While awaiting a decision…

I’m still contemplating my bead direction on the palm tree project. Here are other bead options that I’m considering.

Palm13 Palm12

So while my mind is processing that decision in the background, I decided to go back to the orange fabric. I had one of those almost asleep ideas of what I wanted to do and actually remembered it when I woke up! I also realized that every project does not have to be complicated. Simple lines, straight stitching–nothing wrong with that at all!

This is where I am with that project right now.

Orange geo1

Don’t know what the next step will be, but I’m happy with step one!

Gosh, I love having more than one project going at a time! Work on one while ideas and decisions roll around in the back of my mind for the other. I’m much more relaxed about my work when I’m not obsessing over only one project!


Palm Tree Process

Got to spend quite a bit of time working on my palm tree project today. Here’s where I left off…

Background ready and then I layered batting and stabilizer. No backing yet because it’s easier to bead without trying to hide the stitches between layers. The stabilizer is necessary for the beading to come.


I did simple quilting through the layers.


I laid the palm fronds on top of the background and liked it so much that I questioned whether or not I wanted to go ahead with the crazy beads.


Fused it down and just ran a row of stitching around each frond. One thing I do to points is to stitch a few stitches beyond the end to be sure they look pointy! On a piece where they might show, it makes a difference. On this one, the fronds just need to be anchored down.


I found it rather difficult to manuever this piece while doing the quilting. The stabilizer layer made it very stiff, which is good for the beading part, but not so easy to shove around under the quilting foot!

Crazy beads or no crazy beads? I grabbed handsful of the beads and laid them down on the palm fronds to see how they would look.


And up closer…


I’m thinking I’ll cover the fronds very closely with the beads and just have fun with it. It’s all ready to start with the beads, but I wonder what it would look like with some elegant beads instead of the funky beads. Gonna throw some more beads at it before I decide.

For an idea intended to be totally funky and fun, this is turning into a nice piece that I might want to be a bit classier! Hmmmmm…………

Linking to Off the Wall Friday!

The Palm Tree Adventure Begins

Now that those crazy beads have rolled to the forefront of my brain, I can’t wait to make my palm frond idea a reality. Here’s my drawing…not fancy or detailed at all…mostly because I can’t draw well!


My original idea for a background was to use this hand dye and maybe add a bunch of layers to look like a real island scene.


I didn’t even bother taking pictures of what I threw up on this, because it was all just too much, considering what else is being added! So then I decided that my background should be just a hint, a mere suggestion of that island and I tried gray.


This doesn’t show up well in the photo but it wasn’t that bad on the design wall. However, I didn’t have enough of the gray gradation so I went with several batiks. And for those who like to know my process, I overlap one fabric over another, cut a curvy line and sew…several times, alternating fabrics.


And this is roughly how my design will look.


What I am left with for a task in front of the TV is cutting out the palm fronds from the delicious charcoal gray fabric that will be the base of the crazy beads.


I’m quitting there for today because I have a few construction details I want to think about. I need to figure out if I want to quilt and then fuse on the fronds or quilt with the fronds already on. That will determine how I do the actual quilting. Then I have to decide what kind of “innards” I need for the future beading. I can quilt on batting and then add stabilizer for the beading and finish by adding backing at that point. Or I can assemble quilt, batting, stabilizer, backing and finish the quilt before beads are added. Edge finishing? Binding? Cording? Facing? Those are things I need to decide before I go on, so I have less chance of disappointing myself later, or having to re-do something.

So, it’s off to cut and think and try to decide stuff! This part takes as much work as the actual sewing!

Linking this to Off the Wall Friday…check out the other great links there!

Same same same

As I was pulling fabrics to try and find something to go with my orange fabric, I noticed a strange phenomenon. My collection spans lots of years of fabric buying, but I seem to buy the same fabric over and over.

I looked at the orange stack…

Same same1

Really, really similar and there were more I could have added to this stack!

Everyone collects black and white, but does everyone have a collection of black, gold, silver, graphic? And, of course, there were more that I could have added!

Same same2

And in the orange category again, I love rusty, terra cotta colored fabrics, too.

Same same3

It isn’t limited to the oranges. Oh, no–blues, greens, yellows…turquoise, too.

Same same4

I often say that if I’m making a two-color quilt, I use 47 shades of each color. I guess that’s how I buy fabric, too. And mostly mediums, of course. Very short on the light end of the spectrum and not enough on the dark end, either.

Shall I use this as an excuse to buy more fabric or work harder on using up what I have? Remember what I showed you the other day, with all that fabric on my shelves?


My answer should be obvious, but can I really resist the new fabrics I see whenever I go into a quilt store?

I guess I’m just starting a collection for the next generation, ’cause I’m sure not going to be able to use all this up in my lifetime!!!

Beads-a little craziness

My thoughts turned to a funky kind of idea that I had. A while back I got some crazy beads for my grandson to play with and I loved them so much that I got some for me, too!

funky beads

My plan is to create a palm frond foreground with a nominal background, maybe in shades of gray, with the palm fronds black. Then I’m going to cover the fronds with the beads. Maybe crazy, but it will be totally just for fun!

palm frond images

I think this is the frond image I’m using but perhaps this one will work as well.


That uncooperative orange fabric just needs to wait for a while and I’ll amuse myself with funky beads!

When it doesn’t work,

it just doesn’t work! Spent lots of time pinning bits of fabric to the design wall. I was determined to make my project idea with my orange fabric.


Look at all the fabric I have!


Oh, I know some of you have more. But I think I tried almost every piece of that stash with my orange fabric.

Nothing was working. Nothing was right. This is where I left it.

Orange idea 5

I kind of like the group on the left, and not the fabric on the right. However, nothing is just right and I think it may be that what I want to do with it is the problem. I’m going to think on it some more. My idea may just not be the correct place to use that orange fabric.

Walk away from the design wall! Save your sanity!

Paint in a Bag

Taught this class today at USArtquest with just 4 students. That was great, because we had tons of extra time and I was able to give a lot of personal attention.

Paint bag class1

All set up and ready to go!

As usual, I forgot to take pictures until everyone but Jan was gone. I got one shot of what she was working on!

Paint bag class2

This is a very cool stamp on top of Jan’s painted background.

The more I use the USArtquest products, the better I like them. That’s my advertisement for today, but I truly do like their products!