‘Tis the Season to Be Busy

by Christine Barnes

20-david-artSeasonal greetings, friends and followers! As I sit here in my living room, wearing my cozy slippers and watching the crackling fire, I wonder what to share during this crazy busy season. I had in mind a preview of my latest quilt project, but I usually take my photos outdoors, in wonderful natural light, and that hasn’t been an option for at least a week. We have been soaked by a series of strong storms, and my outdoor “photo studio” (really just a flat surface on my deck) is very soggy. Next time.

So I decided to tidy up my photo files and discovered some images I’d completely forgotten. Funny how photos seem to multiply if you don’t pay attention. What follows is truly a potpourri. Some are about color, others are just, well, things I liked enough to snap a pic or two. Want to see what caught my eye? Read on . . .

I recently spotted these candles in the SERV booth at the Methodist Church Craft Fair in Nevada City. SERV International is a nonprofit organization that provides clean water, nourishing food, and safe shelter in Africa. The colors of the candles reeled me in—you know how much I love yellow-green. And such a nice balance of warm and cool color. A future palette for a quilt perhaps? (The angels are pretty darn cute, too.)0-candles

I smiled when I came across this photo of the late, great Jeffrey. He was easily bored by quilting, but he did like to hang out with me in my studio. What a slacker!02-jeffy-boredI never tire of solids, and this line-up for a class I was teaching was visually delicious. I call them color canapes.03a-better-squares-of-solids

This is what happens when you pop a mug of hot tea into the freezer to make quick iced tea. These frozen bubbles remind me that science is exquisite, with a beauty that goes beyond anything I could ever create.9-frezzing-tea-bubbles

I seem to like the bird’s-eye view. Below is my one-and-only paper-bead attempt, collected in a glass given to me by a dear friend. I have a Pinterest board on paper and fabric beads that I’m eager to learn from. Soon, I hope. . . .31-paper-beads

Experimenting with Peppered Cottons, to take advantage of the gradation of dark-to-light values in my fave gray ombré. Alas, a table runner that never came to fruition. (You can just see my sketches below the fabrics.)018-icy-gray-ombre-runner

Sigh, another project that has languished in my UFO cubby. Alexander Henry dots and Painted Canvas semi-solids wouldn’t seem like an obvious combination, but that’s why we play around in our fabrics, right?06-alex-dotted-circles-in-squares

My trip to Las Vegas in October was a delight. One student’s arrangement of Gelato ombrés and Kaffe circles was so appealing.024-circles-on-gelato-2-line-up

I also taught Modern Color in Las Vegas, and these two exercises got “extreme extra credit” for using multiple stripes in one Rolling Stone block.26-my-alltime-fave-rolling-stone-lv-stripes


28-second-faver-rolling-stone-block-lv-stripesHere’s a transparency mock-up idea that I hope to pursue someday:39-modern-trans-block-plaidAnd here are four of those units, oriented with the light corners toward the center. Once again, my “plaid gene” is active.40-modern-trans-layout-2

A boot block (8 x 8 inches, I believe) made for a friend’s quilt. When Kaffes and Gelatos get together, it’s a party, guaranteed!04-boot-block

I guess I like those colors because here they are in a bowl of Christmas ornaments. Memo to self: next year, get a tree.05-xmas-balles-close-up

With that I leave you to get back to all the tasks of the season. I wish you happy, happy holidays spent with the people you love. And a New Year’s resolution to do and make more of whatever gives you joy!


















8 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season to Be Busy

    • Thank you, Penny, for your comment. I’ve never taught that design as a class. But I do teach a class on Transparency that covers the two kinds: parent/child and layered (the image in my post is an example of layered transparency.) The workshop is a good introduction to the concept. Maybe I should make my sample into a pattern and offer it as a workshop. There are just too many ideas I want to pursue; I need days with a few more hours in them!

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