Monthly Archives: June 2009

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

…to bring you something completely different.

Stuffed alien guy
Stuffed alien guy

Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

I know, I know, you thought I only ever made quilts anymore!  Well that’s just not the case.  For her birthday, my friend, Helene, asked me to make my version of an UglyDoll.  This is he!  I actually drew out the pattern so I can recreate him if I decide to.  And I may…with some adjustments. 

He’s made from lime green terrycloth and some felt.  The terry cloth had a touch of stretch, so I pressed some woven interfacing onto the back before cutting it out.  That worked out nicely.  The eyes, horns, “claws” and belly button (which you can’t see in this picture) are bits of felt.  He’s stuffed firmly but still soft.  The feet & belly button are needle-sculpted.

While i thought the head shape would be cool, I think it needs some adjustment.  More rounded would do it some good.  Also, the arms are stuff too firmly so they stick straight up all of the time, and I’d like him to have more than 2 claws.  I should have clipped the felt to make the claws AFTER sewing it into the end of the arms.  I’m not sure that would have worked either, but at least it would have given me more opportunity for adjustment later.

They’ve named him pearE because he looks like a pear.  H. has to fight with her kids to keep him as hers.  I guess that is something of a ringing endorsement!  She’s already got him guzzling booze and doing laundry for her like a real member of the family.

Wind Moon

Wind Moon
Wind Moon

Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Hare Moon, Seed Moon, Moon of budding Trees,
Let fertile magic sprout within me,
Kali, Hathor, Ishtar, Bast,
This abundant, creative cycle now be cast.
-Dallas Jennifer Cobb

Living in the DC Metro area, there is one thing that you just cannot escape from in the early part of April – the Cherry Blossoms.  The delicate, ephemeral quality of these of these blooms attracts me…I don’t know what it is about ephemera, but I love it.  Maybe it’s just the sound of the word itself…I wrote a post a while back in my personal blog all about my love of ephemera…when I have a little time and some patience, I will sort through those posts and link to it here.  But anyway, I digress.  In early April this year, in the DC Metro area, when we were firmly in the grip of the Cherry Blossom frenzy, that is when the full moon fell.  Known as the Wind Moon or the Pink Moon it wasn’t just apropos that the idea for this quilt include cherry blossoms.  They are the herald of spring for us, after a very long spell of cold, dry, brown grass and barren trees and things stirring IN the Earth, but very little on the surface of the Earth that we can see.  The cherry blossoms are an explosion and a celebration of life after the winter has ended.

Wind Moon detail
Wind Moon detail

Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

I quilted this piece with the swoops and swirls and spirals that you would see if wind were visible, then used thread painting techniques to create the tree branch that passes in front of the moon.  I clustered beads together on the branch as they would appear on an actual cherry tree and added swirls of beads flying from the tree as the flower petals get caught up in the wind.  The beads are a combination of small and large seed beads purchased from the craft store; and small & large Swarovski crystals and sequins, purchased from Accessories of Old in Bethesda, MD.

Storm Moon

Seed Moon, Plow Moon, Moon of Winds,
Illusion ends as true growth begins,
Hecate, Athene, Astarte, Morrigan,
In pure inspiration the cycle begins again.
-Dallas Jennifer Cobb

Once again, I was left in the dark; clouds filled the sky on the night of the full moon and there was nothing for me to gaze at in order to find my inspiration.  I had to imagine it all. 

I find that I am generally fascinated by water color quilts & the idea of taking the traditional quilting methods and weaving them into an art piece.  I love that I can create a piece from tiny little squares of fabric that give you the impression of texture.  Have you ever looked at a stormy sky?  At first glance, it seems like it is all one color, but there are shadows and tints and shades hiding in those clouds.  The same goes for the moon, it is not one solid color either.  That is the idea that I am attempting to convey by piecing both the sky and the moon with tiny 1 inch squares, the texture of a stormy sky and the true face of the full moon.

The piece is quilted using three colors of thread in a style usually used to convey the impression of water – here it is also used to convey water, just in a different form.

Yesterday there was S.E.X.

Minds out of the gutter, please. We’re talking “Stash Enhancement eXpedition”, thankyouverymuch.

A close friend of mine found an local interior decorator who was moving offices/going out of business/changing things up (we’re not quite clear exactly what the situation is) and was invited to take a look at the stuff that the interior decorator was getting rid of. She was astonished to find that “stuff” included ROOMS full of fabric: samples, yardage, upholstery, silk, cottons…

My friend kindly invited me to join her yesterday for some free S.E.X. (if she knew that that is what it is called, I think she would unfriend me immediately) and I happily agreed, though I have to admit I was a touch skeptical. We arrived, and the decorator informed us that we were last on her priority list, first being her staff, second being charity and third, us. This was FINE WITH ME.

The fabric selection was astounding. Being a quilter, I could happily take even the small sample-sized fabric squares. By the time I left, I had 3 trash bags FULL of fabric & even a number of beautiful trims, and they STILL hadn’t finished clearing out the back room. Of course, it turns out that the fabrics I really wanted were in the back of the back room. My wonderfully, amazingly, awesomely fantastic friend volunteered to go back today and pack up even more fabric for me, along with some pillow forms and other wonderful things.

Last night I cut open my garbage bags and sat in my living room sorting fabric.  Quilters cottons, tiny pieces, medium pieces, yardage, shears, other, and trims.  I have ideas for about 50% of it. 

Keep your eyes out for some fabulous carpet bags and vintage style baby quilts to appear in my etsy shop soon!