Riverwalk

Nearly every morning I walk along a road that leads to the Mississippi River at Hannibal Missouri. I love the quiet (it’s a dead end road) and the calm I always feel even though trying to burn a few calories. As I pass one of the homes along the way I can see a barn set back in the woods. While it is on private property there is a public maintained pathway that takes one back into a clearing that branches off into another path eventually leading back to town. I think the only time the quiet of this area is disturbed is when spring mushroom hunters comb the woods looking for their delicacy and in the summer when the mosquitoes claim the area as their home.

 

 

 

 

 

I tried to capture the essence of this quiet space with painted fabric, photos manipulated and printed on fabric, embellished with painted Tyvek and painted fusible in the shape of leaves from the cottonwood and maple that abound in the woods.

Contemplating

I had the great pleasure of taking a class offered by the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, NE with fiber artist, LInda Colsh.  It was one of the most inspiring classes I have ever taken.  I especially like her focus on “hearing the quiet”.  I am contemplating how to use the fabrics I painted during the class with the addition of some batiks and photos of a neighborhood barn that is attractive to me.

Moostake Two

It Moost Be A Moostake 2
I knew a series of quilts would come out of a four month long trip through Canada, Alaska and the northwest lower 48. Per request for a “pattern” for the latest “Moostake”, I am sharing the process for the second one, a colorful moose wall hanging featuring the Kaffe Fasset line of fabrics. (My first is a throw with salmon and raven fabric.)I purchased an acrylic template in Juneau knowing that some way or another I would be making a moose themed quilt. (There are many drawings on the web that might be copyright free.) I picked up patterns for realistic moose but this is the fun one. I used leftover florals of the Kaffe Fasset Collective for the moose so no specific yardage. The background was a yard of stripe and half yard of brown and blue floral. Sashing was about 5/8 yard of burnt orange “Grunge” by MOda and for the border and binding I purchased a yard of KFC. Blocks are sewn into nine 9 ½” by 12 ½” rectangles. I cut stripe 6 ½” x 12 ½” and the floral 3 ½” x 12 ½” . Moose were fused and then stitched with highly contrasting but coordinating thread. Sashing was cut into eight 2 ¼” wide strips with two cut into six 12 ½” lengths and four strips cut 40” lengths for horizontal sashing with the last two strips cut measurement of the vertical sides (I recall mine were 34 ½” but measure for accuracy). The borders were cut 5 ½” wide according to finished top, bottom and side measurements. Very simple with the most time being spent on the decorative stitching around the moose.

It Moost Be A Moosetake

A year ago we were in the thick of preparing for a four-month camping trip through the northwest including two months in Alaska. Commemorating the trip through fabric was on my mind. Collecting fabrics or designing quilts that reminded me of the trip or collecting row by row quilt kits from shops on the route was the question. Of course, I did all three! I took the collected patterns and kits and fabrics to our winter home but did little work on them as Texas projects emerged to take priority. Back home this spring and reflecting on the trip I have started pulling them out, one by one. First on the list was the moose pattern purchased in Juneau. A number of quotes came to mind as I planned the project: “It moost be a moosetake”(what I told my husband when I had the proposed fabrics spread out); “Time out for a brief moosage from our sponsors”; “Charmoose” (the fabric connection); and, of course, “Chocolate moose”. It couldn’t be traditional as nothing about the trip was traditional so it had to be done in funky, fun fabrics but all I had collected from the trip were Alaskan-themed batiks and lots of them. They could be the backing. What’s brighter and less moose-like than Kaffe Fasset, of course!! So the blocks are ready for decorative outline stitching which must be done in the most brilliant thread colors I have. Oh , this is going to be so much fun and therefore provides the incentive for getting busy to finish soon!

Marbling

This winter I experimented with marbling small pieces of fabric. I loved the varied colors and designs that appeared without manipulating the surface or by manipulating it only slightly in a non-traditional way. I used 100% white PFD cotton. My next experiments are going to be with some blends and different solid colors. Before that happens, however, I have to finish the demolition of the kitchen and bathroom countertops in preparation for a new surface. Once that is done I will be open to others joining me as I continue the experiment. The viscose concoction holds up for about three days so there will be ample opportunity to fit it into your schedule if you’re close to Hannibal and choose to try it. If you have an interest in trying a marbling technique drop me an email and I will let you know when I next mix up a batch. (I picked up more supplies while in Paducah at the quilt show.) To my winter Texas friends I will be doing a demo/workshop this winter.

