Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've gone "crazy"

Such fun! Crazy quilting with Judith Baker Montano

Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting ready for class with Judith Baker Montano

I got into the class at Campbell Folk School!

Judith Baker Montano is one of my idols in the fiber arts field. Her diagrams inspired me when I began drawing for temari. When we went to Japan in the fall of 2011, I collected bits of fabric from the temple markets and we dyed some indigo pieces during the workshops on the tour. They have been waiting patiently for me to find time and inspiration to create a wall hanging to remember that trip and the years that I lived in Japan in the late 1980s. So, last fall when I saw her class listed at Campbell, I signed up right away to get her expert help in creating a wall hanging full of wonderful memories. I was first on the waiting list and found out in early January that I got in. Yay!

Going out on a limb and risking true embarrassment, I'll share how I've prepared and later, I'll share what I learned.

In class, we will be making four crazy quilt blocks and students will be using them in whatever project they choose. Mine will be the center focus of a wall hanging - the four squares filled with squiggles in this diagram:

Here the fabric laid out on the island in my kitchen:

Each crazy quilt block is made on a 12" square piece of muslin. The small brown squares are pieces that I purchased in Kyoto. They are resist designs dyed with kaki (persimmon) and are a lovely deep brown. The blue squares are cut from one panel, a cheater cloth of sorts also purchased in Japan.

This layout came about by trail and error - probably more errors that I know about now! Our kitchen island is just that wide and the background blue fabric is 55" wide (the length of the piece).  Maybe the whole thing should be a bit wider? I hope to get lots of help next week.

Ms. Montano asked us to bring 1/3 solids, 1/3 prints, and 1/3 textures to make the crazy quilt blocks. Most textures are also solids. She recommends 12 - 16 different fabrics to complete the four blocks. I have way more than that, especially in the prints pile. Those came from my stash and my mom's stash of quilting fabric. I've decided to work with blue and brown (on the orange side) as complementary colors. This is one of my favorite combinations and is traditional in Japan.

Retreat to the mountains!

focus fabrics

all fabrics

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A new year brings a new resolution

Happy New Year!


How can it be 2013 already???? It's time for my annual ritual of looking back at last year's successes and failures, good times and bad, and make a resolution for self-improvement. I really do like this time of year because it is so full of opportunity. I'm in a hallway with lots of open doors. So many possibilities. Which way should I go this year? It's never a scary thing because I can always begin again in the same place next year! And often I don't quite reach the goal I set for myself but I learn so much along the way that the effort pays off. No pressure.

I think this year I'll do nothing. 

Nothing new, that is. And I'll take more time to do it. Sally Mavor posted a link to a blog post about time and creativity. This is just what I need! My next step into the art of temari involves creating six unique designs for the top, the very top, level of certification given by the Japan Temari Association. I still have so much to learn about temari and need time to explore more temari techniques. Quiet, all-alone time to stitch and experiment.

I'll need some clear space as well as time for creativity and right now, my project pile is a mile high and my sewing room/studio is packed with jumbled up supplies and projects half-begun and ideas jotted on paper in piles around the room. First step for the new year is to finish up as much as I can and sort and clean.

We have an old denim slip cover. Here is a photo from the internet of a new one.

Ours is so worn that it really needs to be replaced. But the denim is still good enough to make one of those quilts with the seams on the outside. I've made one before and know it's easy and lots of fun.

 I had the flu over the holidays (yes, I did have a flu shot!) and while I was recovering, I tore the slip cover into long strips, 8" wide. Then I cut those into 8" squares. There are over 160 squares! I've been cleaning out my stash of blue fabric and hope to end up with another quilt soon.

First thing to finish: those denim quilts. 
Seems like a good place to start the new year. Beautiful blues.