Absent and busy!

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, but new floors apparently require more work than I thought! Busy with family stuff and routine appointments. I am looking forward to taking a class tomorrow with Paula Golden…but I don’t have my stuff gathered and ready, yet!

I have always said that I can do a demo whenever our guild needs one, and I got tapped to sub in this Saturday. Well, let’s just say that I was not really ready to immediately step in with a demo!

I’ve spent time working up a little presentation for making postcards, mostly with a Christmas theme. I think I’m ready for that! Nice little stack of finished projects and ideas for lots more to present!

Then perhaps I can get back to some artistic-feeling projects, including some dyeing that I’ve been anxious to get done!

 

Advertisements

Halloween string tree

I’ve been playing hooky from my floor prep duties. I promised a string pieced picture to my daughter-in-law and I could not stay away from the sewing machine!

The background was done and the tree image was sketched in—only needed to decide on the actual tree thread/yarn. And she loves glitz as much as I do, so it wasn’t that hard.

I’m not sure what the official name of this machine foot is, but I call it the free-motion couching foot and it made the finishing of this project super easy! [Edit: Bernina #43 Free Motion Couching Foot–ha! I got the name of it right!]

The yarn goes through a hole in the side and is fastened down as you quilt! Love it! Here’s how it looks up close and happy!

And I am so happy with the final project!

I’m pretty sure Casey will love it, too. Shhhh…..she hasn’t seen it yet! I plan on getting it to her before this posts, though!

Can’t wait to make more of these now!

Watching paint dry…

Remember how much fun that is? NOT! Right now I am waiting for paint to dry AND waiting for rinsed out flowers to dry. Booooooooring…

Here are all 5 of my flat flowers–some are still wet.

I think they will have enough texture and dimension, but it will be relatively easy to add to them if necessary. It’s helpful for me to have this time to wait for things to dry. It forces me to take that time and think about things and assess my direction.

I was going to ask your opinions about doing a little cutting and folding of the background pieces…

but I liked it so much that I went ahead and cut it! There were two small slices that I cut out that I  thought might look good attached to the background in the other direction. With nothing done to them, though, they were nearly invisible.

And now we come to the paint drying part….I added some darker green paint to those pieces with another stencil and I’m pretty sure that will work out fine.

When I was making the last two flowers, I added some glitzy threads before I stitched them down.

After stitching, they don’t show too much, but every little bit of shine does add to the total picture.

I have a plan for finishing but it entails finding a used painter’s drop cloth. If I don’t come up with that, I’ll have to make one myself, and that means there will be more watching paint dry!

This project has taken a turn away from my original idea, but I’m still very happy with how it’s going. I’m having a great time creating this one and I have more skinny scrap ideas churning around my brain, waiting to be born.

Having sooooo much fun!

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.

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!

Watching paint dry

Been doing that a bit the last several days, trying to get pieces mounted and finished. These are ready to be glued down now.

So, while I was waiting, I decided to distract reward myself with a bit of fun. I had these three pieces that I started on a play day and thought I’d pick one to work on.

This is what I picked and how it looked after I was done playing on the sewing machine.

Then I started playing with additional embellishments–beads

a funky little birdhouse

some lacy leaves that are hard to see!

and then I found the buttons! I think I’ve found the solution!

Maybe fewer……………

Feel free to chime in with your opinions! Whenever it’s decision time, that means it’s a good time to take a break, get something to drink, maybe write a blog post………..that’s where I’m at! Coffee and blog. Thinking………….

Gosh-I made a decision!

Many decisions are hard for me and I put them off as long as possible…it’s that I always see so many ‘what ifs’ and when a decision is made, that eliminates all the other possibilities. That’s a momentary sadness, but also a victory for moving forward!

This decision was aided by your input and I am going to finish each one of these pieces separately.

Which then involved some more decisions about edge finishes, final size and canvas paint color…mostly resolved when I found this great silk recycled yarn with which to finish the edges.

ALL the colors and thin enough that it wouldn’t overwhelm the pieces.

I especially loved the fuzzier bits! Decided on a nice deep brown paint for the canvases, after considering mounting the pieces on burgundy cotton or brown wool. I’m waiting for the paint to dry now before I mount the pieces and then I will actually have some total finishes for the upcoming Artisan Showcase.

Progress comes in little steps and I am continuing to take those steps, one after another! Soon I will have them done, right? Right?

I keep saying that, but then I start something new. It is a good thing when you never run out of projects or ideas….