Thanks for the warm welcome back. It's great to being doing creative things again. Of course, just as I get in the swing, the schools take a two-week break!
My classes were both fun. Didn't really learn anything from the scraping class, but didn't expect to either. That was more for getting me jump started, which it succeeded in quite nicely. The teacher provided all the pre-made booklet pieces with white paper (something I realized in class that I never use), one stamp and black ink, so it was more cut and paste, but I enjoyed arranging my photos in a pattern that amused me. As usual, I've not finished it. I'm not much of a class taker because I find I generally don't like following exact project directions and never seem to finish in the time allotted. Can't believe I'm the only one, but still, these are not a qualities I would emphasize in a job interview. Sorry for the low light on these photos - more rain!
I did have a moment of intense mortification during class. In my defense, I was set up. The teacher and I were chatting about how deeply ugly some things can turn out after you've expected and hoped they would be beautiful (Risa, I think you can guess what sparked the conversation by looking at these photos). We were trading stories on this topic for several minutes when a fellow student walked all the way across the room and shoved a photo in front of me. The afternoon sun was shining in behind me and I could barely read the image, but I knew it when I saw it and promptly said, "Yeah, that's surely fugly too!" To which she said, "That's my award winning jacket - I got the blue ribbon at the state fair for that!" What can I say? Just imagine Collinette's entire line of fibers in a pink, mint green and cream colorway crocheted into a Grand Ol' Opery circa 1980 does Victorian Bordello jacket (with matching hat!). I try to save my sharp tongue for one-on-one exchanges because I really, truly do NOT like to hurt anyone's feelings about their creations. My take on any artistic creation is that if you enjoyed the process and like the results, more power to you. I may not like it, but the next person may. I can only hope for the same courtesy. But please, don't shove it in my face while I'm talking about fugly. I turned 10 shades of red.
The Kaffe Fassett color seminar the next day was very good. One of my local quilt stores has really embraced the "new" quilt style with lots of Free Spirit (e.g., Amy Butler) and Rowan/Westminster fabrics and inspiring samples all over the shop. The other student was a painter, so the three of us jumped right into Kaffe's books deconstructing his approach to combining colors. The last hour was spent collecting fabrics for a quilt of choice and discussing the fabrics with the instructor. Lots of fun.
I picked these fabrics on the right for A Few of My Favorite Things quilt. I like the fabric. I like the pattern. I didn't like them together.
Regrouped for Kaffe's Snowball quilt (that's his from "Museum Quilts" on the left). The teacher of my class has done a version that I love too. It's more interesting in person.
OK, may have stopped by the store again for a few more colors. Damn, that man is wicked evil!
Decided I needed more colors so I logged on to Glorious Color and added these:
This is going to be for our wall, so I want to sew it well. I know it's a lot of money spent on fabric, but I've convinced my DH that it's cheaper than buying art. But now the bar's been raised - I need to make Art. A warm up was required, and it never hurts to empty stash a little, so this is what I've been working on while Snowball percolates:
This pattern is called Turning Twenty because it uses just about every last inch of twenty fat quarters for the top. My oldest, for whom it's being made, helped me build the blocks and I let her choose the layout of all the squares. I think she did a great job! Much work was needed on my rusty sewing, but as it progressed I finally got consistent 1/4 inch seams. Trouble is that just one or two misshapen or missized blocks can throw off the entire joining process, so those early botches followed me the whole way through. Still, it's my best joining to date. That front right corner was stepped on by the dog while photographing this - it's not that wonky.
Because I'm perversely thrifty (when it suits me) I pieced the back from spare yardage and the scrappy bits left from cutting the fat quarters. At first I couldn't for the life of me get the quilt sandwich to be flat, then I actually looked at one of my books and learned to tape it to the floor. World of difference! I'm loving our floor tiles which make the perfect grid, though they're murder on the knees.
A lot of kneeling is required to create this sea of pins:
Planning to return to my bag making too. I never did show this large tote I made for Rhinebeck last fall. I adore the patterns and the velvet together and it holds the kitchen sink! I've got another in progress and will try to share that tutorial soon. These photos were taken at the old house, but the bag still looks great after lots of use.
Knitting? Where's the knitting? Isn't this a knitting blog? Okay Okay. I've been knitting too.
Sandra wrote me a nice little note about my Birch and I felt sooo guilty. Birch, once my passion, was tucked into the closet, bereft. So we renewed our vows and are a couple again, maybe not monogamous, but happy in our own little unconventional way. Here, in trying to photograph that Kidsilk beauty I got a little help from the breeze:
Like Marilyn over the grate, Birch kept showing off her beauty...
Look at that pattern! Look at those shadows! Ooh la la! I kept clicking ...
Thank goodness that a knitter's reflexes are like those of a mom and I caught it mid-air with nary a stitch out of place.