Adventure is the word that resonated with me today. Every single time that I enter my studio, I feel as though I am embarking on a new adventure. Whenever I say ‘what if…’ and sparks of ideas fly into my imagination, the next escapade begins. And there is always a piece of fabric, or a color, or a bead that inspires action. I cannot imagine that I will ever run out of inspiration, though I am old enough that I CAN envision running out of time or physical ability!

This experiment is wrapping up. All the concepts are roughed in and it is at the point of filling in the blanks with the technical, mechanical details. Always fun, as well as being important to strive for excellence, but the mind is free to start exploring territory for the next undertaking.

Quite a few more sun ray lines to do, with some metallic thread added for a bit of sparkle! And more quilting to do with the leaves and grasses, but essentially done.

My mind has wandered on…and that’s a fitting phrase for what it wandered onto. Alzheimer’s is an affliction that is near to my heart, since my father had it. Every now and then I try to express my feelings about this utterly devasting disease with a piece of art. Not the cheeriest of subjects, of course, but art is emotional–ALL the emotions.

This is started and my mind now gets to ask ‘what if…’ for the next steps.

I believe it is headed for the foggier brain side of the disease rather than the loss of function of the physical side.

The daily adventure that is now my life continues!


Finish and start

The orange circle quilt is finished!

Except for one little detail…I waited until I washed the quilt to make the decision. I did not know if the magenta stripe needed any quilting.

There is certainly no technical reason to add more quilting, but I think I want a tiny bit of additional detail. I have some matching thread (of course!!!) and I think a little ferny looking stitch down the center will make me happy.

And while this was washing and drying, I decided to start the seascape with the fabrics I showed you last time.

I got this far, spray basted it to the batting and came to a dead stop. I think it will make a nice little picture, but I think the colors are still wrong for my potential client. It just doesn’t feel right for her. It’s going to get set aside and I’ll try again tomorrow with some other fabric. If I can’t get it on the third try…well, let’s just hope for the best!

So little, so much

I’m not doing my usual bunch of  projects, scattered all over the house. I have gotten a bit into doing one project from start to finish and it’s been nice. But my sewing machine breakdown interrupted the flow of one project so I started in on the quilting of the orange circle quilt, including the dreaded piecing of the back! I’ve stuck with it, even though quilting a large quilt start to finish is usually quite boring!

All I have left is about half the border and the binding.

I really wanted to start in on a possible seascape abstract, but really didn’t want to change the set up on my machine from quilting to piecing…which is not a major thing, but if I changed away from the quilting I might have procrastinated and put it away for a while. So I pulled fabrics and have an idea of what I want to do.

And I went through my boxes of buttons and beads and even my mom’s old sewing case searching for something unusual to put on the project that is waiting!

I found these two pincushions in mom’s sewing things–numbers 3 & 4 that I have ended up with from her house! As I said on FB and IG, I cannot remember the last time I actually saw her sewing, but with all those pincushions, she was always prepared!

I even found the darning egg that I remembered from my childhood–not using it, but in with the sewing things! All in all, there were a surprising number of choices for embellishing the text project. Can’t use them ALL, but I’ll bet I can use quite a few without overdoing it.

I’m leaning heavily towards one of the necklaces rather than any kind of eclectic mix. But I need to finish the couching before I decide.

I’ve been wanting to make some different samples before the next couple of classes I’m teaching also. My style has changed and I think it would be fun to do what I do in other colorways and pare things down to the essentials. Improv is not as unknown as it was 10 years ago, so I can throw in a bit more on the assembly and design side! Fun!

Bright spot of the week (pun intended!) was getting the old kitchen light replaced with an LED one, and the difference is amazing! Lucky that I have a wonderful son that can do that for us, since I don’t know how and the hubby has shoulder and knee issues that prevent climbing the ladder and working overhead. It’s actually light when the switch is flipped. Wonderful improvement.

Sooooo….not doing much, but keeping busy. Should be up and running with the repaired machine by this time tomorrow but I am resolved to finish the orange quilt FIRST. It’s so close to done, I cannot put it aside now!

Rarin’ to go!

Little bits at a time

When I am in the middle of quilting a regular sized quilt, I try not to look too far ahead. It’s easy to see how far you’ve come and how far you have to go when you have a long arm, but when you quilt on a domestic and things are bunched up, it’s not as clear.

