Sunday, March 29, 2015

Batiks Are The Best!

I have previously posted a video showing the process of making batik fabric for Moda.  I have been preparing a new pattern using a quilt that I made from batiks, and I started thinking about that video.  While looking around to find that video, I came across another that is a new and improved version.  This one is narrated by a designer for Avlyn Fabrics, and explains what is happening to the fabric.  Plus, he includes information about the copper stamp making and the history of the art of batik.  So here you go---

Here's the quilt I made, please ignore the scraggly winter-dead grapevines at the top.  I hung this outside in the sunshine on my pergola for the picture.  

I used mostly leftovers and scraps of my own stash, along with sharing of my good friends, Nancy and Leisl.  The sign of a good friendship is the sharing your stash of batiks!  I am actually thinking that I would like to make this again, with more planning of the colors.  And a lighter outside border.  And a larger size.  In a rectangle instead of a square.

When I look at our shelves of batiks, it gets that notion going that I should start selecting and collecting a whole bunch of new batiks!  I used 91 colors of batik in this quilt, just a fat eighth (9" x 20") of each one.  So if I pick up a little here and a little there, I will be ready to go again!  Will you join me?  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gypsy Wife update

I have accomplished making these blocks, the March assignment in the plan I am following.  These were pretty time consuming, although the consumption of time was influenced by the fact that I am sewing with about 19 other women.  That adds a whole new dimension of distraction!

And I did have to rely on my bag of backup fabrics because not all the pieces needed were in my little baggies.  So now what I feared was verging on compulsive packing proved to be totally justified!

What a relief!  Therapy is postponed yet again!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gypsy In The Mail!

I am such a lucky girl!  When my friend, Thora Lee, saw that I was using the PB&J fabrics from Moda for my Gypsy Wife project, she said I could have the scraps that she had left from something she was making.  Yesterday this wonderful package of goodness landed in my mailbox!  These will really fill my need for better yellows and blues in my assortment.  Isn't it great to have friends that know how much a scrap can mean?

I have cut out what I will need to make the March blocks, according to the schedule I am following.
I have a quilt retreat coming up, so I have sealed the block pieces in ziplock bags and placed the bags and instructions in the "to go" pile.  When I do something like that, I worry that I will make a mistake with something and end up without the right fabrics to complete a block.  So my obsessive self has packed another ziplock bag with backup pieces of those fabrics to take along.  They will stay in the car on reserve in case I have a fabric emergency.  Do you do this?  Am I the only one?  Please tell me that I am not the only quilter who brings backup fabric to retreats!

Are you working on the Gypsy Wife quilt?  Let me know---

And merci beaucoup to Thora Lee!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Color and Design

It seems that no matter where I go, I find things that catch my eye with something special in their color or design.  Let me show you what I found last week on my vacation in Vieques--

I love these palm fronds, they make such a nice swishing sound in the wind, and the shadows and light created fantastic designs.

The base of this palm tree is just like the "french braid quilts" that many have made.  Do you think this was the original inspiration?!

The pearlescent character and shades of white to gray of this fish were more interesting to me than the fact that it would become someone's dinner!  I don't know the name of the fish, the fisherman might have told me it was a tuna but I'm not sure we understood each other's language!

This vine looked like little butterflies on a string!  And I like the dark green against the cement wall.  Beautiful!  Would like to put these colors together in fabric.

This cactus caught my eye because it the color of the branches was so pretty against the stucco wall and the clay pot.  And those little red tips will become flowers, I think.

This oddity was growing on a tree in the yard of the house we rented, but I couldn't find anyone who knew what it was.  Hard as a rock, about 4" high, and ridged around the circumference.  Such a strange shape, almost alien!  Do you know what it is?

The buds of a bird of paradise flower are such a beautiful color against the greenery.  And it did feel like paradise!

I stopped to talk a little with this beautiful lady who was selling jewelry on the sidewalk in Esperanza.  She was making pillowcases, and using some metallic floss for part of it.  She was frustrated with the twisting and knotting of that floss, and that's a feeling that is shared worldwide!

These color choices look great for a house in Vieques, but what would the neighbors say in Minneapolis?!  Our house colors are so boring!

This isn't actually a color or design feature.  But one thing we find as we travel to different places is the signs with little people doing funny things.  This little guy is running up the hill away from the tsunami wave.  I hope he runs fast!

Maybe you can find some inspiration for a quilt project here!  And if you want to visit this great little island, just fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then go east to the next island and there you are!