Empty Calendar!

As I checked my calendar for March, I found quite a few blank days. More than usual. Empty, uncommitted, free time! It’s so easy to say ‘yes’ to things and fill up those days, but I refuse to do that!

And I don’t think I am going to concentrate on finishing up art projects. Whenever I go to the studio, THIS

greets me. I am sick of looking at THIS.

I want stuff to be GONE! I am so tired of saving things because I plan on using them someday, or “I’ll get around to it when I have some time.”

I found a picture that I took in 2013 of this same spot.

Doesn’t look much different, does it? I probably had the same ambition to clean it out then as I do now.

Well, it looks like the time is here!

That empty calendar is a clear sign that action time is available. And those actions usually work better with a plan. So in my time between now and the “after March 5” beginning date, I will locate those patterns that I liked, when I used other people’s patterns. I will select some fabrics for each project, though that is always subject to change! I will plan a project or two of original designs, that use up my fabric the way I usually use it. And I. WILL. SEW.

And scraps…………….I get distracted by scraps. They are usually bits of fabrics that I loved and a piece will catch my eye and I’ll be off on a tangent, creating with scraps. This time, everything designated as a scrap will be going into a container with a lid, so I can’t see them!

My ultimate goal here is to get my fabric stash down to one set of shelves. If the other shelves are piled with unfinished tops, that will be just fine!

March will be my month to get it all under control. When I write it down like this, it seems like a very ambitious plan, very challenging. But it IS a goal, and without goals we never make progress.

Wish me luck!

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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!

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Sky

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

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!