Slow sewing period

There has not been much sewing going on around here. I got a panel done for quilt as you go with my friend’s strips. Only 8 or so more for a full quilt…but it’s a project that only gets worked on when I have a bit of extra time…or can’t seem to get started on something new!

I’m taking a class so I had to get ready for that. I’m always so indecisive for that because no matter what I bring, it’s never what I want to work with when I get there!!! And next week I’m teaching in Kokomo, so there is some prep work to be done there.  Normal grandson night tomorrow night and soccer Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I’ll miss the soccer because it’s Quilt Guild Day AND a bridal shower. Doctor appt. rounded out the week and I’m looking forward to the long ride to Kokomo just for the time to do nothing!

Had some carpet inspiration last week. Looking forward to doing some stamping that might look a bit like this.

And TODAY–woo hoo–I had my KEQ group meeting. We brought our pie challenge pieces and it turned out pretty darn good!

Hope my phone camera skills get better–this is just a bit fuzzy. Mary Lee didn’t make it to the last meeting so she brought her weaving piece this time, along with a quilt she did with reverse applique circles.

And big news–both Trish and Julia won ribbons at the Sauder Quilt Show! Lots of ribbons! We are so proud of them…but I forgot about pictures until the quilts were back out in the car.  They do beautiful work.

Next meeting we will be making stamps. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while and just have not made the time for it. It’s long past time and I’m so glad the group is helping me out with time dedicated to stamp making! Hooray!

 

Uh-oh…trouble at the corners!

When I mounted the embroidery that I thought was finished, it did not lay nice and flat on the canvas. I was afraid that, even though I spread it out nicely, it would wrinkle up as the glue dried. Guess what? Unfortunately, I was correct. Damn!

I think you can see that, even in this low resolution photo. As you are reading this, the piece has been removed from the canvas—and who knew that that was so easy to do?!–and has had a layer of batting and layer of wool added. I will be doing more stitching on it. I have also decided that it will not be mounted on canvas, but will have a hanger of some kind added and be a flat wall hanging. At least, that’s the plan right now! You know that these things have a fluid decision life!

As I fiddled with this, another unfinished project came to light. My class with Frieda Anderson produced this piece and it needed to be quilted and finished.

I had almost forgotten how to quilt anything but straight lines!

And now I have one finished project for this month, anyway!

Wacky Quilters group is up next this week and we will be exploring working in a series. Who knows what I’ll come home with from this group, but I surely know that I will enjoy whatever we do!

Another secret…

Those black and white fabrics and blocks got put away for another day. Just couldn’t muster up enough interest in them. Hoever, black and whites are what I worked with today after all. The KEQ group is making a pie shaped challenge piece that is black, white and one color. It’s not due until May but I had it already all planned out, so today was the day…but I can’t show you because it’s not due until May!!! I can show you that I finished it with my favorite corded edge technique!

And now you know that my extra color is green…which will be a minor surprise to those who know that my favorite color is orange!

I had a couple of small pieces of fused heavy interfacing left that I cut into postcard size and guess what? I picked up some more scraps off the floor and made a couple of postcards.

Or maybe they can be mug rugs…they aren’t very special! I’m simply grateful that I had time today to do some sewing. That always makes for a good day!

Hidden Challenge

Creative Seasons is the name of an art group of which I am a member. We are having an interesting challenge right now, called Chinese Whispers. Similar to the old game of telephone, each group starts with a photo. We have enough people interested that we actually have several small groups, but we are all starting with the same photo.

We then create a quilted piece based on an aspect of the photo that appeals to us. The second person in that group then gets to see the finished first piece but NOT the original photo. Her piece is based on that first piece and then she shows her finished piece to the next person and so on. I’m not sure how many rounds we will do, but I’m sure that the final piece will be far removed from that original picture. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, while I’m working on my piece, we can’t show anyone! So what will I have to show you? Pieces parts, I guess! Nothing in the composition itself!

My cutting table was cleared and clean just a couple of days ago. Not so much now.

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Part of my interest in this challenge is that I want to use less opaque fabrics, such as organzas, so that’s where I’m starting. Spent the best part of an entire day adding texture to my chosen fabrics…simple twin-needle stitching, but lots of it.

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I had a minor moment of excitement when I found this piece that I had dyed a bright green. It should make a wonderful highlight color.

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Then came adding fusible and cutting into small strips…

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a large pile of little strips! I might be nuts before this project is done.

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However, I do want to do more intentional, thoughtful art and taking the time to place these strips exactly where I think they need to be is part of that process. I may or may not be able to show you more as I proceed with this project, until the end. You can imagine me, though, playing with a pile of organza strips and hoping I’m nowhere near a high wind!

