Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beaded Beauty

Good morning!! Yes, it is a very good morning! I have finished a "show quilt," and I am THRILLED. More than two years in the making, this one is done. It is sleeved and labeled, and I've taken pictures. I've burned my first CD, and today I will fill out the entry form for its first show. I am excited. The end result pleases me.

In previous posts, I've mentioned the class I took at Empty Spools (Asilomar) with Cynthia Corbin. The class was called "Deceptively Simple," and I spent the week doing river studies. Our final project was to incorporate all that we'd learned, but there was no way I could finish what my mind imagined. At least not during that week - it took two years! ;) By our final class session, I'd only pieced about 1/6 of the upper left corner. It took a year to finish the top, over a month to machine quilt it, and six months to bead. No exaggerations there, let me assure you.

Cascading Crystal Kaweah
21.75" x 40.75"
Suzanne Kistler - April 2008

Cascading Crystal Kaweah - Close-up
Suzanne Kistler - April 2008

I think this quilt can safely be labeled "art." It has no purpose other than to hang on the wall for visual pleasure. It is small enough to fit above the mantle, which is where it's likely to end up quite soon.

There are so many beads that the quilt is heavier than expected. That hadn't bothered me at all, until someone mentioned a beaded gown on display at the Smithsonian - she said that after hanging for a while, the dress stretched 6" from the beads. eek. Not my idea of fun. Will my quilt stretch? Now I'm afraid to hang it, for fear that the weight of the beads will distort it.

Ah well, live and learn. If it distorts, I'll re-block it and hope for the best. In the meantime, I'm trusting the quilting and beading to hold the layers firmly in place. But you never know, it might end up having a will of its own.

In any case, I am thrilled to report that this quilt is FINISHED, and I can mark one more off of my unfinished quilt list. Thank you, Lord! :)

While I've been inside working, my garden has also been busy. One of my new iris plants burst into bloom, but the stalks crashed from the weight. I cut them and brought them inside, with the other blooms that have fallen over. Isn't this the most beautiful thing ever? I've never seen anything like it. It looks like it's made from plum-colored velvet. It is simply luscious. I love it!

Thank you, Jeanette, for sharing your rhizomes!!! And now, I'm off to quilt-for-hire. ttfn!

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