Friday, August 23, 2013

how did this happen.

For her birthday, Sandra asked me to go camping, that was the only thing on the list. Camping is not something I really want to do, I have never wanted to do! I did agree to it though for a weekend in the fall, which seems to be soon approaching. I figured while I am agreeing to going camping, then I might as well make a blanket to bring and to mark the event. I am not one for theme type of quilts or "cute" themes, but I must admit that a lot of the camping related imagery is fun, and I enjoy it. So there, I found one positive thing about camping. 
I am paper piecing most of the blocks for this quilt, which is good practice for a more complicated paper piecing, which sometimes still feels like math for me. It does not always make sense. I did get a bit frustrated with some of the blocks so far, to the point that I refused to take out a mistake that I did not notice until the end. Even though it bothers me every time I look at it... I will most likely fix it one of these days. 

So there is a camper, vintage and fun. I had to add a camper. 

The tent. I wish real tents looked this cool. (Notice the trees in the background are off, yep that was me giving up.)

The fire, because there will be marsh mellows! 

And of course a canoe. ( notice the oars, yep gave up there too..) 

I am actually looking forward to going to the mountains with Sandra and some Friends in the fall on the adventure. I am going to make a couple more paper-pieced blocks and the rest will be more random. Again I am using a large assortments of fabric for this project, and was partly inspired to make it because of all the camping related fabric out there at the moment. I might leave a clean patch on the backing for everyone to sign with fabric markers, to remember "that time I agreed to go camping". 


The small paper-pieced quilt that I have been working on is now complete. It is so satisfying to finish a quilt, no matter how large or small it is a very rewarding feeling. This is a small quilt about 36 inches by 36 inches. I made this little one, as a gift for a baby shower. The parents went on Safari for their honeymoon, and I know that they love animals, so it seemed fitting. Even though I know the gender of the baby, I am not fond of pink and blue being the only solutions for baby gifts... or pastels for that matter. I used mostly neutral grey, black, white and then threw in the flamingo, elephant and safari prints.
It was a fun little project to work on that moved quickly, and I loved the quilting process on this one, which usually seems like a bit of a chore to me. I also love the way the overage of patterns works with the quilt. They are excessive I probably could have pared them down, but at the moment, I am really enjoying working with many patterns and prints at once.

For the quilting I used a grey thread and outlined each of the "books", then I sewed a 1/4'' around each of the joining corners. I love the way it turned out and the drape of the finished piece is great it folds so nicely. I think I will quilt more things like this in the future with the solid lines running up and down, creating a grid. In the past I think that sometimes I swore off quilting process because I was trying to make it too complicated, this just seemed to work. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

book worms

 I have been productive in the studio the past weeks, the garden looks pretty good considering the summer weather has taken its toll on it, and the days are getting shorter again. In August I always notice  the change of summer and fall peaking through, even though it is still hot, the nights are longer, and the trees are already spitting their leaves. I love this time of year, I love late summer and fall. I am taking it in each day, trying to work a little in the studio and get some time outside too. Here are a couple of books that I have been reading lately... When I am not sewing or playing in the dirt. 

I have been reading a lot of books the past couple of months,  which is nice. For a while I seem to have been floating around looking for a great book and finally last fall I found this series, which I have written about before, that is a well written collection. They are the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, and I have read seven of them so far. There is one more I just started and in late August the next one comes out. She writes beautifully describing things in such a way that you feel as if you are in the tiny village in Canada. It is always nice to find books that are written so well that you feel as if you have been transported to where ever they take place. I really recommend them, they are classic type mysteries but the is so much more to them than the average mystery.

After being stuck in the airport for two days I ran out of things to read and bought this. The Art Forager
by B.A. Shapiro, I finished it quickly, it is definitely a nice fast read. The book  is based on the Gardener museum art theft that occurred in 1991. It pulls from real life and makes a work of fiction. I love Degas artwork so reading about him was neat. Since one of my favorite movies is The Thomas Crown Affair this was a perfect summer read, it encased some of the elements that I enjoy about art thieves and the art world.