Done is better than perfect.

I have to remind myself of that fact whenever things don’t go as I had planned. And this project did not go as planned from the very beginning. From purple to red to turquoise, it was constantly changing. And now I’m trying to figure out how to take it from mostly traditional to a little bit funky!

Pretty much gave up on any fancy quilting. Trying simple repeated lines in the setting triangles.

Simple but they look fine. Then I thought I’d try some couching, since the ribbon didn’t work………

It really did nothing and I’m becoming a ripping expert on this piece! I decided to try the ribbon again, with regular rather than metallic thread and a better presser foot for applying it.

It does not matter what you use, ribbon yarn does NOT lay straight, stay straight or care what you want it to do! So, it’s done and looks fine, but not perfect. I can live with that!

Really couldn’t think of anything else to add that would improve the piece, so all it needed was the remainder of the setting triangles to be quilted.

Finishing that up, putting some binding on, and calling this one done. I’m not at all sure what I will do with it, but I’m thinking someone will like it more than I do. It just never measured up to the picture in my head.

And then I put the binding on, which was the same light turquoise as the back, and it looked bad. So I slapped a round of ribbon on top of that and now it is done!

Yes, done is much better than perfect, any day of the week. Looking forward to whatever the world puts in front of me next!

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Frustration!

This circle piece has me totally frustrated. I was happy taking it in a new direction, but none of the plans I had for finishing are working out.

I wanted to quilt in the blocks with metallic thread. I have used this particular copper thread many times with no problems…put the spool in a mug, tension down very low and don’t move too quickly. Not happening, no matter what adjustments I tried to make.

Bottom thread pulling up…thread breakage…and then I remembered that rusted fabric is not kind to any type of further sewing. The rust is IN the fabric and does not yield gracefully to the needle. So, this got ripped out and I thought I would try that lovely ribbon yarn, sewn down on the sashing strips with the metallic.

I didn’t even take pics of that disaster before it got ripped out. The turquoise fabric is rust fabric that was overdyed, so it did not play well either.

Plain thread, straight stitch worked so I reluctantly got all the blocks and sashing lined with that.

Not at all sure what to try next. I’m not happy with any ideas that have been drifting in and out of my brain.

Frustrated! Time for a nap, I guess!

New direction

You know, I guess I really do dislike purple. So much that I simply can not bring myself to finish this project.

Not even using the deep royal purple instead of this bright purple. So I tried other backgrounds and nothing really worked for me. The embroidery thread is variegated purple, red and blue so I thought I had to keep things in that color range. When I abandoned the red squares along with the purple, that thread didn’t seem to matter so much.

I went in a totally new direction. Rust squares and I had some pieces of rust fabric that I put in turquoise dye. Yep–that’s exactly what I needed.

Oops! Guess I didn’t check this pic before I moved on, but I did have enough pieces to put this together.

And then the search was on for a border fabric. Yeah, traditional setting needs a traditional border. And guess what–no purple or red in the border fabric I chose, either.

I originally thought I’d do a lot of hand stitching to finish this off, but I’ve changed my mind. I am taking my direction from the last piece I did and adding a nice ribbon yarn, after I quilt the top with copper metallic thread.

And there’s a bit of purple getting added back in! The rest of this should be fun now and it will actually get finished. I will be happy to have one more UFO off the shelves!

Guess I’d better find a use for a dozen bright red silk squares, though. Sigh!

Turned and topped

Where I left off–

was with this piece turned to the vertical direction and I liked it better that way. But it was still only just okay. The bottom was too abrupt and I first thought about chopping it off entirely. Glad I didn’t because I think it needs that black.

I went rummaging in the trim drawers–yes, it used to be ‘drawer’ but those items just keep piling up! There really is a reason to keep that stuff, though. I found a small bit of variegated, loosely spun, cotton yarn that seemed perfect to add on top of this piece.

This is all I have left!!!

The quilt is 33″ long and this is not enough yarn to go one more length, but I am so happy to have actually used up something!!!

It’s funny, and wonderful, how the addition of something so simple can make such a big difference. I went from feeling like this piece was fine, but ordinary, to liking it very much now!

Having done these last two pieces, I think I’m done with black and white/high contrast for a little while. I guess I’m not so good at  in-depth studying!

I might go back and finish this piece

since I found something in that trim drawer that might help it along! Yeah, I know, it’s purple, but sometimes that’s the only color that works!

 

 

Back at it!

Didn’t get an early start, but I have had time to play in the studio today. I made the decision to go with the brighter batik and not only the dark and light for my curves.

