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Checking In From Isolation

May 3rd, 2020

Time seems to be passing slowly and then all of sudden, you realize that it is a new month and you have neglected the blog. I spent the last two weeks making more face masks and finishing the above piece for the SAQA benefit auction. I had nine blocks of the indigo dyed raw silk. For each one, I embroidered a circle motif using cotton dyed with madder root. I assembled them into a nine patch using embroidery floss dyed with indigo.

These are some of the masks I made. They were sent to Navajoland in New Mexico where there is a dire need for masks because of a large outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. I am starting another batch to send to them. I got t-shirt yarn cut to use for ties.

I have 3 more torn paper collages done since I last posted. They are all Covid-19 related.

And that is about all I have done except spend a lot of time doing online grocery shopping and hoping everything shows up. I hope you are doing well as we all continue to shelter in place to stop the spread.

Staying Home

April 15th, 2020

I saw this on Facebook and it described how I often feel these days. Some days I feel as if I don’t have enough time to do what I want and on other days, I just space out and do nothing! Getting food into the house is like going through an obstacle course – my version of Hunger Games.

I have been remiss on posting here so thought I would bring you up to date on my creative activities. I spent several days making face masks for the family and for a woman’s center that my friends daughter is involved with.

I found some quilt fabrics in my stash that friends had given me for Jude’s I Spy quilt. I also had some batiks that I could use. I had to wait for the proper interfacing to arrive before I started.

Elastic was impossible to find because so many people were making masks. I found a tutorial on line for making ties from t-shirt yarn. It was a good use for old t-shirts.

This is my daughter-in-law Jayme and my two adorable grands in CA modeling their masks!

Here are more of my torn paper collages, taken from the Sunday NY Times magazine.

I have also been doing some hand-stitching. This is a small hand-stitched piece that will be part of an online auction to support programs for those in need during this difficult time.

I have stitched some more circles that will be part of my SAQA 2020 benefit auction piece.

That brings you up to date on my life in isolation. I have enjoyed face timing with the grands and Zoom calls with family and friends. It somewhat like Little House on the Prairie with the internet, Netflix and food delivery.

Constructing Rainbow Condos

March 30th, 2020

The SAQA Oregon region recently juried a show with the theme, Habitat. I mulled many different ideas. My go to art quilting technique is to freehand cut dyed or painted silk and create a composition. I live in a condo that is white and surrounded by other condos in an array of non-descript neutral colors. I have always been enamored with villages in Europe with colorful homes such as Bergen, Norway or Tobermory, Scotland or the painted ladies of San Francisco. I was watching the movie, “Judy” and at the end, she sings “Over the Rainbow”. That song had great meaning to me as a teenager. It brought me to tears, and I knew that I needed to construct my fantasy condo land of rainbow buildings.

I started by ironing fusing to a beautiful piece of hand-dyed silk. I have some electric scissors that work great for cutting Mistyfuse.

Then, I started cutting my tall buildings.

I found some handpainted silk to represent the sky and trees.

I fused the pieces together on a large sheet of Teflon.

Next, I cut a lot of windows in various colors.

The windows were fused in place. I like to have a handmade, imperfect look to my compositions so they are a little wonky!

This was fused to batting and a backing fabric.

I had this variegated Aurifil thread in my stash that was perfect for the quilting.

I did zigzag stitching around the buildings and then did straight line diagonal quilting, which is a common feature of my work.

And the happy news is that this piece was accepted into the show. The first venue has been canceled because of the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully, the October venue will happen.

Day 14 of Self-Isolation

March 22nd, 2020

I have mostly been housebound for the past two weeks. I have been out for some walks. Portland is beautiful right now. Flowering trees are everywhere. We are ordering groceries online and picking them up or having them delivered. Who knows how long we will have to do this?

I got this much stitching done on my indigo raw silk squares and then I ran out of that beautiful naturally dyed embroidery thread and had to order some more.

This is the latest embroidery for the Tiny Pricks Project. It is a quote by the president about using the malaria drug for Covid-19: “I feel good about it. That’s all it is, just a feeling. I’m a smart guy.” This is a vintage child’s apron. I am going to add some more of his quotes to this.

This is my latest weekly torn paper collage. The words kind of represent how my week was. We had no internet for 2 and 1/2 days. I had paid a sizeable registration fee to be part of SAQA’s online conference which was to replace the real conference in Toronto. I could not log on using a cell phone because the data charges would have been sky high.

On a positive note, I was happy that my little rainbow condo quilt that I made for the spotlight silent auction garnered $100. A record $28,000 was raised for SAQA exhibits.

Thanks for checking in. Keep on washing your hands and practice social distancing. We need to flatten the curve.

Trying Times

March 12th, 2020

Since I am 81 years old and have a history of respiratory problems, I am self-isolating and trying to keep my husband isolated, too. I have lots of projects. I ordered groceries online for the first time. I have signed up for BritBox so I have a lot of great British crime shows to watch. We were supposed to go to Denmark and Norway in May. We have canceled the trip because I doubt that we will be out of this by then.

One thing I have on my to-do list is my annual contribution to the SAQA benefit auction. I love sitting and slow stitching in the evening so I cut up some raw silk that was indigo dyed and am doing some stitching with a circle motif on each square.

I am still working on that bottom one.

This is the most recent torn paper collage. I look through the New York Times Sunday Magazine and see what piques my interest.

I found some vintage textiles on E-bay and bought a boxful so that I can do some more embroidery for the Tiny Pricks Project. More on that later.

So, stay six feet away, sneeze in your elbow and for goodness sake, WASH YOUR HANDS!!