Directions and sleeves, again!

Are you tired of looking at this piece, yet? Here’s the newest rendition ————

And the detail

I had always planned on making the spot where the bead is my focal point. And I thought this large bead, surrounded by small beads would work. Played with laying out more and more beads and it simply was not working for me.

So I took them all off.

There is not a single bead or button or rock in my collection that is just right for this spot. For the moment then, I have decided to stick with the total hand stitching aspect and  identify that focal spot with a few French knots.

They don’t stand out very much, so I know that won’t be the final look. I changed the direction I was thinking of, too, because I don’t want to give the idea of a picket fence!

This one is going into temporary time out until I get it all figured out!

And since I’m working on several shows right now, I have sleeves and finishing…always!

Sleeves last night

and today I will work on adding hanging hardware and wires to my canvas pieces.

When everything is actually ready to be sold, I can relax and think about new pieces again!


There’s probably a better way…

The construction methods I am using in this scrap project are very time consuming. I am positive there is a better way, but…these scrap projects are make-it-up-as-I-go-along. Sometimes you go forward, then backward to make progress.

I started with the dark blue background and put some contrasting strips on it. Tried lots of variations but didn’t have what I wanted to add with me so I basted it and put it aside until I got home.

Original idea

I ended up adding only a couple of little strips and basted again. At this point of construction, I baste to a piece of batting or felt. Then I can do any stitching or beading without worrying about the messy back showing. I add a backing after all that work is done. That requires a bit more stitching to hold those layers together, but I can plan for that!

Thought I wanted to add tons of glitz and foo-foo, but really couldn’t figure out what would look good AND not totally obscure the strips! Then inspiration struck, thanks to a picture from Katie McGrath and I decided that a simple circle pattern would work the best. Sooooo, I machine basted that, using the presser foot as my guide.

Basting all over this baby! Started hand stitching, again keeping it simple and removing basting stitches as I went along. The basting on the machine took about 5 minutes. The hand stitching takes a bit more time! Here’s where I’m at, hours later, with lots more stitching ahead.

But guess what? Simple stitches are so relaxing. No worry about which new stitch to use, or to learn or balancing the variety of stitches chosen. Simply sewing. Lots of basting, and more basting and taking out the basting. Then lots of stitching and when I add the back, more stitching.

Yes, there probably is a better way, but this way gives me lots of decision making time and every bit of it is working with the textiles I love! It’s all good!

And it was our local Appleumpkin Festival this weekend, so we took time out to walk uptown and check out everything. It’s also become a family tradition to visit one particular vendor who creates metal yard art. I ALWAYS find something I love and here is this year’s winner.

I have a pretty good metal art garden going on now. I plan to arrange it more purposefully in the spring, and make it a nice feature in the front of my house. Always have more plans than time, but this is a spring project–lots of time!

Right now it’s finishing time for all my pieces—Holiday Show in Lansing, through Grove Gallery, my Artisan Showcase on Nov. 3 and a joint show with Katie McGrath at the Northville Art House in January. Life is busy, but it’s soooooo wonderful!

Little bits of nothing much

Having time and not having the right materials is hard. The ideas are there but I need more of a palette than I brought with me.

This one starts with a fat quarter of navy blue. I wanted it full sized—really did not want to cut it into pieces! So I added a previously cut square with a rainbow of colors.

I went through every piece of fabric I had to decide what the next step would be———-and put every piece of fabric back on the pile. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Going back to smaller pieces, I tried this.

It’s a start, but I think I will want a series of embellished lines all across it and I don’t have any of that kind of stuff here with me. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Third time’s the charm, right? Pick up a few more pieces and just lay them on top of one another. I’m happy with the start…

Guess what? This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

My attempt to force the fabrics I have to go together in more configurations is done! I think I need to wait until I have access to ALL my options!

Time to go read a book….and probably attempt my favorite sport, napping!


Idea train—hop on board!

