Lakeside and snow dyes

Now that the Space Marine quilt is finished, it’s time to look again at the two other projects that are currently on the design wall.

This first one was totally conceived almost from the first moment I received the challenge materials. It’s simply a matter of doing the work. Spent some time composing after the fabrics and threads were dyed, mostly to make sure that my materials matched my plan.

And now it’s a matter of making it happen. Going to do all the stitching by hand but the texture is requiring pinning and then basting to keep the elements in the right places.

All laid out and ready to start the stitching…and that’s as far as my planning has gone.

I don’t have a stitching plan figured out–going to wing it, as usual, but that’s half the fun of it. I will have plenty of play time before I add the paper elements. There is no mind changing once I stitch a hole into paper!

And as I posted on IG, I had forgotten how long hand stitching really takes and this will NOT be done in a day…or two…or several! I need to relax and enjoy the process, not worry about rushing to the finish line. (Sorry, Linda, your challenge deadline is not going to be met!)

And since I had a whole, free day in the studio, I figured I could easily get the second design wall piece ready for stitching, too. I was going to do this one all by hand, also, but my imagination would not come up with a plan for that huge expanse of copper silk. So, figuring out what I really wanted led me to decide that a machine stitched field of contoured line would be fine. Anything that I embroider over it will be fine, but if I don’t cover an area too densely it will still look better than the blank silk.

That’s where my plan fell apart. I never think I have that much thread until I have to decide on which one to use!

Trying out the more red family

and the yellow/gold/metallic rayon types

and jumping over to the contrasting side of the color wheel with blue/greens

and even laying out my least favorite–purple! I do not want to admit that purple looks pretty good!

I’ve kind of got it narrowed down to these few, but I simply cannot decide!

I can hear someone yelling to use more than one, but that’s not gonna happen. This is to create a simple, stitched, textured background. Right this minute the blues are a very distant possbility but I’m not sure if I want the matte finish of the ginger thread, the bright of the middle, more orange rayon or the dark of the front spool.

So, I guess it can sit around for a little longer before I decide. This one totally jumped off the challenge situation it was started for, so there’s no hurry now. And I do have some other stitching to keep me busy!

Warning! When I’m working on a long, slow hand project, there may not be much in the way of postings, ’cause one day’s worth of hand stitching does not cover a lot of area! I’ll try not to bore you with too much of the same thing!


Red houses–essentially done!

When you finish up the quilting with the last spool of thread like this…

…you know that you are having a good day!!!

I’m certainly ready for this project to be finished and all I need is to decide on the binding and get it done. Probably traditional binding, in the dark blue.

What lessons did I learn from this piece and the way in which I constructed it? First, if there is going to be hand stitching involved, don’t build your piece on lightweight interfacing. It’s not strong enough to stand up to all that folding and handling. Better to build on a fabric foundation. Second, if you want to have lots of loose, raw edges, think carefully before you start quilting and quilt in the direction of the edges!

It was a fun project, done in a different way and I like the way it turned out. That’s the absolute best I can expect and now it’s on to something new….or old! I have quite a few quilts that need to be quilted and finished and off my to-do pile. It’s time to turn my attention to those and get them done! I think that pile has 17 bed size quilt tops on it, so we’ll see how far my resolve goes!

From purple to red

Moving on from the purple piece, I’m going back to finish up the cute little red houses. I have a whole jar of red buttons that were begging to become part of a project and this is it!

I had debated whether to quilt or embellish first, but the buttons won out. Pretty much going to be random placement of non-matching items–typical me!

And the red may not show up too much on individual houses, but the overall effect will show their presence.

I’m getting impatient to have this one done now, too. Must be time to get another one going………..

Clean and finish

Yesterday time spent in the studio was mostly for cleaning up and putting away the stuff from this weekend’s class and demo.

Add fabric to blank cards–easy peasy!

It seemed to take forever, and I’m always fighting distractions that take me away from cleaning! I stayed on track today and got the job done.

I figured the best way to take care of the demo stuff was to finish them all off and then all the pieces parts could be put back in storage, not left in the to-be-finished pile!


My class project is the only thing left sitting on the table and I’ll try to get at that sometime over the weekend.

I was struck by something I read today, though, about an individual’s creative process. She uses another person as a sounding board to move her work along. Just talking to her friend, even with minimal response, helps her to firm up her ideas as she works. We talked about the creative process in class on Friday, too. For me, I have always worked alone and those class situations are good for starting something but I can’t get too serious until I have quiet contemplation time. And since I have been doing this blog for a while, the pictures and pauses and comments have become a part of my process, too. It helps to take an occasional look at how you do things and assess if it’s working for you. This holiday weekend, which is an interruption of routine anyway, might be a good time to do just that!

