Congratulations Sarah C! You are the winner of my repurposed leather and Hmong textile clutch. Please respond back to me by tomorrow (or I may need to pick a new winner). Picture above is a new Quilt I am working on titled 5/325.
Sorry Sarah C since I haven’t heard back from you I had to spin the wheel again and pick a new winner: Janice Brewster Weiser at http://www.creativegirlfriendspress.com will get the bag!
Has anyone seen the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier? It is a story of one of the more accomplished American street photographers of the 20th century who took thousands of pictures during her lifetime . . . and never shared them with anyone. Her amazing art was discovered posthumously and this woman who worked as a nanny for her whole life never claimed the title of artist she so deserved. Why did she spend every free minute perfecting this art and never share it?
This movie came to mind as I watched the people prepare their art in the form of quilts for Quiltcon 2015 and then acknowledge their entrance or rejection from the show that so many of us are looking forward to attending in February. It had me thinking much about art, the judging of it, why we share, what makes it art and what makes us artists in the first place? In some ways the phrase Art Contest seems like an oxymoron. How do we judge art? And for those of us who create in fabric, do we call ourselves artists? None of my local friends sew but many paint, take amazing photography, create jewelry and are amazing ceramicists. Every single one of them calls themselves an artist (and none of them create art for a living) without batting an eye but I would never refer to my work as art.
In our modern age it would be almost unheard of for an artist like Vivian not share their work with the world via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blogging etc. Why do we feel the need to share it? When we share it, does receiving a ribbon in a contest or acceptance into a festival make it more worthy or more arty?
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions for anyone else but myself. I create because the process of creating makes me unbelievably happy. I love exploring new ideas, using my imagination and mastering skills. I choose to share it because I love kibitzing with and being inspired by other creative folks. I so look forward to going to Quiltcon this February to meet some of you artists. And someday, when I am comfortable with how far I have come with my own art I will bravely enter my work for consideration in big shows like Quiltcon. Then again, maybe not. :)
I would be oh so happy to hear why you create and why or why not you share your work to a broader community.
(I am including a little bit of my recent work. I made my first concentric circle experiment into a pillow and played around with improv curved piecing to make up a quilt top I am calling “Batten Down the Hatches” as we in Northern California face the “storm of a century”. By the way, I have learned so much about curved piecing with my latest projects. I may be done with circles for a bit . . . maybe.)
Hi everyone! I’m excited today to give away a leather handbag I made earlier this year. It is made out of leather repurposed from a coat donated by a friend and embellished with a vintage Hmong textile and a tribal tassel for the zipper pull. The bag measures 12×7 inches and is lined. I am happy to ship internationally. To enter leave a comment describing a favorite handmade gift you have given to others. For an extra chance to win leave a comment and follow me on Instagram (@entropyalwayswinsblog). This contest is open until December 12th 5PM PST.
You can find more amazing giveaways at Giveaway Day: Handmade Goods | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005..
While I’m a tad paralyzed with how to move forward with quilt making (I have so many stinking ideas that keep coming up while driving or in yoga, I can’t decide which one to start next) I’ve been distracting myself with some more bag making out of leather.
I have a friend who lives in Silicon Valley and is the poster child for online innovation having been recruited and moved from Apple to Google and now Youtube all in this last year. (Of interest we met online through a political discussion group organized by a common ex-high school teacher friend. In response to the gridlock in Washington, she included contacts across the country and world with a wide range of political ideals and we discussed everything from the validity of the “American Dream” to gun control-fascinating stuff! Nic, this friend brought hilarious much needed levity to the group.) In any case I wanted to make Nic who appreciated my handmades a manly bag that spoke to him being an “idea man”. The problem was that after I made it, in my husband’s words it looked a little too “uterus” not lightbulb. That might be OK for some but I didn’t figure my openly gay friend would be much interested in a female anatomy bag. :) With the help of some Instagram friends I had a “lightbulb moment”. I added gold metallic pen to the bottom and . . . So much better, don’t you think?.
Another one of Noodlehead’s bag patterns, the Trail Tote kept me distracted as well ( Trail Tote Free Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company. ). I decided to make my tomboy daughter a purse using the pattern for Christmas.
I adapted the bag pattern to fit my own plans trading out the front zipper for a large suede star and also replacing the simple inner pocket with a zippered one. I added an inner strip of leather to match the outer bag on the lining. I think this concept keeps the lining fabric from peaking out and looks more professional. This leather was so thick, I also bailed on the side piping. Donated repurposed leather and suede were the stars of these bags and I am very grateful to my crafty friends (Thanks! I made them!. and Spontaneous Threads.) for sending them to me.
Do you remember that song by the 80s one hit wonder band Dead or Alive? Well after a lot of consideration and great suggestions, it seemed the perfect fit for my new quilt. What a labor of love this quilt has been. The design was inspired by a modern poster and per my usual I picked some fabric and started cutting and sewing. My husband’s woodworking measuring tools once again came in handy and at the end I got pretty good at piecing concentric circles. I did crosshatch irregularly spaced quilting with Aurifil thread for the first time and used my ever-dwindling mustard linen for the binding.
The very best part of this quilt was the practice of making a vision come to life using my own methods. More and more I find myself straying from quilt patterns made of repeated squares (though this quilt does use 10 inch squares that I cut up and put back together in different order). The big and bold patterns are calling me and I have so many other ideas waiting to be made. I hope to come back to this pattern sometime soon as I have visions of one with a bold red background.
Hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.
I know, I know, more bags. Playing with bag designs over the last week, I cut up a vintage Bemis feedsack and paired it with some red scrap leather and Japanese linen for a 3/4 size version of my Museum Bag. This one is even better in person and the size is not too big, not too small . . . just right. I’m finally converting these paper drawn pieces into plastic form for future use.
The extra red leather scraps also seemed to pair well with my husband’s motorcycle tire tubing that was waiting to be thrown away. It was the first time I sewed with rubber and was delightfully easy. That Pirelli insignia was too precious to throw away and I think my guy likes his new “Boy Bag”. More leather and rubber to come (and undoubtably more bags) . . .
Let me introduce you to my Minimalist Baby Quilt.
My son who was riding his scooter all over the property was kind enough to stop and hold up my quilt for a picture. It tickles me to see a quilt with he and his scooter in the background. :)I got the idea for this design from a modern poster that I saw somewhere but can’t remember the exact source. Yep, I’m all about cirlces these days. I must admit this was a pretty darn easy design to make with a large pieced circle that I then cut in half and inserted a strip of Kona white. The striped fabric is Ikea canvas. The tight quilting I used with the design made up for the ease in piecing. I used my walking foot with aurifil thread and tried to emphasize the simple pieced shapes. I don’t know that I have ever done such tight quilting before and it was interesting to see how it changed the feel and form of the quilt.
It felt great to finish this lovely up before I embark on a busy work week.
Have a good one.