Friday, March 30, 2007

Hugs for my Sweetie

I finally sewed today. I've been obsessed with my handquilting but I'm almost finished with Fruit Punch and don't have another project to start handquilting so that was the nudge I needed.

I made loads of Xs. Are Xs hugs in the old hugs and kisses = Xs and Os? I don't actually know. I guess Xs have "arms" and when you hug each other you have four arms involved. And you pucker up and get on O shape when you kiss someone. Works for me. This was my first batch of the day:

See that mismatched X in the bottom right corner? I don't know how, but somehow I misplaced half an X. When I picked up the last two bits I had, I loved how they went together. Might make some intentionally, but not sure yet.

These are all the Xs I made today. Almost all. I tossed a couple aside into the orphan pile.

The second one looks busy. I'm hoping it's because the Os aren't in there yet. The top one looks so peaceful and soothing with the white space. Maybe an idea to consider for another time. There's definitely a difference between the first pic (natural light) and the second (flash) so I think the colors in the top are better.

I couldn't stand all my strips just globbed together. So back into little plastic bags for all the colors I'm working on.

To answer some comments on my last post. Yes, I'll still be blogging. Yes, I'll still be sharing loads of photos of work in progress and tutorials as needed. That's my favorite part of blogging. Some kind of latent teaching instinct or something. I had no idea it was there. The thought of getting up in front of strangers to teach in person makes me want to pass out, but I can babble all day on the blog. All the tutorials will still be available on

I'll still be harassing (and encouraging) some of you quilters out there to try something new and work without patterns or plans.

I'm going to go blogring free for awhile. I don't want to feel guilty that I'm in the embellishment ring, but haven't actually embellished for ages. That I'm in the maverick ring but going off the deep end making quilts out of dental floss and bottle caps... Not that I expect the latter to happen.

Yes, for some years now I've been making non-traditional quilts, but I didn't see them as "art quilt." Not serious enough or something. I'd say not pretentious enough but I don't want to get myself into trouble.

It's always been easier for me to think of my work as folk art because that is inherently naive, imperfect and it doesn't matter how you do it. It's done by just plain folk. I did once look up the definition of "folk art" and it's all about learning the skills from your people and doing things in a traditional way - so when it comes down to it, I'm not actually doing folk art.

I love Outsider Art, but don't think I fit into that category since I'm not institutionalized or incarcerated and God doesn't speak to me. Don't understand the joke? Go to an Outsider Art exhibition sometime and you'll see what I mean.

The problem with thinking Art Quilt is that I freeze up and start overthinking the process, instead of just enjoying myself. Is this Art, how about this? Aiyee, must stop thinking.

Lois, almost all the fabric I've bought has been half yards. I love scrap quilts and fabric rarely goes into just one project. I want leftovers. I did buy a few fat quarters specifically for this project - I didn't like the fabric well enough to buy more than that. And I did go back and buy a couple of yards of previously purchased fabric that was working incredibly well for this and I needed more.

Atet (you are no-reply or I'd have emailed you), my husband has definitely had the experience of the French being polite when he approaches them doing his very best to speak French.

Thank you all for the encouragement and support. I'll still be around and hope you'll continue to visit.


Linda said...

Interesting! I always thought of it as the other way round, the X's are the kisses (from the sound of the word and the kissing noise I guess) and the O's are the round arms of hugs. :)


Vinda said...

I am so glad you will be blogging. I think your work is terrific & I had assumed you were renowned in the art-quilt world. You will be soon enough; I am certain,

Dawn said...

I always learned it the other way. The O's are hugs, like circling around you and the X's are Kisses (X's kind of sound like Kisses).

Finn said...

Hey Ton, you do find all sorts of mischief to get into! Missed checking up on you for a few days and you've gone off in a new direction...*VBS* But I think that is wonderful, and I certain understand your thinking. Growth is essential, not just doing the same thing over and over. Altho it is comfortable to do that...LOL

Love the blue and greens, and what great pictures of you babies. They certainly are beauties. My prissy missy has been having hissy fits all day...seems she's bored..*G*
It's exciting to see you starting off on a new path. So happy you'll keep sharing with us. Big hugs, Finn
P.S. Great new picture!

