Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sewing square

Here are what I must determinedly stitch upon in the next few days:

The picture quality is lousy, sorry about that. But I am quite happy with the results of my piecing. Sure, some - well, many - of the corners don't match up just right, but the Amish always include "flaws" in their quilts to let the spirit out, or so as not appear to be in competition with God. Not sure which. But I am willing, especially at this point, to endorse any such arguments.

Now, on to quilting. Somehow I decided that it would be nice to hand quilt. Don't get me wrong, it would be nice. I am just not sure if the amount of time it seems it will take me even exists! I have done one so far, and have started a second. Probably the best idea is just to do as many as possible and then not feel guilty about finishing up on the machine.

The final plan for the project, at this point (it continuously changes), is to applique the hand-developed photos onto the back of the quilted squares. Have I mentioned these photos before? hmm, seems I have discussed photos, but have not actually imparted their importance to the work.

The photos are of domestic or crafting tools, and are photos I took on black and white film, developed, and am now in the process of learning how to print onto liquid-emulsion covered fabric. I had been intrigued with the idea of liquid emulsion for some time, and was very excited to be experimenting with it. So the photos, in the works and not something I really want to think too much about right at the moment (turns out, liquid emulsion on fabric is something of a nightmare! who knew?), will be cut and stitched onto the backside of the pieced squares, and the whole deal will be sewn together into a sort of fabric book.

I have an image of what that final product will look like, right here in my mind's eye. Its gorgeous. Now I just have to make the physical reality match. Here's to lots of tiny little stitches!!!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

like the proverbial bee

I've just been so busy, what with all this quilting going on, that I have not had a chance to snap a photo of any of it. Ofcourse, I haven't only been quilting. Quite truthfully, not a whole lot of that has been going on. Instead, I have been travelling...

... and working...

... and trying to catch up on schoolwork.

Tonight I painted. It was good.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Weighty issues

I have this strange notion that modern sewing machines will never appeal to me because of weight issues: they are just too light to be reliable. I'm really not sure where that came from, except that I remember using a friend's machine in highschool and it bounced around and made things difficult. Probably that was more due to the table it was sitting on - some sort of boards piled on plastic crates if I remember correctly - and less on the actual machine, but it seems to have stuck.

This machine of mine certainly meets all requirements for heftiness. It is old. Quite old. But it has character in a way I am just not convinced a new computerized machine can have. Sure, it drives me nuts with the threads getting caught up in the bobbin, and there are no settings for automatically stitching perfect flowers, but it does have a wonderful tin full of attachments that I do not know what to do with (I don't have a photo of that now, but will add one soon in case anyone cares to aid in identification...).


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Coming into focus...

It seems with artistic projects, I always take some time to settle in, to figure out exactly what I want to say or show; sort of as if the materials work *with* me to a finished piece, rather than my imposing an idea onto them. It is the same with this writing, it started pretty scattered, as I jumbled the bits of my everyday life together into photographs and narration that amused me, but I think I am starting to have direction - a focus - and that it, for now at least, this project and my increasing interest in craft and gender. I will probably digress somewhat at times, but really, as I get more into these subjects, they seem to relate to prety much every other aspect of my life as well, so it works out.

And so, in keeping with my newfound focus, here is a visual of what I am up to:

The combination of traditional and modern tickles me, although of course it is totally nothing new.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Photo session

So the most procrastinated, and most growing-in-importance-as-time-runs-out part of my degree project is the darn photos. Originally they were to be portraits of the characters in the funny neighborhood I call home. But that idea was displaced as the project formed itself, and the final plan is portraits of domestic and crafting tools. That's why the measuring tape was the subject of this week's photoshoot...

And yes, those are measuring cups and a pastry cutter waiting patiently in the wings.

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Friday, March 2, 2007

on a quilt piecing rampage!

I have been having a blast trying out several quilt piecing patterns. The hexagons originated as an excuse for watching The Wire while keeping myself believing that work was getting done, but I became quite fond of the handsewing and now I am attempting another hand-pieced geometric pattern.

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