Thursday, May 29, 2014

bur oak :: love of leaves

I took this photo of the emerging leaves on our young bur oak tree about a month ago.

This photo taken today. The crazy little tree is setting acorns. My husband planted this tree from an acorn. A big bur oak acorn that looks like it's wearing a knit cap. The acorn came from a favorite tree located in a favorite park in our town. The parent tree is very big and very old. So anyway, he lives on. I think our tree is about 4 years old - 5 at the most. This year this little tree of ours is about 6ft tall and growing fast. So his leaves are my next ones for this leaf project. I haven't forgotten about it!

We had sewing circle again yesterday afternoon and mostly we painted with leaves. I learned a lot from my ceramicist, writer, biologist friends about fabric painting. So glad to have creative company.

I especially loved the blurry oak leaf. (beautiful idea, Soyong)

So I painted/printed two bur oak leaves from our little tree this afternoon.

Two different leaves from one tree. The leaves nearer the bottom of the tree have the connected top segment. Pretty cool.

So happy to be back in green.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

alternate endings

Everything green growing like crazy and I just can't let this long winter cloth go.

 I got a little sidetracked while looking through a favorite book (Quilting, Patchwork and Applique: A World Guide) with plans to make a window panel. I have been daydreaming a lot about the shaped pieces and forms on toran and pantoran textiles made for doorways and it led to me thinking that these shapes all pieced together for hanging are really a lot like fringe. Shaped fringe.

I wasn't very happy with the original fringe on this so now it's gone and I am headed out in another direction. Now I am imagining this leading to all kinds of shaped "fringe" on lots of things. Not just squares.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

how it always is

Summer is almost here and we are looking forward to a few things slowing down a bit but many things are speeding up. Everything is growing fast (except the vegetable garden I still haven't got around to planting). Lots to do outside. School projects finishing up with the boys and special events to end the year. Family vacations and first plane rides are in the works.

It might start to just be a photo posted here now and then for the summer months. Everything cloth, thread, clay, plants, wildlife, boys and pets all tangled together. Wait.. that's how it always is here.  : )

Thursday, May 15, 2014

hand + machine

I started machine quilting this yesterday then today finished the rest of the machine stitching and the washed and dried it. I just needed to see how it would all turn out.

I love shaking it out after drying and seeing the crinkles and wrinkles for the first time.

The results are encouraging. A few minor things on this one and then move on to a few things with a bit more green. Although it's fitting to be finishing this one up now - we are having a few cold and cloudy days here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

72 blocks :: little lizard + camo pants :: seven & eight

I cut this little outgrown shirt and a small pair of camouflage pants into fabric early March. I stitched them into two more blocks for the 72 blocks quilts I started talking about in October, but never got around to posting them. Then as is typical of me I started something new but actually closely related. Most of the other recent things were born of these blocks. Connections and the leaves. But then also a lot of it has just always been there just tangled up in different ways. Holding tight to my 12" block size on most things I make these days so that if all else fails all blocks fit together - different projects but really all part of the puzzle.

I haven't stitched on any blocks for this since March, but Mother's Day and all the leaf talk and a bit of tidying has me thinking about them again. They have resurfaced.
Wondering if I can really pull off one day putting all of these together. Do they even belong together?

Thinking I just need to emphasize their similarities while honoring their differences. More contrast and more red, definitely. I get excited all over again about the ways this shows the lovely tangle of all the things - everything all together - the things drifting in and out of my path as I go along. It's all in there. I really want to finish 2 big quilts for my boys. I am lining up my portable work for a fast approaching summer break.

only 64 more blocks to go for 2 quilts...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

sewing circle :: love of leaves

I so completely enjoyed our little leafy sewing circle time today that it slipped my mind to take a single photo. Thanks so very much to the lovely ladies who were here. For those who couldn't make it - you were missed. We will try again soon.

It was so warm and sunny I had to try a little sun-printing, which is done with the same transparent Pebeo SetaColor fabric paints. This is my first try with a pressed and dried leaf -  I typically use green leaves fresh from the tree. This pressed one worked beautifully and held up really well - might even last one more printing. I really like the way the tear showed up in the print. These two sugar maples mirroring each other are going to need two more to make it an even four. Stems meeting in the center.

It was oh so nice to sit outside together today. I also really enjoyed seeing what everyone else is working on and sewing on outside of all this leafiness. It's not all about leaves you know.

sparkle marks

The more I try to finish this the more stitches I want to make. Funny how that can happen.

At some point soon I will add some machine stitching. A way to include as many stitches as I would like but also actually finish it. So I think I am maybe postponing this machine step by prolonging the hand stitching. I don't want the machine stitching to change it too much, just compliment. I want it to be a structural background element, still a part of the design.

I added just a little bit of color - a warm orange/brown - to the underground.

For all the careful planning on the front, I really like the little path of sparkle marks showing up on the back.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

back to a late winter daydream

I am spending moments between everything else stitching on this to try and get this one done. It has a bit of a wintry feel to me and I find myself wanting to stitch or splash some bright green in here somewhere, but I won't. I mean I will try not to. The seasons have changed faster than I can stitch, but this quilt is still a late winter daydream.

I have been working out the ways this will come together in the end and am anxious to see how it all turns out. All these connection blocks will be pieced together and finished out for hanging in a  similar way and I just want to know it's all going to turn out alright. At the same time trying not to rush it. The momentum of spring coming to life outside is very motivating. Go go go.