Monday, April 22, 2013

Postcard from Italy

vault box cover
No bella vista from Trieste.

Instead, it's the cover of a vault box - similar to a manhole cover. Embedded in the sidewalk, underneath may be a utility meter.

I found other covers just as interesting. But this motif reminds me of Heather P.'s., so this postcard is for her. Check out her wonderfully evolving tuning fork series here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


A big project has come to fruition. But it's not be what you might think. I've survived a butt-numbing flight to Italy!

Tonight I'm staying near Marco Polo airport. Tomorrow the real vacation starts: Trieste, Padova, Feltre and Venice. It's been a long time since a vacation does not mean a week-long workshop!

Ciao, bella y bello!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quick & simple projects

Some time ago I'd replace the binding on an old blanket: 
new binding on old blanket
and transformed it into a designer item. Buoyed by that success, I made some quick & simple pragmatic things while the studio was in transition.

Studio trash container repurposed from a 25-pound rice sack:
simple & quick studio waste basket
Case for my tai chi sword & saber:
case, saber & sword
Designing the pattern and adjusting the fit were not so quick nor simple, but at least it didn't take that long.

Then there's the long promised bed quilt, which I'd posted about previously. Due to its size, definitely not quick but fairly simple:
on the wall before corners were filled in
 trial layout on the bed, unquilted
It looks quite different on the bed - something to keep in mind for the next (if ever) bed quilt.

I was on a pragmatic roll and signed up for a guild workshop. A collaged vest to kill three birds with one stone: make my first art-to-wear, use a clothing pattern from my ever-growing collection, and reduce the stash of print fabric.

First I made a fitting muslin to try out the two different front placket options. The pattern is Lois Ericson's In the Studio - 7, Folds and Edges.
muslin vest on the design wall
muslin vest on an old (deformed) dress form
During the workshop, the instructor, Christine Barnes, helped me with the right front panel. After the workshop, I worked on the other two sections, the back yoke and the left front under panel, on my own. These took forever to look right; tortuous instead of quick and simple. 
collaged front panels and back yoke, before stitching
covered with stitches & washed
By the time it will be finished, it'd be too warm to wear. So it's going into the ufo pile. Not permanently - just until fall.

Then there's the baby quilt for my first grand nephew due in May. I decided against that project (that's how I spell relief). Instead, four siblings and I got together on a group gift off their Pottery Barn baby registry - a dresser with a changing table topper - that'll match the crib from my nephew's mother (another sister).

Remind me not to do start any quick & simple projects; enough pragmatism for the year. No more diversions or procrastinations. The studio may be a work in progress, but it's time to refocused on my non-pragmatic work.