Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rainbow Block Wall Quilt

I've been meaning to post about this wall hanging for awhile now, but I can't seem to get very good pictures. So I'm just going to post what I have and be done with it.

This was started in the winter of 2007 and finished in the summer of 2008. This will give you an idea of how long it can take me to finish a project. Sometimes it takes a long time.

I got the inspiration for this from a set of magnets I made for my sister's birthday one year. They were a set of covered buttons, in the colors of the rainbow, that I converted into magnets. I found the challenge of working with one color interesting and wanted to try it on a slightly larger scale. I knew I wanted to turn these into a wall hanging from the very start. So I turned to my friend Jennifer, the one with the quilting know-how, to see if she would be up for a collaboration. Thankfully she was because I don't know how to sew. And so it was on.

The blocks themselves measure 3"x3", not huge but a little bigger than the buttons. Some colors worked themselves out really quick, others not so much.

The red block was one that came easy. I like red and I like how this block turned out. I don't usually use bugle beads, I don't really have a good selection of them to use anyway. But this project let me use what bugles I have and now I'm on the hunt for more bugles for future projects.

I had a lot harder of a time with the orange block. First I found that I had
a pretty paltry collection of orange beads, so I had to make a special trip to the local bead store just for orange beads. Then when it finally came time to, you know bead, I could not get into this color and when I looked at it, the whole thing looked and felt forced. I don't know, it's not my favorite.

I am the most surprised with the yellow block. After the orange one I started to worry that the yellow one would be the same. But I am really happy with how it turned out. I also found a new appreciation for this color.

When people see this for the first time they usually like the green block the best. I was pretty confident about this color at first. Green is probably my favorite color and I have a great collection of green beads. But I found my self one third of the way through and hated it. So much so, I made the decision to pull it out and start over. I will admit this sat on my table for some time. It probably took the longest, but in the end it really turned out good.

If you were to ask me what my favorite block is, it would be the blue block. It came together really smoothly and, like the yellow block, I found a renewed appreciation for the color and all the shades it comes in.

Like green I love purple and have a good selection of beads. Unlike the green block the purple block took the shortest amount of time to make. I used the pattern on the fabric for the design and just mixed all different shades of purple. This one reminds me of ferns in the spring time.

Once I was done I gave the squares to Jennifer. We talked about how we wanted this to hang and what the border fabric should be. I also wanted Jennifer to leave her mark. She decided to try out squiggles (I can't remember what the stitch is called) on the black fabric border. Unfortunately I can't get a good picture to really show it off. But it gives the border texture and interest that really complements the bead work. She was even clever enough to put our names in the border.

We were both happy with how this turned out. So much so, that we entered it in the county fair for giggles. For some reason we couldn't be entered in a bead work category and ended up in the wall art/quilt category. It didn't seem to matter though, we took home the blue ribbon and a whopping $1.37 in prize money, which made me laugh.

The rainbow wall hanging now has a home on my living room wall, under the clock and over Jack's bed. I see it everyday and it inspires me to do more work like this. Collaborating with Jen opened up a whole new world as far as what can be done with beads and fabric. So I have a lot of ideas and I hope to find the time to make some of these to come to life.
That's it for now. Again, sorry about the pictures. I haven't spent as much time beading lately, the urge to get outside and soak up any good weather has trump all other projects.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Were I want to be

I've been going through our pictures of Thailand and really wish we were back there. I could also go for a good plate of Pad Thai and a beer.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I don't know about were you live, but around here it has started to fell like spring. Maybe it's the day light savings time or the tender little buds popping out on the greenery, either way I am so ready for old man winter to go away. It's time for longer, warmer days.

In the mean time I have been fighting the March blahs by keeping myself busy with beads. I have been dying to try this tree trunk technique ever since I saw it in Robin Atkins's book "Heart to Hand Bead Embroidery". I mixed up some brown seed beads and once I figured out what I wanted it went really fast.

This next picture is what I have been able to get done today. Adding leaves and branches has made it look more tree-like. I want to keep the background simple but before I can start that I need to finish with the tree first. Those branches still need a little something.

Well that's all for now, I'll try to get better pictures the next time I update. In the mean time I'll be in my studio waiting for spring.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lovely Things

So, I sent $20 with my good friend Jennifer to the The Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA. She asked before she left if there was anything I needed. I told her "pink and turtles". Boy did she deliver. And she also picked up some gorgeous Autumn fabric that I absolutely love.

Jennifer is a dear old friend who just so happens to quilt. We have collaborated on one piece (that I have yet to post here) so far. I still need to go to the fabric store for fabric for the hand. Then it's off to Jen's to get quilted up. It's nice to have some one to bounce ideas off of and as a quilter, Jen sees things in a different way that opens up a whole other way of doing things. And shes a good little shopper!