So this is how the whole Attic Windows quilt is coming together: it will have a border with some log cabin and nine-patch blocks giving it a bit of a sampler feel, but that’s OK. Fell behind due to being on vacation for 2 weeks.
So that is 216 individual blocks! And….The digital antenna simply works at this location right now; it is not part of the design process:)
This quilt design wall is 80″ high. So there us room to compose a large quilt!
I will admit, it gets tedious piecing together these blocks; but making progress: here is an up close shot…..and then a wider angle, so you can see how many more I need to make to come close to a queen-size quilt top!
Here is my progress the past few days:
More blocks to go! Back soon with a slightly larger design!
Here are my completed Attic Windows blocks–so far; they are 4 1/2″ square:
This is my design wall in my studio: a framed board covered in cotton batting so fabric sticks to it. As you can see, I have a large area to fill up with 4 1/2″ blocks to make something close enough to a bedspread for a queen sized bed.
I really got side-tracked this month by the new Margaret Atwood novel The Testaments which was released September 10th; when I got my copy I could not put it down for a week. Many of you might know Margaret Atwood from her famous book, and now Hulu TV series The Handmaid’s Tale.
You might not know that her 1995 novel Alias Grace–which is AWESOME–is about a quilt-maker–and a murder mystery–and is full of allusions to traditional quilt block pattern names.
I started quilting in the mid-1990s, after I read Alias Grace. I wanted to be a writer, then; but after reading this book, I put down my pen and started sewing. I also recommend The Robber Bride. Oryx and Crake–not so much; I was depressed for a week after reading that one.
Moving on to another author…..David Blight. Now am listening to the 14-CD Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom while I sew. It is a gripping narrative and difficult to stop listening–it’s hard for me to think of another person who represents what I think of as the greatest American ever. My opinion, yes. I believe he was the most photographed person of the 19th century. But I have not fact-checked that; it’s from memory. When is the Frederick Douglass epic movie going to be made? It will need to be a multiple season HBO production with a budget higher than that for Game of Thrones.
Now I can’t use reading as an excuse!
I’m assembling my Attic Windows quilt by machine piecing the square window shapes to the vertical window pane shape–see more in the video below! But first, here is what they look like once pressed:
Handicrafts can help us feel relaxed, even when machine enabled; it’s a great time while knitting, sewing, carving, woodworking to take in information, through conversation with others or through audio books and recordings.
I always feel I retain information better when I hear it while working on a project or while walking–maybe you do, too; experiment and see if it is true for you too!
Here is a snippet of my work Monday–with some explanation; but it’s just a minute! I have a lot of machine piecing ahead of me this week!
My mom had hip replacement surgery, is doing great! Delay in posting, though; I will be doing some live instagram quilting, to make up. Stay tuned!
This is what I’ve got so far in my ambitious diaspora project. The size is roughly 58″x58″. The concentration camp image is almost done; above that is the Lincoln memorial image, you can see it in pencil barely, and I’m going to start filling that in today. I’m auditioning text for the other spaces, not sure where that will all go yet. Also, the conquistidor shape, a rubbing from my recent visit to Santa Fe, will factor in somehow, as will the national weather service hurricane symbol, which you can see to the left.
Here’s a close up:
And here is the stack of color photocopies (I’ve spent close to $100 on these) which I’ll be ripping up and fitting into the piece, somehow. I recently shared with one of the women in my bi-weekly art quilt group that I was spending my time shredding paper in my art studio; she asked me if I felt like a hamster. Not a lot of fabric is designed by ripping up paper and taping it together! Next time I’ll post a photo of the paper debris on the floor. It’s impressive. But, not until the Lincoln memorial design element is complete.
Finally! Finally I got some time in to work on my latest art project, the collage of Desert Marigolds I hope to transfer onto silk.
Above is just the beginning; there’s lots more shredding and ripping of paper to get done.
I want to try and frame some of my newer, smaller art quilts, given that they look painterly; and if I’m successful, maybe I’ll even try framing larger pieces! Given my DIY sensibilities (why buy it if you can make it), I priced out entry-level compound mitre-saws and picked one up at a local hardware store yesterday morning: this is the tool that allows one to cut wood at a 45 degree angle, what’s needed to make frames for art.
Power tools freak me out. My mother’s father was a very gifted carpenter, as are his sons; they built the church at a nearby monastery in St. David, AZ. You’d think some of the handiness would be passed on to me. Perhaps. Sadly, when I look at power tools what comes to mind isn’t carpentry but war and torture; I’m not trying to make this political, it’s just sadly a morbid train of thought I can’t stop thanks to our war in Iraq.
But, you know, I want to make frames for my art quilts. Dour thoughts aside, I really liked firing up my new saw and hacking away at some molding strips I got at a local lumberyard.
Here’s my first set of stretcher bars!
The plan is to stretch the poppy art quilt over the bars, staple, and then build a frame to go around the stretcher-bars. To that end, and thinking optimistically, I drilled 2 holes on the top and bottom bars, so that I can screw the stretcher bars to the frame I eventually build.
I’d like to thank Jerry, the Sixty Minute Artist; his blog post about building frames for his paintings gave me some good ideas. Thanks Jerry!
Tomorrow is my only day off this week. I have to work in my garden; it’s going to get warm here quite soon and I have beet and carrot beds to dig up and get ready for something for spring, which is a very short season around here. Maybe snow peas. We’ll see.
Yesterday I put a mitered border on the laminated silk organza piece I posted about a few weeks ago. I don’t know if this type of border really works for such a non-traditional bit of fabric….but this is just a sample. I’m going to quilt it within the next few days and see how it goes:
This is roughly 16″ x 22″.
Well, this is it, a quick snapshot of the finished art quilt project; I hung it up in the livingroom to get an idea of how it looked when I was done. Clearly, I will need a professional photographer to take a decent picture!!
But this gives you the idea, and it’s largely straight; at least, it looks straighter in real-life than in this photo.
I turned this in to the Tucson Quilters Guild last week, thus meeting the deadline for submissions for this weekend’s Quilt Fiesta quilt show at the Tucson Convention Center. This is last week’s news, I guess, but last week I think it’s fair to say the whole city was really preoccupied and stunned by the mass shooting. Anyway. It would be nice to get a ribbon at this weekend’s show; but, I’ve sold my pieces whether they’ve won ribbons or not so I’m not too worried about it.
Here are some highlights:
I just ordered some silk organza, soda ash and urea (chemicals for dyeing) and some fabric dye from Dharma Trading, THE best source for fiber art supplies; it all should arrive by Thursday, so this Saturday I can get started on my next project, which will have something to do with prickly pear cactus.