Using stash stuff–again!

I think I’ve shown this tub of silk to you before, but I’ve done several projects from this fabric…

and it is STILL mighty damn full! I’m gonna hit it up again for another project, but I’m betting I won’t work it down very far this time either.

I love flying geese, so I’m going to make some……….70, because that’s how old I am today! I might end up with a totally different number, but that’s a good starting point. The largest piece I’ll need is this big.

It’s less than 12″ square. And this is how much fabric I have.

Yeah…..I’ll use it up………sure! Anyhow, I’ve decided that I love all of the colors, so I’m going to make this bright and colorful.

My ‘goose’ is going to be this nice light gray, but it has a lovely stripe along the fold line.

This must have been sitting around for a looooong time before it was given to me. I’m glad I’m not using it for garment making ’cause that would make it UNuseable!

And here is what I have already prepped for use.

The rest of this is going to be a pain, but I’m sure I can figure it out. I always pre-wash because silk always runs and it’s stiff (with seracin, I think it’s called). I only need a strip from each color to start with and then I’ll use fusible interfacing before actually sewing with it. Because silk shreds!

And that pre-washing and pressing is all the further I got, but I think I’m going to like where this is going.

Simple, regular shapes and no improv for this one. I’m going to make it easy on myself and only play with block arrangement. Simply because I want to play with this silk!

Center of attention

That’s right–the center of the undersea piece, the intended focal point is very, very bare.


I have some simple quilting lines in it but it’s not enough. I’m planning on adding some type of thread or yarn, but I don’t want something that will cover up the beauty of the dyed fabric that I fell in love with.

I’ve already eliminated several choices and the colors don’t show up very well in this photo. The top turquoise has a sparkle of gold, so I think that will go in. And the bottom one that looks white is actually a nice light turquoise. I’m really leaning toward that darkest color and the sparkly one. Just a few lines across the quilted surface should do it……………at least, I sure hope so.

I might have two finishes by the end of the weekend! That will feel very, very good. But if I get distracted by plants……………….

Instant gratification

I was craving some sewing machine action today and I wasn’t at all picky about what I was going to do. However, I have such a huge stash, I can always find something pretty with which to play.

This panel was in a freebie pile at an art group meeting several years ago and I really love it. I snatched it up but then left it sit on the shelf…sigh.

It was a no brainer to get a section ready for quilting and get to stitching.

It may be nice at some point to make a tote out of the other sections, but quilting is what I was after today. And I got it done!

A happy little wall hanging, about 28 x 31, and a day of relaxation for me. Win-win!

I was reprimanded by my black and white strings that I got out a couple of weeks ago. They had some teal yarns sitting by them and were getting impatient to be used.

In an attempt to create a flower in a bit of a different manner, I spread out the strings onto fusible and made this…

which is really not at all what I had in my imagination! But it’s what I have on my table and I’ll work with it. I put it onto a piece of turquoise organdy, of which I have tons.

I’m not sure of my next step, other than a bit of thread sketching to start. I want to have layers so the organdy may get cut up a bit, too. Now that those fabrics are being used and not sitting there giving me dirty looks, I’m ready to plunge into a little thoughtful creativity.

And for my sitting in front of the TV hand work, I’m still playing with making coral.

Between the stitching and the lawn mowing and flower planting, I don’t know how I had time to be UN-quarantined! It’s good to be home and to have time to play.

Only one project?

Occasionally I get completely absorbed in a project and work almost exclusively on that one until I can’t stand it anymore. That’s how it’s going with the undersea picture. I have everything I need to create it as I see it in my imagination and nothing else seems to capture my attention.

Look at these wonderful threads and yarns…

I finished the kelp with a layer of dyed cheesecloth and an extra row of silk ribbon. I may add a couple more strips of just the ribbon later on for more detail.

I started on another one of the coral sections, blue-green this time. Couching that coral section was so easy that I decided to do the same thing here. Only I didn’t do ‘traditional’ couching. That is done with a small, straight stitch across the thread being couched. I chose to stitch diagonally so the final looks more like a whipped running stitch, but it’s quick!

