Using stash stuff–again!

I think I’ve shown this tub of silk to you before, but I’ve done several projects from this fabric…

and it is STILL mighty damn full! I’m gonna hit it up again for another project, but I’m betting I won’t work it down very far this time either.

I love flying geese, so I’m going to make some……….70, because that’s how old I am today! I might end up with a totally different number, but that’s a good starting point. The largest piece I’ll need is this big.

It’s less than 12″ square. And this is how much fabric I have.

Yeah…..I’ll use it up………sure! Anyhow, I’ve decided that I love all of the colors, so I’m going to make this bright and colorful.

My ‘goose’ is going to be this nice light gray, but it has a lovely stripe along the fold line.

This must have been sitting around for a looooong time before it was given to me. I’m glad I’m not using it for garment making ’cause that would make it UNuseable!

And here is what I have already prepped for use.

The rest of this is going to be a pain, but I’m sure I can figure it out. I always pre-wash because silk always runs and it’s stiff (with seracin, I think it’s called). I only need a strip from each color to start with and then I’ll use fusible interfacing before actually sewing with it. Because silk shreds!

And that pre-washing and pressing is all the further I got, but I think I’m going to like where this is going.

Simple, regular shapes and no improv for this one. I’m going to make it easy on myself and only play with block arrangement. Simply because I want to play with this silk!

Mostly start to finish

I’m not quite done with this project but the major elements are in place. Here’s my picture story of how I got to this point.

Grabbed some black and white strings.

Arranged them in a flower shape.

Fused them to green/turquoise organdy.

Stitched them to the organdy. This is the back.

This is what the front looked like.

Next step was to place on the background and get it stitched in place. All the stitching thus far was free motion, big, not concerned with small or even stitches.

Layered the batting and top but did not add the backing yet. Chose black and turquoise cording to further define my shapes. I don’t like zig zag stitches showing on the back if I can avoid it. I want to get the “ugly” stitching done and then add backing for nice quilting.

After I got those outlines done, I trimmed the organdy, leaving a little margin.

I might add a touch of metallic thread around those edges, but basically this is ready for a backing and some nice quilting. What do you think? And maybe beads?

I’m much happier with this now than I was at the beginning. I wanted a totally different shape to my flower, but didn’t know how to get there. I thought this was very childish, but I’m liking it quite a bit now. I will finish it smiling and pleased. Seems like I make myself happy little pictures every time I dive into those strings bags. I probably better head back there for my next project, too!


Strange Week

There is not a real passion project going on in my studio right now. I’m working on bits and pieces of things and not completing anything! I’m posting things on IG and FB now and then, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’ve gone through times like this before and I know that eventually I will dive headlong into something. Meanwhile, I pick at this and that, plodding along.

This is the back of the seascape project I’m working on and this is the exact reason that I try to do any embellishment before I put a back on and quilt it.

I thought I would sit and make a few post cards. Usually a quick and easy way to use up scraps. I made this and then got distracted by wondering about adding paint

I added a light whitewash over the design and I’m pretty sure it added exactly nothing to it!

Then I tried a darker turquoise wash and I liked it a bit better, but still not doing much for me

I picked up this bit of cardstock and INC (Infused Newsprint Cloth) and put a little thread sketching on it.

The fabric is a technique that I learned from Margarita Korioth and I got a notion to try to make a little more. However, I also wanted to experiment a bit and NOT follow the instructions!

Look at all this luscious Chinese and Japanese paper, all laid out, ready to become one with the fabric!

And the result…………..

I’d have to say it’s pretty much a failure. So next time I’ll do it Marga’s way!

Putting crystals on this piece of fabric is time consuming.

My plan was to use up all those crystals and be done with them. HA!

I have almost as many left as I used. They can go back in the drawer again…too boring! But it made a nice table runner or bright spot for the wall.

So, little bits of things while waiting for the next happy idea to jump into my brain. I’m satisfied with busy work until then…relaxed and content.

