Love being busy!

It’s so much better to be busy than to be bored, but sometimes busy is just too busy! I don’t have a bunch of pictures to show you, though I sure have been doing a lot of stuff.

Finally got the last of the leaves and garden detritus taken care of–at least as much as it’s gonna get until spring! Rain is what determined the end point there, and it was cold, too. I’m never ready for the cold weather and this year I wanted to do so much more dyeing out in the garage where I can spread everything out. There will still be dyeing done, but in my basement studio, it gets done on a much smaller scale.

Friday was a guild sponsored workshop with Paula Golden. As we were starting out, she had a small sample that she offered up to anyone who wanted to start creating with that. I did not volunteer, but was challenged to take it because it was mostly purple and my friends all know that I do not like purple!!! This is how far I got with it in class.

There will be more added to it before it’s done…quilting, for sure, and maybe some more metallic yarn or beads. I’m not sure, but something. Here’s a close up.

I took advantage of the fraying ability of silk…love those raggedy edges!

And, of course, I did the postcard demo on Saturday. Lots of supplies and choices, showing from start to finish, and as many edge finishes as I could work in.

Saturday afternoon was my rest and relaxation time, and  I’m making progress on my red houses.

Sunday, my usual day of doing nothing, has now changed to an exercise day! My daughter and I are now enrolled in kickboxing classes! I thought she was joking, but she was not and now Sunday afternoon is kickboxing time. We actually did a tryout class and found it to be a great workout, so we’re going to do it for a while.

And sometimes AJ has hockey on Sunday, too, so this is where our Sunday started!

He’s the one in black…this is part of the reason they have names and numbers on their backs!

This week will be devoted to Thanksgiving, of course, and we have to finish getting the furniture back into the house from the garage, too. I’m hoping to sneak in a little bit of sewing time, but the odds are against it! Oh, yeah–AJ will be here all day Wednesday, looking to start putting up Christmas decorations. I’m tired already!

Looking forward to fewer commitments and more couch time after this weekend. Lots more couch time. And naps….yeah, naps!

 

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Absent and busy!

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, but new floors apparently require more work than I thought! Busy with family stuff and routine appointments. I am looking forward to taking a class tomorrow with Paula Golden…but I don’t have my stuff gathered and ready, yet!

I have always said that I can do a demo whenever our guild needs one, and I got tapped to sub in this Saturday. Well, let’s just say that I was not really ready to immediately step in with a demo!

I’ve spent time working up a little presentation for making postcards, mostly with a Christmas theme. I think I’m ready for that! Nice little stack of finished projects and ideas for lots more to present!

Then perhaps I can get back to some artistic-feeling projects, including some dyeing that I’ve been anxious to get done!

 

Borders…yep!

Continuing on with the red houses saga, I made the decision that I really did want borders on this and it will be finished square, traditional and bound. And when you have too much fabric, it’s hard to decide on a border treatment.

Started out with a piece of gray, thinking to keep things more neutral.

Then made a selection of lots of darks and very darks!

Not quite right, so I pulled tons more stuff off the shelves and finally got it down to a choice between these two.

I really, really wanted to go with the multi-color, but it was the dark blue that truly looked the best.

And now I have that step complete. Looks black in the pic, but it’s a navy blue grunge with scrapes of lighter blue and purple. I love that grunge line of fabric!

There is serious design work needing to be done now. Everything else has been tied to thoughts of basic construction, but now the “art” part of art quilt comes to the fore. Sure there was some layout and design work going on, but it’s the stitch and embellishment that makes the project come alive for me. I want lots of thinking time before I do anything further on this piece.

While that is stewing in my brain, I had the idea to make some cards from some of the leftover house fabric…and then since it’s red and the holidays are coming up, maybe some kind of traditional Christmas stuff. I don’t even send out regular cards anymore, but perhaps this year…

 

And now it IS decision day!

As workmen are banging and ripping and tearing out the floor above me, I’m trying to proceed with the next steps on this project. I took pictures and used input from Instagram and Facebook all day long. I’m so appreciative of everyone who takes the time to look at my posts and shares their opinions with me. It really does help!

I guess the thinking time did help, because when I came into the studio this morning, I knew that I wanted houses of different sizes and shapes, so that got me started. Then I asked my internet friends for opinions.

My first question was whether I wanted the houses in rows or more random.

I probably should preface this with a disclaimer: I always ask for opinions, but I also feel free to disregard them. Often the opinions come with some wonderful suggestions and sometimes they confirm what I’m feeling but they always make me think, and that’s just the best help I could ask for! Sooooo, the overwhelming response to this question was random placement, which echoed my feelings in this case.

Next question: doors or no doors? All the same color, different colors?

I truly couldn’t decide for myself on this question so went with the majority–yes, doors and multiple colors. Done with that part.

This is where I’m at now–buildings made and placed, doors added and ready for the next step…and here’s what I am contemplating…raw edge background or borders? If borders: pieced, plain, curvy, single color, each side a different color? If raw edge: stitch to a background piece, stop with the current background, add raw edge to a finished, quilted background? And then the stitching, which will have a bearing on those other decisions. Hand stitch, machine stitch, combo? Before or after borders or background?

