Sunday, January 06, 2019

Starting with Finishing!

In my last post, I said that one of the things I want MORE of this year is time in the studio.  Well!  Since that post -- a mere 5 days ago! -- that's exactly what I've made sure I have (notwithstanding the fact that I worked at The Shop on one of those days!)

"Random Rails" chez Gina Blank's
Air B&B, Edmonton, Alberta
"Bookshelf Quilt"
As those of you, Gentle Readers, who follow this blog regularly, know -- I've been stricken with "Piecer Madness" for some months now.  I had two commissions for pieced quilts in 2018 -- the Random Rails twin-extra-wide-and-extra-long for my daughter's Air B&B; and a Bookshelf Quilt -- throw-sized -- for my school-days friend, M, who lives in B.C.

I finished a quilt I called the "Rectangle Quilt" (for want of a better name!) and gave it to a fellow whose home burned down to the ground about a block from me, a few months ago.

And I was determined to finish Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Mystery Quilt, "On Ringo Lake".   Lo and behold, that happened this week!  I'd finished the first five rows (laid out 'on point' on my narrow guest bed) and finally wrestled the second five-row section into submission -- and then (be still, my heart!) I managed to stitch them all together -- into one GINORMOUS (is that a word?!) top:

Finished top out on my back stoop -- on the chest freezer!

Finished top on my own (regular-sized) twin bed!

Finished top - detail

I put in all three photos to show why I love Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts!  I'm not a great bed-quilt maker, but I LOVE to piece -- it rests my brain (believe it or not!) during intense periods of Original Design (which, even if I've nothing to show for it, is most of the time).  And despite my shabby piecing skills, it never fails to amaze me that the tops I make with Bonnie's patterns (mystery and otherwise) always turn out to be amazing!!  So, Bonnie, I applaud you -- and thank you with all my heart for enabling me to turn my scraps into wonderful things!  (And yes, lest you wonder, I have hopes of making her 2018 Mystery Quilt -- now fully revealed -- some time later this year!   And YES, I have the scraps with which to do it!!)

Next up?  Somewhere along the way in the past couple of weeks I stumbled over a pattern for a "Spectacle Quilt" that was offered up on the Internet for those who wanted to make quilts for Project Linus.  Well...I wasn't in the market for that BUT I was looking for a way to put some 4" (OLD) blue and yellow 'charm squares' into a quilt for a new baby cousin (born in September). 

I fell in love with this simple way of using 4" or 5" squares (the pattern is for the latter; I adapted it for the smaller squares) -- and came up with a top I'm calling "You are My Sunshine".  I used a charm pack from well over a decade ago, when I had a subscription (quarterly) for samples from Benartex.  I added white fabric left over from the wide backing for a throw-sized quilt -- sheep and cats on the fabric! -- that I made for L, the owner of The Shop, whose birthday was in November. 

This will be a "tummy time" quilt for Marshall Richard Douglas McKellar (!), born in September, and once I get it quilted it will be well on its way East, where that part of my (father's) family lives. Meanwhile -- till I make an LQS run for batting and backing! -- it remains on my guest bed, measuring in at about 40" square:

And from there...I "screw[ed] my courage to the sticking place" (thanks, Shakespeare!) and finally executed a piece that's been rambling around my brain for over a year.  Part of what I refer to as my "Spirit Series", it's based on a passage from Isaiah 11: 1-3, often read at Advent in churches that practice liturgical worship:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him -- 
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the  fear of the LORD --
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

For the Jews, the "shoot" is the tiny, fragile thing that will grow up out of a dead, decaying stump of a people, to give them hope.  To fill them with Life and Inspiration.  For Christians, the 'shoot' is also a metaphor for the Messiah, the Saviour, a fore-telling of Jesus the Christ...and so...I took this image, and created a new art piece, which I've just this very afternoon entered into Sacred Threads 2019.

I began with the idea of the stump, which I'd drawn out on large paper so as to meet the minimum 80" PERIMETER  requirements for the show.

