Duane's experiement with yucca stalks
Our new silversmith's first effort
Since we are sitting here at Dream Catcher RV Park, we decided to catch up on our skills and learn new ones. Duane has extended his carving skills to dried yucca flowering stalks. Since these are not wood but pithy plants, he can't carve them, but he can wood burn and paint them. The one above is a nod to this area--rockhound heaven. He has been working at mastering rock cutting and shaping. The stone above is not one of our lucky finds, but one he bought. He is also learning to manipulate silver to make jewelry. The resulting combination of the two is quite stunning! I am working on the last of 6 queen sized quilts I promised our children. I make one a year for Christmas. I usually complete them in the first few months of the year. This leaves time for making other Christmas gifts such as bead and rock jewelry, counted cross stitch birth and wedding announcements, and baby quilts, sheets, and blankets. Recently it occurred to me that I had never shown my work. Since they were given for Christmas gifts, I couldn't show the quilts before the holiday, then I forgot. So now you are in for a treat. LOL
Since I custom make these for each person, they are one of a kind. I sometimes use an established pattern and put my tweak on it or make up my own. The are not quilted in the traditional way, but by my own design. The first was made for son Jeremy. He requested one of the old Amish patterns. This is tumbling blocks. It traditionally runs l to r. When I laid out the pattern, the yellow didn't fit anywhere. Since it is out of sync with the other colors, I piled them all in the middle and had them tumble out. Instead of quilting 1/4" inside each diamond shape, I did some that way then put geometric shapes--stars, spirals, etc.--in others. I also decided on a symbol for each member of the family and quilted these in each quilt. The blocks fit on top of the bed. The sides are dark green. They are cross-hatched with more of an angle of the regular cross-hatching. The back is one piece of very light green covered with very thin green vines and tiny lavender flowers. Each quilt is made with front and back contrasting so if the recipient gets tired of one side they can get relief by turning it over. That said, we hope you enjoy our efforts.