Monday, March 14, 2022

Aurifil Color Builder Challenge - Innamorato

The March challenge is sponsored by Aurifil Threads.  Here are the simple guidelines to complete the challenge.

Create a piece inspired by your assigned Italian destination. It could be a city scene, a landscape, or something you associate with the location.

  • Size: 20” x 20” or under

  • Must use each of the 3 thread spools from the Color Builder box, how the thread is used is up to the maker!

  • Utilize thread painting, some type of appliqué or a combination of the two

I chose orange for two reasons. 
1. I like orange :-) 
2. I had leftover orange fabrics from the Farm Fresh collection that would match perfectly with the Aurifil threads.

The following picture is provided by Aurifil for the Tuscany Orange Color Builder Thread set.

Such a beautiful sky in my favorite colors, I knew what I wanted to do.  Using the techniques learned in Gloria Loughman's class, I could create a landscape showing off those gorgeous sunny vibes.


Work in Progress

I layered Island Batik Foundation Pumpkin as the base on top of the Hobbs Cotton Batting before adding the tiles for appliqué.  A 90/14 Schmetz Needle was perfect for securing the appliqué to the base.  

Time for Thread

Hills and foreground were added. And then the tree. 

For the Hill

Tree Foliage

It was coming together nicely. The beautiful Island Batik fabrics and the gorgeous Aurifil Threads had captured the beauty of the Tuscan sunset. 

Almost there?

But something was missing. 

Looking at this gorgeous landscape, I knew I wanted to be there with Paul, exploring vineyards, walking hand in hand and soaking up the sun while basking in the warmth of his presence.  

Paul: It looks lovely.
Me: Hmm...
Paul: You don't seem happy.
Me: Something is missing.
Paul: What?
Me: The soul.
Paul: Huh?
Me: WE are missing. 

Adding a couple in silhouette would complete the picture. But not any couple. It had to be us. I rummaged through our pictures to find a suitable one.

Nah - too much going on

Nope - It will look like a blob

Same problem

When we get our pictures taken, the impulse is to get closer, but those pictures will not look good in a silhouette. I realized that we need to be close but not touching.

I could make this one work

I traced the outlines as two separate bodies. There was nothing romantic about that. And cutting out the silhouette was no fun either. I am sure my nose and chin are smooshed.  

Once completed, I stepped away to admire my handiwork. 

It is us!!!

Picturing the Future

I had goosebumps. Mission accomplished!

I was there. We were there. Someday we will be. 

Sitting in the living room, watching TV and eating dinner, I found myself looking into the studio area, staring dazedly at the picture of us. Paul noticed that I was not paying attention to "Resident Alien" on TV.

Paul: You are silly.
Me: Nah, I am crazy. About us.
Paul: I am too.
Me: Look at us.
Paul: I did. It is beautiful. 

Since I am in love with Paul and I love this finish, I have named it Innamorato, which means "in love" in Italian. I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. 

A few closeups.

Disclosure: The fabrics, batting, thread and needles were generously supplied by the following companies: Thank you, Island Batik, Aurifil Thread,  Hobbs Batting & Schmetz Needles.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Deadlines be damned...

I have deadlines. I have promises to keep. I have signed a contract that I must honor.

But these are strange and unprecedented times. And damn the deadlines. Because, right now, there is something else that I absolutely must do.  

I have to scream till I am hoarse.  So here it is...

There are plenty of leaders (self-styled and otherwise), some are elected and others who have forced their way to the top. There are those who care about their countries and those who are in it to further their own selfish interests. And these leaders make plenty of speeches. So there is no dearth of famous sayings by famous (and infamous) people.

It was these six simple words by Volodymyr Zelenskyy (President of Ukraine) that moved me such that I had to drop everything and make something with them.  This is is not a typical Dreami (drop everything and make it) project but even more compelling.

When Zelenskyy was offered a way out of troubled Ukraine, he responded by saying, "The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride."

This is my attempt to honor the courage and remarkable leadership of Zelenskyy, who chooses to fight and lead a nation through a most challenging time, when he could've fled to safety.

