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!

 

There’s basting and then there’s basting…

Thread basting…glue basting…my preference is always going to be spray basting. On these first polka-dot pieces I wasn’t sure how I was going to construct them, so I started out with pinning. I knew that I did not want any fusible because it’s harder to stitch through, especially if you have multiple layers.

I picked out some really gorgeous threads to embroider with, too.

As I’m looking at them now, I may have to ask Denise to order more. I took the last she had of most of those skeins and I’m really falling in love with them.

Thinking….thinking…and I got out the glue stick and stuck some pieces down on the smaller piece. It’s about 20″ square or so, and I’ll feel better if that’s spray basted to the batting. If I were only doing machine stitching, it would be fine.

On the larger piece, I basted around the edges of each piece with thread. This piece is roughly a yard square and when I made the decision to hand stitch on batting, I just went ahead and spray basted it to the batting. Life is too short to spend it basting. I’d rather spend my time stitching with the pretty thread!

Ready to go!

So what’s the big deal with the basting, you ask? It’s an art quilt so what does it matter? Well, I have this idiosyncracy that if there is glue sprayed or glue stick spread, the glue must be washed out of the piece before it is hung up. Fusible–that doesn’t bother me at all, but other glues need to be washed. I have no idea how that will affect the threads I add because I usually avoid the issue and work on smaller pieces.

This will be an interesting experiment in the end…but that won’t be for quite a while. I plan on lots of stitching and nothing in a hurry!

Dots and decisions

This what I posted on Facebook earlier today:
I’m thinking of drawing out an idea and actually making templates for the construction…should I go to all that work or stick with my improv and maybe have raw edges and extra texture? I can visualize it both ways. Or maybe I should DO it both ways…so much work!

I couldn’t wait, so I went down, did a quick, rough sketch and started cutting fabric! I picked a background and laid out the design I sketched. I like it!

I didn’t take a picture while I had it on the design wall with the background. It’s pinned together now and I have to decide on my construction method…fusible, glue baste, pin, pin, pin, raw edge, finished with applique or satin stitch…This will sit for a bit while my little brain works through those decisions.

But there were SCRAPS! I do well with scraps because if it’s messed up, so what? It’s only scraps!

Two pieces for the background–

Add the circle cut out from the first project–

And then add a few leftover strips–

Same finishing decisions as the previous project, but this is fun! I’m so happy when I’m using up these little chunks of fabric. Looking forward to some embroidery, I believe, before these are done.

Aaaaah…’making’ again!

All the choices!

Yesterday I had a clean slate on the design wall and time to play. I thought I’d start some big new art project¬† or at least transform an old project into some cool new art piece. I looked through piles of stuff that had been sitting on the shelves.

Selected a queen size top to get ready for basting and decided that it could wait until warm weather. Then I can set up several tables in the garage, spread the thing out and make it easy on myself. Went through all the other tops in that stack–nothing spoke to me, but I don’t have as many waiting as I thought–only 8 or 9, not the 17 I thought were there! I guess I have managed to reduce the stack a bit over the years. I have sent a few out to longarmers!

On another shelf, packed neatly away in it’s own little bag, with all the extra fabric, was a quilt I had started in a workshop. I liked the fabric quite a bit, but never quite got back to finish it. By the time I got everything out of the bag and looked it over, I figured I might as well make it a useful size and at least add it to the stack waiting to be quilted!

As I looked over the parts, I remembered part of the reason I packed it away. It was one of those mystery patterns, and you put squares over the end of the rectangle and sewed it and trimmed it to make the triangle at the end…and I did that with the wrong fabrics right at the start. I hate the wastefulness of that, but I did it–and with the right fabrics–and got the thing put together.

I spent most of the afternoon putting together those little cut off triangles because I couldn’t stand to throw them away! They were mostly a little bit different in sizes but I persevered and got them together well enough to use for a little border.

It was frustrating at first, but after a while I slowed down, let go of the frustration and it became a relaxing, repetitive exercise.

And I’m going to use those blue and blue ‘wrong’ rectangles for another border. It will simply read as blue and it will be fine.

And I will be happy because I’m using up that wasted fabric, the top will be a good sized throw and one more project will be out of it’s bag and on it’s way to a useful life!

Not what I thought I’d be doing at all, but simple and relaxing are often the best things for you, in spite of yourself!

Clearing the way…

Yesterday was a day for clearing off the design wall of things that I’m not really going to work on right away. Sometimes there is so much hanging on that big wall that there is no clear space in which to work, or even think!

I pinned up the rest of the pieces I made at the design workshop, mostly to see if I want to expend any energy on finishing them.

This little fantasy daisy may get finished because it’s fun, but not right away. Cute but not inspiring…into the to-finish-sometime pile.

This design is either another fantasy flower or coral.

I like it, but it’s going into that same pile.

This next piece was started in the design class, but it hasn’t proceeded too far through the design process. I know what I’d like to express, but I’m not sure yet how to get there.

Kind of want it be an abstraction of deep in the pine woods at sunset, but it’s not saying that to me right now. And as I was cropping the picture for the blog, I accidentally cropped it a little further and I¬† like it tons better already!

But it’s also going into the finish later pile.

I also am questioning myself as to my courage…or laziness. These blocks from the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop have been hanging on the design board for months.

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them, but since I haven’t done ANYTHING, perhaps the ‘plan’ isn’t really right! Perhaps I’m afraid of working on a very large piece, or I’m too lazy to do the work necessary. I’ve had various plans off and on but none of them came through as the correct way to go. These came down and got packed away, too! It will happen, but not now.

So I have a totally empty design wall today, no quilting commitments and a studio full of fabric……………………the world of possibility is before me. Can’t wait to see what jumps out at me!!!

Workshop fun day

Today was a guild workshop day, with Mary Hogan. Mary wrote the book String Quilt Style, but today’s workshop wasn’t about her great string techniques. Today was a free design play day and I loved it!

Many design classes teach the typical art school design definitions and use many of the same type of exercise. Very clear but can be dry at times. Mary gave us tasks and let us ‘free form design’…she wanted to enable us to express our own unique creativity.

I did not take pictures of what anyone else created. I didn’t even take pictures of everything I created! We were too busy MAKING stuff!!!

This was my first one. Then busy, busy, busy! The great variety and beauty was astonishing as the day went on and pieces were hung on the wall. We did our own thing, yes, but we looked and learned and discussed what we saw. We were able to think outside the box and get ideas from outside every else’s box, too!

These are my last pieces…a series because I used the same background fabric and palette of materials. I like it and that first one enough that they will be finished, not thrown in the box of class samples that just sit and gather dust!

This was such a wonderfully fun day. Thanks to Mary’s direction and instruction, we learned, laughed and had a great day!

Rusty finish.

Quick post because I actually finished something!

This is very neutral and soothing to me, but because of the wonkiness of the angles and construction style, it will never, ever look like it’s hanging straight. That won’t bother me, but it could drive some people crazy!

This will post while I’m taking a design class, for the pure fun of it. Looking forward to another happy day!