Entries categorized "Nature" Feed

Midnight Swim - A Finish

I made this quilt top a year ago and finally got around to quilting it now.  This post is edited from what I wrote back then.

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Midnight Swim 38" x 60"

    August always brings back this memory.  

    It was a brutally hot night, not a breeze to be had, and not having air-conditioning was putting a strain on everyone's sense of humor.  Someone threw out the idea of a midnight swim (I think it was me).  Actually it was closer to 8 p.m., but when you are little and it's summer and it's dark out, it might as well be midnight.  It was a quick walk to the beach and we were all good swimmers but we made sure to look out for each other.  I sat at the water's edge for a good long time, not too sure that I wanted to go in, but no breeze meant plenty of mosquitos and they were getting to me.  I started splashing around, inching closer to full-fledged dunk, when the water lit up with blue-green bubbles.  I had disturbed some microscopic creatures and they let loose with their bioluminescene.  I fell into the water with a big splash and my arms were covered with sparkles.  It was like having a bunch of shooting stars in you hair.  It blew my mind.  Everyone began to dive and jump and splash and the water just lit up.  The idea of becoming a mermaid seemed a worthwhile pursuit and I'm pretty sure I dreamed about doing so that very night.  It was an amazing experience - a truly beautiful moment.

    A few years later, I saw the movie JAWS and needless to say, never again did I swim after the sun went down, let alone midnight.

      I never became a mermaid either, and we eventually got air-conditioning.  I played with becoming a coastal biologist, but I went to film school instead.  I still go to the beach on hot nights and wonder about the little creatures swimming around my feet.  I think about them when I'm sitting in my air-conditioned living room, which is where the idea for this quilt, Midnight Swim, came about.  I was messing around with some hexagons when the image of a coastline presented itself to me.  From that, it became a tribute quilt to that night on Long Island Sound, when we had turquoise sparkles in our hair and green bubbles on our shoulders, and not having air-conditioning was not such bad thing; it led us outside to a world of wonder.

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During the coldest months, this quilt will remind me of that wonderfully warm night.  It will remind me to turn off my phone, turn off the television, put on my coat and gloves, and go outside.

        Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer.

Take care,

Pam

 


A Few Finishes

I'm so happy to show you two quilts. 

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Day For Night, #1 

42" x 50", 100% cotton, machine-pieced, hand-pieced, hand-quilted

The idea behind this quilt came out of one of those nights where I just couldn't get to sleep.  I had so much stuff on my mind - not big stuff, just A LOT of stuff, random stuff - and I knew that I was going to need a nap the next day - highly unlikely in reality.  I am one of those people who needs a solid night's sleep or I just feel funky the next day.  The piecing on this was completely random . . . just like all that stuff that keep popping into my head.  It took me only 26 hours to hand quilt.  I am so happy with this quilt and really enjoyed putting it together.  I absolutely love it and want to try another.

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Bleach Blanket Solo #1

46 x 60" machine pieced, machine quilted  

This top has been laying around for way too long and one day I just decided to go for it.  It is based on Ruth Finley's pattern, Streak O' Lightning (1929), and made with Jennifer Paganelli's gorgeous tropical cottons and Kona Chartreuse.  Working on this gave me new respect for machine quilters, particularly those of you who do it on a standard machine.  

I have a vision of laying on this quilt on a beautiful sunny day, with the perfect summer read and a cold drink by my side.  I'll wash it every time I use it and by September it will be the softest thing.  I'll probably fall asleep on it, the book unread and the drink, warm.

I guess I better bring both quilts - and the sunscreen.

Take care,

Pam


Burst

It's been a contemplative winter here.  Anything I've had to say has been on Instagram (@jumpcutarts).   Not focusing so much on writing has allowed me to accomplish much more.

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This is Burst.  It is for my nephew's annual fundraiser for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which was a week ago today.

 I really loved working on this project.   The stars are hand pieced; the rest assembled by machine.  About 52 hours of hand quilting later and it was a wrap.

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Thanks for coming by.  Have a beautiful week.

 

Take care,

Pam

 

 

 

 


The Frame Is Up

So we got about five inches of the snow this weekend.

I was okay with all of that because sometimes you just need one of those days at home to do all that stuff that never got done during the holidays.

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Then I rewarded myself by putting my next quilt in the frame and getting down to the work.

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Of course, I never have less than a few projects going on at once, so if I wasn't at the frame I was at my  design dining room table.

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I did a lot of sketching too.  Lots of ideas. 

Take care,

Pam


Less Writing, More Reading. Less Planning, More Making.

It's been kind of quiet here at jump cut arts, at least as far as writing goes.  I have been doing a lot of reading and making.  

My day job has kept the left side of my brain occupied, but my right side has been just as busy.   Leaf-n

I am hand sewing every night - so rewarding, comforting and productive.

