Beachtime, wondering…

When I left the studio yesterday, I was all set to move on to the next step with this Beachtime project.

I added some contrasting pieces on the bottom/sand and another strip into the dark/water.

The stitching began, and I was planning on doing a LOT of hand stitching. What I had forgotten is how impossible it is to get a needle through 2 layers of tightly woven fabric WITH fusible! Immediate change of plans! Machine stitching only on this baby, but that also opened things up to a bit of metallic thread.

I put up a picture on IG and my daughter weighed in on my design, which I absolutely love. I value her opinion and she helped me tweak things.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock….that’s time passing while I did a bunch of straight line quilting and a few rows of curvy metallics.

And after this part was done, I wondered if I wanted to put the hand stitched piece back into the picture.

What do you think?

Since this is so close to final decisions and finishing, I also started to look for fabrics for the next project. I am determined to do something with the hand dyed circle fabric and I think I may do an almost repeat of another piece I did…whole cloth with the hand dye on a plain quilted background.

I MAY cut the fabric into a large circle, or one large and two smaller circles. But I know it will not have straight line quilting. I’ve done enough of that lately to last me for years!

However, I also discovered another piece of fabric that I had totally forgotten about. It’s certainly not my usual colorway, so it should be fun to find a way to work with this one, too!

You know, I can tell you exactly what tools I used to make this with, but I have no memory of this actual piece of fabric happening! Strange…………..but I like it and I think there will be more of this type of fabric making to come. It’s done with soy wax and dye and for me, that is a warm-weather-out-in-the-garage activity!

I think I need to go through my stacks of hand dyes more often. I’m finding all kinds of things that I like now and maybe didn’t when I first made them, or, like today, pieces that I have totally forgotten about!



Thinking about the beach

My recent exhibition has generated a possible commission, but even if that never finalizes, my creative energy is on a new track. The thought process went from summer chairs

to feeling beachy. I auditioned a ton of fabric and decided today to work with these.

I thought my fabrics were a touch too busy and substituted a soft hand dye for the fabric in the upper left corner.

Spent the day playing, arranging, re-arranging, cutting and stitching and totally enjoying myself! This is what I ended up with at the end of the afternoon. Seeing the photo, I may want to change the bottom a bit, but overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my progress.

And as I was heading out of the room, my eyes fell on a stitch meditation piece that was sitting on the table………………..hmmm…………I think this might be a good addition.

Laid it on the piece…not great…moved it up a bit…

still not great…moved it up more and I think it’s getting there!

A good place to walk away and think for a while…with a big smile from a happy day!

Series, or not a series?

A while back I thought I had a great idea for a series of work. I made a contemporary black and white tree, on a black background and added all the oddball leftover leaves that I have made and collected over the last couple of years.

I have a LOT of leaves, plus a huge collection of leaf beads that might have made their way into this series. I was going to make a series with the trees getting darker and the backgrounds getting lighter and various leaves carrying across the series.

Even had the grays picked out. And then I decided that I don’t feel like working with all that gray and black and the series idea kinda died. Maybe ’cause it’s in the dark of winter. But I DO want to make the original piece and I’ll use as many leaves as I can—at least as many as possible while still finding the piece attractive!

There are a few lines quilted and I think I will continue with the minimal straight lines since it is a background, not a focal point.

Sheesh–look at all the lint that shows up on that black fabric! I was interrupted by the grandson’s hockey game and thought I’d get right back to it when we got home, but now I’m distracted.

THIS piece of fabric has been hanging on my design wall for quite a while, waiting to decide what it wants to be.

It’s only a fat quarter, but it’s quite demanding. It does NOT want to be cut and does not play well with other fabrics. Other prints neither contrast nor blend well and my other hand dyes don’t match in a happy way. It will tell me eventually what it wants to be, but I’m impatient and I want to work on it NOW!

So, I’m ignoring the whole studio this evening! My brain will undoubtedly work on both projects subconsciously and those thoughts will work their way to the front of my idea lobe. It just takes time………….sigh! So I may or may not end up working on a leaf series and I may or may not have a ‘circle fabric’ project to work on.

