Family secrets.

The other day I found a wonderful surprise in my inbox! My aunt, Barbara McCunn, had attended Quilt Canada in Halifax. She had taken a workshop called “Take Four Fat Quarters” and sent me this photo of her completed project.

Isn’t it lovely? The fat quarters she used were a Christmas gift from me last year, and  were Shibori dyed. When I gave them to her I was concerned they were too disparate to ever be used together, but she has ingeniously crafted them into a cohesive whole. She’s very creative, my auntie Barb, and manages to make far more in one year than I will have time to make in my whole life.

I would love to embark on some more collaborative projects with her in the future. I’m sure I’ll learn some interesting new textile techniques this year at school and maybe I can pawn some of the products off on her!

I was pleased to hear that the instructor, Susan Purney Mark, was also fond of the piece, and posted it on her quilting blog. She also has a great interview on there about organizing your studio space. It has inspired me to clear off some shelf space and stack all of my fabric, and perhaps to make peninsulas out of my work tables.

I also poked around and found some phenomenal photos for winning quilts at the conference. They are worth checking out, I would love to have attended. Someday when I get my quilting chops up maybe I’ll enter a submission!

When nature overtakes architecture

Today was an extended and entirely pleasant day in the surface design studio. Many people around, some sort of open house to publicize the school and they were all very inquisitive. I was working away on some screen printing, texture samples, and a cityscape while the lady at the table across made encaustic board games. I spent the whole day intoxicated by the smell of beeswax. Could there be a more sticky drug? Teehee.

Here are the beginnings of my salt crystal cityscape. I left it at the school to grow (far too fragile for frolicking) and am chomping at the bit to go check on it. I suspect it will be half way to full-grown by the time I wake up. Probably make some coffee related excuse to go downtown and see it first thing.

Step One: Fabricate a cardboard city. Massacre it (and your hands) with food colouring, everyone`s favourite multi-medium.

Step Two: Flood your city with a foul-smelling blue concoction (recipe courtesy Mik3 at Instructables).

Step Three: Wait for the magic! I made this tester in advance so the suspense wouldn’t kill me. It makes me think of what skyscrapers might look like if all the people left and nature reclaimed its territory.

Also, I couldn’t be more satisfied with my dinosaur prints. Hooray for discharge paste! Here are the first couple bags. Need a little embellishment yet. Maybe some zigzag stitching and a button or two.

Time for sleep, more projects tomorrow :)

– Allison Green