I try very hard NOT to know how far I have to go because that could be discouraging.

If I keep plugging along, I know that eventually it will be done. And when I get to that point, I’m always pleasantly surprised. Well, I’m not there yet, but I’ll keep stitching away!

And the news is goooood!

My machine is not dead. Far from it. It was a broken gear, caused by who knows what, that is very fixable. I will be up and running early next week. I am eager to get back to this piece, though I may change my mind about what all I’m going to do to it!

The raw and wonky are all right, but I want to take it up a notch. We shall see!

In the meantime, this orange and blue circle quilt came to the front of my attention.

I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to quilt it, but the outside edges of the circles are only fused on so the finishing will have to include a plan for sewing them down somehow.

And then I went looking for a back. I have quite a few odd chunks of blue and thought I could easily find a couple of pieces for a back. I hate hate hate to piece quilt backs and do everything I can to avoid it. However…………this quilt began as an attempt to use up as much orange as I can and I had chunks of these fabrics left.

How else am I going to use ’em up? Don’t like it, but certainly am not going to spend extra time and thought to make it other than a utilitarian back!

And now the quilt is all basted and ready for quilting. I will not be without sewing while my multi-stitch machine is in the shop. So glad I have my straight stitch machine for piecing and quilting!

Now to decide what color thread to use and how to quilt it. Good times!

Progress and….oh, NOOOOO!

Progress was being made on another piece for our Text and Texture challenge. I found quite a few fabrics with Oriental text on them. Lots more than I thought I had.

Sometimes too much is just…too much. Not sure how to use this much variety, so I was going to go with my ‘standard’ improv of a strip of each and assemble with curvy seams and build from there. Then my love of raw edges took over and I tore some pieces and strips and laid them out on a piece of stabilizer.

I thought I would attach these English letters on the top.

The concept is good but the letters are not quite right. I thought perhaps text fabric as background would work and guess who has a lot of text fabric?

All fat quarters and the piece is bigger than that. Figured that a mixed up background would be too much with a mixed up foreground. So I grabbed a bigger piece of plain white fabric and wrote all over it!

Lots of nonsense–song lyrics of the music I was listening to, random thoughts, anything to fill the ‘page’. And it worked. Looks good, especially since it’s almost totally covered!

It’s all laid out-a bit different than the initial layout– and I used tape instead of pins or glue, simply because I had it out and it works! I’m using a beige felt backing that will have 1/4″ showing. I will have more pictures in a day or so, but as I was working on quilting and adding some cording…

OH, NOOOOOO… machine made a needle-breaking noise but there was no broken needle. The bobbin thread wouldn’t catch. Of course I did all the cleaning and checking and re-threading that I could, but it ended up taking a trip to the spa. It will be diagnosed and I’ll find out how bad the news is tomorrow. I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that it will be simple and fixable. I really don’t want to lose my dependable little workhorse, but it’s old enough that it’s time may have come. We shall sleep with our fingers crossed tonight!

At least I have another machine for quilting and piecing, and can do that while I wait. I am NOT a good wait-er. Sigh………….

Absent but busy—

I don’t usually go this long between posts, but I spent a few days involved in my non-sewing life, so this went by the wayside. It was a wonderful grandson weekend and now it’s time to get back to studio time.

This project from Salt Valley Arts has turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be! All the blocks are slightly different sizes–but close! Some are so thick they really don’t fit under my presser foot, but it all needs to be sewn down to a support, since it’s a hanging sign.

But I’m closing in on the end of it, I think. A few more lines of stitching and then remove the basting.

There is the issue of the edge finish and the actual hanging sleeve, but I think I have solutions mapped out…at least mentally!

I have my art quilt group and lunches out with friends, though, so it might still be a couple of days before it gets done. I need to spend some time today prepping for gelli plate printing on fabric. I’m excited to do that–it’s something new-ish and there are so many options to explore! I need to keep it under control for our short meeting time, though! Ha!

Hopefully I can show you some cool prints next time. Or even failures. We certainly learn as much from the failures as the successes in the art world. I always like to say that it’s not a mistake, simply another design opportunity!