sample of one -->), which reminds me -- I need to check and see if the ones I mailed for a birthday present arrived, or if I actually mailed them (ahem).