More bits and pieces

As promised, here is a pic of the finished turquoise beaded piece.

Way different than I originally imagined, but that’s what happens when your art tells you what it wants!

Had some down time while I was deciding what to tackle next, so I deconstructed a collection of neckties that I had. There really is an unbelievable amount of fabric in a necktie. I’m always surprised. Anyhow, now I have a pile of necktie fabric sitting in a drawer, waiting for inspiration.

Let’s see…I’m putting a sleeve on an older piece and looked at the pile of canvas pieces that need hanging hooks and wires. I walked away from that chore!

Basted a quilt…wonder how long that will sit before I get around to the quilting.

And when I put it on the pile of basted quilts, I selected one to start working on. And it, too, sent me in a direction I was not expecting.

I had a plan to quilt an uneven grid, reflecting the uneven grid dyed into the fabric. And I started out that way, but instead did a random assortment of partial grid sections. Then, this happened…

It’s difficult to see in this next pic, but all this flower stuff is on the left side.

It doesn’t show up all that well, but…I’m toying with the idea of micro lines from the flower part to the other edge. Maybe a bit more of the flowers, first.

And if I do that, should it be the navy thread that I did the partial grid sections with, the variegated thread that I did the flowers in, or something else? Time to step away and let that decision float around in my brain for a while.

As I’m writing this, the weather tomorrow is supposed to be a real killer…high humidity and 90 degrees…and I’m teaching a dye class out in my garage. Hydration–move slowly–take breaks in the air conditioning as needed–right? There might be more breaks than usual……………..

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A few beads

For some reason, unknown to myself, I have not done much beading lately. This week I’ve managed to get back to it. I also realized that I often show you in-progress work but sometimes forget to show the finished product!

The black beading definitely rescued this piece.

And I decided that beading was necessary on this piece, too.

Even though the thread was shiny and metallic, it wasn’t quite enough to stand out from the busy background.

Plain turquoise beads seemed like they would fill the bill. And it is too small a piece to agonize over beading decisions!

And as I added the beads in little staggered rows, I was distracted by my container of ‘leftover’ miscellaneous beads. So I added some.

I couldn’t decide if the plain dangles were enough or if I needed to emphasize them with more turquoise.

And neither was correct! I will end up continuing the staggered rows all the way to the tips and incorporate the dangles between the turquoise beads.

I was kind of surprised that the dangles looked so good, since they are totally strung by random selection. But my hindsight tells me that it makes sense, because of all the colors in the background. I may experiment with dark leaf shapes behind the ‘flowers’ before I call this one finished. And I will try to remember to show the finished piece!

I’m getting the urge to start on a BIG beaded project again, but don’t have one shaped up in my imagination yet. It may be that one with the rust fabric circles, but that one is still in a time out right now! I have even looked through my rarely used sketchbooks, but found more piecing ideas than anything adaptable to a beaded project.

It’s wonderful to have too many ideas and not enough time. I cannot imagine the horror of a creative block and hope I never have to work through one. For now, a bit of each of my loves–beading, quilting, embroidery, dyeing–makes me very happy!

Always something new

It doesn’t matter how often I work on finishing a project in a particular way, there is always something new to try.

I like to mount my small pieces on canvas and I most often simply glue the piece to the painted canvas. Couldn’t be easier. Sometimes I mount the piece on a background piece of fabric and stretch it around the canvas. That’s what I decided to do on the small piece I was working on.

And then I decided to try something new. I had read that some people use a fusible web to attach their pieces to the canvas, so I thought I’d try it. I ironed a line of fusible to the back of the canvas, right on the wood. One example I saw used fusible on the sides of the canvas as well, but I decided to start with this little strip and see how it went.

The rest of the process is usually to pull the fabric to the back and staple it down. The difference here is that I could pull the fabric to the back and iron it in place! I finished the corners with staples and I think I could leave it like this.

However, my motto is never trust the glue, so I’ll add the staples around the sides, too. This made the process much easier and faster though, so I think I’ll be using the fusible again.

Here’s how the piece ended up, with a close up of the beads.

On another project, I also used up every scrap I could to piece the back of the hockey quilt. This little scrap is all that is left of the darker blue hockey fabric.

The other chunk of lighter fabric that I had, I simply centered it for the back and built around it.

It’s ready to be quilted, but the urgency to get it done has abated now that I’ve actually used up that hockey fabric. As long as I get it done by the time hockey starts in the fall, I’ll be satisfied. Oh, and AJ was quite surprised. He said, “You never told me anything about a hockey quilt. Cool.”

I think I have to give up sewing for a day, though, and take care of some necessary chores in the yard and in the house. Boooooring, but must be done!

Wonder what will jump out at me for the next project…hmmmm!

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!

 

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.

 

Doodle to real!

Yes, indeed, sometimes those little play pieces can turn into something a bit more serious. I guess I posted this pic on IG but not here, so these are the doodles that are getting serious ideas!

I’m beginning to add some embroidery to each of these.

I started with this one, because…orange! And then I had to determine what could be different and what should be consistent for the sake of the series.

So far, it’s gray thread and simple stitches on the gray part and a variegated thread and following the lines on the bottom part.

An embroidered “plant”  on the right side of the stones and single thread grass on the colored strips.

It’s fun and a bit of a challenge to make them separate and yet connected.

And there will be beads……………………………..

Slow decisions

It was actually a warm spring day today so I spent some time outdoors enjoying it. Naturally that means that sewing did not get done!

I keep stumbling over a little bundle of coordinating fabric that I once started playing with. I took it off the shelf today and spread the elements over the design wall.

I have no idea what my original intention with this piece was. I also have no idea what direction I want to go in to move it forward. It seems as though black is the only color that will coordinate things, but that seems almost like giving up to a challenge. Much more contemplation is needed, but I think this will be my next stashbusting project.

On the hand-sewing front, I have stalled out a little on the small samples for Blue Lake. I’ve been working on this larger project and I’m at another decision point. I selected some beads, but think that I’ll only use the magenta ones…a little emphasis that will not take over the design.

Maaaaaaaaybe………………………….I found a couple of ceramic buttons that look really good on this piece. If I use them, though, it really changes the feel of the whole thing.

What do you think? I’m leaning toward ‘no buttons’ but that might lead to lots more of the magenta beads finding their way into the piece. You know that I’m always good with more, more, more but I’m not sure the piece needs it! As I look at the pics, I’m also thinking maybe I need a bit more stitching to texturize the background, too.

Not much action, lots of contemplation and I’m okay with it. Thinking is good!