Finished edges and floaty fun

At least I’ve made a start on a finished edge! I have hesitated for days in the past when I have needed to cut into a quilted piece to make a curvy edge. Sometimes you just need to pick up the scissors and cut!

Then to the finishing part–I love to use cotton yarn, couching foot and ziz-zag. One, two, three and you’re done!

At some point, for this piece, I will stitch over that edge again for a smoother, more filled-in finish, but this does the job for the beginning stage. All of this has been background and support, in my mind.

Now I’m ready to start auditioning final choices and placement for finishing…the fun part!

Construction challenges galore as well as design choices! Let the fun begin!

 

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Priorities

Making time in my studio a priority is not as important as it used to be. In the last couple of months I have started to feel really and finally retired. I am not looking for speaking or teaching jobs, but I wouldn’t turn them down!

I knew so little when I started!

Anyway, I don’t feel like I have to constantly be in production mode and if I miss some time in the studio, it’s no big deal. I’m thinking of projects that have lain dormant in the back of my brain for a long time and I’m trying to create in a more thoughtful manner.

My current project is totally laid out in my brain. I love when that happens—and I hate when that happens. Getting from the brain picture to the actual piece is not always a straight road.

It has grown larger than I thought it would be already.

My brain picture had it about 20″ wide but these projects make their own demands. It is huge and I’m not used to working with silk, so it’s a little daunting to think about quilting this part of it.

Practice pieces are not big in my process, but I thought I’d better try it out for this one. I grabbed several scraps and put them on batting and backing and started stitching.

No issues whatsoever, so off I went on the real thing. Spoiler alert: Nothing fancy was attempted on this piece! Simple straight lines are all that is required on this part.

Know what? Channel quilting is boring, no matter what fabric you are using! That’s all I got done on the project today, but that’s fine.

In my newly retired state of mind, spending the day with my hubby, going out to lunch, stopping at the bead store……….it’s all so good! Having relaxing days like this is what it’s all about!

And the studio will be there tomorrow…after I lunch and chat with a friend…and maybe do some local shop hopping with her…life is good!

 

Nothing but thinking…

Today is a day of total relaxation. No obligations until hockey tonight, and that’s fun time. I like to begin my days with coffee and computer time, especially with blogs by people whose work I enjoy.

I have heard that blogs are a thing of the past, that no one is writing them anymore, that Instagram is the only viable social media app to use. It could be true. Many of the bloggers on my favorites list don’t post very often any more…but most of them have lots of posts on Instagram. Easier, quicker, and still keeps you in the public eye. I can understand that.

This was my IG post the other day!

However, I so enjoy learning more about the individuals and the work they do. I love to hear about their thoughts as they create and design. I want to learn more about them, not just a quick photo of one second of their day.

I’m disappointed in this trend. I understand it, as busy people are busy! For some, it’s a huge time burden to post a blog. I get it. I just miss that (electronic) connection, that ‘getting to know you better’ feeling. C’mon–if you are taking pics for IG or FB anyway, add a few words and post a blog!

Oh, well…I have never been the fashion queen, and will not be as a blogger, either. I will continue my blogging because it has become part of documenting my work processes. It tells my story, good, lazy, mistakes and all.

So today is coffee, computer, laziness and no planned sewing! Maybe ’cause I’m still designing my next piece, mostly in my head. I go down to the design wall and move a few pieces of fabric around and then go away and think for a while.

Add a few more or shift them around.

I will admit that I might be a tad bit afraid to start it. I may make the wrong choice or cut wrong or sew it wonky…………..oh, wait a minute! That’s my normal working method. I guess I simply need to get after it!

Or, maybe I’ll have another cup of coffee and think about what I’m going to cut and sew for a little while longer. Sounds like the best option for a no-obligation day.

I Love Ironing

Really-I love ironing. Maybe because when I iron, it’s new fabric that I washed or newly dyed fabric. I use the time for planning and plotting new projects, and in the winter, I love the warmth of the fabric and the iron!

