Between other projects, I have been working on my big leaf piece. It has a distant deadline so there’s no push to grind it out. It’s giving me time to think and plan.

When I thought I had a good solution to sewing my transparent leaves down, I really went to town and did a lot of stitching.

It held it down, all right! Waaaaaay too much. I wanted to end up with floaty, loose edges and didn’t get that effect at all.

Lots and lots of overlapping stitching holding the organza down. It looked nice–if the stitching was the part I wanted to show off.  So now I get to go over the whole thing searching for those edges and UNSEW. I think I would have been better off going slowly and hand sewing these leaves to start with. Unsewing takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

Whenever I get done, I hope to have all the floaty edges I could wish for, just like this!

I am also continuing to unearth bits and pieces of projects. Deciding whether or not they can be utilized is rather refreshing, now that there has been some time distance from them. One piece I found went right to the cutting board to salvage large bits of the ONE fabric I liked in it!!! That actually felt rather good.

It appears that I attempted a bit of play with transparent fabrics before this latest venture, too. I found these purple leaves made with organdy–not nearly as transparent as the organza–but I liked it enough to finish it up.

Yes, it’s my least favorite color, but it may have originally been an attempt to use up those purples! I’m pleased with it now, and even though it was started a while ago, I learned from it. Yep–learned that I still don’t care for purple, but magenta thread helps! And that I now use a lighter weight fusible and it is much easier to sew through. Also, some metallics work better in the bobbin and some are fine on top, even sewing through heavy fusible!

Daily work on final, boring details on lots of stuff–hanging sleeves, wire on stretched canvas frames, labels. Nit-picky work that must be done, and then I can do the boring cleaning required to have my Artisan Showcase here on Nov. 2. Looking forward to that, for sure! The show, NOT the cleaning……………..





Falling from the shelves

Whenever I move things on seldom used shelves in my studio, something interesting always falls out! Today it was a couple of pieces from a class I took many years ago…so long ago that I can’t remember who taught it. So long ago that I’m not even sure what we were supposed to be learning.

I think it was inserting strips and manipulating fabric.

Don’t really know how to go about reconstructing the meaning behind this piece, but this next one was pretty straightforward.

I was able to play with them a bit and make some cards out of them.

But do you know the most important lesson that I learned today?

DO NOT and I mean do not EVER use ugly fabrics when you take a class! Because even if you learn a technique that you will not use again, the lesson will always look better with pretty fabrics!

Will be out of regular internet coverage for a bit, so I will post as it becomse available to me.

My eyes are crossing!

Tissue paper is the answer to so many of my quilting problems. It certainly will solve the issue of stitching down my organza leaves, with some stitched and some loose. I simply traced the leaf shapes I’ve used from the beginning onto the tissue and pinned it over the top of the organza.

Thank goodness I made each adjacent leaf a different color. It was hard enough to keep them straight BEFORE I started the stitching!

Then I pinned them to the quilt………and realized that there was no practical way to do that AND take out the pins holding the organza in place. Pins, pins and more pins! All I could hope to do was stitch slowly and try not to hit any and break a needle. I hate when that happens, but I’m not a virgin in that area!

After getting through a little bit of stitching, I was even MORE thankful that I used different colors. This is when my eyes started crossing………..purple is stitched but blue is not and pink crosses the orange and green needs to extend a bit over the edge………yikes! Whose idea was it to have the leaves overlapping anyway? Sheesh!

I’m taking a break! I’m in the middle section of the quilt and it’s getting ever more difficult to move, keep the paper flat, watch out for pins and stitch where I want to go.

And I love every minute of this difficult job. Hands-on problem solving makes me sooooo happy. And as soon as I could rip off a bit of the paper, I checked to see if things were actually coming out as I hoped. Yeeeesssssss…it’s working. It will be worth the picking out of little paper bits until Christmas time. Yep, it will.

I love to play…

Playing with color and fabric is the joy of my life. The last few days I have been using fabrics from my stash to try and work out a couple of patterns for a fabric vendor. It would be so much easier if I could say ‘cut 48 3″ squares and 24 2×5″ rectangles’ but that’s not how I work. My work is improv and it’s a bit more difficult to explain that in a way that’s reproducible. I’ve been struggling with how to get that into words, which is why pattern writing is hard!