I have the outline done and I know I’ll add more. I’m just not certain what, yet.

I sure am anxious to do some of those orange and yellow colors, though!

Growing my coral

Silk ribbon and cotton yarn…the perfect combination for growing a coral branch. I got the embroidery started on my undersea garden patch and I’m couching down the thicker threads I’m using. Lots of new things for me here.

Silk ribbon is not a product that I have used before but I had some in my stash of threads, and it was the color that I wanted to use. There was also some variegated, and that’s always a winner with me.

The cotton yarn was some that I had dyed with no end in mind and it turned out to be a really good color mix. It’s a beautiful sport weight yarn that lays very smoothly on the fabric.

I have done tons of couching by machine and really like it but this project needed to have the couching done by hand. Haven’t done that, other than to learn it and I thought it would go slowly. Actually, it goes very quickly. I used a bright magenta perle cotton and I’m really liking the effect.

The first–and my favorite–of the undersea plants is in place.

Not sure if there will be more stitching added to these plants as I go along. I have to see if the overall picture needs more detail. Right now I want to get the basic shapes and defining characteristics of each plant embroidered. One step at a time.

But that silk ribbon…oh, my! I love it. I checked with my friend Denise and she carries it in her shop (Timeless Stitches). And who knew that it comes in two different widths? I’m thinking I’m gonna be gettin’ me some of that there stuff! Wooooo–pretty!

Free day for stitching on Thursday so I hope to get another plant added to this garden. I thought this one was going to be very, very slow but it feels like I’m zooming. Hope it stays that way so I don’t get bored and quit. I don’t want these fabrics sitting on the shelf for another 10 years!


Short bursts

A few minutes here and a few minutes there….it really does add up to getting things done. I was going to play it by ear and simply free form stitch on the blue hand dyed project, but as I looked at it, I went back a bit to my original intention. It was supposed to represent an undersea spot with a ray of light shining down and I think I can get back to that impression.

So here’s where we’re at. There were a few moments the other night where I surfed the net for images of corals and sea weeds. I printed a couple pages on transparencies and threw ’em up on the wall with my overhead projector.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock………and today I found a few moments to get them traced onto some paper.

And the clock will just have to tick away until I find a few more moments and figure out my transfer method and arrangements of the plants.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock………

Fear of Failure

We’ve all been there, right? Being frozen at some step in a project because you fear ruining it. How about not even starting it? This project has been in “fraidy-cat” mode for years….probably close to 10 years.

Planned out, pinned together and shoved in a basket. Looked at many times and shoved back in the basket. See, the plan kept growing bigger and more elaborate and I became convinced that I could not do it. It was also a time when I had not done yards and yards of dyeing so those fabrics were more precious to me. I knew that once I cut into them–and ruined the project–that I would never be able to make it right. I’ve learned a bit since then!

Ironing and keeping them in the same general order they were pinned in gave meĀ  confidence to go forward. I eliminated all the extra and elaborate parts of the plan that had made me nervous and went back to my original intent–showcase that center fabric. I am no longer afraid to just cut into a chunk of fabric, hand dyed or commercial, so that’s what I did. About time, don’t you think, after 10 years?!!

I moved things around a bit and gave myself a margin to aim for. I’m not sure it’s really the same as my original layout, but I’m not afraid of messing up anymore. I have filled my desire to make a piece that showcases that nice center chunk of fabric, so no matter what comes next, I have NOT failed.

A bit more trimming and a lot of pins gave me a nice little wall hanging ready for assembly and stitching. Hmmm…I may play a bit with the orientation of the center…

And it will have raw edges rather than pieced seams. I think it will be sewn by hand with embroidery, crazy quilt style, but there may also be some machine quilting. Those details will get worked out as I go along, per usual.

I just feel so good that I don’t have any fear of failure on this project any more. Aaaand all the other ‘stuff’ that was thrown in that basket is now back in circulation and available for more new projects! Wooo hooo…another black hole of UFO’s cleaned out!!!