April 1, 2019

A Fun Couple of Weeks

I've had a bit of a lull between repair projects these last couple of weeks, and have been enjoying working on projects that are mostly for me, meaning they mostly don't have anyone waiting at the other end for me to finish them.  So relaxing!

Here's what's been on my worktable:

---Upper left, manila envelope - from someone repairing an 1890s crazy quilt that had been finished at some point in the 1900s with a batting and floral print back that has pretty well totally disintegrated.  She sent me some pieces of the back and batt to do burn tests and see if I could identify fibers.  The back fabric is definitely silk.  I'm still a bit mystified by the batting, as the closest test result indicates rayon.....but I'm not seeing any talk of early rayon being used for battings.  Needs more research!

---Center, "Protect" quilt block -  This is my fourth block for the Social Justice Sewing Academy.  Their mission statement:  "Piecing together youth voices, textile art, and community in a 21st Century Sewing Circle."  There are workshops that teach fabric art skills along with discussions of social justice.  The blocks are sent out to volunteers like myself to be embroidered and embellished, and then go on to other volunteers for quilt construction and quilting.

It's a super, marvelous program.  I have loved every block I've had - the great artistic and expressive skills that are being fostered, along with creating a chance for young people to find their political voices.  Here's the first block I embroidered:

---Front right, fancy embroidered fabric - This is a Chinese robe, given to me by my friend Martha.  Some of the appliqué that edges the embroidery has raveled away, and I'm trying to figure out a way to replace it without going nuts with the appliqué in the process.  Hee, hee.

---Back right, plastic bags - I took a pine needle basketry workshop, via the needlework guild here, with Pam Talsky.  I've been fascinated by pine needle baskets for eons.  This was a super class!  I'm hooked, folks....as if I need another all-consuming handwork medium.  I finished my little basket, more like a tray I guess.  It's 6" - 7" on a side.


---On the design wall - I also have taken some major steps forward on a new Something From Nothing quilt.  I'm happy with the look so far.  Yea!  But then again..... hmmmm.....  Maybe too many diamonds?  Maybe have some of them overlap onto the borders?  Hmmmmm.....  The outer border is scraps from the time my daughter and I recovered our dining room chairs, probably something like 15 years ago.

---And a last minute addition to the list, because I'm never one to finish everything before I start something new....  I've decided to make a little quilt to enter at a special exhibit at this year's Sacred Threads show.  It's called Eye Contact: Creating a Connection.  I've decided to make the pupils with gold lamé rather than boring black.  Facial lines, eyelashes, and whiter hairs will be added with embroidery.  Due: May 31. 

---And now, Monday is here, back to quilt repair.....  This is a mistresspiece - 3/4" hexies plus the lovely teeny green diamond pathways.  A lovely rendition of the perennial favorite.

Meanwhile outside, Chicagoland is waiting for the buds to open....

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