Welcome to my place! It's all about my adventures making art quilts, and sources of inspiration from the ridiculous to the amazing.
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Finally got my loom warped and this is the new project I've begun. The colorful columns I am weaving are handpainted three ply Pima cotton by Caron. The rest is wool. We'll see how it goes but I am considering making the background darker and darker as I proceed toward the top.
This is the third year I am participating in the juried Interwoven Expressions Exhibit and Sale here in northern Indiana. It will be held November 1 at the Sand Creek country club in Chesterton Indiana. Here are a few of the art quilts that I've made for this event, along with other fiber art including tote bags, fiber magnets, and tablerunners, and other gift items like cards and ornaments.
I'm getting ready to warp my tapestry loom for a new weaving. I had thought of an idea that I wanted to do and was pretty excited about it, but now I find that I don't want to do that at all. Maybe you are like me in that regard. Time and time again, when I have finished planning a project in my mind I no longer care to execute it to the same degree as I thought. It seems it is already done and then I would just be going through the motions. It's the same reason I think that I have difficulty copying a photo into a quilt or weaving or anything else for that matter. The thinking and planning about it apparently makes me arrive at the conclusion that it's already done.
The inspiration was exciting, the idea was exciting, but the execution is no longer exciting. I don't know if this is a weakness or a strength, but it is what it is as they say. It is a somewhat long process to warp the tapestry loom,but I find myself more engaged even in that process knowing that I don't know exactly what I will produce. But I am excited to think of what it might be! I'm excited to think of what colors I may use and how they will interact with each other. I'm excited to think about what design I may follow and how that may change as I go along. Anyway this is what I'm thinking about this morning as I get ready to warp my tapestry loom. I guess this falls into the realm of the land of possibilities, with no preplanned direction.
Do you like working like this too?
I finally removed my two small tapestries off the loom, completed and mounted on canvas and hung. They are both mounted on a 12 x 12" canvas. I'm really happy to see them finished and pleased with their color blending and separations.
I no longer have the first quilt I ever made nor do I have a picture of it. But let's start at the beginning. I jumped in and made the eight point star pattern quilt, using all the old methods of hand cutting templates and fabric and hand sewing everything. I remember going to a needlework shop looking for a colored quilting thread. The pleasant lady who ran the shop was shocked to discover I was making that pattern for my first quilt and even considering using a colored thread for quilting it! I guess you don't use colored threads for quilting when you are a brand new quilter since the stitches are far more visible in color on a white muslin background.
I was pretty naïve about all the techniques and ins and outs of quilting but that had never deterred me before in my other adventures. I guess I'm the sort of person that sees something I'd like to try and thinks that it can't be that difficult and I'll just jump right in. The quilt had muslin, a peach pin dot print, and a navy calico print. The star blocks alternated with the plain muslin block. I made a full-size quilt with a navy calico 3 inch or 4 inch border. I remember quilting a large heart shape in the middle of the plain muslin blocks. This had to be in the late 80s when it was completed. I used the quilt but eventually it ended up in my quilt cabinet and now and then I would take it out to remember my first quilt. Several years later came the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. You may recall that many of the victims were taken to Houston. This was in October of that year. In Houston in October the International Quilt Festival is held annually. The call went out from the festival organizers to collect quilts for distribution to the victims who would be staying at the convention center in Houston.
Like everyone else I was struck by all the devastation and wanted to help. I went to my quilt cabinet and decided to send the first quilt I ever made, and a few other blankets I could spare.
It struck me that someone could actually use that quilt for warmth and security and comfort whereas I would continue to keep it in my cabinet and look at it as a memory. So I sent it.
Several weeks later the festival organizers posted some photos of stacks and stacks of quilts that were sent in for the victims. They had a picture of a lady standing in front of the stacks of quilts who had selected a quilt for herself and there she was with the broad smile holding my quilt! That was simply exciting to see. My first quilt in all it's error and lack of perfection had found a perfect place to be! And a perfect place to be used and loved and be a source of comfort and warmth. I was very new to the use of the computer and Internet at that time and probably didn't know how to save that picture so I did not. But I can still see it very clearly in my mind, the ladies' broad smile as she hugged the quilt. I have come to realize in all my years of quilting that many times when I make a quilt I am really making it for someone else, I just don't know who it is yet. And sometimes the perfect opportunity arises for me to send a quilt on to someone else. That was definitely true in this case. I have one more story to tell about the third quilt I ever made because after that I stopped keeping track and counting them. I guess I knew there would be many more to come.