19 October 2008


I have actually done some pieces with some of the fabric I brought back from Japan. Bigger pieces than chiri-men boards, anyway. I thought I had better post them for posterity before I give them away. That's why I never have anything to show for all the work I do in my studio: it goes out the door before I take photographs! I will note that now I see these in picture form, I don't care for some of them. I will explain...
This is "Ishi Guruma" or stone wheel. The pattern was created for quilters by Sheila DeRose. If you are crazy about Japanese inspired quilting, these are great to have. Difficult as well - challenging and fun! Anyway, this was a practice piece. The quilt block itself is 100% antique Japanese silk fabric, recycled. The border and binding are new cotton fabric.
I scaled the size waayyy down, just did one block, and did an extremely simple border. Now I know how I want to choose my fabrics for the next one. And I will, young Skywalker, I will...
This is based on the Seven Treasures motif, and is one block in the quilt designed by Sheila DeRose. The only new fabric in this one is the black surrounding the quilt block itself. The rest is recycled Japanese silks. The solids are kind of a brocade. I did a very amateurish job trying to mimic the brocade pattern (kind of a greek key thing) in the black in machine quilting. I'm still learning. Be gentle with me!

This is a take off on the thistle quilt block pattern. I call it "water lily". The only new fabric in this block is the blue background. I did the "waves" and the "clouds" quilting before I got the book on motifs, or I would have been more true to Japanese motifs on it. Oh, well.

I got on a grandma's fan kick one day and made a whole bunch of just the fan portions. I started playing around with those, and thought it was kind of like a Rising Sun to put two together. Couldn't really come up with something that I like for a background, so I made a purse out of two of them. Looks like an orange rather than Rising Sun. This may have to go back to the drawing board...
Anyway, the orange and the peacock feathers are chirimen, and from the same piece of fabric. The green wheel fabric is a very fine silk - almost lighter than handkerchief linen.

Then, I got on a strip quilt kick, which I am still presently on. This is 100% recycled Japanese fabrics. I will probably devise a clever border for this and quilt it as it is. Strip quilting is really great for "odd" quilting fabrics like silk because if you are a little off line-wise, just put another piece on there to compensate! Love it.

One day, all these "kicks" I get on will pan out into something stupendous. At nearing the big 5-0, I would hope that would pan out soon.

Although, there's always Grandma Moses.

14 October 2008

Purses, Crazy Quilting and a New Addiction

I have been a busy little beaver. It all started with me getting a book (on a whim) by Janet Haigh called Japanese Inspirations, 18 Quilted Projects. Wellllll, I actually read the thing before trying out the techniques in there. What a good girl am I! She explains different motifs that are commonly used, and some ways to achieve the look of Japanese made fabric by using applique, quilting, painting, stencilling and embroidery.

So, she has a section on crazy quilting, and explained it in a way that I could finally say "I could do that!" So, I took some of my Japanese antique fabric, and made a crazy quilt purse. My first. This is the front. The handle is not antique Japanese fabric, but it IS silk and it worked.

This is my second try, using leftover toile fabrics with coordinating fabrics. It's based on what the pattern company had for instructions for doing crazy quilting. Not crazy enough for me, actually, but it did go quickly using all squares.

This is the lining. My daughter asked me what I used for lining. So I had to take a picture of that as well. That's a "patch" pocket inside.
I even made a cell phone purse to go with it. Can you feel the simpering through cyberspace?

Then, using the author's idea of using medallions on top of crazy quilting, I made this purse. This is the front. The front medallion is "snow on bamboo". This is a real mixture of Japanese fabrics and recent fabrics I have been making clothing with.

I call this my "2 Seasons Purse" as I was only able to get 3 medallions on this particular purse pattern. I will have to do a "4 Seasons Purse" at some point, I expect.

This is the back. Plum blossom and the pine bough for winter, and the maple leaves for, of course, fall.

02 October 2008

BACK in the saddle, again!

Hello, dear readers. Tired of the same old posts? Finished going back to the beginning and reading all the misadventures? Gotten all caught up on this blog? Can't wait for more? You may have to. Haven't really been anywhere, done anything...
Except, welcome home my daughter from Japan (see Daddy Dayton's Southern Comfort: Celebrations!); help throw my mother an 85th birthday party, together with my two sisters; (actually two birthday parties - one small "family" celebration) Table scape. Free advertising: Barbara's Champaign Cakes are the BEST if you are in Des Moines. She makes mini filled champaign cupcakes that just pop in your mouth.
There were almost 100 people there. About that many more couldn't come long distance.
Mom, on the right, got to reune with a number of "old" friends.
Saw my son married to a wonderful young woman.
That's the photo with the grandparents.
My two boys.
I just loved this picture.

Went to Indiana to find my daughter an apartment (after the birthday party, before the wedding); moved her to Indiana after the wedding. Came home for about 10 days during which I pulled up the carpeting on the stairs to the basement and the family room; got new carpet laid in same. Hero hubby's aunt died and we went to the funeral Labor Day weekend; had houseguests for that. Went BACK to Indiana on Labor Day, alone; moved my daughter OUT of the apartment she was originally put in, and to a different apartment in the same complex. Long story. Collapsed for two weeks when I got home. Literally. And figuratively. Bounced back for two weeks during which I created some amazing items from my antique Japanese fabrics; finished up some projects; collapsed again for about a week; bounced back again. Started learning how to do sashiko embroidery; started learning how to do more creative applique work (which I used to disdain, sorry applique lovers); started learning how to do crazy quilting, all leading up to something wonderful which will coalesce out of all this learning, incorporating all of these arts. I will devote another blog entirely to what I have created. And now, for something



I'm tired.