Aspens by Mary Pavlovich




Aspens

Originally uploaded by jlapac

I saw this quilt by the Upland, CA artist at PIQF. It has been on my mind, even though it wasn’t one I would consciously select as a favorite. I think it has been on my mind because of the colors. I might see leaves that color, however I mostly see leaves which are rust, orange or brown.

Also, the road and trees look very white. The road and trees could be covered by snow or the light could be different or strange. It could be very early in the morning or just at twilight on a snowy day.

The contrast in this quilt is really interesting,which is probably why it has been on my mind.

Creative Prompt #39: Spirit

See the Creative Prompt page if you have questions about this project.

Post the direct URL where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. It will keep all the artwork together.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, now, has a Flickr group, which you can join and where you can post your responses.

There is more information on the recently updated Creative Prompt Page.

The Spirit of St. Louis

She’s got spirit!

A spirited horse.

Spirit Airlines

A supernatural being (ghost)

Holy Spirit

Sprites, elves, fairies and wood spirits

Spirit squad / cheerleaders

Spirit totem

An independent spirit

Spirit Awards

NASA’s Spirit Rover

Mini Gift Bag

Mini Gift
Mini Gift

I got the directions for making this little bag, just with folding an sewing from Maeda Trading Company at PIQF 2009.

They sold squares of fabric so you could make this little bag right away. Of course, a person could also use their own fabric with no problem.

Mine looks a little weird, because I didn’t have enough of the right ribbon to make this work. I thought about using these types of bags as another kind fo gift bag.

No Whining, But “Wining”

Friday was a busy day, of which the crowning glory was a trip to buy wine as a gift. I bought the wine and laid the bags (small paper wine bags inside a doubled plastic grocery bag) in the trunk for the trip home. I don’t know why I didn’t bring my own bags into the store, especially since two of which were right there in the trunk. If I had, we may not be having this conversation right now.

Just before I closed the trunk I thought what a hideous wrapping that collection of bags was. Please not that I do not wrap gifts with paper. I avoid it at all costs. Once in a blue moon, if there is some good reason why I must, I will struggle through the process. Imagine a small person who has rumpled gift wrap all over the room, tape covering her hands, face and legs, a sore back and who is fuming with rage. That is me. I sincerely dislike wrapping gifts with paper. I remembered a pattern I had copied from the Bag Bazaar: 25 Stylish Bags to Sew in an Afternoon by Megan Avery for a wine bag and thought I would make a couple for the bottles.

I dutifully read through the directions, which made no sense, as per usual. I started in on following the directions. I find that if I go slowly, I will get through the pattern. Except for this one. There were two directions that were on pages that I had not made notes from. The first one was for the handle, which said ‘make handle according to directions on page 18.” I didn’t have notes from page 18 so I made the handle like I would for the Eco-Market Tote.

After I got to the instruction for the main body of the bag, which said, something like, trace pattern from next page on cardstock or a manila folder. Since I didn’t have that page either, I went online and found a pattern for gift and wine bags so I could just get the measurement. This was an okay tactic and I used some of the directions from the online pattern. I ended up, however, essentially taking my own measurements – 12″x15″ for the outside and 11.5″x14.5″ for the lining, if you are interested. I read and sort of followed the basic overall directions in both patterns, dealing with the details myself.

Wine Bag, test mode
Wine Bag, test mode

One of the first issues was fabric. I have no shortage of fabric, but I wanted to use something that wouldn’t kill me with boredom and would fit the decor of my friends. They have a gorgeous house that uses lots of earth tones with some forest and tree kind of accents. I have been trying to think of ways to use my beiges and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. Still, I didn’t want to hate the project.

I found a great mottled pinky-beige with gold leaves, tastefully, screenprinted over the background. Perfect! I also had a lot of it. I picked out a marbled beige and brown for the lining.

Wine Bag, detail
Wine Bag, detail

The directions above say to cut a piece 6″x34″. These measurements did not make sense to me. I knew that wine bottles were neither 6″ around nor 34″ tall, thus there was no way I was cutting  a piece with those measurements. I got the measurements, in the end, by measuring a bottle of wine.

NOTE to designers: please give some explanation up front when you want someone to cut a piece that seems way bigger, or more oddly shaped, than needed. I am sure you have a good reason, so please let me know.

The red wine in the bag above was my test bottle. Yes, people will be mad at me for messing up their sediment process. Oh well. I was surprised to find that a wine bottle is about 11″ inches around.

I could have used the leave-a-hole-and-turn-the-bag-and-lining-right-side-out, but I didn’t feel like figuring out where the handles were supposed to go in that process. I put the whole thing together and folded the top hem down, inserted the straps and top-stitched around. It was a tight fit in my machine, but worked in the end.

