She brought it to Sedona, where the earth is red, and made a painting using natural mineral pigments, which she gifted to me.
Collaboration by feedback loop. I think there’s potential here.
I was assigned one of the scores in the book, and secret instructions arrived. The score was based on the flying geese block.
I made many geese, and put them together in different ways. They became familiar. Composing on the scale of the block without thinking of the larger design kept me focused on finding something appealing in each block, rather than producing units for a larger design. I made nine small, lovely improv blocks and thought I was almost done. I just needed to frame them.
Except that looked quite boring when I laid it out. Maybe jam them together in the middle of a field? Nope. I wrote to Sherri:
“Putting them together directly feels like crowding them and de-emphasizing the individual compositions. Setting them in a grid of sashing feels too conventional, like it would take the spirit out of them. So now what? How to bring them together into a larger whole? I feel like I need a recipe to guide me through larger scale composition choices.”
Sherri wrote back with some insightful suggestions: look for relationships between blocks, create rhythm, commit one step at a time.
Right: the improv process isn’t finished until the quilt is finished.
When I got stuck, I used my off-cuts to make tiny blocks until I found something interesting.
I started to get an inkling that the “geese” could create an offset, spiral diamond. That was pretty interesting. I used a lot of linen, which I love, but I struggled with warp and wooble, particularly because of all the bias edges on the triangles. I used a dart technique suggested in the recipe, and I took out a lot of seams along the way. Improvising, rather than choosing a direction and powering through, takes time but is never boring. I knew where I was headed now, but I didn’t know how close to an Amish center diamond I wanted to go. I tried a LOT of variations before I got there.
It took me quite a while to arrive at the right slightly wonky center diamond.
The main block style I ended up using is a single “goose” made of many smaller triangles, which I spiraled out from the middle. The border is oriented “with” the diamond, instead of against it, as is typical of those Amish center diamond quilts. And then there’s that square, off center and breaking away.
As I said, I only used a few of my original blocks in the final quilt top, so I had lots of great orphan blocks left over. I made a second quilt right away with the extra pieces (see if you can spot the original blocks!)
See my previous post, What quilting does, about hand-quilting this top.
I don’t tend do the exercises in books, but following this score built new skills and generated a quilt I never otherwise would have come up with, and am really happy with. That process was so valuable that I look forward to trying the other scores in the book.
Edit: Here’s another account of working with the same score. Comment below if you have more!
Deciding what lines to quilt is always a challenge. Quilting lines change the design in ways that are hard to foresee. I wish I had before and after photos of all my quilts to study.
In this case I started off “stitching in the ditch,” which means following the seams of the patchwork with my quilting lines. My thinking was that part of what was interesting about this design was that the areas of solid color were actually made of many small pieces, so I would emphasize that. Some of those lines I liked, and some I took out. By then I was in the rhythm and decided I was also interested in extending and joining some of the lines where seams on one side of the quilt lined up with seams on the other side (for example, the diagonal connections that cross the vertical grey band, in the detail shot), so I did that. Eventually, it felt done.
I posted a bunch of pictures when we first moved into the trailer (and some were published in Lloyd Kahn’s book Tiny Homes on the Move). We’ve been living here over two years now and have made some changes, so I thought I’d post an update.
So many of the tiny homes on the internet are photographed before anyone has ever moved in, so I hope you’ll enjoy the realistic clutter I’ve staged for you.
Click through to read the captions.
I’ve been teaching a fertility awareness workshop to unschooled teenagers at Not Back to School Camp for the last few years.
I first learned about sympto-thermal fertility tracking at age 30 when my sister-in-law explained it in about five minutes using the illustrations in her well-worn copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Despite an otherwise excellent sex education from my parents and the public library, the information blew my mind. As I devoured the rest of the book I kept thinking, “How come nobody told me this before?”
The workshop at camp, and this zine my friend Kione Kochi and I collaborated on, is my small effort to fill that information gap for the young people with uteruses in my life. Below is the whole zine, and here is a PDF version you can print (on two double-sided sheets of paper) and share.
- Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler (written for teens)
- Miscon(tra)ception documentary on Kickstarter (check out the trailer).
- You can’t POP your cherry (hymen 101) on YouTube
- Kindara ios app and blog
- Kindara for Android coming soon. In the mean time, maybe OvuView?
I engineered a three hour Amtrak layover in Portland this afternoon so that I could do a power walking tour of downtown. I stopped in at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, where to my delight Adrienne Antonson is in residence, making tomorrow’s outfit each day out of thrifted clothes and upholstery scraps. It was around 1pm and she said she hadn’t yet started tomorrow’s outfit. We talked briefly and I got some grainy photos.
Yesterday I drove to Sisters, Oregon for the annual Outdoor Quilt Show. It’s the first quilt event I’ve attended (QuiltCon will be my second). I walked up and down all four streets, but definitely didn’t see all the quilts as there were over 1,300 and many were inside stores or down side lanes. Here are the highlights of what I did see.
Clearly I have a strong preference for improvised piecing using varied and/or salvage fabrics and quilted by hand. Carol Webb was a featured quilter, and her work was mostly hand-quilted and used hand-dyed fabrics. These things seem to give the quilts depth and keep my eyes moving.
Some of these look like sari fabric:
The streaky tie-dye background is totally working for me here:
This is Sarah Peery’s Fibonnaci Sequence Gone Wild. I like the colours and the over-the-top amount of quilting:
Christy Merritt describes her quilt, Ohio Wedding, as a mashup created for two quilt challenges (Ohio Star Made Modern and Double Wedding Ring challenge). She used a hand-carved linoleum block to print the Ohio stars, and used suiting fabric and curtains to construct the fragmented double wedding ring design. I love the texture of the block printing, and the improvised layering of multiple traditional designs.
Jodiy Rusconi’s quilt has islands off it’s shores (the orange is a blank to support the quilt):
Sometimes I liked the backs best… these two squares were on the back of the black cat quilt. The label didn’t make it into my photo, so if anyone knows who the maker of this quilt is, please comment on this post.
Caro Sheridan made a pixelated self portrait of her eye… and the back looks like a hudson bay blanket. Clever.
I learned that crooked will draw my eye from across the street (Cheryl Burnett, Squares a Go Go)…
… as will minimalist designs. This is Kirk Butts’ Crown Royal.
Here’s a cool modern quilt. I can’t read the label in this photo. If you know the maker, please tell.
A nice rendition of Kaffe Fassett’s rice bowls pattern. There was a group of Kaffe-inspired quilts on display because he has a new autobiography out. I’ve always liked this pattern, particularly the way the shadows are pieced in a slightly darker shade.
Diana Jackson’s Gee’s bend-inspired Red Square has great texture:
And, after looking at so many quilts, it’s nice to look at other things. Especially other things with pattern and rhythm:
So long, Sisters.
On the back of each patch, I included a note:
So far nobody has taken me up on the offer to dedicate my chores to them. Weird.
Anyway, I figured it was time to share the whole set of patches.
Rob and I made a trip to Garth’s to visit Neil and his tiny house in the boulders. This trailer kitchen had just been delivered. It has two big gas stovetops, a sink and a barrel grill. Not as swank as the camp kitchen at the A-Z West Encampment, but pretty nice.
The outhouse is pretty charming too.