Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Good Week, A Good Day

...Well, except for the fact that I'm still waiting for that call which will determine whether or not I get the rental in Sandpoint. Much better that I had a work plan for the week to keep me occupied.

I finished updating my tech journal, and it so motivated me that I went out with my Michael's 40% off coupon and got a photo album for the trip photos from last year. Yes, it's been bugging me that I had these beautiful shots of Northern Idaho, the reunion, the visit with my Walla Walla friends and the visit with my brothers in Raleigh still in envelops lying about here and there. Tired of the magnetic page albums I've always used, I picked up the kind with pockets and a small space to write in the details. Much nicer and all the pictures are in it, although I still need to go back and write those notes.

This felt so good, getting all these things corralled where I could find and enjoy them, that I also updated the scrapbook where I've filed pictures I've taken at various shows over the years, and also ones I've torn out of magazines. Besides being a reference to design ideas, quilting motifs and color combinations, it's an interesting record of changing trends in the quilt world as well as how my own interests changed. It's pretty obvious the year I fell in love with applique quilts, for instance, and once I started fabric dyeing, quilts using hand-dyes fill the pages. I'm taking far fewer pictures these days, but I'd taken quite a few at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show back in March. In to their album they went. This was more organizing than I'd planned for the week, but all on my mind to do before the move. I almost wanted to exclaim, "TA da!"

Instead, I decided to take advantage of the cleared space on the table and wash and set a stack of batiks. You know how the dye just runs out of them, so I'm in the habit now of at least rinsing by hand til the water is mostly clear, then washing. I decided to treat this batch with Retayne as well just to be safe. Then ironed and laid them out on the table. Wow, I haven't accomplished this much in ages! I caught myself really studying these batiks to see how the designs were laid down and in what sequence. Much to be learned from them for my own attempts at surface design. Here are a few of them.

That only left machine quilting the batting sample which I did this morning. Here it is before washing - a good example of the different look machine quilting (on the left) has versus handquilting (on the right) I've always said machine quilting has a much harder edge and look to it, a look I don't always want. However, motifs are often lost in the natural puckering of hand quilting. You just have to know which look is best for the piece or gives you the effect you like.

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