But the experimentation with fabric is a whole other story! I get to pull fabrics that I bought because I loved them, even though I didn’t know how or when I’d use them. That’s great because it means I have to go through all the stacks of fabric that I have and pet them and enjoy them again!

And then I’m playing with ideas and that is always fun. I love making these “circles” and hope I can work out pattern directions to create them in a fun, improv manner.

And after I work out the construction issues, I get to do it all over again with fabrics from the vendor for whom I am making samples. Hooray!


Burning leaves

Nope–not fireing up piles of autumn leaves yet. I’m making leaves with organza and a soldering iron.

I’ve only done this once before, so I wasn’t sure if I remembered it correctly. Went to Youtube and there is surprisingly little on the technique, or else my search terms were waaay off.

Glass on the table, item to trace under the glass, soldering iron warmed up and ready!

Only have one tip for this borrowed iron, but I know they make them like a pencil point and that would have made it easier. Maybe I’ll go get one for next time…this is too easy and I love the result!

The next question, though, is whether or not it is accomplishing what I want for my forest floor piece.

I want them ghostly and floaty but they don’t show up quite enough. Maybe I just need more…which means a trip to the fabric store.

And, yes, I tried a peach colored organza and it absolutely did not work. But there may be some organza autumn leaves in the near future! Fun technique!

Getting back to normal

It’s finally starting to feel as though I’m back to my normal routines again. I was able to start clearing up the absolute chaos in my studio and find a bit of room to work. It feels as though I have been away from home for months, but it’s really because I have been learning and teaching and not focusing on playing with my toys.

It started with my class at Quilt National and learning how to do infused newsprint cloth from Margarita Korioth. Then a wonderful three days with Susan Purney Mark exploring all kinds of surface design on fabric. Immediately following was two weeks of concentration on Blue Lake projects and students. AQS-Grand Rapids…glad I didn’t sign up for any classes! I met a vendor and we are talking about pattern writing and samples, but not sure if that’s a direction I wish to travel. Whew!

Playing normal, then! I chose a backing and decided on a finishing method for my You Go, Girl! picture.

There is a lot of stitching on it already from the collage construction, but adding batting and backing allowed for more stitching and texture.

This girl stared at me for 2 weeks at Blue Lake and home, insisting on a finish. I made both of us happy today!

One of the things I cleared off my table was my recent fabric indulgence. I love Marcia Derse fabric and could not resist adding these to my stash.

I believe I still have the last fabric I bought of hers, too…it’s almost enough just to pet it!

And I never visit the Toledo Museum of Art without finding something inspirational. This time is was a beautiful chair……..and I did not even LOOK at the creator’s name!

Because as wonderful as the chair itself was, I fell in love with the shadow of the chair.

I don’t know how or when, but that will appear in my work in some form!

Settling in to the home routine really feels great. Next adventure isn’t for a few weeks and I hope to get enough done to feel caught up and on top of my studio life by then. I didn’t even mind having to mow the lawn yesterday, since that’s a part of the regular routine that I happen to like!

And I still have great hopes for a day with a nap…THAT is a totally indulgent day!

Lake report–final show

This post will be almost all pictures of the wonderful art show that our Blue Lake art department puts on at the end of each session. Our students always produce amazing art…and they are mostly trying new media for which they are totally untrained!

We were soooo happy with our Tell A Story face project!

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And then they had to make a house! We wanted to get the fabric art up off the flat surface and into a 3D project. Imaginations unleashed!

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And were they done? Oh, no–many of them made squash/explosion books and the art minors went to town with needle felting and fabric postcards and 3D fabric treasure boxes. Tons of work produced in this session.

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So far, that’s just what the fibers department produced. Every other department had amazing work from creative kids, too. Drawing, painting, sculpture, metals, printmaking, ceramics………I’ll give you a glimpse of a few other things from the show, because there were aisles of art to enjoy.

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The rewards for faculty are great. We work with creative young minds and get to share our knowledge with them as they begin on their art journey.

And nothing beats the treasure of camp friends for life–both for the kids and for the faculty!