I also neatly sank my knots and threads. 😉

Wine, wrapped and ready
Wine, wrapped and ready

Above are my wine bags with the actual gift wines in them and ready to go. I have to admit that I thought about the height a bit. I wondered if I should make the bag shorter so the neck of the bottle was slightly visible. In the end, I decided the gift would be more of a surprise if the height covered the entire bottle. There would also be no interference between the neck and the handle.

I realize that some of you don’t drink wine. This pattern could be easily adapted to another gift drink such as Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, or even a bottle of soda. It might be a nice way to wrap a gift bottle during the upcoming holidays.

Tarts Embellishing

Last week (or so), I posted about some embellishing that I wanted to do. La, one of my FB readers and a friend, said that she needed to see the whole piece not just the details. Here is my initial attempts at embellishing. Check out the previous post if you want to see details.

Tarts with Embellishing, #1
Tarts with Embellishing, #1
Chocolate Pot with Embellishing
Chocolate Pot with Embellishing

After looking at this audition for a few days, I decided that there was too much going on in the Chocolate pot area (upper left), so no embellishing. At the same time I noticed that the tea kettle (lower left) was looking a little lonely.

Tea Kettle, 3 stars
Tea Kettle, 3 stars

I have some star buttons that I bought to make The Child some fun garment when he was tiny. It never got made and I have been looking for something to do with the buttons. Perhaps embellishing the Tarts will be their ultimate home?

Tea Kettle, 5 stars
Tea Kettle, 5 stars

I kind of like the 5 stars. I am liking having some of the embellishments cross the block boundaries.

Grey Tea Pot, with circles
Grey Tea Pot, with circles

I have tried a couple of different things with the grey tea pot. One is red circles. They are okay, but I think I like the hearts better. Still, as Lorraine Torrence says “make visual decisions visually.”

Grey Tea Pot, with stars
Grey Tea Pot, with stars

Since I had the stars out anyway, I thought I would try them. I thought they might work since the yellow could spark up the purple. Yellow is also opposite purple on the color wheel. No dice. There is something about that purple that the yellow could not help. I like that purple, but I am finding it hard to work with…today.

Tarts Embellishing, #3
Tarts Embellishing, #3

I took a picture of the whole thing with the red circles. The circles don’t work for me.

Fluttering Hearts
Fluttering Hearts

I like the hearts best. TFQ pointed out that they would be very difficult to applique’. I think I am up for the challenge. It would be better if I found some heart buttons, but I need some that aren’t too cutesy. I’ll look around.

Tarts with Embellishing, #2
Tarts with Embellishing, #2

Here is a full view with the 5 stars and the hearts back on the grey curvy tea pot (upper right).

Showing Off, pt.2

Yesterday, I wrote half a post for you as I got called away to do boring stuff.

Spiky Stars
Spiky Stars

For a long time, at least 4 years, Spiky Stars hung on my office wall. I love this quilt. It is one of my, if not my absolute, favorite(s). I made it using a technique I learned and modified in a Doreen Speckman class in the mid-nineties called Interlocking Triangles. She never did anything with this technique, probably because it is pretty labor intensive. I used templates to make this quilt and a lot of the patches are on the bias. I have a lot of designs to make additional quilts in this series. They just haven’t made it to the top of the list yet.

Seeing Red
Seeing Red

Seeing Red now graces my office wall. It is also a bullseye quilt. It started out as a round robin block exercise with Julie Zaccone Stiller and Adrienne Acoba. The exercise was inspired by a different bullseye project done by the Quilt Mavericks quilt group. We sent each other squares of red fabric and proceeded to add circles to them in the bullseye pattern. The interesting thing about this pattern is the way one can play with color. It is interesting to see the colors change as additional layers of fabric are added. When the blocks were complete, we cut the squares up and kept some of each block and sent other parts to the others, so the quilts are truly ‘sister’ quilts. The arrangement of the blocks is my own design. Julie and Adrienne arranged their blocks differently. Colleen Granger did a masterful job quilting Seeing Red. The project, as I mentioned yesterday, has expanded to the point where we are working on creating a bullseye quilt for each of the rainbow colors. Feelin’ Blue was the next in the series and, again, as I mentioned yesterday, Purple Passion is in process.

Seeing Red in context
Seeing Red in context

We actually hung the quilt twice. The first time, it was much higher up. We were outside my office (there is a glass wall in the front) looking at it when one of the name partners walked by. We must have looked odd, because he stopped and looked and told us it should be lower. He was right! We moved it down out of the shadow of the sofit (sp??) and I think it looks better.