It may be time to knit a sweater!

One of these days…

One of these days, I need to add some more quilting to that Garden Grid quilt.

I’ve never been satisfied with the way it turned out, so obviously that means it’s not finished! It really needed more quilting and I knew it from the beginning. I was simply tired of the straight line work and wanted to call it done.

Of course, that means taking off the hanging sleeve. They come off a whole lot faster than they get sewn on!

With the wider quilting, it was hard to distinguish the flowers from the grid.

With only a few rows added, the difference was noticeable.

And by the time I finished the entire grid, it was much better!

There is a size difference on the edges that I am very unhappy with. I need to figure out a fix for that…and I think it’s more than blocking or pressing will cure. We shall see, but I sure am much happier with the amount of quilting. And it didn’t take that long to do…just one of those things that I’m gonna get around to, one of these days…and today was the day!

Hmmm…wonder how it would look if I added some heavy cording over the top of the dyed grid to make an actual gate or fencing effect. Or maybe I’ll call it good and leave it alone!

I’m pretty sure that I have a few other ‘one of these days’ projects around…all I have to do is clear a shelf or move a box and I’ll find one. It might finally BE one of these days!!

Text and Texture

Text and Texture is the challenge I am working on right now. It’s not due for almost 3 months, but when the idea strikes, you have to roll with it.

There was one thing for sure that I wanted to get on the top before I attached a backing and did any quilting. Cording is always eye-catching and I wanted to create an image that looked like writing but not actually BE writing. Paper–always an easy way to create the image, even if it’s a pain sometimes to remove!

Worked like a charm!

I secured things in a few places and then added an envelope back. Several rows of stitching around the edge and it was ready for quilting.

I did not have a real plan, as usual, but knew at some point that I wanted to have stitching that looked like cursive writing but not real words. I didn’t quite achieve that because it turned out to be impossible for me to do without thinking of and using real words.

But I did it upside down and from the back so it’s not really readable…I think. When I pinned it up for blocking, I’m not sure it’s exactly what I want.

It may stay like this or it may need some more stitching…but for now, I’m done with it. And since you can’t tell the size from these pics, it’s about 26 x 37, so fairly large.

Don’t know yet if I’ll procrastinate on the sleeve or go ahead and get it done. Tomorrow could bring something to distract me, and I could……………..squirrel………….!!!

Quick switch

Making a quick switch from the precision planning and graphmaking of the weekend, to the improv challenge project that I was working on previously. I realized that I haven’t even mentioned it on the blog, maybe because it was so far onto the back burner. It’s moved to the forefront now, because it’s a tiny start to what I wish to study this year. Oh, also it is the last project I have lying around with a deadline!

I have wanted to make paper fabric and have even tried with less than wonderful results before. Thought I’d give it a try again for use with this challenge. So I started with newspaper pieces on fusible interfacing.

So far, so good. I watched several videos and one of them used a layer of fusible next, rather than a liquid glue product, so that’s what I went with. Added my favorite item–stuff– to the next layer, and followed another suggestion to add a layer of tulle.

Even gave it a layer of paint and planned on using it with a piece of painted/printed fabric. I did not take any other pictures of the fabric paper, but I added quite a bit more paint before I thought it was interesting enough to use. I wanted to rip it into pieces for use, but it didn’t want to rip. Too sturdy for that and yet easy to stitch through. So I proceeded with trying to design a piece.

This was getting way too busy, way too quickly so I walked away for a while to think about it. When I came back, I gave the elements a bit more breathing room and this is where I’m at.

The green and yellow background is wool so there is a lot of texture going on. This is pretty much the design as it will finally live, but there is a lot of stitching yet to be done. I’ll get back at it today and we shall see what happens!


Challenge 1…done!

This has been quickly finished, mostly because I knew exactly what I wanted when I started. It is the Photo Inspiration challenge from Salt Valley Arts and will be part of their fund-raising celebration.

It’s my interpretation of a beautiful space with softly moving water.

Hope it does well for them!