Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Quiet Holiday Play-Time Weekend!


Fabric Bundles a la Sonji - made last week while resting the sprained knee.
copyright Pat Dolan


Fabric Beads a la Somerset Studio-Sharilyn Miller, made this weekend. There are over 120 beads in that little bowl!
copyright Pat Dolan

This was one fun weekend – my husband was dear enough to offer to do the cooking for most of the meals, which is a real vacation for me! After almost 40 years of meal preparations, I’m bored silly with meal planning. And, of course, I’d much rather be creating in the studio than cooking in the kitchen!

And what did I do with all this time? After following Sonji’s lead and making bundles last week, I decided the most obvious choice of all was to make fabric/fiber beads… This was a weekend to remember, a weekend of remembering, a weekend of bundling up old memories and repackaging them into delightful little beads + bundles – recycled for use in new art projects.

I also completed (except for framing or a border of some sort) two of the memory mini-quilts I began after Rayna Gillman’s class on various forms of printing on fabric. There are photos in the Blog entry for June 12, showing the placement of various items I planned to attach to each piece. Well, the objects are attached, and others have joined them. I went digging into boxes of old paraphernalia to locate some of the stuff. And I dug into my three antique button jars to locate a few more buttons.

Here is “Remembering Grandma” 13 ½”w x 11”h

"REMEMBERING GRANDMA" c2005 now complete - except for framing/hanging device. 13 1/2"w x 11"h
copyright Pat Dolan

All that digging through stuff is somehow an appropriate way to honor the 20th anniversary of my parents’ deaths. They died 8 days apart from totally separate causes…leaving us with a 3 story home with 45 years worth of miscellanea ad nauseum. Being the quilter that I am and was, I saved all the 100% cotton clothing that remained from our childhoods in the attic. I made 4 separate wall quilts from those clothes – one for each of us three sisters and one for my daughter. I also saved some of the vintage greeting cards – both my mom and HER mom saved every greeting card they ever received! I saved Dad’s old love letters to Mom prior to their marriage in 1937. Buttons, of course. A few treasured kitchen utensils. Dad’s old watch. Mom’s special porcelain jewelry box with roses on top. Old stamps. Etc. We three girls split up the jewelry, the furniture, the special china and silver, etc. Yet somehow it is all the littlest things that remind me of my folks, my childhood, times past.

As for my bundles, I didn’t bother digging out old fabric – I have plenty of scraps I’ve been saving for just such projects as these! Scraps of fabric, yarns, threads, cording, crochet threads, feathered yarns, fluffy stuff and simple stuff. Sounds just like my parent’s attic, doesn’t it. But my scraps are mostly less than 15 years old – purchased after our move to NJ. And so I began wrapping small strips of fabric. Sealing them with Gluestic. Then adding another slightly narrower strip of fabric, going perpendicular to the first, and gluing it down. There is a rhythm in doing such a mundane project, and the rhythm suited my mood rather well. When I had made 50 or so bundles, I quit making them and decided to tie some of them up like gift packages. So most of my little bundles have become mini-gift-bundles with little string ties dangling off them.

The bead came next – somehow it seemed like a perfect project to follow the bundles! I first saw them in one of Somerset Studio’s magazines. Last week I purchased their latest book: “HandCrafter-50 of Our Favorite Crafting Projects” at my local bookstore. And I found the fabric beads once again. This time, I immediately got all my supplies out and ready – after all, the house is already a huge mess. It’s been 6 weeks since I twisted my knee and there’s been no house cleaning in the interim. Perhaps in another week or two, after physical therapy is over, I may decide to resume cleaning. Meanwhile, my stuff is everywhere and all I needed were drinking straws to begin this latest endeavor. It took me one day to make the beads and a second day to decorate them. By the time I was done with something over 125 beads, I think I’ve figured out all the steps, especially the wiring & beading part, to my satisfaction.

Both bundles and beads have already found their way into one previously incomplete art quilt. I’ve titled it: “Gifts From the Sea” and have little beads & packages floating upward along with sea shells, beading, paint, Angelina fibers, etc. And I found the perfect embellishment to finish this piece – a machine embroidered blue dragonfly! Dragonflies hover above the water so I figured it was the perfect adornment to complete this piece.

And finally, “Gifts From the Sea” 10”w x 18”h

"GIFTS from the SEA" c2005 10"w x 16"h The addition of bundles and a bead or two was just what this piece needed for completion..
copyright Pat Dolan

So there you have my quiet weekend in word and pictures.


Karoda said...

Pat, I've been promising to make the straw beads since I saw them in QA magazine last year. Seeing them here, ummm, will this be the inspiration I need. lol

How much longer do you have in PT?

Mary said...

I love it all! First the bundles, then the beads - but the "gifts from the sea" is spectacular!

Sapphire Dakini said...

I love "Gifts from the Sea".

Liz said...

Wow! What a productive weekend. I love 'gifts from the sea'. Yummy.