Archive for July 2008
What inspires you? Do you think about what inspires you? Or does it just sort of happen.
I was in the grocery store the other day picking up a few things, when of course I had to walk by the magazine rack. I looked, and saw one I was interested in, then saw a “bundle”. The Australian Quilting magazine back-issues are often bundled together for a savings on the magazines. You never know what they will be. This time I found a bundle which included Australian Patchwork Quilting Vol 14 No 11 and Australian Country Threads Annual Vol 7 No 6. I was thumbing through the Country Threads, and didn’t get past page 14.
Have you ever wondered what was outside the box? You know… when someone suggests to you, to leave your comfort zone, and step outside the box, or even think outside the box, to try something new.
According to Wikipedia: Thinking outside the box is to think differently, unconventionally, from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel, creative and smart thinking. This is sometimes called a process of lateral thought.
Some of us are very adept at “thinking outside the box” in quilting, and some are not. That’s okay.
What has this to do with me? with quilting?
I have ventured into another venue… well actually three. Does that make any sense. Maybe I’ll try this angle. I have been working on a small project and I used three techniques I have not used before.
First a little background. In 2007 our Quilt Guild held a Silent Auction – everyone brought something they didn’t want/need etc. The committee bundled some items together, and laid them all out with “auction” slips. The buyers (guild members) wandered around the tables looking at all the goodies, and placed bids on things they were interested in. Some items were very hot, and the bidding quite intense. At the end, all slips were gathered, items paid for, and the members oooohed and ahhhed over their new treasures. One treasure I bought was a packet of various fabrics with a few panels. One of these panels was of three perch. What am I going to do with this Perch Panel? A gift for my father-in-law. And so it sat, while my quilt room went through its renovations.
I got in a rut working on a quilt, and needed something else to work on for awhile, and the fish panel let me know it was its turn. I originally was just going to quilt around the fish, add some borders, and that would be it. Well….. that is NOT what happened. I looked at it, and looked at it. Hmmm… I could do some close background quilting using the pebble/bubble motif. Ooooh… I have some beads (not really ready to start beading embellishing, but I’ve been getting some beads for the day when I’m ready.)… hmmm… maybe I could use some beads to make a lure and hook, then have a fishing line. Oooh…
So beading I went. Note to self. LESSON #1 – Square up the panel/block before beading… hard to lay down rulers on top of beads to get a square cut. I asked Hubby if I could see a couple of his lures… he’d been fishing with his dad recently, I knew his tackle box would be handy. Hmmm… okay the bead idea will work for the lures… ooh… hooks… he doesn’t use the tri-hooks, so I asked if I could have one, and if he could cut the hooks off the shank. Nope. So he gave me three older hooks to use.
I poked the hook tip into the fabric, so it looked like the fish had been hooked. Then beaded the lure on. Then used some crystal seed beads to represent the fishing line. Ohh… this looks cool. Hmmm… maybe a LESSON #2 – Do all quilting before adding bead embellishments… hard to quilt close to the beads… Pop! Oops… seed beads don’t like to be hit by the sewing machine needle.
Borders. Hmmm… I decided to use a green, as all three fish had some green in them… but the piece I had was not enough. What to do… .well there is some yellow… grabbed a scrap (or two), of some yellow/gold fabric, and made some cornerstones. Put the borders on… hey… I think I’m onto something.
Quilting. This was so much fun. I decided to use a high loft polyester batting, I wanted puffy fish. I stitched around each of the fish. Then I used a variegated darkblue/blue/white thread for the bubbles/pebbles for the background. Wow… those fish really popped out. This is starting to look very cool, if I do say so myself.
Now how to quilt the borders. “Ah-Ha” moment. I’ll add some fishing rods, and Shauna suggested having words on it… so Gone Fishing was added to the bottom border.