Wooden Spool Toys

Recently a brief conversation at sew day about a use for empty spools led to those who collect wooden spools with or without thread and what , if anything , is done with them. I have a few but would not say they are something I collect nor do I save the plastic spools in case some future generation finds a creative purpose for them or even finds them “collectible”. I do remember, however, using the wooden spools to make toys, spool toys. My memory was jogged to remember those toys last night when I was perusing an old magazine from 1915. The ad is pictured below. I wasn’t born yet in 1915 so this toy idea must have been renewed some 40 years later. I don’t recall if we made them in “art class” at school or if they were made around the dining room table as a rainy day activity. I do remember having a lion and an elephant and I am sure there were others. I don’t remember them coming from the thread company as promoted in this ad. For only a nickel and the coupon included in the ad you could get a complete set of six spool pets. You could also collect them as you purchased bias trim because one came in each package for free—for a limited time. The ad further promotes that over “300,000 boys and girls have had great fun making and playing with these clever toys”. What do you suppose was the favorite: Puppy Dog, Kitty Cat, Bob Bunny, Hal Horse, Clara Cow or Pete Pig? Love those old ads!

Mystery Quilt Week 4

Week 4 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge by Sharon Wasteney, Something Stitched

Always use a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the solid.

Block E requires these pieces:

(2) 6 ½” x 21 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

 

Sew #1 print to #3 print, press seam to #3; sew #2 print to #4 print, press seam to #2. Join #1,3 to #2,4 forming a four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to left edge of four patch and 6 ½” square to the right edge.

Sew 6 ½” x 21 ½” to top and bottom of enhanced four patch block.

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block E will be 21 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Block F requires one each of these pieces:

(1) 3 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 9 ½” x 18 ½”,

(1) 3 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1 through 4.

 

Sew #2 print to #4 print, press seam to #4; sew #1 print to #3 print, press seam to #1. Join #2,4 to #1,3 forming a four patch block.

Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to left side of four patch block and 3 ½” x 6 ½” to the right side.

Sew 3 ½” x 18 ½” to top of enhanced four patch.

Sew 9 ½” x 18 ½” to bottom

 

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block F will be 18 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Sew block E to block F. Sew E/F to A/B/C/D piece.

You’re done!! I told you it was simple. I hope you enjoy thinking about how you might quilt this project. As with many modern designs it leaves a lot of negative space for stitching.

Prepare top to be quilted by layering backing, batting and top. Baste as desired and quilt as desired. I quilted mine with interlocking squares in various sizes corresponding with the sizes used in the top but it could also just use some vertical and horizontal lines with a heavier or decorative thread to stand out or hand stitch with big stitches in a contrasting thread. This is a great opportunity to let quilting take center stage.

 

 

Week Three of Four Mystery Quilt

Week 3 of 4

“It’s A Mystery” Quilt Challenge by Sharon Wasteney, Something Stitched

Always use a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the solid.

 

Block C requires these pieces:

(1) 3 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 9 ½” x 18 ½”;

(1) 3 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

Sew #2 print to #3 print, press seam to #3; sew #4 print to #1 print, press seam to #4. Join #2,3 to #4,1, forming a four-patch block.

Sew 3 ½” x 6 ½” piece to left edge of four patch block. Sew 6 ½” x 9 ½” to right edge of four-patch block.

Sew 3 ½” x 18 ½” to top of enhanced four patch and sew 9 ½” x 18 ½” to bottom of block.

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block C will be 18 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

 

Block D requires these pieces:

(2) 6 ½” x 21 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 9 ½”;

(1) 6 ½” x 6 ½”;

(4) 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares, one of each print numbered 1through 4.

Sew #3 print to #1 print, press seam to #1; sew #4 print to #2 print, press seam to #4. Join #3,1 to #4,2 forming a four-patch block.

Sew 6 ½” square to left edge of four-patch block and 6 ½” x 9 ½” to right edge.

Sew remaining 6 ½” x 21 ½” pieces to top and bottom of enhanced four-patch block.

 

 

 

 

Finished size of Block D will be 21 ½” width and 18 ½” height.

Sew block C to block D.

Sew C/D piece to bottom edge of A/B block then set aside for final row.

 

 

 

 

 

Two-thirds done. How easy is this!!

 

 

Rusted and Felted

Today I will be joining a group of fiber arts enthusiasts at the Rockport Center for the Arts to share the rust dyeing technique. Coming from a farm background I am familiar with how equipment rusts if not taken care of. I remember greasing plow blades and cultivator shovels to prevent rust. Now I am looking for all kinds of bolts and washers and nails and chains and anything else that is or can be rusted to create an interesting pattern on fabric. The sample shown combines a Tyvek leaf ( my favorite technique) on a rust dyed background with felted leaves on the side. I painted the background fabric using Setacolor paints with commercial batiks that combine so well with hand dyes. Made on a rainy day, it reflects the mood of the day with the sun trying to shine but the rain prevailed. Looking forward to the exciting but unknown results that take place when a group with artistic bent comes together.