Yes, I know. I’m about to put together an awesome new weaving toy. I should not take on more projects. But my mother is coming to visit next week, and I’m taking the week off so I can spend time with her. However, since I don’t get out much, I’ve been racking my brains for what we could do together.
Fortunately, yesterday I was going through a collection of fabrics a friend had been keeping for me, and I happened upon these gorgeous painted birds, each in its own 11″ square of fabric.
What a treasure! I had completely forgotten about them. My mother had painted them for me when I was nine or ten years old – I was very enthusiastic about birds then. We had intended to make a quilt from them, but as a young kid, I soon lost interest, and they languished. For over three decades.
So as soon as I saw them, I thought, “What better way to spend a week with my mom than making a cherished family heirloom?” So I asked her if she’d be interested, and she said yes. So I’ve been working on quilt design, so I can have the pattern laid out and the fabric purchased (or dyed) before she arrives.
Here’s the first design I came up with:
(The square box indicates the borders of the bed – I’m planning on making a king size quilt, since that’s what Mike and I have.)
I really didn’t like this design – it felt too static, and the diamonds felt like they were overwhelming the birds. So I went back to the drawing board:
I like this a lot better – the spirals add some motion without being obtrusive, and the value gradation makes the birds float luminously on top of the quilt.
I do need to figure out something more interesting to do around the border, but think that may just be the quilted pattern. I don’t want any color changes to distract from the birds.
The fabrics won’t be solid colors, of course. I’m currently debating whether to use commercial batik fabrics or whether to make my own low-water immersion dyed fabrics. The advantage of doing my own dyeing is that I get precise control over color. The advantage of using commercial fabric is that I don’t spend hours and hours dyeing (remember: I just got a new weaving toy!), and I know exactly what I’ll get. In either case I’ll do a test square or two to confirm that the design works, before proceeding.
It’s said that the New Year is a good time to look back on the year past, and think about the year to come. Many good things happened in 2013, but I think the best by far was this:
And here’s where it all started, at a room in the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, in Santa Clara, CA:
That’s Tigress in the foreground, sniffing at my toe. Fritz isn’t in the photo, but he was an incredibly friendly kitten, climbing all over the two of us, purring and purring. And you know what? He’s still an incredibly friendly cat, meowing for attention and then purring and purring and purring in my lap.
So here’s to a wonderful year past, and a wonderful year (one hopes!) in the future.