Wednesday, 21 February 2018

why girls get tattoos

I am an old lady. I am fat. I sag.  I have wrinkles. I have scars.

I do not have any tattoos. never will. And a lot of my friends are very upset when they see a young girl with lots of tattoos.
"What will they do when they start to get fat? How will they look when they are our age? Why do they do that?" they say.

I am not an expert and I really have never asked too many girls why they have done that. But I do know that if you ask her what each tattoo is about, she will tell you a lovely story.

Each tat (I do know a little vernacular) is a mark to commemorate, celebrate, mark an event in her life. Graduation, her dog, her children, her life. Its her scrapbook. And its always with her. she doesn't lug huge volumes of baggage with her. its weightless. no trees were destroyed. no plastic involved. She doesn't have to worry about where it is--or who can see it --or where it will be safe. Its always with her.

Perhaps she was one of the legion of children that lived in more than one home. shuffling from one to the other. trying not to have to many things to carry. maybe she was never sure where she would be or how quickly she would have to move from one home to the next. the tattoos would always be there.

Maybe she had trouble sleeping at night. They were there to comfort her. to wrap her up in their warmth.

Maybe I wouldn't need the big three bedroom home that I use to store all of my worldly possessions in if I had just marked the occasions of my life with art on my body.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Affirmation Bowl

I recently enrolled in a group project called "The Affirmation Bowl".  It was created by Laura Thompson of Barrie Ontario. She created 100 fabric bowls and sent them out into the world. They each will reside in four homes over the next year. The only instructions are to place the bowl in a prominent spot where you will see it often and think good thoughts.

I received my bowl in January and I will have it until April. Then I get to choose who I will give the bowl to. Then its out of my hands.

                                                       Its a lovely little bowl.

I have placed it on the little table near the window. I pass it often. And when it catches my eye I say a little mantra to myself about how lucky I am.

I am lucky. I have had a lot of happiness in my life. I had a long and loving marriage. I raised two daughters to be successful adults. I have three grandsons who are very special.

The bowl came to me as I was marking the first anniversary of my husband's death. Marking the anniversary--not celebrating. just marking.

He left the same way he lived. quietly, gently with no fanfare and no drama. He did not wake up.

He was not finished. There were a lot of things that he had planned. He was working on a few projects. He had so many more things to do--

I have taken a year off. I think I will find my voice again soon.

Monday, 28 November 2016

I Do Love a Good Binding

A lot of my fibre arts friends have switched over to a faced edge on most of their work--no more bound edges--too quilty for them. They want their work to look like art--not quilt-not craft.

I do use a faced edge once in a while but I usually choose to do a bound edge. I choose a bold, colourful binding. 

When I first started quilting, I sometimes had trouble binding the quilts I made. Some of them languished for year--yes years --before the finality of binding. I realize now that was a bit of a perfectionist tendency. If it wasn't finished-ie bound --there was still room for improvement and therefore not my best work. And then when it came time for me to give it up and bind the thing, a fabric that was either in the quilt or one that matched it , was no longer in the stash.

Fabrics change over the years. Colours come and go. If you don't save enough of the chosen fabric for the binding and wait too long, you might not be able to match up something for the binding.
That's where I started to get creative with my binding choices. I deliberately choose a very high contrast fabric for the binding.

Although it is very difficult to see this in the photo, the binding on this Pears Helene quilt is a bright vivid green. The quilt itself is black on white --very plain. The print frames the quilt, adds a huge pop of colour and is a surprise. I love surprises in my work--not so much in my life-but that's another blog post.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Coffee Table

The Map as Art by Katharine Harmon with essay by Gayle Clemans
Princeton Architectural Press New York 2009 ISBN978-1-56898-972-3

Spirit Maps by Joanna Arettam
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC York Beach, ME2001 ISBN 11-59003-001-X

Map Art Lab by Jill K. Berry & Linden McNeilly
Quarry Books Beverly, MA 2014 ISBN 978-1-59253-905-5

art quilt maps by Valerie S. Goodwin
C&T Publishing   2003 Lafayette, CA ISBN 978-1-60705-682-9

In and Out of the Garden by Sara Midda
Workman Publishing NY1981ISBN 13; 978-0-89480-193-8

Sara Midda's South of France by Sara Midda
Workman Publishing NY 1990 ISBN 13; 978-0-89480-763-3

The Trickster's Hat by Nick Bantock
Penguin Group NY 2014 ISBN 978-0-399-16502-3

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Birds in Flight

I just found this picture--forgot I had made this quilt.
It was one of those things that just took on a life of its own.  It is made of window screen rectangles  with small pieces of fabric stitched on and then the bird pieces appliqued. The squares are attached to each other just by threads.

I hung it outside on the patio for two years and the sun pretty much destroyed it.

It's gone but I miss it a lot--I think it's time to revisit the technique .

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Calendar Quilts Series

On January 1, 2014 I began a block a day project. I challenged myself to make one reverse applique block every day for a year. One of the general rules was that I would use fabric from my stash--not new purchases.
I did one block every day--no going ahead and no catching up!! just one block every day.

I stitched the blocks together as I went. I knew that I would have trouble finishing it if I just had a little box full of blocks at the end of the year.  Each block was added to the previous days block when it was finished and they were stitched together monthly .

I am not an organised person. The challenge of doing one thing every day was daunting.  I am a great starter but a little bit lax on the finish it up.  In fact I keep January as my finish it up month. I make myself finish up some projects from the previous year before I start something new.

And I did it--I finished my calendar quilt.  And guess what, when 2015 started I challenged myself to do it again.

And I did that, too.

 Same general rules--use what you have, do one block every day. This time I used black fabric and appliqued two triangles on opposite corners. I call it Stars.  Something happened in September and continued into October. I oriented the blocks a different way--and I didn't catch it until I was quilting it. November went back to the original orientation.

When 2016 started I decided not to continue with my daily block. I was tired of it. Always thinking about it--I decided to take a break. And guess what--I missed it so much that I decided to start another one in July. I am working on a daily block every day --this time from July to either July next year --or I might go until December next year and start again in the new year.
I changed the rules a little bit this time. I am still doing the daily block, but I am going to change the shape of the finished quilt so that I can use it as a bed quilt.  The two previous quilts measure 36 by 90--not exactly useful for beds or walls. I am making a group of thirty blocks at a time, then taking the thirty first day to join the blocks together by the month. When February comes I will have to double up a little bit but I think I can handle that.

This project is a cathedral windows adaptation. I chose this type because the quilt will be totally done at the end of the challenge--no quilting required.  It will be completely finished when the year is done.

Once again I am using only fabrics in my stash. When I run out of one I will use another--same as before. I want this one to be very colourful so I have been searching through my stash for prints with a lot of colour through them and also pieces that have gold or silver applied. I want it to look like a gypsy or morrocan kind of flavour. This block is a little more time heavy than the last two. It takes me twenty minutes to make one block and join it up. I think I can find twenty minutes every day.. maybe lose a few solitaire games.

I like to think that I will have a whole finished quilt by this time next year!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Les mazots

A friend told me about a custom in France where a tiny house would be built on your property to house your treasures. The house would safeguard your irreplaceable family mementos. It would be protected from fire or flood in the big house. It could serve as  the family meeting place in the event of a disaster.

If I had a mazot on my property, this little dress would be hanging on the door.

maybe I would put some shelves inside to house my fabric collection.
and maybe this dress in the window.