I've rediscovered linocut printing, a process I tried years ago and have now fully embraced, and in doing so I found something I lost.

 

 

J-maple-2When I studied photography in college, many years before the digital revolution,  I would spend hours in the lab trying to get the perfect print.  

Having developed my own film (which if you didn't do right, you had to reshoot and hope for the best),  I could only see the final results of my work a few hours later, after a spot was available in the shared lab.  

This was a long process - not then, really, but an eternity by today's standards.  Analog photography takes a long time and it is an expensive pursuit too.  But for a 19 year old who loved the mystery and thrill of the photo lab, I also loved every minute of my mistakes and successes.  

I'd spend any money I made as a teaching assistant on more film and paper (and cappuccinos).   

 

 

So a few weeks ago smack in the middle of peeling a print off a block, all of these college memories came flooding back - a true moment of deja vĂ¹.  

Just as I panicked about exposure times and f-stops in the darkness of that lab years ago, feeling a thrilling bit of discovery and anticipation of work about to reveal itself, I stood at my table and froze.

Had I pressed the print carefully?   K-leaf-no-bg

Used too much ink?  Too little ink?  Did I frame it properly?  Would people get it?  Would people like it? 

My heart was pounding.  I continued to peel.

The print was fine.  

It was a very happy moment for me.

I traveled back in time to the moment I discovered  creative expression, the sheer joy of learning and making, and all the possibilities that process holds.  

I wasn't expecting it, nor was I looking for it, but there it was - I felt renewed.

As you can tell by the accompanying leaves, I started this post a few weeks ago.  By now I should be sharing ornaments and trees and white lights.  The leaves look nice though, so I'll keep them.

This little break from writing has been a good thing for me.  I'm really looking forward to a new year of creativity and I hope you are too.  

 

Take care,

Pam

PS -  If you haven't seen the Pantone Color of the Year (2107), go do it!  Finally, a color I l-o-v-e!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




One Thing Leads To Another

Who amongst us has not walked into their sewing room/fabric storage area/personal library/studio/workspace/wherever you make the beautiful things that you do, and come out with about ten more ideas?  It's a good problem to have, no?  

Have you ever walked into a room and promptly forgotten why you are there?

I've done both.  I tell myself that the reason I forget why I walked into the bathroom/pantry/basement/garage is because my head is full of ideas having just come from my sewing room/fabric storage area/personal library/studio/workspace and there's just no more room in my mind.

So that's the kind of summer it's been - lots of new ideas in my head, some in a sketchbook, some became blocks, there's even a new top.

I'm currently hand-quilting a piece I made three years ago - Take Out/Full Plate.  The good thing is I still love this top, but it always just found it's way to the bottom of my list of things to do.

Fullplate

As the temperatures dip, I'm able to work on it for longer periods of time.  It is 82 degrees right now, however, so there won't be any hand quilting tonight.

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I'm also machine quilting something and that makes me a wee bit nervous.  I do like the way it's going though.

Smores

Then there's the handpiecing . .

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 and the combo machine and hand-piecing . . .

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and a special series of quilts that I've been dreaming about doing for the longest time.  They're in my sketchbook for now . . .

Yet there's a piece of my brain - the analytical part - that's been thinking a lot about the current state of the quilt industry.  I'm sure you've read the news about magazines folding and stores closing, about controversies and disagreements.  There are a lot of changes in the quilting world right now and honestly I don't know what to think of it.  I have never taken a business class in my life so I can't help you on that end.  Of course it has to do with money, but I also think time and expectations, both professional and personal, are big players.  Like the quilt I'm doing now - which came out of a time in my life when my plate was pretty full and I didn't like it - maybe we've got to reassess our goals and intentions. 

Is it too much of a good thing?  Have we reached a saturation point?  Have we forgotten why we do this?

I need to sew some more, and that will lead to thinking and maybe I'll come up with something.

I'd love to know what you think, so please don't be afraid to comment.

By the way, you can follow me on Instagram. I do a lot less thinking over there.

Take care,

Pam

 


Midnight Swim

        These last few weeks have been pretty hot, dry and windy - my kind of weather, but not hand-quilting weather.   I did finish a few tops, and my brain and sketch book are full of ideas, so not all is lost.  

      This kind of heat always brings back a particular memory of a summer night, long, long ago.  It was a brutally hot night when there was not a breeze to be had, and not having air-conditioning was putting a strain on everyone's sense of humor.  Someone threw out the idea of a midnight swim (I think it was me).  Actually it was closer to 8 p.m., but when you are little and it's summer and it's dark out, it might as well be midnight.  It was a quick walk to the beach and we were all good swimmers but we made sure to look out for each other.  I sat at the water's edge for a good long time, not too sure that I wanted to go in, but no breeze meant plenty of mosquitos and they were getting to me.  I started splashing around, inching closer to full-fledged dunk, when the water lit up with blue-green bubbles.  I had disturbed some microscopic creatures and they let loose with their bioluminescene.  I fell into the water with a big splash and my arms were covered with sparkles.  It was like having a bunch of shooting stars in you hair.  It blew my mind.  Everyone began to dive and jump and splash and the water just lit up.  The idea of becoming a mermaid seemed a worthwhile pursuit and I'm pretty sure I dreamed about doing so that very night.  It was an amazing experience - a truly beautiful moment.

