05 Jun

Avoidance Knitting

I’m gleaning from the comments that there is some concern about my mental well-being as it relates to creative work. Never fear, my pile of hand work is nearly as large as the pile of clothing and toiletries for the next two months until we arrive in Hawaii (the nine crates will take three to four months to arrive, Monday’s predicted half-crate will take six to eight weeks, the kids and I will fly in July with a suitcase and carry-on each and our cat).
Last night I sewed the binding and label on the Disappearing Nine Patch charity quilt and will give it to the Quilted Chaos group in a week or so. I have some appliqué for my son set aside, plus I can continue hand quilting my oldest WIP or the most recent roots quilt, or go embroidery crazy on Dijanne’s forest fabric. Due to space restrictions, a few of these will be packed up on Monday to be shipped via airplane (as opposed to everything else that went via boat), but I’m not without something to work on.

Ballband wash cloths

During last week’s frenzy, I found that Mason-Dixon’s Ballband “warshrags” were the perfect project, not only for avoiding work to be done, but for occupying me while things are out of my hands. They could be stopped and started easily, the pattern is easy to memorize, they are small, I can justify using them in the new house, and best of all — the cotton yarn is nice and cool on a hot day.

Pinwheel wash cloth

And then I was inspired by the pot holder weaving my daughter was making. After many stops and starts (bad cast-ons and do I knit the whole thing back and forth or do I knit each quarter as a separate entity?) this is my knit version. It happily occupied me for two days and although it’s no example of great knitting, it will more than suffice in the kitchen sink.

Once I used up all my cotton yarn on three Ballband, and one pinwheel wash cloths, plus the one Ballband I made last summer, I found these which I really like. Not that I need any more projects to carry around, but Purl’s Wedding Washcloths could almost force me to go buy more yarn. One can always use more wash cloths, right?

03 Jun

Our Life in 9 Crates

This is what we’ve been reduced to:

Doing homework in a box

OK, it turns out that doing one’s homework in a box in the basement is actually kind of fun.

Our life in 9 crates

The enormity of this move however, is finally dawning on me. A 2000-ish square foot house devoid of everything except a few suitcases and basic borrowed furniture is pretty cavernous! It’s going to be an interesting interval until we fly in July.

Our packing team was great. They used so much tape I think everything will make it to Hawaii even if it falls off the boat! In all seriousness though, the three guys were a well oiled machine and I feel as good as one can about our things arriving safe and sound on the other end. We rewarded them with a cold beer each at the end of the day Friday (anxious to go home they took the beers “to go”) and wouldn’t you know it, one of the guys even returned his empty bottle when they returned to finish the job on Monday. How can you not trust a guy who returns his empties?

I’ll try not to bore everyone with too many more tales of moving. I’m afraid though that the blog will be pretty dull here for a good long while. Expect nothing more than avoidance knitting and the sewing of binding on utility quilts here. Once in our new house (whatever it may be) I plan on focusing on a bit of decorating first and foremost — particularly after watching the dressers I’ve wanted to paint for two years and the mosaic table project I’ve wanted to get to for four years be loaded onto the truck as yet undone.

I can tell already that attempts at serious art will be futile. But that is life, no? There is a time for creative growth and there is a time to let the fields lay fallow.

01 Jun

Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

My contribution to the current 12 x 12 challenge. This one is all about the concept. Life cannot exist without water, yet water has the power to destroy as well.

Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

I could have gone for dramatic imagery, but instead, I chose to keep the imagery rather generic and to create this quilt (or more properly, assemblage) out of things that are affected by water. Of course, since we are an art quilt group, the things are all related to sewing.

Water detail

The “top” is appliqued with circles of sheer fabrics, to include a stabilizer painted in a water-ring pattern with water soluble paints. It is embellished with pearls glued on with basting glue that releases when wet. I colored the piece with water color pencils and a fabric marker that disappears when rinsed or sprayed with water. The “batting” is water soluble stabilizer.

Water -- backlit

The quilting is done with water soluble thread on top and a variegated thread in the bobbin.

(Because of the sheer fabrics, I think this looks especially nice backlit.)


The backing fabric is a silk scarf which I marbled — a process that requires paint to be floated on water.

This is what the piece looks like now, representing the sustaining quality of water. But eventually, I’m pretty sure I’ll need to douse it in water and document it’s demise to show the destructive power. I’m thinking that I should wait until it has a chance to travel across two oceans and then I’ll photograph it at the beach, or perhaps find a waterfall which can be part of the process of destroying the piece. Performance art. Who knew we’d go there.

My post on 12 x 12 is the same, but you must go visit and see the other eleven quilts!