Sunday, February 25, 2007

not a normal baby quilt

I don't do normal baby quilts.

It is not that I don't like pastels or teddy bears or kitties or hearts. It is just that everybody else will do them. So I try to do something different. Mostly I succeed.

I do like half-square triangles. I make a grid of lines 1 inch larger than the finished size, sew, and square everything down. This makes for a lot of tedium (256 on the pinwheel, count them yourself on the other), but I don't have to worry about uniform sizes. Sewing the pinwheel quilt together took a lot of making sure not to go wrong either! After checking my list of which fabrics went to which half square traingles (and checking it twice), I finally started cutting things out. It was really amazing that it worked. Then, when I was sewing them all together, I started playing with powers of 2 in my mind. I was slowly going bonkers.

After 18 years of quilting, I'm not satisfied with normal quilts, either. But I'm not ready for art quilts.

I have two baby quilts to sew now. My first exchange student has a second child, and another friend is due in May. Both boys, so I get to use blue and green again! Now all I need is to think of something not normal that is different from what they already have....

Saturday, February 24, 2007

East Meets West

One of my favorite gifts I recieved from my host family was a series of wood carvings. These are wonderful pieces made with camphor wood, and they smell so nice! I don't have a good translation for the four characters, but put together they mean: "Good luck, all year long!" A place will be found in my home, as soon as life settles down. Or perhaps I had better say by the end of March.
I made my first Taiwan commemorative quilt based on these carvings. I photographed each one of them, then traced the character and the circle onto wonder under (which I had lying around). (Pat myself on the head, I even remembered to reverse the characters!). I ironed the whole piece onto fabric, and then cut out the circle and character, and ironed them onto a background fabric. Sewed everything together (and checked to make sure they are right side up). I machine quilted leaves on the white background. I wish I had a better picture, but it went to my host family in Taiwan before I realized I needed to re-photograph. For one thing, the characters and circles are red.
It is called "East Meets West": Eastern characters, Western craft.
I hope my Chinese "penmanship" is legible!