If that sounds like an advertisement it is because it is. Orange crate labels were my inspiration for the 12th of the Twelve by Twelve Colorplay series quilts. Because my concept and imagery was pretty straightforward on this challenge, I decided to try some very new to me surface design techniques to bring it to fuition. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone, but also worth it as I am quite pleased with the final result. The process is here, here, here and here, and be sure to check out the final art quilt here.
On Saturday I gave a workshop for the quilt guild on marbling fabric. I’m no expert, but I’ve done it a few times for myself and for other quilty friends, so i figured “why not?” The guild was hosting a retreat at a “camp,” so we had a cafeteria, a large lanai, and all day in which to work. Great conditions.
I pre-prepared 20 yards of fabric, about 15 colors of paint, and 9 gallons of “goo” on which to float the paint. That was a lot of stuff to carry with me, but a few 5-gallon buckets did he trick. Four trays to work in was just about right for the 14 students we had. There was just the right amount of waiting and watching each other (good for inspiration) without feeling like you were standing around bored. Though, with six pieces of fabric each to marble, we exhausted the goo in a few hours. Unless one has a very light hand and paints that float perfectly, there can be a lot that sinks to the bottom. As the goo is depleted with each “print,” you can dredge up more and more sunken paint. I made 6 more gallons of goo at our lunch break which kept everyone going until we had used up our fabric, but if I were to do another workshop I’d mix two rounds worth of goo beforehand or limit the class size or number of prints each person could make. Six opportunities each is good though because there were lots of chances to try different patterns and color combos.
Unfortunately, I did not remember to bring my camera to the workshop. It’s too bad too because we had a great time and color was flying everywhere! We had a great group of ladies who were willing to “go with the flow,” and just play. I took home the leftovers and did a little more marbling this morning. I realized that marbling could be just the right technique for the 12×12 theme I came up with: Kilauea. My results above are not as deep and rich in color as I wanted so I’m going to try some over dyeing with Procion dyes this week. We’ll see what happens.
Where I used to post about German fests and castles, now it’s all tropical dances and food! Here are some images from our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center here on Oahu. Hopefully made more relevant to my creative journey blog in their arrangement by color. Everything should be clickable for a little bit bigger view. There’s also more on Flickr.
Clockwise from upper left: Hawaiian hula in plantation era costumes, traditional hula skirt or “pa’u,” Tahitian dancers, Hawaiian dancers.
Clockwise from upper left: Tahitian dancers, Fijian or Samoan dancers (I can’t remember), Tongan drummer, skirt made from the inner bark of the wild hibiscus tree.
Clockwise from upper left: Hawaiian hula kahiko dancers with feather rattles, Tahitian dancers with I’i hand implements, Samoan fire knife dancer, Hawaiian kahili, or royal standards.
Clockwise from upper left: Taro, Maori woman from Aotearoa (New Zealand) performing the haka as a welcome, Maori man performing another part of the ceremonial greeting, Maori group singing.
Clockwise from upper left: Fijian house for sacrifices, Hawaiian checkers (konane), Fijian tattoo for a king, Fijian outrigger canoe.
When I go to the Hawai’i Quilt Guild meetings, I usually go with a friend who found me through this blog and her granddaughter who happens to live near me. The granddaughter is a high school senior and is part of her school’s culinary arts program. Their big end of year research project is to plan a wedding: create a menu that they would cater and source the food, choose linens and table decor, location, cake, price entertainment, and probably a few other things. She’s decided her project will be a morning wedding on a beach. We tossed out ideas and compared wedding stories over dinner post-meeting. I envisioned a simple, classic, tiered cake with sandy colored fondant and sugar sea shells. My friend improved on the idea with those marbled Belgian chocolate shells. This led to visions of white linens, woven mats and hurricane lamps or apothecary jars filled with sea shells (no need for candles in the morning). Red coral seemed an appropriate exotic accent in the jars, which led to orange lei for the guests as well. I was really taken by the idea of a neutral wedding with accents of orange and spent the entire next morning making an “inspiration page” of images I found on the web (I’m not posting it here since it’s for personal use and I don’t want to mess with copyright issues or trying to link to every source, but imagine sea breezes and rustic chic). As much fun as finding all the parts was, I was really liking the colors. So, I made a palette, a la Vicky. It wasn’t looking as great as the inspiration or the vision in my head and I quickly realized that the proportions were wrong. Too much orange. So, I messed around a bit more and now the palette looks like a fabulous quilt block. Too bad the wedding isn’t a real one — I could make a quilt for the happy couple.
I am victorious over the scrap bin. Yes, it lives to fight another day, but I can now reach in and actually rifle around to find appropriate fabric bits to work with. So much better than the solid mass of cotton it was two weeks ago.
It took two quilt tops to make a dent in the bin: first the Zigeunerquilt (still in quilt-top form until I feel like finishing it off), and second, this:
I had expected to make the stars very scrappy, but I came across a lump that was once the off cuts of a friend’s rusty/stripey quilt and really liked the way they looked. It was a rather big lump, so using it had a very positive impact on the scrap reduction. The purples did not come out of the scrap bin, rather the purple drawer in my regular stash. It had not been getting a proper workout, so this whipped it back into shape (meaning the plastic drawer doesn’t bulge anymore). I’ll back and baste it today and probably quilt it this weekend. I’m not sure if I’ll send it to Tia for the Brushfire Quilt Project, or to my hubby to be given to a soldier at the field hospital on the base where he works/lives.
Just for fun we added more graphic art: canvases with lots of little squares that the kids painted, and postcards by Heiko Windisch that are perfectly black and white and weird in a totally fun way.
I photographed the room because this is probably the last time I’ll see it this tidy until we move again!