Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas ornaments -- the reveal


For decades I've been making Christmas ornaments for family and friends, and it's an integral part of my art calendar.  After so many years it's always a challenge to come up with an idea that's a bit different from what I've done in the past, and then actually making the ornaments occupies a fair chunk of time in the fall.  (Read about some of my past adventures here.)  The rules are simple: each ornament has the initial or full name of the recipient, plus the year.






















This year I was inspired by a piece of fabric covered with text that my sister gave me a long time ago.  She used it for a while as a curtain, but after she moved it decided to come live with me.  I used it for a quilt (now traveling in the SAQA Text Messages show) and then I used some of the leftover bits for another quilt.

the first quilt:  Crazed 20: Print on the Dotted Line (detail)

the second quilt: Postage 7: Tower of Babble (detail)

In making that second quilt I enjoyed incorporating tiny, tiny bits of fabric -- sometimes only one letter -- into my compositions, working with a tweezer to place the bits under the needle as I sewed.  Although my objective in that piece was to fragment the text into illegibility, I realized that I could go the other way and piece the fragments into words, in fact, into the names I needed for my ornaments.

So I went back to my bits of text fabric, now getting quite small and obviously used, in search of individual letters.  I tried to change fonts in mid-name for that ransom-note look, although a couple of people got their whole name in the same type.  I ran out of some capital letters before I ran out of people, but otherwise had no trouble.

I constructed the ornaments exactly as I had constructed the second quilt, striped fabrics, raggedy thread ends and all.  The backs came from some fabric I found online with big numbers for the year.



I hope all the ornaments are happy on their respective trees today, and that all the recipients are even happier.  Same goes for all my readers.  Merry Christmas!



5 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas Kathleen
    Thanks for the entertainment.
    Cheers Jan

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  2. Merry Christmas, Kathy. I used to needlepoint ornaments for my children but that gets to be a big project. I'm going to have to switch to your idea.

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  3. Sandra Palmer CiolinoDecember 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    My ornament is very, very happy! Thanks, Kathy.

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  4. cool stuff! Leave it to you...
    LeeAnna Paylor
    lapaylor.blogspot.com

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  5. Hi, Kathleen. Very cool idea--I love the mixing of image and text. And may you have a very happy New Year!
    best, nadia

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