Saturday, February 18, 2017

Learning to Float

As long as I can remember, I've loved the water.  My mother took me on beach (both Atlantic ocean and local lake) holidays when I was very little, and I loved it -- digging in the sand, playing in the water.  I was never afraid of it.

Mom and I
York Beach, Maine, USA, ca. 1955

After my mother and step-father married (1957) they built a cottage on a bay in the St. Lawrence River in SW Quebec, a place we always referred to as "The Lake".  Our family spent every summer there -- often moving there as early as Easter and staying through Thanksgiving (early October in Canada) -- till we were all grown and gone, and my parents continued to live there and winter elsewhere until 1978, when they sold up and moved West to be closer to my sister and me.

We all learned to swim early, and eventually to water-ski.  If my eyesight hadn't been so poor (I had to wear my glasses, tied on my head, to see the boat pulling me when on skis), I'd have likely trained as a life guard -- I enjoyed it that much.

My favourite moves?  The Crawl, treading water, and just plain floating.

Well now.  Here it is over 40 years since I last stayed at the cottage (DH and I spent part of our honeymoon week there in 1975, and my sis and I taught him to water-ski)...

And I'm now learning to float with fabric.

What's that, you say?


Modern Quilting, you see, includes a penchant for (usually colourful) shapes floating in an ocean -- or lake -- of  (usually neutral) background fabric...and Lesson 3 in "Mod Meets Improv" including an assignment to riff off a traditional quilt pattern while at the same time, trying to make the shapes in the pattern 'float'.

Oy vey.

Apparently I was getting close with my "Grid" piece, to which (at E.B.'s suggestion) I've now added a 'border' so that (apparently) the white spaces 'float'.

"Hole in the Fence" is now more like "Fenced In"...

Hmmm...I'm not sure.  I've thought about removing that blue-green border and using a wider white one instead, but I'm not sure about that either.

I decided that to make a new 'floating' piece, I'd riff off the old "Rail Fence" pattern.  After all, my very first quilt was a 'Rail Fence' -- which I made in a weekend class at a LQS 'way back in November 1984, newly pregnant with the wee person who is now my son.

Well first quilt
Rail Fence, 1984 would I do it and get the 'floating' thing right?


A few years ago (2? 3?) I bought Joe Cunningham's Craftsy Class, "Pattern-free Quilt-making".  I love Joe Cunningham -- anything he makes.  I love his sense of humour, his take on the world, his quilting style and his funky music.  If I could afford to take a class from him (he's taught at some pretty classy retreat venues), I would in a heart-beat.  And it just so happens that the first lesson in this class is a riff on "Rail Fence" or -- as it's sometimes known -- "Three Sisters".  He calls his version "Three Crazy Sisters".  :-)

I call mine "Off the Rails":

"Off the Rails" - finished top (not quilted)
Est. approx, 26" square (after quilting)

When I posted it on the Classroom platform, I got an excited response from EB and two other class-mates, including my former 15 x 15 colleague, Chris.  Apparently it reminded a couple of them of an early video game -- or one of those digitally-coded squares you find on some products.  Who'dda thunk it?!

Whatever it resembles, I like it, and am torn between making it as a hanging and turning it into a baby quilt...

While I think about that, I'm going to read my first set of class materials from my other (now concurrent) online class, Lyric Kinard's "Abstract-a-licious", which began Wednesday...and I'm linking up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  This week she features a  wee interview with a SAQA colleague of mine, the talented Paula Jolly of Mossbank, SK (that's Saskatchewan, for non-Canadian readers).  Enjoy!

We've snow and freezing rain in the forecast for this evening and tomorrow.  If that happens...all I see in front of me is more cozy stitching (and knitting too).

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

elle said...

Gosh you have a lot on the go! I didn't know rail fence was also 3 sisters. I like the aspect of floating. My diagonal sets usually didn't quitw touch that first thon outter border. Happy weekend