Leaf time

In between other projects, I’m taking a break to cut out some more leaves with the soldering iron. My previous iridescent organza didn’t show up quite well enough.

I thought I’d try adding a few turquoise leaves to the mix. I have plans to add some flat white and some cream also.

I have nothing to lose because if I don’t use them on this project, I’ll be happy to use them on something else!

I think they will go well with the iridescent ones.

This process is easy, though quite time consuming. Glad it’s a long term project, to be done as I have a few minutes here and there!

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Sneak Peek

Sneak peek at the fabrics I’m working with and the pattern I’m making!

Need to get this done and go on to the next…I love these fabrics.

Experiment PLUS Frustration

Yesterday was an entire day spent in the studio, trying to work out a pattern. Of course I thought it was going to be simple. Of course it was NOT.

My first parameter was this gorgeous pile of fabrics for which I need to write a couple of patterns. 10 fabrics in each stack, and the second parameter is to try to use all 10 in each pattern.

Sooooo not the way I usually work. I had the pattern actually mostly written from my pre-book writing experiments. Simple project, then, right?

And I didn’t want to cut into the new fabric until I was sure the pattern would work. Thus it was cut, sew, stack, slash, switch, trim………with 10 of my own fabrics. Pretty fabrics, but using them ALL in the way the pattern was written was waaaay too “crowded”.

My scrap baskets are starting to get refilled! Don’t worry…it’s not a total waste. I can use the pieces of the experiment in a different way, just not in the way the pattern is written.

Back to the drawing board, with another pile of 10 fat quarters. When I say that I have used 20 of my own fat quarters to experiment with this pattern, it sure sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? You can’t even begin to tell where they may have come from in my stacks of fabric!

Second try left this pile of scraps, but I think I may have the issues worked out!

Today I’m headed back to cut into the actual fabric…I think! I may wait for a couple more solid colors to add in, but I still have re-writes to do on the pattern. It’s a bit different from my usual style so I have to spend time actually thinking about what I do and how I do it. And it’s the first of several patterns I want/need to do!

This is stressful, and challenging and FUN all at the same time! Not as much improv as usual, more structure. The discipline required for this is very good for my normal scattered brain approach to creating. Back to the studio I go…with a big smile on my face!

Burning leaves

Nope–not fireing up piles of autumn leaves yet. I’m making leaves with organza and a soldering iron.

I’ve only done this once before, so I wasn’t sure if I remembered it correctly. Went to Youtube and there is surprisingly little on the technique, or else my search terms were waaay off.

Glass on the table, item to trace under the glass, soldering iron warmed up and ready!

Only have one tip for this borrowed iron, but I know they make them like a pencil point and that would have made it easier. Maybe I’ll go get one for next time…this is too easy and I love the result!

The next question, though, is whether or not it is accomplishing what I want for my forest floor piece.

I want them ghostly and floaty but they don’t show up quite enough. Maybe I just need more…which means a trip to the fabric store.

And, yes, I tried a peach colored organza and it absolutely did not work. But there may be some organza autumn leaves in the near future! Fun technique!

Getting back to normal

It’s finally starting to feel as though I’m back to my normal routines again. I was able to start clearing up the absolute chaos in my studio and find a bit of room to work. It feels as though I have been away from home for months, but it’s really because I have been learning and teaching and not focusing on playing with my toys.

It started with my class at Quilt National and learning how to do infused newsprint cloth from Margarita Korioth. Then a wonderful three days with Susan Purney Mark exploring all kinds of surface design on fabric. Immediately following was two weeks of concentration on Blue Lake projects and students. AQS-Grand Rapids…glad I didn’t sign up for any classes! I met a vendor and we are talking about pattern writing and samples, but not sure if that’s a direction I wish to travel. Whew!

Playing normal, then! I chose a backing and decided on a finishing method for my You Go, Girl! picture.

There is a lot of stitching on it already from the collage construction, but adding batting and backing allowed for more stitching and texture.

This girl stared at me for 2 weeks at Blue Lake and home, insisting on a finish. I made both of us happy today!

One of the things I cleared off my table was my recent fabric indulgence. I love Marcia Derse fabric and could not resist adding these to my stash.

I believe I still have the last fabric I bought of hers, too…it’s almost enough just to pet it!

And I never visit the Toledo Museum of Art without finding something inspirational. This time is was a beautiful chair……..and I did not even LOOK at the creator’s name!

Because as wonderful as the chair itself was, I fell in love with the shadow of the chair.

I don’t know how or when, but that will appear in my work in some form!

Settling in to the home routine really feels great. Next adventure isn’t for a few weeks and I hope to get enough done to feel caught up and on top of my studio life by then. I didn’t even mind having to mow the lawn yesterday, since that’s a part of the regular routine that I happen to like!

And I still have great hopes for a day with a nap…THAT is a totally indulgent day!

Tell A Story Faces

Libby Williamson is a very gracious teacher. I fell in love with her style of face making and she is allowing me to share that with my middle schoolers at Blue Lake this year. Of course I don’t have her expertise, her tips or hints, but these are beginners and just getting a taste of–and hopefully a fascination for–textiles. That’s really my goal.

I had never made any kind of a portrait before and I was very scared to try it. I expected an epic failure and thought I was crazy to even think about teaching this.

Well, let me tell you…………..this is fun, challenging, and it could become addictive for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this!

And it doesn’t hurt that I have an almost never-ending resource warehouse.

It makes me even less likely to throw scraps away.

Here’s my first effort.

You Go, Girl!

All I knew when I started this was that I wanted to add crazy spiked hair. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Wanted to have samples of a couple of other ways to construct a face so I put two more together–without any of the fear or procrastination of the first one!

‘Sup, Dude?

Daaaahling!

There are a lot of things that I will do to these after camp is over, but that’s mostly because I have access to machines and techniques that the kids at camp don’t have. I’m going to make my ‘resource warehouse’ available to the kids, too…and maybe I’ll be able to get a handle on that huge pile of fabric scraps!

These may have been the first faces that I have made, but I know they will not be the last!

Aaaaaand, it’s finished…sort of!

My big turquoise project is all quilted and I definitely could call it finished. It’s put together as I first envisioned it and I’m quite happy with it.

Even breaking 5–yes FIVE–needles on the stupid beaded peach fabric! I haven’t broken that many needles in five years, but those beads were vicious!

And it is actually incomplete. As I study it, I realize that it’s a pretty nice background. Color coordinated, nicely decorated, lots of good texture, but what’s missing? A good focal point!

And one of my first questions to myself is about that hanging sleeve. Is it all right as is?

Do I need to add stitch, paint or something to it? Or do I just need to fold it to the back and sew it down?

Then there are several ways I’m contemplating for adding a real focal area. First is area, such as a swath of color or a small, concentrated area.

Then there is color itself. All white, all peachy, various colors, black?

My plan is to create leaves from organza; same leaves that I used for the stamping. I would love to hear your opinions and ideas! There is no rush to finish on this one, so I can take my time and really think it through, not jump into it willy-nilly.

I have some leftover blocks that I want to utilize in a smaller piece, very similar, but no batting, more overlap of the leaves and probably no hand stitching…or maybe MORE hand stitching. Have a couple of challenge obligations to finish first, though! And Blue Lake teaching is coming up and I have no samples, so I’d better get on that, too.

I never yet have run out of things to do or ideas to try. The universe is soooo good to me that way!