Nothing planned…

Originally this was a week with nothing planned. It’s summer and we have our grandson on Tuesdays and Fridays so if we make a plan it revolves around that. We ended up with lunch with friends, car service appointments, and other necessary trips that kept us out of the house and me out of my sewing room! Can’t get too far on the huge pile of scraps that way!

The ONLY thing I stitched on this week was this little gingko.

I have so many bits and pieces of beautiful fabric and it’s a pleasure to re-visit them with these small studies. Not sure how they will be finished, but I’m leaning towards keeping groups together and mounting them to wool. I’m really enamored of the fringed edges of my other wool mounts.

And I have plenty of wool to play with!

Small bits of time…small pieces…maybe next week, with nothing planned again, I can get back to sewing up the big pile of scraps!

Advertisements

Roadblocks

Do you ever make your own roadblocks? I found myself doing that whenever I started thinking about all that bright fabric to use up. It was mostly leftovers from baby quilts and my mind kept thinking it had to stay as baby quilts—and there is enough fabric for at least 6 quilts that size!

And then I looked online for ideas and most of the advice started with “Decide what size you want your blocks to be…” I don’t necessarily create from blocks, but I got hung up on that phrase. Also advice to sew small pieces together and then keep adding to them. Not too conducive to using up those large chunks of fabric piled up on the table.

Finally, my brain kicked into my normal creative mode and I got started on the sewing. I make things from a stack/slash/sew method, not sew tiny to get bigger method! Easy then, to stack fabric and make some quick wonky strip sets.

I gave myself some ‘rules’ to follow on this project also. All cuts will be straight–yeah, wonky angles are fine, but no curvy piecing. No more than one piece of black in each set. And nothing…NOTHING…will be going back into the container this stuff came out of!

This part went super fast and I ended up with quite a large pile of strip sets, ready to go!

Then I started the slow, boring sewing of the small pieces. I made quite a bit of progress, but still have so far to go!

I had really hoped that I’d get much further than I did, but this type of sewing takes forever! You not only need to sew the small pieces together, but each pair needs to be pressed and trimmed to a straight edge before you can go on to the next step. On the other hand, it’s these pieces built from small to large that give so much charm to a scrap quilt!

My entire day was spent working on this and I’m not nearly ready to start putting pieces on the design wall for assembly decisions. As I sorted through and worked on the fabrics, though, there were some chunks that said ‘block size’ to me.

I may turn to a block style assembly and start with these. Maybe not all the same size, but square them up and use them ‘as is’ for even more variety.

Soooooo much more to do before I can make real design decisions, but at least I got over the roadblocks I set up for myself. Lots of fabric spread over the tables yet, and that is both a roadblock and an incentive. Can’t do anything else until this is out of the way, but the best way to get it out of the way is to get it sewn up!

Spinning around

Working on a little of this, a little of that.

My Wacky Quilters group met this week and we tried pulled string painting, on paper and on fabric. This will not be my technique of choice!

My first try, on paper, was about as expected…too much paint and kinda sloppy looking.

Until you get a feel for it, you can’t think it’s going to come out perfectly, but we helped each other sort things out.

I tried multiple pulls and multiple colors on top of some thick black and that wasn’t much better.

I went on to trying it on fabric. Several attempts…

This is not something that I like well enough to follow on the learning curve. I’m not going to devote any more time to it. But if something came up that I thought could benefit from this type of figure, I wouldn’t be afraid to play with it some more.

My luck is much better when I’m working with needle and thread! I always have some scraps and my embroidery threads in a corner of the living room and I stitch while we are ‘watching’ tv. I refreshed my pile of scraps the other day and decided that I would explore gingko leaves a bit again.

Little 8.5″ pieces, playing with color. Not sure that they will be finished in a hurry–or ever, actually. They are a great size to work up quickly and I believe they will lend themselves to some ‘what if’ experimenting with beads and/or paint. I thought I wanted the background to be seen through the stitching, but now…maybe not so much! I’ll probably stitch up a few more before I play any ‘what if’ games though. Very relaxing to simply sit and stitch and let life flow around me.

And look what I found! Brass stencils, like I used to use in one of my first jobs! Found enough letters to spell out

Gonna be some kind of wall art for my studio, not used as stencils. It just makes me smile!

Family dinner coming up to celebrate all our June birthdays and Hallmark Holidays. Looking forward to time spent with my loves…

Overwhelmed and almost defeated!

