My New Art Quilt: progress takes forever!

During my workweek I managed to do a little bit here and there on my new project.  Here’s some fabric I dyed–yellows and oranges for poppies:


Here’s what some of  it looked like once I put it in the washer and let it dry and pressed it all:


I made some basic patterns of poppies and then made appliques from those patterns. The thing about desert poppies is that they don’t have a lot of really in-your-face pistil and stamen action going on; the shapes are quite simple. One applique is complete; the other is in-progress.


I’m going to use sheer fabrics and make shapes from tulle and organza for my new quilt. I’m just not sure if I’ll make the appliques separately and stitch them on the pieced quilt top. There’s another way to do it (well, there’s probably multiple ways to do it)….here’s a sheer-applique under construction:

sheer poppy

Here’s the finished poppy, sans any stem or leaves. It looks OK for a sample. But that’s why it’s a sample….I’m pretty sure I can make it look better….next time!

sheer poppy 2

My New Art Quilt: Sonoran Desert Wildflowers

I started this art quilt project  late last spring. Right after I started, my uncle was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer; he lived for 2 months after that, and I spent my free time visiting him until he died. Only recently have I picked up where I left off. I have this idea of a big brightly colored art quilt with pink sand verbena and yellow and orange desert poppies and a bright blue sky with cirrus clouds. That’s the general plan and color scheme. Overall size will be something like 70″ x 40″.

Here’s some sand verbena from my wildflower perennial bed:

sand verbena resized


I cut verbena shapes out of contact paper, based on the photo; contact paper is the stuff you use for shelving in your cabinets.



Here are my plywood boards w/poly fleece stapled on top; I took these outside and stapled my fabric on top….



I peeled off the adhesive on my verbena-shapes and stuck them on the fabric stapled on the boards, then screen printed thickened dye on the fabric….then I washed the fabric and did it all over again a few times.

You can see some of the finished verbena-fabric here on my “design wall”–just fancy talk for a big fabric covered bulletin board where I can hang fabric up to “audition” for whatever project I’m working on:

screen printed fabric

Now the question is what to do with all the fabric! Time for some sewing experiments…..

Traditional Irish Music Session in Tucson!

There are no bells and whistles with this post; no photos or MP3 uploads….yet. Next time. You’ll just have to believe me when I say today we had a super traditional Irish music session here in Tucson; it was a house session; and like in ye olden days, the kitchen table was moved aside to make room for a circle of musicians. We had:  one flute, two fiddles, one bodhran, one lovely voice for song, one guitar, one mandolin, and one set of amazingly in tune uilleann pipes (no small feat for this climate).  In addition to the usual war-horse tunes played at sessions (what I think of as the “global Irish repertoire”) we had some great tunes by the likes of Paddy Fahy and Sean Ryan that are less commonly heard, at least around here. All in all the sound was great and the craic even greater. Well done everyone!

The next house session is set for Sunday November 15th. I’ll report more then.