Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Actual crafty content!

I haven't had a ton of time to craft, but I warped my loom with some dish cloth cotton a while back and whenever I got a few minutes I'd weave a bit.

Little by little.... and there you go - dishtowels!



Ok - not the sexiest of finished objects... but I wanted to make something practical and I've got more than a few scarves in my closet already. ;)   I was also excited to try warping stripes and seeing how they looked when I used different colors for the weft.


Also - I finished the edges by hand sewing the first/last two rows together - just to keep them from unraveling when I took them off the loom.  Then I folded the ends over and machine sewed a zig-zag stitch for a hem.  It's not super neat, but it does look finished, and held up through the wash.

I made a super long warp and then tried to measure out the length for three separate towels.  It was a bit tricky... but I actually got it kind of close.  Two of the towels are almost exactly the same length - the other one is maybe two inches longer.  Not too bad.  And heck - it's dish towels... nobody's going to care. =)



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Break!

If I've been a bit quiet on this blog, I've got a good reason.  The day after I got home from my Thailand vacation I started grad school. 

I was a bit overambitious and decided to take two classes... while working full time.  I barely had time to breathe, let alone craft.  But I managed to survive the term.  Now the decorations are up and I am thoroughly enjoying this Christmas break.



I hope you are too!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Thailand - Return of the Rebel

I leave today for a 2 week vacation in the land of smiles!  Sun, sand & som-tam, here I come!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show - part 5 The Teachers Tent

It was just after lunchtime - maybe 1pm when I started feeling the first drops of rain.  I made a bee-line for the Teacher's Tent so that I could see some of the 'the best of the best' quilts in the show.  As I walked I could see volunteers talking to each other about what to do if it started to sprinkle "Hold the bottom edge of the quilt under the awning to keep it off the rain."  and what to do if it started really raining "If you feel comfortable getting up there - take the quilt down, if not the quilt rescue team will come by and get it with a ladder."  Organizers on bikes with walkie-talkies on their hips were zipping here and there to make sure everyone was prepared to protect the quilts.  There was definitely a buzz of excitement rippling through the show!

Fortunately, the teacher's tent was just that - one big tent in the middle of a yard.  So the quilts were relatively well protected.


Absolutely loved the colors of this one.

So beautiful!!

The colors, the stitching, the unique shape... loved it!!!

This was a neat applique piece, with a series of proverbs written into the path.  Very cute.

These bird quilts were flat out AMAZING!!!  The fuziness of the baby birds, the reflection of the bird on the water.... just extraordinary work!


And then there was this completely non-representational quilt.... loved the change in scale, and the contrast of the colors.  Fantastic!




These were just flat out sweet.  LOVED the hippos.


Then there was this funky modern quilt... loved the curves and bold colors.

And here's a quilt from Portland's own "Oh Fransson"  It was neat to see it in person.  But no... I didn't touch it. ;)


After I adored all of these inspiring quilts (in a rather over crowded tent),the rain really started picking up and I saw folks pulling down some of the quilts.  I knew from previous years that the library at the end of town scheduled a used-book sale the same weekend as the quilt show.  So I headed down there to hide out inside until the rain passed.

That was a good idea really... I managed to buy an old quilting book for all of $3, and got to see all the quilts that were on display in the library.


These were a few from another group of book-inspired quilters.  Can't remember the name of the book though... something that took place in New York.

 This amazing crazy quilt was probably my favorite of the show.  It was hung quite high so I didn't get as good of a look as I wanted.  Still... check out the intricate embroidery stitching. 

So I camped out in the library for a good long time, flipping through the book I'd purchased.  But really it was disappointing that the rain was cutting the show short. 

Eventually it seemed to let up, so I went out side.  Most of the outside quilts had been taken down, but I figured I could shop-hop and see a good portion of the quilts that had been hung inside the participating shops. 

Mother Nature had other plans!!!  I was no more than two blocks away from the library when BA BOOM!!!!  Thunder and lightening just cracked open the sky and the rains came down like an absolute flood!  It just would.not.let.up.  I first hid under an awning...but then darted across the street to a little diner.  Then... there was nothing really to do except watch the storm.  It was quite spectacular.  Big booms of thunder and flashes of lightening that light up the cloud darkened sky.  As far as storms go... this one was one to see!  Absolute buckets of rain followed by HAIL and then even more rains!!

I just got this one quick video... but you get the idea.

video

Eventually the storm stopped, and I could do some shopping, and saw a few of the inside quilts.  Pretty much everyone who had driven in for the day was gone, and those of us who'd come on buses were making the best of things.  But really, to be honest, it was quite a disappointment.  On the best of days it's nearly impossible to see ALL the quilts that are up, and this time... I think I only saw about half. 

