Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MICRO STITCHING

I decided to micro seed stitch the background of this piece with one strand of embroidery floss rather than the machine echo quilting originally planned 

Holy cow.....this is SUPER time consuming but I'm now committed so I'm trying to enjoy the slow process.  The piece is only about 8" x 14". The thought was not to add the overwhelming texture of machine echo quilting, choosing instead to go with a more subtle pebbled background that would allow the thread sketching to be the focus.

This will certainly take time.....


Saturday, June 27, 2020

FROM DEFEATED TO CONQUERED

After deep sixing my last project. I got back on the horse and started anew.

A very small thread sketched piece...drawn on tissue paper, taped to stabilized batik background. Stitching begins......


.......but a slight pause along the way to remove some of the paper to see the results. Happy, happy.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

TWO DAYS - BLOWN

It's extremely rare that I give up on a project....very, very rare for sure.  But after two days and my process is going backwards......it's now headed for the trash bin.

I've been thinking about featuring Eucalyptus in a small wall art quilt.  Sad to say I'm throwing in the towel on this particular design. It's gone from bad to worse and smaller and smaller elements.....big sigh.....

Fortunately, there's more ideas in my head and more fabric where this came from.


Monday, June 22, 2020

SNAPSHOTS - JAPAN #1

What an off ramp this piece took.  From one......

To these two:

                                                                                                           




SNAPSHOTS - JAPAN #1 - 28" x 31.5"
Japanese cotton fabric, machine stitched, quilted with metallic thread. Design inspired by a Shoji rice panel room divider.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

SNAPSHOTS - JAPAN #2

Once the decision was made to split up the blocks, finished the smaller of the two pieces went smoothly.

"SNAPSHOTS - JAPAN #2 - 15" x 32"
Japanese cotton fabric, machine stitched, quilted with metallic thread. Design inspired by a Shoji rice panel room divider.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

ONE BECAME TWO

Once the decision was made to split the blocks into two wall quilts instead of the one I had planned.....process moved along quickly.
The smaller of the two has been assembled, sandwiched and machine quilting begun.  Strips of painters tape is being used to maintain straight lines as I quilt. To avoid distracting from the interesting Japanese prints, simple quilting designs are my preference. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

JAPANESE WALL QUILT CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES

Work continues........

All blocks are now stitched, but I'm still dissatisfied with the uneven bottom edge.
Of course there are lots of work arounds. None pleased me until I decided to see what it would look like if I cropped it by using the quilt photo on my computer.
 Happy dance ahead, my one quilt has evolved into two separate pieces of wall art....obviously still in progress.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

OOPS

Moving right along.................. 
..........the focus fabric for each block has now been selected and the final arrangement has been decided.

 Even though I'm now doing more piecing that I have in years and years, honestly it's still not a construction style I enjoy very much.  I'm one of those organized, tidy people who does best in a controlled atmosphere.  So, after the initial test sewing of two blocks, I methodically continued by cutting and preparing all the units for each block.  

As each section is stitched, it's paired with the rest of the block parts on my design wall.  Chain stitchers will be rolling their eyes for sure but this is what works for me.
I don't use published patterns, choosing the head banging process of making one-of-a-kind quilts instead.  Over the last couple of years I've gathered up a small file of Japanese designs that might become the foundation of a wall quilt design. This mirror is an example.
The idea for this current piece is an offshoot of a Japanese room divider I saw on a TV show....unable to take a photo, I quickly sketched what I remembered.

Clearly I didn't get it quite right.  As the 2nd vertical row was completed I suddenly realized my 'oops' moment.  Can you see what's wrong?

Yup....I'll either need another row or remove the lowest horizontal row.  DANG!!!  Why am I not really surprised?  The phrase 'can't see the forest through the trees' comes to mind.  I'm THE most directionally challenged person you'll ever know.  Even after living here for 14 years, I still need to bring written instructions on how to drive to some friends homes, despite being there over a dozen or more times.  Some ask why not use GPS.....same reason...when that unseen person tells me to 'turn right in 500 feet', she may as well be speaking a foreign language.  I can't differentiate between 100 and 500 feet....but if she said 'turn right at the shell station on the corner'...hey I can do that!

So, really this unexpected design issue shouldn't have come as a surprise to me.  Very humbling as usual.  I aim to keep my finished pieces in specific size categories to best fit the gallery spaces I have available.  Now I have to alter that to make it larger or smaller. Good thing we are having a car outing today with friends so I can delay my decision. 

AND...before you ask.....did I draw the quilt out on graph paper (as many quilters do)....heck no....I guess there may be a bit of free-spirit in me too!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

AN INKLING OF AN IDEA

I continue to be challenged by the large amount of Japanese style fabric I was gifted by a dear friend.  I actually couldn't imagine I'd ever use it, but am so grateful that it kept calling and challenging me.
 So....yet again, I'm developing ideas to showcase these designs.  Here's a kernel of a new idea.
I'm doing a lot of time consuming fussy cutting in order to highlight specific sections of the fabrics.  My routine for almost all my projects is to audition fabrics on my design wall....adding and subtracting as patchwork pieces are cut.  This helps to determine that I've chosen the right balance of color, scale, print and location of the patchwork design.  

Photographing as I go is beneficial.....even though I've looked at this on the wall numerous times, I immediately noticed that two side by side floral blocks were too similar the moment I reviewed the photo.  To get a better perspective consider taking photos of your in-progress work.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

GREEN LEAF

After some mental back and forth....the decision was made to crop my design and I'm much more pleased with the piece.

My normal finishing method is to use a facing which provides a clean edge.  However, once previewed it became clear that the left side was too visually heavy.  A narrow double fold binding provided a better balance.

GREEN LEAF - 13.5" x 13"
Deconstructed screen printed cottons & batiks.
Appliqued & quilted by machine.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

CHANGE OF DIRECTION

I've put the silk dipioni project on hold until I can come up with a better plan.....
Instead I'm heading in a different direction.....a deconstructed large tropical leaf motif.......
 ..........Perhaps paired with screen printed fabric. 

 Designing continues with the addition of fern like motifs.
Big change.......I'm considering drastically reducing the size to narrow the focus.....come back to see what I decide.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

5 1/2 HOURS AND NOTHING TO SHOW

It's so gratifying to read your flattering comments, but I want to assure you....my projects are half about creativity and half about determination!  (With a good dose of inspiration added to the mix.)
Here's some fabulous inspiration.  A friend (thank you Lynn) gifted me a tin of luscious silk dipioni. 
 My idea was to design several stacked very colorful bird motifs but after 5 1/2 hours I gave up.  First my motifs were too large for the size of a finished piece to fit nicely in my gallery space.  Then after many size reductions, this is what I was working with.
I'm well aware of silk dipioni's tendency to fray...big time in fact!  Using the tricks I always implement to keep the edges tidy....none worked.  I love Fray Block....but this is the first time this product stained the fabric.  Back to the drawing board to come up with a new plan to utilize this beautiful fabric.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

REAL RIVER ROCKS

Since river rocks are on my mind, I thought I'd share how I display some real one that I had fun embellishing........



Monday, June 1, 2020

MORE WET-FELTING

During a wet-felting marathon, I created a huge batch of nature inspired river rocks and pebbles.  About half have been displayed in a hand carved wood bowl in our home.  The remaining were hoarded away with the intention of preparing them for sale.


 Now I've got time.....so they were divided into units of 10 each.....

Packaged and ready to be added to my Woolworth shop inventory.
Keeping busy at home is the key to getting through Covid-19.