Still a lot of thinking to do and the worst part is that the pile of strips is still huge! It seems as though the more I use, I more I have! And I swear I am not cutting into any additional fabric! All I can think is that those scrap bags I picked up were stuffed and compressed to the max and they exploded in my studio!

And this what I really think about that!!!  

Scarlett O’Hara: After all, tomorrow is another day!

 

NOT decision day!

Today has been a try-it-out day, not a day for making decisions. In fact, I’m so far from making decisions that I think possibly this may be a bit of a series!

Got the background laid out on the fusible interfacing and it looks like the pile of scraps has not been touched!

It’s either going to be plenty large–somewhere around 30″ sq–or it will need to be twice as large! I haven’t decided yet.

Laid out some papers for size and spacing ideas.

Pretty busy…

Fewer looks better…

I haven’t decided yet.

Various size ideas. Lots of small houses, some big, some small, one large house???? Straight rows, random, diagonal rows?

I haven’t decided yet.

Thought I’d make the doors all the same fabric. Which one do you like best? Maybe something shiny or glitzy? Maybe no doors?

I haven’t decided yet.

Lots to ponder and no questions have really been answered, so it’s definitely NOT decision day. However, that’s the point of playing and trying and moving things around…to GET to a decision that really says what I want it to.

Thinking time is as important as the doing time. Sometimes we forget that in our excitement about a new project and our eagerness to get to the finish. I used to worry about what I called ‘dithering over the decisions.’ Now I accept that it’s an essential part of the process, at least for me. And it took me a long time to realize that it might mean a particular idea needs more than one piece to explore it. That might be the case here.

I haven’t decided yet.

 

Ninety minute girl!

Ninety minutes is about the length of time I can work on something without a break anymore. I either need thinking time, or a drink of water or a trip to the bathroom to get rid of some water! Sometimes I actually need something like food…or a nap! You might wonder how I ever did my job, but it was not stationery work; I was up and down all the time.

Yesterday’s question was what method to use for making little houses out of the string fabric.

Fusible, interfacing, water soluble? I decided that it was going to be fusible because I’m not sure how much stitching/beading I’ll be doing. You can always ADD materials for structure and stability, but you can’t easily take any of it away.

All my strings started as offcuts from squares, so I clip the corners and I’ve decided to press them neatly  for building this fabric.

Boooooooring job and it took a couple of those 90 minute sessions to get all the background pieces done, plus the reds  and darks I want for those buildings.

I started with the idea that I would build a little house with small pieces of fusible.

Then I realized that it would take forever to work that way and I’m just not that patient! I had some larger leftover pieces and covered those to make fabric.

I’ll cut house shapes from that fabric and it will give me more room for variety of size and shape and direction of the strips.

You really have to draw a line somewhere when you start working with scraps. I’m already working with pieces that I would have thrown away a year ago. I will NOT keep these tiny pieces and make confetti quilts!

I also made a decision that I want this piece to be larger than the last few I’ve been playing working with. And that the background would be on my lightest weight fusible. This is where I’m at right now…

…and that’s when I decided that I was a ninety minute girl! Time for a break!

I’ll update you when I have the background put together and I’ve started on the houses! Now I think I NEED a drink…no, some food…ummm, really, a nap!

 

 

New projects, new decisions

Yes, I’m ready to start some new projects, but as I looked at my design wall, I felt that this one may not be quite done.

Seems I didn’t post a picture after I fringed the edges, but now I’m considering adding the extra pieces  along the bottom. Don’t know–have to look at it a few times before I decide, but I always welcome your opinions!

When I went to the store to get more water soluble stabilizer, I couldn’t remember which ‘strength’ I had used on my string projects.

Turns out I got a different one, so the next string project will be another experiment! The Super Solvy was very thick and it will be interesting to see if the ‘plain’ Solvy will stand up to my stitching. I’m betting that it will, and I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I want to make something with the wider string scraps that I have, and probably I’ll start with the neutrals again.

Unpressed and needing some trimming

Pressed, trimmed and ready to use!

The stack looks so much smaller after pressing, and it is sooooo boring to do that, but it’s also soooooo much easier to use them this way.

I also have dark strips and lots of colorful strips.

The project hasn’t announced itself to my brain yet, so I’m not going to spend my time trimming and pressing all of this just yet. Simply having it out and looking at it will be enough to stimulate some ideas, I think….I hope! I certainly don’t want to repeat the flower idea, though it’s pretty easy and the first one came out nicely.

But moving furniture and new flooring comes first, so there will only be moments snatched for the next week or so. But that also gives lots of cogitation time while we’re working. Moving all the furniture out of the living room makes me want to repaint, even the file cabinet, and re-arrange everything and even get rid of some furniture and get some new, but I’m going to rein myself in this time. I’ll be happy with the new floor for now and think about the other stuff for a bit before I act….not my usual method!

Let’s see…the couch is not calling me for a nap, but to be moved…sigh! Time to get the work done!