#myquiltcouldlivehere- Cyanotype Quilt

I love the Cyanotype quilt.

That blue.

I knew there would be some version of cyanotype in Wise Craft Quilts.

From Wikipedia

“Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints.”

This process creates beautiful silhouette images of plants, leaves, and other natural objects when exposed to sunlight. For the quilt in the book, I thought it might be fun to create silhouettes of physical things that define our family. Like the haiku my son wrote in kindergarten. The dragon drawing my daughter did in elementary school. Bike gears that belonged to my husband. I love how it turned out. I purchased the treated fabric for this quilt from Dharma Trading and give more details in the book.

I am documenting the process of remaking quilts from Wise Craft Quilts in our private FB group. Its been such fun to revisit these quilts and create a new version of them. A few weeks ago, I decided this will be the next one.

But what type of things should I use to create the prints on the new version? For me, these quilts tend to work best when the prints have some kind of unifying theme.

And then it dawned on me! What about my favorite childhood book?

My absolute favorite book was The Borrowers by Mary Norton. (Here’s a synopsis for those who have never read it.) My favorite teacher read a chapter of that book every day after lunch in my 3rd grade class. I was completely obsessed with it!

This quilt will be so fun to do! If you’d like to follow along, be sure to join the Wise Craft Quilts FB group to see the progress. Or perhaps even make a Cyanotype quilt of your own! What struck me about this project was how easy it would be to involve little ones in the process. They can choose their favorite toys to make the prints. It would also be lovely to include special things from a loved one who has passed away.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about where this quilt would live. Thinking about what works in the original quilt so well for me. Aside from the subject matter (my favorite people), I loved the African Wax Print fabric I used on the back of the quilt (seen below, top right). It pulled in a golden yellow-y mustard shade that I think works with cyanotype blue so well.

Cyanotype quilt

Photo by Stephanie Congdon Barnes

I focused on that combination for the collage for the Cyanotype quilt. I see this quilt living in an environment where there is an appreciation of clear color, a comfortable, well-designed space, and a celebration of cyan blue in just the right amounts.

Not too much. But just enough.

From top right- Blue Dress :: Blue Fern :: Blue/Mustard Bedroom :: Tiny flowers :: Cup :: Illustrated Ceramic :: Spools :: Bar Cart :: Mustard Sofa :: Center- Cyanotype from Wise Craft Quilts

#myquiltcouldlivehere

Sashiko Pattern Set 2

New Sashiko Coaster Making Bundle

Sashiko Pattern Set 2

Many of you who stitched along with me during the #wisecraftstitchalong Sashiko Coaster series wanted a light colorway option in addition to the navy blue one offered in the complete kit, and I’m happy to say that its here! This newest Sashiko coaster kit includes a silver blue Robert Kaufman linen base fabric. It stitches up beautifully with the included navy blue thread (no thread shadows showing through). This kit also gives you access to 4 brand new downloadable patterns, complete with instructions to turn them into 4 new coasters to add to your collection.

 

 

This new kit also shows how easy it is to add a custom feel to these simple stitch patterns by throwing in a contrast thread here and there, so you will also get peacock blue Sashiko thread to customize your coasters.

Get the new Sashiko Fabric and Thread Kit

The basic, complete Sashiko kit is also still available here, if you need all the legit Sashiko gear, like needles, thread snips, palm thimble, etc. As always, you can follow along with my original series of Sashiko on my YouTube channel.

F & F Collection Peek

The Process of Rediscovery

F & F Collection Peek

Being the only one at the helm of this ship called Wise Craft Handmade ⎯ the only one to produce, make things happen, create new products, post online, write patterns ⎯ is both challenging and exciting. There is never a time that I don’t feel I could be doing more- more work, more reaching out, more social media, more product design. There is pressure to work more efficiently, quicker, smarter, and do all the necessary things to make more of a business to my creative world.

Many have discussed the illusion of “busy” online. Other people seem to get it right, they look polished and productive. There’s an awe of “how do they get it all done” that washes over us whenever we see their newest project. There is a self-imposed rush to post beautifully composed Instagram images regularly, to write thought-provoking posts on FB, here on my blog, or even to caption a photo. Its very easy to feel overwhelmed. Even after being online since 2005, I can still feel overwhelmed some days. Most recently, I feel like there’s never enough time to make the actual content to post on social media in the first place, that I’m too busy creating the social media posts, or securing the work. And to what end?

People disappear from social media for a time and we worry, or they announce a “break”, or simply just throw their hands up and walk away. Its tempting, I will admit. Social media can warp what you really think of your own work, and what it is you want to produce. In can confuse you into thinking you should be doing things a certain way to get a desired result, and make you forget where you passion is.

I asked my newsletter subscribers back in the Spring for their advice on embracing a slower Summer schedule. It really felt like the perfect time to make a deliberate shift. I needed to back away from what the work in my studio, from social media comparisons, and look at things from a broader and really, a simpler, perspective. Things had gotten creatively muddy. I was also weary of how deadlines were just zapping my creative energy. Deadlines are important and necessary, but I had begun reacting to them in a way I didn’t recognize.

I was feeling REactive.         I wanted to feel more PROactive.

The overarching advice I received from my readers was plain and simple. Give yourself permission take a break and pause. I knew that, but appreciated (and needed!) the nudge. Taking a break online and saying no to new projects, even for a short period of time, can feel like I’m walking away from my income stream.

But, I really needed to change things up. I forced myself on a little hiatus.

I’ve watched two seasons of The Great British Baking Show and sewn thousands little hand stitches while doing it.

I’ve browsed through aisles of thrift stores, a coffee in hand, searching for old books or strange little things that I could play with and perhaps give a second life.

I’ve been to the museum with my daughter.

I’ve seen movies with my son.

I’ve supported them as they’ve both embarked on their first real jobs ever.

I’ve had fancy dinners with my husband.

We’ve said goodbye to Gracie, our wonderful furry companion for 12 years.

F & F Collection Peek

As for studio work, I have spent some time working on things that are exploratory, instinctive, and just a little different for me. Things that make my heart sing. I am more inspired than I’ve been in a very long time. I’ve had time to look at my entire business in a more “what if?” kind of way.

It feels scary, uncertain, and exciting. Feelings that life is too short not to allow myself to feel.

 

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