Sunday, October 28, 2012

Diversional therapy

Had my surgery last week and am still struggling with finding the energy to do anything in the studio.  I'm also taking significant pain killers, which seems to put my muse into a stupor.  So I have been playing with an old clean-up rag.  I have rubber stamped it and have now quilted about half of it.  This is giving me a chance to practice my new-found machine quilting skills, as well as experiment a bit with design. My machine is still giving me grief about mare's nests of thread on the back, but only where I start stitching, and only in regular stitching ,not FMQ'g,  for the most part.  I've tried every strategy I know to solve this, but nothing seems to work.  You would think that a $3000.00 machine would work better than that.  The machine is still objecting to finer threads, as well, but has been willing to accept Bottom line in the bobbin, although winding the bobbin is often a challenge.

What can I say?  These issues keep me busy and off the street!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

much ado about nothing

That pretty well describes my studio activities over the past while. Not being able to post pictures robs me of much of my incentive to post.  I think I mentioned taking a Craftsy class in machine quilting with Cindy Needham.  The last month has been spent working on both formal samples from that class, and a couple of my own pieces using some of the techniques.  I also have found the confidence to set up a class in machine quilting of my own. I've often thought that machine quilting is a strength of mine, but every bit of practice and information helps.  But working mono-chromatically gets boring after awhile, even when working on my own hand dyed fabric.  So I added metallic paint to the most recent piece, and fell in love with the result. Now I have another piece in the planning stages, in which I hope to move even further into combining intensive quilting with painting the fabric.  I'm just not sure which technique should come first!

So, while I'm trying to figure that out, I've started a piece from Yuko Saito's most recent book.  I like most of the pieces in there, and, of course, love the muted Japanese colour scheme.  Several of my hand dyes would fit into the scheme but there wouldn't be enough to make the bag, so I've added other fabrics, and the colour is much more North American.  I really didn't want to be buying more fabric, as my goal is to use up what's here.

Much of this effort is in keeping with my vow to make what I want to make, and not to be concerned about producing a marketable product. I still plan to exhibit, however, and I'm please that one of my pieces  actually sold, recently.  So I guess I'm maintaining my quality control, even if I'm finding joy in my muse.