Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Images of Africa: Blocks 7 and 8

Looking back at these blocks, I realize I really had a “tight” or narrow color scheme.   For me, these colors say “Africa”, and yet I’m well aware that many traditional African fabrics are bright reds, green, yellow, blue, etc. In fact, I own many actual African fabrics, and my intention was always to do a series of African quilts with different themes, piecing methods and even types - an art quilt vs. a crazy quilt for example, or even perhaps a traditionally-pieced quilt.  (A sane quilt?!?  Am I crazy, you ask??)

About 8 or 9 of the 12 quilt blocks were pieced at the John Campbell Folk School in 2006, when Martha Green (with Lisa Caryl assisting) taught a week-long class there.  What a great, fun class it was, with Donna Johnson, Allie Aller, Willa Fuller, Kathleen Glynn, myself, Carol Kramer and several other ladies who didn’t become CQ “regulars”.  The above block was one of my favorites from the start, mainly because I loved the giraffe.  Naturally, I had to give her vines to chew on!  I did more stitching on this one, too, which is hardly noticeable with all the busy prints.

This block was another favorite.  I went crazy with those folded flowers that Lisa Caryl taught us.  And that was my first-ever beaded mandala in the center left area.  I also loved the silkie of the woman in native dress.  The orange fiber in the upper right is rather funky, but at the time I guess I couldn’t come up with a better way to repeat that color in the corner.  There’s so much about this quilt that I’d change now, but I guess the point is to grow.... and do the different things on a new quilt.

Today I spent the afternoon tending and bonding with my DGD London.  I was too busy chasing playing with her to get any pictures, but that was just fine by me!  Her dad, my son Shane, was asleep in a guest bedroom while we played; he’s been doing alot of single parenting lately, and his attempts to get her onto a schedule have been thwarted by London’s mom.   So, today I brought lunch over to their place, brought them back to my house to sleep (Shane) and play (London).  She loved exploring everything, and I got to bathe her and play dress-up, too.  I also bought them an umbrella stroller, more bibs and sippy cups, and a few other things (what’s a grandma for?).  And when Bruce came home, we all had dinner together before they went home at 7-ish.  London finally konked out!  It was such a wonderful day with my son and granddaughter!!

Well, now I must catch up on email and then collapse into bed!  I’ll have sweet dreams tonight!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Art Nouveau Block

Art Nouveau seems to be a popular theme around Crazy Quilting International these days.  There are two round robins going, and we’re all stitching like mad.  And there are so many variations, it’s been really run to watch and participate.

This block was one of Margreet’s.  I love her colors; so rich and warm and elegant.  The previous stitcher, Ritva, had done an art nouveau tile pattern, so I thought I would continue along in that vein.   So, first I researched art nouveau tile patterns on the web, and printed out a few pages of them (will also use them for future reference as other blocks come my way.

After drooling over the pictures for awhile, I eliminated those that would not lend themselves readily to interpretation (per my brain; I’m sure others could close their eyes, pick one and replicate it!).  Then I sketched two of my favorites, simplifying them .   For some reason, the drawing on the right really spoke to me (and do you see the original tile in the bottom left of the top page, above?)

This is how it turned out.  Margreet asked that we incorporate some black into the design, and I believe that really helped set this off.  Also, you can’t really see it well, but the dark part of the flower is a vintage silk pleated ribbon.

I’ve had a lot of craziness going on in my life, most of which has no place on this blog.  But it has really drained me both physically and mentally.   There appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel (I love that expression, especially when amended to voice the hope that the light is not an oncoming train!).   So, I’m already looking forward to the weekend.... IS IT FRIDAY YET?!?

I’ll post more pictures tomorrow or Wednesday.  Wait.  Tomorrow is Wednesday.  Um.... (see?).... I’ll post more pictures SOON.    :-)

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Art Nouveau Block

I’ve been working on an Art Nouveau-themed block for Ritva (in Finland) in a round robin for Crazy Quilting International.    Her block was pieced in lovely pastels and she asked that we keep it pastel and not introduce strong or bright colors.

This is what I came up with.

For this block, I stitched the center motif first, using a design from .... oh hell, I can’t find the book!  It’s buried somewhere in my studio, which looks like a bomb went off inside it.  It has NEVER been as messy as it is.  Nothing is even put away from Saturday’s boutique.......

But I digress...... The motif is very swirly, a la Art Nouveau.  I was going to make that bunch of silk ribbon pink flowers into a canopy-type arch of flowers, but it didn’t come out that way, and I wasn’t in a mood to frog it all.  So I added the filigree instead...  Swirls are good, so I added them everywhere.  And that’s a button in the upper left motif - matches the beads pretty well, eh?  That was a happy accident.

