Done? Is that a real word?

Having little bits and pieces of time in the studio mostly means piddling around with bits and pieces of projects, too. I KNOW that I have to do some serious thinking before I start carving into my latest striped bits. AND that I want to have dedicated, uninterrupted time when I start working. Not gonna happen for a day or two at least.

But I did think about what color(s) I want to add into the piece with the narrow strips. Oh, wait–I skipped a step for you. I have decided that I want to insert very narrow curves into whatever I make with the stripes. And I do not want plain black or white!

So off from the shelves comes the fabrics…I’ll spare you many of the possibilities, but there are still a lot that I am contemplating!

Greens, golds, neutrals…

And the current favorite is a batik bright botanical.

I think the changing colors in narrow strips will be more effective than a single solid color or more graphic print.

I found lots more turquoise family fabrics to add to the mindless sewing of improv blocks.

I cannot believe how much I have in scraps alone that goes with this color family! It never seems to end. However, in my online time-wasting today I came across an artist whose style I fell in love with and one of her posts gave me an idea of a different way to use these. And as long as this “project” is simply sewing up the scraps to use them up, the ideas can marinate a little and maybe get a bit refined before I try them out. Love it when I come across something new and different.

Random fabric and beading got finished a couple of hockey games ago. Planning on it being an addition to something more, but I haven’t gotten any good ideas for that ‘more’ part yet!

And another internet picture had me trying crumpled tissue paper, india ink and water………..not at all what the original artist did, but I wanted to implant the concept in my brain while it was fresh.

Here are three layers of tissue, each crumpled, wet and dripped with India ink.

After it dried, I separated the layers, smoothed them out and I like what I got.

Top layer–more white and easiest to flatten

Layer 2–I know I was less gentle when I crumpled it on top of the first layer and it had quite a bit of tearing as I flattened it. Still distinctive dark and light markings.

Bottom layer–ended up being the wettest, of course and had most of the ink seep down into it. Some fragility and quite dark.

It was interesting to do this little experiment and the tissue will be useful in something, sometime. But when I do it again, it will probably be with fabric, dye and a resist, not just crumpling! Or more and different paper. It’s experimenting with the very dark and the very light that has caught my interest right now, not the materials I am playing with…

Bits and pieces of time, bits and pieces of projects and experiments. I’m ready to concentrate but it’s spring time. Yard work and sewing do NOT mix well. When the yard is ready to face the summer, I will get back to regular studio time, for sure!




You can always tell when a project goes well because it actually gets done! My Dirty Dozen challenge quilt was completed very, very quickly, mostly because I liked everything about it.

Adding the embellishments was the most fun, and I loved the choices that were in that challenge bag of goodies.

I usually quilt pieces to death, but this ended up with only minimal stitching. I’ll see when I add the sleeve if the layers will hold together…there may have to be a tiny bit more since I added a back with an envelope turn. But adding more is easy if needs be.

All this stitching is through top and batting only.

I’m calling it done!

And when a project goes well…getting the quilting done on this one, too.

Keeping it simple with straight lines, but at random angles. My blue painter’s tape and I are having a good time. Hope to finish it tomorrow, but we’ll see how lazy I am.

It’s really getting to be spring now and there is a TON of yard work that I want to do. When I’m doing that manual labor and getting all dirty, I try to stick with it until it’s done. No little quilting and stitching breaks in between, so there may not be much sewing done. I will be getting another challenge bag from a different group next week–looking forward to that one, too. But dirt and mulch should be my new best friends in the near future.

I love spring almost as much as I love fall!

Turquoise scraps…sigh!

There is so much turquoise in my scrap pile that I am positive I shall never see the end of it. I am trying, though.

Pulled out everything but yardage and started putting blocks together.

As the pile of blocks grows, I am able to get rid of the bitty scraps that are left without feeling any guilt about my eco-footprint being too heavy.

I put these blocks up on the design wall just to see what they looked like. I have enough now to make a nice sized couch quilt…………..and enough in that scrap pile to make probably two more quilts that size.

The odd positioning of the blocks makes me happy, but as I studied it, I found that there is no good way to assemble them. And I am NOT a newbie at this process. So I have to decide if the weird placement is worth the hassle of fiddly assembly.

Working with scraps like this is tedious and time-consuming. The results are not always cohesive or attractive. It’s just plain boring and I am not convinced that it’s worth it! And I am not someone who wants to follow the organized way many people have with their scraps…you know, cut strips and squares in regular sizes, all ready for the next project. I don’t work that way and my scrap baskets reflect that. All full of oddball shapes and sizes and totally overflowing.

What can I do to effectively use up these scraps, AND get it done in a reasonable portion of my remaining years? The hours I spent today making the blocks and the hours I will spend putting them together…it’s enjoyable up to a point, but it sure doesn’t leave me any time for the fun and experimental stuff I really want to do.

Feeling overwhelmed with all my stuff right now. I’ve got some thinking to do!

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!

Baby quilt distraction

Went downstairs with the intention of starting some laundry. Had a piece that needed to go into storage in the studio. Uh oh…saw some already cut squares sitting on the shelf, waiting to become a quilt.

Had almost enough squares and half-squares there to make the top and it didn’t take long to find a couple bits and pieces to fill it out.

And shortly thereafter—a mostly quilted quilt, ready to cuddle a baby.

However, it is only minimal quilting, on each side of each seam line and I like a bit more. So tomorrow I’ll finish it up and have one more item ready to vacate my studio! Hooray!

Nothing doing….

Haven’t been doing anything productive for several days, so I really don’t have a thing to show you!

Did some driveway hockey over the weekend, as well as a real grandson game.

And spent time doing this

while the car was getting serviced and then some more of the same when I got home!

This is not a week that I am feeling motivated to get a lot done. I have my guild workshops and meeting this weekend so I am prepping for that. However, this morning’s weather is telling us there will be a snowstorm this weekend! Sheesh! No snow for the whole winter so far and it has to come THIS weekend. Yuck!

Well, we shall see what happens. In the meantime, I have to go out to lunch with friends and attend a couple of evening meetings and mostly be lazy. I may even squeeze in a nap or two. I’ll work hard next week………..


Using My Hand Dyes

I’ve been trying to use more of the fabrics that I have altered for my pieces. Hand dyes count! There are several partially done pieces laying on my worktable and I need to get them done, so I charged right in today.

I grabbed a scrap and cut it into smaller snips and laid them on this piece. I liked the turquoise, but the design itself might not work.

And then I dropped a piece and it turned over and lo and behold! It’s a print

And it looks so much better! I remembered getting it as a small accent piece from a friend in a workshop and this is literally all I have of it! Lucky me to have found it today.

As I said, I am not sure if this is the final design placement.

It’s pretty symmetrical, which is not my style, and maybe even a bit cliche. I have to play around with it a bit before I add any stitching to it. But then I got distracted……as usual. No wonder I always have partial pieces laying around.

As I picked up these pieces to move them out of the way, I decided that they would look good together as a little strip set. So that’s what I did.

And then I found a bit of this and a bit of that and put it all together and I’m liking it!!

Working improvisationally is soooooooo much fun. Takes a while longer, but it’s exciting every step of the way.

So now it’s time to get some stitch embellishment and some beads on these and get ’em finished. I have another show coming up and I need to replace a couple of pieces that sold.

Sewing projects…………hooray!