Art Group Challenge

My imagination is not in high gear but a quick little challenge piece was fun to play with today. The challenge was to open a non-quilting magazine to page 20 and use something from that page as inspiration. Could be a picture, a word, a color, a concept—and I took the easy way out and went with the shapes.

The magazine was an Architectural Digest that was in a doctor’s office waiting room. No need to hijack the magazine. I snapped a pic of the page and I was ready to roll!

I was taken by the lines and shapes and shadows of the picture on the left and my interpretation was very literal. But it definitely represents what inspired me, so I’m happy with it.

And I played with fabric all afternoon, so that made me happy, also! Always a good day when it’s playtime in the studio.


Funky squares finished.

I put together this quilt top as an antidote to fabric indecision in the studio. And then I decided to go ahead and quilt it, since I had a big block of time…and was still undecided about my fabric choices for the other project!

Most of my weekend free time was spent on the quilting. I decided on simple stitching and it worked well.

I only had a few blocks left to do today, but it was a struggle, because hours of quilting those simple stitches was pretty boring!

I persevered and got it finished!

As much as I hate piecing quilt backs, somehow it doesn’t bother me to make binding out of all those leftover pieces of scrap! And if I have 20 yards of extra binding, that doesn’t bother me a bit, either. It will get used, eventually, either as binding for something else or as part of a strip pieced project.

I seldom work with white, so this top was a big departure for me. Even stranger was the fact that I used white for the backing, because I had a piece of wide backing. Now that it is done, and the quilting shows on the back so well, I am glad that I went with the white!

No studio time tomorrow….appts and running around, along with a predicted ice storm! Planning on the roads being salted and good by the time I have to go out my door. Hoping, for sure!

Then it’s time to get back to those indecisive projects waiting for me. If I can’t come to a quick fabric decision, the timeout shelf may see some new business.



Stitch and relax

No project angst for me today. No design decisions. In fact, the biggest decision I will probably make today is whether to wind a bunch of bobbins at once or a few at a time so that I have breaks!

The only thing I plan on doing in the studio is quilting on this quilt.

I thought I wanted to quilt something a little bit fancy because I haven’t done anything but easy in quite a while. However, this quilt really gave me  no choice but to keep it simple and easy…

And I got the majority of it done! If I have quilting time tomorrow, it will be finished. Oh goodness—then I will have to make a decision on the binding! Hopefully that will be dictated by how much of these fabrics I have left (not much of any) and it will be as easy as the rest of this quilt has been.

Beachtime, wondering…

When I left the studio yesterday, I was all set to move on to the next step with this Beachtime project.

I added some contrasting pieces on the bottom/sand and another strip into the dark/water.

The stitching began, and I was planning on doing a LOT of hand stitching. What I had forgotten is how impossible it is to get a needle through 2 layers of tightly woven fabric WITH fusible! Immediate change of plans! Machine stitching only on this baby, but that also opened things up to a bit of metallic thread.

I put up a picture on IG and my daughter weighed in on my design, which I absolutely love. I value her opinion and she helped me tweak things.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock….that’s time passing while I did a bunch of straight line quilting and a few rows of curvy metallics.

And after this part was done, I wondered if I wanted to put the hand stitched piece back into the picture.

What do you think?

Since this is so close to final decisions and finishing, I also started to look for fabrics for the next project. I am determined to do something with the hand dyed circle fabric and I think I may do an almost repeat of another piece I did…whole cloth with the hand dye on a plain quilted background.

I MAY cut the fabric into a large circle, or one large and two smaller circles. But I know it will not have straight line quilting. I’ve done enough of that lately to last me for years!

However, I also discovered another piece of fabric that I had totally forgotten about. It’s certainly not my usual colorway, so it should be fun to find a way to work with this one, too!

You know, I can tell you exactly what tools I used to make this with, but I have no memory of this actual piece of fabric happening! Strange…………..but I like it and I think there will be more of this type of fabric making to come. It’s done with soy wax and dye and for me, that is a warm-weather-out-in-the-garage activity!

I think I need to go through my stacks of hand dyes more often. I’m finding all kinds of things that I like now and maybe didn’t when I first made them, or, like today, pieces that I have totally forgotten about!


