Friday, February 27, 2009

Top Finished - Mighty Stripes

I'm calling this quilt 'Mighty Stripes.'  What I SHOULD have called it is "Mighty Scrap Generator." Check out this huge pile of scraps (I sorted them into two different piles). This happened because I did not want to cut exact shapes for each piece, and since it was paper-pieced, it was easier just to cut 3"x10" strips (roughly) off of long or fat quarter pieces of fabric from my stash.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I've been working on these blocks, and after putting a few more on the design wall, I decided I didn't like the way the dark strips in the middle of a block were breaking up the flow. I started piecing each block with a light-dark value gradient, and turned all the blocks to face the same way, butting lights against lights and darks against darks from block to block. I like the new design.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strips and Stripes

I've started the second design from the previous post. I decided to paper-piece it, which means I'm generating a ton of luscious scraps. Meanwhile, here are the first four squares (above). I love all these fabrics. I'm going to do seven or eight different colors, four-ish blocks of each. I'll do red, purple, brown, yellow, and maybe 'silver' - which would be grays or something.

More EQ6

Here are two quilt ideas I'm thinking of. The one above is like one I've done before, inspired by Allegro by Atkinson Designs, and the other is like a spin-off but without the little squares.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Harold Washington Library downtown is ~10 stories high. Most floors have some kind of art on display. In the Author's Reading Room, Tim Rollins + K.O.S. and Students from Chicago Public High Schools made art out of book pages, "Amerika: For the Authors of Chicago."On the 9th floor there is a huge atrium with trees and vines, it's very inspiring. The 9th floor has a temporary exhibit about Abraham Lincoln with a ton of photos of President Lincoln. There were also some good quotes on the wall in the hallway of the 9th floor. I liked this quote: "We take our bearings, daily, from others. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable." -John UpdikeWe went to Ed Debevic's on the 600 N block of Wells in downtown. It was a unique experience. They have footlong hotdogs and the waiters sing and they are generally rude to you on purpose - our waitress threw packets of ranch dressing from across the room and flung straws with a sassy attitude. There was a lot of energy and noise and a ton of people packed in there, including a balloon-twister.

The Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago had a good selection in the collection and rotating exhibits. I was inspired by the floral and geometric motifs on the ancient Asian and Indian pottery/vessels. A jar from 2400 BC China (aren't the circles cool!):
This is a rectangular cauldron (bronze) from 11th century BC China. I love the geometric designs carved into the front. I enhanced the image to bring out the design but it really looks good enough on its own in real life:An oak and white pine chest from Massachusetts, c. 1710:
This is a "Cloud-Shaped Pillow" from 10th Century China. I LOVE the starburst motif on the side:
'Opal Sea' by Maurice Prendergast, 1907/10, Oil on canvas. I love his work, the colors and lines:
'Model House,' Nyarit, Mexico, 200BC/500AD (I like the design on the roof):

This was funny - 'Pigsty and Latrines,' gray earthenware with stamped decoration from 1st century BC/AD China. If you look closely you can see an interesting geometric design on the ledge near the stairs:A lion guarding the entrance to the museum:
The Chicago Cultural Center houses the recently restored Tiffany Glass Dome. The building interior is covered with mosaics on the walls and the floors. Some of the tile mosaics on the floor looked so delicate. This is one of the mosaics on the wall in a stairwell:
The Cultural Center had several exhibits, including 'Collaborative Vision,' The Poetic Dialogue Project. The exhibit reminded me I can do anything with art, I must not feel constrained by what I consider to be the 'social norm' of art. The various artists represented in the exhibit used a variety of materials and techniques. My favorite painting was by BettyAnn Mocek, Michael Heller: Collage:Matrix:City:Bird, because of the colorful squares in the lower right-hand corner of the painting. There was an interesting textile by Bonnie Peterson, titled "Bitter Root" with a lot of hand stitches. Also at the Cultural Center were the Lane Tech Murals, murals by Henry George Brandt. The murals are long (2.5' x 15') and have simple lines and muted colors. I love the floral designs and especially how he depicts the aspen, animals, and clouds.

Just north of the Cultural Center inside the HotTix outlet, there was an exhibit "The Exquisite City: A City in Cardboard."  My favorite display was a set of houses made from strips of colored paper by J. Ryan:
There was also this colorful collage.


I'm planning a baby quilt and I've had this idea in my head to do this design, but I can't decide on which color plan to use.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Project Improv

Project Improv

It was either clean my bathrooms or work on my Project Improv blocks. Here is a block:

I guess I'll go clean the bathrooms.

Valentine Swap

I made this for a Valentine swap. I used two squares of fabric and sewed a strip of red around the sides of each, with interfacing for sturdiness, and a liner bag. I put quilted hearts on both sides, stitching the hearts to the squares before sewing the bag together.

This was my favorite ATC of the last batch I made: