Mad dash….and wait!

I’ve been a little bit scarce on the blogging front for a few days now. I believe I told you that my friend Katie and I are prepping an exhibition entry for a two-person show. Well…my entries were not entirely compatible with hers even though we do ‘make’ in a comparable style. I ended up making one new piece and scouring my walls and tables and piles of quilts for a few more. Aaaaand the application was submitted today. So now we wait.

But now we can also relax and for me that means making something new, on a delightfully slow time line.

My goal is to use only/mainly fabric that I have made so I found some hand dyes that I liked together in a group. Did a little stack and slash and came up this little four patch.

It took me almost half a day to get this far. As I said, working slow! In between panic attacks for the exhibition application, I played around with it a bit, thinking about what other pieces to add and how big I want it to be.

I have quite a bit more of everything but the brown and that brown is what’s grounding all these busy elements. So I guess it won’t get very big. In fact, I think that I’m done with the piecing now.

Probably a facing rather than a binding, when it gets to that point–I like it like this. There are lots of raw edges and delicious areas for hand stitching and I’m eager to continue on with it.

And no hurry, no deadlines, no purpose but pure enjoyment. Aaaaaah, yes!

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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!

Time is elastic

Had to mow the lawn today, and it seemed as if it took forever. I thought maybe the yard had stretched and grown since the last time I had to mow.

And then I got to go to the studio and start in on finishing those small pieces, getting them ready for mounting. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Nothing was working. I couldn’t find any cording or yarn to add, which is one of my favorite finishes. Even my thread color was a bit iffy.

I got this far

and took a look at the clock. It was only 3:30 in the afternoon. I would have guessed that it was at least 7 o’clock. It felt like I had been working for days, not just a couple of hours.

Wish I could stretch time like that when I’m scrambling to meet a deadline!

 

Which direction to go?

Once there was a little stack of fabric that made it’s way upstairs to my table. I started putting little bits and pieces together and overlaying with gingko images. I liked where this was taking me and thought I would continue making the gingko images for quite a while.

Then this piece jumped into the series and it’s quite a bit different.

Really no place for a gingko here.

And the next pieces don’t seem to need a gingko image either.

The one on the left is only basted, but I don’t see anywhere for the gingko. So maybe the gingko series is done and I’m moving in another direction.

Maybe not, since I’m working with the same set of little fabric scraps and hand dyed squares…can’t wait to see what these little scraps direct me to do next!

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!

 

Goal–met!

My goal for today was to finish sewing the brown quilt. I was so tired of sewing with brown, sewing blocks made the same basic way, no improv………………the thought of any additional days was mind-numbing!

I stuck with it and got it done! Hooray!

The plain brown didn’t get it for me. I decided that I needed a touch of a color to pep it up and found a bit of turquoise that looked pretty good with the brown.

I also figured out a way to add the color that could make the seams NOT line up–much easier to only have to match the ends of the rows!

So hip hip hooray—it’s done and ready to be added to the Use Up the Stash pile of UFO’s…………and that’s a whole different story!