After a big holiday like Christmas I always find it hard to get started again in the studio. Maybe it’s the anticipation of it all and a bit of a letdown that it’s over, or maybe it’s just being tired, or because it’s the dead of winter (-3º here) or something else. I have a few tricks I’ve learned over the years—ways to prime the creative pump. Maybe they’ll work for you, too!
I’m joining in with the Best of 2017 Linky Party hosted by Cheryl Brickey over at Meadow Mist Designs. It’s a fun way to see a lot of quilts and find some fresh people to follow. You’ll find a link to the party at the end of this post. But first, here is the Best of 2017 from Stash Bandit—it’s in countdown form, Casey Kasem-style!
This post has to be in my top five because it’s what Stash Bandit is all about: Combining interesting fabrics in unexpected ways to make dynamite scrap quilts! So much fun!
Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is full of the love of family and friends. Let me tell you about my little Christmas tree quilt, Twinkling Bright.
It all started with this small block that I call a Baby Windmill. I’m on a mission to design as many interesting quilts as I can with this as the starting point. You can read more here.
I’ve been working to break a few bad habits and build some better ones related to my quilt making. It’s never easy to break a bad habit. It’s not easy to form a good habit, either!
The bad habit I want to break is finishing the piecing of a top only to fold it up and put it in the “to be quilted” pile. Sometimes it doesn’t see the light of day for months, even years! I have more than my share of UFOs already, and I am determined not to add any more.
So the new habit I want to build is this: when I finish the top of a project, I immediately prepare the backing. This means going to my bin of backing fabrics (cuts of 3 to 7 yards mostly bought on sale) and finding something that will work, or finding several smaller pieces that can be pieced into something interesting.
I’m going to start sharing my quilts here in short posts. They’ll give you an idea of what my trunk shows are like, which is the thrust of my business, Stash Bandit: I’m a speaker and a teacher on the topic of quilt-making.
I’ve been thinking about play.
I’ve been visiting my daughter and her family in Hong Kong, where they work at Hong Kong International School. The lower primary school finished a new building over the summer.
What is knocking my socks off is how the educational areas of this building are designed for children aged 4 to 7, and it’s all about play.
Recently I visited an art gallery where the work of Pongsakul Chalao was on exhibit. It was possibly the most incredible fiber art I have ever seen.
At first glance I thought they were paintings or photographs.
Then I stepped closer. The detail took my breath away.
Can you imagine trying to capture light as he did?
Part of capturing light is the suggestion of shadow.
There is plenty of shading,
and even reflections on the water.
I love his occasional use of a garment tag.
The under sides of tags are as useful as the fronts.
And who is to say they can’t be upside down?
All of the fabric is denim. He has been collecting jeans for 10 years.
“As the son of a tailor, I become absorbed in the art of using fabric,” he said. “I collage my life experiences and surrounding on my work, and I see simplicity in complexity.”
There were about a dozen pieces in the exhibit. I walked through it several times.
It seems that his work has mostly been exhibited in Bangkok, and he has a Facebook page where you can see much more.
I love this photo of the artist at work.
Here’s an article with more detail from the Bangkok Post.
What do you think? Please let me know you were here in the comments!
I made a quilt and everything went wrong.
Maybe you’ve done the same. It was an exercise in frustration but I learned some things, and some of the most egregious mistakes won’t be evident to others.
One of the hottest things among quilters online these days is swapping. People swap blocks, small quilts, particular fabrics and more. I thought it would be fun to show you some of the swap blocks I’ve made and talk about how a swap works. Of course there are endless variations, so this is just the tip of the iceberg!
A while back I had the idea of using the color windows on fabric selvages to decorate Christmas tree quilt blocks. I can’t be absolutely certain this was an original idea, but I think it might be. I worked out the kinks and today I’m going to show you how to make Christmas tree quilt blocks with selvage lights.