Taking it easy

Aaah…the smell of lavendar…went to the lavendar labryrinth at Cherry Point Market today after work. Lots of things that I didn’t take pictures of and a few of the things I like, such as shadows and curving paths

and flowers and herbs

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and big, big rocks!!!

Yes, there was a lavendar labyrinth, but it was not huge and overwhelming as I thought it would be. The walkways were small and uneven and I am currently babying an injured knee so I was unable to comfortably walk and inhale the marvelous fragance. I had imagined the plants would be lush and perfectly groomed, but some were good and some were rather untidy. Made me feel better about my few little plants that always look on the brink of extinction!

I was glad that we went and the timing was really pretty good for the blossoms. The lavendar scent was wonderful and the herb garden in the center was marvelous. It was a very pleasant little side trip away from camp and now I can sit lazily watching a movie and sewing, thoroughly relaxed and refreshed!

 

Planning time

After my QU class, I decided that I am totally in love with the navy fabric that I dyed and that I MUST create something using it. However, this is a time when I am not at my studio and don’t have any of the fabric to play with. So it’s all a mental game for planning.

I do have some pictures of what my first idea would use. The navy fabric, of course and then this.

Blocks that I have made from mostly turquoise scraps and then not done anything further with. I have enough fabric and scraps that coordinate with this to make probably 3 full quilts, paired with that navy.

However, I want to start with these blocks and cut some silhouetted shapes of leaves or flowers out of them and place them on the navy background. Or perhaps the reverse–the navy placed on the scrap blocks. Probably some of each.

I really don’t want to make full size quilts anymore, but I can’t see any other way to use up all the fabric that I have. Using this planning time to develop ideas for reducing my stash could be the best outcome.

And I DO have these lovely blocks to play with also…

Hmmm–since this stash is obviously weighing me down, my next priority is to use, use, use it!

Quiltmaking, back to the basics, here I come!

Love this flower!

Hardy hibiscus was a pleasant surprise for me a few years ago. I had no idea that this beautiful flower could withstand Michigan winters, but mine is flourishing. Of course, any plant that thrives on neglect does well at my house! These full blossoms are past their prime, but that adds to the charm for me.

Every year I take a few photos of the beauty I enjoy, fully intending to make an art quilt from them. I have yet to do that!

There is a beautiful orange colored hibiscus at my mother’s house that I would love to have here.

However, that is in Florida and those plants really would not survive that Michigan deep freeze!

The bug-eaten leaves—the potential of the buds and the flowering as it’s opening–inspiration for sure.

But it’s inspiration that stays only in my mind, not committed to fabric. Yet. It could happen. Maybe.

A step at a time…

I don’t usually like to drag out a subject or project that I’m blogging about, but this may take a while. In Deborah Boschert’s classes this weekend, we created fabric (which I haven’t touched yet!) and then eight small pieces illustrating design concepts. I’m working on finishing the eight pieces and it won’t make sense to show them all and then every step along the way. I’m working on them as a group right now and adding machine stitching to the pieces.

Some of them are getting some stamping, painting and additional fabric. I will try to show what I’m doing as each piece is finished, so you will see this particular group of fabrics quite often until they are done…and I have a teaching trip to Blue Lake for 10 days starting next week. Could be a while!

The first composition I did in class was this landscape.

I knew that I wanted to add a large leaf or tree on the right in paint. So I went through all my stencils and stamps and couldn’t find one that was just right. Simple solution to that issue–freezer paper stencil!

Practiced on a scrap and didn’t like the opacity of the white paint and decided to go with orange. I also hate to waste paint, so after stenciling the piece, I flipped it over and pressed it onto another scrap for the reverse print.

This was after I played with oranges on a green scrap, with stencils and a screen.

This is where I’m at right now.

No stitching on it, but I’m pleased with stencil and orange paint.

I’ll continue working on this series, but I won’t detail each part like this! That would bore both you and me! More later, and I know that it will get done————–a step at a time, bit by bit!

 

Now to relax—-aaaaah!

