New Look

March 29, 2009

It's Coming Along

Today it seems like early Spring. The weather has been almost 50 degrees F outside with a gentle but persistent rain. The kind that make Spring bulbs start to peek up... testing the air with little green fingers. A few crocuses, some daffies and tiny daylily greens. It's coming....Spring may make it here, yet.

The quilt blocks are coming along also. Two more bloomed for me this weekend. I love Brodiaeas. They hide in the grass waiting to surprise you. I found these frequently in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California, as well as the grasslands of the Sacramento Valley. They look rather like wild onions but are blue or purple.

These had a hard time 'sticking' on the silk. And, if you look closely, you can see my little bits of red thread holding down tips of flower petals. They did felt in but loosely. When I do embroider these for details the threads will remind me where to carefully detail or tack them down.

My second block is of cone flowers. There were at least three different types that I remember growing in East Texas. The purple variety I liked the best....but I needed more zippy color for the quilt, so I did more of the Mexican Hat type. I like they way these turned out.

I haven't counted how many blocks I have yet....but I thought I might put them out on the felting table to see how they look together.

I couldn't get them all in at one setting. I should have got a chair. There are ruffles of silk around the blocks which are overhang on the wool of the bottom layer. Those will be clipped away I think.

I found that I was making most of them the same size. My plan is for green pieces between the blocks with vines or leaves. I think it should pull the whole together. I've not ever done such a large project.

Next weekend it's off to upstate New York for a Northeast Feltmakers Guild meeting. No working on the blocks, or blog for that matter. I will have pictures to share, members willing, when I return. They are a fantastic group. It's always hard for me to organize and travel far for only 2 days, but I'll visit with friends and be weary yet full with new ideas when I return.

March 22, 2009

Dyeing for Flowers

Well, most of the weekend was spent traveling to and from New Hampshire. For some reason I forgot my camera and took no pictures. It was not much of an Art/Picture tour anyway but the view from our friends home is spectacular and looks out down the hills toward the Connecticut River. We visited and had a lovely time. I bought beads. So many beads. But I love beads.

The ground is still mostly dormant but we did see Baskin' Robins...out catching the sun. And one vulture, with it's wings so wide showing several missing feathers. When do vultures moult, I wonder?

We talked of gardens, vegetables and flowers. Then cut pussy willows for my house. We drove to a yarn shop and I bought gorgeous hand dyed yarn to make some socks.

But as always, I return to felting. I have been doing some dyeing. I needed more colors for the flowers...or so I've told myself. I love dyeing silk. The sheen and touch is like nothing else.

I hope to be inspired by these warm colors to make more sun loving wildflowers. But I love greens and did 5 different dye pots.

I also finished the violets. At first I wasn't as pleased with them...they looked too much like the periwinkles. But now....I'm not sure. I suppose I will make more than what I need for the quilt and make decisions for the final cut later.

I have also finished the Mission Bells. These flowers hold a special place in my heart. I found them on a walk one day totally unexpected. It was like finding something magic. I almost expected a fairy to come out from the tangle of leaves and scold me for staring.

Doreen, the size of the blocks range from 12 by 16 inches to 18 by 18 inches when they are done. I think I will need about 30 .... perhaps more .... as this will be for a king size bed. Speaking of which, I'm off to bed to read then sleep...then dream.

Some colors exist in dreams that are not present in the waking spectrum. ~The Quote Garden

March 15, 2009

Flowers flowers everywhere

....but none in the garden. The ground is still frozen on the south side of the house. The ground uneven .... heaved to an irregular surface. I pulled some dried grass-like leaves from a daylily and did find some very tiny short green shoots...but only a few. So it is warm enough to run the dogs but not to garden. Back in the studio to dream of Spring and Summer blooms.

A common wildflower here in Rhode Island is Rosa Rugosa. It is very hardy. So frequently found in the sandy soil of the beach, it is often referred to as a Beach Rose. They come in a vibrant pink and a clear white.

The colors are not true on my monitor, but it is in the felt. I'm pleased with this one.

One of my favorite flowers is the Cyclamen. In California the Shooting Stars were sprinkled over most of my property. Here in Rhode Island, I planted some and hope to see them this year. The block is not a shooting star but a cultivated cyclamen.

I like the background of this with the mottled greens. I dye all of my silk in a crock pot and prefer the mottled result. It seems to make my cartoons less static in my eye.

Both of these will need either machine or hand embroidery to complete the details but I think they are in keeping with the theme. Back to the studio....where I will finish Checkered Lilies today and work on violets. Violets are the state flower of Rhode Island and are terribly invasive in my yard.

March 8, 2009

Spring Thaw...Again

The temperatures were in the high 50s and felt like real Spring today. But the weatherman predicts rain sleet and snow for tomorrow. I think this is what you call 'unsettled weather'. A few brave daffies have poked their heads above ground in the South facing garden. The shade garden still clings to soft wet drifts of winter.

I did finish 2 more blocks but only have one picture to show. It was too nice outside to sit at the computer. I took the dogs for a run instead. We found lots of tracks, this time in the mud. The same mud they used to track up the kitchen floor when we returned.

The background of the bleeding hearts looks grey in this picture. But it is a soft teal, for the shade. The soft blue green on the edge of my garden.

I've been dreaming in greens. Spring greens and shade greens, grass greens and leaf greens. The air smelled damp today. That smell before the greens. Why is it I bemoan the passing too quickly of my time, yet want the garden to hurry to the next stage? Oh, I'm so ready for Spring.

March 1, 2009

Sun and Snow

Yesterday was so nice I did little inside. It took the dogs out for a run and listened to the birds. There are little tiny signs of spring. Tiny green peeks of daffies in a sheltered spot....and No Snow! Finally the ice and snow had melted although the ground was still hard in most places. But there was enough thaw that muddy dog prints could be seen on the tiles.

But now there is a big storm and it is snowing and snowing and snowing. The flakes are tiny and drift and swirl in the wind but they do not enchant me as they do in early winter. They are predicting 6 to 10 inches total accumulation. Bleech. I'm am tired of schleping through the snow and am ready for Spring.

Maybe that's why I started flowers on my quilt? I have made a little progress. The Phlox are finally finished. They languished on the table for over a week. I work in fits and starts sometimes. I then did this Water Lily. I like the blues and shades of green but the design had two leaves and this looks like just one.

I now have Bleeding Hearts on the I'm off to finish that and maybe another .... since I'm loath to deal with the snow today. Tomorrow I'll have to dig myself out....hopefully the weatherman is wrong....they are sometimes. 6 to 10 In like a Lion Out like a Lamb.