Threads and more threads

Have you ever made thread lace? With the water soluble stabilizer? I decided that was what I wanted for my curvy silk piece so I jumped right into creating it.

It started with the idea of a grid of beads and beading thread and then I figured it might be sturdier with a base of fabric,  but I wanted to keep the sheer idea of the bead grid, so….thread lace.

I have this cone of superfine ‘fiber’–one of the many items I’ve acquired over the years. Don’t know exactly what it is, but it shimmers and shines like a hologram so it seems perfect for this.

I’ll tell you one thing–that cone holds a whole lot of fiber, but it’s not enough to make thread lace.

I have a few spools of shiny specialty threads that I have not been successful in using, so I decided to throw them into the mix, too.

Then you layer the top with another piece of stabilizer, pin-pin-pin and start stitching.

I begin with a grid, but all those loose threads must be stitched closely together enough to hold up as a fabric after the stabilizer is washed away. It’s hard to see in photos, but this is the beginning of that stitching.

I tried using invisible thread for my grid, but kept having trouble with it. I have trouble with it on regular fabric, too, and hate it so it didn’t take me long to switch. I gave up on some of the transparency in favor of no thread breakage and used Bottomline. The fill in stitching is done with silver and I don’t think thread alone is going to do the job!

I found a tiny piece of this sheer poly, which has the same holographic shine as the mystery fiber.

I think it will be perfect to use as a base, if I can find some of the same or something similar. It will continue my sheer theme as well as make a better support for the bead grid that is still in the works!

But there’s a snow storm today, so fabric shopping will have to wait for clear roads! I am not a patient person when I have to stop in the middle of an active sewing day and wait for something that is totally out of my control. Grrrrr! But what about the other half of the split project? I could work on it, but I think I need to look at those sheers in the store for that one, too.

I guess I’ll have to keep myself busy using up the yarn stash. I can knit in front of the fireplace while it snows.

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Drastic split!

My latest project has been sending messages as it marinates on the design wall. There is always a reason when my projects stall and if I give them enough time, that reason becomes clear.

This project had issues from the very beginning. It was huge and my original mental image did not plan for that. I had waaaaay too much fabric from which to choose and that always throws me. It makes me push to use it all and sometimes less is better.

As I was drifting off to sleep last night–that’s when I usually think about design issues–the answer came to me. I have been trying to mash two separate projects together into one big mess.  All the elements were fighting me. The jump from picture in my head to actual physical assembly was not made correctly this time! The materials I was trying to use were not mixing well and I figured out that they needed to NOT mix. I need to split those fabrics into separate projects. Sometimes the obvious is not at all obvious, but when you finally see the solution, it’s a relief.

The silk part that is almost finished as a background and support is actually the basis of the first part of the split. It will now get some…no, lots…of beads and embellishments and become a separate project.

The sheer fabrics that I  have been attempting to integrate with the silk are the focus of the second part of the split. Those fabrics were what gave me the original idea and it seems that it just took me a while to figure out how to achieve that. It will still have silk at the top, but thinner, smaller–still curvy, but daintier somehow. Oh, yes…I see how it should be now…………..

So that means I should be ready to head back to the studio and get to work again. Making the big split is the correct decision for the materials I have been playing with and I’m so relieved that I now know how to proceed!

Ready–set–sew!

Nothing but thinking…

Today is a day of total relaxation. No obligations until hockey tonight, and that’s fun time. I like to begin my days with coffee and computer time, especially with blogs by people whose work I enjoy.

I have heard that blogs are a thing of the past, that no one is writing them anymore, that Instagram is the only viable social media app to use. It could be true. Many of the bloggers on my favorites list don’t post very often any more…but most of them have lots of posts on Instagram. Easier, quicker, and still keeps you in the public eye. I can understand that.

This was my IG post the other day!

However, I so enjoy learning more about the individuals and the work they do. I love to hear about their thoughts as they create and design. I want to learn more about them, not just a quick photo of one second of their day.

I’m disappointed in this trend. I understand it, as busy people are busy! For some, it’s a huge time burden to post a blog. I get it. I just miss that (electronic) connection, that ‘getting to know you better’ feeling. C’mon–if you are taking pics for IG or FB anyway, add a few words and post a blog!

Oh, well…I have never been the fashion queen, and will not be as a blogger, either. I will continue my blogging because it has become part of documenting my work processes. It tells my story, good, lazy, mistakes and all.

So today is coffee, computer, laziness and no planned sewing! Maybe ’cause I’m still designing my next piece, mostly in my head. I go down to the design wall and move a few pieces of fabric around and then go away and think for a while.

Add a few more or shift them around.

I will admit that I might be a tad bit afraid to start it. I may make the wrong choice or cut wrong or sew it wonky…………..oh, wait a minute! That’s my normal working method. I guess I simply need to get after it!

Or, maybe I’ll have another cup of coffee and think about what I’m going to cut and sew for a little while longer. Sounds like the best option for a no-obligation day.

Ooooo nooooo—-background

I was so totally sure of the background I wanted to create for Lakeside. I even had a hard time sleeping last night because I was planning my construction options in my head.

Navy and cream striped denim, the fabric I used for deck chairs–what could be better?

Doesn’t that look great? So lake-y…………..until I decided to try some of the dyed wool I have!

This one piece gave me three different looks, and I have yards and yards and YARDS of wool! Subtle differences, yet conveying different moods, more noticeable in person, of course.

I think I like the subtlety of the wool much better now than I like the stripe, but the stripe conveys more of that lakeside feeling to me.

I would really like to get your opinion on this……….really!

Sittin’ by the lake…

That’s what I feel like when I’m looking at this piece. I think it’s done, except for the mounting!

Since it’s part of a challenge, one of the rules was to finish with raw edges, no binding. Not a problem for me, since I love those raw edges, but it was stitched without a backing, since I didn’t know how I would finish it. I believe I have it figured out, but haven’t had time to actually TRY it out. Some days there are just not enough hours!

My water and sky were large areas of the total, but I didn’t want to make them focus areas. Similar big stitching, fat threads got the job done and I’m excited to get it finished!

Water

Sky

You never know where a little challenge in your art group will lead! I love this piece!

When it’s time for a break…

I’m at a good point in working on my Lakeside piece.

I’m liking where it’s going but my fingers are still a little sore from pulling thick thread through tight fabric! I decided to take a little break from the hand work and sew up the textured background I want on my other piece.

Acres of straight line quilting

and it’s soooooooo boring! But it’s exactly the look I wanted for the silk background and now this is ready for whatever I decide to embroider on it. Don’t have any idea what that’s going to be, yet, but that’s not a problem. It will reveal itself in due time.

In the meantime, now it’s time for a real break…………a nap! I wonder how many times that has come up when I write a blog? I guess I often write a blog just before I have time to take a rest!

It will be back to the hand sewing of the Lakeside piece tomorrow, but it’s getting so much closer to done…I’m getting excited to get there and see the final product!

Lakeside work 1

My fingers are so sore…I feel that I must be doing something wrong. My threads and needles do not gliiiiide through the fabrics as I stitch like all the videos would have you think. I’m using thick threads and big needles and they do not glide at all.

I’m making progress, but, as I said, my fingers are too sore right now to even think about picking up the needle any more today. I am thinking about that paper, too. Not sure if I want to cover up the stitching I’m doing with it and don’t know if smaller pieces placed around will be as effective. Looking forward to getting to that decision point!