While on vacation, I thought I’d have time to play a little bit making some back grounds. I grabbed a small stack of fabric and really believed it was more than I would ever have time to use.

Well, I had time to make this one, but nothing else appropriate to add to it.

Then I had almost all day today and looked at many, many…yes, many options. I’ll put them into a small slide show for you.

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To my mind, I don’t have the correct color. I do like the single strips woven through the light blue strips, though. I think I might need a brighter fuschia, but I will have to settle for this first step and try out other fabric when I have my full palette available.

Soooooo–having more time to sit and relax is wonderful! And I do have quite a bit of fabric left to play with. I’m having fun with the colors I’m working with, so I think I will simply continue to create backgrounds, or parts of backgrounds with them and use them as best I can later.

Deck time-mountain view-family—————that’s is the major agenda right now, but you know I will always find time to sew if I can!

Ideas are flowing

Flowing? More like flooding! Every time I pick up a scrap, another possibility screams at me. I’m afraid to move a whole stack of fabrics–I might get overwhelmed.  Here are a  couple that I started working on.

The stack of scraps had to be moved off the table and there were a few larger pieces in the pile. They insisted on becoming this background, immediately!

And the deeper, more reddish scraps were in the same pile and did not want to be separated from their friends.

I haven’t decided if this is going to be the final configuration, but those fabrics will be happier now than they were sitting in a pile on the table. It’s kind of dark, though, so it may need a bit of glitz!

And this leaf has been hanging around for years. Since my early free-motion quilting learning days, and early dyeing days. I have decided what I’m going to do with it, except for that final configuration issue again.

Straight across, full width?

As a square motif on the background?

Or as an angled motif?

I like them all but I only have one leaf, so I need to make a decision.

And those four pieces from the other day that are going to be joined as one? Yeah, I picked out a fabric background to quilt for that one, too.

Aaaaaaand that’s when I walked away from the fabrics! They were calling out to me, loudly and I’m short on time right now. The priorities must be met for upcoming shows before it’s time to play again! But I sure am looking forward to it.

Can’t quit

After squaring this up again, I just couldn’t put it away. I was compelled to keep working on it, even though I have not made any final decisions.

There is a pile of hand dyed cheesecloth sitting on the shelf that I always think I’m going to use…and then I forget about it! Today, I remembered it and thought I’d try it out on the current problem.

I’m liking the way this is flowing along the lower edge.  And what did I say about using the same palette all the time? This pile of cheesecloth fits right into the combos in this piece!

And now to decide if I want a relatively narrow band of the gauze or a big, hanging, trailing mess of it.

No……………narrow band! Aaaaaand walk away and let it percolate. Now I can do that, because I’m contemplating a design decision rather than just quitting the piece. One other bit of design contemplation, too. Should I attach this with hand work and/or beads or the same machine stitching I’ve used in the rest of the piece?

This is finally feeling like a piece of art work of which I can be proud. It might get a quick finish as soon as my uncertainty solidifys!

In the meantime, I took these pieces off of the canvas to which they were attached, all separately because I hated the color I had painted the canvas. I was simply going to paint a different color.

I laid them out on the table like this and I’ve decided that I want to join them into a single unit. I like them all together and they were less than effective as single units. Not sure exactly how I will accomplish this task, but at least I have a direction in which to head!

It feels so good whenever I pull something old off the shelf and change it up, give it new life. I imagine that I’m applying knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years and making better designs. Happy times!

Silk grasses

I’m not sure if this piece is finished or not. It kind of feels like it needs something else.

And I thought it was square, but after stitching, of course it is not! Almost an inch difference from side to side. I’d like to take that inch from the top of the left side and make my colored ribbon tilt a bit more. Maybe I left too much space on that left side. Sparkly thread? Perhaps I need some more, different ‘vegetation’ along the bottom of the ribbon area. Beads? Sigh…

I think there was a reason that this was sitting in time out for so long. It still needs some time out!