It’s Goldilocks time

My little rust fabric squares have been done for a while and sitting in a little stack waiting for some more attention. Because of the colors in the variegated floss I used, I was pretty sure of the background colors I wanted to use, but not exactly the size and placement of the pieces.

So………….on point on a piece of red wool. Good color, red is too big.

And then we tried the medium bowl of porridge………..er, a smaller square of red.

Still not quite right, and I tried a smaller piece so that the edges of the cotton hung over the wool a bit more.

Aaaah–just right. The full background layer will be a single piece of deep purple wool, but I don’t have any of that right now. I was able to find a small piece to try out the color scheme and it will work very will.

My camera exposure wasn’t correct, but you can see how deep this purple is. I think this layout will work just fine and I’ll have lots of opportunity for hand stitching embellishment. This Goldilocks will live happily ever after!

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Bored and lazy…sigh…

Boredom is, of course, a reflection of a lazy mind. And my brain is very lazy today. It’s a too hot summer day—I’d much rather be sitting outside on a normal hot summer day than in the air conditioning–and my energy level is near zero.

It’s about all I can do today to lift a needle, much less thread it and actually use it!

I picked up a few scraps and started to work on another little block and hated it. The background was fine–on it’s own–and the scraps were fine–on their own. Not so good when I tried to put them together!

That sent me on a search for some better background scraps. I’m a lot happier with this piece now.

I have so many of these little pieces now and most of them are still waiting for me to decide on beading or no beads. They are certainly fine as they are, for what they are. I simply need to decide if spending more time on them, adding more embellishment to them, will raise them above the level of ‘okay’ to ‘very nice’.

And my lazy brain is not up to that task today. Must be time to lie around on the couch for a while and read a book. Might even slip into a nap!

Nothing planned…

Originally this was a week with nothing planned. It’s summer and we have our grandson on Tuesdays and Fridays so if we make a plan it revolves around that. We ended up with lunch with friends, car service appointments, and other necessary trips that kept us out of the house and me out of my sewing room! Can’t get too far on the huge pile of scraps that way!

The ONLY thing I stitched on this week was this little gingko.

I have so many bits and pieces of beautiful fabric and it’s a pleasure to re-visit them with these small studies. Not sure how they will be finished, but I’m leaning towards keeping groups together and mounting them to wool. I’m really enamored of the fringed edges of my other wool mounts.

And I have plenty of wool to play with!

Small bits of time…small pieces…maybe next week, with nothing planned again, I can get back to sewing up the big pile of scraps!

A life of it’s own

Projects in my house often take on a life of their own. They dictate to me what they need and in which direction they need to go.

This is one such project. It started as scraps on my table, intended for a stitch meditation type project. I didn’t think much of it. Something to stitch on in front of the tv. I put together the scraps of fabric and then added some shiny gold mesh. Long embroidery floss stitches held that down and then I wove some eyelash yarn through the stitching.

I’m never one to let well enough alone, so I started thinking about adding beads. Something organic. Maybe some bead embroidered leaves. I did not take any interim photos, but my first attempts were NOT successful. Good thing beads were are easy to take out and re-do.

So this is where I am right now.

The piece is maybe too long–about 11″–to bead all the way to the top, but I’m pretty happy with what I have so far.

All these pieces of what I’ve learned float around in my head and come out in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. It’s so much fun to live in an art-tilted world. You are always surprised, often delighted, sometimes disappointed, but never bored!

 

Figuring out a pattern

Find a pattern or make an improv design………that was the question I asked myself when faced with the hockey fabric. I invest a lot of myself into improv designs and this quilt is to be a drag-around quilt, so I was definitely inclined to look for a pattern. As I said before, the hockey fabric is a big, busy print and will lose it’s impact if it’s cut into small pieces.

After a lot of internet browsing, I think I’m going to use square-in-a-square. It’s also known as the economy block, but usually that’s with two sets of corner triangles. I made a couple of sample blocks and now I need to decide a few things.

Sticking with the red and the black/white. The blues did nothing. This is the simple square-in-a-square, with one set of corner triangles. Easy, looks good, but I’d have to make a lot more blocks this way.

