Friday, May 29, 2009

In which I threaten to ruin my sewing machine with an excess of locks

It’s all Pluckyfluff’s fault.
I made a yarn about a year ago, inspired by a photo of the Fox Fur nebula.

Carded up some little batts on hand-carders, and spun the whole thing as a singles. Lots of locks in it – one of my first really lock-full yarns. It was way fun to spin.
When I finished, I particularly liked the twisty, convoluted energy of it, and wanted to maintain that. I knew it shouldn’t be knit.

Then recently, I saw that brilliant sewing idea of Lexi’s, and it lodged in my head.
Does this look like a good idea? I think if the sewing machine could talk, it would say NO.

But it started to look cool, after a bit of wrangling. I like to see the progression of the yarn as it was spun, with each inch of each strand equally visible.
Here’s the set-up. A swift is off to the left, controlling the skein. Wrapping around the book makes the width (roughly) uniform.
At this point, I am VERY happy with it.

Technically, it could be improved. There are weaknesses in the sewing. And I have to make it up to my machine, somehow. Before I start another one, heh.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Desert Rhythms

There’s a sameness to color here in Doha. Buildings are made in the colors of dust, and then become covered in dust. The sandy landscape dictates and overrules aesthetic choices.

But within this limited palette, rhythmic repetition of shapes creates a pulse.

The sparse lines and muted color evoke calm, as on my rooftop after a rainstorm.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Handquilting is quite a privilege. I could not do it if my fingers weren’t nimble, my eyes strong, and my time relatively flexible. Or if I had not met quilting mentors who showed me how to rock the needle, how to keep the fabric slightly loose in the frame, how to make the shell pattern.

So it’s a celebration of knowledge and skill, and I aim to keep it alive in me.

People say strange things sometimes, about how much I “must really love” whomever the quilt is for. They don’t realize that it’s ultimately for me. Even though I do love my quilts’ recipients, I am handquilting for love of the work, and for the sake of retaining this.

The stitches meander like thoughts across the fabric patches, and my mind and hands are brought together, focused on the message and story of this quilt.