Yellow and Gold background

Solid Blue Letters

Walking Foot Quilting

Matching Blue Binding

In a world full of politicians and deal-makers, here is an ordinary man who rose to the occasion. As I join millions others praying for his and his family's safety, I hope that if we were called to such an extraordinary task, we could do the same.  He has definitely shown us how.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Ukraine on my mind...

I have been superbusy working on projects that I cannot share at this time.  

To be revealed later

But when Angela announced the RSC color for March, I had to take a break. I rummaged through my box of yellows. 

Yellows for March

And found these two fabrics. Sharing with Angela's Linky party.

Sunflower - Bright

Sunflowers - Subdued

As I incorporate them in to my March RSC blocks, I will be thinking of Ukraine, its brave people and their remarkable President, who finds himself in an unimaginably difficult situation. 

Must start somewhere

Work in Progress

Last week, scared and horrified, I had asked Paul - is the entire world going to just watch and let it happen? Is there nothing that can be done?

Paul: Sanctions are on the way.
Me: They have not worked in the past and I am unsure they will work now.
Paul: Imposing sanctions also hurts other countries, so they have to be careful.
Me: What about help from NATO?
Paul: Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
Me: They want to be. And if this unprovoked aggression is not an obvious reason/time for NATO to adopt Ukraine, what is?
Paul: If that happens, it would mean that entire Europe will be at war with Russia.
Me: So Russia just bulldozes their way into Ukraine?  Who comes next?
Paul: Countries are uniting in solidarity with Ukraine and sending aid and weapons.
Me: Will it work? Can they resist the invasion?
Paul: It ain't over yet.
Me: Can UN do nothing?
Paul(scoffing): Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council
Me: They should be thrown out of the Security Council. These are unprecedented times with an unprecedented problem. We cannot apply old solutions to new problems. Something has to change. 

Frustrated and helpless, I was arguing with Paul, as if he controlled the flow of arms and aid to Ukraine. I marvel that he can be well-informed and calm when I am not.

According to Julia Ioffe (from an interview with Stephen Colbert), "people of my generation in Russia have never experienced democracy. Ukraine has had it for a couple of decades and they are fighting so hard for it. And we (Americans) tend to take it for granted. We are complacent about it. That is why we were surprised by January 6th, surprised by Trump and if teaches us anything it is that Democracy is work. It is vigilance, it is being educated, it is being a savvy consumer of the media, it is voting, it is paying attention and we already have it. We just have to keep it and make it better. We already have it; they (Ukrainians) are starting from scratch."

You may see/listen to her here

Whatever happens and however this shakes out, one thing is certain - Volodymyr Zelenskyy will go down in history as an exceptional leader who rose to the greatest challenge of his lifetime.  With limited resources and minimal experience, he has had to lead a nation, while facing an uphill battle against a seemingly insurmountable enemy.  A relative newcomer to public service, there was no way to know how he would deal with such a situation. His reaction, his stance and his approach is both humbling and heartwarming. Declining an offer to evacuate, the Ukrainian President said this - "I need ammunition, not a ride."

"I need ammunition, not a ride": Zelenskyy proves to be an example of leadership.

Zelenskyy's courage and the determination of the Ukrainian people has led to some unforeseen and remarkable developments.  Germany reversed a historic policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones, saying the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an epochal moment that imperiled the entire post-World War II order across Europe. Even a historically neutral country such as Switzerland has agreed to adopt all the sanctions that the European Union has imposed on Russian people and companies and freeze Russian assets to punish the invasion of Ukraine.

As Russia bombarded civilian areas in Kharkiv, killing many citizens, Ukrainians continue to resist their advances. This is far from over. Let us keep Ukraine in our prayers. 

If you know of any Russian-owned businesses or people of Russian origin, please be kind.  They did not cause this and have little control over it. In fact, most of them are against this aggression. Many Russians in several cities have protested this invasion of Ukraine, while facing arrest and detention. 

I have completed my Island Batik/Aurifil March challenge, but I will share that in my next post. 

As promised here are the winners of the giveaway from February Challenge and Bloghop. The randomly generated numbers are 11 (Katie), 32 (Shirley C), 41 (Quilter Kathy) and 45 (Julie in GA). Emails are  on their way.