Monday, May 26, 2014

Creatures from Deep in My Stash -- Out-of-Date Colors

Everything new, well, it just gets old.

Those on-trend colors & prints that make quilts look so hip & modern today will eventually make them look old & dated. Harvest Gold & Avocado Green, Dusty Blue & Dusty Rose, Gray & Aqua, Gray & Tangerine, Gray & Gray.

Sad, but true. 

The good news is that, if you wait long enough, those colors will become retro & vintage & will again be hip -- but you'll have to wait a while for that. In the meantime ....

In the early 1990s I worked in a quilt shop. At that time the very trendy colors were deep blue-green grading into reddish purple. I liked these analogous colors, I liked them a LOT -- evidence: the yards & yards of fabrics I own in these colors. I have to say they aren't yet old enough to be Retro Chic, they're just a little old-fashioned. So what to do with them? Can I diminish their stodgy-ness?

You've already seen me using some of these -- the painterly floral was in Constellation Wonkulae & the daisy-like print is in my winged squares. I've used the blue to green watercolor-y one in a donation lap quilt or 2.

The leaf-y, frond-y one I'm making into old-school applique block -- though I won't be doing old-school applique -- machine zigzag & fused leaves will make it fast & fun. I found the block in one of my oldest quilt books -- a Better Homes & Gardens book copyrighted in 1985. They call it Ohio Blue Leaf. An internet search yielded nothing that looked anything like this, but really old applique patterns, especially outliers like this one, tend to be hard to find.

I've been thinking that a smart thing for me to do with some of these creatures would be to experiment with something I've never done before. A quilt with words has been on my mind, so I'm starting to build some letters. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Seven & Eight

Which is which?

I worked on them together. I finished E's top first, but got R's quilted & bound first. Technically, I suppose that makes R's Seven & E's Eight. Anyway, both are done & ready for Christmas giving!

The fabrics are Jelly Bean Batiks & Bartholo-Meow's Reef, both by Moda. The solids are Kona, ash, charcoal & white. The pattern is Charm Pack Cherry by Fat Quarter Shop.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thanks, I needed that

I think that if I had been one of the early Humans, we all just might still be living in caves.

Tea & coffee, for example. I truly don't think it would have ever occurred to me to look at a coffee bush & think, "hmm, what if I heated those beans, ground them up, then poured hot water over them?" Or tea? Dry the leaves, again with the hot water. Nope. Dots I definitely would NOT have connected. We would all still be drinking water if it had been up to me to discover two of the most basic, universal & pleasurable beverages of Humankind.

Or Retreats? Going off with a group of friends with whom you share a passion, spending a few days away from one's daily routine & partaking of that passion. Again, nope. I would not have come up with that either. But I'm so very, very glad that someone did!

I'm recently back from HMQG's 3rd retreat. While the pace of my life has slowed to a more manageable one, the Daily Grind still gets pretty grind-y sometimes & getting away from it for a bit was just The Thing I needed.

Old friends, new friends, lots of sewing & a little wine! My main goals, quilt-y wise, were to take advantage of the large design walls at the retreat center & finish 2 tops that had outgrown my design door -- one done, one nearly done (I didn't bring enough of my background fabric). Then I just puttered & played with some of the many bagged-and-ready-to-go projects: plus blocks made with my parents' shirts that will be gifts for my brother & 2 nieces, a block for an HMQG charity quilt, wonky stars with a stash creature.