Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I started into a pieced section that is a stylized sunset with fence. Those stars wanted a context. The pieces in this section are arranged in a classic brick pattern which is a theme in my life over the last few years… brick walls and hurdles have been a theme.
Then I started messing around with the placement of the elements and kinda liked some of the other options.
I added a strip of pieced work to the componants on this one. I actually picked up the stuff on the floor and starting piecing the larger elements together until it turned out this way. I've never really done much in the way of "random" in my quilt designs before so this was kind of fun. And I think it works in this design.
I really liked this idea actually... however... I really wanted those stars at the top of the piece and I was hoping I could balance out the colors and values in a way that would make it work.
A few of the elements, but still... something seems to be missing.
So this is how things look at the moment. I'm going to do some tweaking but I'll live with it a while as it is and decide if I really think it is finished or not.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Taking what I learned from making the first three, I made three more that I like much better. Now that I have these three new stars, I need to decide which configuration works best.
Blue, Pink, Blue OR
Pink, Blue, Blue...
So far more or less like the sketch... only better. I love the creative process! I have not decided which portion I'll work on next.
Friday, December 26, 2008
The company that makes the glazes I use on my glass also makes a killer line of fabric paints. If you thin them a little, they make marvelous dyes. We’ve moved and I couldn’t think of a good place to hang dyed fabrics so I decided to try drying them on waxed paper. By the time I was done playing with the colors I had 26 pieces of dyed fabric. When I got up the following morning they were dry enough to set and I was very pleased with how they turned out.
Three pieces of plain cotton, I love the wrinkle look to the dye.
This pattern is more subtle but works nicely. I feel in love with this fabric when I saw it the first time because it looks like cornelli lace which I made lots of when I worked as a professional cake decorator.
Near the end of my dying I grabbed this piece of fabric and dyed sections in a variety of colors to see how it would look. It isn't a big shift but enough to count and I'm very pleased.
Now I have the bright commercial colors and the less intense colors that I needed to go with them.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The base starts out with rows of colored fabrics that I think tend to look a little like grass. After that the four stylized blocks will hint at the word “HOPE.” Above that is something I’m picturing looking like an old rail fence. I’ll have to see how that goes but I like the idea so far. The fence represents the hurdles one has to cross in life, made better by a firm foundation of hope. The three stars represent the children that we are in process of adopting. It’s a reference to a scripture where God told Abraham to look at the skies and consider the stars. His children would be as the stars are. So I sometimes look at the stars and think of the future when the adoption is complete and they are finally home. Above that will be the “bookend” to echo what is happening lower in the piece to hopefully bring it all together. We’ll see, things like this never actually look like the sketch and sometimes the creative process creates drastic changes from the original ideas that gave them birth. So this is the early stage, we’ll see where this one goes.
My family chose to give some of what we would have spent on each other to charity instead. All of us have what we need and more besides and with all that has happened in the last year it was a good choice. The charity I chose was Mennonite Central Committee where we were able to actually make kits that will go to relief work in Iraq. These kits include towels, soap, shampoo, brush and comb, toothpaste/brush, etc. Since I’m a soaper I wanted to make soap for all the kits we made so I went through my scraps and came up with a way to make fun things out of product that was nearly unusable for me. All my experiments, leftovers and bits of this and that went into this soap. I was pleased with how they turned out so I thought I’d share a few photos, plus they matched the towels. And that is always important to me when I'm making kits because I think people in crisis need beauty maybe more than anyone.
I was also ticked with the labels I made for these. I called it “PEACE SOAP” with the tag line “Pieces of this and that in a unified whole.” Now I’m not naive enough to believe that a cheesy sentiment on a bar of soap is going to do anything positive for the folks of Iraq, but maybe these kits can help individuals and maybe the aid worker who distributes these will be able to make connections with folks that can be positive and life giving.
I was surprised to find that I felt quite strongly about making these kits. I have been so angered and offended by the Bush Administration’s use of torture, rendition and Gitmo against the people of Iraq, not to mention the abuses of Blackwater and so much more. I have grieved and prayed over these things and felt the helplessness that comes from witnessing a horror and feeling unable to do anything to stop it (other than vote, and that was/is something!) So making these kits really started to touch a nerve in me. It’s nothing in view of the billions of dollars that are pumped into the death machine, but it’s my offering. And I dare to believe that hope and love are more powerful than all the weapons of warfare that this world can come up with.