Friday, June 25, 2010


First thing this morning I cleaned the floor in the studio so I could pin baste the 'Mystery Quilt'.  It's bad enough having to mop in the house, you shouldn't have to mop your studio floor....geez.
But I must say it's very nice to have room enough to lay out a big quilt - although this one is not big - on the floor and get it basted.

Afterwards I definitely felt the need for a nice walk so  Lucy and I headed out.

After lunch I went back to the studio and worked on my Steel Plant painting.

Here's what it looked like before I started:

And here's what it looks like now:

You might notice I used a lot of red in the underpainting, but today I used a very limited palette of just Indigo Blue, Quinacridone Gold and a little Cadmium Yellow Medium and lots of white.   I like it.  I will let it rest for a week and then look at it again.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Here's another UFO I pulled out.  This is a Drunkard's Path pattern made from some Rose & Hubble fabrics with a beer motif.  The dark blue background fabric had beer bottles all lined up, so does the off white, tan and light blue fabric.  The red fabric has a woodgrain pattern on it, supposedly the 'pub'.  There is also a tan fabric that has beer foam (suds).  The blocks were made using an easy-to-do method I picked up from someone at the quilt shop.  You cut out a bunch of circles from freezer paper, which has plastic on one side so when you iron the fabric to it it will stick temporarily.  You cut circles of fabric a little larger and iron the seam allowance around to the back, then zigzag the circles to a background square.  When finished you cut the unit into four squares and end up with the Drunkard's Path unit.  There are all kinds of ways to arrange the different units.  It's a fun little block to play with.
I had the top made up and a few extra units.  I pulled a solid blue out of my stash and used that for the border, putting on a small border of the red first.   The corner stones were extra units.

There is still a big pile of the suds fabric which I'll use on the back and enough of the red woodgrain to make binding with.
This quilt should go to someone who loves beer.  I finally figured out who to give it to, so now I"m anxious to get it finished.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I once owned a quilt shop in Renton....that sounds like the beginning of another story.  Anyway, we did a lot of 'Block of the Months' (BOM) and I have lots of them in little project boxes.  So this one was on the top the other day, so I grabbed it down and started in on it.   A lot of the times I used to have to make the blocks to show everyone what it should look like, other times I just made the blocks because I wanted to!  This one I probably made the blocks because I had to - they are not type of blocks I like - too country-looking.  But, all the blocks appeared to be there and there was a little extra fabrics.  

This BOM was a mystery quilt - you wouldn't see how it all went together until the end.  Every month you'd get a little pile of fabrics and directions for that month's block and at the end of twelve months you'd get the directions to assemble the quilt top.
I had all the blocks but, oh-oh, there was no directions for the final top.  I had no idea how it should go together, but I figured I could figure it out!  
I put the blocks up on the wall and started moving them around....and around....and around.  After about an hour of that I decided to give up, I couldn't figure it out, and it was going to be too small anyway.
I dug through my stash and found a yard of fabric that went with the rest of the blocks (that's the best thing about scrappy blocks) and started adding pieces of sashing to get the pieces to fit together.
And here it is - a finished top!  I still need to make a back for it, and quilt it.
It is a lap-size quilt, about 64" by 52".

Do you want it?
Whoever gives me the best reason why I should give it to them can have it (then I'll have to hurry up and finish it).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


OMG!  Did I just say I was starting another series?  You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but seriously, I've been wanting to do some paintings of the Steel Plant.  I'm not going to say I'm doing a bunch of them.  I'm just going to nonchalantly say this is the first.

When I drove a truck every day I was going to Vashon Island a lot, mostly to haul the leachate runoff from the landfill with a tanker.  I would cross over the West Seattle Bridge (elevated above Spokane Street) in the early morning and see the Steel Plant and just be enthralled.  I can't say what it is exactly, but the way the sun hit all those pipes and metal buildings with steam coming out.  There are piles of rusty scrap outside, railroad tracks and cars, cat-walks, chimneys and occasionally, if you were lucky, you could see red-hot bars of steel coming out of one of the buildings.  The ground around the plant is black, there are mud puddles that reflect the light and the men are driving equipment around the yard.  It's all very.....I don't know....industrial?  

Now that we live in West Seattle I really need to put what I see on canvas.  Here is the beginnings, the underpainting - mostly I was using up what was left on my palette.  I really like it just like this, but knowing me, it will get too real-looking very soon.  This is 24" by 30".

My husband and I recently went on a tour of this place, the Nucor Steel Plant with a group from Historic Seattle.  I thought I'd be able to take pictures from the inside, but alas, it was not to be so.  They said I could take all the pictures I wanted....from outside their fence. Phooey!  Once the tour started I began to question why I was there!  It was scary, dirty, hot and smelly.  We had to walk on the cat-walks- metal grates suspended over the yard.  I hate walking on something you can see down through.  I have a very great fear of heights.  So, needless to say, I had a death grip on the hand railing, which was filthy with who-knows-what kind of dust.  By the end of the tour, most of that dust was either on my face or on my jeans.

It was a very interesting tour in that we learned a great deal about how steel is made.  Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and generous.  Almost all of the steel made in America is made from recycled materials, hence the big piles of rusty scraps in the yard.  Nucor is very proud of the fact that they are 100% recycled material only.  We got to see the cauldron where they mix the metals and melt them down to make the steel.  It was a little like I would image Hell to be.  Hot, loud, dirty and it even smelled a little sulpher-like.  There were so many things I wish I could have photographed, but I restrained myself.  I'm going to have to walk down around that area a little more and see just how close I can get with my long-lensed camera.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Okay, I came to a point where I'm going to call it finished.  I'll set it aside for at least a week, not looking at it and then look at it with fresh eyes.

I went back to the Buzzsaw quilt and started adding a border.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It's coming along...

Still needs a lot of work.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I was able to put in several hours on my new painting "The Sitter" today, which is always so relaxing.  I seemed to want to use a little brush and work on details.  The painting wasn't really ready to go into the details, but I did it anyway!  You gotta go with what's working for ya, I guess!

I haven't even started on the overhead 'things' - I don't know what to call them and they are the reason I keep painting this building.  Hmmm.  I need to find out what they should be called. 

Now that I see this little thumbnail image, I'm rather pleased with it.

Still a long ways from finished.  Stay tuned.