Monday, April 25, 2011

Shrine Composition #1

...because I really suck at making up titles, and last year when I thought I was going to do a whole series of quilts around the idea of shrines this seemed like a great way to avoid the title problem forever and ever, that's why. Unfortunately for this plan, after Shrine Composition #2 (now being hand quilted I veered off in a totally different direction. Anyway, here's a not-very-good picture of #1; when the design board's clear again I'll put up the photo lights and take a better picture.

Here's a look at the central section of woven tubes:

And here are a couple of those dangly strings of beads I was whingeing about making:

and here's a really detailed closeup of three beads so that you can appreciate their full, craggy, glitzy, comples, multilayered glory.

Looking at the pictures reminds me that I really do love these beads.

I just don't want to make any more of them for a while.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Basket of Beads

This is what happens when you don't think things through carefully:

I made a few of these beads with painted Tyvek and embossing powder and loved them and finally figured out a way to incorporate them into a quilt. The middle section of the quilt is composed of woven tubes and every other square is tied down with a short Tyvek bead. That required 40 beads. All well and good. I went on cheerfully designing with some strong verticals that looked sort of like columns, planning to decorate each column with a string of 8 or 9 longer Tyvek beads which I would, of course, have plenty of time to make while quilting the thing...

...Fast forward: I got to the binding stage and then remembered oh yeah, I have to make some more multi-layered, holey, embossed Tyvek beads to finish the thing.

I have now become quite painfully aware that it takes fifteen minutes to make each of these little suckers - and that's with the "efficiency" of actually making a three-bead-long tube and slicing it into sections.

I think I've got 63 beads now, albeit of charmingly varied dimensions. If I don't have that many, some of the inner columns will have shorter bead strings than the outer columns because I don't ever want to see Tyvek or embossing powder or a heat gun again!

(This is actually not literally true. During the final bead-making effort, a slip of the hot knife revealed a whole new world of possibilities to explore: mokume gane Tyvek beads! It is, however, true that I am quite willing to wait a few weeks before launching the exploration.)