Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thinking about my life--OMG! Not that again

Having finished the latest 12 by 12, I knew I needed a change of pace.  I took a look at the project I had put aside to work on them.  It's been on the design wall where I can see it every time I use the sewing machine, and I've been giving it a lot of thought over the past two weeks.  Today I came to a decision, cut it up and threw it in the garbage. Then I tidied the studio while mentally reviewing my "to do" list.  I decided to the designing of one of the other pending projects I have, documented in my sketch book.  It needed some research, and I started that on the computer, but wasn't the least bit successful finding anything useful.  So a trip to the library is indicated. It's closed today.  By this time I'm tired, and it's almost time to start cooking supper.  After supper, what do I have to do with myself?  Nothing.  There was no thing that needed doing, nor any thing available to amuse myself.  

It's been so long since I had any time off from the studio--where I'm deliciously happy most of the time--that I honestly didn't know what to do with myself.  A whole evening ahead of me, and I couldn't think of a thing.  So I spent the time evaluating my recent lifestyle,and found it very lacking in social contact, and any sort of activity outside the house.  This isn't healthy.  something needs to change.

Fourth 12" by 12"

Got this one finished today, and it is actually 12 by 12.  Unfortunately, the curtain rods I sew into the back come in at 12 1/2" by12 1/2".  I wish I had know that yesterday.  The others pieces ended up at about 12 1/2" square, and there was no problem.  Not sure what to do.  Any way here it is.  The colour is not quite right, as the red I used is slightly more of a blue red than the yellow red in the picture.  It was designed around the feather image.  I really agonized about what shape to cut the gold behind the feather.  Still not sure I made the right decision.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Last week I posted about a 12 by 12 I had finished.  This week there are a couple more and a fourth one in progress, for posting about next week.

Here is the first one. As always, I am driven by colour, and this piece was designed around the blue and grey/silver fused glass.  This glass was created by June Derksen, who has produced just about all of the fused glass I use in my pieces.

And here is a close up.  The fused glass is well glued in place,  Sorry folks, there is no way to stitch pieces this large, and guarantee that they won't fall off.  The white background is  polyester jacquard, and the blue is Diuppioni silk, which was also used for the binding and backing.

The second 12 by 12 is also Diuppioni silk.  When I started working with it, I had thought it was a basic grey, but I quickly realized it had a purple/ mauve cast, and was able to pair it with a batik I found in my stash.  I really like this one.  The textured bits are Tyvek, heated and then painted.  

When planning the beading, I had several very nice, dark purple bits, that I had thought were chip beads, but they turned out to be fused glass.  I was very disappointed, and had to scramble to find replacements in my bead stash, but it worked out!

The one in progress in cherry red, gold and black.  I found a lovely piece of Ultra-suede in my stash ( or maybe it isn't.  Sure feels like it though) to use for background.  It's too heavy to use for binding, but I paired it with another batik, than can be used for that.  Right now I'm trying to embellish it with gold thread, and the sewing machine is fighting the process.  A pain in the neck, but it should be worth it in the long run.

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm so embarrassed!

Yes, I gave into peer pressure, and actually bought some commercially printed fabric.  Usually, when I buy fabric it is something that I plan to dye or paint, or something very plain that I can use to help in some sort of stash reduction project.  I was with a friend, at the recent quilt show, when we saw this panel, in Momma Bear's Quilt Shop from Ashern, Manitoba.  We both fell in love with it, but the lady only had the one.  My friend bought it, and I ordered it for future postal delivery.

There were several companion prints, but I only bought one, thinking that I could cut out the cats, and applique them onto small purses that I make and sell at local gift shops and craft sales.

Imagine my surprise, when the panel arrived and it was twice as big as I had expected!

My plan was to quilt it quite simply, and then bead the "c--p" out of it, but, with the larger size, I'm going to think about that a bit more.  I think a hanging from a panel of three might be sale-able, but I'm not so sure about a larger one.  Of course, I could always make two of them.  My only regret was not buying a length of the actual background fabric which is a very subtle black and grey print.  However, the area behind the actual cats, is plain black, so that will have to do for finishing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A new Challenge

The studio is humming with activity.  I was given the opportunity to participate in a fairly high level event, as part of one of the groups I belong to.  We will have a sales booth.  This means the emphasis is sales as opposed to exhibition.  I have committed to supplying five or more 12 by 12 wall hangings, and I need them by the end of May.  I finished the first one today. A second one is in progress, and two more are planned, with the supplies gathered.

I don't worry too much about titles for this sort of event. The first is a full view, and as you can see, it has both fibre and mixed media elements.  The piece behind the beads is the "wrong" side of an old sun print, but I think it works quite well here. The background on the right is a stitched Shibori piece, and on  the left is Diupionni silk The circles are make up puffs, painted, and then stiffened with gel medium

This is the close up.  It is fused, and only the edges of the fabric stitched.

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network

Sunday, April 8, 2018

More to think about

As well as the dis-quiet that came form my visit to the quilt show on Friday, today I received the judging notes on the quilt I had entered into competition, at the show.  There was absolutely no comment on the design, the colour, or the techniques used, but rather, some very pointed comments on my finishing work.  At first I was snarky, but driving home,  I gave some thought to what was said, especially as the comments were so very specific.  I have done so very much in the way of finishing quilted pieces, that I am now wondering if I've become complacent, and this has lead to some poor work habits.  Finishing is on auto-pilot for me.  Now, I think I need to take another look at what I'm doing, and force myself to be just as careful and fastidious about the finishing as I am about everything else.  Maybe I needed this "kick in the head"  to make me aware of how many poor work habits I've developed.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Changing gears

I've been quilting for a lot of years (since 1960).  I've explored every fad, and learned many many things.  I moved through traditional, hand pieced and hand quilted, cut from templates with scissors, almost all the way into digital printing and designing(tried it, didn't like it).  Today I went to the bi-annual show of the LQG.  I was blown away.  It's obvious to me that today's quilter has moved on and left dinosaurs like me in their dust.  I'm very discouraged, and spent some time talking to others while fulfilling my volunteer commitment.  I don't think I'm alone in my experience, but maybe I'm just a little more introspective than others, and prone to worrying more than some.  It all boils down to the question--is there a place for me in the "new" quilting world?

Recently my husband and I have been adjusting our lifestyle in response to the physical changes that result from the aging process.  As part of this, we had a discussion yesterday about where each of us is now finding our "happy spot". I have come to realize that none of us can assume responsibility for making someone else happy.  It's as though I have given myself permission to enjoy the pleasure I find in my studio, without guilt.  

Gotta think about this for awhile, but I think I'm heading to a place where I can enjoy finding pleasure in whatever makes me happy.