Retreat Quilts

My retreat quilts are FINISHED! I had to strike while the iron was hot or they could have languished on the shelf. I even came up with names for them…which could change before I put a label on them, but will do for now.

Retreat-Full Blue Moon 17 x 21

Retreat-Fan Dance 24 x 30

Retreat-Parkways 30 x 34

My studio is a total disaster. I have never left it so messy for so long, so that is obviously the next task on the agenda. I’d love to do a major cleaning and rearrangement of everything, but I don’t know where to put the stuff to even start! I know, I know….a little bit at a time. I’m hoping for no distractions as I start. Wish me luck!

Fear of Failure

We’ve all been there, right? Being frozen at some step in a project because you fear ruining it. How about not even starting it? This project has been in “fraidy-cat” mode for years….probably close to 10 years.

Planned out, pinned together and shoved in a basket. Looked at many times and shoved back in the basket. See, the plan kept growing bigger and more elaborate and I became convinced that I could not do it. It was also a time when I had not done yards and yards of dyeing so those fabrics were more precious to me. I knew that once I cut into them–and ruined the project–that I would never be able to make it right. I’ve learned a bit since then!

Ironing and keeping them in the same general order they were pinned in gave me  confidence to go forward. I eliminated all the extra and elaborate parts of the plan that had made me nervous and went back to my original intent–showcase that center fabric. I am no longer afraid to just cut into a chunk of fabric, hand dyed or commercial, so that’s what I did. About time, don’t you think, after 10 years?!!

I moved things around a bit and gave myself a margin to aim for. I’m not sure it’s really the same as my original layout, but I’m not afraid of messing up anymore. I have filled my desire to make a piece that showcases that nice center chunk of fabric, so no matter what comes next, I have NOT failed.

A bit more trimming and a lot of pins gave me a nice little wall hanging ready for assembly and stitching. Hmmm…I may play a bit with the orientation of the center…

And it will have raw edges rather than pieced seams. I think it will be sewn by hand with embroidery, crazy quilt style, but there may also be some machine quilting. Those details will get worked out as I go along, per usual.

I just feel so good that I don’t have any fear of failure on this project any more. Aaaand all the other ‘stuff’ that was thrown in that basket is now back in circulation and available for more new projects! Wooo hooo…another black hole of UFO’s cleaned out!!!

Counting the trees

It sometimes takes me forever to figure things out and make decisions. After my  lack of success with the thread painting idea, I realized that part of the fun of what I was doing was working with that sheer organdy. Bingo…make some sheer trees!

Plain sheer didn’t seem as if it would work, so I painted, using a different stencil than with my first attempt. I made several  trees and then started trying to decide how many and where they would go.

I layered a couple looking for a shadow effect, but wasn’t too fond of it.

Single trees were better, but how many do I need?

I have to remind myself often that more is not always better!!! I decided that I am only using 3.

There is more stitching to come to make this more like the theme of Grasslands, but any more of the trees would be too many.

Busy days ahead, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get back to this, but the finish is in sight now!

This one is haaaard!

I’m kind of at a loss right now. I’ve tried lots of combinations of parts and pieces and am not happy with any of them right now. To back up a step…..

I decided that too many choices were just TOO many, so I eliminated all those extra foo-foo fabrics that I found.

I went back to the original panel and fabrics and starting playing.

Selected the cottons I wanted to use and made a couple of curvy sections to use.

I played with the purple panel for a bit. Added some simple stitching so there would be more thread variety and then scrunched it.

After the scrunching, I spread it out a bit and then adhered it to a fusible. That keeps the scrunched shape and then I can fuse it where I need it.

I cut and played for over an hour and did not come up with a happy solution, so I decided to take a break. This is where I left it and I’ll tackle it again later…or maybe tomorrow!

Perhaps it simply needs to be a bit bigger.

It will be worth any hard work if I finally get the picture in my head out onto the fabric and thread. And sometimes it simply takes determination and persistence to get there. I have plenty of both of those!