Thursday, September 16, 2010

Falling Leaves

I love the autumn, and leaves of all kinds fascinate me.  I love their detail, their strength, their delicacy, their colors, their textures.  Leaves keep reappearing in my art; I don't think they'll ever be boring to me.  I finished this orange maple leaf drawing earlier this week, and got it listed in my shop.  I thought I was done with the leaf drawings for a while, but while waiting for my daughter at soccer practice, I had the tug to do another.  This one is larger, on 8" x 10" paper, and I decided to make it with orange accents for a change.  I like how it turned out.

I need to get busy on my long-delayed quilt.  When my husband was laid off almost two years ago, I spent the winter of his job hunt working on a very simple quilt, just squares of fabric sewn into strips, and sewn together again to form the quilt top.  I call it my humble quilt, because while I had imagined creating a nice, geometric windowpane pattern, I wasn't as exacting as I should have been, and the corners didn't match up well.  So, I deliberately offset some of the strips as I went, to make the quilt top look more like a random pavement of 5" squares.  All of the fabrics are in shades of warm beige and cream, with mostly organic patterns or prints on them.  The edge of the quilt is a wonderful blue/beige/white fabric I'd been saving to make pillows, but I realized it coordinated perfectly with the quilt, so that's what I used it for.  The back of the quilt is a slightly retro pattern of stylized flowers in slate blue/gray and a muted brown on beige - I fell in love with the fabric in the store, and just knew it was the perfect fabric to back the quilt.

I sewed the top of the quilt entirely by hand the winter of 2008-2009.  It may have been crazy, but I desperately needed the mindless busywork to deal with the craziness of a layoff, a job hunt, home schooling and an impending move.  In fact, I haven't used a machine at all on the quilt.  Right now it's fully bound and I did some of the actual quilting last year, on two corners.  Again, it's a humble quilt - my first effort on my own, and I hope nobody looks too closely at it, but I love the colors.  I hope to finish the hand quilting before Thanksgiving, so I can have the quilt on our bed for the winter.  I've also got coordinating heavy fabric to redo our upholstered headboard - another project put on hold this summer while the kids made the transition back to public school.

So much to do, and I feel like I'm still spinning from the adjustment to having the kids in school.  They're not the only ones redefining their place in this world.

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