Seascape, I think

Started work on another edition of “Find a Good Seascape” today. I thought I would begin with a bright, sunny day.

Sunshine and blue sky–perfect. It needs a few clouds, of course, so I went through my hoard of dyed cheesecloth.

I think I found what I need–so I went and found some more.

After I laid out my sky, I started to wonder about what process would work best for getting it stitched down. There was some green tulle on the shelf and I laid a piece of it over the entire piece. Not too sure, so I cut some pieces of the tulle to add a bit more texture and color to the sky.

I liked it and decided that those bits of green would stay even with the tulle over the top of the whole thing. That would be an easy way to finish things off, but I really do not like the look or feel of tulle over the top. It kind of defeats the purpose of having textured fibers!

But before I had to make that decision, I had to make some land for that sky to sit on! Came up with a very narrow strip of land/water/beach and added cheesecloth to that, too!

Yep–still like that bit of green tulle added to the sky.

Back to the technique decision. Don’t know if you can see it in the pic, but when everything is covered in tulle, I think it feels like a mesh bag of onions, ready for the fridge. Nope.

I went with my old standby next–water soluble stabilizer over the top. Usually works like a charm. This time it was a disaster. It was so bad I had to rip it out right away. Didn’t even take a picture of it. It pulled and wrinkled and distorted in a way that I have not seen before. And I’m not going to try to solve the issue when there is a way that always works.

Basting. Takes more time. It’s a pain to do. This time, it’s the only way that seems to work. But it always works!

Basting in a high contrast thread color because I want to easily see it when it comes time to remove it. That also forces me to look closely at all the areas when I’m doing that and make sure that I didn’t miss sewing something down.

That will be the next step in the process, but I won’t have much studio time in the next several days. It’s probably a good thing, since every step of this piece is taking a lot of thinking. And I THINK I’m on the right track now!

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One of these days…

One of these days, I need to add some more quilting to that Garden Grid quilt.

I’ve never been satisfied with the way it turned out, so obviously that means it’s not finished! It really needed more quilting and I knew it from the beginning. I was simply tired of the straight line work and wanted to call it done.

Of course, that means taking off the hanging sleeve. They come off a whole lot faster than they get sewn on!

With the wider quilting, it was hard to distinguish the flowers from the grid.

With only a few rows added, the difference was noticeable.

And by the time I finished the entire grid, it was much better!

There is a size difference on the edges that I am very unhappy with. I need to figure out a fix for that…and I think it’s more than blocking or pressing will cure. We shall see, but I sure am much happier with the amount of quilting. And it didn’t take that long to do…just one of those things that I’m gonna get around to, one of these days…and today was the day!

Hmmm…wonder how it would look if I added some heavy cording over the top of the dyed grid to make an actual gate or fencing effect. Or maybe I’ll call it good and leave it alone!

I’m pretty sure that I have a few other ‘one of these days’ projects around…all I have to do is clear a shelf or move a box and I’ll find one. It might finally BE one of these days!!

Text and Texture

Text and Texture is the challenge I am working on right now. It’s not due for almost 3 months, but when the idea strikes, you have to roll with it.

There was one thing for sure that I wanted to get on the top before I attached a backing and did any quilting. Cording is always eye-catching and I wanted to create an image that looked like writing but not actually BE writing. Paper–always an easy way to create the image, even if it’s a pain sometimes to remove!

Worked like a charm!

I secured things in a few places and then added an envelope back. Several rows of stitching around the edge and it was ready for quilting.

I did not have a real plan, as usual, but knew at some point that I wanted to have stitching that looked like cursive writing but not real words. I didn’t quite achieve that because it turned out to be impossible for me to do without thinking of and using real words.

But I did it upside down and from the back so it’s not really readable…I think. When I pinned it up for blocking, I’m not sure it’s exactly what I want.

It may stay like this or it may need some more stitching…but for now, I’m done with it. And since you can’t tell the size from these pics, it’s about 26 x 37, so fairly large.

Don’t know yet if I’ll procrastinate on the sleeve or go ahead and get it done. Tomorrow could bring something to distract me, and I could……………..squirrel………….!!!

Quick switch

Making a quick switch from the precision planning and graphmaking of the weekend, to the improv challenge project that I was working on previously. I realized that I haven’t even mentioned it on the blog, maybe because it was so far onto the back burner. It’s moved to the forefront now, because it’s a tiny start to what I wish to study this year. Oh, also it is the last project I have lying around with a deadline!

I have wanted to make paper fabric and have even tried with less than wonderful results before. Thought I’d give it a try again for use with this challenge. So I started with newspaper pieces on fusible interfacing.

So far, so good. I watched several videos and one of them used a layer of fusible next, rather than a liquid glue product, so that’s what I went with. Added my favorite item–stuff– to the next layer, and followed another suggestion to add a layer of tulle.

Even gave it a layer of paint and planned on using it with a piece of painted/printed fabric. I did not take any other pictures of the fabric paper, but I added quite a bit more paint before I thought it was interesting enough to use. I wanted to rip it into pieces for use, but it didn’t want to rip. Too sturdy for that and yet easy to stitch through. So I proceeded with trying to design a piece.

This was getting way too busy, way too quickly so I walked away for a while to think about it. When I came back, I gave the elements a bit more breathing room and this is where I’m at.

The green and yellow background is wool so there is a lot of texture going on. This is pretty much the design as it will finally live, but there is a lot of stitching yet to be done. I’ll get back at it today and we shall see what happens!

 

You will be jealous…

Yes, you will be jealous that you are not the new owners of this commission piece when it is done! I’m liking it a lot and I’m pretty sure the new owners will, too.

And BAM!!! There is a huge spike of uncertainty in my head as soon as I write that. Well, nothing to be done but continue on, because it has to get finished before that final decision is made!

Looking at possible embellishments.

At this point, the only beads I am positive that I want to use are the long yellow bugle beads in the center. Embellishment is a voyage of exploration, though, so we shall see.

Trying to get it blocked square and even and then a detail of what I have so far.

It’s coming along and should be done soon.

I’m also narrowing down what I want to spend some quality time studying. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a lot of gelli plate printing on fabric. Did I tell you that already? Anyway, I picked up a few more playthings while I was out yesterday.

Now all I need to do is clear off enough space to work effectively. THAT will not be an easy task!

‘Self-directed workshop’

‘Self-directed workshop’ is a term I saw posted by someone on FB today. It’s a wonderful description of a great way to work. See something you like, get intrigued by something you have never done, remember something that you started and would like to re-visit…There are so many paths to explore and I’m certainly in the mood to grab onto something and study it in depth.

I keep saying that I want to get away from commercial fabrics and use only fabric that I have ‘created’ in some way. However, that means more than just skimming the surface of some technique and thinking that I know it.

Today is going to be an assessment day. I’m giving myself permission to hang out on the internet and surf for fun stuff. Ask myself what I MOST want to do and learn and spend some real time absorbing it.

This will be quite difficult, I believe, because I love everything to do with textile and fiber and stitching and printing and painting and beading……………..I want more than superficial so let’s see what grabs me enough to dig deep!

Aaaaand….no pics today because I don’t know what direction I will be traveling! Wish me luck!

Exhibit Report

Last night was the opening reception for my exhibit, with Katie McGrath at the Northville Art House. I think Ryan did an excellent job of hanging the show–thanks! Our work meshes together beautifully and I believe that we did a good job of showing our love of color.

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends who came out to support us, as well as all our new art lover friends. We appreciate you! Hope you get a chance to see the show–it’s there through Jan. 26. But if not, here’s a snapshot slide show of it!

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Here’s the info, one last time.