Friday roundup

Fridays are not usually too productive for me. I’m often prepping for something going on during the weekend. And we pick up the grandson at 3:30, so if I’m going to do anything I’ve got to get right at it. Today I kind of reviewed what this week brought and by the time this is posted, I should be looking forward to a nap!

I’m working on that embroidery piece, adding stitching to make it acceptable looking to me.

It’s getting there.

Yesterday was KEQ and we were doing a ‘fusey thing.’ Trying to explore the idea of working in a series, we made small fused pieces. Since we’re planning on putting these in an exhibit this fall, we decided on a mutual theme, rather than color or shape or common fabric. We aren’t very good at following rules, so we selected a loose theme of Buildings.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Here is my 4 piece series, so far.

I have an idea to put another layer of design over the top of this, with thread sketching. We’ll have to see how that goes.

USArtquest was having a big warehouse sale and even though I need NOTHING, I had to go check it out. I scored, but not in the typical way! Found these vintage linens and fell in love with them.

 

Don’t know how they’ll be used, but when has that ever stopped any of us from building our supply palette!!!

Grandson soccer in the morning then charity sewing in the afternoon. Right now I’m glad that my Sunday class had to be cancelled. I’ll be ready for a rest!

 

Where’s the work?

Since I changed the look of my blog, I took a little stroll through my pictures. Thought I’d update the galleries a bit, too. Well, I was quite surprised to find very little in the way of finished work to add!

Lots and lots of things got started.

Still ‘lots and lots’ of work to be done on these!

But all of these are ALMOST done, and just need a little bit of work to get to a final finish!

I’ll give myself a break and admit that I’ve had a few things going on this year that might have made it more difficult to get things completed. However, this is getting into the level of ridiculous. And I have finished a couple of things…like those quilts I finished at retreat last week. I have the real work done on this rust project, too, but no label or hanging sleeve so that I can call it ‘finished’ finished!

I’ve been working with  scraps and I’m tired of working with scraps. I think I’m actually at the point where I can bundle a lot of them up and get rid of them! I’m easily distracted when I start sorting them, though and start working on something new instead of concentrating on eliminating clutter! The hard part of getting rid of the excess is actually sorting through it.

What do I WANT to do? Right now I want to make stamps, print and dye fabric with my own tools and design, then stitch and bead them. I don’t want to make more real, useful, bed-type quilts. I want to make art with fiber!

All right! Now that I have my current goal defined, I need to make it happen. No ‘distractifying’ and the only procrastination allowed is for how long it takes me to pile things that are in my way a little deeper. Not going to worry about cleaning and organizing as long as I can function amid the mess!

Wow! I feel like I have a plan of action, nebulous as it is. Can’t wait to get into the studio now this week!

 

Scrap strip QAYG

After talking to my friend Sue about her plans to sew up her late sister’s stash, I was inspired to put my money where my mouth is and sew up some of my own scraps! (FYI, local people–we will be working on making charity quilts from Sue and her sister Kathy’s fabric on Saturday, April 22. Email me if you would like more info!)

I thought making things Quilt As You Go would be a super fast way to use a lot of fabric and have things quilted and pieced at the same time.

My plan was to make a baby quilt out of the pile of bright scraps that I had culled from my stash. Do I need to tell you that I have more fabric than I thought I did? More about that dilemna later…So, you start with a chunk of backing fabric, which for me was a yard of a stripe. I cut it into three strips, width of fabric, each about 12″ wide. On top of each strip I placed a corresponding strip of batting and then proceeded to sew and flip scrap strips at an angle across the strip. As you can see, the strips don’t have to be the same width at all, either.

 

I started in the middle of each strip and kept adding out from each side until the backing was covered. Here’s what my first two strips looked like.

And you can see that they are quilted when you look at the back.

They don’t always have to be placed on an angle, of course. They can be straight across, which means the strips can be a few inches shorter.

Before and after trimming…just trim along the edge if you started with a nice, straight piece, or trim to a size you want.

I’m not going to give you the QAYG instructions here, but I’ll give you the link to the master of the easy QAYG!

http://www.thequiltingedge.com/p/tutorials.html

Now I have a small quilt, about 34 x 40. I could simply bind it and pass it along to the next person who needs a baby quilt. OR I could continue to use up the pile of bright scraps that never seems to get any smaller! This method allows me to add more sections, or borders, or even insert a section down the middle, as long as I want to continue. You may be able to see that I added some additional quilting down the length of each strip and I may add even a bit more, because I like a lot of quilting. However, it has sufficient stitching in the construction that it really doesn’t need any more.

This took me one afternoon to make, so that you have an idea of how quickly this goes. I hope we can make a huge dent in the fabric that Sue has…I’m sure Kathy would approve of using her stash this way!

Student work

I love it so much when a student finishes a class project and sends me a picture! This picture is from Janice from Sarasota. She reminded me that she was late to class, but what I remember is the fact that she jumped right in and was fearless in her choices!

I can see all the little elements that she learned from me, but I can also see her originality in how she created and assembled the whole.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Janice!

Student share

I so love it when a student sends me a picture of a finished project. This was from a design class that I taught in Sarasota FL in February.

From drawing

to finished product!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful galaxy with us, Randy!

Dots and stitches

The larger of my two turquoise and gray pieces was where I started stitching with those luscious threads. I was immediately disappointed with what I was doing.

Can barely see the blanket stitch edging on the gray, but there will be more and maybe it will be all right….at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

So I switched over to the heavier #5 thread and turquoise. The running stitch was where I started and took it out after the first 20 or so stitches. Went along the edges with a chain stitch and it was okay.

Visible and the cross stitch section was working all right. Then I tried more gray on gray–you can almost see it at the top of the turquoise strip.

Time to re-assess.

Looking at the whole thing again, it’s spare, graphic and all the separate parts are very directional. It needs straight lines, through the pieces, intersecting the pieces, uniting and extending the pieces in the design. I can do that with hand work if there is a straight line marked to follow, but I hate marking…it never comes out, no matter how vigorously I test. Back up a step…I hate marking because you have to get it out!

It’s relatively easy to do with machine stitching and no marking, using the edges of the various presser feet for my measurements and ‘marking.’ So I’m going to head to the machine and get some stitching done there. Those lines can be guidelines and another layer of texture. The hand stitching can be added afterward. And since I don’t add the backing until the handwork is done, I’ll leave plenty of space for machine quilting the background at that point.

Now this all sounds like it will work, but all my work is simply a series of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe this or that.’ I love creating this way, but I know it’s not for everyone. I do appreciate suggestions from those of you who have already tried something that I may be heading toward. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel and will happily learn from your mistakes as well as my own!

Oh, yes…I’m much happier already!