07 Apr

Guerilla Fashion

Gone are the separate BDUs (green camo to the rest of us), DCUs (the desert colored uniforms we are now all too familiar with) and the grey and white snow ones in case we invade Siberia that make up the US military’s basic uniform. Now all soldiers will wear ACUs, a digitized sage green ensemble, which means that there are many sets of perfectly good BDUs out there feeling very lonely and unloved right now. So…..
My friend Valerija (yes, her website is Ukrainian) made a cute chenille rucksack out of an old pair of BDUs and I loved it so much, I gave her one of the tops languishing around here and she made a great rucksack for me which she named “Orange Revolution.” It has orange Kaffe Fasset fabric on the inside and a pocket off the uniform on the back, complete with name tape. I had one of those pairs of jeans that seemed like a good idea at he store, but after a few wearings, just aren’t working out. They are too new to throw away, so I thought I’d recycle them and a BDU top at the same time!

So, here’s my reduced, reused, recycled, army surplus outfit. (Don’t be fooled by the tank top, it’s not that warm here yet. The stripey shirt I was wearing over it just clashed with the skirt.) Oh yeah, disregard the Birks too, I was too lazy to put on a real pair of shoes and these live by the back door.
Orange revolution rucksack and guerilla skirt

06 Apr

Dying to know

I have an idea percolating in my head. It involves cotton shopping bags and may necessitate dying them. I love hand dyed fabric, but I’m not wild about doing it myself. I just can’t get my head around a whole extra set of supplies (and therefore the space to store them) for essentially another hobby.

But I digress; I had thought maybe I would take a dying class and essentially contaminate someone else’s kitchen. The class that comes most recomended (with Gabi Tisch) is held on the same days as my son’s first communion, our family vacation, and a camping trip with friends. I’m not sure I want to wait until September, and even then I’m not sure I’ll be free. Our guild is having a class in June, but I’ll be at the Quilt Expo in Lyon that weekend (I know, no sympathy there). I can’t find a class with Heidi Stoll-Weber since she’s nearby, but I’m on a quest now.

I digress again. I have broken down and ordered a few Procion MX dyes in the colors I want, but I needed to pre-order the soda ash (kalzinierte Soda) and I wasn’t quite brave enough to do it, having never ordered from this company before. Dharma won’t send it to me, so I’d have to have it sent to my SIL and then she could mail it to me. I’ve looked around on some german sites and see more references to Urea, which seems to be easier to obtain locally. So, my question is who uses Soda Ash and who uses Urea and can one use one or the other, or must one have Soda Ash to obtain really good colors? Anyone have info on the pros and cons of one or the other? I have some Alum from marbling; would that do the job as well? I don’t want to get knee deep in dying, I just want to dye a dozen or so bags in a couple of colors and then I’m sure I’d be over the whole process.

06 Apr

I’m doing a happy happy dance!

It’s been a very good mail week. First, I got a package of fun fabrics from Dorothee in exchange for Christmas Pudding and Hot Cross Bun pin cushions. I am most inspired by the crazy bullseye fabric on top — it’s calling me to do another quilt based on Katja’s drawings. Then, today I got the pile of batiks from Mary in exchange for a donut pin cushion. I think I definitely got the better end of that deal 🙂

Fabrics from Dorothee and Mary

I also purchased my first art quilt and received it today. It is called “Women of Elysium” and is by Linda Colsh. She says “the women of Elysium only know joy and live forever. Only happiness is found within the borders of their garden, where all seasons are for dancing.” I had seen the quilt online as part of Joanie San Chirico’s Miniature Art Textiles: Dallas show. I am pleased that the quilt is more luminous in real life than online. I had not gotten around to researching Elysium or it’s women, so I was pleasantly suprised to find out from Linda that they have a happy story. I now have a bright purple and lime corner in my sewing room with my Sonji bundle (#51 is mine), Women of Elysium and my own Seaweed? quilt.

Women of Elysium

And finally, drum roll please, I finished the insane hexagon quilt! Here is “Am Rand des Oma’s Weizenfeld” in all it’s glory. My neighbor named it; the translation is at the edge of grandma’s wheat field. Hopefully I’ve spelt it correctly and with the correct grammar. I didn’t bother to have my neighbor help me out with that part (I’ll have to go back to her before I actually make the label for the quilt).

Am Rand des Oma's Weizenfeld

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

05 Apr

Silly Quiz

Yeah, I know, this has nothing to do with quilting, but MAYBE a teensy bit to do with feeding the creative muse. Really, I just want TS&WGH to see that in the coffee world i’ve been rated as a Frappacino!

You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you’re craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low

Personally, I don’t see myself as childish and over indulgent, but I’m probably biased 😉

What I DO know, is that I LOVE frappacinos and would probably be addicted if there was a Starbucks within a reasonable distance and the ones at the grocery store weren’t so darned expensive! They are my splurge though, and probably my version of retail therapy.

02 Apr

Priorities

We all spent the begining of the week sick. Tuesday we slept most of the day. Slowly we’ve each been getting a little better. I had the opportunity to borrow a rug cleaner mid-week and just as I was feeling better, I wiped myself out cleaning house. Now I’m ready to work on quilts. I went yesterday to a quilt market. Not so much quilts as fabrics and patterns. I had a lovely time and a long drive with plenty of time to think and work out quilts in my head. I also took time to read my new japanese crafting magazine in the attached cafe with the ubiquitous coffee and cake. It’s no secret that I find it hard to balance mothering and house wife-ing and creating. Now I find myself wrestling with the idea of spending a weekend day shopping and socializing versus actually quilting. Same goes for Monday. That’s our next quilting bee meeting. I rationalize that one better as it feeds the muse in a way. I pondered these priorities while I did family ironing this morning instead of quilting. Yeah, it had to be done, but it was one of those things I could have done with kids around and here I had a piece of time when the kids were not here. But, as all artists know, it all comes in good time. I had to “warm up” by ironing. I need to have time alone to work stuff out. It may not look like the most productive use of my time on paper, but it’s all part of the process. If it were just me, I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it, but, of course, I feel like I need to show TS&WGH how I’m spending the time he “gives” me, and it’s hard to explain the ebb and flow of creative work. He’s not keeping score anyways, but it’s in my nature to want to prove I’m not a slacker. Ah, dichotomies! Anyways, After I finished the ironing, I did get into the groove and made good progress on my latest endeavor. The working title is “Zwischen Leimen und Mauer,” and it is inspired by the snowy forest I drive through between these two towns.

Winter Forest

I have not forgotten about the hexagon quilt. It needs a little more hand stitching and then it’s ready to be blocked and bound. Then I’ll post a picture.