All over the map

This is not the time for me to start a big project, so I’m finishing odds and ends, looking at old stuff and trying to figure out what would make a good take along project. Don’t know what kind of time I’ll have for any project, so that makes it a bit harder to plan–it has to be something easy to carry around and pull out and put away for short bursts of working time. Maybe my scarf knitting for charity is the best bet…no thinking involved!

Can’t seem to make even a simple decision on mounting this piece–on white

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…or on black?

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At least this one is any easy decision–definitely black.

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Putting stuff away, little by little. I just love these bags that Lynn Krawczyk made for all her students. A big class bonus!

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I was having a hard time getting started on the embroidery on this piece. It just seemed unfinished and I finally figured out that I had lots of detail but nothing to really focus on. Duh! For layers of interest, you must at least have one layer that draws the eye to the work in the first place! So, I added some large orange square spiral elements, which I will emphasize with orange embroidery and probably beads.

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I’m feeling like I can start the stitching now!

Quilted some more on this piece and I have come to the conclusion that in my initial quilting of the leaf, I have distorted the fabric beyond redemption to flatness.

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Now my issue is which edge is the best to hang it from and where do I cut to change the big distorted lump into a beautifully curved leaf! I’m pretty sure I can do it effectively, but cutting into a piece is scary. This may require a bit more contemplation before it happens. And it does need more quilting before I have to chop into it, but the major decision that it will need cutting has been made.

See–all over the map on what I’ve been doing. Hope I can pull my thoughts together and get a handle on things in the next day or two. Have to be organized to teach next weekend!

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Collage finished–almost!

When I sat down in front of the TV to watch a little football last night, I really thought I’d be able to finish the stitching on this collage.

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Simple stitching–won’t take long–maybe even get two done——not so much! It always takes longer than I think and I also add more stitching than I originally plan, too.

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Almost done, though, and I’ll mount it on a canvas.

Put paint on the larger one I did in the workshop, too. I think it’s ready to stitch, but I’ll take another look at it in the studio before I bring it up for ‘in front of the TV work’.

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Hmmmm…as I was working on it, I liked it. Now I’m not so sure. Collage is very busy work, isn’t it.

Found a scrap basket with trimmings from other quilts and thought I’d try to collage them together. Started with this black piece and a floral, and some couched yarn.

Quilted leftovers 1

It might be all right, but it needs more work. This next one needs lots more work, but has possibilities.

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I’m thinking that a narrow strip of another color between strips might be nice. And it might be more trouble than it’s worth and I throw those other bits away without any ‘scrap-lover’s guilt’.

I think I’m packed for teaching in Dallas. If I look around and think about it, there is always something more, but I don’t really need anything else…I think!

Dallas 1 Dallas 2

Oh–maybe I should think about a suitcase for clothes, too!

Paint adds so much

Just a couple quick pics of additional work on my collages.

Didn’t get a before photo of this one, but I’m liking the after!

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You can’t see the orange paint very well–intentionally, but you can see the white. We have become believers in white paint! Still planning on adding some stitching, but progress is being made!

Before on this one

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And after

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Simple stencil and a little pearlized green paint–it just added so much more interest. There will be stitching on this one, too.

This one is simply for my own memory of Blue Lake. Scraps and pieces of what the kids did, put into a collage and stitched on the machine. But I enjoyed this class with the kids and wanted to use those scraps!

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Enough collage for now. Other things to do this week, so I can’t be all self-indulgent and paint and stitch to the exclusion of all else. But I’ll sure get back to it as soon as I can!

And then we collage…

Remember that pile of fabrics I took to my collage class? This is what it looked like half way through the day.

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There actually is a lot more involved with making a collage than you would think. Waaaaay more thinking than I’m used to, especially with small pieces. Everything has to work together and then you can add more paint and stitching and embellishment to make it even better.

Knowing that nothing would be totally finished at the workshop did not stop anyone from making! Lots and lots of making!

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I don’t think there was anyone in class that did not thoroughly embrace the collage making concept. It was a wonderful class…thank you, Lynn Krawczyk!

What did I do? Well, as usual, I felt like I brought all the wrong fabrics–even with that huge pile! I ended up with 4, very much in need of more work. But this one is where I used that sheer fabric that I screen printed on Friday, and I really like the effect

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Looking forward to doing a lot more work  in this collage style. It’s wonderful fun as well as being a challenge to design.

However, I do have to get ready to go teach in Dallas, visit some friends on the way back, and prep for my Artisan Showcase in October. I’m happy to be so busy, but I’m soooo busy!

