Saturday, October 3, 2009

The artist within

My friend and colleague, Tobey, is getting very interested in quilting. We talk about fabric and quilting all the time at work and bring books and blocks to show each other. Tobey has made a few quilts and patchwork mats/table runners, etc., but I would say that she is still fairly new to quilting. A short time ago she started talking about making a throw quilt for her cousin to match a favorite pillow. She showed me a picture of the pillow, and we talked about my wonky log cabin blocks and Gee’s Bend quilts that we have admired in books and in a gallery in Portland.Well, she totally blew me out of the water and almost left me speechless when she brought in her blocks to show me the other day!
Here are her inspirations: burnt orange, red, gray, blue, and white pillow (sorry, it’s a picture of a picture of the pillow) and pamphlet about Gee’s Bend quilts.

And here are her blocks:

I am not an athlete, but when I run or workout, I can feel like one. Well, I’m not an artist either, but when I create a quilt, my inner artist comes out to play. Tobey is now an artist in my book. And brave! She didn’t always know what she was doing, so she just made it up as she went. I love that!
I have been a little busy myself. This is as far as I’ve gotten on block one of the Sue Ross BOM. I’m still basking in my own success with the curved piecing! It may not be perfect, but that puppy lies flat as a pancake!

I finished all of my wonky log cabin blocks, and here they are – 25 blocks, 15” square each.

I’ve been playing with squares of Kaffe Fassett fabrics for a half square triangle value quilt. This should be lots of fun for my inner artist.

Today I checked out a fabric store that I had never been to before – Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique! I love it! Imagine that someone picked out your favorite fabrics/designers and put them in a shop just for you! That is what Bolt is to me! There are only two drawbacks. I live west of Portland and Bolt is in Northeast Portland, and it is pretty small. However, afterwards I stopped at three other -- much larger -- fabric stores that I just ended up walking into, walking around once, and then walking right back out the door.
I bought these lovely Jennifer Paganelli fabrics (1/2 yard each) at Bolt and these vibrantly colored fat quarters. The selvage reads: "Global Gardens designed by Kathy Hall for Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of New Mexico under license to Andover Fabrics, Inc." My inner artist is extremely happy with these colors and designs to play with!

At the risk of being labeled a crazy cat lady, I managed to catch a quick picture of our other cat, Bonnie, on the cutting mat. She never jumps up there, but when Sammy and I left the room, I think she finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. She was not impressed. Please note that she is sitting on the cogwheel that I am oh so proud of!

Finally, the October mini needlepoint teapot on an orange and black quilt made for my son by my mother-in-law. It’s not for Halloween (as it may appear); these are the colors of his favorite college football team (Oregon State University).

What has your inner artist been up to lately?
With wishes, true and kind -- Joan


  1. well looks like you have a new quilting friend!
    She did great with those blocks, WOW
    oh I just love that teapot it is soooo cute, never saw a pumpkin teapot before!!!!!
    that is just adorable.
    always fun finding a new fabric store!

  2. I love your Sue Ross BOM! Isn't it great when things work out and lie flat?? I think that Bonnie was definitely approving of your progress. You have definitely been a busy lady.

  3. Looks like your friend is hooked. Love her interpretation of Gees Bend. Your curves are perfect. This BOM is calling to me but I have enough on my plate for now. WOW, what lovely fabrics but it takes the artist in you to realize what can be done with them. Your creation will be true art.

  4. How nice it is that you have a new quilting friend! You have so many wounderful prosjects going on - I'm looking foreward to see the progress....

  5. Oh my goodness, your curve piecing turned out so gorgeous! It looks like a pinwheel or a lollipop - I love it! How fun that Bonnie decided to inspect it out took. She sure is a beauty.

    Love your coworker's improv blocks! She's onto something with those. I am finding my artist within these days with color and shapes in nature.

  6. Your Sue Ross BOM looks great...well done...and you have been busy....the wonky blocks look great too. Bolt certainly held some fabric treasures for you...yummy!
    Tobey's blocks are fabulous.

  7. Well, I totally lost my comment when I visited the Bolt website...silly me! Totally impressed with your BOM! Your piecing is fabulous! Your friend's blocks are fantastic and the pumpkin teapot is too adorable. Love the cat! We have a black one named Peek-A-Boo. Wishing you the kindest kind of day today, friend!

  8. You've been having fun, I can tell. The wonky blocks are awesome, I love how this one is looking.
    Great job on the Sue Ross block so far, keep going, it's a neat block.

  9. Those blocks are great! I'm truly inspired to create some like it. Isn't Bolt wonderful! I always think it's worth the drive from across the river, myself. :)

  10. Joan, we share a love of Kaffe Fassett as well as other fabrics, too! I like the little stash you featured--Paganelli and Global Gardens. I think we could go shopping together!! Enjoyng your blog!

  11. Oh wow! Tobey's blocks are unbelievable, and your curved piecing is impressive, too!