Friday, May 28, 2010

A Bridge to different times and places, ATCs

What do London, Lloyd and dentures have in common? You guessed it. Bridges—the theme for this month's ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap. And, what interesting and clever interpretations there were.
Several of the traders said this was a more challenging theme. Do you think so? Leave a comment below. 

In choosing the themes for the FiberAntics ATC trades, I mainly try for a diversity of subjects: some relating to tangible objects, some to intangible concepts, possibly a reference to a current topic, phrase or saying, or maybe something familiar or recurring like a holiday or the time of year. Anything goes for themes and, of course, interpretation of them is wide open! If you'd like to join in a swap and give one of the upcoming themes a go, let me know. And if you have ideas for themes, tell me that too.  

So, here are the vast and varied interpretations of this month's theme:  "Bridges are America's cathedrals" (above)

 "Beam Me Up Scotty" (left)
"Evolution—Bridge to Modern Man" (right)
 "Bridges" (left)
"I will cross that Bridge when I get to it." (center)  
"Bridge over Troubled Water" (right)
 "Good bridges and good fences make good neighbors" (left) 
"Bridge over Troubled Water"

Fabulous art and interesting interpretations aside, one of the best parts of the trades for me are the personal stories that accompany the cards. I have to touch base with one of the traders who apparently worked at a coffee house in the same vacation spot that my grandparents had a summer home. Her story brought back fond childhood memories for me... a bonus "bridge" to my past. Has anyone else been to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Batter's Box: another Baseball Quilt

For the baseball fanatics out there, here is "Batter's Box." This quilt went to one of our very good friends who moved into his new house last month. Although he is quite the "colorful character" (and I say that with the utmost affection!), the tan and cream interior of his house needed representation from other areas of the color spectrum. I think it was my duty to help fulfill that need.

The liberated log cabin block design surrounds a Robert Kaufman baseball-themed black-and-white print (center chimney). There are 9 blocks—coincidentally, one for each inning. [Think that was planned??  ;-)] It was fun to free-motion quilt it with a variegated red-yellow gold-blue-green-brown cotton thread. The quilting motifs were geometric in nature: wacky squares, rectangles, zigzags and free-form baptist fans.
You can tell he is a colorful individual. Look at the tie-dyed T-shirt he's wearing (which most likely either has a MLB team logo or a Grateful Dead band motif on it).

Above is the label, backing, and a closer look at the free-motion quilting. This is the cousin-quilt to my husband's "Strike Zone" quilt. Finished size: 47" x 62" [4 bobbins]. It wants to sit on the back of his leather couch, but it kinda wants to slide off [note to self about leather furniture].

Click! Great books on liberated quiltmaking and block designs:
Liberated Quiltmaking IILiberated QuiltmakingRule-Breaking QuiltsLiberated String QuiltsCozy Modern Quilts: 23 Easy Pieced Projects to Bust Your Stash Ideas and Inspirations: Abstract Quilts in Solids

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cuddle Quilt Quest kicks off with 59 blocks

The first collection of blocks for the Great Cuddle Quilt Quest was a huge success with 59 blocks turned in by members and friends of the Chattanooga Choo Choo Quilt Guild. It was impressive! Sets of the collected 9-patch blocks are now moving to Stage II in the process—the quilt top assembly.

The block for June is a 12" finished (12-1/2" unfinished) Friendship Star block using green or purple for the background. Stars can be yellow, gold or white. We also collected 8 completed cuddle quilts which can be seen here. Thanks to everyone for a great program kick-off!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Round Robin: a Doggie block

After a short hiatus, we're back on the Round Robin circuit. This time I have the "bright colors, girly-girl, dog" quilt. I'm right in there with the "dogs"—having two big fuzzy tail-waggers myself—but the "girly-girl" aspect is a stretch for me. Luckily, previous participants had introduced royal blue fabrics to the mix, so I followed suit with the addition of a fussy cut piece from a Catberry Tails fabric line by Debra Mason for Robert Kaufman.
The color palette for this quilt is a beautiful yellow and blue color scheme—very French country. I showcased three four-legged "princesses" (including a French poodle) by framing them with double borders. "C'est Ooo la la, n'est pas?"
Here are the other blocks in this assortment... with my 10" block contribution below. The half-square triangles were "bonus bits" from where the corner triangles were added to the block. I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stitches South Expo

I attended the Stitches South Expo again this year—fabulous classes and a market full of luscious yarns and mouth-watering eye candy to see... and touch and feel. I sought out the Universal Yarn booth to see if Hal (the owner) was there this year. I wanted to show him what I've been doing with Universal's tape yarn (see my Yarn Fabrication vest in the pic below). Alas, Hal couldn't make the trip this year but I did meet Michael del Vecchio, Universal's Creative Director, who was intrigued with the technique and snapped a few pics. Here's a link to Michael's blog and what's going on at Universal.

While at the expo, I took a class with Lily Chin, knitter and crocheter extraordinaire. Don't let her size deceive you, she is a dynamo in the classroom! And, she speaks fluent knit-ese. For example, she told the class to pull out our "dippins" (dpns, or double pointed needles) and begin "kattoo togg tibble" (k2tog thru the back loop). She also interjects her teaching with knitting humor--"so, have you heard the one about the 3 knitters and the flasher?" (I guess ya had to be there.)

I have three of Lily's books. I brought two along to class which she graciously signed. These three (Knitting Tips and Tricks, Crochet Tips and Tricks, and Couture Crochet Workshop) are in my personal library, but after taking a class with her, I would recommend anything she publishes! Either knitting or crochet—she is a master at both.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

ATCs: May Day flowers

It may be that April showers bring May flowers, but in this case, the flowers came on Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).

"If I were a flower" was the theme of the April ATC swap. It was delightful to see what germinated in the traders' minds this month. From personal gardens to Monet's garden and the lotus pond, the trading cards bloomed with floral varieties of all kinds.

I am always intrigued and pleased with what I receive in the ATC swaps. Even though the materials used by the artists are the same—fabric, thread, paper, glue—the results are cleverly and creatively different. Burpee would pay big bucks to feature these flowers in their catalog.
"My petals won't fall, nor get stung by a bee.
So if I were a flower, consider this me."
   Liz A.
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