White on white

Definitely hard to photograph! I’m trying to learn how to be a better photographer, but the workings of f-stops and depth of field are like Greek to me. That’s my disclaimer, right up front!

My friend made a beautiful Christmas tree skirt for her daughter from her mother’s wedding dress–three generations remembered. She also embroidered her daughter’s name along with that of her husband and the husband part didn’t last forever. This tree skirt, along with a stocking, needs to be saved but the embroidery cannot be removed without damage.

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We brainstormed quite a few ideas and then mom left it in my hands! So trusting–I’ll do my best not to let her down.

Somewhere in my reading I saw that free motion stitching on a circle with felt backing will result in a nice, wavy floret. I have had my own issues with waviness and heavy stitching so I thought I’d try to do it on purpose.

Heavy stitching in a free form flower–

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Flowers on a piece of silk, fused to a scrap of the velvet from the tree skirt–

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Looks pretty wavy–

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And produces a cute little flower form when cut out! Looks like a winner!

I think I should be able to make a nice little 3-D embellishment and save this tree skirt!

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Some pretty trim, organza ribbon, 3D flowers and perhaps some beads. I think it will be elegant and look intentional, not like a repair!

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And it’s done! Haven’t shown it to the owner yet so I don’t know if she will like it or not, but it’s ready to be shown.

Here’s what I found out about the distorted fabric flowers…they are really, really distorted. EACH petal of the flower rolls up towards the center and that is not the look I wanted. The example I saw that used circles didn’t have that issue because there were not separate areas. I ended up sewing down almost every petal, but in the end it was worth it.

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I did not add any additional beads or organza. The beaded trim seemed sufficient. Hope she likes it!

What is your ultimate goal?

After griping about how much fabric I have and not enough sewing time–yet again–one of my friends asked me what my ultimate goal for the fabric is. That really made me sit back and think.

Certainly it’s not going to go into the trash. It’s good quality new fabric for the most part.

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I’m waaaaay too cheap thrifty to give it away, even to my guild charity sewers. That’s simply not an option for me.

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It all came into my house because I love it, every piece, and thought I would use it.

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And I really want to use it all up and make wonderful art.

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But really, what IS my ultimate goal for all of it?

I want it to be gone so that I can make my art from fabric that I have created.

Moons of Ios

Moons of Ios

Yep. I am a fabriholic. I cannot resist it. I am definitely a hoarder. But I’m not getting it used and that’s a crying shame. What to do…what to do…what to do…I’m really thinking hard on this one. The best I’ve come up with so far is to block out some time on my calendar and make quilt tops, all day, every day. And then keep using the fabric to make quilt backs, all day, every day. Even if they never get quilted by me, that way there would be a chance for all that fabric to be useful rather than just sit on the shelf. Someone could quilt them or give them to charity after I’m gone–I won’t care then!

Are there better ideas? I’d love to hear them. I DO have a goal now and I’d love to think that it really is attainable…but I’m getting older fast so I have to work quickly now!

Wait–a goal without a timeline is just a wish, right? Then I’d like to have it mostly done by September…sufficiently far away that it sounds possible. Ready–aim–go for it!

 

 

 

Workshop projects?

Workshops are always a fun time for me. I sometimes take them because there is a specific technique I want to learn. I’m always curious about another teacher’s work process. And often, it is simply uninterrupted time dedicated to having fun.

The most recent one for me was from Joe Cunningham. I’ve certainly seen and admired his work for a long time but I didn’t check out his website in detail as I usually do for those with whom I am going to study. I always try to go in with an open mind and eager anticipation of learning and that attitude almost guarantees a fun time.

As we got into the class and he found out that I was already an improv piecer, he wasn’t sure that I would be learning anything. WRONG! Joe has a particular way of working that is quite different from mine.  That is exactly why I took the class! It was very challenging for me to work in the way he does and I truly loved the challenge.

Now, the piece I made still looks very much like my work.

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You can’t leave your style behind, but finding a different route to get there is wonderful. It adds to your toolbox and opens your eyes to ever more possibilities.

But Joe has a particular style, too, which uses lots of bias tape and that was part of what we are ready to explore.

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I am not sure if I will add bias to mine or not. I don’t want to make a piece that looks like I’m trying to imitate Joe, but I do like the idea of playing with the bias tape. I’m really torn. I have the same dilemna with a workshop project from another teacher. It looks so distinctly like her work right now, which was fine for learning the technique, but I want to make it mine now!

Of course, often workshop projects never get finished because they are just that–learning exercises. But for those that you do want to finish, what do you do? Go ahead with the style of the teacher, or absorb their techniques and make the project your own?

For me, right now, it’s bias or no bias……………..

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