We just finished up our all-school auction project. Last year I made a quilt with the kids, with the children each dyeing a piece of fabric. I paper pieced that quilt and it took many, many hours. So this year, we decided to try an art project instead. Since I’d always wanted to make a quilt of little houses, we decided to make a project with tiny wooden houses, each cut from balsa wood in varying shapes. The finished piece is 36″ x 48″, so each house had to be around 2″ wide and tall to allow 386 houses to fit on the wooden background.
Once I’d cut the houses, I passed them along to our school art teacher Kelley, who had each grade use a different technique to design their houses. Techniques included Pollack splatter painting for the youngest kids, Kandinsky houses with pastels for pre-K, Mondrian houses for kindergarten, plus pointillism, tissue paper overlays, paper mosaics, acrylic and sharpie, and black and white Zentangles. Some of the houses were representational and some abstract. Kelley did an amazing job with the kids and we were both surprised at how much detail they were able to get on these small houses. Then I painted the background with acrylic paint, glued each house on with wood glue and varnished the finished piece. I think that all of the individual and unique houses coming together in one project is such a sweet metaphor for our school community.
At the beginning of the year I decided to make some changes to my blog. I am no longer accepting advertisements because posting regularly has become more of a burden and things seem to have changed. Blogging doesn’t feel like it did when I first began in 2007. Back then I felt like I was talking to friends, sharing ideas and inspiration in a community. These days it feels like that community has devolved to quick Instagram glimpses, character-limited tweets, and solipsistic Facebook posts. Don’t get me wrong; I often enjoy the brief communication and instant feedback, but there’s definitely something missing. Maybe I need to actually leave my house to find community.
Anyway, I’ll be posting less frequently, but I am still making things. I just submitted another fabric collection for Kokka, which will be shown at Spring Quilt Market. And I’m excited to be trying some new substrates in this collection! I’m working on a new book idea, but feeling overwhelmed by the process. So I’ve been trying to use time effectively and to find that tricky balance between work and family life. Not easy.
Above are some Instagram photos to show what I’ve been doing lately. Making baby things! Working on auction projects. This year, we decided to skip the school quilt and make a piece of art, so I cut 380-something tiny balsa wood houses and the art teacher is working with the kids to paint and collage them. And I’m working with my older daughter’s fifth grade class on this paper stampede project. You can see her horse samples above. I found the tutorial and templates from Ann Wood over on Design Sponge. And in the bottom left photo, you can see that I made a block using a design from each of my Kokka collections. This is a work in progress for an upcoming block tutorial. And on the bottom right is a sneak peek of a design from my next collection!
Oh, and I’m also hauling kids around town, mediating their constant bickering, and making mediocre dinners. But I don’t have photos of that.
My new Garden collection for Kokka is now available in stores! Right now Pink Chalk Fabrics, Crimson Tate, and Fabricworm all have it in stock. More retailers should be getting shipments soon.
Click on the images below for larger photos of each print.
Triangle Flowers in olive green, gray, and blue.
Hydrangea in plum, blue, and olive green.
Crossed Leaves in gray, chartreuse, and turquoise.
Butterflies in cornflower, plum, and gray.
Cheater Print in pastels, gray, and jewel.
Dutch Garden in mustard, turquoise and charcoal.
Congratulations to Alice, #147! She’s the winner of the Love Patchwork & Quilting magazines.