Thursday, June 03, 2010

Coming Out of My Cave. . . .

I've been kind of in a funk lately. It's been raining, raining, raining. . . and cold. I've not been feeling particularly motivated to do much. Today was better. . . the rain stopped, the sun came out and we got up to over 6o degrees! I've hardly been on the computer, so I'm behind in reading and commenting. Again. I'm not really sure quite where the time has gone!

I've been doing some sewing lately. I've been completely ignoring my Liberated Amish challenge quilt, in order to finish this challenge quilt:

"Touch of Black: A Study in Minimalism"

30 inches by 38 inches

This is a top that I made in September last year. You can read my blog entry about this here. This spring one of my quilt guilds decided to do a challenge involving log cabins. This top fit the requirements, so I decided to finish it up. So, that's what I've been up to.

This quilt was an exercise for me. I'm fascinated with the quilts of Yoshiko Jinzenji and Ingrid Press, and this was based particularly on Yoshiko's work. I chose to work with log cabins because I thought they would work well for this. But, some of my cabins are a little confused! Some of them go clockwise, some go widdershins, and one goes both ways at once! Obviously I was concentrating more on where to put the accents than how to construct the log cabin. *grin*

I had fun quilting this. I call this "Squilting" - squiggle quilting! Very low stress on the quilting scale! I just did lots and lots of straight-ish lines. The only hard part was the binding. And that was only because I had to figure out how much of the black-and-white graphic prints should appear. I've even got the label on this already. . . yay!

Here's a close-up, so you can see the quilting better.

An even closer detail shot.

Last night was the challenge reveal. I didn't win any ribbons (I knew I wouldn't! This is too different), but I had several ladies come tell me that they voted for my quilt, or that they really like it! That made me feel pretty good. Overall, I'm very happy with this quilt. It's really different for me, but it was fun to try something totally different.

When I was on the field trip to Bellevue (see here and here), I was amazed at the prices they were charging for some ceramic beads in the bead store. They wanted $34 for a raku pendant. (Raku is a particular process for firing/finishing pottery) I was shocked! Then I got to thinking, "Wait a minute! I have clay, glaze and a kiln at home! I could do this too!" Well, I don't do raku, but I do make pottery once in a while.

So, I went out to the pottery studio and made some pendants! They're all done now, and I thought you might like to see them too.

I'm not much of a jewelry maker. . . I just do stretchy bracelets. So, I have to figure out how to put these on a necklace. I went to another bead shop on Tuesday, and one of the employees helped me pick out the right supplies. So, soon the two pendants on the right will be wearable. . . I hope! This may involve another trip to the bead store for further instructions. The rest I think I will sell at a pottery show next month. I even made more pendants today, and so did DH. For as small as they are, they're a lot of fussy work. But fun to do.

Up next, I have to finish my Liberated Amish challenge, which is due this month. I've been stalling on doing the borders. I don't have enough of any one fabric for all four borders, so it will require some creativity. I'm kind of stumped at the moment. I think I just need to get in there and get started. And then I'll probably get an idea of what the quilt wants, and the rest will go easily. It usually works that way anyway. Just git 'er done! And I have another challenge that is due in mid-July that I've got to get done. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be real big (24" x 24" minimum), so hopefully I can get it done on time without too much of a crunch. It will involve more of Tonya's free-pieced letters, and I'm looking forward to that! So, I guess I'd better get busy!

Oh, and it's raining again. *sigh*


  1. LOVE your "Touch of Black", and would love to try something like this, myself...
    ; )

    Your Amish top is one of my favorites from the class, hope you will find some inspiration and have fun finishing it! Wish for some sunny days to be enjoyed by you, we all need to recharge our energy once in a while!

  2. I love your touch of black!!! That's right down my alley. Congrats on such a beautiful piece!

  3. I too love your touch of black, what a creative idea. I can think of so many things you could do with an idea like that.

  4. congrats - what a wonderful quilt!!! I love that quilting - it's a perfect choice. the pottery pendants are fun - glad you've been playing.

  5. Lovely minimalist log cabin. I even see kitty parts. >^..^<

  6. I love the minimalist quilt! I would have thought the placement of the blocks was deliberate...well, it was. I think it is beautiful. The pendants are gorgeous too...really pretty. How cool to be able to make them! I know how it feels to be without sun for consecutive days...bleh.

  7. What a fun quilt! I can see it was fun to quilt as well!

  8. Constant dripping wears away the stone. 滴水穿石!加油! ....................................................

  9. What a great post! I adore your quilt although it is way out of my comfort zone, fantastic work and such a challenge, well done. Even more, I love your ceramic pendants, especially the centre one in the top row and the fourth along in the bottom row, all they need is a simple cord, really gorgeous. If you don't sell them all please let me know I'm sure they'd survive in bubblewrap to UK :)

  10. I liked your minimalist quilt the first time I saw it, and I like it now, too. I like your ceramic pendants. Have you thought about just using a black cord to hang the pendant? That would be very striking and a lot easier and less expensive than chain or metal.

  11. Love the minimalist quilt, but the pendants? Fantastic! Sometimes it's just fun to be creative somewhere other than behind a sewing machine! Very cool!

  12. Love your touch of black quilt!

    I used to make pottery but stopped when I started quilting.


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