Friday, January 17, 2014

The Wild Goose Chase Quilt

I love red and white traditional pieced quilts.

 Drafting the quilt pattern and hoping I have enough fabric to make an 84" x 84" quilt.
I  really like square quilts....  no edge becomes more worn than any other as any edge can be used at the top of the bed.... 
and I do like quilts to be used and not just looked at.
 This is a gift for Max's 20th birthday(which was on Christmas day)
 so I'm sure it will get used when I have it finished.

 ...laying out the pieces to see how it looks in real fabric.

 I like to piece on the machine... it makes stronger seams.
I made the first block for the quilt using this vintage all metal construction 1971 Zig Zag Kenmore sewing machine that I picked up on Kijiji ...

 It is a gift for my older son Zachary, he has been doing some very creative work with recycled materials.
When I got it, the stitching and tension was way off but after giving it a through oiling and cleaning and doing some adjusting and testing I had  it stitching great.... runs smooth and had a powerful motor. The lady I bought it from, who  received it as a wedding present from her mother-in-law back in '71, had rarely used it.
 It is an amazing machine and is in almost perfect shape. 

 ...each block requires 32 white triangles. I cut the templates from a plastic lid... the edges don't wear down like cardboard.

 I need 53 pieces for each block.... and I need 36 blocks.

 Most of the rest of the quilt was pieced on this vintage 1955 straight stitch Kenmore (electric) that I also got a good deal on, off Kijiji in November.  It came in this little maple cabinet. I gave it a good oiling and cleaning too.
The paint job and decal designs were in almost perfect condition. had a fold out table top on the side.

 and this great knee throttle!
 First time I ever used a knee throttle and I am in love with it... so much simpler than a foot pedal.
You sort of become one with the machine when you are using it... you don't even have to think..
it just happens...  it becomes second nature 
 I can't believe the difference.... wish I had one of these a long time ago.

 Johnnie replaced the motor for me... that's the little silver shape on the back (upper right) of the machine.. it's a 0.9amp...  the one that came on it had a missing bushing...  he found this used one at a sewing machine repair shop in Saint John and made it fit.
 The fellow had a whole drawer full of old motors that he had saved off old machines..
good thing to as a new motor would have cost $100. and we were able to get this one for $15.

If you ever have an opportunity to pick up one of these solid old cast iron machines that hasn't been abused, I would recommend it.
You can easily maintain them yourself, just a little oiling, cleaning some lint.
They last a very long time.... and they sound so good when they are running.

I am on the search for a Treadle Sewing Machine now, so I can sew without electricity.
Then I'll be ready for the next power outage or just be able to treadle for the sheer joy of it only with foot power.

 While I was sewing,  the bread machines were mixing up some dough.. 
I don't cook my bread in them, just mix and raise it in them, then I put it in pans, raise again and cook it in the oven. It turns out better that way. (*I got these both second hand a few yrs. ago)

 I like to sew the pieces in long strings without snipping them apart 'till I finish all the pieces for each block.

 One day when I was piecing at the start of January... a very cold day... the seasmoke was rising  and forming clouds over the Bay (as seen from the front living room window)

 It is truly gorgeous when this happens.

 these are the small 9 patch blocks that will be used in the sashing, which are the borders between the blocks
 ...each little piece will be 3/4"sq. when the seams are done.

 Decided to make Baked Beans that day too.
 One of my loaves of bread stuck to the wax paper that I had on top of it when it was raising so it looks kind of strange....
 turned out ok tho.

 the finished 9 patch blocks are only about 2 1/2" sq.
I need 49 of these small blocks. They are just so little and cute.

 These strips are 3/4" wide by the length of the bigger block... about 10 1/2" sq.

 I need 84 finished sash strips.

 This old Iron was given to me after my house fire back in 1991 by an elderly neighbor,  Ause Gustavsen... a retired nurse,
I think the iron is from the '50's.
It had belonged to her mother. It is the only one I have used since then and it still works great. 
 I don't use the steam. I just use the heat... and it never fails.. 

Why can't they make things to last like they use to?

 here are all the pieced blocks that I need for the quilt.... all pressed.

 Stitching the sashing and little blocks,

 First two strips... I need 6 of the strips on the left and 7 of the narrow strips on the right.

The homemade bread fresh out of the oven... the lumpy one raised and turned out ok.

 I had to ease a few pieces... I didn't stitch over the pins, I just needed that many for a few blocks to make the blocks fit easier...
I took the pins out as i went along before the needle got to them.
 we had some rain and the snow is almost all gone ... much easier to get around.

 This is the rising sun from this morning, January 17, 2014.

 I thought the back was  interesting too, so I am  including a picture of it.

Finally have the whole Wild Goose Chase Quilt Top pieced ....  took me almost a month of my free time to cut out and put the whole Top together.

The red and white striped fabric at the bottom of the second picture at the top of this post will be used for the back. 
Now I need to quilt it.  Not sure when I'll get started on that.... Feels good to get it to this point though.
Have to get back to making jewelry now.

Gwen Buchanan, Desideratum Art Studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Expressive Drawing

Untitled...  by my son, Max Ackerson

Expressive drawing is the form of art that I am drawn to the most.
I want to feel what the artist feels and what the subject portrays.
I want to have a reaction.... to ponder.
I want it to capture me... to make me spend time with it. 
I want it to draw me in... to make me examine it deeper.
 I want to search out the lines... 'till my senses absorb the message.

I feel Max achieved a beautiful sense of Expressiveness in this drawing...
It is so very sensitively done.
...maybe I am a bit prejudiced, being his mother but I believe he did a magnificent job.

Actual drawing size: 6 1/2" x 10" plus mat, charcoal, conte on colored Canson paper. 

Max turned 20 years old on Christmas Day, 2013.  He has drawn "constantly" all his life and is presently attending the College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in his first year and enjoying every minute.