A little thinking…

As I have mentioned more than once, I don’t usually pre-plan my quilting designs. I know that many people do, but it’s just not my way of working.¬† So I got the Harvest Moons quilt ready to go and pretty easily figured out what I wanted to do…until I came to the crescent parts!

Quite a few sections like this and I didn’t know what to do with them.

Thought about pebbles…random meandering…echoing the curve…outlining each crescent piece…nothing seemed right and all seemed like it would mean a big wrestling match with the quilt. After a little thought, I had a Duh! moment. The quilting was simply outlining the geometrics in the print and it seemed like something similar would be perfect for those spaces.

Yes, there was some wrestling, but I guess you can’t avoid that when doing a large quilt on a small machine! And it actually went very quickly.

Tomorrow’s job will be label, binding, sleeve and deciding if this is something that should go in the January exhibit! And I thought I was done with those exhibit thoughts………….need to make my selections and stick with them.

Anyway, this¬† will be done tomorrow and that means moving on to another new—oh, no-no-no–older project. I have several of those scrap baby quilts left to quilt. They are ready to go and looking at me with guilt making colors! Better get them done, even though there are no babies on the horizon. They will find a new home, though, but that can’t happen until they are finished.

ONWARD to finishing!


Night Lights BRIGHT

Dissatisfaction can make me put up a piece on the shelf or DO something about it. This time I got right after it and added lots of stuff to the unsatisfactory Night Lights piece.

This is the piece as I left it yesterday.

Rather blah and not conveying my idea of bright city lights at night at all.

After looking at the picture for a while, I got a few ideas.

I started adding yarns………

and more yarns and a bit of ribbon. It made the image pop.

I quite like it now. It’s got a bit of character. It will do!

Now on to the next adventure!

Night Lights

That’s the title of that new little sample I worked up for Textiles in Milan. I made blocks to show how to sew and assemble and enough blocks to make a finished sample. This is the second time I’ve tried to make a black and brights sample and I’ve not been thrilled with either one. But it’s almost finished and it will make a good teaching tool.

Arranging the blocks is very arbitrary and size doesn’t always matter.

That’s why I wait before I trim them. I add bits and pieces and trim as needed during assembly!

Remember that with most improv sewing, exact size doesn’t matter until final assembly and when adding those bits and pieces, it’s mostly important to find or make a straight edge and sew a straight seam.

I was more focused on getting it done than I was on the artistic aspects of what I was trying to convey, so I will readily admit that this could be quite a bit more attractive. In fact, I added one more little bit of color after this pic!

Now it’s all quilted and ready for squaring up and binding. I think it’s never too late to add more and this may really need it. I’ll get that finishing done and then decide.

Yeah, not lighting my fire, and just looking at the picture, I’ve got several ideas for improvements. I’d like to get it to the shop tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Got more work to do…………..


Puttering day

Mostly thinking about new projects and which projects should move up or down the priority list.

I have a new commission, using this fabric.

It will be whole cloth, and I’m doing something I don’t usually do…

planning out some of the stitching! Circles and rays, so far. May stick with that, may not.

So I moved on to thoughts of another sample for the class I’m teaching at Textiles Fabric Shop in Milan in January.

Originally going to use solid black and then the blacks with color, but that looked too dead. I made a few blocks and threw them up on the design wall.

I may need a few more of the medium size, or perhaps the addition of the extra fabrics for assembly will be enough. Can’t seem to stick with it today though…maybe I have a tired brain. Tomorrow will certainly be soon enough!

Experiment time

Last summer at Blue Lake the print teacher let us play in her studio one afternoon. I had the idea of combining paper and fabric prints so I made some of both.

It turns out that we were using water soluble ink, so the fabric prints would not be washable. Bummer! Today I decided to try and make them more permanent.

Mat gel medium, rolled out on a plastic sheet (usually pick these up as cutting mats from a dollar store)–one was a very thin layer and the pic shows the thickest layer.

The next step was the hardest–lay the fabric face down and wait for it to dry!

I was a little impatient and pulled the first one, the one with the thinnest layer of medium, while it did still feel a bit damp. Not good!

Pulled the ink off the fabric and left it on the plastic. The other prints came off very nicely, but the gel medium gives them that nice plastic finish that I’m not crazy about.

Next experiment–iron, wrinkle, iron again…some of the wrinkle lines remain, even though the back looks perfectly flat. Not a problem for me, since I will want the texture when I use these.

Now the original question–will this make the inks permanent? No, it does not!

A lot of the color came out with just a quick rinse and the medium got kind of flaky. It laid down smoothly again after another ironing. Also, I used the piece that was not completely coated…again, I’m a mixed texture lover, so none of this is a disaster to me. Simply additional texture.

My last experiment was to lay one of the prints ‘plastic’ side down and get it wet to see what would happen. Aaaand………the ink would have rinsed out if I had done this in a sink. As it was, the ink pooled and moved but remained and the print still has good color. (No pic, sorry.)

I decided that I did not want to bother putting medium on both sides of the prints. That would have made them very, very plastic-y and having it on the right side of the fabric is enough to protect it from casual water drips during or after construction use.

The next step will be to sew with it, but that will have to wait for another day! I love ‘what if’ days!


USE that stash!

Old fabric being used up is always a good thing! It makes me so happy to have finally assembled that fabric sample pack from years ago.

No obsessing over where things go or how best to showcase any part of it. I just sewed large pieces together and added chunks until it fit.

It certainly is not your typical organized little quilt, but it is done. I do wonder, though, if I should put a narrow black border or if a black binding will do the trick. Hmmm…

And the leftovers from the scrap basket…

Truly USED up!

What’s up next?

Usually when I finish one project, I have several others clamoring to be started. That is the case this time, but I’m ignoring them. I want to do some time consuming experiments and as we head into the Christmas season, as well as being in hockey season, long sessions of working time are hard to come by. This is the time to work on no-brainers that can be picked up and put down as time allows.

Some black and whites jumped off the shelves and I thought I’d work with them.

Ironed and pressed and stacked up–yeah, there is a lot of fabric, but it’s stuff that I’ve used and used and it doesn’t interest me much right now. I’d rather wait and start a purposeful black and white project.

Then I found this pile of a sample pack of fabrics that I bought quite a few years ago. I’ve tried to use them several times and have not made much progress. This time I am determined to use them up.

I have a bolt of black and it will be used as filler. I’m going to use the fabrics in big chunks rather than cut them up into any kind of blocks other than what I’ve already done. It will be fine, I’m sure…………..and it will be used up!!