While I’m waiting

Waiting for another coat of paint to dry and thinking about getting everything super organized for this new class I’m teaching. Thought I would make another little sample that shows a different design idea for those who don’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.

I went to the fishing gear department to stock up on beading thread and saw a new type to try.

This is made by the same company that makes the Fireline thread I usually use, but I have never seen any this fine before. Only 2 lb. and the finest Fireline is 4 lb. It seems to be thinner than ‘invisible’ thread and it’s definitely more supple. Doesn’t say ‘braided’ as the Fireline is, so we’ll have to see just how strong it really is.

I used it with these black beads and you have to look super close to see it in this picture (arrow). In fact, I can’t get a picture close enough to show it all.

Oh, never mind…can’t really see it all, and I guess that’s the point! Pros: thin, strong, supple.   Cons: so thin it’s hard to see while beading.  It’s yet to be seen exactly how strong it is. I’ll have to throw this piece around and handle it a lot to test it out. Of course, once it’s mounted, you don’t have to worry about that, but I’d rather feel secure about my beads than worry about them falling off!

And I DO love French knots! Hard to stop adding them, but I had to restrain myself for the sake of the design.

Only need to decide now if it needs any more beads and then one more sample is ready for edge finishing. I’ll show that in class, I think.

Didn’t have AJ this week…seemed to have soooo much extra time. Glad he’ll be back from visiting his cousins and other grandparents next week. I’m selfish that way, but I sure love this boy!

First time for me…

It’s nice to know that there are still ‘fiber firsts’ in my life, after all my years of playing with textiles. Until today, I had never made a book cover!

As usual, I tripped over some fabric and that triggered the idea. I’ve saved cut-offs from quilts that have been trimmed up, knowing that someday I would use them for something! Today was the day.

Started out like this, overlapping some pieces and butting together others.

It changed a tiny bit in the construction, but this was the general configuration. I thought that I would embellish it like crazy, but changed my mind. This will end up as a gift and I’m not sure the recipient would like that as much as I would. For this first one, I’ll stick with colorful and plain!

This was so fun and easy that I want to make more! Wish I had a book collection to cover up. Oh, goodness…maybe I’ll make an art journal…another thing that I never, ever thought I’d make. Hmmmm….it could happen!

Another UFO done!

You know that procrastination and I have a long, long relationship. We have deep discussions all the time and procrastination usually wins. Today, I was the winner!

The beading on this triangle piece was not showing up at all, so I was very discouraged. Why put beads on in the first place, if you can’t see them? I finally woke up and realized that they make large beads, too, for a reason! DUH!

As soon as I got those on, the project almost finished itself. Here are some of the spots where I added more tiny beads.

I’m sure you can understand why I became discouraged with them. Now I have a combination of large and small beads, hand and machine stitching and lots and lots of color. It is also—best of all!—DONE.

Of course, procrastination may win when it comes time to get out the staple gun and mount this to a canvas…but it is ready!

 

Still “building”

The Building Series continues with the quilting on the next set.

They are all the same size–I just didn’t size the pictures all the same! Anyhow, I kept the quilting very simple to go with the straight lines and a feel for buildings.

Not sure how I’m going to finish and mount either set in this series. Usually that’s a no-brainer to paint a canvas and make each piece a separate artwork. These may work better if presented as a single piece with four parts. Have to play around with this a bit, but there is a deadline and that helps me to focus and make decisions! And my brain just says hmmmmmmmm…….

And then we played…

Tomorrow is another dye day, but mostly with paint, for me. I have stuff ready for playing and this morning I started to get the garage ready for everyone to use.

I surprised myself by having soooooo much more stuff to haul upstairs than I did for dyeing! Four trips up and down the stairs, for stamps, paints, fabrics, print boards, and an extra table.

I’m tempted to find a full wine bottle to add to this mix! It takes a lot of prep, but it wouldn’t take any LESS prep if I were doing it on my own. It’s so much more fun when I have my dye loving friends here, and we’re all enjoying what we’re doing!

Looking forward to tomorrow…

Moment in history…

In the history of the world, this is nothing. In the history of my sewing career, this is momentous!!!

A totally clear cutting table, ready for action.

I don’t know yet what that action will be, but I AM READY!!!

Last pics of the cross quilt until it’s completely done, I promise. I used almost all of the blocks I received–143 to be exact. I only counted because I know someone will ask! There were 5 that I didn’t use on the front, so they will be part of a large label on the back.

I have them basted down and they will be quilted as I quilt the whole top, and if I get any more late additions, they will be added the same way.

The top is basted–I use spray basting–and marked.

Are you wondering why you can’t see the marks? It’s because the only ‘marking’ needed are the lines of blue painter’s tape that are crossing the top. Even though I will be washing this quilt because I always wash out spray basted quilts, I don’t like to mark with anything else. So whenever I can start with tape to mark straight lines, that’s what I do. I can continue to space out my lines with the tape, which comes in lots of widths. Or I can space lines with my presser foot, or the quilting guide bar that comes with most machines. I can also use the lines I quilt to mark out areas that will be filled with free motion ‘anything-I-want’ designs. Oh, I suppose I could simply outline the squares of the quilt, but that would be very uneven on this one and kinda boring!

Yep, the quilt is ready, but I am not ready to do the quilting yet! There is time (I think!).

I have ideas to explore that began with a class with Mary Hogan and continued with my Wacky Quilters group–working in a series. I have two sets of blocks that are distinct sets and yet both are exploring the idea of buildings.

In my mind, these really continue my City Grids ideas and I’m eager to work more on them.

I also have to finalize what our Blue Lake project will be this year,  AND make some samples. My class at QU could use some additional examples of what can be done with simple embellishment, too. It’s hard when you have to pick only one picture for a class sample, and there is so much more you can/will be showing!

Lots of projects from which to choose and my UFO pile continues to grow. I’ve always said that I will never run out of things to do, but it’s not a good thing to have so many projects that you never finish anything! I believe that’s a good goal for the rest of the summer—finish, finish, finish!

 

Guild Quilt

I’m so excited! I’m coordinating the volunteer quilt for my guild this year and collecting plus blocks from everyone. There might be a few more coming in, but I have most of them now and it’s so much fun.

A decent size quilt is just exactly the size of my design wall, so I cleared it all off and started putting blocks up at random. I am thrilled with the results!

I really love the way this looks, but I need to try some other configurations before I make a final decision and start assembling. Probably at the very least I will arrange once by color and once by size.

LOOK at these teeny, tiny blocks! Smaller than I expected to get, but perfect for filling in odd spaces!

I may make some of these if I need to fill in any gaps, instead of the plain fabric pieces I was planning on using!

This has been so much fun, every step of the way. Love this so much that I think my stash will be used to make one for ME!