Saturday, January 23, 2010

Work Quilt #2 - Finished!

Finally finished my 2nd "Work Quilt"! (My fingers are very relieved!)

Now, I have tried sooooo hard to get the colors accurate.... almost to the point of insanity. Proving very difficult as the shot cotton seems to constantly change and shift colors depending on the angle it is viewed and how the light hits it. Some days it looks more green to me and some days more blue. But that is one of the things I love about shot cotton!

Looking at my monitor, the red squares are showing up more bright then they actually are... in truth they are more of a brick red, actually being woven with a rust weft and a purple warp! (who-da thunk?) I believe that quiet purple warp helps this particular red fabric get along very well with the surrounding blues and greens.

This photo above seems to be the best as far as color accuracy.... of course every monitor is different. (I am working on a Mac, but just looked at these pictures on my daughter's PC and surprisingly they looked very accurate on the PC. Again... who-da-thunk? Never-the-less, I love my Mac!) ...But I digress... back to the quilt...

With a little math I have estimated that there are approximately over 15,000 hand stitches in this piece, which after washing now measures 40" x 41.5"

Not wanting to use up my shot cottons on the back side, I instead choose solid Kona fabrics, giving the back a more contemporary feel...

If you look closely at the back, you can see small patches of horizontal stitching where the patches on the front have been quilted down. I like that subtle variation.

This "Work Quilt", at least for now, is another keeper.... I want the Work quilts in my possession so I can refer back to them as I continue on this series. The next one is in the planning stages, but I also want to make some smaller, related pieces to put in the shop.... Oh my. These are a bit more labor intensive then I am use to. If only I could get by on 2 hours sleep!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

Along with sending/texting a cash donation to help the people of Haiti, (which I am sure you all have done) you can also buy an item from the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy shop, or donate one of your own handmade creations to them for sale. See here for info on how to donate. (Donations are being excepted thru Wednesday, Jan. 20th). All proceeds of the Craft Hope Etsy shop are going to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti, a truly wonderful humanitarian organization.

I donated the two pieces below. (Update: those items have sold.) Please go and check out all the great items for sale, (new listings are constantly being added, too!) So far close to 300 sales, (Update: Now over 1,000 sales and counting!) have been made in just a few days. My hat is off to the ladies who organized this!



Also, the wonderfully talented Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio, (which is where I found out about Craft Hope) is offering 3 of her fabulous quilts up for auction. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross, and Jacquie will match the final bids with her own money. Now that is generous! Go here to bid on one of Jacquie's quilts!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slow Stitching in the Fast Lane

Is it just me, or is time truly zooming by at speeds never before seen? I don't know what exactly is happening, but each day seems to be over and done before I even got started. I feel like I am on some Twilight Zone amusement park ride which is whipping me around so fast that everything is starting to blur. Why is that? Anyone else feeling this way?

I try to slow things down a bit with all of this hand stitching. I am now in the last stage, quilting all of the 31 patches that I hand sewed on to the quilt top. Counter to the quickly passing hours of the days, it is not moving fast at all. More like crawling along at a snails pace, and despite my desire to have life slow down a bit, I can feel myself caught up in the whirlwind of time management, or lack of, and am starting to feel anxious at how long I am spending on this piece. (Truth: I'm not sure if it is possible for me to ever really just be content with how things are.)

At the same time I feel grateful for the oasis of calm and rest this quilt provides for me, and know it's good to consciously go slow at times, especially when everything around you is going so fast.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Quilt, Old Barn

Hello Everyone!
I hope that your Holidays were very happy and that your New Year is off to a great start!

The last few weeks of 2009 were a bit of a crazed blur at our home, starting with my daughter getting stranded for a few extra days in London due to bad weather and canceled flights, (happily she made it safely home 2 days before Christmas) then the plumbing broke and the car died. 2010 rolled in to save the day, just in the knick of time, and all is now well, (knock on wood!)

The Quilt

In between all the "fun", I did manage to start a new, utilitarian inspired work quilt, which helped calm me immensely. This is the first layer. I started with various sized pieces of shot cottons in blues and greens, pieced together to form long rows.

Next I machine quilted lots of closely spaced rows, of varying widths, followed by long rows of multi colored hand-stitching

I have just a few more rows of stitching to complete, and then I can move on to the 2nd and final layer which will be made up of appliqued patches and more stitch work.

The Barn

You may have noticed that I have a new blog banner to start off the new year. I wanted something to reflect the new path I am headed in and since I find a lot of visual, and soulful inspiration from the old, weathered barns found around where I live, I thought it would be fitting to use one in my banner.

The barn I choose to use in my banner is my new favorite. It is almost within walking distance from my home, but I never knew of it until a few weeks ago when my husband took me to see it.

Situated on State Game Land, it is gloriously removed and remote, with nothing but fields and trees all around.

Here is the date stone... 1795... isn't that incredible?!? To think it has stood for so many years and now has entered its 4th century! I find that most inspiring.


Over the next few weeks I hope to start making some more changes to the blog and to my shops. I will be emptying my Etsy Shop of any remaining merchandise, (the big sale is still on, but not for too much longer!) and slooooowwwwly be filling it back up with new stitched work. Stay tuned!