Quilting Unlimited is over and it was another fabulous event. I was not involved in the planning or execution this time so it really was a carefree weekend. Of course, there is always the creative tension and exhaustion of teaching and taking classes, but it’s so much easier when you don’t have to worry about any of the logistics.

There really isn’t too much more to put into words. I’ll let the pictures show you the fun! This was what was happening in the class I taught.

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So much lovely work.

And here is a brief glimpse into the classes I took. Both were taught by Deborah Boschert and I absolutely learned a lot and had a wonderful time. Wonderful teacher and I highly recommend her to any program chairs looking for a teacher!

Surface design with stamping and ink and cool tools–

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Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of everyone’s pieces.

And Sunday was a design and composition class. We did 8 little examples of design principles and learned a lot as we created.

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These all will be finished with stitch and embellishment, too!

So much fun, creativity and learning in all the classrooms!! It was a great weekend at Quilt University.

 

I’m terrible at choosing!

This weekend I will be taking a couple of classes as well as teaching one. For the one I’m teaching, I could not bring myself to select a single fabric and make identical kits for the students…so I’m bringing a boatload of fabric! And that’s not so bad, because I won’t have to make the final decision of what to choose.

However, the class I’m taking has choices and decisions that are up to me.

Choose a focus fabric, the teacher says. HA HA HA! Typical dilemna for every class I take–whatever I bring is the wrong stuff for what we are doing. How do I know today what I’ll be inspired to work with on Sunday? Oh, well—here goes nothin’!

Went through the stacks of fabrics on the shelves and managed to get my selection down to less than a dozen. That’s a success.

Eliminated the very bright and the very graphic–oh, then found one more that I’ve had for a long time and I gave it some serious thought.

Nope–here are the final four.

Each has pros and cons—this one has the bright colors I like yet it’s very representational. I am NOT representational.

This one has lots of color, is muted, but might be ‘mushy.’

I really like the way the colors dance and flow across this piece, but it might be too directional and better used in a larger chunk. And it has purple…mmmm, not so much into purple.

I love the mood and soft colors of this one–perhaps not enough of a focus, though.

So, I chose the first one with the flowers…but I’m bringing the second one, too! And now we are supposed to pick 4 or 5 fabrics to go with the focus fabric, making sure to have both light and dark. HA HA HA again!!

I have 17. I think I will survive.

That only took all morning…………………………but I was a little bit distracted because these blocks went missing…nowhere, and I mean n.o.w.h.e.r.e. to.be.found!

I started looking for them last night and they did not mysteriously reappear this morning. I gave it up for a lost cause and went to get a canvas to check size on another piece and guess what was hiding in the stack of canvases…ooooh, you guessed it!

But that meant more choices, because I have decided to mount them together in one piece rather than small and separate. Which fabric will support them the best? I will spare you the dozen or more picks that I started with and only show what I am dithering between now.

Which looks better–number 1

or number 2

That’s the point where I quit for the day. Could not make even one more choice! It would be nice if I were swift and decisive,  but I simply am not. I tell myself that being thoughtful results in better work, but sometimes–no, most of the time–it would be better if I spoke sternly to myself and said, “Just pick one already, for goodness sake!”

Maybe tomorrow.

 

The paint is dry!

Thought I’d better show you how my rescued canvas came out. As I had hoped, the paste added texture but no defined shapes.

I’m not sure that I finished that piece adequately, but it’s mounted now! Maybe I’ll try adding some color with pencil or marker…in any event, the canvas was rescued and it looks fine.

Other than that, all I’ve been doing is sorting and editing objects for my class this Friday. When the teacher provides the materials in kits with lots of choices…well, there is just plain lots of stuff that I need to bring!

And then I have two classes to take this weekend. I don’t have a clue what I want to have as a focus fabric and that’s the first decision we need to make.

I think this week will have a lot of spinning my wheels. Slightly more interesting than watching paint dry, but not much! May not post much for the next several days, but I hope to have some great fun work to show you after this weekend at QU!