Doing what I love–life is so good!

Gotta love paint flinging!

Paint flinging and collage–two workshops taught by Lynn Krawczyk this weekend. I had such a wonderful time! I am currently learning as much as I can about surface design, techniques and methods and loving every bit of it.

This a fraction of what we all brought.

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And Lynn brought much more. Look at that sweet smile. Who would have thought she would work us half to death?

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It didn’t take us long to spread out and start flinging paint.

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I made a couple of pieces that I really liked.

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This sheer was a ‘two-fer.’ I layered it over another piece of fabric and enough paint came through the screen to print both pieces at once. Love it!

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But the best part was Lynn’s demo of how to save a piece you really hate. I didn’t take a before picture of this, but I sure like it after her ‘saving.’ I may add more to it yet, but I would have thrown it away otherwise!

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That was Friday’s job. Then I had to come home and prep for Sunday’s collage class.

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Where to stop with the piles of fabric? Can’t carry everything I have…this should be interesting. Check back tomorrow to see what  happens!

And the winner….

Yes, the winner of the “WHAT Was I Thinking Award” is none other than yours truly! Our guild creates an amazing number of charity quilts each year and at the meetings there are finished tops that people take home to finish/quilt.

This came up today.

GFlower 1

No one wanted to take it. I had been holding back, thinking that someone would love it as much as I did, but it remained an orphan. I couldn’t help it. I took it. And now I have to finish it.

WHAT.WAS.I.THINKING!!!!

The sewing is not perfect, but not really that bad.

GFlower 2

And it’s all hand sewn.

There are some “fluffy” issues on the outside edges.

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Some of the fabrics are so very interesting.

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But look at that first picture again. That quilt is pinned to an 8 foot by 8 foot design wall! It is HUGE!

And I said I would finish it. What was I thinking?

Well, it’s a heritage quilt. It’s a such a traditional reminder of where we started as quilters–every attic had an unfinished Grandmother’s Flower quilt! Let’s see…it’s hand sewn, so it probably should be hand quilted. May not happen–it’s 8′ square! And as much as I used to love hand quilting, my hands can’t take it anymore. I’ll be thinking about that for a while, as well as those fluffy edges and how I’ll finish that part.

But this quilt jumped up and SHOUTED that I must take it home with me, so I had to answer that call.

What was I thinking? That I love this quilt!

Florida Palm Leaf…the saga continues

It actually feels like I’m taking you on a journey with me that started last winter. I’d like to have the complete tale for you, but I can only travel a few hours each day. You know, like the Conestoga wagons traveled over the Great Plains!

Today the oxen and I got the pieces spray basted and ready to quilt. I love to spray baste, but I always wait at least a day after spraying before starting the quilting. I don’t know what the actual chemical process is, but I just say that I’m letting the glue dry!

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While that’s happening, I start looking at thread choices.

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I audition a lot of possibilities before I make a decision.

And then I looked at the second piece, looked at my thread drawer and knew exactly what to use on that piece! So that’s where I started.

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The color on my monitor isn’t exactly correct–it’s slightly more rose colored.

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This piece was the one that didn’t have much paint on it, so I had to make up some of the leaf outline as I went along. I had to change a couple of places but basically I just scribbled with thread to fill in my outline.

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I had to make sure that the lines went in the correct directions to indicate the leaves spreading out from the stem, but it was pretty easy.

Now when you do that much quilting on a piece, it really pulls the fabric in. Excellent quilting balances the amount of quilting throughout a piece to keep it nice and flat. That’s not where I’m at at the end of the leaf quilting!

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See how absolutely wavy and wonky those edges are? I’m glad I’m experienced in this type of quilt dilemna or I might have panicked! Controlling that wonkiness requires equally intense quilting all the way out to the edge. What design will set off the leaf, rather than conflict with it? My choice is small pebbles.

And I noticed another problem…the leaf thread blends into the background just a bit more than I wanted, so the rest of the quilting needs to let the leaf show up more. Clear as mud? Here’s a picture that might help.

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Small circles to contrast with the long, sharp leaf lines and a darkish turquoise to contrast with the rose. And it contrasts with the background fabric also, so I think I’m all set.

Before I get too far on that part of the quilting, though, there is another question nagging at the back of my mind. How would it be if I cut out the leaf as it is, letting the waviness of the edges free? Hmmm…I do like uneven edges.

Got to think about that before I go too far with those pebbles. AND if I’m going to continue with more embellishment or if this is going to be an all quilted piece. More thinking, before I go on.

Stay tuned!