Top, left and right borders had fishing rods added. Now how am I going to do this. I know… remember the “Ah-Ha” moment… I’ll thread paint them. I used a variegated dark brown/brown/cream thread, this would represent wood… and old wooden fishing rod. I should point out… that I have never thread painted before. It was soooo much FUN!!!! LESSON #3 Do thread painting before sandwiching/quilting, otherwise everything gets sucked into the threadpainted area. In my case the borders are now very very very wonky. What to do about a reel?
BUTTONS…. I have jars of buttons. I’ll use them. After choosing between black and gray I chose to go with brown. They fit better.
I then used Sharon Schamber’s Binding method (as seen through my Quilting Video page). I decided I didn’t want to hand stitch the binding, after all, this is a wall-hanging. So I chose a green/yellow/blue variegated thread to stitch down the binding, using one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.
And here is the finished project, with the three new things I tried: beading embellishment, thread painting, and background quilting.
Thanks for sharing my leap into things unknown. I challenge you to “think outside the box” on one of your next projects. Or make a small project to try something new. You could always give it away *grin*, or make it into a pot holder or something.
Try your hand at bead embellishing, or thread painting, or add some dimension to a quilt by using some close background quilting. You’ll be amazed at the results.
It truly amazes me, how small our world is, and how we can find connections in the strangest of places.
Last month I ordered four books from an online bookstore. One of the books was “The Quilter’s Catalog – A Comprehensive Resource Guide”, by Meg Cox. I hadn’t heard of this book prior to my ordering it, but it seems it is everywhere now. Mark Lipinksi mentioned it in one the editions of his magazine Quilter’s Home. Not sure if I missed the edition, or I didn’t read the article, but I missed his review.
I received an e-newsletter today, and there was a blurb about Meg Cox and the book. It mentioned that she is beginning her research on a sequel, and is asking quilters to fill out a ten-question survey. You don’t have to have read her book. She wants to know how you feel about quilting. Be as brief as you want, or as wordy.
Here is your opportunity to say how you feel about quilting, and perhaps it may end up in her book.
I was taken aback at one of her questions… how many quilts have you made. I had to take some time to think about it… in fact, I made a list. In two years I have made 30 quilted projects – from pot holders, to table runners, from wall-hangings to bed size quilts. I don’t have a lot of UFO’s, but I’m glad she didn’t ask about those! If I add the works started and in various stages of completion… I could easily add 10 more.
Hmmm… I need to get back to organizing my quilt’n room, and get to work on some of these projects.
Feel free to leave me a comment on how you feel about quilting… passions, memorable moments, frustrations, satisfaction… whatever. And if you are visiting, and you are not a quilter, tell me what you like about the quilts you have seen.
Being a Canadian means a lot to me. I am proud of my heritage. Our country is relatively young compared to others. Young at 141 years.
I find today that I remember those who have past before me. And I reflect on our members of the Canadian Forces, those that are currently on deployment, and even those who remain on our soil. And I think of the families, friends, anyone associated with the fallen. I am proud of all of them. I am proud to be Canadian. I can only imagine, and I can’t even do that all that well, what they have gone through.
I will be attending our local ceremony to celebrate today.
While wandering about on the internet, I found one project by Canadian Quilters – The Canadian Comfort and Remembrance Project. I had heard of this through my guild, but I had not been to the website. This website is truly touching. The personal stories of the quilt recipients truly touched my heart. But what really moved me, was the list of the Canadian Forces members who have been killed in the line of duty. To hear the reports that a member is the 76th member killed… is one thing. But to see this list, with a photo of the quilt cannot be described accurately in words. It is finding things like this, that make me proud to be a Canadian. Canadian Quilters gather to make the blocks and put the blocks together to make these quilts. It makes me proud to be a quilter among them.
There are many ways to celebrate our Nation. There are many symbols that we see as being truly Canadian. I found a site… 101 Things Canadians Should Know About Canada It began as a survey, and then developed into something a little bit more. According to the organizers they were surprised at what items made the list, and what didn’t.
If you are a Canadian, I hope you enjoy today, in what ever manner you choose! And I hope that you take a moment to reflect on those members of the Canadian Forces who have been killed on duty, who are not able to share today with us!