Scrappy Raven's Nest

Quilting, sewing, knitting, fighting depression, and doing as little housework as possible.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My new kitchen- thank you Jesus.  I've had the flat boxes of cupboards in my basement for two years.  There are still some finishing touches to add but I'm pretty happy with it.  I've been working away on quilt tops but my camera is nowhere to be found.  I won't post unless I have photos.  I'm like a small child that way.  I must have pictures to look at while reading even if it's my own writing.  This pictures was taken at Christmas 2010.  I am dedicating the next week to locating my camera so I can show updated photos of what I'm working on.  Happy quilting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why I Love Folk Art?

Embroidery detail of my guinea pig Bea on an unfinished crazy aquilt.
Folk art is a joy to behold.  It reaches right down into me and tells me who a person really is or who a group of people are.  "Folk Art", whatever that means, takes guts.  It takes guts to put your insides on the outside of a cloth, wood or paper.  After a while you loose this sense of putting yourself on the line.  The process of  creating art takes central stage.  The story in all it's beauty and flaws takes on a life of it's own.

To me the process of making any piece of expressive art becomes my dialogue with God.  A quilt that I make should say, "Here it is God. Here is my life, nothing more and nothing less.  This is where I am".  The making of a quilt should be a Psalm in fabric; sometimes thankful, sometimes joyful, sometimes solemn, sometimes complaining (I'm big on complaining) and desperate, but always addressed to God.

"Folk art" is often made in the creation of a useful, humble everyday object.  To me it is important that I be able to use a piece of art.  In this way I am reminded on a daily basis of the realness of God in my life.   A quilt created, whether on a bed or decorating a wall says, "Look you, this is where you were on your inner journey with God.  It's time to move on and declare your feelings to God honestly, and better, by using new techniques, different colors etc.  It's time to thank God for being alive in the creation of a new object"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Liberated Baskets

This is a quilt I'm piecing together for one of my daughter's good friends.  It might be a little too liberated but I'm letting myself go with this one.  P.S.  Those are my new kitchen tiles in the background.

The quilt on the floor is a liberated nine patchy sampler that I've finished for my daughter.  Unfortunately my daughter whisked the bound quilt away before I could photograph it.  Here are a couple of details. 
I love making the liberated stars from the books by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran.  The entire quilt was tied with  yellow Euroflax sport weight linen.
I'm still quilting my "Butterfly Garden" quilt for my daughter's other close friend. 

I gave up quilting a number of years ago because it bored me.  I only discovered "liberated quilting" about a year ago.  I always secretly preferred what I called naive quilts or utility quilts but kept this passion a secret.  I thought people would laugh at me  or think that I didn't have pride in my work if I made quilts in such a free way.   I recently found an old book published in the eighties called "Masterpiece Quilts"  which has many "utility quilts" pictured along with more traditional quilts.  I admire perfectly executed traditional quilts but they don't speak to me the same way as quilts in which the maker has had to make design choices based on what was available to her at the time. 

Anywho, I'm having fun which is what it's all about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quilt it Freehand - Threads

Quilt it Freehand - Threads  This link (also at side bar) is a great tutorial on freehand quilting and shows how to make a great quilt frame that you don't have to baste your layers together for. 


I've done a fair amount in the last year but haven't been blogging very much.  Summer was all about my daughter being home from boarding school.  We had a great time the three of us (husband, daughter and I) at the family cottage in Ontario.   She decided to go back to boarding school despite my diabolical plan to show her how wonderful life could be at home :  friends, mom doing her laundry, mom baking for her, Sunday dinner, mom helping her clean her room,  mom basically being her slave etc..  All to no avail;  we took her back in September.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm really proud of her independant spirit, and her brains.  A big part of me, most of me is happy if she's happy, wherever that is.  I just miss her so damn much.  Empty nest syndrome is happening to me about 4 years earlier than I expected and it's the pits.

If that weren't enough my doctor informed me that menopause was upon me.  She is not my usual doctor.  Just a young thing with the world by the tail.  Thanks for informing me that my ovaries are "frying up".  Just wait till yours fry dearie.

Sorry about the whining.  Hope to have some pictures as soon as I find either my cell phone or my digital camera which have been lost in our home renovations.  Kitchen is almost done.  It is the one thing making me giddy with delight.  Life could be worse.  That's something I have to remember.  I'm a lucky women "frying ovaries and all.  PS  vitaming D and Calcium and Magnesium supplements have stopped wild menopausal mood swings.  The nurse told me to take them when the doctor was out of the room for a minute.  Thank God for nurses with experience.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Changing Direction

Looking at my new knitting needle holder is as close to knitting or in fact doing anything for at least two weeks. I exhausted myself so much during the last few months that I got Bronchitis and can't seem to get rid of it. When I try to knit just moving my arms makes me cough.
After receiving a prayer shawl at my mom's funeral I have decided to dedicate most of my time to knitting, crocheting or quilting Prayer Shawls. I want to pass the comfort along.
I'd like to knit with a group of people whether that is over the internet or where I live or both. I'd like to knit for a Canadian organization for which people and their families really sacrifice a lot. I'm working on that end of things to distribute them. I'm going to need help so I hope any knitters out there (even one person) will help me by knitting a prayer shawl. I hope to have more details soon.
For information on the Prayer Shawl Ministry go to Knit a prayer shawl for anyone in need it's a great gift to receive.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Old Stuff

These baskets were my great grandmother's. They are from western Canada and might have been made by Native artists. I love this kind of folk art which is really so highly sophisticated and honest. The top one is hand painted and served as my grandmother's sewing basket. Inside the big one I found this sweater almost complete made by my mother. Coincidentally it is the same color as the sweater I started while she was dying. It is also a cardigan and someday I will finish knitting the last piece and sew it together.
It is interesting how we decide what pieces of the past we allow into our present lives. Maybe I will never finish the sweater. Perhaps it would be better to rip it and knit something new with the old yarn. If there is one thing I've learned it's to acknowledge the past but to move on with today and the future.