A fairly productive weekend. I found myself at Ben Franklin Saturday buying several yards of nasty polyester kunin felt. (Back in my retail display days I got thoroughly spoiled by endless bolts of 60 inch-wide 100% wool felt. I'll admit it: I am an unrepentent wool snob.)
But the poly felt has one advantage over the wool felt. It will melt.
To begin at the beginning: I'm playing with elements to add to my Ephemera quilt and wanted to explore the idea of a gnarly tree branch. My friend Casey has done some very cool things with kunin felt and a heat gun and I've been reading about other artists' experiences with it in Cloth Paper Scissors.
But nothing I ever do is well-thought out and organized the first time. Hey, I'm an artist. What do you expect? Even in this era of nearly $3.25 a gallon for gas, I had to make two trips to the Oconomowoc Ben Franklin for felt, each round trip being about 40 miles.
So Sunday afternoon I played with my heat gun and learned a lot. The top photo shows the before shot, with plain felt. The bottom shot shows the burned and tortured final product. And I love the disclaimer on the heat gun: "This is not a hair dryer".
I auditioned the melted felt with the quilt and decided it was far too busy. It needs a simpler shape. But luckily I have two yards more of each of four different colorways of the kunin felt. I have plenty more to play with until the right effect is achieved.
My sewing buddies have been struck with the Mumbo Gumbo bug this spring and summer. Our monthly sewing group has been awash in these happy but berzerko quilts, and our recent Glen retreat saw at least four of them underway. Everyone tossed all their scraps in a heap and shared. It was great. Check out my friend Sue's more controlled color scheme in hers.
I was asked to contribute several Mumbo Gumbo blocks to a gift quilt and now I seem to be on the bandwagon too. At least partially. I'm not sure I want to make a whole quilt myself--it's fun for sure, but I have other things on my agenda right now. But these blocks look super, don't they? A whole quilt of this would be pretty neat. And as these quilts go, this is a TIGHT color scheme.
All activities Sunday night were brought (literally) to a crashing halt by a big storm that passed through. We only got caught by an edge of it, but still, as so often happens here and as no amount of complaining to the power company ever seems to change, our power went out for nearly two hours. And I guess we're lucky. As of this evening, there are still homes in the area without power.
I have learned to keep candles and oil lamps at hand and usually need them several times a year, sometimes for hours on end. It's hard to understand why an area of buried utilities loses power so often, and for so long.