Tag Archives: green

Finishing small things

Here is the word added to the small Journal Quilt.  I think of ‘freedom’ as something robust and tawny (who knows why), and yet here it is in a whispery pink. . . freedom as something subtle and fragile.

This is the finished piece.

The moon gave me a few problems.  The chenille vine upholstery fabric was thick, and seamed, even thicker.  Next time, lay flat and don’t seam?  In any case, to cover the bump, I added lace.  And, to balance things out a little, I tore some of the blue netting.

The lower lunar section reveals an inkjet fabric print of an antique map of the constellations.

“Free” has been on my mind in the wake of handling all of my free fabrics.  “Free” is on my mind thinking about what holds me back.  Something about spring sets a little piece of me free.  So grateful.

Back to it

Finally put the taxes, a commission, a benefits process, and a series of gardening consultations behind me long enough to work on some quilts that have been languishing.

This little piece came from one of my ** New ** works-in-progress drawers and was constructed last spring, back when I was still making journal quilts.

The vertical edges needed bound, and I so wanted the blue and white swirly because of the way it picked up the floral motif and the black and white near the hut, but it was way, way, too much.

Or, maybe it wasn’t too much, but it was a different quilt in the making and I wanted to finish this one in the mood in which it began.

So I went with the soft green.

After binding it, I fiddled with the moon some more, added a word, and quilted here and there.  I’ll show you tomorrow.  The quilt reminds me of how fertile the journal-quilting-process was.  I think I’ll begin again.  Last year, I made a quilt-a-week (small, unbound) from January to about June, I think.

It rained again. Day was full, satisfying.

The Chronicles of a Garbage-Picking Crafter, I

Today I begin a new series of posts about scavenging.

I hope these tips will be of value to all of my creative readers (and not just to those ‘on a budget’ as we like to euphemistically say). You could call these ideas ‘green’ and in keeping with some of the sustainability principles cropping up in Slow Cloth* and other environmentally-conscious circles. Or, you could call them the habits of the perpetual garbage picker…

In any case, during yet another session in the orthodontist’s office, I skimmed the latest Newsweek’s article about the ‘new rules of management’. These new rules are posited by the founders of “37signals” (read the founders’ blog here), and have fired me up to find ways to give away what I know.

But, first, you want to know what some of their precepts are?   Here are a few:

  • Avoid workaholics;
  • Hire the better writer;
  • You need less than you think;
  • Drug dealers are onto something, and
  • Emulate Chefs.

I am inspired by the last three, in particular. The idea of giving stuff away has been part of the internet business model since it was created (see, Lawrence Lessig’s book, “Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy“).  (So has theft and piracy, but that’s another discussion).  Nevertheless, I am inspired to find a way to give away what I know and to give away fabric, too (more on that down the road).  That’s the “drug dealers are onto something” tenet, which is to say, create something addictive and make people come back for more. “Emulate Chefs” is an important corollary to that rule and it posits the idea that great chefs give everything away and so should you.

What a lot of blather just to say — recycled clementine boxes make great fabric storage bins!!

They are a perfect size for what I like to call, “precious bits”. One can keep a crate near the ironing board as a quilt is being constructed and let the small chips of fabric that MANY would throw out but which could be useful down the road, land into the crate.  You’d be surprised (or perhaps, not) how many projects employ teeny scraps of fabric (see some of the Village quilts on my website, as an example). Look at how many of the fabric swatches in this quilt-turned-pillow cover are about the size of a postage stamp —

These crates can be stacked vertically like Lincoln logs, making good use of vertical space and preserving work surfaces.

People in my community throw these boxes out with remarkable consistency, making for easy picking (of course my city’s new restrictive garbage policies are bound to cramp my style in this regard — BOO!!)

And as if all those virtues weren’t enough, the blue and orange labels are cheery, and who doesn’t like glancing up at the word “DARLING” now and then?!!

*  if you are interested in Slow Cloth, visit Jude Hill’s site, Elaine Lipson’s blog, or Glennis Dolce’s site.  If you’re on Facebook, there is now a page devoted to Slow Cloth.

edges

In spite of earlier declarations, I spent some time machine-stitching the Script Quilt today.  Went gingerly, so as not to break any more needles.  The gessoed section was bowing.  I wanted it more flush with edges, even if raised, due to variety of layers.  The edges are begging for attention.  The edges are where we come undone.  The edges are where we meet the world.  I am tired today.  Very very tired.  Feels like a soul-tired, not a body-tired.

Script quilt in progress

I do like it when the machine gives me direction.
There have been too many times to count where the bobbin runs out just as I’m about to use the wrong color thread somewhere… or just as I am too tired to keep quilting with any control (but would have kept going had the thread not run out).

On this script quilt and its companion piece, I keep going to add machine quilting and something goes.  After breaking TWO needles and running out of bobbin thread once, I get the hint!