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.

 

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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!

 

While I’m waiting

Waiting for another coat of paint to dry and thinking about getting everything super organized for this new class I’m teaching. Thought I would make another little sample that shows a different design idea for those who don’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.

I went to the fishing gear department to stock up on beading thread and saw a new type to try.

This is made by the same company that makes the Fireline thread I usually use, but I have never seen any this fine before. Only 2 lb. and the finest Fireline is 4 lb. It seems to be thinner than ‘invisible’ thread and it’s definitely more supple. Doesn’t say ‘braided’ as the Fireline is, so we’ll have to see just how strong it really is.

I used it with these black beads and you have to look super close to see it in this picture (arrow). In fact, I can’t get a picture close enough to show it all.

Oh, never mind…can’t really see it all, and I guess that’s the point! Pros: thin, strong, supple.   Cons: so thin it’s hard to see while beading.  It’s yet to be seen exactly how strong it is. I’ll have to throw this piece around and handle it a lot to test it out. Of course, once it’s mounted, you don’t have to worry about that, but I’d rather feel secure about my beads than worry about them falling off!

And I DO love French knots! Hard to stop adding them, but I had to restrain myself for the sake of the design.

Only need to decide now if it needs any more beads and then one more sample is ready for edge finishing. I’ll show that in class, I think.

Didn’t have AJ this week…seemed to have soooo much extra time. Glad he’ll be back from visiting his cousins and other grandparents next week. I’m selfish that way, but I sure love this boy!

Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!

As usual–

–there is not enough time in any day to do all that we want to do.  I spent all day yesterday trying to clean a path through the studio. I did manage to find the floor and made some progress on the tabletops.

I mowed the lawn last evening after dinner with friends. It’s supposed to get very warm again today and we have lunch with friends, so I wanted to get that chore out of the way!

There is a ton of other gardening I need to do. Bushes to be trimmed, some new-from-a-friend plants to be put in, weeding, watering. But, as I said, it’s very warm! I think the cool of the basement studio is calling my name much louder than the outdoor chores. I think I’ll do my weeding with weed killer and then head for the cool!

There are class materials that need to be organized, both for classes I’m teaching and classes I’m taking.

I’ll report back to you right after I do that–and maybe find time for a nap…

Yep, we need more hours in the day, just to be assured of that nap time!

No discipline at all!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have absolutely no self-discipline when it comes to fabric. I try to avoid going to fabric stores anymore for just that reason!

My goal is to only use fabric for which I have artistically created the design. That’s why I dye, paint, stencil, stamp, print…

But I love, love, love fabric and commercial designs keep calling my name and I keep answering.

There is no hope for my addiction–and I obviously don’t care, ’cause I keep going to those darn fabric stores!

I now need to spend more time sewing and less time wandering to those stores!