And now I’m starting on Margreet’s Art Nouveau block, and will have it ready to show you next week.  Must get them both out to Gerry by this time next week to be on time.  for once

My goal tomorrow is to hit the thrift store for the first time in a month, but first I must do one hour of studio clean-up.  I’m announcing this so that I will feel committed (in the sense of obligation, not in the sense of a mental institution) which we all know I need.

And I wanted to show you a wonderful gift that arrived in the mail on, um, Saturday, I think.  :-)  Hey, I can’t do all this stuff and keep track of TIME, too!  ;-)   My dear friend Pam Kellogg sent these lovely dyed laces (and some vintage undyed lace) to me.   Do you have your bibs and/or drool cloths handy??

That is a lace jabot (look it up) in the center.  Isn’t it to die for??   OK, OK, you don’t want to look it up?  Here’s a link.  :-)

Watch that you don’t drool on your keyboard.   Aren’t these beautiful?  And the colored one below is my very favorite, because I totally love lace handmade with rick rack!!   And Pam did such a beautiful dye job.  (Pam, do you do hair?)

Thanks so much, Pam!!!  If you haven’t stopped by her blog recently, you’re missing out on a lot of fun and eye candy!!

And to close up this post, here’s a quick picture I snapped of a little girls’ dress I made last week for the boutique.  Since it didn’t sell there, I’ll probably list it in my Etsy shop.  Tomorrow.

Yes, it’s a pillowcase dress.  I almost made myself a halter top out of it but my “girls" wouldn’t have appreciated it.    However, I knew it would look much better as a dress.  I added the yellow cotton trim at the bottom and as ties as the top, and a soft green cotton casing at the top.  And large white rick-rack for trim.  It’s about 19” long, which will fit a 3T - size 5 as a dress (depending on how long you like it), or several sizes more if worn as a blouse.  If you’re interested, contact me and I can send more specific measurements.  Oh, I’m going to list it at $18.

That’s it for now.  I’ll post again in the next day or two and show you my thrift store finds (if any), the next African block in the series, and the aprons and sachets I made....

Cathy maroon

Saturday, July 17, 2010

African Block #6 & Ramblings

It was over 100 degrees here in the Salt Lake Valley.  Usually,  the heat doesn’t bother me because normally we are very dry here.   But under canopies at a boutique held at a farm (and near a rushing creek and active irrigation ditches that meander through the lawns), it was HUMID and miserable.

To top it off, half the valley was up in Salt Lake attending the FREE “Days of ’47” weekend events.  “Days of ’47” is another name for the events in Utah that take place over a week or so, culminating on July 24th (“Pioneer Day”), the day at the (Mormon) pioneers discovered Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Besides the Children’s Parade (today), there are festivals and rodeos and parades and even a re-enactment of the cross-country trek (albeit modified) with handcarts that the Mormons did.  Personally, I think anyone willing to dress up in full vintage garb (and ladies, we all know that means long sleeves and long dresses) in this heat while pulling a handcart.... well, they need their head examined.  Oh, and then there are the fireworks.  O.M.G.  This state treats July 24 with more enthusiasm and energy than the 4th of July.   IMHO, they have it all Bass Ackwards.    So...... thank you - if you’ve gotten this far - for letting me get this off my chest!  LOL.

Having said all that, I did OK at the boutique, even with little traffic.  I’m not retiring soon from the proceeds, but I had more sales than any of my neighboring booths (six sales).   And I learned a lot about local crafting venues, met a lot of great people, and am well on my way to refining what I offer and how I present it.  My booth looked killer good (not just my opinion, but told to me several times).  DH forgot the camera, but if I can ever figure out how to upload pix from my cell phone, I’ll share.

So here is Block 6 of the Images of Africa quilt.    The drum art picture was printed onto silk then basted to the frayed canvas before being appliqued onto the block.  Again, embellishments are more African “in feel” than actually African.  And another lady was fussy-cut from fabric and fused on.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve used those images alot - I LOVE that fabric.

I’ve got pictures to share in the next couple days of some of the aprons and sachets I’ve made.  And CQ Art Nouveau block for a round robin.  After I unload and put away my boutique things tomorrow (DEFINITELY NOT TONIGHT),  I’ll snap some pictures.

Right now, I think I’ll go grab a glass of wine and do a Sudoku, then read.  INDOORS.

Cathy maroon

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Giveaway Winners! & African Block #5

Well, we’re finally ready to announce the winners.  At 1:15 p.m. last night, after all the entries were compiled, printed and cut into little slips, we (DH & I) dumped them into a bowl (that we had previously used earlier in the day to gather our ripening apricots) and he drew out three names, while Boomer meowed loudly for us to puh-leeeez come to bed!   

First name drawn was  THE MAD STITCHER!   Kathy, please contact me privately and let me know which of the three lots you prefer:   Paris, Lace only, or Lace & Fabric.

Second name drawn was LAURIE!   She’ll have 2nd choice after Kathy.
Third name drawn was CAROL!   You get the final lot of goodies.

