Thursday, March 3, 2022
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Monday, February 28, 2022
With books being banned in this day and age I’m stunned. I can’t imagine growing up being told you can’t read a book because it was bad. When I was in high school I helped the librarian by typing up cards of the new books for the card catalog. The bonus is that I was able to read the ones I wanted before anyone else did. There were several I chose and was shocked with what was in there, but I got to decide if I wanted to finish reading it or not. If I wanted to learn more I was able to go out there to see what someone else’s point of view was.
I love my libraries and bookstores. They are places that hold so many treasures. When I walk in I just relax and savor my time there. Growing up the little town library had beautiful picture books. As I got older, my favorite books were the little orange books about people like Clara Barton and George Washington Carver. A couple years ago I spent time again in that little library using their internet for researching Missouri counties. From that research I was able to make a quilt block that was chosen to be included in the quilt for the state bicentennial. That quilt was going to be unveiled in a special celebration at the Missouri governors mansion on March 26, 2020. I was going to be there for that but when Covid hit I never got to see it. That year they also made an ornament of my block for the Governors Christmas tree. The sweet thing is that all of my sisters and my Mom were able to see the quilt as it traveled around the state.
The big town 15 miles away had a grand library with a winding marble staircase up to the children’s department. Summers were the best because there was always a summer reading program and you got a sticker for each book you read.
When my husband and I moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho I walked into their beautiful library to find a Christmas tree that was positioned so that it went all the way up to the second floor. Imagine a 2 story tall tree in the center of the library!
I always took my sons and then grandson to story hour here in Waco and Hewitt. It was hard to see the libraries close here because of Covid, but I was so thankful they did curbside pick ups. The libraries did a great job getting story hour online when we couldn’t go. Now story hours are coming back! There is just something special hearing someone read to you.
The background fabric is some leftover from the millennium. I love that it has it written in so many languages. I was just going to put the lightbulb above the pages, but the Hoffman fabric was so bright and vibrant that I could see the joy flowing out of the book.
Enjoy a book of your choice today!!!!!
Tricia's Open Window
Sunday, February 27, 2022
My thoughts for the chosen word, “open” continually went to an image of open hands. I have thought a great deal about how much at this particular time in our national history, we need to be more open to folks who are different from us in ALL ways - gender, ethnicity, religiously, politically, etc. It is so much easier to accept people who are like us in every way, and oh so very hard to accept those who are different. I firmly believe that the first step in healing is learning to accept others. And, I have personally experienced the growth of love that can come from doing just that. Thus, “Open Hands Grow Loving Hearts” became my theme.
I chose a hand-painted fabric in sun-filled colors by Laura Wasalowski for the background. I took a course from Laura many year ago, and I adore her use of whimsy and bright colors. I found an old tree stencil in my stash of “things for quilts” and modified it for my bare-branched tree. I drew the tree onto a light tan batik fabric and then painted it with Intense Ink Pencils. When it was dry, I used Primacolor Pencils to sketch in shadows and lines. My next step was to choose scraps of Kaffe fabrics and hand-dyed fabrics for “hands” to serve as leaves for the tree. I selected different colors and textures to mimic the great variety of people in our world.
The tree with Wonder Under was carefully cut out and fused to the background. Then I drew roots for the tree directly onto the background. I colored them in with multiple colors of Primacolor Pencils. After making the “4-layer sandwich” with batting, Timtex and backing fabric, I machine stitched the tree and roots.
Next came the placement of the hearts. I decided to make 3 hearts flying away from the tree and 4 hearts growing up from the roots. To do this, I felt like I first needed to create some grass and leafy stems. I drew them directly onto the background, stitched around them, and then colored them in with multiple layers of green Primacolor Pencils. With each step when using pencils, I “set” the colors with a hot iron.
The final step was the binding. For that, I chose a Kaffe Collective fabric that complemented the fabrics used for the hands. I hope you will enjoy my interpretation of "Open".
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
A heart came to my mind right away when we received this challenge word, but I struggled with the heart, pieces, colors, etc. I pondered pieces of some special dish I would feed my family and the pieces I use to make it. Jigsaw puzzles came into the picture and of course quilts, but I still couldn’t get the heart out of my mind.
I was never keen on the anatomical heart, but with the Covid-19 time we have been in, I thought of all the times my heart physically hurt, rejoiced, yearned, and many other feelings.
I mostly see the good in life and others, so the colors had to be bright. I used this one piece of ombre fabric from Jenny Bryer Fallert collection.
Sitting down and quilting all the words took a lot longer than I thought. They needed to fit in the space. Many words were thought of and I have a whole list that I will be adding to. It’s a good feeling to write down those words and bring back memories. Since it is in my journal I’ll be able to look at all the extra words that wouldn’t fit on the little quilt.
Monday, November 1, 2021
I think this Little Quilt truly meets the definition of "Pieces" ! !
The Central Motif for this quilt was a 9" x 7" piece of fabric I picked up at a Garage Sale, or perhaps I'd already had "stashed away" in my Studio !
The Green borders are pieces of fabric that had been used in different projects, and they seemed to coordinate well with the colors of all the fruits and vegetables. A different coordinating green fabric was used on the back of the quilt.
Using Monofilament Thread, I "Free-Motion" Quilted around each of the Fruits and Veggies, and then Free-Motioned through the background.
