Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Connecting The Colors

Thirteen years ago I knew I wanted a yellow kitchen with blue accents.  It was the only combination that felt right.  When we moved to our current house, I duplicated the wall color and added even more blue~
The windowsill above the kitchen sink
This past weekend those colors were front and center in my second color palette, along with splashes of different shades of purple~
Yellow & blue tables side by side make me smile
A year ago orange started showing up in my wardrobe and decorating choices.  I hadn't paired it with aqua but that combo, with splashes of green, is the basis of my primary palette~
The bottom left corner says it all
So I shouldn't have been surprised when I surveyed my fabric choices on Friday as I thought about what I wanted to sew with on Saturday.  I had grabbed the prints that most appealed to me for a project, along with pieces I had that most closely resembled solids.  Turns out I don't stash solids but buy them as needed.  On Saturday we shopped at a locally owned fabric store before we began sewing with quilter Heather Jones.  The only fabric I bought that morning that wound up in my squares was dark orange~
"Coins" on the left; "Log Cabin" on the right
Upon reflection, I saw that all the fabric I used from home was given to me by my daughter.  She often cleans out her stash so I have lots and lots of her "seconds" on hand.  It turned out that what looked like random selections went together beautifully, a point brought to my attention through my primary palette~
The paint chips hone in on what colors stand out
Yesterday I re-oriented the room where I sew.  Eight years ago the room was primarily a guest room where I used my sewing machine.  Three years ago I started calling it my sewing room.  This week I ordered a new table and have plans for a design wall.  Yes, the room will still be a nice space for guests, but primarily the room will be my studio.  I didn't know I wanted such a space until the weekend with color.  Now I know....

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Quilters Color Weekend

That's the official name of the retreat.  People who are on Twitter can put a hashtag in front of that and follow the "goings on" of the weekend.  Yesterday the idea behind our work here got a bit clearer.

The air cleared a bit so I got a better photo of Islesboro from the deck~

That's the dining room from the deck~

Here is the room where we are working~

This is my work space~

My area includes the floor where I laid out my collage.  My assignment before I came was to pull together images from magazines and elsewhere that appeal to me, to not give a lot of thought to why I like what I selected and to not try to make the pictures fit together.  That was our work yesterday, to lay out our pictures in a way that makes sense to us.  It took quite a while, and this is what my original collage looked like~

I was surprised at how the colors flowed from one into another, when color is not what I focused on when I selected the pictures.  It turns out that was the point of the exercise, not to think about it but to go with what naturally appeals to us.  I was even more surprised when I learned I could separate my original collage into three separate collages where the colors looked like they were destined to go together~

Then I matched squares from paint chips to each collage.  This collage process is what Amy Butler, our leader yesterday, uses to design fabric.  Her work is more intricate than what we accomplished in one day, but the basic steps are the same.  She repeatedly asked us to trust the process and follow the steps, and by the time I saw the potential for three collages she had me convinced.  Then I pulled out the fabric that I brought from home just because I like it, even though it's not the colors or the pattern I would normally select.  I honestly thought maybe I could finally do something with it this weekend~

Here's my primary collage - the one that came first in the organization of images~

Uncanny.  Then I looked at the edge of the material and realized it was designed by Amy Butler.  Quite the trip, this journey through color.... 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Retreat In Northport

I made it to Northport, my destination on the coast of Maine.  What a gorgeous place.  I have driven on back roads in this area though not all the way to the ocean.  I knew where I was the first 45 miles but put all my faith in Google maps the last 15.  And I almost made it but stopped at a motel on Route 1 to make sure I knew where I was going.  I was just a mile away.

This is the dining room with a view of Islesboro in Penobscot Bay ~

It was a bit cloudy so I will get more photos tomorrow.  There were two tables beautifully set and  dinner was delicious.  There are ten of us here for the retreat, in addition to three leaders, and we had time to chat before, during, and after dinner.  Five attendees and the woman who organized the weekend are from Maine.  The other two leaders are from Ohio.  There are also participants from California, Florida, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.  We are a range of ages with a variety of experiences.  From our comments it sounds like we are all glad to be here though not exactly sure what to expect.  Tomorrow we make collages and the next day quilt squares.

My only sentence during my introduction was, "I am pushing myself out of my box this summer."  I wonder where I will wind up....

June Trip

Over the course of nine days we traveled 2316 miles across thirteen states. Our northeast region is complete with ~

farms, factories, and funeral homes
garden centers, gravel pits, and gas stations
car dealers, train yards, and truck stops
power plants and playgrounds
churches, schools, and hospitals.

It came to mind that our country of rural and urban, grass and concrete, mountains and rivers is a nation made strong by our diversity and hard work.  I wish every politician would take the time to see what I saw ~
Factory on the Ohio River
Crossing from Ohio into West Virginia
The view up the Ohio River
Farmland in Virginia
Making hay
Building construction around George Mason University
Rebuilt Woodrow Wilson Bridge from VA into MD
Construction where hometown fields used to be
Bridge into Delaware
Today I am on my way to the coast of Maine for a few days of color and quilting.  I will let you know how it goes as the journey continues....

Monday, July 6, 2015


It's good to go away, and it's good to come home.  Then there's all the laundry, accumulated mail, sorting, and putting away that needs to be tended to.  This trip had an excellent element to the unpacking in the Fiesta!ware.  Some pieces are for me and some are for my daughter.  Look at the colors~

Ken picked out the sauceboat because it turns out he likes the color tangerine.  All the poppy pieces are for my daughter, as well as the red tray with handles and the medium sized bowls I now know are labeled "bistro."  The small bowls are my choice for berries, snacks, or ice cream.  Ken chose the bowls that have square bottoms; the red pitcher was my prize, although the oblong platter that is really a bread plate is fun, too.  The three pieces at the top of this second photo were special selections not bought as seconds~

Once the pieces were unpacked, washed, dried, and sorted as to who got what, I needed to make room in my cupboards.  Clearing out kitchen cupboards can be tiresome or fun, and in this case it was the latter.  I had to question why I am still hanging onto bowls we've had since the beginning but no longer use and how many drink glasses two people really need.  The goal has been to add color and usefulness, and our latest purchases accomplish both.