Village ready to quilt

My little improv village is all ready to quilt. I selected the border that is the same as the background fabric, but threw in just a bit of whimsy!

I toyed with the idea of piping or multiple borders with this fabric, and another that I didn’t take a photo of.

I liked the look of the black/white and decided to use the colorful fabric as a binding. It will be just wide enough to act as a tiny border with color. I think that’s all it will need.

This weekend we also had a discussion of batting basting tape. With our little smart phones, we looked it up and found that there are several brands and sizes from which to choose. I happened to have some that I got in a gift basket at some point so I decided that today was the day to use it.

Totally simple to butt up those straight edges and iron on the tape. It holds, it doesn’t make a stiff line and it’s super easy to use. I will be using it again–I like it!

I’m eager to get this project quilted and finished. It has been pure enjoyment from start to finish. Should be able to get that done tomorrow and I’m looking forward to some quality time at the machine.

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Step by step assembly

Yesterday was a guild workshop day with Barb Vedder. We created Liberated Houses, totally in the way I usually work. On my own, I most likely would not have made these with fussy little details, but it’s great to now confidently know how.

That means that these lovely little blue flying geese blocks are completely on the back burner until this house piece is done!

A little warning–I’m going to take you through my assembly process, weird thoughts and all and this post is going to be kind of long!

In class, I got to the point of trying to select my color(s) for pulling all the blocks together into a final product. I really thought I had it narrowed down to turquoise or black and white.

When I got back to my studio, I tried all kinds of blues.

Nothing spoke very loudly to me, so I tried greens.

Really thought I had it with this cross-hatch fabric-

but it wasn’t quite right. Searched the shelves a bit more and came up with this gold fabric and it shouted at me!

Of course, when fabric starts shouting at you, you must listen! But every little step of putting unequally sized blocks together takes quite a bit of thought. You start by figuring out easy-to-balance sections.

And then the question of…gold on both sides of that top section or only one side?

You have to do that section by section and finally get to a point where it’s all assembled!

Except it really needs to have gold all around, no b/w left to drift off the edge.

And now I have to decide if it needs another border…the b/w of the background?

Or maybe another option?

I do have a few other pieces of fabric to audition before I make that final decision and then I have to think about stitching, quilting, embellishment…

You know, while every bit of this process is enjoyable to me, when I write it all out like this it seems exhausting!

But it’s such a good exhaustion, when you know you have created something. Now back to the studio and the rest of those decsions!

Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

Fun idea

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…………….oh, wait. That’s another story. Anyhow, one of my inspirations was the work of Jan Mullen of Australia. She kind of dropped out of sight at some point and I haven’t heard anything about her in years. The other day I ran across a blog that she started a couple of years ago and I tried one of her ideas.

She quilted some feathers on paint chips for a project she was doing so I thought I’d try it.

It’s not great, but practice will make it better, and I HAVE paint chips!

I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but I’ve held on to them through several color decisions over the years and I simply could not throw them away. So, I’ll play!

These little pieces came out of the last workshop I took with Deborah Boschert. I love the way the mixed paint looks on the hand dyes.

I’m not going to force them into being something; I’m using them just as they are. I’ll be adding some stitching to begin with, using these thread colors.

And then there is another piece that I cannot cut up into smaller pieces. I want only a border around it, with the raw edges of the piece showing.

These colors are not true…the light color is a pale turquoise and the three colors on the right are what I am considering for the border right now. More thinking to do on this one, but I know which direction it will be taking. I’m not sure if this will be an all machine project or if there will be hand stitching involved.

It’s so much fun to have new ideas and projects on the design wall. Makes me impatient to get into the studio every day!

Up or down?

Started adding some quilting to this piece and thoughts of Irma were in my head as I created this swirling design.

I worry about my relatives in Florida and my son in Charleston, who may evacuate to my brother’s home in upstate SC. Hope for a good outcome for all of them–that’s all I can do at this point.

So I continued to quilt and to fret and now I can’t decide which way is up on the piece!

This way, with the turquoise wide end pointing up?

Or turquoise pointing down?

It’s been around for a while, so I’m at the point where I simply want it done! But I don’t want impatience to push me into the wrong decision, so I’ll let it rest!

 

Moving ahead

There was progress made in the studio today, but it did not come easily!

Planned on getting all those canvases wired up and ready to hang today. See that drill with no battery pack? I have TWO batteries for it and both of them were dead as a doornail. Delay number 1.

Thought I would relax and quilt a bit while the battery was charging, but that didn’t work out so well , either.

I finished it later in the day, but I broke two needles in the first 15 minutes of working on the background. Thread was catching on the spool and when I got that adjusted, there was a cut spot in the thread so I had to unroll through that…………..sigh! But at least I did finish it. I’m going to add some small beads to this one.

This is the stack of stuff that needed to get ready to go to an exhibition. I needed to get these ready, at the very least. Time was getting short, so I had to screw on the hanging hardware by hand—-oh, the rigors of manual labor!

See the green and black piece on top? 30 minutes before it was to be picked up, I took it off a hanger and discovered that I had NOT made a sleeve for it! Seriously? How lame is that? Thought it was ready to go. I did a quick search in my scrap basket because I thought I had an unused sleeve there–and I did! Phew! Quickly cut down to size and then I pinned it on. Good enough for this exhibition and if someone wanted to actually buy it, I’d be happy to put a real sleeve on it! And ready before the girls came to pick up the stuff. Hooray!

And as I sighed in frustration from a broken needle, my gaze crossed an older, unfinished piece on the design board and I had a lightbulb moment on how to proceed. Much of the problem I had with it was solved with machine stitching, rather than more of the hand stitching I started with, which you can’t see well in this photo. Sometimes letting things sit in time out is the way to find a solution.

Finally, I was able to really relax and the rest of the planned screws and wires can wait until tomorrow. I made this little piece for an example of fabric manipulation and I’m going to use it without any additional stitching, but I’m going to add beads. It’s only a 6″ piece so I’m hoping I can handle it without any more delays or issues!

Today was another case of the hurrieder I go the farther behind I get. Looking for better results tomorrow!

And every day until Oct. 14, this will be on my mind!

Tired of paint!

I’m really getting tired of waiting for paint to dry, but unfortunately, that’s where I’m at right now!

Part of the finishing process is mounting my work on canvas and all that canvas needs to be painted.

And then all the canvases need to have hanging hardware attached.

And if I’m not doing that, I’m adding sleeves and labels! Final finishing details are so incredibly boring…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

I did decide to use the little birdhouses on this piece instead of the buttons. Those buttons will find a place in another piece soon, though!

That’s the extent of my creative endeavors for this weekend! So boring—can’t wait to get back to creating something fun!