Friday, January 28, 2011

The Auction Quilt, Phase 1

Monday was the official start of the auction quilt.  Here's the idea: the silhouettes of the children will form the border of the quilt.  When they were in kindergarten, I let them paint their heads.  We're just doing simple black-on-white silhouettes for this one.

AMCC profile for pattern

The interior will look like a game board, with Pre-K in the Start position.  The squares that follow that will contain something that the kids remember from Pre-K.  Then kindergarten, first grade, and so on, with the second-to-last square for their graduation and a blank square after that (or maybe a question mark, the children were split on that). The class has 19 children, eight of whom started at the school in Pre-K.  They are a good, tight group of incredibly smart kids. 

The teacher liked the idea, so on Monday I went in to take the children's pictures for the silhouettes and get ideas for things to include in the game squares.  Because this is not the first time I have worked on a quilt with most of the kids, they knew that if I was there it must be quilt time.  They actually look forward to it, even the boys, which I find very sweet. 

One girl volunteered to record the responses and off we went.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  They had fond memories of some years (We got lockers! Lots of field trips! We made our first quilt!) that I was happy to include.  They had not-so-fond memories of other years (That time the teacher got so mad and ...! We didn't get to do anything!) that, while honest and/or screamingly funny in their retellings, were highly inappropriate for what may be viewed as a sentimental journey through elementary school.

The auction is not until May.  Despite my careful calculations, I have no doubt that somehow, I have already outsmarted myself on this quilt and will only discover the problem when fixing it will be extremely time-consuming.  That aside, once I have a mock-up ready, I'll go back to the classroom and enjoy hearing what these lively, lovely kids have to say.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Reasonable Plan

Gaston:  LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking.
LeFou:  A dangerous past-time...
Gaston:  I know.

from Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast, 1991

This is something a friend and I regularly sing at each other when one of us confesses to thinking.  And I have been thinking. 

Last year, I moved from project to project never quite knowing where I would end up or what would be next.  And even though there is going to be a fair amount of that (my future-telling isn't working so well these days), I think I have some concrete things to accomplish this year.

1. Finish the last commission quilt. I have incorporated the first verse of Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing into a wall-hanging for a wonderful client in Ohio. 

All that is left is the quilting of the background and it will be finished. Which will free me up for...

2.  The auction quilt for my daughter's school.  She is in the fifth grade, which is now the last year of elementary school here, so this is a milestone year for the class.  On top of that, this is the first fifth grade class the school has had in several decades; until two years ago the school ended at third grade, though it had originally gone to sixth grade.  All to say, this is special and I had better come up with a fantastic idea.  I will be chronicling the development of this one.

The first auction quilt in 2005, with Alyssa's pre-K class

3.  I have wanted to write a children's picture-book for some time, and now I have a pretty good draft. The big thing is that I want to do the illustrations myself as a series of fabric collages.  This is a huge undertaking, but I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  Details will follow as work progresses.

Those are the three major projects I see for this year.  There may be a show here or there that I would like to enter, but here is something else I have been thinking: I can't do everything.  Easy to say, hard to remember, but I'm trying. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where Are My Scissors?

This was supposed to be a post about my newest project, but I can't find my scissors.  These are not the scissors I am looking for.

The People Who Live in My House know not to borrow my scissors because they each have a function, which probably means that I put them down somewhere.  Somewhere is a mighty big place.  I just want my scissors back.