Sunday, April 25, 2010

Finishes and starts

I started today by finishing a couple of projects. The first was my 12 x 12 quilt that will be revealed May 1. The theme colors this time are from Kristen in Hawaii and they are the colors of the Kilauea  volcano. It has been an interesting challenge. I found my inspiration, surprisingly, in a Native American art exhibit we saw at the Cleveland Art Museum last month. Be sure to come back on the 1st and take a look. The next thing I finished was a flower-themed quilt block which will go into a quilt being made for a friend's birthday. It is meant to be a surprise, so I will say nothing more. But I think I can show you and not give the secret away. I love irises and have done several iris quilts over the years. I think my friend is quite fond of irises as well.

Once those two projects were finished I took some fabric and paints outside and painted this big circle for a new quilt I am about to start. It will be another Oregon-themed quilt. Can you guess from this what it will be? I posted it on Face book earlier and one person guessed that it was Crater Lake. Another said "water—sky" then my niece chimed in that it was definitely Crater Lake. It's not Crater Lake, but amazing Crater Lake would certainly be a good Oregon subject.

It will be a glass float on an Oregon Beach. This is a childhood memory of trips, with my grandparents to the Oregon Coast. In those days you could still occasionally find the glass floats from Japanese fishing nets that washed up on the beach. I wanted to find one in the worst way, and one day I did, though I suspect in hindsight that my grandfather planted it for me to find. I wrote about it back here.

Even though the floats came from Japan, I think of them as quintessentially Oregon. You see them hanging in seafood restaurants along the coast and in gardens and homes all over Western Oregon. Apparently there was something about the tides that brought so many of them to Oregon beaches. They are quite rare now that most of the floats used are plastic, but I have heard that they still wash up occasionally. They were made as strictly utilitarian items from recycled sake bottles, but I think they are quite beautiful.

Here is what it looks like now that I have finished painting and it is dry and cut out into a circle. I think it captures something of the look of those wobbly globes of bubbly glass. My task now will be to create a beach context for it. Otherwise it could easily be a green bowling ball. In the spirit of my other Oregon piece, Douglas Fir Cone, it is larger than life-size.


  1. I love it and knew nothing of these glass floats. You are always so ingenious. Well, not always, but almost.

  2. Terry, I love the concept and can't wait to see what you do with it. Gerrie, your comment has me LOL!

  3. I think of those floats as being very Hawaiian! They are on all the beach houses here next to pele's hair ( and surfboards. :-)

  4. What else could this be than a glass sphere? The character of half-translucent glass is caught so well!

  5. The perfect replica of a glass float. You did inherit your mother's artistic instincts!

  6. It looks not only glassy but spherical as well. Looking forward to seeing the context you create for it.