Chop and whack…

Still working on the Slash and Burn workshop project. First thing was to turn it upside down and get that big red tree trunk on the bottom. I’m still not really happy with that big chunk of red, but I don’t hate it enough to work on changing it.

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Then I overlapped the sides and recombined them. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking about it and just DO it.

Joined the center, with the big red block and I’m going to call it pretty well completed…at least for today, because I need to watch a football game!

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I’ll take a serious look at it again before I really call it done, but it helps to take a picture, cropped down, and look at it for a bit.

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Lots of red thread, branches and leaves, in the quilting layer? Hmmmm….


And onward…

The Slash and Burn workshop with Pat Pauly was very enlightening to me. She teaches an improv method that is quite different from how I work, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I signed up for the workshop! However, it is quite different from the way I work and I had quite a hard time wrapping my mind around it.

My design wall is such an invaluable tool–couldn’t do without it! I stitched and cut and sewed in class and really didn’t have a clear view of what I wanted to create. We had strip sets with which to begin and I had a warm color one and a cool color one, which I thought would work well for whatever we had to do. In general, that worked.

I did not take many process photos–too busy thinking and cutting and re-arranging things on the design wall when I got home. I finally had a direction that made sense to me and this is where I’m at right now.

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The largest red area, though, still bothers me a bit. It will be connected on the right to that other half with a curvy seam, but it still feels like it might be too much red in that area.

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Before I jump in and do anything hastily, I think I’ll let this decision wait for a little more thought.

We have hockey games Friday and Saturday–guess what I’ll be thinking about?

I knew it was wrong…

Yep–I knew it was wrong when I was doing it. As I cut the fabric, I tried to convince myself that it would be fine. As I began sewing, I told myself that it looked all right. I turned the binding to the front edge, and I really tried HARD to think it was all good.

Nope–no way–unh-unh–ain’t working!

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This is where I left off…almost assembled and ready for quilting.

I put it together, which was also an exercise in why I don’t like templates and got it ready to quilt. That is what made me decide that I don’t really want to do this 4 times and make a 4 block wall hanging!

First thing this morning I got at the quilting. Leafy vein type stuff for the leaf parts–

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–and simple meandering for the outside edge.

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That’s when I took the wrong step. Really didn’t want to spend time hand sewing a facing so I thought I’d put on a binding–a green binding!!

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Here–get a better look at this bad boy!

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Glad I left quite a bit of extra fabric around the edges when I was making this, because it was easy to lop off that totally offensive green. Now I can go back and do it right!

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Workshop weekend

My local quilt guild is The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild and this was workshop weekend. It’s so much easier than when I was the program director and had to take care of all the schlepping and details! This time I planned for my own selfish pleasure!

Our guest was Pat Pauly and Friday we had the Slash and Burn workshop. Totally improv, we started out with a couple of strip sets and attacked them with rotary cutters. I’m always so indecisive that it takes me forever to get to the finish line. Got this far, but I know what direction I’m headed, as soon as I have more time to play with it.

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Sooooo much fun!

Saturday was the guild meeting and lecture by Pat and I did a basic beading demo for our before meeting demo. So I got a little bead fix this weekend, too!

Sunday–second workshop day! Template based, the Big Leaf workshop was hard for me. I’m not good at following patterns anymore! Fabric decisions were even harder…you never bring exactly what you need to a workshop and often there is a change of direction after you get started.

I tried a lot of different combinations…

Pauly class 6 Pauly class 5 Pauly class 4 Pauly class 3 Pauly class 2

I was happy with my choices as I was building the block, but when I was almost finished, I started second guessing myself. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it or make changes. That’s what I have a design wall and studio full of fabric for!!!!

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It may be a learning exercise that I finish up and move on from. I learned a couple of good new tricks and, while I love the pattern, I would probably piece it improvisationally rather than template based were I to do it again.

OR, I may make three more and turn it into a four block, larger piece.

It’s play time again!! Oh, except for Thanksgiving and a couple of hockey games this weekend…I may be out of the studion and off the computer for a few more days…sigh! I just want to sew!


My computer is back! I can get and send email and post blogs again! Hooray!

It helps that I’ve been super busy while the computer was at the spa.

My Whacky Quilters (the Knot Even Quilters group) met this week. We had lots of activity planned, but we chatted a lot and some of us didn’t get much done…

We tried out foiling on fabric, with mixed success. Tried different glues, ironing on and burnishing on.KEQ Nov 2

I haven’t done much foiling and I’m not sure that I will. It can give a great effect but I like the glitter and sparkle of beads and will choose that first.

Diana brought a friend’s die cutting machine for our fused card making. Not everyone had played with one before, so that was a lot of fun.

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We looked at stamp making ideas, too, but that was a quick show and tell. We’ll need to make a few and play with a little paint at another play day.

Mary Lee has been saving threads as she sews. She knew she would need them for a project sooner or later! Her little thread wreaths were delightful and I could see new ideas percolating as she worked with the threads.

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And then some of us decided to go have some ice cream across the street at the ice cream shop! Perfect end to the day!

And then…guild workshop weekend! Stay tuned…


Bad news…computer issues.

Good news…it can be fixed, but it will be 3-5 days.

Won’t be going to the library, since I’m booked up with workshops ’till Monday!

I’ll check in as soon as I have a working computer again!

Tiny bits at a time

Made some decisions and a little progress on my new distraction. I felt that the fabric squares were still too big and that the color was too bright. A little spritz of green took care of the color and it’s always easy to make fabric pieces smaller!

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I wanted to fuse things in place but still have my raw edges, so I went for my fusible scraps. Do you have some type of container that you save all those little bits of fusible you trim off? I keep mine in a plastic jar and it’s perfect for something like this.

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Fusing just a bit in the center leaves me with options for loose thread or scrunched edges later.

AAARGH! For the first time in all the years that I’ve been rotary cutting, I took a little slice off my finger! And for all the years that I had adequate first aid supplies for kids, I did not have any for this. But I’m a woman…there are always panty liners and tape!

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My husband said to be sure and say that he laughed at me, but he didn’t! After a trip across the street to the store, he bandaged it up for me (with a real bandage) and I’m thankful that if I had to slip, it was not a bad accident!

So, a bit slower now, I trimmed up a piece of wool for the background, the commercial tree fabric on top and the bright fabric on the topmost layer.

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I’m happy with the piece so far, with plans for embroidery and beads, probably some machine stitching, too. But right now I can’t quite hold a needle and I didn’t realize how often you use your index finger when you type!

Good thing I have lots of other stuff to do this week…which will NOT include cleaning! I’ll need a few days to heal up. I need to give a beading demo this coming weekend. That could be funny without a needle!!!