About Me

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fiesta! Beginnings

Fiesta! Beginnings 2, originally uploaded by Fiberdabbler.

My block began with embroidered fabric from a recycled dress or beach cover that looked like it could have been from south of the border. After piecing, I couldn't decide if it looked like a musical note or the embellished pantleg of a charro. Whichever, it would be festive, hence the fireworks print. Bright colors made brighter in contrast to the black shout excitement and celebration. In deference to the charro theme I used scraps of faux leather in red and black for a masculine touch and in anticipation of later equine motifs.
This is only a segment of the basic block. You can view more, along with detail shots of the finished project at my Flickr site in my Round Robins set. Click here for a brief history of charros in Mexico and the SW . Also click here for links to info about charros.


FIESTA DEL CHARRO, originally uploaded by Fiberdabbler.

This is a completed round robin block I previously called Fiesta!, and if you follow the link you'll see the collaboration of 6 other stitchers. It would have been a beautiful block left at that; I intended merely to add a charm or two and finish up a couple of naked seams. Obviously encrustation lessons from Sharon Boggin took hold, and although I tried to balance busy spots with a few sparse ones, I may only have succeeded in gilding another lily. I do like to think the work of my talented fellow players stands on it's own, my finishing touches secondary. My only changes to previous work was to reposition a button and a charm, and regretably had to redo ole, which was originally rendered in a very pretty variegated thread.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

La Vida Laredo

La Vida Laredo, originally uploaded by Fiberdabbler.

When I first decided to try crazy quilting I had zero stash: no fabric, no threads or fibers, no beads, ribbons or embellishments of any kind. One of my first acquisitions was a wonderful fabric assortment from Karen South. The woven stripe you see in two of my patches caught my imagination right away, and from the first I knew I would someday use it in a Mexican theme, and over the next years I gathered embellishments suitable for such a project. A while back
I hosted a Southwestern swap followed by a round robin. The desert landscape fabric is one I contributed to the swap, but my most prized goodie from that exchange was the geometric patterned fabric that I immediately interpreted as a stylized desert landscape. And the colors! So close to my equally prized "serape" fabric! Instant color palette!

For the round robin I pieced two southwestern blocks, this one which I called Desert Sunrise (or was it Sunset?) and another in a completely different colorway I called Fiesta. It was the latter which circulated through the round robin and to which I am presently adding finishing touches. Desert Sunrise/Sunset I kept. I'd decided it would be one of two blocks that would represent a bit of family history. When I find the stash I set aside for it, I'll piece the companion; meanwhile Desert Sunwhatever has morphed into La Vida Laredo and represents the years my paternal grandfather lived there with his first bride (I descend from his second wife). Strictly according to family lore, she was from a wealthy family in Nuevo Leon, grand or greatgrandaughter of one of the original Spanish land grantees. In the pictures I have seen, she is a beautiful young woman, elegantly attired. One of the photographs was taken in Paris, where she may have been a student. Tragically she died young in childbirth in 1911. I've often wondered how they met.

I placed symbols on the block to represent my grandfather. There is the initial S for the surname we share, a button representing the railroad for which he was a conductor, and another button in the shape of a miniature Winchester rifle bullet to suggest his reputation as a fine hunter. There are two stars, one to symbolize his Texas birthplace, another tributes his special appointment to the Texas Rangers.