Today I have a progress report on my quilt inspired by a medieval manuscript.
Here is the center of the quilt. It is formed by the four corners of each four-by-four block. Upon first seeing that blank white diamond, I knew that it would work beautifully for a God’s Eye. After practicing on scrap fabric, I wove the centerpiece design into place. The four arms of the weaving are gold satin cording which I couched into place. The weft yarns are a combination of cotton embroidery twist and wool fingering weight yarn leftover from many a sock project.
I think it balances the four creation paintings beautifully.
Here are the quadrants of the piece at this point.
Now I can begin quilting. To start, I will stitch into the seamlines of all pieces. (AKA stich-in-the-ditch.) Next will come the free motion quilting. I have something special in mind for the light color patches which will involve more colorwork.
Today I am posting again an object I created back in 2019. It is a weaving on a slightly unconventional fixed frame that I made from an old picture frame and some buttons.
I call it “Escape from the Tower.” Its inspiration resides in my departure from the world of Paid Employment. I suppose it is a bit of an allegory. It represents the feeling of freedom and relief as I gained complete control over my schedule.
When I thought up this piece 2019, I was teaching fiber arts to elementary students. One month we studied weaving. The assignment was to create a frame using a piece of cardboard and cotton yarn. Since I needed to make examples of each project that I taught, I had the opportunity to experiment with different ways of wrapping the weft yarns around the warp yarns.
Eventually I came up with a tapestry frame that was decorative, becoming a permanent part of the weaving.
You may have noticed that the Tower is on fire.
I guess the devil in me made up that part of the weaving. The golden rope stretching down through the smoke and flames delivers the Tower’s occupants to safety.
I’ve had this hanging in my studio since its creation. Our local art association is having a show and I decided to enter “Escape from the Tower.” Starting next week it will be on display at the town library along with works by other members of our group.
I will be curious to hear what viewers think of it.
First of all, I want to say that the Christmas To-Do list posted on the wall was a big hit with family members who visited us this year.
Of the twenty items on the list, all but four were completed – with great enthusiasm, for the most part. We made a few changes: no one was interested in making wreaths, but the fly fishermen among us wanted to tie some flies. So there was that substitution. And since the cars took up the whole driveway, we played sports in the backyard. Many times. The weather was remarkably warm and sunny, hence No Fire in the Fireplace.
I received two fibery gifts. The first was a pair of sock yarns, originating in Wisconsin.
I have worked with Ewetopia sock yarn once before and found it very pleasant – it is round, tightly twisted and produces a sturdy fabric. The swatch of the dark plum gave a deep tonal, slightly shaded fabric. The yellow green color, named Caterpillar, gave a stripey fabric characterized by short repeats.
My second gift was a handful of woven linen swatches, made decades ago by my son in law’s grandmother.
After studying them for a while, I was able to work out which direction were warps and which were wefts. Some of these brocades must have been devilishly difficult to construct. I want to preserve them, but I also want to use them in some way. At the moment, I am considering working the swatches into a stretched canvas piece.
It was a busy and tiring week at chez LauraKate. While I intend to write about my body of work made in 2020, that discourse must wait for tomorrow. Today will be dedicated to tidying the craft room, folding the laundry and roasting a chicken.
This is the little weaving that I had started as an example for my fiber arts students. A few weeks ago, I was cataloging a list of my unfinished objects. Spying it lying around, I realized that I needed to count it as one of the dirty dozen UFOs.
Today I can announce that this weaving has moved to the finished pile. After working to the top of the warp, I cut off the yarn and worked the loose ends into the back of the weaving. There was still a lot of looseness on all four edges of the piece. I decided to machine stitch around the sides. After that, I slipped the top and bottom loops onto a pair of knitting needles and considered it done.
I call it Blue-Orange Duet.
Mulling about what to do with it…….. Hm, I noticed that the weaving’s colors worked very nicely with my origami installation piece on the east wall of the studio.
Yesterday we arrived home after spending a week in Wisconsin. The trip was undertaken to help our daughter and her family prepare for a move. It was a weird and wonderful trip. With constant changes implemented by the authorities in the states we traveled through, we never knew what to expect from day to day. Thankfully, many businesses on the interstate highways remained open to provide for the necessities of travelers. All the staff we encountered along the way were both kind and helpful.
The trip was a success. While we stayed with the kids, daughter and son-in-law found and put an offer in on a suitable house in Madison. That’s a big hurdle accomplished.
I discovered a new travel craft – weaving on the little 8 by 10 artists’ canvas loom. All the materials fit into an average size project bag, and the motions of the fiber artist do not ever distract the driver. You see in the photo above my attempt to create an S-curve out of two colors of yarn.
I received two items from daughter that will inspire future fiber objects:
The Vogue Knitting book is a delightful compilation of the best of the Vogue Knitting magazine, from the 1980s through to 2011. Lots of inspiration is here. I have my eye on a couple of patterns found within. Of most value to me are the charts of various lace stitches.
This little book is called omiyage, by Kumiko Sudo. It was purchased by my mom, who passed it to daughter, who gave it to me. The Japanese have a thousand-year-old practice of making and giving small gifts. Back then there were strict rules and a great deal of formality surrounding this ritual. The author re-interprets omiyage for modern times, using fabrics both traditional and modern. As she is a quilter, she pulls fabrics from her stash of quilting cotton, and incorporates bits of silk and wool as well. I plan to try making some Good Luck dolls.
Traditionally these dolls were the focal point for a festival called Girl’s Day. I think they would be wonderful made from some of my hand-painted fabrics. Because they are small, making one should be a fun, inexpensive and quick project.
Well, I am keen to resume my making. The Just Trees mini quilt is still unfinished and I would like to get that weaving off the loom soon.