At least a week ago I was tagged by Deb. What a nice thing for her to do! The rules for tagging are always friendly, but somehow I end up being unable to meet the requirements... But lets take a shot.
Deb-the-tagger has a fun blog here called "Deb Rowden's Thrift Shop Quilts". She does great things with fabric culled from thrift store finds, and she has a knack for finding obsessive scrap quilts and quilt tops at garage sales. Visit her blog, you will enjoy it.
I'm supposed to mention three things I love. Well, obviously the three loves would be husband and two daughters...but maybe they shouldn't be considered "things". So lets say:
3. my sewing machine
Now for the hard part. I'm supposed to tag three other blogs. Blogs that have less that 300 followers. I follow a lot of blogs, but I am one of a herd, not a brave pioneer. All of those blogs have hundreds of followers. The blogger that tagged Deb has a great blog called "The Root Connection" here. Tagging her again doesn't help her readership much but be sure to check out her site.
Riel Nason has fun blog here called "The Q and the U". Lets tag her.
Elizabeth Cat's blog probably has many more followers that required, but check out her site here if only to enjoy the color.
Elizabeth Hartman's blog "Oh, Fransson!" here is a great place to go for quilters. Elizabeth must sew night and day.
Well, now I am tempted to list about two dozen other blogs. There is such a weath of information and talent on the internet. Almost an overwhelming amount. But start out with Deb's, Reil's and the Elizabeths' blogs, you will be inspired!
I've got a million excuses for not posting.... I did the program at the two meetings of my quilt guild. I made a quilt for a local halfway house. (But didn't get around to photographing it.) My book came out and I've been doing some feeble attempts to promote it.
Oh, and I adopted another parrot. I now have two pairs of parrots, but they are not paired. The sunroom (aka birdroom) has all four cages occupied by a single noisy bird.
This is Nana, a 30+ year old Blue-fronted Amazon parrot. Probably a male, but he has a high pitched voice and Nana seems like a girl's name. So I am having a hard time not referring to him as her. Like my other Amazons, Nana outlived his owner and was passed around as an unwanted inheritance a bit before ending up in a parrot rescue. I need to put up a no-vacancy sign on my home for unwanted geriatric Amazons....don't want to end up on an episode of "Animal Hoarders".
Did I mention I have a book out and that it can be ordered here?
Last month I took advantage of an opportunity offered by our local arts center. They had been asking artists to come and "do art" in their large and pleasant lobby. I hauled in a sewing machine and supplies to create a new supply of "Paisley Birds".
When they were finished, I sewed magnets on the back so they can hang out on a frig or filing cabinet.
Just a couple of photos of zipper-mouthed monsters that I made for Holiday giving:
This one was used to hold a Chipotle gift card for a college age nephew. Giving a guy a stuffed animal is always a bit dicey, but he was kind about it and seemed happy to get a "Burrito Monster".
I spent some time this week trying to clean up some of the monster making debris in the sewing dungeon. Time to move on to something else for a bit. My book has been sent to the printers, so I'll probably be yakking more about that when the books ship.
I've been involved in some group projects lately... A local alcohol treatment center asked if we could provide some nap quilts for the children staying there, which my guild quickly did. When we saw how thrilled the kids were with their nap quilts (that had to stay in the center), we made a quilt for each child to have for their very own. Here is the quilt I donated:
This has to be the most fun sewing can be. Easy project with great reward!
My guild was also asked to make "comfort pads" for the Visiting Nurses Organization to give out to their clients. Maybe pad is not the right term, but they are cloth bags that hold a couple cups of rice. They can be warmed up in a microwave oven and then used to sooth aches and pains. Perfect for a sore knee or stiff neck. We made almost two hundred of these bags from our fabric stashes, added the rice and sewed up the last seam. It was a great way to spend a cold winter evening. Here is a picture of some of the crew:
After much discussion and 11 different designs (sorry about that book artist Bob!) we have picked the cover below for my book. The bird gets to stay. Now we need to get all of that inside stuff done. The deadline is Christmas Eve. I can't really picture the printers staying late that day. But I am enjoying the mental picture of Santa and my page design emails flying around the area that night.
You know, I am kinda sorry we didn't put a party hat on that bird and a noise-maker hanging out of his beak.
Lately, I've been working on a book for the Kansas City Star's publishing company Pickle Dish. The book is about a Kansas-themed sampler quilt I designed 15 years ago. It seemed like a good match for the upcoming celebration of Kansas's 150th birthday. I've had a lot of fun adding in some of my family history and Kansas history, and telling how the two have intersected. We've been working on the cover this last week... well, the book designer has been working on the cover...I have just been enjoying seeing the results. Here is one of the first versions:
I guess something seemed lacking in this cover, so we have been looking at other versions. Swapping pictures around, adding different backgrounds. Here is my current favorite:
Maybe I like it best because of the meadowlark, though.
Well, the Bizarre Bazarre was big fun and I moved a lot of stuff out to new homes. We priced to sell, and it did. I need to get busy on a new inventory.
Lets take a break first and look at some amazing quilt work by artist Jimmy McBride. He does work inspired by pictures from the Hubble telescope, Gee's Bend quilts and Henry Darger. A cool mix if ever there was one!
Here is his "The Pillars of Creation" quilt:
Inspired by this Hubble photo:
If you look at his blog posts before and after this post, he can get a good idea of how he works. Thrift shop fabrics have rarely looked so good!
I wish I wasn't such a procratinator. As today speeds by, I am busy deleting items I thought would be on our bizarre inventory list. Well, maybe next year. I did get all of the crayons that had piled up around here melted down and recycled into new, much more fabulous crayons.
I acquired a box of black and white printed fabric in September.
I thought it would be interesting to try and discharge the black prints with Rit Color Remover. I envisioned ending up with a variety of faded prints in who knows what colors. Sometimes black fabrics bleach out to red, or tan or other colors... rarely white. Well, the results were not what I expected. Nearly all of the black prints stayed very black and white. Only one piece turned into a white and brown print. No go on the vaguely black and white print collection of fabric I think I need for a future project.
So, next I tried sloshing the fabric around in a watered down white acrylic paint and iridescent medium mixture and letting the fabric dry in a crumpled pile:
OK, here is the real story behind the "Flaming Furniture" quilt. I think I paid attention this time... There is a furniture store in Olathe, KS named Julien-Flaming Furniture. The origin of this quilt is in the humor seen in that name. This is just the kind of humor I enjoy. The pile of random furniture blocks and pieced sashing has been put together into this fabulous flaming quilt top:
Stay tuned, I'll keep you updated with the quilt's progress.
A quick project years in the making... so long that I don't remember where I got the vintage fork and spoon... But we had a windless day a while back and I finally got around to sanding, priming and then metallic spray painting this wooden silverware. Now they are really silver.
I guess I should have included something in the picture for scale. These guys are just under 24 inches long.
I try not to watch the TV show "Hoarders". It seems wrong to be entertained by the mentally ill. Although I suppose if we deleted all of the mentally ill folks from the air and internet waves there wouldn't be much to watch. Anyway, after watching this week's "Hoarders" show about folks that bring home treasures everyday from Goodwill, or who order stuff from QVC until they cannot open their door to greet the UPS man... I decided to use and get rid of a box of jars I bought from a beekeeper supply store years ago. I sponge painted them and glued on clipart poison lables and filled them with candy.
Then I got out some empty corn muffin boxes that I had been saving for who knows what and gave them the same treatment. Out they have gone as Halloween treats. Over one cubic foot of space emptied out of my house. Hurray!
Then... I went to a garage sale being held by our local arts center. Next to the arts center is a thrift shop. Next to the thrift shop is a dumpster that always has interesting stuff in it. Here is a picture of the results. Several cubic feet of junk for my studio.