Friday, August 23, 2013

A bit of joy, and a bit of sorrow

I have been working hard, in the studio.  Housework much less so.  It shows.  This week both my dishwasher and A/C gave us grief.  the Dishwasher is being replaced, provided I can find a plumber to set it up for me, but the A/C will have to wait ( where is September when you need it??).  So every minute spent in the studio contains a little bit of guilt.

The class sample for my collage class at the end of September is finished and looks fabulous.  I ended up buying a length of a batik for the backing and binding.  While hand stitching the binding on I realized what a joy it is to work with a fresh, crisp, top quality fabric.  While the fabric I use for my hand dyes is fairly good quality, the multiple washings, involved in the process, soften it up, and makes it a little bit more of a chore to finish really well.  While I was just planning to use this piece as a teaching sample I think it has turned out nicely enough to put into my gallery show in December.  Here is both a close-up and a full view

My Bonsai Tree is coming along nicely.  I had to put it aside while working on other deadlines, and hope to get back to it this weekend.  I had sketched it out on the background, with machine basting, completed all of the background quilting, and then started work on the thread painting.  DH, who looks in once in awhile had seen it  with just the basting and background done, came in, took a second look, and remarked " Why are you doing the clouds green?"  He had seen the spaces left for foliage as clouds in a sky. (Marked with X's in the picture Go figure!

And where is the sorrow, you ask.  I have been working on a larger sample for my class in the middle of "September.  This is a machine quilting and Free Motion class, to which I have added a second day dedicated to Feathers.  I have been attempting to make a finished sample of Machine Trapunto feathers, since my original sample was sold at the July sale.  I used an absolutely gorgeous piece of hand dye, for which I selected and ordered special thread--a 100 wt Kimono silk.  Since I had been disappointed with the blue piece--now titled "My Blue Rag"--where I had used a closely matched thread colour  to the background, I chose a slightly darker, rosy red, to go with the variegated rosy brown/beige background.  The trapunto stitching was finished, and the extra batting carefully cut out (two days work).  Then all of the feathers were quilted.  while doing that, I was having difficulty  where the water soluble thread had obliterated my marked lines, so decided to wash it out as soon as the basic feathers were finished, and before I tried to do the background filling stitching.  The piece was thoroughly wet with a huge spritzer, and carefully blocked.

Looking at it today, those places where I had difficulty following the lines were very obvious, and the water-soluble thread didn't come fully out, leaving dark lines behind..  I carefully took out and re-stitched the worst of them and started doing the echoing around the feathers.  Not pretty. There is no way I can take out all of the stitching--it is 27 inches square, and densely quilted.  The fabric was a special one, and there is a lot of money invested in thread. The thread colour is a little overwhelming, although the YLI rosy beige silk background thread seems to work well.  The end result is unacceptable.  I cannot figure a way out of this problem.  Time to take the rest of the day off, and then  move on.