Monday, November 24, 2008

Another reason I love the Kroger

This is a wall hanging I made for my mother yesterday. You'll notice that the red burlap backing is a different color in the second picture. Once I got it to her house and we decided where to hang it, the red was way too harsh so I mixed up a concoction of instant coffee and some wine colored Rit liquid dye and just sponged it on the exposed edges. A HUGE improvement on it. Of course, the original picture is pure crap since I just shot it on the way out the door and didn't look at it before leaving.

The piece is made with a paper grocery bag from the Kroger that I wet, wadded up and ironed dry. Then I used acrylics to paint on it, fused interfacing to the back and then sprayed with water, wadded and ironed again. I ironed from the front side this time to get the crackly looking effect on the paint. The whole thing was then painted with a brown poly wood stain and fused to the burlap.

Jute hanger, wooden clothespins at the top and 3 rust-colored bells with a little piece of greenery and a tiny plaid bow finish off the hanging loop.

She loves it and I'm happy with it, so it's all good. And I had so much fun playing with it that I think I'm going to do one for myself. Maybe a snowman so I can work some blue into it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

mystery solved!

The pattern is apparently called "peony" (some slight variations, i.e. pineys, paeony) and it is a variation of a Lemoyne Star block. Thanks to everyone who responded to my plea for help. It set me off on the right path to identify the block.

The Carolina Lily pattern that was suggested is very close, but it lacks the last 2 petals/leaves of a true Lemoyne Star/peony. The setting with the stems and vase are typical of the Carolina Lily, but the piecing is different. The leaves on the antique quilt are also pieced diamonds, not applique as most Carolina Lily patterns seem to be.

Antique quilt

The Craftsmen's guild had three antique (I'm using 'antique' in the generally accepted definition as signifying 100+ years old) quilts donated recently, and I'm trying to identify the specific pattern used on this one. It's obviously a tulip pattern of some description set on point and is hand pieced, with machine applique stems. Those are the tiniest machine stitches I've ever seen, too. Hand quilted in a Baptist fan pattern, and only one small area about 2x4 inches is missing the quilting stitches.
The green has faded a tremendous amount, based on the non-faded seam allowances, but the red shows very little change in color. The single-fold green print binding is completely worn through all the way around, but as a whole the quilt is in surprisingly good condition. The backing is maybe a homespun? So thin, with a such a loose weave, it almost looks like cheesecloth or drapery scrim at this point. There are areas of quilting where green thread was used but the vast majority of it was done with matching off-white. A couple of mends on the backing, a big round applique and a couple of smaller darned areas, but they are quilted with the original quilting so I'm assuming the fabric was repaired before being used. One pretty bad mildew-y looking spot towards the middle of it and some smaller rusty looking stains but all in all, a very pretty quilt. Total size is 78"x82".

Any information on the block pattern or fabrics or anything else about this quilt or time period would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finally! Pictures!

I finally got around to (finding the camera) (charging the batteries) (getting stuff together) taking some pictures of current stuff. These are 2 postcards and a quilt that I've done in the last few days. The first postcard is thread painting on batik, with tiny little Christmas ornament musical instruments. I love when Christmas rolls around so I can find all the cool music stuff. Miniatures and larger ones, although I don't ever really have a need for harps, lyres and French horns.
The second postcard is commercial print fabric with guitar strings and a pick. Both are 4"x6" and are intended as thank you gifts for friends.

The quilt is 28"x40" and I used a Loni Rossi commercial print and black. I'll win the lottery one day and buy a couple of bolts of the Michael Miller black too. I go through that stuff like toilet paper. You can still see the chalk quilting lines but I haven't washed it yet. This one has a facing rather than a binding because I wasn't happy with any configuration of any color binding showing at all. I'm using the facing more and more on my stuff and it's no longer the last option I consider. I don't like the pillowcase method at all and the facing gives the same effect with a different technique. 'Gye Nyame' got counted off for binding technique at the quilt show the year she won the big honking prize even though she also has a facing. Just one of those confusing comments that make you wonder if the judges are even looking at what they're grading. Or maybe if the scribes are a couple of quilts behind in the notes. My favorite comment this past show was "border needs more quilting." On a quilt that has no border. I've always thought it interesting that judges make comments like that to begin with, since it's a judgement call by the quilter for what effect they want to produce. It's about on a par with "I don't like that color" as far as useful critique. That partly explains why I tend to submit to art shows more and more rather than quilt shows.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday!

