Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!

Discovering UFO’s

Our Creative Seasons art quilt group celebrated 10 years together this week. We were supposed to bring in any UFO’s that were that old or older. Very interesting to see what everyone brought. And I was very interested to see what I had on my shelves! I hung up the ones that I think I might finish someday!!!

There were more than a few that I will absolutely never finish, and those are going to the charity quilt table at the guild.¬† I will never, ever finish these, but there were not as many as I thought. I feel guilty about putting them on the charity quilt table without finishing them for charity, but I just cannot get motivated to even start on these particular tops! Someone else may really like them…hey! It could happen!

I even found one that I have absolutely NO memory of ever making! I know I made it, because it’s all from fabrics that I had and used, but any conscious thoughts of making it? Nope!

These two were mystery quilts, made at retreats. I had fun making them, but whenever you make a mystery quilt, your fabric choices are not always the best fit for the eventual result.

These next two were a pattern I was teaching at the quilt store. I didn’t like the first one, so I made the second and I like it much better. The first one is large enough for a charity quilt and the second one may make it to a shelf in my closet!

This top was one of the first ones I made when I started doing improv and curved seams. When I got it on the wall, it was quite different than I remembered it! I do still like it, and it may get finished this summer.

I’ve pretty much always been a fan of pink, and this next one is really pink!

I even have the binding made for this one, as well as some others!

To get to the shelf that all these UFO’s were ‘marinating’ on, I had to move the box of unsorted scraps. I have regular scrap bins, sorted by color, but somehow the unsorted box stays just as full as can be! Well, whenever I touch that box, it seems that the elements of another quilt jump out. This time it was bright scraps from many children’s quilts made over the years.

Sigh! Whenever this happens, I feel COMPELLED to get a top made. Hope that box gets emptied someday soon!

There’s basting and then there’s basting…

Thread basting…glue basting…my preference is always going to be spray basting. On these first polka-dot pieces I wasn’t sure how I was going to construct them, so I started out with pinning. I knew that I did not want any fusible because it’s harder to stitch through, especially if you have multiple layers.

I picked out some really gorgeous threads to embroider with, too.

As I’m looking at them now, I may have to ask Denise to order more. I took the last she had of most of those skeins and I’m really falling in love with them.

Thinking….thinking…and I got out the glue stick and stuck some pieces down on the smaller piece. It’s about 20″ square or so, and I’ll feel better if that’s spray basted to the batting. If I were only doing machine stitching, it would be fine.

On the larger piece, I basted around the edges of each piece with thread. This piece is roughly a yard square and when I made the decision to hand stitch on batting, I just went ahead and spray basted it to the batting. Life is too short to spend it basting. I’d rather spend my time stitching with the pretty thread!

Ready to go!

So what’s the big deal with the basting, you ask? It’s an art quilt so what does it matter? Well, I have this idiosyncracy that if there is glue sprayed or glue stick spread, the glue must be washed out of the piece before it is hung up. Fusible–that doesn’t bother me at all, but other glues need to be washed. I have no idea how that will affect the threads I add because I usually avoid the issue and work on smaller pieces.

This will be an interesting experiment in the end…but that won’t be for quite a while. I plan on lots of stitching and nothing in a hurry!

Walk away from the cutter…

Started with a blank design wall again today. This is nice! Sooooo…I have a lot of polka dot fabrics and I’ve always thought I wanted to make a polka dot quilt. I started pulling all my dots from the various colorways. FYI–my stash is mostly sorted by color.

Not surprisingly, I have more oranges than any other color.

Aren’t they cute? And they could all live together in one quilt.

But then there are these darker, more conservative reds, and a pile of things that don’t go with anything else.

And these lighter coordinates…

I love all these greens, too.

I purposely eliminated anything that was strictly black and white, but these dots are all in that same family.

Of course there are other things that come to light when you are looking through the stash. I had this stack that was intended to go together into something at some point in the past.

It looks like I even started to put some strips together.

What an eye-gouging mess!!! This may have been when I discovered that if you have a busy print like these are, it needs to be used in big chunks, with some breathing room. I’ll be working on that soon, but it was a bit much for today!

I decided on the softer grays and laid out my pieces and as I was about to make a cut…I just could NOT cut into the fabric.

I laid it all out again and looked and looked and the right combination of ideas simply would not align themselves in my head.

That’s when it’s time to walk away from the cutting table and go think for awhile! That may mean that when I come back to it, I may end up working on something entirely different!

Thinking time….

All the choices!

Yesterday I had a clean slate on the design wall and time to play. I thought I’d start some big new art project¬† or at least transform an old project into some cool new art piece. I looked through piles of stuff that had been sitting on the shelves.

Selected a queen size top to get ready for basting and decided that it could wait until warm weather. Then I can set up several tables in the garage, spread the thing out and make it easy on myself. Went through all the other tops in that stack–nothing spoke to me, but I don’t have as many waiting as I thought–only 8 or 9, not the 17 I thought were there! I guess I have managed to reduce the stack a bit over the years. I have sent a few out to longarmers!

On another shelf, packed neatly away in it’s own little bag, with all the extra fabric, was a quilt I had started in a workshop. I liked the fabric quite a bit, but never quite got back to finish it. By the time I got everything out of the bag and looked it over, I figured I might as well make it a useful size and at least add it to the stack waiting to be quilted!

As I looked over the parts, I remembered part of the reason I packed it away. It was one of those mystery patterns, and you put squares over the end of the rectangle and sewed it and trimmed it to make the triangle at the end…and I did that with the wrong fabrics right at the start. I hate the wastefulness of that, but I did it–and with the right fabrics–and got the thing put together.

I spent most of the afternoon putting together those little cut off triangles because I couldn’t stand to throw them away! They were mostly a little bit different in sizes but I persevered and got them together well enough to use for a little border.

It was frustrating at first, but after a while I slowed down, let go of the frustration and it became a relaxing, repetitive exercise.

And I’m going to use those blue and blue ‘wrong’ rectangles for another border. It will simply read as blue and it will be fine.

And I will be happy because I’m using up that wasted fabric, the top will be a good sized throw and one more project will be out of it’s bag and on it’s way to a useful life!

Not what I thought I’d be doing at all, but simple and relaxing are often the best things for you, in spite of yourself!

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.

neutral

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

dark

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

bright

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

bw

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!