Using My Hand Dyes

I’ve been trying to use more of the fabrics that I have altered for my pieces. Hand dyes count! There are several partially done pieces laying on my worktable and I need to get them done, so I charged right in today.

I grabbed a scrap and cut it into smaller snips and laid them on this piece. I liked the turquoise, but the design itself might not work.

And then I dropped a piece and it turned over and lo and behold! It’s a print

And it looks so much better! I remembered getting it as a small accent piece from a friend in a workshop and this is literally all I have of it! Lucky me to have found it today.

As I said, I am not sure if this is the final design placement.

It’s pretty symmetrical, which is not my style, and maybe even a bit cliche. I have to play around with it a bit before I add any stitching to it. But then I got distracted……as usual. No wonder I always have partial pieces laying around.

As I picked up these pieces to move them out of the way, I decided that they would look good together as a little strip set. So that’s what I did.

And then I found a bit of this and a bit of that and put it all together and I’m liking it!!

Working improvisationally is soooooooo much fun. Takes a while longer, but it’s exciting every step of the way.

So now it’s time to get some stitch embellishment and some beads on these and get ’em finished. I have another show coming up and I need to replace a couple of pieces that sold.

Sewing projects…………hooray!


Happy stitches

It looks like I got more done on vacation than I really did! When you put the little bits and pieces up on the design wall all together—yep, looks like I worked very hard.

But these are only the very beginnings of new pieces. I am excited to have them to work on, but I needed to get this finished.

I will get a better picture of it up on the design wall, but I got it done right at the last minute before we had to leave and pick up the grandson for our regular Friday night sleepover. Boy, did I ever miss that while we were gone!

Of course the vacation had to include a visit to local quilt stores and even though I tried, I could not resist picking up a few more pieces of fabric!

It’s always good to get home, and I’m especially happy that it’s home with lots of new ideas!

Little bits of nothing much

Having time and not having the right materials is hard. The ideas are there but I need more of a palette than I brought with me.

This one starts with a fat quarter of navy blue. I wanted it full sized—really did not want to cut it into pieces! So I added a previously cut square with a rainbow of colors.

I went through every piece of fabric I had to decide what the next step would be———-and put every piece of fabric back on the pile. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Going back to smaller pieces, I tried this.

It’s a start, but I think I will want a series of embellished lines all across it and I don’t have any of that kind of stuff here with me. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Third time’s the charm, right? Pick up a few more pieces and just lay them on top of one another. I’m happy with the start…

Guess what? This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

My attempt to force the fabrics I have to go together in more configurations is done! I think I need to wait until I have access to ALL my options!

Time to go read a book….and probably attempt my favorite sport, napping!


Idea train—hop on board!

While on vacation, I thought I’d have time to play a little bit making some back grounds. I grabbed a small stack of fabric and really believed it was more than I would ever have time to use.

Well, I had time to make this one, but nothing else appropriate to add to it.

Then I had almost all day today and looked at many, many…yes, many options. I’ll put them into a small slide show for you.

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To my mind, I don’t have the correct color. I do like the single strips woven through the light blue strips, though. I think I might need a brighter fuschia, but I will have to settle for this first step and try out other fabric when I have my full palette available.

Soooooo–having more time to sit and relax is wonderful! And I do have quite a bit of fabric left to play with. I’m having fun with the colors I’m working with, so I think I will simply continue to create backgrounds, or parts of backgrounds with them and use them as best I can later.

Deck time-mountain view-family—————that’s is the major agenda right now, but you know I will always find time to sew if I can!

Ideas are flowing

Flowing? More like flooding! Every time I pick up a scrap, another possibility screams at me. I’m afraid to move a whole stack of fabrics–I might get overwhelmed.  Here are a  couple that I started working on.

The stack of scraps had to be moved off the table and there were a few larger pieces in the pile. They insisted on becoming this background, immediately!

And the deeper, more reddish scraps were in the same pile and did not want to be separated from their friends.

I haven’t decided if this is going to be the final configuration, but those fabrics will be happier now than they were sitting in a pile on the table. It’s kind of dark, though, so it may need a bit of glitz!

And this leaf has been hanging around for years. Since my early free-motion quilting learning days, and early dyeing days. I have decided what I’m going to do with it, except for that final configuration issue again.

Straight across, full width?

As a square motif on the background?

Or as an angled motif?

I like them all but I only have one leaf, so I need to make a decision.

And those four pieces from the other day that are going to be joined as one? Yeah, I picked out a fabric background to quilt for that one, too.

Aaaaaaand that’s when I walked away from the fabrics! They were calling out to me, loudly and I’m short on time right now. The priorities must be met for upcoming shows before it’s time to play again! But I sure am looking forward to it.

New and old

It’s time for me to get really organized. My work will be part of a holiday show, my own sale, a dual exhibition and I’m going to teach a class or two again. Finishing, making–do I want to have some ‘craft’ items that will probably sell or shall I stick to what I consider more ‘art’? Which piece goes to which venue and do I change as things sell, or don’t sell?

So, of course, I’m ignoring all of that in favor of working on a new piece. Not totally new–just set aside for a while for thinking. And while it was percolating, I decided that it needed the leftover pieces from another project. I have always said that we all tend to work in a specific palette–I know that I do. Pieces from multiple projects all seem to have leftovers that work well together!

This will have lots of thread work and maybe some beads…that’s not decided yet.

It is sewn/quilted to a piece of felt right now, rather than my usual batting but it needs a backing fabric. The felt is necessary for stability and the more decorative threadwork is yet to come. Beads are iffy because it’s hard to attach them between layers so the beading thread doesn’t show on the back.

And, yes, there is debate about whether or not that matters, but to me it does.

I’m trying to choose a backing fabric. Not one inch of it will show in the final piece yet I still have a hard time deciding.

Of course, there is the same silk as is on the front.

Meh….boring. I have a bright, blendy, hand dyed stripe.

And a slightly more muted but busier piece.

Will it really ever matter? Not one bit. I guess I’m mostly feeling lazy and procrastinating from doing the actual work! Because I’m also putting off all that other stuff I should be doing, too.

Call me the Queen of Do It Later—go ahead—I can take it. I’m going to sit around for a while, doing nothing.

And. I. Like. It.



Family connections

This past weekend I had the opportunity to reconnect with family that I have not seen in years and years. A simple suggestion to meet my aunt while she was back in the midwest from California blossomed into a family get-together. And from a large family, of course it grew into a very large gathering. It was everything we wished for–so much joy and happy memories and laughter…wonderful.

The little town we are from is trying very hard to take advantage of the great local scenery and become a tourist destination. This little park is a good example and I wish them all the luck.

I didn’t have much time for sewing, but I managed a visit to a quilt shop!

I am not doing so well on stash reduction when I keep buying more, but it’s mostly Halloween fabric! That’s really the only specialty fabric in which I indulge, but I sure do love to indulge!!

There is progress being made on this little hand stitching project.

It’s a treat to have a project like this. Totally relaxing.

And that’s about it for how I have spent my time lately. Still have several exhibits that I am preparing for, but my frantic pace has slowed. What I have finished is pretty much what will be on offer, with perhaps a few more odds and ends. Life is slowing as the summer fades into fall and it feels fantastic!