When in doubt, I always go with the bolder and brighter colors.

I did not take any pics when I started cutting–mainly because I forgot, but it would not have been any different than the last time I did this. I actually thought I would be trying out something new, but it ended up pretty much like I always cut and sew curves!

My only real decisions were what edges I wanted to use!

Okay-NOT batik all the way around! I put the batik on one side and black on the other and liked that much better.

And as I made the sandwich for quilting, I think I may want to rotate this and have the curves flow from top bright to bottom dark.

Probably make the top and bottom pieces smaller, too. May even take off the bottom black entirely! We shall see………..

Ready for quilting and maybe some embellishment.

Done? Is that a real word?

Having little bits and pieces of time in the studio mostly means piddling around with bits and pieces of projects, too. I KNOW that I have to do some serious thinking before I start carving into my latest striped bits. AND that I want to have dedicated, uninterrupted time when I start working. Not gonna happen for a day or two at least.

But I did think about what color(s) I want to add into the piece with the narrow strips. Oh, wait–I skipped a step for you. I have decided that I want to insert very narrow curves into whatever I make with the stripes. And I do not want plain black or white!

So off from the shelves comes the fabrics…I’ll spare you many of the possibilities, but there are still a lot that I am contemplating!

Greens, golds, neutrals…

And the current favorite is a batik bright botanical.

I think the changing colors in narrow strips will be more effective than a single solid color or more graphic print.

I found lots more turquoise family fabrics to add to the mindless sewing of improv blocks.

I cannot believe how much I have in scraps alone that goes with this color family! It never seems to end. However, in my online time-wasting today I came across an artist whose style I fell in love with and one of her posts gave me an idea of a different way to use these. And as long as this “project” is simply sewing up the scraps to use them up, the ideas can marinate a little and maybe get a bit refined before I try them out. Love it when I come across something new and different.

Random fabric and beading got finished a couple of hockey games ago. Planning on it being an addition to something more, but I haven’t gotten any good ideas for that ‘more’ part yet!

And another internet picture had me trying crumpled tissue paper, india ink and water………..not at all what the original artist did, but I wanted to implant the concept in my brain while it was fresh.

Here are three layers of tissue, each crumpled, wet and dripped with India ink.

After it dried, I separated the layers, smoothed them out and I like what I got.

Top layer–more white and easiest to flatten

Layer 2–I know I was less gentle when I crumpled it on top of the first layer and it had quite a bit of tearing as I flattened it. Still distinctive dark and light markings.

Bottom layer–ended up being the wettest, of course and had most of the ink seep down into it. Some fragility and quite dark.

It was interesting to do this little experiment and the tissue will be useful in something, sometime. But when I do it again, it will probably be with fabric, dye and a resist, not just crumpling! Or more and different paper. It’s experimenting with the very dark and the very light that has caught my interest right now, not the materials I am playing with…

Bits and pieces of time, bits and pieces of projects and experiments. I’m ready to concentrate but it’s spring time. Yard work and sewing do NOT mix well. When the yard is ready to face the summer, I will get back to regular studio time, for sure!

 

Moving on again

It was the thought of ripping out all those little quilting stitches that drove my decision to call the last project good enough and get ready to move on. I squared it off and gave it a corded edge finish and done, done, done!

And looking at the pic tells me what I would like to do to it if I decide that it’s really not done! But for now, it’s getting set aside.

However, through comments from my various social media friends, I now feel that I wish to explore more of those high contrast curves. Only had a tiny bit of time to work today, but I selected these two fabrics to begin with.

And then I made piano key fabric like I began with last time. Slight differences–this batch was made with free form cuts, not ruler cuts and I am not keeping them as two pieces. I want to use longer curves, so I sewed both sections together. And I always like to tell you about my “duh” moments—I have an 1/8″ foot for my sewing machine. I only remembered it after I sewed the first section together. Not that it makes any difference to the overall sewing, but it gave me a bigger second piece and it’s easier to sew when using skinny pieces! An eighth of an inch will hold those seams together just fine!

I decided to quit at this point and do a bit of planning. What do I really hope to accomplish here? Is there an effect I’m looking for or do I just want to see how the stripes and curves will flow? Will this be a piece to stand on it’s own or should I build a larger story in which this will fit? How about adding in another color to the curves instead of just the stripes? Will the stripes be an accent or a focus?

I usually do just fine working from a blank plan and letting the fabrics take me where they will, but I think I need a bit of mental discipline and focus right now for this.

Contemplation time.