Friday, January 6, 2023

A couple of things

I  mentioned last time that I was going to be working on my scroll books.  I used an extra heavy duty cardboard center from a roll of  tinfoil, covered it in cotton, and then finished the ends with a beaded yo-yo.

Then, totally unexpectedly, I was gifted with the wooden centers of two weavers' thread cones.  These are very carefully tucked away in the studio, until I make scroll books to fit.  One of them will take a 5" scroll and the other a 7" scroll. At this point I plan to leave the surface of them as it is --a patina showing age.

Then I went to work on a couple of fabric collages, each meant to serve as background to an art quilt hanging.  One of them is done with pieces of eco-printed cotton, all in a white/grey colour.

The other is in shades of red, using painted white fabric, and various printing methods.

The red one is slightly smaller than the grey, although both will be trimmed after quilting.  The red one will be embellished with grey and black beads of various sizes, but the grey may just be block printed.  I have appropriate fabric for binding or facing both, which ever I decide to use.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Great Day in the Studio

It almost feels as though I've got my "mojo" back.

Although I've been puttering around a lot, today I actually accomplished a fair bit.  There was quite pile of "good" quilting batt in the store room, none of which was wide enough to do anything with, not even join sections to make a usable piece of batting.  But I do have a couple of charity quilt patterns that require pre-cut batting.  So I have cut enough of one pattern to finish, and about half of the the other.  They are now put away until I  get to those patterns, as there are enough fabric pieces already cut (those were cut several years ago and ignored until now) to finish both of them.  But not today.

Today I decided to get down to business and finish as many of the scroll books as I could.  How to finish them has been percolating around in my mind for a couple of years, but I didn't trust my own instincts, until now.  One is finished and progress is being made on three others.  Yet another one is slowly being stitched, but won't likely be ready to finish for a few months, at the speed I'm working on it.

Here is the first one.  I'm sorry the first one isn't better, but I think I must have lost some detail when I cropped it.  This is the end of the center of the scroll.  If you think it looks a little like a yo-yo, you're right. I covered the cardboard roll, and buried the edges inside ad then hand stitched a yo-yo on top, after adding three strings of beads again by hand.  Both ends are the same.

Here is the full scroll with a pocket book beside it for size comparison.  It is actually about 11"long.

Tomorrow I'll have to see what trouble I can get into.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Finally! 'Tis done! Jen Kingwall's design, Long Time Gone.

 Too large for the design wall, so we move to the living room floor.  I'm so glad to finally see the piecing finished, after about 5 years in the making.  

Navel Gazing yet again

 This year has been a busy one in the studio, with my 4 month daily "purge", and even now still dealing with all of the UFO's found during that purge.  Now that we're able to get out and socialize more, I've been able to "ramp up" my volunteer work.  This is all demanding a lot of energy that hasn't been needed in my life since March of 2020.  Now, with my 78th birthday looming on the horizon, I find that once lost, that energy is very, very hard to find again.  Yesterday, DH and I volunteered to spend 5 hours greeting guests and being available for questions in an art Gallery that we've supported for almost 20 years.  Thank Goodness there were other volunteers available, as it was quite busy, and I just wasn't able to pull my weight.  DH was fine--a tribute to the physical exercise program he's been on for the past 6 weeks.  

How can I continue to socialize and spend time in my studio without entering that downward spiral that so many aging people get swept into by life?  This maybe needs to be approached with the same strategy that I used for problem solving in my professional life.  Set some SMART goals with the emphasis being on "realistic" and "achievable".  Break these goals into steps, and most importantly, actually do something toward actually attempting to complete those steps.  I think my BuJo just might have a role to play in this.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Catch up

 I've been talking about a second quilt for finishing without identifying it.  This was because it didn't have a name.  Well it is now called FS#3, and this is what it looks like.  Some may recognize it as one I put together about a year ago.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

 Most of yesterday was spent playing with my new stencils and different kinds of paint, both with and without textile medium.  I used a previously worked piece of fabric that I just haven't yet been able to find a use for.  It was worked with a variety of media, and could provide a good surface for finding out how the stencils took the different paints and surfaces.  I was looking for the best paint for both coverage and transparency.

This is the best result I had, and clearly demonstrated -to me--how important value can be when working with fine stencils.

This again demonstrates how important value is in very fine stencils.  I have several ideas about how I might use this small stencil in future.

My hope, when I purchased the stencils was to explore how to actually use them, and how they might be used as fairly faint images in a mixed media piece.  Here, I also experimented with two different types of paint--acrylic plus textile medium on the left, and fabric paint on the right.

This just didn't work for me, and it's something I'll have to explore more in future.  It bothers me how willing I am to put the creative stuff aside.  I'm happier going back to more traditional work--my comfort zone.  This needs more thought, something I'm not looking forward to.

For now. I've put the paint and stencils away as I found a long armer for my two quilts.  She's reasonably local, the price is good, and she's available, although she can't promise to have them done by Christmas.  I assured her there was no way I need them done by Christmas.  She also comes well recommended.  So now I just need to cut and stitch the borders on Long Time Gone, and prepare backing and bindings for both.  I have the fabric and batting, it just needs to be cut to size.

Monday, November 7, 2022


 Things are going very well on "Long Time Gone".  As of this morning, the various pieces are laid out on my flannel wall in their final positions. The stitching instructions have us putting together 6 sections, a couple of which are assembled using sub-sections.  Sections 1-5 are now stitched together, and section 6 partially done.  While the light at the end of the tunnel is a little brighter, I also plan to add pieced borders as suggested in the pattern, so a finish will likely not happen until, at least, a week Sunday.  It might have been sooner if my schedule weren't so very full for the next few days.

This is what my flannel wall looked like around noon today.  Followers will notice that the fish that live at the top right of the first section of wall, have gone travelling for a few days.  I think those fish have been up there for close to 20 years.  I expect them back soon, but am wondering if they might like to be at the top left of the right section of wall for a few years.  We'll see what they say when they get back from their travels.  On the left section of wall the left hand side is comprised of three separate sections that have each been assemble and stitched, but not yet together.  

The right hand side of this wall is arranged according to stitching pattern, but nothing had been stitched when the picture was taken.  It is all pieced now.

This wall is also arranged according to stitching design, about half of which has now been pieced. 

So I've been very busy over the past week or so.  I mentioned in my last post that I was getting "antsy" to do some "arty" work.  Before I became obsessed with finishing "Long Time Gone", I had been doing some Thermofax printing and playing with some stencils.  A couple of friends will be taking me out to a shop that sells nothing except stencils.  So I'm slowly preparing for a frenzy of stencil, block printing, and screen printing just as soon as I can convert my studio into accepting wet work.  Not safe to attempt to do both fibre and paint work in the same space.