eight by eight

August is done by Blair
September 28, 2008, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Blair, finished | Tags:

Dear Daria,

I literally finished this piece about 20 minutes ago, and we are heading out to a soccer game shortly. But I love to get things crossed off my list (and there’s much more to do today) so here you go. The first thing you may notice is that I went completely away from my original inspiration of that Gee’s Bend quilt piece I posted about. I noticed that too. As hard as I tried, it just wasn’t working with September’s box of supplies. There wasn’t quite enough contrast in the fabrics to make the geometric, graphic effect I was inspired by. So I went back to the drawing board and the result is this piece.

I thumbed through Pattern Motifs: A Sourcebook (one of my favorite pattern reference books, by the way) and ironically found inspiration in a very simple square grid pattern. I also thumbed through my sketchbook and remembered an idea I’d played around with briefly over the summer, cutting and sewing fabric into narrow strips, then cutting those pieces into strips, perpendicular to the seams. Leaving me basically squirmy little strips like the one above. I sewed these together and had one long patchwork-y, skinny snake of a strip. I pinked the edges mostly because I like the way it looked, though it does help with loose threads.

I sewed the strips on the machine, right down the middle, with the thread you sent in the box. Then I used the thread to make the grid pattern. I had planned to use the largest brown swatch you sent as the background, but decided there needed to be more contrast between the background and the handstitching, so I used this blue corduroy from my stash. It seemed to work well with everything, so hopefully that was okay. I mimicked a handquilted, running stitch on the grid pattern I “drew” with the thread, which is great practice because I will be handquilting the twin sized quilt I’m working on soon. My stitches are far from even and uniform, they’re not even straight, but I’m beginning to realize that the charm of a hand stitched effect on anything (a quilt or something else) is in the idea that its done with someone’s hands, and not on a machine. Don’t you find it terribly hard not to study something that’s been entirely handstitched?

Anyway, there you have it. This box was a challenge for me, but I’m so glad I jumped in it this weekend. Its simple, but the play of the handquilting, the patterns in tiny little doses, the pinking, worked for me.

Can’t wait to see yours!



August: Thread by daria
September 20, 2008, 9:54 am
Filed under: Daria | Tags: ,

Dear Blair,

You know, if months actually went at the pace they seem to in my little eightbyeight world, I’m pretty sure I would get a lot more done.

When we were making our topic list, last December, I thought that thread was a really cool idea.  I still do, WAY cooler than buttons, but I am not sure exactly how to — well, never mind, I just got an idea.

Also, the grey fabric you sent is just gorgeous.

And I really like the floss colors too.  I’m working with a lot of rich, plummy brown fall colors in my other projects right now, & I like how different, how cool & smooth these are.  (Not that the rock postcard is influencing me, or anything…)


August- thread by Blair
September 9, 2008, 11:49 am
Filed under: Blair, inspiration | Tags: , ,

Dear Daria,

Fresh off the rejuvenation of July’s project (which is prescisely what I’d hoped this project would do, rejuvenate!), I open your August box. Such a contrast from last month, but it feels very in line with the world outside right now (although isn’t this indian summer we’re having incredible?). The contents are full of textures and depth of brown and navy blues (I’d love to see the Jedi costume these came from, did I miss it? It must have been fabulous!).

Thread… when I thought about this theme, I immediately thought of Lisa Solomon’s method of drawing with thread, like these pieces in one of her newest shows (scroll down). I am also thinking about everything I can DO with thread in general, like on cloth, of course, but also things like helping Ian hang a paper mobile. I was struggling a bit with this month, and thread, but then when I talked to my sis-in-law about it, she helped me brainstorm into an idea that resonated with me. So, I’m all a-go. Hope you are finding inspiration out there (and in the box I sent).


let’s give ourselves a break by Blair
July 16, 2008, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Blair, Daria, inspiration | Tags: , , ,

Dear Daria,

I will wholeheartedly admit to having let the lazy days of summer get to me, how can I work when the weather is like this??? And how can you work with sick kids: ( ?

Let’s officially put ourselves on an eight by eight summer schedule. Which will work something like this-

Next week, Daria and I will take turns posting a photo a day to inspire us for July’s theme of ‘water‘, to kick us back into creative gear. We will be posting our finished June project at the end of July (you can see our boxes of materials for June’s theme here and here), then double up with projects for August (August and July’s project will both be completed in August), to get us back on schedule.

Thanks so much for following us along on this creative journey!