Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Below the Ice and Snow

We went on a little trip this past weekend and enjoyed several winter walks with our boys. I had a conversation with my six-year-old about animals that hibernate - animals that don't. So I have been thinking a lot about the warm places under the snow, little animals curled up sleeping - how opposite these two things are in winter - above and below. We are missing our little chipmunk friend who lives under the front steps - so I think I will add him in somehow, curled up sleeping below ground - under the wintery tree.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Icy Tree


I have collected so many art supplies over the years - many I still have from college - people give them to me - I save everything, too much usually. But I really very rarely have to buy anything to use in what I make - which is nice. It makes buying anything art related feel like a splurge! So this morning was a splurge - I have new pigma pens - my others were getting a bit dried out. I tried the new ones out on this old dishtowel I had set aside to use for whatever - it has such nice texture.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lap Quilt

This quilt began here and I also posted a few photos of it here. I have been working on it now and then over the past year. I backed it with a very soft blue fleece blanket and have hand quilted the top to it. I found this little quilt not long ago - folded up in drawer in my sewing room. I decided to go ahead and put the binding on so that we could use it now. I finished the binding this morning and added the little spiral shell quilting. I washed it with the laundry today because I was excited to see how the quilting would pucker. I am finding that I prefer things heavily quilted - so the hand quilting on this one will continue whenever I get the chance. When I am not working on it - it can be around to keep us cozy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have been busy just keeping up with the day to day stuff. Daydreaming in bright green with ten inches of snow on the ground. Managing a few clothing repairs - intact knees on pants are rare at our house. My smallest boy barely stood still long enough for the photo.

Right around Valentine's Day there were some very lovely heart-shaped thoughts and photos on mending by Jude Hill and Jeana Marie Blackert.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pink and Brown

I will be making another mini-quilt, something like this one - but I wanted to try something different this time. I think this arrangement is a version of the "square deal" block. I am hoping it still has enough contrast that a baby might enjoy gazing at it...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hands and Feet

This quilt technically started in July. We went on a weekend trip with my husband's family and one of our projects was printing all of the kids' hands and feet onto fabric. My sister in-laws and I had discussed what would become of these prints, but we kept it a secret from my mother-in-law, Jerry even though she was there and helped us with the kids and the printing. We just said we would be using these for something later on.

Jerry has made beautiful hand-quilted baby quilts for each of her six grandchildren. She has taught me what I know about quilting and I really wanted to make a quilt for her that would be from all of her grandchildren.

I machine quilted everything except around the hands and feet - I carefully quilted around those by hand, right up to the edge of the paint. My favorite was the one(s) done by my nephew, James. He used two pieces of fabric (yellow and blue) and overlapped his hands and foot print.

I machine quilted some circles into the white borders here and there between all the lines.

When I mentioned at Christmas time that I was working on secret projects - this was the one - but I just couldn't get it done in time. Jerry's birthday was last weekend and we gave it to her then. I think we may have surprised her - which is fun.

When I was done with this quilt I was thinking it was the biggest thing I may ever make. But now that I have stepped away from it for only a week or so I am starting to think big again. Two big quilts - very long term - for my boys.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Circles Blue

It's beginning to look like the blue will be what holds this all together...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thin Skinned Part II

It started as three hand appliqued pale yellow circles with a small rose print in each - a twisting strand of embroidery floss stuck to the back as I tried to fit it to a layer of batting and backing. I noticed it stuck there through the white cotton. Then I saw the circles as three egg yolks with this string as veins. As a child I thought the yolk would have become a chick - if I didn't eat it. This isn't exactly scientifically true, I know now how it all works out - but that child thought still flashes through my mind most times I crack open an egg and see the yellow yolk flop out. The veins radiating out are part of that flutter of a child thought.

A circle just seems to want to have something curled up inside of it.

I heavily machine quilted the entire piece. I added just a bit of golden colored acrylic paint to the circles because they just weren't as yellow as they seemed at the start. I am still stitching down some loose ends onto the top layer to echo the veins under the surface...

Thin Skinned

I find the imagery I am attracted to again and again are tiny things found just below the surface.

I am experimenting with threads quilted in between the batting and the white top layer. I want to work on it just a bit more...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Inside of a Circle

There are many scraps of fabric that my Grandma gave me that I have never been sure how I would ever use - for whatever reason they just did not appeal to me. I could also never imagine getting rid of them - I keep them because they belonged to her and I can imagine she touched them and looked through them as I do. I have a funny thought about these fabrics - what if my Grandma didn't care for them either and she held on to them for so long because some of them may have belonged to her mother. Of course there is also the fact that when these fabrics belonged to my Great Grandma and even when they belonged to my Grandma - you saved things like used curtains and pillowcases to make something else later on.

I am pretty sure this blue fabric was once a pillowcase - it's one of those pieces I was never sure how to use, maybe a little too feminine. But working on this circle sampler has helped me to see these fabrics in a whole new way. Cropping out one circle at a time - there are all kinds of interesting little areas within the repeating patterns...

I have also added some smaller circles to mix it up a bit - and rotating the stripe patterns where they overlap. I can see this becoming an ongoing long term project and a larger size quilt top than I first had in mind... I am really enjoying working on it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Walk

I went for a walk Sunday afternoon - the sun was really shining - which was so nice. I saw some fox? tracks across the frozen pond that reminded me of this. A hawk let me walk oh so close - looked me right in the eye and flew to a higher spot. The patterns in those feathers are just amazing...