Little bits of finishes

This year’s Artisan Showcase is fast approaching and I need to finish up whatever pieces I can. Occasionally I mine through the stacks of fabrics that clutter up my worktable and organize what I find. A pile of ‘to be finished’ pieces grows on one corner and I sometimes admit to myself that there are pieces that will never make it to a finished afterlife! Deadlines are the motivators for going through that pile and actually doing the final finishes.

This piece is the cornerstone of  my unfinished pile.

It was a challenge piece from my Knot Even Quilters group and was finished for a show deadline. Unfortunately,  it was too big to be hung in the available space. I don’t want to take it apart and return the sections to their owners yet, because I would like to find at least one venue for it!

I got another piece close to the finish line…just needs a label and the sleeve sewn down!

It was originally going to have a bunch of beads on it, but I fell out of love with that idea. I finished it up with machine quilting, sewed a sleeve on it and now it only needs a label. Done!

And I can’t resist one more photo and a detail of my little village. It’s actually hanging on my  wall as I’m writing this. It’s just so cute and I really, really love it.

There will be more of these little villages in my future!

But it’s the weekend which is grandson time. I’m much more concerned with quality time with him than I am with any pile of unfinished art pieces or deadlines!

But those deadlines are still there, so I do hope to have a few more finishes next week….

 

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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!

Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

Fun idea

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…………….oh, wait. That’s another story. Anyhow, one of my inspirations was the work of Jan Mullen of Australia. She kind of dropped out of sight at some point and I haven’t heard anything about her in years. The other day I ran across a blog that she started a couple of years ago and I tried one of her ideas.

She quilted some feathers on paint chips for a project she was doing so I thought I’d try it.

It’s not great, but practice will make it better, and I HAVE paint chips!

I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but I’ve held on to them through several color decisions over the years and I simply could not throw them away. So, I’ll play!

These little pieces came out of the last workshop I took with Deborah Boschert. I love the way the mixed paint looks on the hand dyes.

I’m not going to force them into being something; I’m using them just as they are. I’ll be adding some stitching to begin with, using these thread colors.

And then there is another piece that I cannot cut up into smaller pieces. I want only a border around it, with the raw edges of the piece showing.

These colors are not true…the light color is a pale turquoise and the three colors on the right are what I am considering for the border right now. More thinking to do on this one, but I know which direction it will be taking. I’m not sure if this will be an all machine project or if there will be hand stitching involved.

It’s so much fun to have new ideas and projects on the design wall. Makes me impatient to get into the studio every day!

Up or down?

Started adding some quilting to this piece and thoughts of Irma were in my head as I created this swirling design.

I worry about my relatives in Florida and my son in Charleston, who may evacuate to my brother’s home in upstate SC. Hope for a good outcome for all of them–that’s all I can do at this point.

So I continued to quilt and to fret and now I can’t decide which way is up on the piece!

This way, with the turquoise wide end pointing up?

Or turquoise pointing down?

It’s been around for a while, so I’m at the point where I simply want it done! But I don’t want impatience to push me into the wrong decision, so I’ll let it rest!

 

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………….