“Blew” Two….

Yesterday, I posted about my entry in the “I’m so Blue” guild challenge.

Normally, I am finishing my challenges on the day that they are due, or maybe the day before if I am really organized, but, with this one, the idea came quickly and I was finished over a month before the due date…. UN-HEARD OF!!

Just after I finished it, I was talking to another guild member (Sue) and she said that she would make it different by using the other spelling/meaning of blue……ie BLEW!!

Just after our conversation, we made another trip to Kunming, China where I spied this wonderful bronze statue…..

I adored the look on the man’s face….

….not to mention the little boy at the back…..

Now THAT is a great example of “BLEW”!!

When we returned home, I called Sue and asked if she had ever acted on her inspiration. She said that she had not and that I was welcome to use the idea.

I started with the photo itself, tweaking it to enhance the color…..

I used the pinwheel as my inspiration and added a bunch of small pinwheels and two larger 3-D pinwheels….

….and added the beaded “stick” to meet the embellishment and blue requirements.

I made a couple of paper quilts to test out the quilting designs….

….but finally decided on wavy parallel lines in a metallic thread….

I love the final product…..

…particularly the way that the fabrics worked together.

And, as a plus, it is another fun “Travel Log Quilt” that reminds me of a trip to Kunming!!

Dynamic Yunnan

On one of our trips to China, we were in the city of Kunming for my birthday and I decided that I wanted to go to a Chinese Cultural Event. Our friend Jialin suggested that we go to see “Dynamic Yunnan”…..a fusion of traditional ethnic folk music and modern dance.

The program was made up of 6 chapters, each with a theme and a wonderfully choreographed dance. Each of the dances had a particular element of sound or visual interest that managed to capture our imaginations. The performers were from the Yunnan ethnic minorities and the costumes were authentic for the area.

Officially, there was no photography allowed, but throughout the show, we could see flashes from cameras and hear the whirring of video cameras. So, sometime around the 2nd chapter, I pulled out my I-phone and started taking photos as well.

This is my favorite photo of the evening…..

Before the dance started, a fair amount of “snow” had already fallen on the stage and when they started whipping the scarves around, it picked up the snow and made it swirl!!!

I know that this photo is out focus and fuzzy, but when I see it, I immediately think of a Blizzard!!!

If you would like to read more about the program, please use this LINK to get to that blog post.

Yummy Noodle Soup

Today I want to show a Noodle Soup that we were served while in Kunming China back in 2011…..

It looked so pretty that it was a shame to stir it up to eat!!

It was SO yummy, but was served at the END of a very large meal so much of it went uneaten!!

AND….even better, when we finished eating, I got to present a quilt to our young, pregnant host….

The Parasol Dancers of Green Lake

A few weeks back I posted a video from Kunming China showing women doing their morning exercises using highly colored parasols. Over these past weeks, this inspiration has slowly moved from the back of my mind to the front of my mind!!! After a lot of contemplation (AND procrastination), I have made a start!!!

The first thing that I did was to pull some screen grabs off of the video…

They are not high quality images but they served their purpose. I printed them out in black and white and used a sharpie to trace around several of the ladies in each of the poses…….

The good thing about using sharpie is that the ink soaks thru and you can see it from the back…..instant pattern!!…..

I picked out a couple of the pictures and enlarged them to the size that I was planning to work with.

Now it was decision time!!! How was I going to portray these wonderful women…..in fabric, in paint or in thread. At some point I had the idea to thread paint or quilt the women but add color for the parasols. This is the rabbit trail that I am currently heading down!!!!

For the first sample, I added a thin fusible interfacing to the back of the background fabric, traced the design, added the fabric parasol and machine stitched it…..

Then it was critique time…..

  • First of all, I had used a white thread in the bobbin and the white stitching came thru….NOT good!!
  • Second, I felt that the ribs on the parasol were too heavy
  • Finally, I wasn’t sure exactly how I could quilt it and make the ladies stand out.

Let’s try again!!!

This time I decided to layer the quilt sandwich and actually quilt the design in. And to take it one step further, I added two layers of batting (Warm & Natural on the bottom and Wool on the top) so that it would have a Trapunto look……

I put in a few pins to hold the layers in place……

….and it was back to the machine for stitching, using the normal 50 wt thread for the bodies and a bobbin weight thread for the parasol ribs…..

I REALLY like this a lot better!! Now to fill in the background!!

I had done the initial stitching/quilting on my normal machine (Juanita) because I had better control for the details and also because I could use a smaller needle. But, for the filler quilting, I turned to Julio (sit-down long-arm) to make the process fast and effortless!!

This is where it stands now…..

As I have written this post, I started thinking about the fact that the background could also contain some shrubbery, trees or other foliage and that would give it even more interest, both in visual effects but also for the quilter!!

There is definitely more to come with this project……..I will get back to you…………….