I’m terrible at choosing!

This weekend I will be taking a couple of classes as well as teaching one. For the one I’m teaching, I could not bring myself to select a single fabric and make identical kits for the students…so I’m bringing a boatload of fabric! And that’s not so bad, because I won’t have to make the final decision of what to choose.

However, the class I’m taking has choices and decisions that are up to me.

Choose a focus fabric, the teacher says. HA HA HA! Typical dilemna for every class I take–whatever I bring is the wrong stuff for what we are doing. How do I know today what I’ll be inspired to work with on Sunday? Oh, well—here goes nothin’!

Went through the stacks of fabrics on the shelves and managed to get my selection down to less than a dozen. That’s a success.

Eliminated the very bright and the very graphic–oh, then found one more that I’ve had for a long time and I gave it some serious thought.

Nope–here are the final four.

Each has pros and cons—this one has the bright colors I like yet it’s very representational. I am NOT representational.

This one has lots of color, is muted, but might be ‘mushy.’

I really like the way the colors dance and flow across this piece, but it might be too directional and better used in a larger chunk. And it has purple…mmmm, not so much into purple.

I love the mood and soft colors of this one–perhaps not enough of a focus, though.

So, I chose the first one with the flowers…but I’m bringing the second one, too! And now we are supposed to pick 4 or 5 fabrics to go with the focus fabric, making sure to have both light and dark. HA HA HA again!!

I have 17. I think I will survive.

That only took all morning…………………………but I was a little bit distracted because these blocks went missing…nowhere, and I mean n.o.w.h.e.r.e. to.be.found!

I started looking for them last night and they did not mysteriously reappear this morning. I gave it up for a lost cause and went to get a canvas to check size on another piece and guess what was hiding in the stack of canvases…ooooh, you guessed it!

But that meant more choices, because I have decided to mount them together in one piece rather than small and separate. Which fabric will support them the best? I will spare you the dozen or more picks that I started with and only show what I am dithering between now.

Which looks better–number 1

or number 2

That’s the point where I quit for the day. Could not make even one more choice! It would be nice if I were swift and decisive,  but I simply am not. I tell myself that being thoughtful results in better work, but sometimes–no, most of the time–it would be better if I spoke sternly to myself and said, “Just pick one already, for goodness sake!”

Maybe tomorrow.

 

While I’m waiting

Waiting for another coat of paint to dry and thinking about getting everything super organized for this new class I’m teaching. Thought I would make another little sample that shows a different design idea for those who don’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.

I went to the fishing gear department to stock up on beading thread and saw a new type to try.

This is made by the same company that makes the Fireline thread I usually use, but I have never seen any this fine before. Only 2 lb. and the finest Fireline is 4 lb. It seems to be thinner than ‘invisible’ thread and it’s definitely more supple. Doesn’t say ‘braided’ as the Fireline is, so we’ll have to see just how strong it really is.

I used it with these black beads and you have to look super close to see it in this picture (arrow). In fact, I can’t get a picture close enough to show it all.

Oh, never mind…can’t really see it all, and I guess that’s the point! Pros: thin, strong, supple.   Cons: so thin it’s hard to see while beading.  It’s yet to be seen exactly how strong it is. I’ll have to throw this piece around and handle it a lot to test it out. Of course, once it’s mounted, you don’t have to worry about that, but I’d rather feel secure about my beads than worry about them falling off!

And I DO love French knots! Hard to stop adding them, but I had to restrain myself for the sake of the design.

Only need to decide now if it needs any more beads and then one more sample is ready for edge finishing. I’ll show that in class, I think.

Didn’t have AJ this week…seemed to have soooo much extra time. Glad he’ll be back from visiting his cousins and other grandparents next week. I’m selfish that way, but I sure love this boy!

First time for me…

It’s nice to know that there are still ‘fiber firsts’ in my life, after all my years of playing with textiles. Until today, I had never made a book cover!

As usual, I tripped over some fabric and that triggered the idea. I’ve saved cut-offs from quilts that have been trimmed up, knowing that someday I would use them for something! Today was the day.

Started out like this, overlapping some pieces and butting together others.

It changed a tiny bit in the construction, but this was the general configuration. I thought that I would embellish it like crazy, but changed my mind. This will end up as a gift and I’m not sure the recipient would like that as much as I would. For this first one, I’ll stick with colorful and plain!

This was so fun and easy that I want to make more! Wish I had a book collection to cover up. Oh, goodness…maybe I’ll make an art journal…another thing that I never, ever thought I’d make. Hmmmm….it could happen!

Another UFO done!

You know that procrastination and I have a long, long relationship. We have deep discussions all the time and procrastination usually wins. Today, I was the winner!

The beading on this triangle piece was not showing up at all, so I was very discouraged. Why put beads on in the first place, if you can’t see them? I finally woke up and realized that they make large beads, too, for a reason! DUH!

As soon as I got those on, the project almost finished itself. Here are some of the spots where I added more tiny beads.

I’m sure you can understand why I became discouraged with them. Now I have a combination of large and small beads, hand and machine stitching and lots and lots of color. It is also—best of all!—DONE.

Of course, procrastination may win when it comes time to get out the staple gun and mount this to a canvas…but it is ready!

 

Working in a series, continued

Working in a series is sometimes an unconscious decision. We don’t realize that we are creating a theme or exploring an idea until we are well into the project and suddenly realize it. We can also set a theme, or choose a color or shape or size to explore. My Knot Even Quilters group decided to explore a theme of Buildings, and have 3 or 4 pieces each to enter into a show.

I already had a start on this project with these pieces from a workshop.

I finished the quilting on them yesterday, and it was not one of those agonizing sessions of trying to decide what to quilt. I knew from the start that I wanted simple thread sketching shapes.

In my head, they are a complete series, and flow in a natural order.

Building: Idea

Building: Plans

Building: Parts

Building: Built

These are not mounted or edge finished yet. That seems to be where the angst of indecision is on these!

I have another series created on this same theme, for the same challenge. Totally different color scheme and much more linear shapes. Plan is for thread sketching again, but they are not done–I can’t figure out the best thread color. I’ll show you when I get ’em done, of course!

Series are fun on a small scale like this. It’s also interesting to look over your own work and realize that you have made pieces to a theme over the years and not even realized it! Aaaah….the ideas that emerge from our subconscious…I’m thinking my weirdness will keep me from ever running out of ideas from the unconscious!!!

 

 

Stampmaking

Next on my agenda is finally getting around to using the pile of stuff I’ve accumulated for stampmaking.

I have shapes to stick onto bases and shapes to trace and shapes that I have no idea where I got them!

Noodles and circles and wood bases and acrylic bases and a ton of self sticking foam.

I’m trying to corral this all into one basket, since I’ll be taking it all to a meeting of the Knot Even Quilters on Thursday. There may be some things left behind.

I found these white metal frames…somewhere…and I think I’m going to try them out for stamping also.

And, of course, there is good ol’ glue gun stamps!

I like using these by painting with the flat side up and laying the fabric over the top. They also give a unique effect when you use the ‘bumpy’ side for a less than perfect print.

Next week we’ll get together again to use what we have made, as well as have all our dye day stuff available. Fun times ahead.