Sunday, May 30, 2010


Darrell and I have wanted to go the exhibit of Japanese Woodblock Prints at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) since it opened in April.  Seems like there was always something keeping us away.  So, when the weather turned so miserable this Memorial Day Weekend, we decided it would be a perfect time for an indoor activity and this show was right at the top of the list.
We both really enjoy Japanese Woodblock prints, Darrell from his passion of everything Japanese (which relates back to Greene & Greene and his furniture designing) and me from my love of printmaking.  I've taken a class or two about the traditional methods of Moku Hanga (woodblock printing) and am a regular lurker at one of the best web forums on the subject .
We were at the museum in Volunteer Park soon after the doors opened.  Its always a pleasure going to SAAM, the Art Deco building is a treasure all in itself and the park is one of Seattle's jewels.  (Afterward, we took Lucy for a short walk through the squirrel infested grounds, so she was happy with the outing also).
Both Darrell and I agree the show was phenomenal.  It was curated very nicely, with an exquisite selection showing the changing styles and eras.  We were thrilled to see the excellent specimens with their rich colors intact, and the educational information about the prints, the process and their makers. 

The collection, a promised gift to the museum, includes Hokusai's Great Wave, shown here with Darrell admiring it and seeing things he's never seen before.  Wow.

Hurry-  the exhibit closes on July 4, it's a must-see.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I spent most of this rainy Friday before Memorial Weekend putting the sashing on my Buzzsaw blocks.  This is how it stands now.  I'm not sure if I should proceed or put it back in the box for another ten years.

I don't have any idea in which direction to proceed, so that points to 'the box'.

But, since the week is almost over, I'm just going to leave it on the wall and look at it and let it stew in the cranium until my next week off.

While making the sashing, I rediscovered that I thoroughly enjoy the almost-mindless task of chain piecing.  I had a nice afternoon piecing and listening to my Zune play an eclectic mix of just good music.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I opened a project box.  These are hand-pieced twenty point star blocks that I'm calling Buzzsaw.  I can't remember their real name.  Anyway, I pieced these years ago, probably ten years ago or more and put them away for some reason.  I can't remember if I had a plan on how to finish them or not.  The box contains fabrics, templates, but no plan.
Maybe one of the reasons I put it away was because I ran out of one of the fabrics and I had no plan.

I put the blocks up on the wall.   I was surprised at the placement.  If I was making them today, I would have made five full blocks.  That would have made it rectangular.  But here it is - square.

I stared at it for a while and decided it needs sashing - or something...

I started auditioning some different sashings:
I went for a walk and when I got back I started cutting fabric and piecing sashings.

And here is what I have so far:

Now I'm thinking about what to put in the cornerstones.  I was thinking about some kind of whirling star block that goes the other direction.  Whirrr,  whirrr....

Maybe I'll add something to the ends to make it rectangular, too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A painting on my easel!  It's been a long time since I started a painting.  I've committed to hanging my paintings in August and I thought I might see if I could get a few more big ones done before that.

Here is the first roughing out of another scene of 17th & Roxbury.

This is acrylic on canvas 20" by 30".   Wish me luck.

Monday, May 24, 2010


The last two quilts I've finished, April Flowers and Catch Me,  found a home. 

I offered them to someone I know from work and he gladly accepted them for his two children, a boy and a girl.


Back to the pile of UFOs to finish and find homes for them.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Here's the mate to the April Flowers Quilt I just finished.  This one is 66" by 55".
I've named it Catch Me because of the fabric on the back.  It's an ugly fabric that matched the colors of the front very well.  It has bears and fishing lingo on it and somewhere it says something about catching fish.  It was in my bag of 'please-go-away' fabrics that I was going to donate somewhere, when I realized the colors matched!  It got rescued.  I still think it's ugly!

I used a blue denim for the little inside border and corners in the outer border.  And I erroneously used the denim as binding.  It is definitely too heavy.  I knew it was wrong as I did it, but I did it anyway.
I'm am so pleased with my Bernina, it just chugged on through all the layers. 

I love my Bernina.  I gave it a good cleaning afterwards.  Its all ready for the next project.

Monday, May 03, 2010


I just finished a three-day workshop with Cameron Mason at Pratt School in Seattle.

It was a very informative and fun class.  I met some really great people, whom I learned a lot from and Cameron was an excellent and generous teacher who really knows her stuff!  

Basically, we learned about 'printing' with fabric dye to make your own unique fabrics.  It was really fun each morning when we would 'show and tell' our fabrics we made the day before.  There were some extremely talented students in the class.  It's always great to learn from seeing other people's work.

Cameron showed us the basics of silkscreen printing and had some great ideas and techniques for fabric printing.  We even got to do some 'breakdown printing' which can yield very interesting and surprising results.  I definitely want to try more of that.

If you get a chance to take one of Cameron's classes or workshops I highly recommend it.  You will have a great time and be very pleased with what you learn.