Friday, November 19, 2010

UFO Roundup

I feel like I should have a little graphic of a flying saucer caught in a lasso to go with that title.

It's been a while since I posted here; I've been doing lots of quilting, though, especially since I am participating in Art Every Day Month, which is sort of the artist's equivalent to National Novel Writing Month; Leah Piken Kolidas hosts it (and came up with the idea in the first place) on her blog, Creative Every Day. I've been putting most of those updates on my 'art' blog, though I ought really to post them here as well, since this is the one dedicated to quilting and crafting, eh?

I'm the kind of person who has a bunch of projects (in this case, quilts) going at once that I do a little on here and there. I'm not really the start-middle-finish sort. But I've got rather a lot of them in progress right now, so let's post some pictures!

Here's the red pinwheel quilt, with Maude the cat (she moved her head and so is kind of blurry). This is all sewn by hand.

I decided to put some red sashing in between the blocks, as it ties together the various reds and sort of smooths them out. The little squares in the corners are a lovely soft aqua, though they look kind of grey in the photo. I'm madly in love with red and aqua right now for some reason. This quilt is meant to go in my studio room as the cover for the futon and that room is painted a lovely soft robin's egg blue, and so far it looks really nice there. It's probably going to end up on the large side, and I've only sewn thirty-six of the squares; however, I deliberately chose to sew up the ones I had, even though I don't have all of them done. I know most people (and this is what I was taught in art school) do them all then rearrange and shuffle to see what's best; but I rather like the idea of not really knowing. Like if I run out of that red for the sashing, and have to find some more, I'm pretty sure it won't match exactly. That is okay; that is good, even, for it will make it more alive, I think. I like making things up as I go along. I find planning it all out in advance to be deadening to a piece of art.

I did a second block on that green mandala quilt, too (yes, it could stand to be ironed); here it is again with the cat, who was yawning. She's not a quilter, apparently. Though she certainly like to sit on them, hmmm. This one is also hand-sewn.

This is my bitty Trip Around The World quilt, also hand-sewn, since I don't know how I'd even get pieces so tiny through the machine without the feed dogs chomping them up. The blocks are two inches square, and even though the seam allowances are as teeny as I could manage, given the overall proportions of the thing they make it really thick and dense. I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to quilt it later. Perhaps I'll just tie it in the corners? It was started out with the intent of being a doll quilt, probably five squares by seven; I like it so much I'm toying with the (absolutely insane) idea of making it a human-sized quilt. Yeah, right.

And then there's the one I've been working on the most lately. It's a nine-patch or something like that in sort of Hallowe'en/November colors. The spaces in between the nine-patches will be an ash grey solid; I thought at first I would do them in grey prints, but, one, grey calico/quilting cloth proved nearly impossible to find, and two, grey is a surprisingly finicky color, so that all the slightly different shades didn't read as grey but as blue or green or whatever (especially given the yellows and oranges, which pushed it over into complementary colors). So imagine the plain squares as a neutral lightish grey.

It's going to be twelve by fifteen squares when done (set on the diagonal), with a narrow band of orange, a wide one of black (print, I think, not a solid), and then bound in either orange or yellow; I want to be able to use it on my own bed, which is king-sized. So with eight rows I am more than half done with the nine patches. This one I'm sewing by machine and boy does that go faster, though I don't like the look so much as hand-sewn. Though it is crisper, I'll give it that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giveaway at Feather and Cloth!

Well I entered a contest to win a batch of fat quarters at Feather and Cloth by Girl from Tulsa; and part of the requirement to enter is to blog about it. Well, I'm blogging about it, though this craft and quilt blog of mine is brand new and has probably no readers yet; but anyway, if anyone does see this, it's a lovely blog and a lovely giveaway, so get over there and enter before Sunday the 29th at midnight (not sure what time zone that is, but I'm guessing whichever one is current in Tulsa, Oklahoma). (ETA: Whoops, reading comprehension FAIL. She's actually in West Virginia; she's just from Tulsa. So make that Eastern Daylight Savings Time.)

She has some lovely and inspirational pictures of her new sewing room, something I personally always love to see, as I am in the middle of outfitting a new studio/sewing room myself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mandala Quilt

Here's an idea I had a little while ago. One of the things I've been making for a while now are photo mandalas. Basically you take a photograph of something, open it up in Photoshop, then take a pie-shaped slice of it, which you then flip, merge down, copy, paste, turn, &c., until you have a mandala, the number of segments depending on the angle of the original pie slice. To wit:

(From an original photo of autumn sumac leaves and berries.)

Mandalas, kaleidoscope patterns, quilt blocks... hmmm, all very similar, aren't they?

So I thought I'd design some blocks with this mandala method.

This wasn't real high-tech, mind you; pretty much I just scribbled for a while on the 45° pie template in Photoshop until I got something, or rather, several somethings, I liked. So these are the 'quilt blocks' I eventually assembled together:

Now interpreting that out to quilt blocks is a little trickier than I thought, but I managed to get one done. From this sketch

I made

I've changed the colors around, since I'm making it in shades of green, with autumnal sort of accents in red, orange and yellow. Sort of the old M&M color scheme, but with an emphasis on the green (Eddie van Halen would be proud). The block is fifteen inches square, and sewn by hand.

Red Pinwheel Quilt

Well here's the first of my works in progress, and, these things being what they are, it's the one I've started most recently.

It's the makings of a pinwheel quilt, done in red and white prints, meaning red and white only, one red printed on a white, not off-white, background. Of course, being as they are all different brands of cloth, the reds are all a little different, which I can't decide if I like or don't like. Here they all are so far, laid out edge to edge.

Why who's this? That looks like a cat, one Mad Maudlin the familiar. Surprised, aren't you? I know I sure wasn't.

I don't know how they know.

Hello Out There

It's an artificial and unnecessarily hierarchical separation, I know, dividing them up into Art (capital A) and craft (lowercase c). I have myself always maintained that if you make it, dammit, it's Art. Knit a sweater, spin some wool, weave that wool, dye that cloth, paint that painting, throw that pot, build that bookcase—all Art. Capital A.

But then I'm pretty sure my patron Goddess is Athena. If She invented it, or She made it it's Art, and, well, who am I to argue?

That said, this is my new craft blog, which I am founding as a separate thing from my Goddessy art blog, Amused Grace. Separate, because the focus is rather different, not because craft is not art.

It will probably be mostly about quilting, with some knitting, natural dyeing, doll and critter making, and maybe even cooking and gardening thrown in. But mostly textiles and fibers, I think. If anything else it will be a way to keep track of all those unfinished object works in progress I've got piling up. Though I should know by now I never have been, and probably never will be, all that organized. Still, hope, you know.

There may be the occasional tutorial, for instance how to do what I did when I re-labeled all the spices in my spice rack to witchy ingredients. I've been cooking with Eye of Newt (allspice) and Bee's Knees (saffron) for years now, and let me tell you it's much more fun.

But always with an eye to the witchy, or, properly, to the Witchy, because that's who I am. A Witch, and a Pagan, and a Goddess worshiper (and writer-about, and painter-of).