New Projects For The New Year

Besides my carry forwards from 2016 I have new projects to work on in 2017. Only one has a deadline so I have lots of rope with which to hang myself.

The project with a deadline is for my traditional quilt guild. Typically we have a challenge due each year in March to celebrate our Founders Day. This year’s features songs by the Beatles. We signed up for a song from a list. No more than four people could choose the same song. I had no competition for my choice, “Paperback Writer.”

My plan is to recreate the cover of a pulpy paperback. The research will be fun, as such covers often feature dames in deshabille, guns, and square jawed PIs. I just hope we won’t be called on to sing our choices. Here’s a few of my inspiration book covers. I do hope George F. Worts is a pen name.

kill-me-a-little 01-octavus-roy-cohen-theres-always-time-to-die-i-love-you-again-pop-lib050 overboard

Another, much more open ended project is to print/paint/stitch on the silk screen prints I made with thickened dye. The first layers need more, so I hope subsequent layers will improve them.

As a corollary to that project, at the end of May I plan to take a course from Sue Benner at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. This will be five days of dye painting and printing. To quote: “Bold and expressive use of Procion MX dyes is the goal of this workshop. Sue teaches her layered painterly approach using direct application, mono-printing, and various other techniques. Emphasis is also placed on developing sophisticated color combinations, using interesting tools, along with adding touches of metallic and opaque fabric paints.”

That’s right, no sewing machine, all fabric creation; and a trip to the 2017 Quilt National exhibit thrown in.

I may also make up some of the sketches I did for my master class. Which sketches may be a function of the fabrics I create. After all, I’ll want to take them out for a spin.

Among the possibilities are:


Elizabeth suggested I darken the road in the background and make the other background colors paler, especially the browns, so they aren’t the darkest values. I found subtlety is difficult with crayons.


Here Elizabeth suggested I crop the image to make it less symmetrical and use subtle color changes so it isn’t matchy-matchy. She really doesn’t seem to care for symmetrical designs.

april-jmm-sketch-2a-resizedThe only advice here was to make sure the water is on a flat plane. It would be the last piece in my salt marsh series, and would represent summer.


Elizabeth liked this dominant color sketch which I would work up in blacks, whites, and grays for an urban feel.

The only other project I have in mind is a vest made of various silks I’ve collected. I have a loose fitting, lined pattern, but need to figure out which silks to back with interfacing. Some of the pieces are quite thin. It will be like doing a crazy quilt. Wow, I haven’t sewn any clothing for myself in decades.

Do you have any plans, quilt-wise, for 2017? If so, I’d love to hear about them.


Filed under Art quilts, Commentary

10 responses to “New Projects For The New Year

  1. I am glad I visited your blog after a hiatus of sidetracking. You are really putting yourself out there artistically! Sue Benner sounds intriguing. I am in a small guild in a remote location, same exact situation with older members, etc. I may need to drive further to get into a more inspiring and artistically fulfilling group. My online quilt pals save the day! I have not figured out a class to attend for this year; I like to meet someone accomplished and get design battery charging. However, I have been a whirling dervish of finishing UFOs so far this new year, and that is a good thing.

    • Always good to finish up the UFOs worth finishing before embarking on the next adventure. I’ve decided that more intensive classes work better for me. Even day long ones don’t give me enough time to get up to speed on a technique or approach and then actually create something worthwhile. Yes, outfits like QSDS aren’t cheap, but luckily it’s 2 hours from where I live so the transportation costs are minimal. I hope you find a local F2F group that is more inspiring. I think for some long established quilting groups the members came for the quilting but stayed more for the fellowship.

  2. Sounds like you have an interesting quilt year ahead! The guild challenge sounds fun. I will be interested to see what you do with the book cover. As I recall, last year you made your first quilt with a person in it. They certainly figure prominently in those covers!

  3. I do have seeds of plans for the year, but they are not well developed yet. That might be just as well. 🙂 For you, I’ll look forward to seeing a few of these projects you’ve shown above. (And I’m assuming you won’t get to all of them!) The Beatles challenge sounds like fun. My guild is not very creative in challenge themes, but most of the makers in my guild aren’t in the “reaching” stage anymore. (In fact I think a lot of them don’t make much at all anymore but still come for the camaraderie.) Even our Iowa challenge had very few entries.

    • Hmmm, I wonder what will happen to guilds like yours when members simply get too feeble to attend meetings. One local guild where I live meets in the daytime so members’ husbands can drive them while it’s light outside. My guild has seen quite a change in membership over the past 3 years. The number of members has decreased a bit, and more of the members are somewhat new to quilting. The old guard has stepped back and newer members are organizing things, a good outcome.

  4. What a great idea for a guild challenge! The women in my guild are all old enough that they probably never listened to the Beatles–they’re more Frank Sinatra and Elvis age, I suspect! I will really look forward to seeing that quilt develop! My plan for 2017 is to plod along, finish quilting that red and white quilt, work on the women’s suffrage quilt (guild’s block of the month), and weave!

    • And I thought the women in my guild were old! It was fun to see the faces of my 60 something fellow guild members turn wistful as they recalled “Strawberry Fields Forever.” I’ve made a few bad sketches of quilt ideas, but will need to go back to drawing class to get the effect I want. It’s interesting that your guild has a women’s suffrage block of the month. I can’t imagine my guild choosing that subject, which intrigues me (the subject that is.)

      • Well, our guild doesn’t choose anything–we have one woman who was willing to run the BOM program this year and that’s what she came up with. Our guild has a problem with people stepping up for any of the leadership roles . . . . But I don’t care–I like the theme and am making the pieced blocks and supplementing them with other blocks, on which I’m embroidering quotes about women’s rights. The one I’m working on now, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is “Now, now my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles and see the world is moving.” 🙂

      • I understand completely that guild theme projects are usually the result of one person’s efforts. And yes, most guild members like to attend but aren’t eager to do the work. That attitude got my guild into serious financial trouble a few years ago. Love the quote from Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I see samplers embroidered with such amazing quotes.

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