Recycling

Its pretty popular nowadays to recyle and repurpose things. And textile art is a great medium for doing that. I still can’t resist a good wool jacket at the thrift store, even though I know a good part of it has been faced, and not useful for rug hooking. I have a bin full of linen and silk clothing that I have picked up at the thrifts. I hope to use it in a quilt one day. Maybe this will be the year.

I have recycled quite a few sweaters. I used to dye the fiber, spin the yarn, and knit my own sweaters. And I used to wear a different size. So when I lost a lot of weight, I unraveled some of those sweaters. That was a lot of really nice wool and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

Once I knit a sweater for my dad. Poor dad. It wasn’t really a very masculine sweater. But to be honest, it wasn’t very feminine either. I brought it home with me when we cleared his house out. That was a lot of really nice yarn.

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Its been four years now. I found it when I was looking for something else in the storage shed. I unraveled the parts of the sweater that  I could. The front was constructed the way they used to make fair isle sweaters–knitted in one piece, and then cut and hemmed. So that made it useless to unravel. But a good part of the sleeves and part of the back were in good shape.

 

Of course, when something has been knitted for a long time, the yarn is  kind of crinkly. So you need to skein it and re-wash it. In the end I have quite a bit of this beautiful blend of angora, silk, and merino wool. I will make something nice and cozy that will remind me of my dad. It won’t be as much a memory of him wearing this sweater as it will be a memory of how kind he was and how much he supported all my creative endeavors.

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First Finish of the New Year!

I was looking for something else, and I found this older quilt that I had started hand quilting quite a long time ago. It seemed like just the project for my evening stitching during the holiday season. And then, when I got sick, I had even more time to just sit and stitch endlessly. Once I got started, I didn’t really want to stop, because I knew it might end up back in that pile of never-to-be-finished projects. And I really liked this quilt. I had had fun picking out the colors I would use, and how I would place them on the quilt.

I believe it is a pattern from Debbie Caffrey’s “Open a Can of Worms.” And originally, I think it was meant to be a signature quilt, where you could have friends put their signatures or best wishes in those white spaces. LOL. I don’t have that many friends. I just liked the pattern way back when.

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I took this picture so you could see the hand quilting I did on the colored parts of the quilt. After that was all finished, I decided that I would outline quilt each white section with perle cotton the same color as the blocks nearest to that section.

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And then I put the binding on it, and I even finished that by hand, because I didn’t feel like sitting at the sewing machine for that long. And then I threw it in the washing machine, and now I have a new quilt to use on my bed. A very cheery quilt 🙂

The last two days I’ve finally gotten back out into the studio, to work on my rug. Once I take such a long break from a project, it is hard for me to get back to it. I get intimidated, and feel like I just won’t know what to do next. So today, when I finished all the grassy area around the horse, it was a great victory. And it even still looks like a horse 🙂 Now more decisions need to be made. But now I feel a little more confident about my next step.

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I am attending a rug hooking retreat at the end of January, and I am going to try doing an “improv” rug. The idea being, that it won’t be as fussy to work on as this rug, and will go a lot faster. I think it will be fun, and also it will be a way to use some of the wool that I’ve been gathering!

2015 Year in Review

Here are the quilts I completed in 2015. There were a number of quilt tops that I finished, and techniques that I explored, but in the end I decided that I would only include completely finished projects.

In February of 2015 I exhibited a number of my quilts at Oak Hills Church gallery–quilts from the two series “The Signature of Jesus,” and “The Psalsm.” I made several of these small crosses at the beginning of the year.

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And this was also a last minute finish for the exhibition:

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I made this small piece for special friends who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

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I really like this next quilt–made using my “zig zag technique.” I’m using it on the foot of my bed right now.

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Another in The Psalms series, finished after the above mentioned exhibition. This is one of the few quilts where I have done the kantha style stitching across the complete background of the quilt. It is very time consuming, but effective, I think.

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The nine patch quilt. I worked a long time on this one, and finally finished it last year. But I don’t actually like it that much–its a little too jarring for me.

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I started a series called “What They Said,” and only got as far as finishing these next two pieces. There are another 15 just waiting to be finished! Hoping to get to that soon.

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A little experimental stitching:

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And I finished the Kandinski inspired quilt that I had started the previous fall with Rosalie Dace.

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I was inspired to try a new method of using the kantha stitching.

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“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature.”

 

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“Every good thing given comes down to us from God our Father who created all the lights in the heavens.”

And I finished a little lap quilt that is one of my all time favorites!

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I couldn’t help myself. I made several of these rag rugs.

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I found and finished this little project.

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“Be Filled with Joy.” Another experiment with stitching on a quilt.DSCN3337

Finished a quilt top for my gardener’s new granddaughter.

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And the Fire Quilt. Inspired by a worship service at our church held while the Butte Fire was still burning in our community.

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“A Closer Look.” Just fun fun fun. Using my little box of two inch squares, my zig zag technique, my baggie of Cherrywood fabrics, and a lot of perle cotton embroidery thread!

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“His Kingdom Will Never End.” The last quilt I finished, and probably the one I think is my best composition.

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I finished the year as I do many times. Quietly hand quilting on an older quilt top. Dreaming of all the new projects and techniques that I want to try in the coming year. Wishing all the best for you and your families in 2016!

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