To me! Monday was my 49th birthday and I spent 3 absolutely wonderful days in New Orleans with no plans other than to enjoy myself. And I did! Spent some time in the quarter doing pretty much nothing, then ate, then hanging with one of my best friends and catching up on life and stuff. An incredibly relaxing, rejuvenating evening. Got up the next morning and checked out some of the prospect.1 stuff then off to the Rosetree glass blowing studio over in Algiers. Mark (the owner) was working on some large vases so I got to watch him blow glass for an hour or so, then visited with his wife for a while in the showroom. He does the most gorgeous work and I wanted one of each. One of the best things is the studio itself. It's in an old movie theatre and it is so freaking cool. Go read his story (history link on the website) about getting through the storm too.

Katy and I spent the rest of the day screwing around on Magazine street window shopping in the rain, no less, and then a grabbed a bite to eat. Headed out to a bar eventually and avoided a fight with the pool league players then off to Frenchmen st to finish up the evening (morning?) before heading back to her place. I can't remember the last time I laughed that much either.

The weather was perfect, the company was perfect, and my batteries got recharged. Good to know that my muse still lives there. I came home with several ideas for designs and I'll let them sit in the back of my mind until they develop, but the NO inspired pieces are usually some of my favorites when they finally come to fruition. Something about the colors and line and movement really seem to wind up being good pieces. Everyone should have a specific 'trigger' like that for designing. It's my guaranteed cure for artist's block.

Now that I got the minication out of my system, it's time to get some work produced! I have to have new stuff to hang at New Stage in Jan and I mostly have pieces of pieces right now. Maybe getting a plan as to what to do next would help. Cut the fabric for a new piece or finish some of what I've already started, or quilt what I've already finished? Decisions, decisions.

Maybe at least one picture later today of a piece that's almost finished.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

And more than 10 days!

I have no idea how time gets away from me like it does. I look back and think "where did the time go, and why don't I have anything to show for it?" I did manage to crank out a bunch of non-fiber Christmas ornaments to put at ARTichoke this week, and I got a quilt top done today, along with 2 more designs in my head. The ornaments were cute and I had fun taking a bunch of light bulbs apart to make them. Other than that, I've been pretty useless. We headed down to see Cassandra Wilson last weekend but after just a couple of hours it got a bit chilly so we headed home. I love her music so I hated wimping out like that.

When I took the quilt over to the casino, I stopped in at the Attic Gallery in Vicksburg and wound up leaving 4 pieces with them. One sold within just a couple of days so that was good. The gallery itself is so very cool too! I could spend hours in there just poking around at all the great art they have. Stacked, piled, leaned, puddled everywhere. I was in heaven for the 2 or so hours I spent just looking. Lots of local and regional artists and folk art, craft, outsider, all kinds of cool stuff.

My oldest child is so sick of the incompetence at MS State that she now says she's ashamed it will even have that name on her degree. For a child who loves learning and is going into the education field, it says a lot that they are so bad she feels that way about them. At least they haven't turned her off of teaching (yet) just student-ing. Who knows how the other 2 are doing. Our usual conversations go something like this:

ME: How are you doing in your classes?

THEM: OK as far as I know

ME: How do you not know what your grades are?

THEM: Well, I had a test a couple of weeks ago and I passed it.

ME: What about the rest of your classes?

THEM: Can you deposit some money in my account please?

Occasionally, there is some variation in the first 5 lines of that conversation, but the 6th always rolls around eventually. I'll just be happy for the day that one of them, any one of them, finally graduates.

If there is anyone in existence with a more mundane life than mine, I'm glad I don't know them. They're probably the most boring person on the planet.