Sunday, August 30, 2015

buying supplies

Studio time has been limited, the past couple of weeks.  There is a serious piece brewing in my mind, which means selecting and/or buying the necessary supplies.  I decided to use 100wt silk for the FMQ'g, but needed to be sure of my colour match, so went off to the one LQS where I knew the silk was sold.  Imagine my shock to find out that they are significantly reducing their fabric and thread inventory in favour of more machines!!  Evidently they are loosing a lot of business to the Internet and, to a lesser extent, to "cross-border-shopping".  I know this is a problem all over.  What will people do when there is no LQS to go into for advice and help?  How sad!

My husband suggested we take a look at other quilt stores in the province and make a day trip, if we could find the silk available.
No such luck.  My last resort??  The internet.  I have ordered some, but trying to match colours on the monitor is a crap shoot.  So I also ordered a colour sample card.  At least the source I found is Canadian.

In the meantime, I have been piecing a couple of charity quilts from a design from the most recent episode of The Quilt Show.  This design was provided complete, with fabric requirements and cutting instructions, for our personal use, so no copyright has been breached.  But, no matter how I tried, I couldn't get a decent 1/4" seam from the Janome. An old problem, but thank Goodness for the old Pfaff---still trucking along and working perfectly--if only it had the wider harp!!

Awhile ago I bought fabric to make two baby quilts.  I thought I bought about the right amount, but these two make quilts 4 and 5, all from the same fabric.  They aren't yet quilted, and that may  take awhile.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Hand Stitching

Hand embroidering these little ATC's has been difficult.  These elderly hands are no longer up to the task.  I don't know if the flareup of my arthritis is because of the hand work, or if it is the cause of the difficulty with the hand work.  The hand stitching on them has been finished, but I had to use every trick in the book to get it done, even to the point of dragging out my old floor frame.

My first love was hand embroidery.  I developed a fair bit of technical skill in this, especially with counted thread ethnic embroideries and in producing intricate, fine surface stitchery. I have taught both.  I have exhibited my work nationally as well as locally, and have won awards for it.  I have seen the writing on the wall in terms of this and have devoted a lot of time and energy teaching myself to work with the machine,  ( to say nothing of the money I've spent on machines!), which has lead to my fibre work and FMQ'g.

More recently I blogged about setting up four fibre pieces that would feature hand stitching, since that is all the rage at the moment.  Well, those will be done,but using any technique I choose.

My heart hasn't really accepted the end of this, and I will probably try it out every once in awhile, but I see it as the end of an era.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Who knew!

I've been embroidering the little ATC's, and it's maybe a good thing that the Shibori didn't turn out so well.  The stitching I used is all upside down on the ATC's.  I can embroider over it, and it may never be noticed. 

Who knew that Shibori can have a right way and a wrong way!?!

Go figure!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Finishing the Show Quilt

yes, we are down to the binding, but this is proving a slow process.  The problem is my arthritic hands and wrists.  So I do a bit every day, and am now more than half way around the piece. 

A second problem is my obsessiveness about keeping it clean. Somehow, I convinced myself that my ATC's for the end of the month will involve dyeing fabric in fall colours.  I must have been out of my mind, especially when I decided to do this using little pieces of fabric, cut just slightly larger than the finished ATC.  I refuse to run a full washer cycle with 4 little pieces of fabric, so have attempted to rinse them by hand.  Seemed to work fine, especially after I even did a full hand washing in very hot water using Synthropol.  And, of course, I got dye on my hands!  That isn't getting anywhere near that white quilt! And now I plan to hand embroider the ATC's!  Didn't I learn anything when trying to sew the binding on the white quilt??

I used an Ori Nui Shabori pattern to put three stalks of grain on each ATC, but the scale was so small that they didn't come out very well defined, so now I plan to over stitch them in a Tete de Boule stitch using variegated silk thread. 

As I mentioned--out of my mind.