Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That...


Spring has finally come to Oregon. I was so glad to see these daffodils just explode this week. We have had rain—it is Oregon, after all, but interspersed with enough sunny sky to make me a happy camper. Sofia spent the day with me last Friday, as she had no school that day, and we went to the art museum, had lunch outdoors downtown, and made origami butterflies, using some of my batik fabrics instead of paper. I stiffened the fabric with some goop to make it fold and crease like paper. 


I have been quilting like a crazy woman and finished my "blue" quilt and started another.  Here is "first day of school, new blue dress."


Here is a close up of her face. Strangely, I think she looks more serene up close. Doesn't she look a little worried in the view above?


I have looked at this too long and have lost objectivity, but I think I may have, once again, been a little done in by the size (24" x 60"). I worry that the figure is nearly overwhelmed by the background. If I were making it the size that it probably should be, instead of the size proscribed by the show, it probably would have been like this.  Maybe if it is not juried in, or sometime later, it will be.


All this quilting has required a lot of thread and I want to report that I used the inexpensive Connecting Threads thread, that I wrote about here, almost exclusively. I had one spool of an expensive "gourmet" brand that gave me fits, as one ply would begin to catch in the needle, shredding and creating a snarly bit. That would then be too large to pass through the needle and break the thread. Repeatedly. Aaaargh. The CT thread never does that. Same needle, same settings. It sews beautifully. I am sold. I just got more, to fill in some color holes in my collection.  Easter egg pretty!


Part of my order were several spools of their new variegated thread.


I don't love a lot of variegated threads, especially the really high contrast ones, but these seemed more subtle and potentially useful.  I have no affiliation with Connecting Threads, but I do love this thread. 

So, do you have daffodils yet?  What a winter....



22 comments:

  1. I LOVE seeing your Daffodils! Hope of Spring to come... Still free from color here in NE PA... Love the colors of your butterflies, new quilt and threads...

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  2. No color here yet and that is hard to believe. We should be about half way through tulips.

    What are the dimensions of the quilt? Sometimes it is easier to visualize if you give the measurements. I really like the dress and especially the bibbed yoke and ruffle.

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  3. interesting how her expression changes depending on distance... but the human face is like that, isn't it?

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  4. No daffodils here - but hopefully soon. I agree with your comment about the background overwhelming the girl. Yet, when you cropped it, the connection to the school and the flag was lost, and it became a single image with much less meaning. I'm baffled that you get such expression in faces. Very well done.

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  5. I think the school girl reflects my attitude for the first day of school. There was always the worry of a new teacher, new school, etc. So, in the morning my face was full of worry and concern. This was replaced with calmness by lunch time. So, you have captured that feeling well. :) I like both versions, but I see what you mean about the cropped version. The origami butterflies are wonderful. The daffs and tulips close to the house on the south face opened today. Everything seems to be opening all at once. I am over the moon happy with all that color.

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  6. Anonymous2:32 PM

    I like the cropped image too.

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  7. I have three explosions of daffodils in the front yard. Just looking at them makes me happy. A tough job with the cold I have at the moment.

    I like your butterflies. Very cheery! A friend makes silk origami dragons - they're sortof based on cranes but a couple folds different. The fiber makes them really interesting. I think she gets $10 a pop for them at Farmers Market. Go figure - I'd have never dreamed anyone would buy something like that. And that's why I have a day job. LOL

    24"x60" seems an odd shape. Part of the challenge no doubt. I will admit to secretly liking your cropped version better.

    Happy Spring!

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  8. Yes, in NC, we have had daffodils for a while now. The last cold snap left them face down in the dirt, on the drive, etc. They have recovered and we are enjoying them.

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  9. I left a comment earlier which did not take. Hmmm. Trying again. I feel the larger than life background emphasizes the feeling a child has on the first day of school. Every thing is bigger and scarier until you get into your classroom and find your friends and a smiling teacher.

