More paper play

Not many minutes to spend playing in the last couple of days, but my thought about wetting the paper stuck in my head. So I did it.

It didn’t add quite as much texture as I thought it would.

But a little bit of crinkle is fine. And since it was thick paper, I may have been a bit rough with it. There are a couple of small holes, but they can be covered with whatever additional embellishment I do……….or they can be made a bit bigger! Don’t know which yet!

I did decide to add a tree, rather than my original thought of a woman’s form.

And after I fused it down, I had a few different ideas for what I could have done. Oh, well, not the first time that has happened!

I really do have so much fun playing like this. It’s 166% satisfying and even more relaxing! Important to play, no matter what your age!


Paperwork–lessons learned!

This piece is not even finished and I’ve learned a lot from it already.

First, don’t grab a piece of paper for the sake of using paper.

Next, have something special planned that really requires the use of paper.

And, for goodness sake, don’t use paper for something that would give the same effect with fabric!

The paper I used was thick and simply had a nice texture so I thought it would be fine. It is, but paper wasn’t needed! And if I really wanted to have a ‘paper moon’ then I should have used some of the beautiful specialty papers that I passed by. It wasn’t horribly difficult to use, but I did try to be careful not to fold or wrinkle it. I’m tempted to play with it a bit, though and maybe wet it and crinkle it to see what happens….hmmm….

And I think I would have liked using torn paper better than this nice, precisely cut circle. Next time.

I want to add more to this and finish it up but I’m torn as to what I want to add. I have a couple of ideas—wait–this might mean I need to do this more than once! That could happen, with variations, of course! Beads. It needs beads. Lots of beads. Yep!

Not much for dye day

Dye day always results in some surprises, and this one was no exception. I mainly tried to rescue some previously dyed fabrics that I did not like. So-so results.

It was not planned but I like the looks of the fabrics on the left as a set. I think I’ll look for something that will keep them together.

I did three pieces with soy wax, and again, mixed results. This gold piece was simply playing with circles. I also tried stencils but this time I couldn’t get my wax to the right temp…either too hot or too cold, runny or did not saturate.

Definitely useable, but I’m not in love with them.

I have a bunch of laces and hankies and trims but I seem to store them in different spots. I grabbed a few things on the fly and got some color on them. I always need a bit of embellishment and having this stuff in color instead of all white will be useful.

And I remembered to throw some threads and cotton yarns into the dye, too. Not specifically to match anything else but to have as a choice when I’m playing!

And if you know me, you will know that the purple will probably end up in someone else’s stash or up at Blue Lake! These did come out nice, but purple just is not my color!

So, there you go–dye day results again. Did not get around to deconstructed screen printing or painting with thickened dyes, so that’s top of my list for next time!

Paper work

Not boring tax or business paper work, thank goodness. I have wanted to include paper in my work for a long time and just haven’t done it until now. Maybe I was inspired by the infused paper workshop, but I grabbed a chunk of silk and a piece of paper and I’m making it happen.

It’s not the thin and supple rice paper that was on the top of the pile…no, that might have been best but that’s not the way I roll. I took a piece of thicker paper that I colored with something–paint or ink, I don’t remember. I cut a large circle and a few snips of fusible and melded the two. No going back now! (On purpose!)

Of course I had to add some clouds drifting over the moon. It’s totally cliché so far but I hope to ‘drift’ away from that as I proceed.

My subconscious must be working full time, too. I dyed some thread on dye day and this full skein of rayon lusciousness is perfect for this piece.

It’s still a bit damp from the rinsing out so I won’t get started with it tonight. That’s probably a good thing since I have no idea what stitching I’ll be doing.

I need something to work on while in front of the TV at night and my Big Project won’t do. I did get it started and I think it’s going to take even longer than my first estimates. The hand sewing part is strictly utilitarian, to keep it together when I start on the quilting, so it’s boring and I’ll get tired of it. Got to keep several other projects going at the same time….good thing I have a couple of challenges to work on, too!