Yes, I am declaring myself officially scrap overwhelmed! I keep my scraps in baskets, roughly sorted into warm, cool and neutrals. Then there was the huge plastic tub of kinda sorted scraps that I told myself I was done with…and then kept throwing in project leftovers without any sorting. I kept tripping over that one so I figured I could get it sorted and cut into some strips and sewn up and truly done with! Hahahahaha!

This is sort of what it looked like when I started, but it’s actually another whole pile of fabric to be sorted that I used to use when I gave a talk.

After pressing a few things, I remembered that the box contained mainly bright fabrics that I had used in one way or another for baby quilts and I was tired of them. Here’s the stack of quite small pieces–enough for a baby quilt here by itself!

And the pile of larger pieces, all nicely pressed! Probably 2-3 baby quilts here.

A pile of all orange……….

And bright and black that I thought I might start each block with….

except now I have no idea what kind of block to make! My original idea was a log cabin kind with logs added only on two sides. Large and fast, probably but not good for using up those smaller pieces….which have lots of matching parts with the larger pieces. Sigh…………….obviously I need to do a little research and planning before I simply start cutting. I’m not likely to want everything all one size, even if my scrap sizes agreed with that idea. Ideally it would all go into one large quilt, since it all goes together.

And I thought using up my stash was hard with fat quarter and larger pieces….HA again! These smaller pieces are trouble and I can’t seem to bring myself to pitch it all or chop it up into dog bed stuffing or inflict it on someone else to figure out a solution.

Yep, overwhelmed and walked away for today. Cogitation needed! And maybe a glass of wine…………………………………………….sigh!

Always something new

It doesn’t matter how often I work on finishing a project in a particular way, there is always something new to try.

I like to mount my small pieces on canvas and I most often simply glue the piece to the painted canvas. Couldn’t be easier. Sometimes I mount the piece on a background piece of fabric and stretch it around the canvas. That’s what I decided to do on the small piece I was working on.

And then I decided to try something new. I had read that some people use a fusible web to attach their pieces to the canvas, so I thought I’d try it. I ironed a line of fusible to the back of the canvas, right on the wood. One example I saw used fusible on the sides of the canvas as well, but I decided to start with this little strip and see how it went.

The rest of the process is usually to pull the fabric to the back and staple it down. The difference here is that I could pull the fabric to the back and iron it in place! I finished the corners with staples and I think I could leave it like this.

However, my motto is never trust the glue, so I’ll add the staples around the sides, too. This made the process much easier and faster though, so I think I’ll be using the fusible again.

Here’s how the piece ended up, with a close up of the beads.

On another project, I also used up every scrap I could to piece the back of the hockey quilt. This little scrap is all that is left of the darker blue hockey fabric.

The other chunk of lighter fabric that I had, I simply centered it for the back and built around it.

It’s ready to be quilted, but the urgency to get it done has abated now that I’ve actually used up that hockey fabric. As long as I get it done by the time hockey starts in the fall, I’ll be satisfied. Oh, and AJ was quite surprised. He said, “You never told me anything about a hockey quilt. Cool.”

I think I have to give up sewing for a day, though, and take care of some necessary chores in the yard and in the house. Boooooring, but must be done!

Wonder what will jump out at me for the next project…hmmmm!

A life of it’s own

Projects in my house often take on a life of their own. They dictate to me what they need and in which direction they need to go.

This is one such project. It started as scraps on my table, intended for a stitch meditation type project. I didn’t think much of it. Something to stitch on in front of the tv. I put together the scraps of fabric and then added some shiny gold mesh. Long embroidery floss stitches held that down and then I wove some eyelash yarn through the stitching.

I’m never one to let well enough alone, so I started thinking about adding beads. Something organic. Maybe some bead embroidered leaves. I did not take any interim photos, but my first attempts were NOT successful. Good thing beads were are easy to take out and re-do.

So this is where I am right now.

The piece is maybe too long–about 11″–to bead all the way to the top, but I’m pretty happy with what I have so far.

All these pieces of what I’ve learned float around in my head and come out in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. It’s so much fun to live in an art-tilted world. You are always surprised, often delighted, sometimes disappointed, but never bored!

 

Ready to quilt!

The hockey quilt top is done! Hooray!

And it went from being too small to wrap around a body to full bed size! I don’t know how that happened, but apparently that’s the size it needed to be.

This is all the scrap left of that blue, so I’m very, very happy about that.

I hate piecing quilt backs, but this other hunk of hockey fabric

and the scraps will be finding a home on the back of this one!

Finally, the hockey fabric that I have saved for years will be used and gone! It’s great that AJ is playing hockey so that I had motivation to finally use it!

Use Up the Stash, baby! Woooo–hooooooo!