Revisiting old matters, part 2

As I pressed and sorted through the leftover project fabric, I found that I really did not want to use ALL that color. I did start with only the black/white pieces. Here is what I had to begin with…

and how I laid them out for my initial cuts.

After I got started, I really didn’t stop for any pictures. This next pic is how I eventually put together the pieces I selected.

I did not want this to be stiff with fusible, but I did not want to seam it all together. I wanted it to be assembled collage fashion, so I connected the pieces with very narrow strips of fusible and then top stitched.

Simple, simple quilting and none of the embellishments that I originally planned on adding.

And now that’s it’s all quilted, I’m not sure I’m happy with it.

I truly hate the idea of ripping out that center panel of quilting, but I think a simple ‘bridge’ line with a tree sketch might look better. I have to think about it before I commit to such a radical ripping session!

However, I have used the fabrics that I loved the best from my leftovers and the rest are retired back to the stash. Looking forward to what will distract me into my next project now!


Revisiting old matters!

Every time I turn around in my studio, I find something else to distract me and to play with. Picking my way through a pile of scraps, I saw a piece that made me remember a class that I designed for the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. It was quite a few years ago, shortly after my book came out, and I wanted to create something unique for my guild class.

After I designed it and came up with a set of directions, I made it several times in different fabrics to illustrate¬† that each person’s project would be totally unique.

Crime Wave 3

Crime Wave 2

I had saved a bundle of the original class materials—who knows why? Some of the parts were made to illustrate the way to make a new section, and there is a bit of each of the original fabrics left.

I have started sorting through it and trying to decide if I should make another piece with the same color scheme and materials, or try to create something very different.

I walked away from it at this point for a while. When I looked at the pictures to begin this blog, I came up with a starting point!

I love the way the black and white piano key curved pieces look as a small striped section, so I’m going to start with that.

My style has changed a bit since 2011 also, so I don’t think I will be using as much of the colored fabrics as I did in the past. Starting with black and white should lead me in a different direction…maybe! I’m ready to start on a new vision from an old project.

Directed by a challenge

I know that I mentioned our Creative Seasons art group challenge–a Dirty Dozen objects to celebrate 12 years together. I finally got that started today.

This is my group of challenge objects and it’s some of my favorite colors! I have been wanting to do something with flying geese again, so this seemed like the perfect place to start.

And putting them together….

Overflowing shelves to the rescue for inspiration for the next step. Some of my previously screen printed cotton organza seemed like a perfect fit for this project, along with a couple of borders.

I’ve already decided that no matter what else is added, the turquoise border is going to end up smaller…and it’s only 1.5″ now!

My wonderful embellishments…

and I’ve started to figure out where they are going. Not totally set in my mind, yet, but getting there. I haven’t done any hand stitching for quite a while and I’m looking forward to that part of the project.

I’m having a good time working with horizontal and vertical directions. Not sure of the orange ribbon where it’s at right now, but this is the fun part. Playing…I suppose I could get all artsy/fartsy and say that this is the deep, dark, creative angst period that brings great meaning to my art, but that would be BS!!!

This is just plain fun!

No more magic!

Well, I tackled that midnight idea and wrestled it to the ground. I tucked and trimmed and measured and squared up and got a quilt top. And I really, really don’t like it!

Perhaps some embellished quilting could make me love it again, but I’m not feeling it right now! There are some lovely fabrics here, but they are not doing the job I had hoped they would. Now I think the sashing would have been a better solution………and hindsight is always 20/20.

It can sit on the shelf for a while, with the other Use Up The Stash projects.

What did I learn? Random does not always produce effective design. Improv quite often needs the discipline of tradition to be effective.

Now—let’s see what else the studio can surprise me with!

Midnight magic

When I’m falling asleep at night, I almost always try to have my last thoughts be of studio projects or problems. When I go to sleep with those in my brain, sometimes I come up with a solution…and sometimes I even remember it the next morning! I got lucky this morning and recalled what my subconscious wanted me to do with my hand dyed blocks.

My inspiration quilt used hand dyes and wide sashing and I truly thought that’s what I would do. Never really liked any of the fabric I tried for sashing and finally figured out that I didn’t want to put sashing in! So I sewed them all together and worked from this as a busy background!

The plan was to insert curves across the face and I selected a bright, obnoxious green or white grunge for auditions! I’d already rejected so many other color combos for sashing……………..

Went with the white and quickly got into cutting the curves. There are no mysteries here so I’ll show you each step.

Laid out a chunk of the white across the quilt, picked up the rotary cutter and cut a curve.

Sewed those pieces together and went for the easy curve on the second cut–laid the quilt on top of the white and followed that original cut edge.

I did that for three curved sections and I have to admit that I have never been good at keeping angles balanced so I will have nice straight edges!

Not that improv curves are ever going to come out straight and even, but the left side of this is pretty far off. I don’t want to cut off a lot of the edge to even things up. Couple of possible solutions. I could add a wide, curvy border on each edge and make it all nice and square. Or, my choice, make an adjustment in one of the curved sections.

I’ll pinch it up, iron it flat and either topstitch it down if it lays flat enough or re-sew along that pressed fold line.

That’s tomorrow’s project, though. Angles can often defeat me, sometimes their challenges exhaust me and today I feel pretty triumphant. I will be able to finish this without sacrificing a huge chunk of the quilt! HA!


Start and stop

It’s been a few days since I posted and there is not much to show you, either! Sad, sad post……. However, I taught an improv class on Thursday. It was a full class and a short time, so I did not get even one picture to show you. It was a very fun day for me!

I finished the last of my ‘seashore’ projects and really want to move in a different direction now.

Lots of couching on this one because I got my repaired machine back, purring like brand new!

Hey–quick tip for fuzzy yarn. Couch it down in the direction that the fuzz lays down. Then use the (in my case) rubber end of the toothbrush handle instead of the bristles to fluff out those fibers. Accidental discovery for me, since I was using the toothbrush, but it would actually work well using a soft eraser instead!

Today I have to pack up for a quilt retreat this weekend and I am totally undecided as to which project I will attempt. I don’t currently have a UFO to work on, which is usually great for a retreat project. There is an abstract design that I really want to work on, but that doesn’t give me a lot of time to agonize over fabric choices–hahaha!

There are no burning ideas that I want to pursue, yet there are dozens of things that I could work on. So much indecision, and I am not packing up the whole studio to take with me! Beading, embroidery–nothing started so too hard to figure something out in an hour.

Soooooo, I procrastinate by writing this blog post and then I’ll scramble to get everything packed and out the door by noon! I will try to take some pics of what I finally decide to take with me.

At least I have this one finish for the week and I will enjoy every minute of the retreat with my friends, even if I sit and dither about what I work on!

Like my brain right now–all wonky edges!

Third landscape

This landscape seemed to be doomed a few days ago. I started it and did not like it at all. It was too abstract and too cliche at the same time. I set it aside and worked on the seascape that I loved!

I picked it up today and decided that it was useable and even figured out how I want to finish it. And changed my mind a bit. I quilted it as a first layer, and plan on adding embellishments.

Of course, I’m not sure exactly what embellishments will be added………..that’s the fun of what I do!