I’ll need all of you to contact me with address info (privately, of course) and we’ll work out who gets what.

Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to drop by and enter by leaving a comment, following my blog (and/or Pam’s) and for linking to the giveaway.  You are such wonderful, friendly ladies and I wish I could send something to every single one of you.    In the meantime, though, I hope to bring you interesting things to look at and read.  Or if not interesting, perhaps.... umm..... amusing?

I’m going to close this post with another of my Images of Africa quilt blocks from 2007.  In the next day or so, I’ll also have an Art Nouveau block to share from a round robin I’m in (beading is on the agenda today).....  And I’ve got a boutique coming up next Saturday, so I’ll be switching gears this week from stitching to sewing, as I whip up some girls’ clothes, sachets (will be mixing my own potpourri), using vintage linens and perhaps more aprons.  Will share pictures!

So, here’s the 5th block in Images of Africa:

In the process of doing this quilt, I gathered up anything that reminded me of Africa, whether it was authentic or not.  Some of these fabrics ARE authentic (the mudcloth just above the orange in lower left corner) and some are reproductions.  Others are just scraps from swaps, Ebay or JoAnn’s fabrics.  For buttons, anything wood or rough sufficed, and sometimes beads or trims were selected purely for their color.

The metal African mask fetish in the upper right was my first Etsy purchase.  Didn’t even know what Etsy was at the time; just found this through a Google search for African masks.  the “hair” is mixed fibers.  The trim with rick-rack (?) is actually a vintage piece given to me by my friend Marilyn (shout out to you, Marilyn!) in New Jerrsey (temporarily in Rhode Island).

Well, off to fold some laundry, then stitch!  Hope your weekend is fun and relaxing!

Cathy maroon

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wool Blocks Home and Prize Picture

As promised yesterday, I pulled a few things together for a third prize in my giveaway drawing.  I’m celebrating because I reached 100 Followers!  Thank you all so much!  Pictured here is some COTTON dyed lace (looks more coarse), which is not (IMHO) as wonderful as the RAYON dyed lace, which will be included too.  The rayon just shows off the sheen, and the cotton laces just look tea-dyed.  But, there are also some fabric pieces, some silk floss, silk organza bags, and a doily.  Depending on who wins this package, I’ll add more fabrics - cottons or fancies, their choice.

My wool blocks returned home from the CQ International Wool RR.  I had pieced three (6”) blocks with Christmas colors and three in green, cream and tan for a “woodsy” seasons theme.   Here is the lovely work that came back.

This first block was done by Karrin Hurd, and I love her tree wreath, poinsettia and presents.... oh heck, I love it all!

Leslie Ehrlich did this wintery Christmas block, including one of her “famous” trees (she loves to do them and we love to get them!).  I love the touches of “snow”. 

I will need to finish the sixth and final block (after summer; it’s waaaay too hot to work on wool now, LOL).

And then we have the woodsy blocks.  This elegantly simple block with wonderful greenery and was done by Marya .

Ritva in Finland did these lovely trees.... and are those bird tracks?!/

And Hideko in Japan stitched a lovely springtime woods scene.

Aren’t these lovely together??  I really look forward to assembling these blocks into little wallhangings.  

Thanks for all your beautiful stitching, ladies!

I’ll be announcing the winners of the contest over the weekend, so check back.  Pam & I have to get together to make sure we give everyone their proper number of entries.   The first name picked will get her choice of the three gifts; the second person picked will select next, and the third person will get the remaining.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Cathy maroon

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reminder & Another African Block

Just a reminder for everyone to get their entry(ies) in to my contest.  Just leave a comment on the post (it’s a few back) - it’ll tell you how to enter.  The deadline is tomorrow, July 9 at midnight.  I’ll draw names sometime over the weekend.  Because you get an entry if you are not only a commenter or follower of my blog, but a follower of Pam Kellogg’s blog (Kitty and Me Designs), I’ll have to double check that everyone is given the proper number of entries, OK?  Just want to be fair.  So, when that’s complete, we’ll do the drawing.  I’ll announce it here and


I looked and saw that I just went over 100 followers, so you know what???  I’m going to add a THIRD prize to the drawing!!!!!  Woo-hoo!!  I’ll get that together tonight and will post a picture tomorrow.

And speaking of pictures, here’s the next in the Images of Africa quilt blocks....

The seam treatment is adapted from one of Sharon Boggon’s (remember her 100 details in 100 days series?)....

And finally .... a bit of serendipity.  I was at Home Fabrics today.  They’re a national home decorator chain (home dec fabrics and trims, rugs and stuff), and a great source (especially when they have sales) of fabrics I’ve used in my purses and fabric packs.  ANYWAY, I was checking out, having my fabrics measured by the most delightful young lady named Cherokee.  We talked about aprons and fabrics and sewing, etc. and I told her about my blog (shout out to Cherokee if you’re reading this!!).    So, I left feeling great (what a wonderful thing good customer service can be, don’t you think?!?).

