Thursday, August 29, 2013

Interlocking Squares Baby Quilt

Recently, I was sifting through a box of old photos — some dating back to the late 1970s — looking for something in particular which I did not find, but then discovered that I had already found it somewhere else.

In the course of my journey back through time, I came across this photo.

On the back was written "1988," in handwriting that somehow looked more like my mother's than mine. My best guess is that I sent this photo to her, she labeled it, and at some later time it was returned to me.

I pondered for several minutes, trying to remember who I made this quilt for. To the best of my recollection, it seemed that I had made it for the younger son of my friends, Janien and Scott. I sent Janien a message through Facebook, describing the quilt. She wrote back that, indeed this was the quilt in question.

She also reminded me that I had made a quilt for her older son as well. "Funny thing is that to this day Spencer's favorite color is red and Trevor's blue. I wonder if having those quilts in their rooms had anything to do with that."

I really like the illusion of three dimensionality in this design. If I were to make it again, I would extend the squares into the border to complete them.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photo of the Day: Orb Web

So, I am sitting in the kitchen, sketching out an idea for a new quilt, when I happen to glance up.

Just outside the side door that leads to our shared driveway, I see this huge (8 inches across — I measured it), perfectly formed orb web highlighted by the setting sun.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fractured Squares Quilt

Last week, I uploaded a new quilt pattern to my Craftsy page.

I really like this design. It is very simple to put together, and quite striking (if I do say so myself). I like the "op-art" effect from the alternating light and dark values combined with the various diagonal lines created by the arrangement of the blocks.

When I designed this quilt, the parameter I set was to see what I could come up with using just 2-1/2"-wide strips. I could have used a set of precut strips, but I'm trying to limit myself to using just what's in my stash, as much as possible. (I did go out and buy yardage for the backing.)

As is my wont, I handquilted it. I worked on it so diligently (a couple of hours most evenings while watching television), that I developed a case of bursitis in my left elbow.

Who knew quilting could be hazardous to your health?!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Seven Pots

Today was the last day of my ceramics class, and the day I finally got to see how six of the seven pieces I made turned out.

One piece had already been fired, on the day we did a raku firing. I selected my coil pot to fire that day, and used white crackle glaze. It didn't crack as much as I would have liked, but it did crack some.

For my pinch pot, I used a glaze called Vegas red. I really like the way the color turned out!

The third method of handbuilding we learned was slab building. I made two pieces using this method. My first attempt cracked a little in the bisque firing, and cracked even more in the glaze firing. Oh well.


My second slab pot fared better. I added a lid to this one. One of the class requirements was to include a lid or a handle on one piece (I did one of each). After the bisque firing, the lid fit best in one specific orientation. To help distinguish the correct placement, I added some decorative detail to the top and sides.

The piece I added a handle to (turning it into a mug) was the piece the instructor and I threw together to introduce me to the wheel. (In actuality, he did most of the work.) This was the last piece I glazed, and I got a little experimental, dipping one half in bamboo glaze and the other into a glaze called Hank's shino. The instructor said I should have done the shino first and then the bamboo. That would have prevented the strange bubbling that occurred where the two overlapped.

The last two pieces were also thrown. The smaller one is 100 percent my effort. While I was working on the taller one, another student helped some, demonstrating how to pull the clay up from the bottom.

Earlier in the quarter, I decided to take the class Pass/Fail to relieve myself of any "grade pressure" I might experience. Today, I told the instructor that I had enjoyed the class and gotten out of it what I had hoped to. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Garden Update

The peppers have grown a fair bit in the last couple of weeks. The two big ones are about 3 inches long. A couple are still just little buttons, but there might be another one coming along.

And this is what it looks like when a mint flower looks like.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Today would have been my dad's 93rd birthday.

His favorite comic strip was "Pogo" by Walt Kelly. Over the years, he received many printed compilations.

He liked Pogo so much that he created his own homage.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lillian's Star Quilt

A couple of days ago, I finished painting the doors and the door trim in the spare bedroom and moved everything back in from the living room.

In my first post about this project, I neglected to mention why we chose blue.

It was to coordinate with this quilt. (The walls in this photo are rather washed out. If you look at the bit of wall showing through the nightstand, that is closer to the new paint color.)

This is a quilt that I made for my daughter a number of years ago, probably around 2002 or 2003. The block is “Ohio Star” from 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak, one of literally hundreds of books I illustrated during my 20-year association with Martingale & Co.

The original block as presented in the book did not have the little star units at the corner. I added those, and I also designed an alternate setting block.

The bed frame and side table are part of a set that includes a dresser. They are made of maple and date from the 1930s, when they first belonged for my mom's younger sister, Fern. The furniture was passed on to my family, I think it was sometime in the early 1970s. I remember having the set in my bedroom when I was in high school.

Later on, the pieces passed into my possession and I put it in my daughter's room when she outgrew her toddler bed.

The piece on the dresser was made by my dad, who was an accomplished woodworker. He specialized in making smaller items with lots of detail. This fisherman was originally made for my uncle Ray, an avid sportsman. At some point, my older sister acquired it. Recently, she offered it to me during a round of downsizing.

The fisherman shows a particular characteristic of some of my dad's work. His profile exhibits my dad's unique cartoon-style of drawing.