Saturday, October 24, 2015

- Inching along

I was a strange little kid, made more so perhaps by my father's insistence that there be no TV in the house for the first five years of my life. He was a marketing director for a toy company, so I guess he knew very well how manipulative advertising could be. My mom was the stay-at-home parent who had to cope with two pre-school kids 24/7. Consequently, we visited neighbors (and their TVs) quite a bit, particularly on rainy days.

But we also played a lot of make believe, "helped" my mom bake cookies, and listened to records. We had one of Greer Garson reading folk tales, of which Dick Whittington and His Cat was my favorite. Apparently I memorized it because I recall my grandfather egging me on to recite it on more than one occasion. We had music, too, of course. And one of those songs, sung by Danny Kaye from the movie Hans Christian Andersen, has been going through my head as I stitch because I've fallen in love with little one inch square patches ...

One inch square linen patches on top of my first nine-patch

I have to confess that I don't make them exactly like Jude Hill does, although her ingenious paperless piecing is at the heart of it. Instead of cutting and ironing individual squares, I tear strips of old cloth and iron the long edges over a one inch wide piece of cover stock (see this post for details on ironing).

Then I finger-press the raw edge at the end and tuck a one inch square of cover stock into the fold ...


finger press the other end around the square ...


cut the patch ...


and voila!


At which point I follow Jude's instructions by removing the paper and basting the edges to secure the patch ...


The new inch patches will eventually join my less conventional rectangle patches for a dip in Prairie Tea, which has taken an interesting turn. I had dyed a bunch of patches and left them in a colander to dry ...


after which I found this ...


Oh, I liked that. So I set about making more intentional ones by deliberately pressing the patches against the holes to dry ...


which resulted in this ...


They haven't been rinsed out yet and I actually hope the marks mellow a bit, but I'm pretty pleased with how things are going. Where the patches will all end up is becoming clearer, 'though still some ways off.

So I'll leave it at that and end with a piece of patchplay that Don just finished ...


2" square cedar post cut into 1, 2 and 3 cm blocks, some colored with milk paint

because two can play at this game!

15 comments:

Birgit Olann said...

Hmmm, another interesting way to dye - secured patches with all these dots. Don't know this tea, I use brewed black tea or walnut for brown.

Liz Ackert said...

You can find a link to more about Prairie Tea in my October 14 post. It's a member of the Spurge Family so you may have a similar species in your area. While I also use black tea and walnuts, I especially enjoy using local dyestuffs.

jude said...

I used to finger press like this on a commuter train. linen really holds well. i like your "free mark making....

Liz Ackert said...

I think I got the term "finger press" from your blog, but I've been pinching and running my thumbnail over linen hems for many years. It's a most agreeable fabric.

Mo Crow said...

nice interplay

Liz Ackert said...

Thanks! I'm having great fun ...

Thread Born said...

Love the colander results! Isn't it wonderful when things just "happen"? Thanks so much for sharing your process, Liz.

Liz Ackert said...

Happy accidents are the best ... I'm realizing they happen much more often when you let go of expectations and give up trying to control results

Liz Ackert said...

And you're most welcome ... I love sharing process almost as much as I love reading about it

handstories said...

Absolutely Love the dots! & the memories of listening to records. We had lots of story LPs, my favorite was Bozo & the Birds. (love Don's patchwork, too!)

Liz Ackert said...

The dots mostly came out in the wash, but I'm okay with that. Now I know how to create them for pieces that won't be laundered on a regular basis (which the current cloth will be).

And "thank you" on behalf of Don.

ARTISUN said...

ooh, ooh, really like those hole marks the colander left, very cool!!

Liz Ackert said...

Every day I learn something new !

Judy Martin said...

Those dots are so happy - and your piecework is so serene. Everything about this project pleases me.
x

Liz Ackert said...

Your August 19 post about daughter April's quilt was the inspiration for this project, although I didn't know at the time about string quilts so I kinda made up my own version. So glad you stopped by and liked how it's progressing.