Love being busy!

It’s so much better to be busy than to be bored, but sometimes busy is just too busy! I don’t have a bunch of pictures to show you, though I sure have been doing a lot of stuff.

Finally got the last of the leaves and garden detritus taken care of–at least as much as it’s gonna get until spring! Rain is what determined the end point there, and it was cold, too. I’m never ready for the cold weather and this year I wanted to do so much more dyeing out in the garage where I can spread everything out. There will still be dyeing done, but in my basement studio, it gets done on a much smaller scale.

Friday was a guild sponsored workshop with Paula Golden. As we were starting out, she had a small sample that she offered up to anyone who wanted to start creating with that. I did not volunteer, but was challenged to take it because it was mostly purple and my friends all know that I do not like purple!!! This is how far I got with it in class.

There will be more added to it before it’s done…quilting, for sure, and maybe some more metallic yarn or beads. I’m not sure, but something. Here’s a close up.

I took advantage of the fraying ability of silk…love those raggedy edges!

And, of course, I did the postcard demo on Saturday. Lots of supplies and choices, showing from start to finish, and as many edge finishes as I could work in.

Saturday afternoon was my rest and relaxation time, and  I’m making progress on my red houses.

Sunday, my usual day of doing nothing, has now changed to an exercise day! My daughter and I are now enrolled in kickboxing classes! I thought she was joking, but she was not and now Sunday afternoon is kickboxing time. We actually did a tryout class and found it to be a great workout, so we’re going to do it for a while.

And sometimes AJ has hockey on Sunday, too, so this is where our Sunday started!

He’s the one in black…this is part of the reason they have names and numbers on their backs!

This week will be devoted to Thanksgiving, of course, and we have to finish getting the furniture back into the house from the garage, too. I’m hoping to sneak in a little bit of sewing time, but the odds are against it! Oh, yeah–AJ will be here all day Wednesday, looking to start putting up Christmas decorations. I’m tired already!

Looking forward to fewer commitments and more couch time after this weekend. Lots more couch time. And naps….yeah, naps!


Absent and busy!

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, but new floors apparently require more work than I thought! Busy with family stuff and routine appointments. I am looking forward to taking a class tomorrow with Paula Golden…but I don’t have my stuff gathered and ready, yet!

I have always said that I can do a demo whenever our guild needs one, and I got tapped to sub in this Saturday. Well, let’s just say that I was not really ready to immediately step in with a demo!

I’ve spent time working up a little presentation for making postcards, mostly with a Christmas theme. I think I’m ready for that! Nice little stack of finished projects and ideas for lots more to present!

Then perhaps I can get back to some artistic-feeling projects, including some dyeing that I’ve been anxious to get done!


And now it IS decision day!

As workmen are banging and ripping and tearing out the floor above me, I’m trying to proceed with the next steps on this project. I took pictures and used input from Instagram and Facebook all day long. I’m so appreciative of everyone who takes the time to look at my posts and shares their opinions with me. It really does help!

I guess the thinking time did help, because when I came into the studio this morning, I knew that I wanted houses of different sizes and shapes, so that got me started. Then I asked my internet friends for opinions.

My first question was whether I wanted the houses in rows or more random.

I probably should preface this with a disclaimer: I always ask for opinions, but I also feel free to disregard them. Often the opinions come with some wonderful suggestions and sometimes they confirm what I’m feeling but they always make me think, and that’s just the best help I could ask for! Sooooo, the overwhelming response to this question was random placement, which echoed my feelings in this case.

Next question: doors or no doors? All the same color, different colors?

I truly couldn’t decide for myself on this question so went with the majority–yes, doors and multiple colors. Done with that part.

This is where I’m at now–buildings made and placed, doors added and ready for the next step…and here’s what I am contemplating…raw edge background or borders? If borders: pieced, plain, curvy, single color, each side a different color? If raw edge: stitch to a background piece, stop with the current background, add raw edge to a finished, quilted background? And then the stitching, which will have a bearing on those other decisions. Hand stitch, machine stitch, combo? Before or after borders or background?

Still a lot of thinking to do and the worst part is that the pile of strips is still huge! It seems as though the more I use, I more I have! And I swear I am not cutting into any additional fabric! All I can think is that those scrap bags I picked up were stuffed and compressed to the max and they exploded in my studio!

And this what I really think about that!!!  

Scarlett O’Hara: After all, tomorrow is another day!