Picking up scraps

Literally, walking around my studio and all the scraps on the floor were driving me nuts! Not enough to really clean, of course, but I kind of wanted to prove a point to myself. I’ve always maintained that we all work with a palette of colors that appeals to us individually and that you can combine pretty much anything from your shelves and it will look good. So I thought I’d try it with the scraps I found thrown around the studio.

Now you all know that I have many overflowing scrap baskets like this pile, loosely sorted by color.

I just kept picking up pieces and sewing them together until I ended up with these four blocks.

I thought about searching through the baskets for more, but stopped myself from crazy scrap madness! The other part of my color theory is that black and white goes with everything! And it did….all of the dozen or so fabrics that I auditioned looked fine, but I ended up going with the one that had a bit more color.

It will make a nice spot of color on someone’s wall!

And THEN…..I looked over at the shelves and this pile of leftover blocks and scraps jumped out at me!

I felt like I was on a roll and threw the blocks up on the wall, with some fabric that I thought I would use with them.

Then I started re-arranging the blocks and maybe something else will emerge!

That’s as far as the “scrap roll” has taken me, but that’s not too bad! I’m also starting to feel as though I can relatively quickly sort through those baskets of scraps next week and get rid of many of the pieces I’ve been holding on to for ‘someday’. I’m not as attached to them as I thought I was…so that means now is the time to make them gone!!! Even if they end up as dog bed stuffing, it will be nice to have them used and not just cluttering up my space.

Here’s to ‘good garbage’…

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Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Use Up the Stash

Rusty, from start to finish

My intention when I went into the studio today was to use up some of my stash and make a polka-dot quilt. I never even touched the polka-dots! I got sidetracked by rusty fabric and discharged black…a whole pile of it.

I’ve been wanting to make something with this for a long time. There is easily enough fabric for a whole, real bed quilt, but I have not found a pattern or idea that I’m happy with. So, the hell with all this wishy-washy procrastination…pick up the fabric and cut into it…make something!!!!

Four light squares, four dark squares, about 8″ or so.

Four separate stacks and four separate cuts, simply to have them all different. Certainly I could have stacked them all up, but…

Now remember that the pieces and curves fit together perfectly before they are sewn.

But when you are sewing without added seam allowances, the edges SHOULD NOT line up.

Start with 8 squares, end with 8 squares and I decided to make them into split-circle blocks, sort of!

And added random red-orange strips between the quarters. And those uneven edges are simple to sew by laying the straight edge of the strip along that uneven edge and sew.

Trim now or trim later…it doesn’t matter. There’s always a lot of that when you are doing improv. I was deliberately trying to keep seams from matching and all the edges uneven. Sometimes thing match by accident, though!

I made a couple more blocks and then auditioned fabrics for setting the blocks together.

Red–too cliche.

Aha–frame each block, as unevenly as possible with the rust and black fabrics! I like it!

Ready for basting and quilting!

The outside edges will probably get trimmed a bit more after the quilting, to keep them the same size as the inner edges. Now to agonize for a while over what color thread to use for the quilting, and how to quilt it!

It was a good day in the studio today, even though no polka-dots made it off the shelves!

 

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Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts

Is it done?

There are not nearly as many beads on this piece as I had first imagined that it needed. Actually, I started out with the idea of beads in the circles and then arcing outward.

As soon as I did that, I questioned it! I continued for a while and then took that arc out. I put beads in every circle, randomly.

I cogitated for a while and added some beads as outlines of the big thread circles.

Better–but is it enough?

And will it bother everyone who looks at this that the top is not one circle but two arcs on different circles?

Or shall I call it done and get it trimmed and mounted on a canvas?

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Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Color, Contemporary, Designing Quilts, surface design

Back to beads–hooray!

One triangle piece is done with the stitching, but there may have been a better way. I used #3 perle cotton and a running stitch and it looks the way I expected it to, so there’s that. It was very hard to get the needle through, even using one that was plenty large enough for the size of the thread. My fingers are very sore! However, with the dark color on the dark background, it’s a bit hard to see.

If I had couched the thread down, there would have been a solid line of thread and perhaps that would have shown up more. Did not want anything blatant, though, so I’m okay with it as is.

And now I will be adding beads…yummmmm! I think the title of it came to me while I was selecting them…The Sunny Side of the Mountain.

Not certain exactly where or in what pattern I will be applying these beads, but the bright colors seem just right. It seems as though it’s been just about forever since I’ve done any beading and I’m excited to get at it again!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Color, Handwork, surface design

Couch potato life…

That’s what I intend to explore as much as possible for the next several days! Traveling is done for a while and I’m so happy to be home again.

My last hotel carpet inspirations for this trip show a theme that is carried out throughout the facility.

march-carpet-1 march-carpet-2 march-carpet-3

I particularly like the white outlines in the second photo.

There were also a couple of other favorite tourist photos that I hope to work with at some point. Falls Park in Greenville SC has been a favorite of mine since we first visited there about 8 years ago.

greenville-falls

The rock shapes make me sigh with contentment, but I have not yet tried to interpret them into my artwork. Future plans…

And the beach always inspires.

beach-inspiration

It’s time to hibernate in the studio for what remains of the winter and concentrate on developing some of these inspirations into actual artworks.

Sooooo looking forward to this!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Life, Quilt Design, Thinking About Quilting!

Once again…where to now?

The fact that I have no chores to do and time to sew is wonderful! My fingers are still sore, but my calluses are coming back and my fingertips will soon be tough as nails again!

The constant dilemna–and delight!– of my life is figuring out the next step in each project as I do it.

This is as far as I have come with my last little triangle undertaking.

tri-fl-9

I like this embroidery detail on my circle holes and I’ve used it before, with additional stitching and beads.

holey-piece-beading-2

Those details don’t feel necessary for this project, but I’m not sure which direction to head in for the next part of the journey.

tri-fl-10

There is a lot of empty space in this one and I’m thinking that while it may need filling, it should be simple stitching, probably only a running stitch. Matching colors? Perhaps. Beads within the circles? Only there? Maybe.

Have several days in the car to think about it…since I can’t work or read in the car without getting carsick. Love those audio books!

And I’ll be desperately working on finishing the project-that-I can’t-show, so you may not see these again for a little while. I WILL show you the finishes, though, I promise! And, of course, I always enjoy your suggestions.

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Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Handwork, Non-traditional Quilts, surface design

VERY sore fingers now!

I stitched and I stitched and I stitched and I used up all of that variegated thread that I started this project with!

tri-fl-4

It was enough to get a layer of stitches throughout the project–but where do I go now?

tri-fl-5 tri-fl-8 tri-fl-7 tri-fl-6

I can add more stitches to the triangles, and the cut-out triangles and the background rectangles or some combination thereof. But not with that same thread. Of course, I can look for more of that thread when I get home. I believe that it was a purchased product, not one that I dyed. Or I can use some of the 20 skeins of floss in that thread bag that go with what I have! Probably, in the spirit of unity, I should put on a lot of beads that are the same, don’t you think?

My beads and beading supplies are at home, except for the ones I bought down here. None of them are right for this project. Do I need to buy more? I DON’T think so…and thank goodness the store is closed for two days. I may get out of here without another stop there!

In the meantime, I have another project that I can start on. Similar to this one, but a bit more subdued. I’ll give my fingers a bit of a rest and then I’ll begin on that!

Love stitching!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Handwork, surface design