In the Studio~Child’s Play

What do you think of when you think about children playing? Running?… jumping?… games?…having fun? and bright colors? This week I began a new series, Child’s Play. For a long time I have been collecting brightly colored fabrics with whimsical prints. While I did not have a design idea for them yet, when my husband asked me about a small art quilt that might relate to children, my mind began focusing on a few different ideas. I thought of a favorite book on my shelf, Quilter’s Playtime: Games With Fabric by Dianne S. Hire. I was inspired to use the games of–spinners, pin-the-tail-on the-donkey, and marbles–in a composition entitled, Playtime Games.

A quick sketch of an idea was drawn…And a pile of playful, brightly colored fabrics was thrown on the table…(Actually my stash on the shelf is very orderly! )

Fabric Pile
Pile of Fun, Colorful Fabrics.

Then, I drew objects of the design on the paper backing of fusible web. (I like Lite Steam-a-Seam2 brand)  These were then cut-out and arranged on the background fabric. To construct the tails, two pieces of fabric were sewn together wrong sides together, turned, and basted into place. I took digital photos to view the composition and placement of the pieces. When the desired effect was achieved, the top was fused into place.

Lay Out of Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
Lay-Out of Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.

Next, the top was layered with low-loft batting and a backing fabric. Thread-painting was done to enhance the details of the objects. And, texture, depth, and line was added to the design using free-motion quilting. I like the way the quilting lines also add movement to this piece. A button and beads were stitched to the tails, the binding was fused to the back, and I signed and dated the front…

Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
Playtime Games,10 1/2 X 7 3/4", Rayon on cotton, beads. (c) 2012 Joni Beach.

Working on this series reminds me not to forget how important playing is…

Because for a child (and me)…

Life, learning, and growing is…Child’s Play!

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Learn Something New Everyday…

*Wisdom [Learning] is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it. * (Albert Einstein)

Martha Stewart, being interviewed by Google Talks with Marissa Mayer, was asked what ideas she lived by. She answered that one idea guiding her was the saying,

   Learn something new everyday.    

This reminded me of a teaching concept--nurture a desire for lifelong learning. With an openness to continued learning, we take in new information and knowledge, which then impacts how we problem-solve, create, and behave. As an artist, we take in sensory experiences that impact our design process…whether through the music we compose, a wall-hanging we create, or a story that we write.

Boston - Boston Common: Parkman Plaza - Learning
Learning, Image by wallyg via Flickr

With a world that is changing quickly everyday, the changes and the speed at which they occur challenges each of us and our families continually. While it can create stress, it can also be a catalyst for growth. It is exciting to consider the new possibilities for the future.      

         It can be a stimulus for creativity, whether in our work or in our personal lives.

Change, while not always welcome, can force us to consider alternate ways of doing things, encourage us to try new experiences, and to consider the world around us with new eyes. In our families, we can use the latest technology as an aid to communicate with each other, provide up-dated information, and as tools for learning, while not allowing it to become a negative focus that erodes our time together and relationships.

As in most things, our changing world has the potential for positive or negative influences. So, perhaps the biggest challenge is to use the new things that we learn everyday…                                                         

…in ways that are good,


                                                 and add quality and well-being to our work, families, and lives.


Reference:* Quote– Albert Einstein to J. Dispentiere—March 24, 1954. AEA 59-495.)