Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Reduced to this!!

Over the past few weeks, I've been plagued with back problems, and have barely been able to spend more than a few minutes at a time in my studio.  I've also been bored almost to tears with the limits on my activity. But--my hands have actually been almost itchy to hold a needle and fondle fabric.  Finally I had enough and sought some small hand sewing project that I could use to ease my "cabin fever".  I ended up making yo-yo's.  I have no idea if or when they might be used, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  Yes, that's a quarter beside them.  They really are quite small.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In the Saddle Again

The piece mentioned in my last post was a large, hand dyed mandala.  I ended up trimming the edge, and then cutting long pieces of all four sides, until I had the center square down to about 19" on each side.  There were four long narrow pieces that I played with a bit, until I had three of them joined, into a long narrow piece about 15" by 23".  These all sat for awhile, while I thought about it.

This morning, I leaf printed everything except the center square.  For that, I had bought some special thread to use with a programmed stitch to create a large spiral out from the center. I got it all sketched out on paper, and took a good look, said to myself "Crap!", and put the whole thing aside for future consideration.

Here are the edge pieces with their leaf prints.  I used white acrylic paint plus textile medium, for the main piece, and then orange and black Seta-Color on the smaller pieces.

This main piece was planned.  I will FMQ the leaves, and then put a wide machine satin stitch vertically to cover the joins.  I'm comfortable with that plan.  Sort of weird, but I like it at this point.

Now, with these pieces, I was more or less, just fooling around, but now I'm considering joining them together, somehow, to produce a larger, possibly marketable piece.  Considering that, I somewhat regret using the two different colours of paint for the leaves, but there will be nothing lost in trying it out.  Who knows?  I may end up with a bunch of "mug rugs", for which I have no use whatsoever. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Well, talk about wasting time

Today I was working on a piece for the shows I'm committed to this fall.  Since I was just doing background machine quilting, my mind was free to wander and contemplate that evil little voice in my brain that keeps telling me that my work is crap.  Determined to ignore that voice, I worked on the piece all day, with a suspicion in my mind that it really wasn't working.  I considered various ways I could possibly change it to make it more pleasing, or marketable. None of the possibilities really sounded workable to me, but I carried on, morning, afternoon and evening, until all the machine quilting was done.  Knowing the problems with Frixion pens, (I had marked the piece with them, several months ago,) as soon as it was finished, I ironed it.  Yep, white marks, even though I had tried to keep the marks at a minimum.  Well, now to figure how where I go from here.

Second thoughts

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to show pictures of Tall Grass Prairie, to a friend whose opinion I trust.  She was very polite about  minutiae, but I could see she wasn't terribly impressed.   This sort of confirmed some reservations I had about the piece. The only way I can describe my concern is to say that it's very austere, and the design somewhat simple for the size of the piece.  I know that it is quite a bit larger than my comfort zone, which is quite happy working at about 12 by 12.  

While we are constantly told to stretch ourselves in our art, in order to grow creatively, I have to wonder if this applies to artists who are  at the end of their careers, as it does to those much as those younger.  The lady I spoke with yesterday talked about reaching a point where you are free to do whatever you want.  This would give me pleasure, but I also think it might give me permission to become lazy, and spend my time doing nothing but charity quilts, where I don't have to think, just to truck along with my sewing machine.  That's when I sometimes get "into the zone".  Very relaxing, but how satisfying--in the long run??

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Tall Grass Prairie finished.

Here are the official pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A couple of finishes today

First I finished a group of beads I've been working on for the past couple of days.  I painted strips of Tyvek with either Lumiere metallic paint or Dyna-flo fabric paint.  Then two strips,  one of each were rolled tightly around a piece of plastic drinking straw.  This was then "zapped" with a heat gun to melt and contort the Tyvek.  I will probably now wrap them with metallic ribbon for added "zowie".

Once that was done, I finished hand stitching the facing on a small art quiltlet.  I've made a sleeve, but can't decide which looks best--either the first picture, or the second where I've turned upside down.  I know that the test of an abstract painting is that it looks good in any direction, but I need to decide, so that it can be hung.  Any opinions out there?



Thursday, May 24, 2018

One of those days--

When whatever can go wrong does go wrong.  But I do have a couple of pictures.  Lately I've been working on a new piece, "Tall Grass Prairie".  I researched the subject and found small publication put out by The Manitoba Naturalist Society, now called Nature Manitoba.  I asked for permission to adapt some of the sketches in the book for thread painting, and received their permission.  I have it all put together, ready for backing and binding but decided that the irregularity in quilting had lead to some tension issues, that needed to be addressed.  I blocked it yesterday, without any success, so am now going to see if more quilting might stabilize it a bit better.  Here it is on my blocking board.
This entire piece was developed from the fabric used in the border.  I saw it at the recent quilt show, and fell in love.  It is Windham Fabrics, Marcia Derse Pattern 43187--"Birch".  Here is a close up.

It doesn't look like much, at first glance, but I can see so much potential in it, that I later contacted the shop where from which I had bought it and ordered more.

In the mean time, while waiting for it to dry, I got the hearts stitched together, and basted ready for quilting.  This makes three pieces ready for quilting, so I have a lot to do over the next while.