Each of the borders was stitched down using a "Walking Foot" to keep the stitches straight, and to help the fabrics "Behave" while they were being quilted :-D
I think this "Little Quilt" is going to become one of our "Standard Thanksgiving Day" Quilts !
Peace and blessings to all.... Kathy Harte
Sunday, October 31, 2021
Sara's Quilt - Pieces of Me
Two ideas jumped into my head as soon as I heard that Pieces would be our next theme. I thought of jig saw puzzle pieces and the pieces that make up a quilt block. Jig saw puzzles had been a great diversion for me during the pandemic lock-down days! I tried to think of a clever way to compose a quilt using fabric cut into jig saw shapes, but that seemed daunting to me somehow. So quilt pieces it would be!
First I looked for a quilt block that has squares, rectangles, and triangles. I used Marsha McCloskey's BLOCK PARTY book, which has been a mainstay in my quilting life. I quickly honed in on the block called Friendship since it had the requisite shapes I wanted to use. I decided that I would I would actually construct this quilt block, using scraps from a recent Kaffe Fassett diamond quilt. The diamonds were bordered with Kaffe's fabrics called Spot and I thought it would be fun to use chiefly those. I wanted this quilt block to be the backing for my Pieces quilt. So here's the block:
I have always loved working on jigsaw puzzles. They are just filled with pieces. I thought it would be fun to try and create a simple jigsaw puzzle quilt. I took the photo this September at a friends summer house in Northern Maine. I just love the sunset colors on the flowers. Here is the photo that I used to start.
PIECES IN MY MIND
As you can see, I focused on the Spanish coins known as pieces of eight as they were literally cut in pieces and came to be used to make change. That is how our currency became to be called two bits, four bits, six bits - terms my Dad used for quarters and half dollars. I chose to focus on repetition of "eights", and my octopus holding the spoils of treasure came to be.
Using a coloring book drawing for inspiration, I drew my own octopus and treasure chest on freezer paper and the large shapes were cut out. A combination of fusing, tuille, and inktense pencils were used to embellish the octopus and chest and to affix them to the background. Stencils that I drew and cut were used to create the purple "coral" in the background. The coins are metal buttons stitched to the arms and glued on the inside of the chest. Plastic "crystals" were used to add to the look of a mass of precious gems in the chest and cystallized glitter also sprinkled on top for the sparkly feel. Of course Olga had to wear a pearl bracelet as she just loves bling!!! The blue sea fans were stitched on tuille with wash away stabilizer and affixed to the piece. There is a king's crown included in the bounty. What fun this was to create!!
Bits and Pieces
12" x 12"
Gelatin printed monoprint, silkscreen, stencil, acrylic paint
This quilt is composed of experimental "bits and pieces" of ideas for previous Material Maven quilts.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
I haven't read Shakespeare since a required senior high school English class. I doubt I will soon again. But it seems appropriate to borrow a well-known line from his writing, "Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night till it be morrow."
Yes, 'tis my last composite of Round Three, and, sad to say, my last composite for such a talented group of quilters. I've told Alice that if the group moves on, I'm not going to move on with you. I have written a church history book that is in the last stages of production, and it's going to demand a great deal of attention, so time marches on. Parting is such sweet sadness but on to new adventures.
There is no special arrangement this time; they just sort of fell into place, squares, verticals, horizontals, and one dark background--done.
The heart in the sewing machine says it all. You are doing what you love, what your soul needs. Keep it up; it is a gift.
The flowers in the background are called fire-wheel or Indian blanket or Sundance or Gaillardia pulchella. Native to North America. We have a yard full of them in the late spring.
One last note of farewell. The tag in the lower right corner is my way of saying other doors are open to new adventures. Walk through them. That huge iron art door is on the campus of McLennan Community College at the former Art Center.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Material Mavens. I've considered it a rich blessing.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Beauty. I thought a lot about this word. There are so many things that I feel are beautiful, but during my lifetime a sewing machine is one tool that I can say can and has created beauty. Our sewing machines create beauty by making quilts that are used to cuddle up with, to comfort, to delight by having memories sewn into them. They make art that we hang on our walls. They tell a story.
Sometimes our sewing machines make quilts for those less fortunate. A neighbor had a fire at their home and when I gave her a quilt she knew someone cared. That’s what the Linus project does for children when they are given one. The Quilts of Valor project give quilts to veterans who have served our country. So many of them haven’t been thanked and when they drape those quilts over their shoulders it warms their hearts.
The sewing machine also helps us make clothes that we can feel good in or make clothes for our family members. They repair favorite clothes, and alter new clothes so they fit better. We use our machines to make gifts for friends and families.
The sewing machine is a beautiful piece of machinery that creates beauty that you see and feel.
I don’t know what fabric company or designer the sewing machine fabric is made from other than it is a quilters cotton. I only have a fat quarter of it and there is nothing printed on the selvage. If you look closely there is a cute little mouse on the sewing machine.
The background is blue silk and I used a bright pink thread for the quilting. I used one layer of 80% 20% cotton/polyester batting and one layer of wool batting to give more texture to the quilt. To answer the question of how long did it take me to make it, I only put a timer on when I am doing the actual quilting and on this 11” x 14” piece it took me 1 hour and 23 minutes. I do make it a tad bigger especially when I am doing intense quilting because it draws up quite a bit which means I have a few scraps with the quilting on them.