Oh well, what I saw I did enjoy... and there's always next  year.  If nothing else, this year will go down in the books as the first time in the 37 year history of the show that they got rained out, and I can say I was a part of it!!! 



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2012 - part 4 - Where the Boys Are

This year the organizers of the show decided to highlight men who quilt by giving them their own area.  I think it was called Man-Land or something like that... I can't remember.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, it's a bit silly to divide up quilters by sex or whatever.  All quilters do basically the same thing, we use the tools and techniques of the craft to express our personalities & inspiration.  There's as much variety among men who quilt (and among women who quilt) as there is between the two groups.

On the other hand, in general men and women do have different perspectives and different interests.... and this is reflected in their quilting.  Then there is the fact that quilting is a predominantly female-dominated craft, so I support any move that may encourage men to pick up some fabric and spend some time with a sewing machine. 

In any case, here are some of the phenomenal quilts that were made by men.


This quilt was particularly striking, given the location.  As we drove to Sisters we passed acres and acres of forest that had been burned in a forest fire years ago.  Every year I like looking out and seeing how the land is healing.   I think this quilt perfectly captures the sadness of the burnt trees, but the hope contained in the grassy meadows.

This quilt combined some features from other quilts that I really enjoyed- the interesting geometric effects of a stack & whack quilt, the dark borders and the gorgeous cool blues & greens.


This one was just so cool and tranquil.  And for the record - this was the color-value effect I was going for in my yellow quilt.  I think he did a much better job of it!!!

These I thought were interesting just for the use of colors.  I think a lot of women stick to the 'lovely' colors, pastels and jewel tones... it was nice to see the browns and greys used so beautifully.   Nice work guys!!


I haven't really shared much of the adventure-story that came with the show this year.  For one thing, I overslept and had to jet out of my apartment without breakfast or a shower, speeding on my little bike down to the the Max station.  Fortunately I caught the Max and arrived at Fabric Depot in time to board the bus.

But it did mean that by the time I got to the show, after 3 hours on the bus, I was starving!  So I stopped and got an early lunch shortly after we arrived.  Sisters is absolutely overrun during the quilt show, so I know it's unrealistic to expect quick service in the restaurants.  I ate as quickly as I could... but still ended up spending more time in the restaurant than I wanted.

Excited, and anxious to see as much as I could, I fairly sprinted down the the main road, snapping pictures left and right.  Adding to my anxiety was the weather report I had seen earlier that morning.... 30% chance of thunderstorms.  As the day wore on, the white puffy clouds turned darker and darker.

Sure enough, as I was looking at the quilts in Man-Land I felt a few sprinkles of rain on my arms.   At this point I'd only gone down three of the streets... and had only seen about half of the outdoor quilts.  I knew that the teacher's tent was not to be missed... so I headed over there as quickly as I could, hoping to see them before everything got taken down.

I'll save you the suspense and let you know that I did get to see those quilts - I'll share the pictures in my next post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2012 - part 3 Mix & Match

One of the things I always find interesting is seeing different quilts made from the same pattern.  The shapes may be the same, but every quilter brings their own ideas to the pattern. 


 Same pattern - different color schemes:


This was a really cool stack & whack pattern - interpreted in three slightly different ways.  I like them all.







I first saw this spiral pattern in the teacher's tent at last year's show.  I wonder if that teacher has a book out or just sold the patterns, because it was quite popular this year! 


(the spiral one is on the upper right)


To be honest - when I saw it last year, I liked it so much I wanted to make one for myself!  Just never got around to finding the pattern.  Maybe I'll have to switch it up and do a dark background.


These quilts don't share a pattern so much as a cherry-red theme.  I do love red & white quilts!


And here was a very old favorite - Sun Bonnet Sue!  This version was made in 1942 by the owner's grandmother.  It was showing a bit of wear - this was obviously a very well loved quilt!


And here is Sue again, updated for 2012 and given a brand new wardrobe for the year.

It will be interesting to see which of the new popular patterns become classics and stand the test of time.  If I'm lucky enough to be going to the Sister's quilt show in another 50 years... I wonder which of the fresh-new modern patterns will be there as antiques??

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2012 - part 2 Neverland

Cover-to-Cover is a quilting group that gets together every year and chooses a book to base their quilts on for the show.  This year they chose Peter Pan, and the quilts were fantastic!














All of them were stunning!