It’s summer time–busy time–fun time–life is sooooo good!

Busy week

I always hate to go a long time between blog posts, but sometimes that happens! There were so many interruptions to studio time that I didn’t get any stitching done. Happily, they were fun interruptions, or necessary like PT for my bum knee and hip. Art quilt group on Monday and Tuesday I got to spend the afternoon with my grandson on their trip to the one-room schoolhouse. Wednesday I could not put off cleaning up the garage and getting set up for dye day on Thursday. I got a start on rinsing things out today, but then I got distracted by my design wall.


I got all my pieces selected and pinned to my foundation/backing.

Nothing is stitched down yet but I thought I should take a look at it before I start on that. In particular, I can’t decide if I want a bit more of the peach or if there is sufficient. Maybe one more skinny piece somewhere in the bottom right area.

Then it’s going to be stitch, stitch, stitch. Most likely not all at once because this truly is a huge piece–about 60 x 60 in–and I plan on a massive amount of stitching. Oh, in case you are eyeballing that turquoise strip at the top, that is the hanging sleeve. It can stay there or be tucked and stitched in the back. That decision will be made later.

Glad to have it this far because the lawn mowing and gardening are calling to me, too!

Floating on the Forest Floor

That might be the name of the big turquoise painted leaf project. At least it’s something different to call it while I’m working on it…and I finally got a serious start on the assembly.

That first little piece on the sea of background fabric seems like such a lonely tiny first step! It only took me about three pieces before I realized that my construction plan would not proceed as it had in my brain in the middle of the night. See, I thought I could slap each piece down, do some hand stitching to keep it in place, do some quilt as you go with small sections…………..ummm, not so much.

My wool backing is the finished size of the project. No trimming to size after all the stitching is done. So I have to place the blocks to fit and that means laying out the whole thing before I sew. First issue was whether or not to fill in odd holes with this peach, beaded, sequined prom dress fabric.

Yes to the peach, no to black edge stitching on it and probably no to peach raw edges. Onward!

I also found out quickly that my rough layout of blocks on my design wall was way too casual and I started changing them around right away. I also think that I have way more than I need, so I might get a bonus piece along with this large one. That wouldn’t bother me at all because I like the painted leaf fabric blocks a lot.

Slow progress was always going to be the route of this project. I look at what I have laid out on the table and I think I’ve really gotten a lot done. But then I realize that I still have at least two feet of blank background hanging over the edge and I don’t have any of the stitching done that I planned to do as I went along.

But it was my choice to go big with it. If it takes forever, that’s what it takes! If you have a picture in your head, you have to keep working to make it happen. I will try not to bore you with progress reports where I’m the only one who can see any progress!

I need to get some sitting-on-the-deck stitching going, too, because this thing is not portable! And we have had a couple of days here and there without rain, so I’m hopeful that I WILL get to sit outside and relax sometime this summer…oh, wait…I’m not sure we will ever get to real summer this year either! And my heart is breaking for the travails of flooded towns and fields. Here’s hoping for better days, soon…

Workshop start, home finish

Unusual happening around here–I learned a technique in a workshop, started a project there and actually followed through on finishing it here at home. The Infused Newsprint Cloth technique really captured my interest and I wanted to follow the process from start to finish.

I made my own screen and got my fabric and newsprint ‘married’, with masking and painting.

Not perfect on the paint. It was a little thinner than I like and squirted under the mask a bit. Not “ruined” because I am not a perfectionist!

Added machine and hand stitching.

And then to make them flowers, well, beaded centers seemed to be called for!

This was all done with only the fabric and batting, since I don’t like knots or beading stitches to show on the back. Last step was to add a back and some quilting to hold the layers together.

And there you have it–La Margarita.

I love being able to truly incorporate paper into my work and I’ll be doing a lot more of this…soon. This next week has more cleaning than sewing and no one needs any details on THOSE processes!