Student work

I love it so much when a student finishes a class project and sends me a picture! This picture is from Janice from Sarasota. She reminded me that she was late to class, but what I remember is the fact that she jumped right in and was fearless in her choices!

I can see all the little elements that she learned from me, but I can also see her originality in how she created and assembled the whole.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Janice!

What a weekend!

For the first time in several years, I went to a quilt retreat and it was wonderful! All the women are in my Creative Seasons art group and I could not have spent time with a better group of people. Supportive and helpful and complimentary and critical–in the best possible way!

And I got SO much done. I only brought two quilts with me, planning on concentrating on that one simple task. It worked out well, except for my tired shoulders…

This picture doesn’t even show the quilting, but I got it finished.

It’s a fun little quilt, used a lot of scraps and played Sunshine and Shadows as I hoped it would. Here’s a detail.

I will be the first to tell you that the quilting itself is not particularly good in this quilt. I had some thread issues and changed my plan and I decided that done was better than perfect for a little couch throw!

Most of the quilting got done on this even smaller couch quilt, too. I’m taking a bit more time with it and trying to do a better job, because it might not end up on MY couch. Spiral shape fillers in the big X’s and then I wracked my brain trying to figure out how I should quilt the rest. Finally put some big O’s in the blank spaces, filled those with pebble stitching and then I’m filling the rest of the background with free form rows of X’s.

And then I came home to a fantastic change! My son came over and changed the failing flourescent fixtures in my studio. As messy and disorganized as this section is–I can pretend that it got that way when I moved stuff in order for him to work, but we all know better than that!–I am totally thrilled to take this picture with the light on!!!

I haven’t had a light in this section for at least a year, and now I have plenty of light (to see to clean by?). My whole studio is bathed in great light now and I smile HUGELY every time I walk down the stairs. Can’t wait to get down there and get to work!

Thanks, Greg. Great job!

Discovering UFO’s

Our Creative Seasons art quilt group celebrated 10 years together this week. We were supposed to bring in any UFO’s that were that old or older. Very interesting to see what everyone brought. And I was very interested to see what I had on my shelves! I hung up the ones that I think I might finish someday!!!

There were more than a few that I will absolutely never finish, and those are going to the charity quilt table at the guild.  I will never, ever finish these, but there were not as many as I thought. I feel guilty about putting them on the charity quilt table without finishing them for charity, but I just cannot get motivated to even start on these particular tops! Someone else may really like them…hey! It could happen!

I even found one that I have absolutely NO memory of ever making! I know I made it, because it’s all from fabrics that I had and used, but any conscious thoughts of making it? Nope!

These two were mystery quilts, made at retreats. I had fun making them, but whenever you make a mystery quilt, your fabric choices are not always the best fit for the eventual result.

These next two were a pattern I was teaching at the quilt store. I didn’t like the first one, so I made the second and I like it much better. The first one is large enough for a charity quilt and the second one may make it to a shelf in my closet!

This top was one of the first ones I made when I started doing improv and curved seams. When I got it on the wall, it was quite different than I remembered it! I do still like it, and it may get finished this summer.

I’ve pretty much always been a fan of pink, and this next one is really pink!

I even have the binding made for this one, as well as some others!

To get to the shelf that all these UFO’s were ‘marinating’ on, I had to move the box of unsorted scraps. I have regular scrap bins, sorted by color, but somehow the unsorted box stays just as full as can be! Well, whenever I touch that box, it seems that the elements of another quilt jump out. This time it was bright scraps from many children’s quilts made over the years.

Sigh! Whenever this happens, I feel COMPELLED to get a top made. Hope that box gets emptied someday soon!

Always a little bit of progress…

There are very few days that I don’t do a little something on a project. This turquoise and gray one is getting under my skin, though. I work on it for a while, decide I don’t like what I’ve done and rip it out.

I added black cording to the part I ripped and I’m not sure that I like that either. Perhaps I should have found something gray.

So I went on to other areas and added some more stitching.

And took it outside in the daylight to look at the ‘big picture.’

The best I can say for it is that I’m not going to rip any of that stitching out (for now!) and I’m getting more and more sure that I will be adding beads!

Taking a break let me concentrate on other beauty around me, too.

I’m very happy that someone planted this forsythia years ago, and didn’t groom it into submission. I love this hedge, from across the yard AND up close.

NOW spring is here and I think creativity will rise with the rising sap!

 

Student share

I so love it when a student sends me a picture of a finished project. This was from a design class that I taught in Sarasota FL in February.

From drawing

to finished product!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful galaxy with us, Randy!

Dots and stitches

The larger of my two turquoise and gray pieces was where I started stitching with those luscious threads. I was immediately disappointed with what I was doing.

Can barely see the blanket stitch edging on the gray, but there will be more and maybe it will be all right….at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

So I switched over to the heavier #5 thread and turquoise. The running stitch was where I started and took it out after the first 20 or so stitches. Went along the edges with a chain stitch and it was okay.

Visible and the cross stitch section was working all right. Then I tried more gray on gray–you can almost see it at the top of the turquoise strip.

Time to re-assess.

Looking at the whole thing again, it’s spare, graphic and all the separate parts are very directional. It needs straight lines, through the pieces, intersecting the pieces, uniting and extending the pieces in the design. I can do that with hand work if there is a straight line marked to follow, but I hate marking…it never comes out, no matter how vigorously I test. Back up a step…I hate marking because you have to get it out!

It’s relatively easy to do with machine stitching and no marking, using the edges of the various presser feet for my measurements and ‘marking.’ So I’m going to head to the machine and get some stitching done there. Those lines can be guidelines and another layer of texture. The hand stitching can be added afterward. And since I don’t add the backing until the handwork is done, I’ll leave plenty of space for machine quilting the background at that point.

Now this all sounds like it will work, but all my work is simply a series of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe this or that.’ I love creating this way, but I know it’s not for everyone. I do appreciate suggestions from those of you who have already tried something that I may be heading toward. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel and will happily learn from your mistakes as well as my own!

Oh, yes…I’m much happier already!