Itty bitty steps

Projects sometimes don’t get done very quickly around here. I have a tendency to procrastinate and waste time, looking at stuff on the computer or reading and sometimes napping! All I accomplished all day is putting the binding on that scrappy baby quilt.

It looks cute with the orange binding and a little more quilting.

I put an edging on the small embroidered piece that I showed last time. I took this picture before I glued it to the canvas…just in case I mess it up!

That’s the sum total of my accomplishments for today. Yawn…maybe I’ll get a nap in, too!

Where’s the work?

Since I changed the look of my blog, I took a little stroll through my pictures. Thought I’d update the galleries a bit, too. Well, I was quite surprised to find very little in the way of finished work to add!

Lots and lots of things got started.

Still ‘lots and lots’ of work to be done on these!

But all of these are ALMOST done, and just need a little bit of work to get to a final finish!

I’ll give myself a break and admit that I’ve had a few things going on this year that might have made it more difficult to get things completed. However, this is getting into the level of ridiculous. And I have finished a couple of things…like those quilts I finished at retreat last week. I have the real work done on this rust project, too, but no label or hanging sleeve so that I can call it ‘finished’ finished!

I’ve been working with  scraps and I’m tired of working with scraps. I think I’m actually at the point where I can bundle a lot of them up and get rid of them! I’m easily distracted when I start sorting them, though and start working on something new instead of concentrating on eliminating clutter! The hard part of getting rid of the excess is actually sorting through it.

What do I WANT to do? Right now I want to make stamps, print and dye fabric with my own tools and design, then stitch and bead them. I don’t want to make more real, useful, bed-type quilts. I want to make art with fiber!

All right! Now that I have my current goal defined, I need to make it happen. No ‘distractifying’ and the only procrastination allowed is for how long it takes me to pile things that are in my way a little deeper. Not going to worry about cleaning and organizing as long as I can function amid the mess!

Wow! I feel like I have a plan of action, nebulous as it is. Can’t wait to get into the studio now this week!

 

Student work

I love it so much when a student finishes a class project and sends me a picture! This picture is from Janice from Sarasota. She reminded me that she was late to class, but what I remember is the fact that she jumped right in and was fearless in her choices!

I can see all the little elements that she learned from me, but I can also see her originality in how she created and assembled the whole.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Janice!

Always a little bit of progress…

There are very few days that I don’t do a little something on a project. This turquoise and gray one is getting under my skin, though. I work on it for a while, decide I don’t like what I’ve done and rip it out.

I added black cording to the part I ripped and I’m not sure that I like that either. Perhaps I should have found something gray.

So I went on to other areas and added some more stitching.

And took it outside in the daylight to look at the ‘big picture.’

The best I can say for it is that I’m not going to rip any of that stitching out (for now!) and I’m getting more and more sure that I will be adding beads!

Taking a break let me concentrate on other beauty around me, too.

I’m very happy that someone planted this forsythia years ago, and didn’t groom it into submission. I love this hedge, from across the yard AND up close.

NOW spring is here and I think creativity will rise with the rising sap!

 

Student share

I so love it when a student sends me a picture of a finished project. This was from a design class that I taught in Sarasota FL in February.

From drawing

to finished product!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful galaxy with us, Randy!

Dots and stitches

The larger of my two turquoise and gray pieces was where I started stitching with those luscious threads. I was immediately disappointed with what I was doing.

Can barely see the blanket stitch edging on the gray, but there will be more and maybe it will be all right….at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

So I switched over to the heavier #5 thread and turquoise. The running stitch was where I started and took it out after the first 20 or so stitches. Went along the edges with a chain stitch and it was okay.

Visible and the cross stitch section was working all right. Then I tried more gray on gray–you can almost see it at the top of the turquoise strip.

Time to re-assess.

Looking at the whole thing again, it’s spare, graphic and all the separate parts are very directional. It needs straight lines, through the pieces, intersecting the pieces, uniting and extending the pieces in the design. I can do that with hand work if there is a straight line marked to follow, but I hate marking…it never comes out, no matter how vigorously I test. Back up a step…I hate marking because you have to get it out!

It’s relatively easy to do with machine stitching and no marking, using the edges of the various presser feet for my measurements and ‘marking.’ So I’m going to head to the machine and get some stitching done there. Those lines can be guidelines and another layer of texture. The hand stitching can be added afterward. And since I don’t add the backing until the handwork is done, I’ll leave plenty of space for machine quilting the background at that point.

Now this all sounds like it will work, but all my work is simply a series of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe this or that.’ I love creating this way, but I know it’s not for everyone. I do appreciate suggestions from those of you who have already tried something that I may be heading toward. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel and will happily learn from your mistakes as well as my own!

Oh, yes…I’m much happier already!

There’s basting and then there’s basting…

Thread basting…glue basting…my preference is always going to be spray basting. On these first polka-dot pieces I wasn’t sure how I was going to construct them, so I started out with pinning. I knew that I did not want any fusible because it’s harder to stitch through, especially if you have multiple layers.

I picked out some really gorgeous threads to embroider with, too.

As I’m looking at them now, I may have to ask Denise to order more. I took the last she had of most of those skeins and I’m really falling in love with them.

Thinking….thinking…and I got out the glue stick and stuck some pieces down on the smaller piece. It’s about 20″ square or so, and I’ll feel better if that’s spray basted to the batting. If I were only doing machine stitching, it would be fine.

On the larger piece, I basted around the edges of each piece with thread. This piece is roughly a yard square and when I made the decision to hand stitch on batting, I just went ahead and spray basted it to the batting. Life is too short to spend it basting. I’d rather spend my time stitching with the pretty thread!

Ready to go!

So what’s the big deal with the basting, you ask? It’s an art quilt so what does it matter? Well, I have this idiosyncracy that if there is glue sprayed or glue stick spread, the glue must be washed out of the piece before it is hung up. Fusible–that doesn’t bother me at all, but other glues need to be washed. I have no idea how that will affect the threads I add because I usually avoid the issue and work on smaller pieces.

This will be an interesting experiment in the end…but that won’t be for quite a while. I plan on lots of stitching and nothing in a hurry!