One of the good things about putting up a new quilt is that I am actually seeing it. I had gotten to the point, I realized later, of not even seeing Spiky Stars anymore. I need to remember that and change the quilts out more often.

Seeing Red is a much smaller quilt than Spiky Stars, so it startles me a bit when I walk into my office. There is just a lot less fabric and a lot more wall. I don’t know if I will keep Seeing Red up, but it will be there for at least a week. Nobody has commented yet, but I will be interested to see who notices and what they say.

Showing Off

I am racing to get you some content before I head off for, essentially, a week and half of work travel, and (YAY!!) vacation. I won’t be able, probably, to post much during the work travel as I will be in a conference all day and then enjoying good food and drink with friends. We’ll see how the Internet connection is in the conference center this year. Perhaps I’ll be able to post some clips.

I have been thinking of viewing artworks in every day life and surrounding myself with artworks, lately. I looked at the back wall of my office this week and said to myself  “huh! that quilt has been there for 4 years; time for a change.” Then I went into my Assistant Librarian’s office, saw two more quilts and decided that one of them also needed to be changed out.

Feelin' Blue, Too
Feelin’ Blue, Too

This quilt has been on her wall for awhile and she really likes it. She says it has a calming effect on her. It is the second in a series of quilts in the JAJ Bullseye Project. In each round, the three quiltmakers,  Julie Zaccone Stiller, Adrienne Acoba and I each makes one quilt in the agreed upon color scheme. In this case, blue. This quilt was shown at 2005 Marin Quilt & Needle Arts Show.

You can read more about how to make a bullseye quilt here. I am sure there are other directions on the web and in books. You can also see my most recent attempt, a quilt top (not a quilt yet), in the series here.

Feelin' Blue, on display
Feelin’ Blue, on display

This is the quilt on display in my A.L.’s office. You get to see the trappings of our (well, her in this case) work. I could have cropped them out, but thought you might enjoy the quilt in context.

FOTY 2008, on display
FOTY 2008, on display

Here is the full view of FOTY 2008 (although I think you have seen it 12 times in the past 2 weeks, right?)  hanging in my A.L.’s office. She has a much bigger office than I do, and I have my degrees hanging on the only other available wall for art, so she gets two quilts and I get one.

FOTY 2008 in context
FOTY 2008 in context

Here is the quilt in context. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to change out the quilts sooner, but it didn’t. My quilts were rejected for display in the public parts of the office, because the Art Committee couldn’t get past the ‘craft.’ Instead they chose some baby puke brown paintings that I wouldn’t hang on my street much less in my house. I am probably bitter and don’t understand the concept. 😉 Now the quilts are up on walls I control and on display for all to view. I am happy.

I have to run off and do some stuff, like laundry, so I will post the quilt in my office later or tomorrow.

Creative Prompt #38: Glimmer

See the Creative Prompt page if you have questions about this project.

Post the direct URL where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. It will keep all the artwork together.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, now, has a Flickr group, which you can join and where you can post your responses.

There is more information on the recently updated Creative Prompt Page.

Definition: 1 a : to shine faintly or unsteadily b : to give off a subdued unsteady reflection
2 : to appear indistinctly with a faintly luminous quality

A glimmer of hope

LG Glimmer cell phone

The Glimmer Man (1996) – Directed by John Gray. With Steven Seagal, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Bob Gunton.

Glimmer, a poem by Carl Sandburg

LET down your braids of hair, lady.
Cross your legs and sit before the looking-glass
And gaze long on lines under your eyes.
Life writes; men dance.
And you know how men pay women.

(odd poem, I know, but I was getting a little hard up for inspiration)

PIQF 2009: Last Thoughts

I am very grateful to have a show of this magnitude nearby. I always leave feeling like I must go straight home and play with fabric. I usually don’t get to play with fabric, but thinking about it is half the work.

While I don’t always like the quilts that people enter, I respect the fact that:

  1. they entered the show
  2. they had the discipline to get the quilt done
  3. there is an abundance of color
  4. the vendors show up, create beautiful booths and have fabric for me to buy
  5. quiltmakers have taken the time to get their quilts finished
  6. people are trying new things
  7. quiltmakers are still in love with their machines and continue to push them to the limit

I would like to see the Mancusos shake things up a bit. I am not sure how, perhaps rearrange the quilts and vendors, have a tote bag or ATC display, have a display of blogger’s work (there are some great bloggers not the least of which are Posy Gets Cosy and Sew Mama Sew).  It was nice to see some new vendors at the show (due to Houston being held at the same time) and the vendors being rearranged a bit.