    A few years later, I saw the movie JAWS and needless to say, never again did I swim after the sun went down, let alone midnight.

      I never became a mermaid either, and we eventually got air-conditioning.  I played with becoming a coastal biologist, but I went to film school instead.  I still go to the beach on hot nights and wonder about the little creatures swimming around my feet.  I also think about them when I'm sitting in my air-conditioned living room, which is where the idea for this quilt, Midnight Swim, came about.  I was messing around with some hexagons when the image of a coastline presented itself to me.  From that, it became a tribute quilt to that night on Long Island Sound, when we had turquoise sparkles in our hair and green bubbles on our shoulders, and not having air-conditioning was not such bad thing; it led us outside to a world of wonder.

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         I'll quilt it over the winter, when I'm begging the sun to stay up longer and my beloved Long Island Sound is crusted with ice.  During the coldest months, this quilt will remind me of that wonderfully warm night.  It will remind me to turn off my phone, turn off the television, put on my coat and gloves, and go outside.

        Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer.

Take care,

Pam
 


Summer Afternoon #3

There I was, minding my own business, enjoying the summer heat, the beautiful breezes, the fireflies, the mindless reading, the white wine spritzers, crickets, sunsets, grilled vegetables, even the sweat beading across my forehead as I cut fabric, when I realized I needed to do some food shopping.  So off to the store I went.

This is what I saw on August 1st:

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Whoa, Nellie.  

Fall is my least favorite of the seasons, because it is the end of summer, and summer, for those of you who know me, is me.

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 I'm officially putting the brakes on all this fall stuff and back-to-school uh-ohs.  I hope you are too.

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Between my bird-watching, star-gazing and early-morning-coffee-drinking-in-the-backyard(ing), I quilted.

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From Barbara Brackmans's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns, this pattern is Boy's Nonsense (#2811), originally published by the Ladies Art Company (#153) between 1895 and 1897.  Apparently, boys have been guilty of nonsense for quite some time.  Between the Art Gallery Fabrics, the Carolyn Friedlander Carkai, the Cotton + Steele Paper Bandana, the Kona Cotton and my favorite Quilter's Dream batting (Request)this was a true pleasure to hand quilt with my Finca Perle cottons, even on hot July nights.  It measures about 38" square.  It is for a little boy who will be arriving at the end of September.  

I sent a quilt to Alissa Lapinksy of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, for Quilts for Pulse.  I am sure you know about the wonderful project, but just in case, here is the link.  

The heart pattern is from Allison at Cluck, Cluck Sew.

 Pulse1

Three of my closest friends helped me baste this.  I highly recommend basting with friends.  There is a lot of  loving mom karma in this piece.  It measures  (50" x 60").

I also started a few new pieces because I find hand-stitching relaxing, and if was committing to eight nights of watching political conventions, I had to have some handwork.  

I started an election quilt last November, but it just wasn't doing for me.  I had to move on.  Hexagons are enormously rewarding.

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 I want the summer to s-l-o-w down.

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This quilt will be a tribute to a long ago summer memory.  I hope to show you more progress soon.

Let's all slow down,  shall we?

 

 

 

Take care,

Pam

 

 

 

 


Summer Afternoon #2

The proper use of imagination is to give beauty to the world.

- Lin Yutang

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Years ago, I wrote that quotation in one of my notebooks.  It's the guiding force in doing what I do - give beauty to the world.

I'm almost done with the new baby quilt, but I'll show that to you next time.  Meanwhile, here is some beauty for you.   

Hydrangea

Drink

Butter

Corn

Pepper

Cupcake

Share what's in your garden, make somebody a cold drink, don't stress about cupcakes.  Slow down.

Take a breath, be kind and talk to each other.

 

Take care,

Pam 

 

 


Summer Afternoon #1

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

  - Henry James

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A quilt for my newest grand-nephew.  Based on Mother's Choice (The Kansas City Star 1946), it is # 3051 from Barbara Brackmans's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (1993) It measures 38" x48".

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A block from my Quilt for Pulse.  The center heart pattern is from Cluck, Cluck Sew, as recommended by the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.  They are an incredible group of people.  Thank you, Alissa, for getting this together.

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I have another grand-nephew on the way.  I'll show you more of the quilt later.  It is Boy's Nonsense from the  Ladies Art Catalogue (c. 1895), #2811 in Barbara Brackmans's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (1993).

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A beautiful summer afternoon.

Take care,

Pam