Yesterday was 30C despite the rain so the humidity was up round 85% but no one was complaining. We slept under QUILTS last night.
Now on to the creative stuff:
I've been working on another Challenge quilt, this time for the Strathdale Quilters Show at Easter in Bendigo. The challenge was to use two quite disparate pieces of fabric in a piece no larger than 1 metre [ 40"] on any side. I just realised I don't have a close up photo of the challenge fabrics but you may be able to pick them out. One is red with small spots of pink, mauve and green, the other is sort of bullseye circles in rust, pink, yellow and white [ erk ]
Okay. so... thought process?
Now I have to say at the outset that one of the set fabrics I really really really don't like. At all. The other I might well have bought but never in a zillion years would I have paired it up with the other one. So okay, it IS supposed to be a challenge but just once I'd like to be given a fabric or theme that I actually LIKE.
I considered and discarded several options , any of which might have worked, but what clicked was the thought of the hated fabric as fish skin... carp or goldfish specifically.
I unearthed a couple of goldfish blocks I'd played around with years ago. Decided that they wouldn't suit but the block itself would, and then went searching the stash. I knew that I had three goldfish/carp fabrics... one on the same colour as my MX4GD hand dye and two on a vivid cobalt. Either would've worked but the cobalt was just a little toooooo intense for what I had in mind.
A further ferret through the japanese stash unearthed the geisha print which just happened to share the right cast of blue as the remaining carp print and the hand dyed stuff. We have liftoff.
I often get asked how I design my japanese quilts and I think that my answer is probably not all that helpful. It is not an intellectual process. I tend not to design on paper or in the computer. My choices are largely intuitive and evolve in response to the quirks inherent in the available fabric. If I had a slightly different cut of fabric, i might well resolve the problem in a different way.
I apologise for not taking photos up to this point. Basically the process involved pinning slabs of likely combinations up, standing back and then moving them around. The final addition before I took this photo was finding the piece for across the top. I'd actually forgotten I had this one.
I like having narrow side borders and wide top and bottom ones on japanese pieces to reinforce the relationship to japanese scrolls. but I was finding the pink flower in the top fabric intrusive so I've covered it with flowers cut from the geisha print. They are not necessarily meant to draw attention to themselves although there are small areas overlapping into the borders and I probably won't applique them in place until quite late in the process. Similarly those green leaves are covering a very pale part of the print that I found jarring.
The amorphous blob on the right hand side under the 2nd carp will be carp #3. You need to use your visualisation skills at this juncture. Trust me
and I think the placement of the two existing carp is probably going to be reversed ... or possibly the lighter one may end up at the top with the carp fabric next and then the 2 darker ones. Sometimes you just need to see the photos on the monitor.
The hardest part has been sticking to the "no larger than 40" restriction. This one really wants to be longer.
and for those who are interested in such things [ and in the interest of giving credit where it's due ] the carp block is from a pattern by June Colburn that I bought from her in 1996 in Paducah, KY. She even autographed the pattern pack for me.
Anyway, moving on: this mauve piece just happened in about 5 minutes while I was playing with the carp one . I've been making a sample for a class at Daylesford involving sashiko and vintage kimono silk... this isn't it ... BUT the pile of silk was sort of sitting on the edge of the table and the piece with the black border leapt onto the design wall. The triangles having been cut and then discarded from the sashiko piece were languishing unloved and unwanted on the top of the pile. I guess you could say I has an epiphany and roughly 2 minutes later THAT was up on the wall but rotated 90 degress from where it is now. Because I tilted the camera sideways I got to see it from a different angle. I like it better this way ... except I think I might like it even better if I turn it upside down so that the darker mauve is at the bottom. what do you think?
I was going to show you what I have been knitting as well but I think I'll save it for next post. Instead I'll leave you with my family of knitted guinea pigs. CUTE huh? The brown one I bought at Apollo Bay last year when I was there teaching. David loves it and carries it around for hours at a time.[ and this is the guy who's terrified of almost all animals ] The other two arrived in the mail just before Christmas from my lovely hostess in Apollo Bay, Judy H. Since then I have had to rescue the baby one from maurauding cats on a regular basis.