Sunday, July 30, 2006

Butterflies, fabric, and rain

Well, once again I have been away from my computer, busy with company and summer activities. I am loving the part time hours at work, something I will enjoy for just a little longer. You would think that with all the extra time I would have some wonderful art of my own to show you, but it just didn't happen. I have been sketching and fiddling around with fabric, so hopefully something will come together soon. (Gratuitous picture of tidy stash above, it looks nothing like this at the moment.)

I recently discovered that I don't have the patience to be a wildlife photographer. Right now I literally have a yard full of butterflies, and you would think I could get a decent picture. We have seen more butterflies this year than ever before, probably because the passiflora vines are so prolific.

One of the pond fish came over while I was taking the picture, curious or hoping to be fed.

Lots of people have been talking about the adventures in weather we have been having lately (triple digits, hot, hot, hot). Can you say global warming? Yesterday, like an answer to a prayer, it suddenly turned cool and rainy. I am loving the gentle sound of the rain, and I have the window open to enjoy the breeze.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy 91st Birthday CR!

This past weekend we celebrated my father-in-law's 91st birthday. He is kind, funny, and thoughtful, a wonderful man. I am grateful to have had him in my life for the past 30 years. As you can see, our photographer had a hard time getting us to focus. The jokes were flying and we were laughing too hard to settle down for a picture. That's my husband in the green shirt standing next to me, and that's my handsome son right behind us. A totally unbiased opinion, of course.

Don't you love the birthday crown? We have used it, or some version of it, for years. Even when we go out to a restaurant, the birthday honoree has to wear it. I remember being mortified the first time I had to wear the crown in public, but over the years I have come to appreciate it. No one sees it without smiling or laughing. Aren't birthday traditions fun?

Friday, July 14, 2006

More Traditional Quilt Content

All of these quilts were made by my friend Cindy. As you can see, she goes for the dark, warm colors and the primitive look. Of these quilts, I like the top one the best. Although the colors are subdued, the fabric is brushed cotton and is very cozy. It will be great next winter for those cool rainy days. The stitcheries in the second quilt are all angels of some kind. Cute and charming.

I have had so much fun with these women over the years, we even travelled across the country to go to the Paducah show together. We may or may not do that again, but we had the time of our lives. We've also been several times to the Road to California show. We meet once a month, supposedly to sew, but laughing and eating sometimes take priority. Every year we draw names and make a quilt for that person to exchange at our Christmas party.(Check out the December 2005 archives to see last year's exchange).We have a variety of tastes, but our delight in fabric and quilting holds us together.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Quilt Content

This child's quilt can be used to play "I Spy" or the "Match" game since there are two of each square. It is going into my friend's "hope chest" for a grandchild that hasn't even been thought of yet (at least not by the future parents). That's what I call prepared!

This is the "Egg Money Quilt", made using the book by Eleanor Burns. Based on traditional quilt blocks and made from 30's reproduction fabric, I think it looks very fresh and "spring like". Made by my friend Andine.

This was a "mystery quilt", made by my friend Gayle. You know I love those warm autumn colors.

I am enjoying having a few days off this month, although I am going in to work for a little while this afternoon. Not much new on the art front, but I have been sewing away on some UFOs. Who knows, I may even finish something.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bright fabric, Dear Jane

Here is what I've been doing with all that bright fabric.

I liked it better before I added the "scribbly" quilting, so I may be adding some more pieces to it. On the other hand, it might be best just to start again and go for a simpler composition. At least I'm working.

Here is a picture of what one of my good quilter friends is working on.
Now, I think it is safe to say I will never do this, but I am fascinated to see it. These are all hand pieced "Dear Jane" blocks. I think I have mentioned my friends's interest in Civil War quilts, and this is the latest manifestation. There are actually hundreds of "Janiac" quilters who are making replicas of this quilt, originally made by Jane Stickle.
The blocks are small (4 1/2" I think) and are often pieced by hand.

This is what you end up with, or something similar.

As I said, not my cup of tea, but isn't it amazing?