November 24, 2009

Talking Turkey Around the Block

Turkey Tracks Variation Quilt Block
Size: 9"x9"
Constructed of Security Envelopes, Scrapbook paper and mounted on a Manila Envelope

This is Thanksgiving week and in the favorite geometric shapes chapter of my new quilt book there was this pattern called Turkey Tracks Variation. The "variation" part comes "by abutting these blocks side by side, a new block is created in each set of four that are joined".

My scanner only scans 8.5" x 11" and some of the end points are not fully visible on this one 9"x9" block. The scanner is not the best representation for how the block looks in person. For instance the very center block that is surrounded by black triangles, is a very unusual security envelope. That particular patterned envelope looks like a group of feathers. I would have used it more in this block but I only had one envelope, so I had to use it sparingly, but if I come across some more of the feather patterned envelopes, I'll probably try a variation by assembling 4 blocks together with more of the feathered patterned envelope.

This week among the new find of the feather envelope pattern, I found a new letter opener or it may be old, or just a new one made to look old. Anyway I thought it was cool.
Happy Thanksgiving from me in my little land full of turkey and of security.

November 14, 2009

New Kid on the Block

"Tree of Life" paper quilt block
Size 9 " x 9"
hand colored security envelopes on manila envelope

After an afternoon of doctor's appointments and CT scans, I've got a kidney stone. I got some injections to help with my back and neck pain and pain medicine to last until the kidney stone passes. During the 2 hours between appointments I shopped in my local Big Lots store and found this book.

It is totally awesome and really cheered me up. It has 101 quilt blocks and gives a little history and provenance on how the various quilt blocks came about. The Tree of Life block I did above came from the Vintage Classics chapter.

"About this block: The Tree of Life block is an early quilt block pattern that is said to have a biblical reference, as did many names of that time. The reference to the tree of life comes from Genesis, Chapter 2. This beloved pattern is often times pieced using just two colors, although using colors from the same color family gives the tree pattern more dimension."

I stepped outside of the box, err... quilt block. Instead of using just all black and white graphics of the security envelopes, I colored one of the black and white patterns using a green crayola colored pencil. I also used one of the green and black envelopes for the contrasting triangle in the leaves. For the trunk I used the wood grain pattern envelope and highlighted areas with brown. I pieced it all on a manila envelope.

While visiting at my mom's house, I also found a stash of her quilting magazines. I got some real inspiration.

A quilt artist out of Japan by the name of Reiko Yamaguchi, had a really interesting story on how her life and her passion for the quilting arts began. Many of her quilts are inspired by things from her life. For 40 years she has been a storyteller on fabrics. She also teaches and helps her students tell their lives in their quilts. She confessed that often times all the student's stories can be a burden for her but that she finds vitality and energy in the finished workings of the quilts. Through her many years devoted to quilting she has found similarities with a person's personality and the type of quilts that suit them. For instance if you have a restless personality a quilt with triangles will calm your spirit!

And she was right. The Tree of Life quilt block had lots of triangle and while making it I did find myself for once calmer and a little more secure.