Monday, September 01, 2008

October and Opals (and evolution in design)

Crazy for Birthdays for October is coming along nicely, although it has had a mind of its own, and I don't think this was what I had envisioned in the beginning. I didn't want it to look "Halloween" - so just started with one color, and added more when the look was right. It will brighten up considerably when I add the flowers, which are yellow and orange Calendulas

Several people have asked me if the things I show here are my my designs - yes, most of them are, as this has been my work for over 40 years. These crazy quilt designs have been a process of evolution, as I started playing around with it again about ten years ago, after I discovered silk ribbon embroidery. Before I found the wonderful world of blogs, I was using Judith Montano's books - and then I found Sharon B. and her In A Minute Ago blog - and that led to Allie's in Stitches, when she was in the middle of her gorgeous "Crazy for Flowers," and I was hooked. This departure from the Victorian traditional has been enchanting, as I learned to use curved seams, and that it is O.K. to put an exuberant spray of flowers traveling across several patches instead of confining them to one at a time. (Allison has given me total permission to study and "plagiarize" her blocks, and lots of encouragement as well.)

I have also been asked recently several times if my designs may be purchased - they are available on my web page, Elegant Whimsies (the link is at the top right of this blog.) After so many years of doing painted canvas, I am now wanting to just share techniques, etc. and encourage people to design their own - and to use their own imaginations and creativity - so there are e-patterns for download for doing it yourself, and thereby avoiding the expense of most painted canvases. (including mine).

Lately, I have thoroughly enjoyed making a point of using ONLY threads and materials from my stash, which is rather out of control. It is exciting to be able to just dump it out, and choose colors as a design evolves - and not have to go to my LNS to buy anything. Exciting to be using threads I've had for years, and that were being wasted in the depths of dark boxes. In progress now is this ornament re-do. The original was made about five years ago - so last night I drew another one, and will be interested to see what happens. As I said - they have a mind of their own, and I just choose threads out of my stash as the right colors present themselves. This is a great way to make ornaments in traditional shapes - practice new stitches and learn techniques!!


NCPat said...

Nice blend of colors in the October and Opals.....I love opals!

Judy S. said...

Great colors on your October heart, Judy. How many of these hearts have you done? They're really nice....I love hearts of any type!