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!

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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!

Thread lace and beads

Oh my word–making huge pieces of thread lace is a never ending project! I’ve never made anything but some small leaves before and making this huge sheet is taking way too long. If I had known at the beginning….in the category of  lessons learned, I’d really have gone about it in a different way.

My goal was to create sheer, shiny fabric to attach to the silk background already made. It would need to have beads on it, but those could be supported by a grid of beading thread as the beads were added. Okay–that was the plan. Using up tons of fibers and threads seemed like such a bonus, too.

I wasn’t too far into it before I realized that the threads alone would not create a strong enough fabric.

Adding a sheer fabric back was about the only answer I could come up with. Had I started with the fabric, I would have added light fusible and fused those fibers to it. Still would have added the stabilizer and the stitching, but maybe not as much stitch and maybe not so many thread/stitching frustrations. Next time for sure…

I stitched for hours, free form sewing and finally thought it might hold together. Then I added a grid of stitches just to feel better about it!

And suddenly it was time to bite the bullet, call it good and wash away the stabilizer!

It’s sheer, shiny and looks different from every angle. Can’t really show that in photos, but I think it’s going to work. We’ll judge the strength as I start assembling and adding those heavy beads!

Speaking of which…I have a few choices to make!

I always start by pulling anything that I think might have any possibility of working with my fabrics and colors…and because I have accumulated so many beads, that can become a large pile!

 

I almost immediately eliminated the darker gold beads and the darkest blue beads. The thread fabric changes color with every viewing angle, so most any color should work! I thought about green, but didn’t really have a good green jump out at me.

  

These three were ‘finalists’ and all looked pretty good. Then I kind of thought all white would really be best and spread these out.

The white along with some off-white looks like the solution. Sparkle all the way through and no dramatic color to draw the eye. The piece is going to reflect a snow storm, so the whiter the better………………..I think! It may yet change as I progress with the beading, but that’s the plan right now.

And I got to spend the whole day in the studio! Thought I was going to have most of the week in the studio, but I forgot to put several things on my calendar. So I’m extra grateful to have had today and to have progressed so far. There is no ‘fast’ in this project, so I will either post it so much that you will get sick of it, or I will try to restrain myself and there will not be as many posts.

But I know myself well enough to know that I will work on more than one project at the same time, so there should be something else to look at soon!

 

Busy weekend

Yep, this was a busy weekend. Hockey games Friday and Saturday night, Quilt Guild meeting Saturday morning, ice festival in the afternoon, and workshop all day Sunday. Whew!

Happily, I am not too tired to keep stitching. You need to check out Michelle May at The Raspberry Rabbits so you can check out what we did!

I’ve not worked with wool in this manner before and actually went to class wanting to do everything as differently as possible from my normal.

I chose muted colors of wool and neutral colored thread and had a lovely time. I could have finished in class but I wanted a size and color of bead that Michelle did not bring with her. But, oh my, did she ever bring tons and tons of stuff!

This was the first time I came to a class only needing scissors. We paid for a kit and then had our choice of wool, thread and embellishments. Soooooo easy! I will admit that I was skeptical at first, but at this point, if you are a program chair or know one, I highly recommend hiring Michelle May! Delightful and what she teaches is inspiration, not whatever kit it is that you choose.

And now I’m sitting at home, in front of the fire, adding some beads and planning on enjoying the rest of the evening. Aaaaaaaaaaahhh!