This is the economy block, with two sets of corner triangles. These are twelve inch  blocks and I wouldn’t need nearly as many of them to make the quilt. And it’s a simple pattern, so……….winner! However, in consultation with my personal design expert…seriously, my daughter is an expert…and we think the larger b/w print might be distracting.

Sounds like I have a plan now. The economy block, small print b/w and red fabrics and it should be done quickly. I was going to try and use up scraps, but the bigger blocks use bigger pieces. I think I have enough larger pieces, but if I have to get a little more fabric…that would never break my heart!

Lot’s of stuff happening this week, like dye day on Wednesday, so there may not be any long stretches of quilt making. However, I tend to get a little bit of hand sewing done most evenings. Mainly because I have everything set out on a little table in the living room and I can pick it up to sew a few stitches whenever I have a minute.

I’m working on a series of ‘circle explorations’ now. I’ve finished the basic stitches defining the circles and now I need to figure out what will be next.

You know, some artists run into creative blocks and struggle to move forward. I am so lucky that so far this has not happened to me. My creative blocks only involve making decisions about how to proceed, not how to start a new project. Hope it stays that way!

Exploring a thought

As I’ve said in the last couple of posts, there has not been much time for sewing lately. However, things are evening out and I finished a charity quilt….hooray!

It’s a lovely top and I have no more guilt at having it sit on my shelf waiting to be finished.

I’m continuing my small pieces, trying to make them be daily stitching. I have quite a bit of rust dyed fabric and thought it would be good to play with. My samples for camp have been 4 piece series and this was going to be another one. Then I realized that I already have enough samples and so now this is for me. And I immediately expanded the idea to at least 12 little squares that may–or may not–end up assembled into a single larger piece. I’m going to explore simple circles, with each piece having at least one large circle that is the same. I may have to think about this same type of exploration with other shapes. We’ll see how this goes.

So now I have to narrow down my technique choices.

I really liked how this rusty piece turned out, but do I want another one in this same color scheme? And the squares are only 7″…

Simple embroidery stitches– single color or each piece in a different color? Try more complex embroidery and FILL each piece of fabric? Single row of black beads defining each circle? Lush, overabundant piles of beads? Oh, goodness–more and more decisions! The hardest part of every project, but on this one, once I DO make a decision, it will be the same all through the work on each piece.

I’m ready to have a needle in my hand right now, but I simply do not make decisions that quickly! I need to go stare at my fabric for a while!

No fashionista here…

The Fashion Police would lock me up and throw away the keys. I hate to shop and my clothing consists primarily of exercise clothes and work-with-paint-or-dye clothing. Since I don’t work in an office anymore, I really don’t need much in the way of nicer things. However, it’s gotten to the point where I HAD to go shopping, but it was a nice outing with my daughter and daughter-in-law. We had lunch at a really nice Mediterranean restaurant and slowly worked our way through several shops. We all managed to find a few things, too, which is not always the case!

Today hubby and I stocked up on groceries and I found even more clothing, but it’s more of the kind I usually buy…not pretty little one of a kind items, but a decent shirt and buy one of every color! Yep—same shirt, 4 ways, and that kind of fashion life is just fine with me!

Not much sewing going on lately, though. I have a few small pieces that I want to work on, but spring is finally here and I’m mowing and planting a few annuals and hanging around outside more…and that’s just fine with me, too!

And then I run into one that I can’t decide on the orientation OR what beads to use……….UP?

Or DOWN?

And it’s not like I don’t have plenty of beads! Bonus time—my former sister-in-law knows that I’m a beader and she has decided that she doesn’t need any of the beads she has collected, so she gave them to ME!!!! A huuuuuuge tote full of them.

And there were some in there that were perfect for this piece. I am such a lucky person.

I need to get the garage cleaned out and ready for the dye class that I’m teaching. It’s a real mess out there! It will be ready for class, though, no matter what else is going on.

My daughter surprised me with a new mug for Mother’s Day. I had seen and liked it a few months ago and promptly forgot about it—but she remembered!

And I’m drinking my coffee out of it right now!

So blogging is probably going to be sporadic, as it usually is in busy times, but I’ll try to get at least a couple of posts out a week.

Oh—I’m planning on getting some lavendar plants at the nursery tomorrow. I’m excited about that because I love them and have forgotten to look for them in previous springs…….they do not thrive where I have had them, so I will have to ask some questions this time about what they really need.