Newest FOTY 2009 Blocks

FOTY 2009, Oct. 2009
FOTY 2009, Oct. 2009

I took a small hiatus from putting together the FOTY 2009 blocks (Zanzibar from Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle) for a number of reasons. First, the 9k was in the shop and I wanted to use the same machine to sew them. Second, I didn’t have the right fabrics to combine. Third, I was working on other projects. Etc.

Here are the latest iteration of this simple block. I did a bunch of fabric laundry and am nearly done, so now it is on to the pressing, cutting and sewing. I have only 2.5 more months to get the fabrics taken care of as I am planning on putting this quilt together at the CQFA retreat in January.

Blog Insight

One of my colleagues writes a women/leadership blog. I thought her post for today was pertinent outside of the law arena as well, so I thought I would repost it here.

It made me think about what I am writing here as well. Am I focused enough, niche enough to not just be another quilt blog? I hope so, because I want to write in such a way that people come here specifically for my content. There is always more I can do and know that I keep trying to improve.

clipped from womenlawyerleaders.blogspot.com

Blawgs as a Niche Marketing Tool

ne additional thought I had after that posting was that perhaps some women just think they don’t have anything useful to say in a blawg. This is also good point. An effective blawg must be focused (narrow is GOOD), current, constantly updated, well written, and compelling to the blawger. When I had the hubris to start this blawg a year ago, I knew that there was absolutely no point in blawging on my particular area of the law, because there are many, many fine professional publications that post up to the minute developments and analysis of tax and nonprofit law. So I was sure that a blawg written by me on the topic would never compare to those resources. Instead, because at the time I was looking for information about women lawyers and leadership challenges and didn’t find anything useful on the internet at all, it seemed like something I could write about.
O
blog it

Quilt for a Cause

I heard the most recent CraftSanity podcast, which included an interview with the Directors of Margaret’s Hope Chest, a Grand Rapids Michigan nonprofit that provides quilts to people in need. Their mission is: “Our mission at Margaret’s Hope Chest is to bring hope, comfort, and warmth to persons enduring hopeless situations in the Grand Rapids area through the gift of a beautifully crafted quilt.”

They have committed to providing a quilt for each homeless child in Grand Rapids for Christmas, which will be given along with a toy and a book. The organization that provides support for homeless children already has the toys and books. This means that Margaret’s Hope Chest has committed to providing at least 400 quilts!

They need help. I am providing some free ‘advertising’ for them, because I think their reason for being is really great. You can hear the whole story on the CraftSanity podcast, but the short version is that they created Margaret’s Hope Chest as positive way to deal with the grief over the death their mother / grandmother. She died of wounds inflicted when someone tried to snatch her purse.

The organization needs quilts and tops to arrive by November 15. If you have a quilt or top you are willing to send for a homeless child ages 0-17, or you are willing to make one, please send all donated quilts to:

Margaret’s Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

For further information feel free to call or e-mail:

Carin Vogelzang
(616) 855-2862
margaretshopechest@yahoo.com

One thing they pointed out is they need quilts for male teenagers as well as little girls who love pink. Think of a child for whom you would like to make a quilt and make that quilt.

The quilt can be made from any pattern that involves squares.
I know this organization is probably not in your area, so if you want to do something, but want it to be local, send something to a local charity. They can always use a quilt or a crochet afghan or a knitted scarf.

Thank you!
clipped from craftsanity.com

Quilting for a cause

Calling all quilters! Margaret’s Hope Chest, a Grand Rapids-based quilt charity, needs your help to make 400 quilts to give homeless children living in shelters over the Christmas holiday.
Today my art & craft column is about Carin Vogelzang, and her mother, Carol Peters, the women who turned a family tragedy into an inspiring cause. Carin, of Toronto, and her mother, Carol, of Grand Rapids, co-founded the quilt charity Margaret’s Hope Chest in honor of Peters’ mom, Margaret Herrema, who died after she was critically injured during a purse-snatching in 2005. They have given away 102 quilts since founding the charity in Margaret’s name in 2007. Read the story of how Carin and Carol are giving people hope one quilt at a time.
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Last Infinity Blocks

Infinity Blocks, Oct. 2009
Infinity Blocks, Oct. 2009

These are the last two Infinity blocks. I had exactly enough white to make two more blocks. I tried, while I was making the majority of the blocks, to choose tone-on-tone fabrics. For these last two blocks, this fabric called to me. I think it is perfect. I really like the movement.

I have sent the last group of blocks off to my SIL. Now I have to add this project to my UFO list and figure out how I am going to finish the project.