Oh, purple………….sigh!

Using a color that is far from your favorite is difficult. Purple is that color for me and I seem to fight it every step of the way, even when it is the only right choice for the project.

And perhaps you have had the experience of putting in a lot of work on a project, thinking you may have made an error…and you keep right on going, trying to convince yourself that the wrong choice was actually a good one?

That’s right where I’m at with this project.

I was too impatient to wait for the purple wool that I first thought I would use on it. I went ahead and used the purple silk I had on hand instead. Laid everything out, pinned it, added batting for stability, sewed it and selected beads and embroidery threads……………and absolutely could not make myself start on the additional handwork.

Deep down, I knew the silk was the wrong color. Yeah, it was purple, but NOT the right purple. Too bright, too shiny, fighting with the red….so it sat. Took it to my Knot Even Quilters group and asked their opinion and they totally agreed with my deepest gut feelings.

I even shocked them by grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting into the piece, trying to figure out an easy way to  rescue it. There was just no way to use that bright  purple with the darker purple wool.

And I have plenty of red silk to re-do this if I simply remove the rust fabric squares and start again. But I really didn’t feel like totally starting over so I deconstructed and trimmed this block.

Turns out that the red squares CAN be 1/2″ smaller and still work! And this looks so much better on the darker wool.

And here we are–lots of deconstruction and back where I started several weeks ago. A big pile of pieces, ready to be set together on the background.

And another pile of bright purple pieces, ready for someone to play with! I don’t think it will be me. I’m not a good fighter with purple!

Hopefully now, though, I can sit down with those beads and threads and do the handwork I originally intended to finish this piece.

Gosh………..purple! Sigh!


Magic fabric follow up

Using water soluble stabilizer to create fabric is one of the most fun things I do. The little houses I showed you the other day don’t require the water soluble, but the really skinny strips do.

With that soluble over the top, your quilting foot simply glides over all those edges without getting caught. I started this one with some ‘straight’ lines from top to bottom and I immediately started questioning whether or not I should leave them.

I finished the stitching and still didn’t like them, but decided to wash out the soluble before I made a final decision. Sometimes all the stitching covers up what you don’t like so much.

Nope–so now I have to wait for it to dry, but those long, straight, distracting lines will be coming out!

And I had a flower all ready to go from my demo of making magic fabric at quilt guild, so I went ahead and stitched that up, too.

This is only part way through the sewing. It needs a lot of stitches to hold this together! And before I finished it up, I put some glitzy thread in the bobbin and added that. You can always add more on top of the soluble when making this–that’s part of the magic!

And–voila–a hyacinth looking for a little flowerpot, I think!

And I still have that biiiiig piece of magic fabric background waiting to be used also. I think I’m going to have an entire garden made from mashed together scraps!

Scraps and strings again!

Finishing things up….well, there is quite a bit of time watching paint dry. That gives me an opportunity to continue cleaning and straightening things and, of course, to get distracted!

Small pieces of interfacing left from the small finishes, so it occurred to me to use even smaller pieces of fabric and make some quick pics.

Don’t know if you remember those red houses (here) that I made with these string pieces, but I have quite a few more strips!

Light neutrals for a quick background

and red strips for the houses

add a triangle roof

and boom! ready to quilt, embellish, stitch and have fun with!!!

I think some trees and flowers and we are done. I needed some hand work, so I think these will fill the bill.

And sitting right next to the bag of strips was the bag of even skinnier strips…and some wools from one of those fabric sample books…….all stuff that was going to go in the purge. But doesn’t this look like it has potential?

And now you can see why it’s so hard to purge and how many distractions jump out at me everywhere I turn.

Okay, so I may not quickly purge the studio, but I’ll keep plugging away at it. The distractions, though, both keep me sane and keep me from accomplishing my cleaning goal. What a dilemma to have, but it really is a good one.

The dreaded choices

Yes, dreaded choices! I am so very bad at making decisions. I see too many possibilities when I start pulling out fabrics and cannot settle easily on only one.

I have some hand dyed fabric that I intend to leave uncut and want to finish with a small border to set it off. HA! Choosing that border fabric has been almost impossible for me.

I did start by eliminating the idea of commercial fabric, though I did look over the stash. I pulled out a stack of other hand dyes from which to choose.

Tried almost everything…

Settled on yellow-green, which shows up as very, very yellow in my photos!

Limey green with a second light blue border?

Or limey green with a second multi-colored border?

Or a slightly bluer green with a blue square and no second border?

I’m pretty good at knowing when something is right, but none of these jumped up and said that they were perfect. I went back to commercial fabric and really like this more olive grunge fabric.

Not screaming ‘perfect’ but better than the others. I’ll let them all hang around for a few more days before I decide, but I’ve been in this spot with this piece before and have yet to make a final decision. I think I’ll have to force the issue this time because I want to work on this fabric!

And, as I recall, done is better than perfect!

It’s Goldilocks time

My little rust fabric squares have been done for a while and sitting in a little stack waiting for some more attention. Because of the colors in the variegated floss I used, I was pretty sure of the background colors I wanted to use, but not exactly the size and placement of the pieces.

So………….on point on a piece of red wool. Good color, red is too big.

And then we tried the medium bowl of porridge………..er, a smaller square of red.

Still not quite right, and I tried a smaller piece so that the edges of the cotton hung over the wool a bit more.

Aaaah–just right. The full background layer will be a single piece of deep purple wool, but I don’t have any of that right now. I was able to find a small piece to try out the color scheme and it will work very will.

My camera exposure wasn’t correct, but you can see how deep this purple is. I think this layout will work just fine and I’ll have lots of opportunity for hand stitching embellishment. This Goldilocks will live happily ever after!

Projects select us!

The table was cleaned off and ready to begin the next project. Of course I had no idea what it would be, but I knew that something would jump up and say “Me–me–me!” and it did.

I will be teaching fibers at camp in two weeks and started to gather up my many samples. And one set decided that it needed to be finished.

Actually demanded to be finished! Not even time for pictures of the materials…I had some dyed cotton organza and some navy wool and they were made for each other. I put some pleats in the organza and laid it on the wool and now it’s ready to add some stitches to it…………………….whew!

And it wouldn’t leave me alone until I did some stitching!

And my camera really does not show navy well at all! Anyway, I think the stitching of the background is done. The pieces look like they will be happy here.

And they are demanding that this be finished today! Guess I’d better get busy!


Which direction to go?

Once there was a little stack of fabric that made it’s way upstairs to my table. I started putting little bits and pieces together and overlaying with gingko images. I liked where this was taking me and thought I would continue making the gingko images for quite a while.

Then this piece jumped into the series and it’s quite a bit different.

Really no place for a gingko here.

And the next pieces don’t seem to need a gingko image either.

The one on the left is only basted, but I don’t see anywhere for the gingko. So maybe the gingko series is done and I’m moving in another direction.

Maybe not, since I’m working with the same set of little fabric scraps and hand dyed squares…can’t wait to see what these little scraps direct me to do next!