Today I ironed the newly dyed fabric. There really is not a huge difference between snow dyeing results and regular dyeing results, EXCEPT when using anything other than pure colors. The cold makes the colors split and sometimes give cool crystal effects. These are the two very best pieces that I got this time.

But there was a bit of weirdness when I started to iron them. They stretched. Like legging fabric. Totally NOT my quilting cotton. They were in a stack of fabric given to me so I just threw them in the dye pot without paying any attention. They are really beautiful, but I don’t even know what to do with stretch fabric anymore!

One stack was previously dyed and came out mostly brown and teal. I threw some bright colors of dye in that tub and I was surprised by how much color showed and how it really perked up that whole bunch of fabric.

Some reds, and one larger piece from the tub that was too pink even for me, and I like pink!

Yellow, bronze, orange, lemon–with a bit of turquoise that flew over from the next tub–came out great!

And it’s a very large piece!

But the gray that I was expecting…not so great. I used gray, raven and better black dye powders on muslin and thought it would come out as shades of gray from light to charcoal. Not so much–gray, green, lavendar, black and even a touch of blue!

It’s very mottled and a good use for it does not immediately spring to mind. Perhaps it needs another overdye with only the gray to pull it together a bit more.

And I ended my day with pics of a couple of finished pieces. I never took a final shot of Gypsy Garden, so here it is.

And Lakeside is finished, too!

The decks are cleared to begin something new! Hooray! I have a project that’s been nagging at the back of my mind since last summer. I think it’s time to get to it!

No sew Monday!

It was supposed to be a day to finish up my Lakeside piece, but, as usual, I got distracted. However, it wasn’t for anything fun. Nope–it’s that time of year to get the rat’s nest of paperwork organized for taxes. Really wish I was more organized throughout the year, but at least the stuff is all in the same drawer/pile/folder–that’s what the messy desk area is for, right?

It’s something we all have to get done, and I’m almost there, so it wasn’t a totally bad morning.

It’s snowing, too. Soft and beautiful. So what do we do when it snows and we spent the whole morning on paperwork?  SNOW DYE!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!

When I look at the picture, I feel like it’s a big waste of dye powder, because it seems like I put it on a little thick this time. Oh, well…I have a lot of fabric in the tubs and we’ll just have to see how it turns out!

That’s the excitement of dyeing…the unknown! And now I do have a bit of time if I want to sew a bit…but I know better than to try that anywhere around that dye table. So I think the rest of today is Designated Couch Potato Day, TV time and laziness. Ain’t retirement grand?!!!

By the way, have I ever told you that you can follow what I post on Instagram, too? I’ve only been doing that recently, but it’s easy, so I’m sure I’ll do it a lot more.  https://www.instagram.com/quirksltd/

Next time we’ll see what this snow dye day produced!

 

Ooooo nooooo—-background

I was so totally sure of the background I wanted to create for Lakeside. I even had a hard time sleeping last night because I was planning my construction options in my head.

Navy and cream striped denim, the fabric I used for deck chairs–what could be better?

Doesn’t that look great? So lake-y…………..until I decided to try some of the dyed wool I have!

This one piece gave me three different looks, and I have yards and yards and YARDS of wool! Subtle differences, yet conveying different moods, more noticeable in person, of course.

I think I like the subtlety of the wool much better now than I like the stripe, but the stripe conveys more of that lakeside feeling to me.

I would really like to get your opinion on this……….really!

Sittin’ by the lake…

That’s what I feel like when I’m looking at this piece. I think it’s done, except for the mounting!

Since it’s part of a challenge, one of the rules was to finish with raw edges, no binding. Not a problem for me, since I love those raw edges, but it was stitched without a backing, since I didn’t know how I would finish it. I believe I have it figured out, but haven’t had time to actually TRY it out. Some days there are just not enough hours!

My water and sky were large areas of the total, but I didn’t want to make them focus areas. Similar big stitching, fat threads got the job done and I’m excited to get it finished!

Water

Sky

You never know where a little challenge in your art group will lead! I love this piece!