Thinking about the beach

My recent exhibition has generated a possible commission, but even if that never finalizes, my creative energy is on a new track. The thought process went from summer chairs

to feeling beachy. I auditioned a ton of fabric and decided today to work with these.

I thought my fabrics were a touch too busy and substituted a soft hand dye for the fabric in the upper left corner.

Spent the day playing, arranging, re-arranging, cutting and stitching and totally enjoying myself! This is what I ended up with at the end of the afternoon. Seeing the photo, I may want to change the bottom a bit, but overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my progress.

And as I was heading out of the room, my eyes fell on a stitch meditation piece that was sitting on the table………………..hmmm…………I think this might be a good addition.

Laid it on the piece…not great…moved it up a bit…

still not great…moved it up more and I think it’s getting there!

A good place to walk away and think for a while…with a big smile from a happy day!

Series, or not a series?

A while back I thought I had a great idea for a series of work. I made a contemporary black and white tree, on a black background and added all the oddball leftover leaves that I have made and collected over the last couple of years.

I have a LOT of leaves, plus a huge collection of leaf beads that might have made their way into this series. I was going to make a series with the trees getting darker and the backgrounds getting lighter and various leaves carrying across the series.

Even had the grays picked out. And then I decided that I don’t feel like working with all that gray and black and the series idea kinda died. Maybe ’cause it’s in the dark of winter. But I DO want to make the original piece and I’ll use as many leaves as I can—at least as many as possible while still finding the piece attractive!

There are a few lines quilted and I think I will continue with the minimal straight lines since it is a background, not a focal point.

Sheesh–look at all the lint that shows up on that black fabric! I was interrupted by the grandson’s hockey game and thought I’d get right back to it when we got home, but now I’m distracted.

THIS piece of fabric has been hanging on my design wall for quite a while, waiting to decide what it wants to be.

It’s only a fat quarter, but it’s quite demanding. It does NOT want to be cut and does not play well with other fabrics. Other prints neither contrast nor blend well and my other hand dyes don’t match in a happy way. It will tell me eventually what it wants to be, but I’m impatient and I want to work on it NOW!

So, I’m ignoring the whole studio this evening! My brain will undoubtedly work on both projects subconsciously and those thoughts will work their way to the front of my idea lobe. It just takes time………….sigh! So I may or may not end up working on a leaf series and I may or may not have a ‘circle fabric’ project to work on.

It may be time to knit a sweater!

Quick and done

My head is not in a creative space right now, so it’s a good time to look for ways to use up the stash. Those projects are always quick and easy, and they involve sewing!

This older piece of fabric with circles caught my eye, and I had an entire yard of it. That’s quite unusual for me. Most of my fabric is in fat quarters, since I work so much smaller now. Or I use many prints in a colorway rather than just one fabric, so small chunks work well.

It’s pretty easy for me to find a group of fabrics that work together, once I select a main focus and guess what? I have lots of bright fabrics! I only had to decide whether to set them with black, white, or some other bright color and–use up the stash again!–white scraps won out.

Directions for how to make these blocks is in this post , and I have added a bit of variety with the angled cuts rather than straight cuts.

Here are the first few blocks, a little larger than the brown ones in the other post.

I got a good start on them yesterday and got them all sewn and ready for assembly today.

An unexpected extra chunk of time opened up so I arranged and re-arranged and got the squares all sewn together, ready to quilt.

And as I hung it up on the wall again, I noticed this part, that bothered me in the beginning, that made me start to re-arrange and now……………

these blocks ended up back in the same spot and I never noticed as I sewed it together!!! Well, the joke is definitely on me, because I am NOT taking things apart and re-arranging any more. This is the way it’s gonna be!!!

And I asked my immediate family if anyone needed another quilt and my daughter-in-law said that she would always take a quilt. So that’s my motivation to go ahead and get this baby finished. I hate to piece backs, but since I don’t have any big pieces of fabric, and to aid in the goal of using more stash, I think I will for this one. I’m thinking I won’t have a problem finding more fabric that goes with these brights.

Quick and Easy is fun!