I started at the top, which I created from a wonderful batik from my stash (you know -- those fabrics that tell you to buy them but at the time you've NO idea why?) and another batik-wanna-be commercial cotton:

I then turned to a combination of Cas Holmes and an online resource re: creating "fabric paper".   It had to do with recycling tissue paper, using muslin as a base, spreading on the tissue, and 'painting' the surface with a mixture of basic white glue, water and paint.  Can I find the pages I printed about it to tell you the source?  No!  Sigh...If I do, I'll edit this post!

Anyway, I made this stuff and sliced it up into "bark":

"Fabric paper" laid out to dry

"Bark" slices on the stump's trunk

My new Pfaff Performance 5.2 didn't balk a bit at stitching those slices to the (much lighter-weight) fabric, and from there I fused both the 'trunk' and the top to a background, sandwiched it and quilted away:

"Bark" stitched to background of stump

"A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse: Isaiah 1l:1" -- finished

And a couple of detail shots:

As you can see, I decided to keep the background quilting simple by following the lines on the fabric -- and I'm happy I did!

Today, all the info and photos were sent via the Internet to the Call for Entry for Sacred Threads 2019.  This is the first time I've entered this show -- though I've been thinking about it for some years.  The decisions will be made by the last week in it's just to put the piece away and wait.  😊

Meanwhile, I've found a supplier in Calgary for Procion MX dyes (so I don't have to deal with USD exchange rates or higher shipping costs from Canadian sources in Ontario and B.C.) so I've put in an order to replenish my sadly depleted stock of dyes -- preparatory to my "Under the Wide Sky" series.  I think I'll make a small piece to kick-start it -- and make that my contribution to SAQA's 2019 Conference "Spotlight" auction. 

I continue to collect tea bags, and have some more ideas for experimenting with gel medium, paper, fabric, Transfer Artist Paper, cheesecloth, muslin...etc.

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, I wish you all MORE time to pursue whatever captures your fancy this new year!  And...I'll link up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, while there's still time.  Enjoy her recommendations for increasing your art history knowledge -- and just look at that wonderful cabinet her DH got her to tame the chaos in her studio!  I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Have a great rest of the week -- and thanks for stopping by!


Bethany Garner said...

OMDM (Oh, My Dear Nargaret!!) what a flurry of stitching - and I have been working on Bonnie's 'Good Fortune' components all through December while feeling crappy with a virus! Beautiful quilts ALL and I am so excited that you finished for Sacred Threads. I have entered today just under the deadline. A waiting game for sure.
Blessings for the new year and I would love to know that source for Procion Dyes. About to replenish my own supply after a few Flat Dye workshops and some dyeing of Tencel warps for weaving.

Teri said... busy trying to get everything done to my satisfaction in my new home that I haven't had time to do a thing. Thought on New Year's Day was "oh...I need to get out the sewing machine. I have a WHOLE MONTH until I move."


This week I don't have a SINGLE DAY where I don't have an appointment with someone (or more than one) at the new place (or, later this week, my electrician at BOTH places to move that beautiful crystal "chandelier" over my dining room table....NOT leaving that behind!)...and it seems like every week is like that. I even had to sell my space at a Betty Busby workshop next week (and believe me, THAT was painful) but I just couldn't do it.

The "On Ringo Lake" looks great. I have the fabric but I haven't started it yet. And I have two very modern looking quilts I want to make first as they are for my new place. But it's in the queue and I have the instructions for the 2018 Mystery so I am set for a while. Now, with two great-nephews to make quilts for and just finding out we will be adding yet another gift to the family in June (albeit a surprise gift since mommy starts her radiology fellowship in idea how she's going to get from Chicago to Seattle when her little guy who will be 2 in March was 6 weeks premature....oy)....good thing her contract has a pregnancy clause.....

So, busy, busy.......

Hugs to you. Happy to know Calgary finally has a suppler of dyes. Otherwise, my sister is still in California and I am sure she could find space to carry a few items back to Calgary in her luggage (just as long as it's ok on a commercial flight..).



elle said...

I so enjoy the variety you manage to cram into your days. These are a fantastic sampling.