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  10. Nope, no daffodils in my neck of the woods yet but no new snow either. There's hope!

    I was very taken with that long path up the hill to the school house on top. I felt it added to the story, A LOT, and did not diminish your main character at all. It spoke to me of the separation and even loneliness and apprehension a young child sometimes feels heading alone into that first day of school - even if there's also an underlying excitement. I might crop a little off the top to reduce the amount of sky but not enough to eliminate the school house, but other than that, I think a lot of subtle meaning would be lost if you cropped the quilt as in your example.

    I'm so glad that you are having good results with the thread from Connecting Threads - it has been my favorite for a long time. I was excited to see them offer it in the variegated and plan to order perhaps the full line. It is helpful to hear your comment about its subtlety, because I too prefer that in a variegated thread.

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  11. We have some daffodils in Weiser, ID in a very protected warm place by the events center. The quilt is beautiful, I love how you do people.

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  12. Regarding the size of your quilt......I love the schoolhouse in the distance with the sun coming up behind it in the beautiful sky. It tells the 'story' of the girl getting ready to go to school in the morning with book in hand. And then you show a cropped version. Yes, in a way it's a better composition I guess, but it doesn't tell the whole story to me. The bottom line for me is they are both beautiful. And yes, my daffodils are in full bloom and have been for over a week. Hooray!!

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  13. I wouldn't change a thing. I love what you did with the sky and grass and without the school it would just be a "portrait" quilt IMO. Plus, I really like what The Idaho Beauty said!
    No daffodils here in Las Vegas but lots of cherry or some kind of trees with bright pink blossoms. We had a wonderful winter with just one night of covering the citrus trees all year. So glad I'm not still in Mpls!
    Heading to the Connecting Threads site now.

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  14. Don't lose the schoolhouse, as I think it adds to the story and helps create a mood for the little girl. Otherwise, why would she have pencils in her hand? I like the stretched out look for a change.

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  15. I really like the girl-going-to-school quilt. I prefer the original version, and especially like the glow of light emanating from the schoolhouse. As another commenter said, it tells a story. The cropped version is just a cute little girl. You're right about her facial expression. From afar it is a little sad, but when you get closer she has a look of quiet amusement. Like Mona Lisa! I love a quilt that can be enjoyed as much from across the room as from close-up. Good job.

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  16. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Daffodils we have and purple bearded iris as well, but this is Southern CA. Everything thinks it's spring down here right now. I really could use another good rain storm from the north west ( if you've an extra you wouldn't mind redirecting).
    I agree about resizing your wonderful little girl in blue. She is most charming and beautifully done. Thank you for sharing.
    Sally
    San Diego CA

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  17. no daffodils here yet, but i'm ready for them! i have had a love affair going with connecting threads for a while now. if you get on their mailing list, they will send you the occasional email with their sales. watch for their thread sale (usually once a year, but really discounted prices) and stock up then. the 100% cotton essentials works extremely well in my longarm machine also. it does create some lint, so i lightly clean the bobbin area each time i change the bobbin. your piece is exquisite, by the way!

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  18. Daffodils? We are barely starting to see the GROUND! I'm just starting to have a little hope that winter may finally be ending!

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  19. It is time to plant our daffodils here, that is of course, if you bothered to dig them up last year. I have so many I certainly don't do it. but still months to go. mine will come up in august september.
    Your quilt is amazing! I am so in awe of your ability!

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  20. Our daffodils bloomed and died over a month ago. Our crazy weather has confused our poor flowers here in So. Cali.

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  21. I need to try some of this thread. Thanks for reiterating that you like it.

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  22. That extreme vertical is a tough one! In most cases I find it awkward, and I agree with you that the girl is overwhelmed. Oh well. Them's the breaks when we have to follow what the venue wants and not what each individual art piece wants. You can crop her later if you still want to.There have however, been a few times when I've seen work that is normally pretty "meh," forced into that vertical and become more dynamic.

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