Saturday, March 30, 2013


I haven't been able to settle to any serious work in the studio.  The problem is within me, and I'm not sure why.  There are pieces lined up, waiting attention, and I have to get down to some serious planning for the  sale in July. But my hands are less and less capable of the hand finishing, and I'm being forced to realize that I am facing the end of my ability to complete any more hand finishing.  Once before, about 20 years ago, I was forced to give up hand quilting.  At that point machine quilting was just becoming acceptable, and with a lot of practice, I was able to make a transition, but the hand finishing has always been essential for exhibition or judged work.  But now even the beading is no longer possible, certainly not to the extent that it's been used in the past.  Even the smallest amount requires adapted methods and equipment.

 I think that I had realized this to a level, in my sub-conscious, and only in the last day or so, have I been able to acknowledge it to myself, and actually speak of it.  I've been a little "teary" lately, and wonder if this is what was behind it.

So now I must give myself time to re-evaluate what I'm doing, and engage in some task analysis.  This means developing different criteria for what needs to be done.  Then I must develop different methods of doing the essentials, such a stitching on bindings.  I will also need to re-evaluate my value system, and either figure out which of my personal standards are really valid in today's fibre world, and which are important only to me, and therefore subject to change.  But I worry that all the task analysis and work simplification I 'm capable of won't tell me how to sew on 1000 seed beads by hand.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Good news!

Both of the pieces I spoke about in the last post have been accepted into the 2013 Fibrescapes show, opening in Penticton in late May.  Yay!!

The revised class went very well in Neepawa, and there was strong support for the second day  to incorporate feathers.  So my time is being spent working on an outline and samples for that.  I am enjoying my time practicing these skills and drafting patterns to practice on.  Overall, I don't know if I'm going to worry about being asked to teach this, and maybe that is the best way to approach it.  Do what I want, and find pleasure in doing it.

One thing that is being re-considered is the use of cotton Damask for this.  To do so, I have to remove hems etc, and over dye the fabric.  When there is nothing holding the construction and weave of the fabric, it becomes very difficult to work with. As well, the thread used to do the machine quilting tends to melt into the fibres and becomes almost invisible. the beautiful quilting designs just disappear. The fabric works well as long as the hems aren't removed, so future efforts will probably be with recycled napkins rather than tablecloths,