Then, in the parking lot, one of the customers from the store stopped me and asked me if I ever used upholstery and other decorator fabrics in small quantities.   I told her not so much the heavy upholstery fabrics, but otherwise Yes and Yes.    She invited me to her store to pick up some sample books “that we end up throwing away several times a year”.  I haven’t gone yet, but will go over the next couple days.  Heck, if I can’t use it, I can find people who will, right?  There are always giveaways, fellow CQ’ers (I like to donate to the Crazy Quilting International Stash Dash every year at the Retreat) and even Wheeler Farm’s summer camp. 

So, that’s it for now.

Tomorrow:  pictures of the third prize giveaway, my wool crazy quilt blocks which have just arrived home from a round robin, and perhaps some apron pictures.  I’m also working on an Art Nouveau crazy quilt block for my friend Ritva in Finland, so perhaps I can share a progress shot (or even a completed block), too.

Cathy maroon

Monday, July 5, 2010

How Was YOUR Weekend?

I can’t believe the weekend flew by so fast!  It was alot of fun and celebration, and luckily for us, Bruce and I have today (Monday) off, too. That means more time to blog, stitch and relax!  And our weekly “date” to the local bookstore to get coffee and catch up on magazines.   Did you do anything fun over the weekend??

I’ve been posting pictures of the blocks of my Images of Africa crazy quilt completed a couple years ago.  We’re on Block 3, so here’s that:

Again, on these blocks, I wanted some representation of people, creatures and flora (whether real or “fantasy).  The lion print was received in a swap many years ago and fit in well here.  The guinea fowl (lower right) and African woman (upper right) were just fussy cut from fabric and fused on.  The beaded back leaf in lower left (next to the orange yo-yo flower) was from some vintage lace.  The leopard print in the lower area was already “hairy”, and I carried that on with the chunky, furry fibers that meander across the block.  Tucked in there is a leopard head, “hiding” in the bush.  My favorite element of this block is the brown ombre ribbon that arches across the lower half.  It’s a folding technique that I learned from a book called Ribbon Trims by Nancy Nehrig.  Beyond that, there’s a bit of seam stitching, dyed lace and buttons.  Pretty basic stuff.

Grandma Brag Time.  We spent some time on Saturday with DS Shane, his lady Heather and their baby (our DGD) London.  We went to the Salt Lake Farmers Market (what a fiasco that is, but you’ve heard me rant about *that* already), then walked to the Gateway Plaza where we ate lunch at The Happy Sumo and then let London play in the plaza fountains.

Here’s London (now age 10 months) digging into her “Little Sumo” lunch of chicken, rice, tempura vegetables and mandarin oranges.

Daddy, your sushi looks more interesting!

London and Heather checking out the fountains.  London wanted IN!!

In the fountains with Mommy

And in the fountains with Daddy

Good food, good fun, GOOD NAP!!!!!!

We walked around Gateway while London slept.

And ended up at Anthropologie

Nice mirrors and frames.  Not sure about the light.  And the displayed magnifying glasses are a definite two thumbs down.  I guess they’ve never burned up a van-ful of artwork and belongings by having one of those inadvertently catch some sunlight (a story from Shane’s past. Returning home from art college).

Felted soaps.  Linda in WA, this one’s for you!

 And I’d love this one for me!  Must do a knock-off!  

I plan to do some of these with the real (vintage) linens!

Bruce is checking out the lights.  His reaction: WT???

And we all enjoyed this display of lights hung from the ceiling.  

Heather and I appreciated Anthropoligie’s artsy approach to display.  Bruce and Shane weren’t so sure. Bruce’s comment:   “All those lights and only one of them WORKS!"

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thanks and Happy Independence Day!

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has visited my blog and left a comment in my celebration Giveaway.  Remember, you have until July 9 to enter!  The “how-to’s” are in the previous post.  You have all been so wonderful and supportive!  I believe my Etsy shop is off to a good start, and I’m working hard over the long weekend to add many more items (lace and other things) to the shop, so check back often.

Thanks also to my dear friend Pam Kellogg for inviting me to be her guest blogger.  Through her, I’ve made several new friends.  And many of you, my regular readers, have discovered Pam and her wonderful talents and wares.  The community of artsy bloggers really is like a big extended family, and it’s great when we distant “cousins” can all get to know each other and become friends.

To my fellow “sistahs” in the U.S. - have a Happy Independence Day.  I know some are celebrating it on Saturday the 3rd, some on Sunday the 4th, and still others on Monday the 5th.  Whatever you do and wherever you are, enjoy good times, good health, and the love of family and friends.  We are so blessed  to live in the United States of America!

Cathy maroon