This is going quickly!

The first challenge project of the year is moving along very quickly, indeed. Now that I have all the materials I need, I’m jumping in with both feet.

Mostly pictures this time–made a light/dark background, added the cheesecloth and started snuggling the mica tiles in.

I even thought about how I want it mounted and finished, so this part will be done on batting only and any ugly thread work will not show through. I found some glittery thread in a drawer that I didn’t think I would ever use, but it’s perfect for the dark side of this.

Yes, you can stitch through mica…because mica is a unique stone that can be split into layers thin enough to sew through!

Ready to add embellishments…

Oh–nope–that’s the layout before the dark thread and sewing down the mica. But basically this is where I started with the beads!

And that’s where I’m at! The quick part is done and now it’s beading and some hand stitching. Slow work, but enjoyable, for sure.

And it keeps me from worrying about the exhibit opening reception Friday at Northville Art House. What if no one comes? What if everyone hates it? Oh, hell’s bells……..I don’t really worry about that stuff anymore! I’m happy with what I do and other people’s opinions are just that…everyone has one and mine is the one that counts for my work.

But it’s still good to stay busy!!!


Fibers-it’s all fibers!

I seem to be taking a little break from the quilt based fiber work this week. Maybe until after Christmas. If you follow me on FB or IG, then you know that I am indulging myself with some gorgeous yarn.

This fabulous, soft loveliness has been tucked away in a drawer for quite a while…you know, one of those things that are “too good to use.” I’m sure you have something like that. And it was so expensive that I could only allow myself the luxury of one skein, so it had to be just the right project. Well, nuts! It will never get used that way and I want to see it and touch it, not have it hidden. That’s one of the joys of working with textiles–the touch factor!

Asking myself what small knitted item would I use was an easy way to decide on cowl/infinity scarf/shawl and I went looking for a pattern for something different. I discovered a stitch I had never explored, the linen stitch, and the project was born.

Yes, the linen stitch…as with every other knit project I have done, it took a couple of tries to get it right. I couldn’t tell right side from wrong side when I started and the ‘rhythm’ of the stitch is very similar to seed stitch so I kept drifting into that.

But I finally got it and I am totally in love with linen stitch.

Such a great texture…and as I was admiring my work I noticed it! ONE stitch messed up–about 3 inches in–with 5 or 6 inches knitted beyond it. Noticeable? Not very. Worth ripping out 5 inches of good knitting to fix? Oh, hell no!!!

Can you see it?

There’s going to be at least another 50 inches of fabric knitted before this scarf is done and one wrong stitch will never be seen. But I will always know it is there AND it will make me do a better job with the rest of those 50 inches!

Anyway, it’s a happy time whenever I am working with fibers and knitting is a whole lot easier to pick up/put down during this busy season than some of the other stuff I do.  Lots of Christmas stuff coming up and I want to be relaxed and happy with it instead of rushed and stressed.



And he cut it all by himself! So proud and happy!

Looking forward to the next couple of holiday weeks. Hope your holidays are great, too.

Another busy week

Seems as though there is a lot to do every single day lately. Makes me wonder sometimes how I ever had time to go to work. One of the items on my calendar this week was to fill in for a speaker at the library who had to cancel. I never have a problem talking about quilts, so of course I said I could. I took this stack of quilts with me,

plus a few more. Had a weird experience, though, when I got light-headed and had to sit for a bit in the middle of my talk. Never had that happen to me before except one time when I gave blood and drank coffee. Since I had given blood this week, I immediately linked the two, along with a flu shot and a cold. Drink lots of fluid, they said, and I think I didn’t! I will listen and do the right thing from now on, I promise.

I’m not getting much sewing done, and it doesn’t look like it will be moving too quickly for the next few days either. We have 2 grandson hockey games this weekend as well as two college hockey games. What I have going is slow, slow, slow……………….s-l-o-w filling in an area with French knots.

It doesn’t look very large in the picture but it’s about 6 x 8. Ordinarily I would fill some of it with beads–and I may, yet–but this piece really doesn’t call for beads. We shall see, after I get a few more knots in it.

So, off we go to hockey and more hockey! Glad I love the sport.

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!

Directions and sleeves, again!

Are you tired of looking at this piece, yet? Here’s the newest rendition ————

And the detail

I had always planned on making the spot where the bead is my focal point. And I thought this large bead, surrounded by small beads would work. Played with laying out more and more beads and it simply was not working for me.

So I took them all off.

There is not a single bead or button or rock in my collection that is just right for this spot. For the moment then, I have decided to stick with the total hand stitching aspect and  identify that focal spot with a few French knots.

They don’t stand out very much, so I know that won’t be the final look. I changed the direction I was thinking of, too, because I don’t want to give the idea of a picket fence!

This one is going into temporary time out until I get it all figured out!

And since I’m working on several shows right now, I have sleeves and finishing…always!

Sleeves last night

and today I will work on adding hanging hardware and wires to my canvas pieces.

When everything is actually ready to be sold, I can relax and think about new pieces again!

There’s probably a better way…

The construction methods I am using in this scrap project are very time consuming. I am positive there is a better way, but…these scrap projects are make-it-up-as-I-go-along. Sometimes you go forward, then backward to make progress.

I started with the dark blue background and put some contrasting strips on it. Tried lots of variations but didn’t have what I wanted to add with me so I basted it and put it aside until I got home.

Original idea

I ended up adding only a couple of little strips and basted again. At this point of construction, I baste to a piece of batting or felt. Then I can do any stitching or beading without worrying about the messy back showing. I add a backing after all that work is done. That requires a bit more stitching to hold those layers together, but I can plan for that!

Thought I wanted to add tons of glitz and foo-foo, but really couldn’t figure out what would look good AND not totally obscure the strips! Then inspiration struck, thanks to a picture from Katie McGrath and I decided that a simple circle pattern would work the best. Sooooo, I machine basted that, using the presser foot as my guide.

Basting all over this baby! Started hand stitching, again keeping it simple and removing basting stitches as I went along. The basting on the machine took about 5 minutes. The hand stitching takes a bit more time! Here’s where I’m at, hours later, with lots more stitching ahead.

But guess what? Simple stitches are so relaxing. No worry about which new stitch to use, or to learn or balancing the variety of stitches chosen. Simply sewing. Lots of basting, and more basting and taking out the basting. Then lots of stitching and when I add the back, more stitching.

Yes, there probably is a better way, but this way gives me lots of decision making time and every bit of it is working with the textiles I love! It’s all good!

And it was our local Appleumpkin Festival this weekend, so we took time out to walk uptown and check out everything. It’s also become a family tradition to visit one particular vendor who creates metal yard art. I ALWAYS find something I love and here is this year’s winner.

I have a pretty good metal art garden going on now. I plan to arrange it more purposefully in the spring, and make it a nice feature in the front of my house. Always have more plans than time, but this is a spring project–lots of time!

Right now it’s finishing time for all my pieces—Holiday Show in Lansing, through Grove Gallery, my Artisan Showcase on Nov. 3 and a joint show with Katie McGrath at the Northville Art House in January. Life is busy, but it’s soooooo wonderful!

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!