Fun times!

When I’m not working towards a deadline, it is so much pure fun to sit at the sewing machine and stitch! I know that I’ve shown you this before, but I like to make new fabric from string strips.

I use a base fabric or a piece of interfacing and cover it with a layer of strings. Then I pin water soluble stabilizer on the top.

Then it’s nothin’ but stitchin’ until I’m sure everything is secure. LOTS of stitching!

Washing the stabilizer out only takes a few minutes, but I really don’t like to throw the piece into the dryer. It’s small, there may be spots where I’ve missed stitching and I like to leave it flat. Soooooo…like watching paint dry, now I have to wait for the fabric to dry! This will eventually have a design, probably a flower or tree, stitched on top of that newly made fabric and then heavily beaded. It may be hard to believe, but I’m running low on skinny strips…and I have no intention of cutting to make more. These are fun, but they may be done for a while!

And there is nothing like having a waiting-to-be-finished-piece staring you down while you work on something else. This dude really has an attitude and got snarky with me when I hung him on the design wall to wait his turn. Well, he got finished (or close to it!) today and he can quit bugging me!

I have always had a soft spot for the kids who get in trouble so I really like this little smart-ass kid. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you might see someone different than I do! He makes me laugh, so I’m very happy that he is now finished. ‘Sup, dude?

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Re-imagining

This piece has never made me entirely happy. I loved the dye job and thought I wanted it to be a whole cloth piece, but it really didn’t turn out how I thought it would.

So I put it away for awhile. It sat on the shelf and you know it was thinking all the time about what it wanted to become. I think it spoke to me in a dream last night!

Diamonds…that’s what it said. Set that squareness on point, make diamond shapes and it will be a lot more interesting. Maybe keep it all together in one piece or maybe make them separate.

Don’t know where the idea will take me yet, but I think it has lots of possibilities to make me become happy with it.

Experiments shall commence………..sometime after my showcase!!!

 

Loose ends

I seem to have quite a few small, unfinished pieces laying around and I’d like to get them into final shape. I don’t usually frame pieces because people think frames need glass. Glass doesn’t make me happy with textile work because most of the beauty of the texture is hidden that way.

I have a few 5×7 frames and those small pieces fit into them just fine, so I’m going to use them without the glass. Also a couple of 8×10’s. Smaller, inexpensive pieces sell better, too, so why not?

This little piece looks like a piece of stained glass. I didn’t think it needed any beads, but it’s not totally impossible to still consider that as an option.

These are very plain but they look good in the black frames. Originally, they were going to get beads also, but I think they are good like this. What do you think?

This one is one of my favorites. I love trees and making trees and leaves and it doesn’t matter if they are ‘naturally’ colored or ‘fantasy’ colored…love ’em all.

Then I found a couple prints that I must have originally intended to go together, so………

All set and ready¬† to go and I could NOT feel as if they were finished. I took out all the staples and tried to decide what else they needed. I have been playing with sheer fabrics and I love metallic thread, so that’s what I tried.

I think that may be all they need, but I’m not going to be in a hurry to staple them back to the canvas. I do want to have these small bits available for a show I’m doing on Oct. 11, though. Deadlines help so much to push the decision making process!!!

Bits and pieces, loose ends, finishing up small jobs…it feels like spinning my wheels because it’s not a ‘big idea’ project, but it all needs to get done. And it’s working with textiles, so it’s not bad at all!

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.

Leaf time

In between other projects, I’m taking a break to cut out some more leaves with the soldering iron. My previous iridescent organza didn’t show up quite well enough.

I thought I’d try adding a few turquoise leaves to the mix. I have plans to add some flat white and some cream also.

I have nothing to lose because if I don’t use them on this project, I’ll be happy to use them on something else!

I think they will go well with the iridescent ones.

This process is easy, though quite time consuming. Glad it’s a long term project, to be done as I have a few minutes here and there!

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!