Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A decision

Nothing earth shattering, just a simple change.

Regarding the An Ocean Waves Garden project: When I do sit down to begin working on this quilt again, I think I will be piecing it quite differently. As I look at the photos (and the assorted bits here in front of me) it seems it could look more pleasing to the eye, and more complementary, with the colors positioned around the seed packet squares in complete groups, instead of in four seperate color assortments.

Does anyone want to weigh in on this thought process? C'mon, what do you think?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Found another one

Well...another four, actually, but here are the pieces of an "Ocean Waves" I began easily fifteen years ago.

Why I put it aside I have no idea, but I do remember the attempt to locate colors to add to the project, and having the worst time in the effort.

This was back when only one or two stores sold 100% cotton materials strictly for quilting (with a very small number of - and usually remote - specialty quilting stores existed) - and the selection was small, small, small. Colors were still predominately drab and the patterns and designs were nothing like our palette of choices today.So, when you found a very cool print (like this lovely seed packet print, above) you had to gobble it up and hope to find something else truly inspiring to use with it (maybe later...somewhere down the road).

Today, you can walk into dozens of fabric venues within a short driving radius and find hundreds of fabulous materials. Oh heck! For that matter, you can sit at home in your PJ's and shop from an endless supply of fabric dealers.

Thank goodness things are a-changing. Maybe now I can finish this little colorful relic from my past.

Well, maybe not "now", but definitely some time this year (or next).


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just 'stuff'

"Little Brown Bird" by Angie Witting; 86"x86" Hand Applique/Machine Piecing

Without a doubt, this was the single most breathtaking piece at the quilt show happening this weekend in Detroit. There was a lovely vintage Grandma's Flower Garden which also blew me away, but this applique quilt was phenomenal (to say the least)!

Looking at Ms. Witting's applique work had two affects on me: 1) I just want to start learning and practicing the art of applique right now; and the other is to 2) completely forget about giving it a go, for fear of never being able to get close to her level of expertise.

The quilt guild putting on the event is the Detroit guild my friend Maria took up with more than a year ago, and they've since brought her to a new level of quilt excitement. It was very easy to see why.

There were quilts by individuals as well as quilts from several members representing a class the guild had sponsored. It was interesting to see different interpretations and color schemes of similar patterns and/or guidelines (like making your quilt from one or two materials only).

We had fun walking the zig zag path of quilts (at least 200 of them) and the astounding assortment of vendors.

There was an intricate PVC display system assembled for the display of the quilts, and I just had to study that, too.

I was completely in awe of the sizes of some of the entries, and I felt dwarfed by many of them. Then I found myself wondering how they managed to stretch and sandwich the largest quilts - what sort of rack would allow for such a huge quilt?!?

At any rate, there were a large number of absolutely gorgeous pieces on display, so it was thrilling to see that - even in the big city - the art of quiltmaking is not disappearing any time soon.

We spent hours walking and talking, observing and studying, and collecting inspiration (and dismissing those quilts that were not pleasing). It was a great way to point out things to keep in mind when choosing thread color and quilting stencils or patterns for the topstitching.

Despite the need to get other more pressing tasks done, first, I am so geeked to quilt today that I can hardly figure where to begin!