Monday, December 31, 2007

blue, oh so lonesome for you.

well, here's a look at the blue boy:

I can hear some people cringing about the cat being present through this process, but honestly, I didn't feel like arguing with a 20 pound cat that growls. The recipient has pets, so she will understand.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. arts contest... thing

ta da!

the result of over 40 hours of toil and labor, sweating and bleeding fingers. The black stuff in the upper left corner has stars on it- I bought it a few days before Halloween, hoping I could use it for something. Obviously, not a great picture, I really need a shot of each block besides the whole piece, but something is better than nothing. Most of the fabric was lying around the house. I did the applique with wonder-under, to keep it stationary. This was one of those times I wish I had a serger- the machine applique would have gone better and looked nicer. The little people are all hand appliqued. The sun is machined, but the beads (if you can see them) in the center of the sun are all hand done. I put a knot every three beads, in case one got pulled off, they wouldn't all come off. Also not really visible, some of the quilting and applique was done with variegated thread, to mirror the rainbow children.

I hate describing what I intended it to represent, because every time I've shown it to people, I get a slightly different response every time. My grandmother said the people were "the children of the world", someone else said they were the freedom marchers. So, it's up to interpretation I guess. Obviously, the rainbow people could be any one, at any time, from any place. It is my hope that it's obvious the top right is "day" and the top left is "night", that the jumbled stippling in the bottom indicates chaos, and that there is no chaos in the upper panels. The people are separated from the new day above them because they are not there yet- the New Day is when all peoples are truly free, not just in word but in deed. It is for that same reason the people are not to the gold rectangle: We're not there yet. The observant (okay, any one who can actually see the quilt) will note that nothing grows from anger hate and fear, but peace, joy, mercy, tolerance, and hope. I was going for a sort of Faith Ringgold feel, sans painting- that would have required gessoing the muslin, and I have no gesso, and I couldn't find my acrylic paints. So I did what I could with the materials I had on hand. Which is obviously a ridiculous amount of fabric. I'm sure the prof has absolutely no idea who Faith Ringgold is.

Right now it is in the hands of my professor, and I am more than slightly concerned for it, as it was not packed for traveling very well, and he seemed to treat it as one of those "oh, that's nice dear but I'm not really impressed because it's * insert a word indicating inferiority *". face turns red with rage I worked just as hard as the person who turned in the song, the casting or the graphic design, just in a different way, so please don't treat it as a quaint, cutesy, folksey project. I refer you to Michael Kashey, an Edinboro resident who won the National Quilt competition in Paducha, Kentucky. I have no idea if the prof is going to pass the quilt on to the contest or not, but I got an A in the class, the requirement category the quilt filled was something like 15% of my grade. Hurray.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

festivus for the re'stuv us

The semester ended well. Very well, considering I had two lingering contagious diseases in the space of three months, plus a musical. Plus a pizza delivery job, a church choir gig and full time course work at the local university. All A's, yes, even in French, and a B+ in piano, for lack of a jury.

Best part of the semester? Being able to make a quilt for class. I beaded, appliqued by hand and machine, and finished the sucker of with some hand quilting. This project was brought to you by the History professor, who, if he liked what you handed in, was going to pass it on for consideration in a Martin Luther King Jr. arts contest. I am slightly peeved at the thought that my quilt, which is about half the size of a crib, is sitting around his house being shed on… all this AFTER I read an article about submitting quilts to judges which included all kinds of shipping advice like acid free tissue paper between the folded layers to discourage wrinkling, double bagging, writing the full address of the maker on the quilt, et cetera. *headdesk* I have pictures somewhere*… *addendum 12/30/07 here's a picture

Every time I find the camera, I can't find the card reader... ugh ugh ugh. Now I can't find the camera. The latest quilt I'm working on, since no semester break can be with out a quilting project, is a simple charm in shades of blue, thank you eBay. The blocks are 3 1/2" finished, set on point with a piano key border. It is for a friend who is having open heart surgery this summer… again. Not sure if I want to quilt or tie it, but it will have batting, as soon as I can get to the store for the fluff stuff. It has been pet tested and approved. There are copious quantities of purple charm blocks, 7 1/2" that have to be dealt with yet, and the pieces of the ocean waves that are stuffed in an Amazon box that also require attention. The summer kimono is done, and I finally found the obi fabric, so that will be finished (finally). It turned out very nice. Mom said something about making a short one for dad, but I highly doubt he'd appreciate the crap load of work I'd have to put into it, let alone where'ma going to find quality black silk for the sash without having to sell my kidney on the black market?

Last but not least, I figured out how to cable this semester, and made mom a cabled scarf to match a hat she bought at a craft show years ago. I originally started out with three cables, but it was more of a baby blanket than a scarf, so I ripped and settled on two - worked out perfectly. And she loves it. Two skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n Quick. Again, when I can find the bloody camera, I'll provide some pictures.

Quilting goals for 2008:
quilt the jewel box
finish the ocean