Sunday, April 24, 2011

Prairie Fire

One unofficial nickname for Illinois is the Prairie State. My older daughter Colleen attended Knox College in Galesburg, and the school’s team is called the Prairie Fire. Collen’s comeback would always be "how cool is that?". Cool indeed. One of the Knox professors, Penny Gold is a quilter, and she has organized the making of a couple fundraising quilt projects, and I have contributed. The last one was this design that uses the Knox Prairie Fire logo as inspiration. My daughter loved the prescribed prairie burns she participated in during her environmental studies; my husband designed the van Gogh-esq swirl. I made 3 blocks in this design in three different color ways for the Knox quilt. And Penny kept all 3 … so I had to make a 4th for this project. Decided to add prairie points because I’ve always wanted to try that out and thought they might complement the fire. It works for me.


I had too many ideas about what to create for this one.
Wanted to keep it simple because I’d been in a bit of a funk and not sewing at all.
Was really just going to do a weed growing out of the driveway.
Maybe just use duct tape for the driveway?
A tenacious cockroach, maybe?
A cockroach surviving a nuclear blast?
Or my daughter surviving – hanging on with life support in intensive care.
Or not hanging on when she fell 100 feet in the first place.
Enough already.
Then we saw the NOVA program where David Pogue at The NY Times says spider silk is the strongest substance around.
There we go.
Spider silk; not rope.
Spider; not cockroach.
I pieced a quasi-spider web from scraps.
Attached a Halloween spider ring on with tenacious old Velcro. Made a duct-tape rock for a tenacious weed to grow out of.
Backed it all with everyone’s favorite tenacious fabric: denim.
Attached sticks so I could attach that fun Halloween spider-webby stuff to. Voila!

Road to Monument Valley

I took this picture of my husband last summer when we were driving into Monument Valley in the early morning. For as many times as we’ve been to canyon country in Utah, I’ve never been to Monument Valley. Of course, I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, either. No matter. I loved Monument Valley more than I imagined. We took 4,000 pictures on that trip. But this is a favorite of mine. When "Road" because our next word, I had no problem deciding what to create. But I’m not big on interpreting photographs with fabric. Especially people. That’s new for me. A real experiment. And the result is just as flat as I expected. I really did a terrible, sloppy job making this quilt. No matter; I’m glad I did it. I did that snippet–net overlay technique for the sage brush, then realized I also needed the netting over the actual road so the morning shadow fabric would be visible. Marsh likes the fact that I used old pumpkin fabric to make the red rock formations. A quilter has to do what she has to do.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catching Up.....?

I've been trying to play "catch up" after being so far behind in making these little quilts!  Still only halfway there, but here are two that are finished and one almost finished.  First is "green", titled Simply Green, because of the words on one of the fabrics is Simplify.  The back is a fabric with the recycle symbols and a green world.

Next is Tenacity.  This was a difficult word for me because there were just too many ideas and interpretations.  So, I chose that "tenacious leaf" just won't let go, no matter what Mother Nature dishes out.  The background is one of my hand dyes, the branches are twisted fabric strips, and the leaf was free motion stitched with thread.....lots of thread.  What you can't see is what I used as a base to stitch on (besides several layers of Solvy stabilizers).  Kaye had some dried corn silk from last summer that retained its color.  So, I stitched all over the corn silk because I wanted a bit of yellow as well as a more opaque leaf.  I left the strips from the tree branches hanging to represent the roots of the tree.

The next one is my interpretation of the word "road".  After several months of looking at pictures of roads, I saw a photo of a "road runner".  For this one I used water color pencils to blend the sky and add detail to the bird.  I'm still adding stitches to the background, so it is not quite finished, but the end is in sight!