Quilty Nurse said...

The blue and green Xs are looking great. I LOVE your mismatched X! I'm curious to know what sort of Xs ended up as rejects in the orphan pile?

Glad you'll still be blogging and sharing, look forward to seeing your new direction.

Tracey said...

I'm loving the colors of your Xs!
I'm glad to hear that you are going to keep blogging because your blog is one of the ones that is pushing me towards more non-traditional...I'm not there yet but want to be! LOL.

Lily said...

Hey Tonya, just realised that you'd started blogging again - you dropped off my bloglines when you switched to the new blogger.

Good idea re using B&W effect in Picasa to check contrast!! Should try that myself next time.

I'm glad you're still blogging - you always have something interesting to say.

Did you know Jenny Bowker lives here in Canberra, where I am? Am hoping to do a class or two with her one day in the future when I know what I'm doing!!

joyce said...

I definitely consider you an artist and a teacher. I have used your tutorials many times. As for what is art, there have been countless pages witten on the subject with no conclusion. I think if it is original and you like it, you've made art and therefore you are an artist.

Juliann said...

I am glad to hear you will still blog. Now I am hoping that your new direction might include a publication of some sort - that would be so fun.

Debbie said...

I read here regularly but have never posted a comment before. My question is not about 'what is art' but want to know then what "maverick" is supposed to mean?

I found your blog I think by googling for "Gwen Marston" after having discovered her liberated books. I like them but am I the only person who can't resist laughing at the contrariness about an instructional "how to be liberated" book? My favorite of her books is the one about Mary Schaeffer.

A wonderful knitter, Maggie Righetti who never gets as much credit as I think she deserves, was determined to get knitters to stop and look at their work often. Anna Zilboorg expounds on this too. I don't know if it was explicitly said by either of them, but I always finished the phrase "look at your work often" with my own ending, "and choose your next steps accordingly." If you like what you see, keep doing it. If you don't, do something else. Use the pattern as reference, or because it has all the math worked out for you (if that matters to the piece) or because it suggests combinations or techniques that free you from some of the choices so you can improvise wildly with other parts of it.

A maverick? Liberated? Artist? Who cares. Work to challenge/interest/please yourself. Do the work. Make it work without giving up on it. Nourish your sense of curiosity. Feel the joy of a finished piece and then make another. If the rest of us are really lucky, then you'll also blog about it!

Love your work, Tonya, and really love those feline friends of yours. Thanks for sharing so much inspiration.

atet said...

Ooops -- didn't know I was a "no-reply" *blush* sorry about that but good to know the stereotype of the French is just that and generally NOT true.

I love the x's and o's you're working on -- and I could never remember what each was for either! I always thought they meant love and kisses -- but hugs work too.

anne bebbington said...

Here in the UK we always put a few 'x's at the end of greetings cards, notes and letters to denote kisses - I thought it was universal until our german friends had to have it explained to them on a visit - I guess I always thought the 'O's are hugs because you wrap your arms around someone in a circle - but hey who cares it's the thought that counts. I do love the colours you're working with on this one though :o)

Lois R. said...

Tonya, Let the X's and O's mean what you want them to mean. Just like your quilts. They mean what you want them to mean. Keep the spirit of the Gee's Bend quilters in mind on your path to "art quilting" and HAVE FUN! Good luck on your new path. I'm so glad you'll be keeping us informed about what you're up to.

And thanks for the yardage purchase info. I still struggle with this...

Kathie said...

I'm liking all the Xs no matter what they mean.

I'm looking forward to seeing what your new directions you're planning. I've always thought your quilts were plenty artsy. At any rate don't get too hung up on labels, especially if they slow you down.

Kay said...

You are clearly an artist. Claim it!

Judy said...

My college French teacher told us that in class. "Please if you ever go then try and speak french even if you sound horrid because if you refuse, someone will likely send you in the wrong direction" I think she was kidding.