Tag

Quilt Patterns

Gone to the Dogs

By | Lula, Ordinary Days

This week has gone to the dogs. Well, to my dogs anyway: Sirius, Snug, and Lula. You hear about Lula all the time because she is basically a miracle disguised as a hiccup. But before Lula, there were Sirius and Snug.

Sirius is pretty much a dog’s dog and other than having serious separation anxiety, which I will not embarrass him by discussing here, spends his time doing ordinary doggy things. He doesn’t have a lot of time for hanging around art projects and posing for pictures, though I do have this one of him with Snug — before Snug got his hair cut.

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Snug, on the other hand, is a total ham and would gladly photo-bomb every shot I take of Lula if he could. He LOVES Lula and alternates between licking her sweetly, or stepping on her head and sitting on her chest. He weighs 15 lbs. which is close to 3 times as much as Lula, so she doesn’t put up with that for long!

Anyway, everyday this week has had a doggy demand — vaccinations, grooming, tryouts at Camp Bow Wow. It’s exhausting. I’ve barely had any time for art. So instead I’m sharing 2 of my 3 favorite reasons for putting the projects off until tomorrow….

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By the way, that quilt they are playing on is the one I’m Kantha stitching for Lula to hula on. So see! I am trying to get work done. It just doesn’t look like I am.

Who Knew?

By | Lula

This is as close as Lula will ever get to wearing a grass skirt.

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This is probably as close as Lula will ever get to picnicing in Hawaii.

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This is a detail of the quilt I block printed with the feather wood block from my “Confluence” print — which I have already spent 20 hours Kantha stitching, for future picnics with Lula, and only finished one fifth of so far.

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So is this.

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And why, you ask, go to all this trouble for one little pup with four left paws, who would not eat pineapple if you paid her?

Lula.

Must.

Hula.

Second Helpings: Kantha Stitched Quilts

By | Second Helpings

In addition to finding quilts hugely inspiring for surface pattern design on cigar boxes, dishes, jewelry boxes, and doors, I’m also rather fond of the actual thing.

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And guess what? You can find handmade comforters which have not yet been quilted at just about any secondhand store. My hand to God.

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Personally I like the weird ones. The thoughtless fabric combinations. Though once in a blue moon I do find some real gems like this sweet little polyester number. (Somebody had great color sense and absolutely no tactile sensibility whatsoever!)

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Once you have your un-quilted comforter then mend it if it needs it, wash and dry it, and baste its layers in a big grid or parallel columns just to help keep it square. Then you can begin quilting.

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I do the Kantha stitch which is pretty much just straight stitching in straight lines. I use embroidery floss in colors which contrast with the fabric so they stand out, and I follow the shape of the piece of fabric I’m stitching within.

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One of my favorite stores carries quilts just like this for beaucoup bucks and every time I see them I do the math and figure I’ve got around two grand worth of quilts for about the cost of a year’s worth of streaming Netflix.
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In fact I think I might just hotten my cup, pile on the Kantha quilts and watch a couple or five episodes of Orange is the New Black.
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Nothing wrong with my color sense!

Second Helpings: Painted Cigar Boxes

By | Second Helpings

These may really qualify as “one man’s trash” as opposed to secondhand castoffs finding new life as objet d’art, but either way they start out ordinary, end up special, and that’s enough for me.

I’m talking about painted cigar boxes:

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You should have no problem finding a variety of boxes at smoke shops, or if you have a grandpa or an uncle, or even an interesting aunt who relishes a fragrant Cuban now and then (well who wouldn’t?) you may be lucky enough to find these boxes closer to home.

Once you’ve got the box then all you need is paint. I use that same acrylic paint I’ve been painting everything else in creation with…

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and when I paint I let little bits of the original cigar brand artwork peek through. I like to pick out words or phrases like “ART” or “CAN DO.”

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My patterns lean toward the geometric and often look like quilts. Not much of a stretch for me I guess.

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Sometimes I play with the original images on the box and add more of my own to create a little story.

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So if your recycling is more likely to end up in your studio than in the blue bin out back, and you would never refer to a raw material as trash — consider the humble cigar box.

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And if you run across any fragrant Cubans let me know. I’m working on my Interesting Aunt credential.