Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bad news and then some good news

The  reliquary is coming along, but not without its's problems.  For some reason I chose to start with the fuchsia pink, and using a silver metallic. I chose one of the shapes from the book, but altered the proportions and size, drafting my own pattern.  My original vision involved white and silver, but most of the beads I could find were more toward raspberry, so we added that.  I was trying to find some sort of theme, and the darn piece kept refusing to cooperate. After several days of anger and frustration, I went back to that old design guideline--If nothing seems to be working get rid of your very favourite component.  So I agreed to try gold metallic instead of silver.  The piece was ecstatic!  Ah, but which gold?  Do you have any idea how many golds there are?  After some experimentation, I went with Lumiere Halo Pink paint.  Dry brushed a little on the the base--ho hum.  So I painted some onto a crumpled up paper bag, and added appliqued (fused) shapes to the piece.  A little better, but not really satisfying to any extent.  So could I find some raspberry metallic to applique the shapes to the piece?  Oh Joy!  I found some.  I quickly did the machine applique, and went to bed happy.

Next morning, in day light, I realized that the Raspberry metallic, did not read as raspberry when used, but rather read as purple. Oh darn!  ( Not really what I said.  Use your imagination)  How can I save this?  Back to the stash, where I found some purple silk.  What the heck?!  I can't make it any worse.  Well, I did.

At this point I was ready to throw in the towel.  But, could I really  throw away all this time and supplies?  Why not use the piece to experiment with various techniques, before moving onto a new project (  Remember?  I had three other colourways  ready to go.)  So I relaxed, and let loose, and allowed myself to play.  First I did a small scale random FMQ'g all over the base layer with gold metallic--great results.  Then I added machine couched Japanese gold around the appliques. (Yes, real Japanese gold) Next I added custom-made braid along the edge of each of the five sides, and a similar braid along the bottom.  Here is a close-up of the piece, that shows detail of the FMQ'g and the braid.

Here is the full view of the result, all the machine sewing done, ready for beading.  I am pleasantly surprised at the result, and plan to finish it as originally planned.  I'll post more pictures once the beading and hand stitching is done.

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network and Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Starting new

After a lengthy time finishing projects to get ahead of deadlines, I have reached the point where I can allow myself to start a new project. Several things come to mind, and there are a couple of ongoing projects that I'll keep working on in the background, but I've decided to start a new reliquary.  The reliquaries I make are purely for my own enjoyment.  I only rarely show them to others, and haven't worked on one for over a year.  The concept and technique that inspires them can be found in the book "Beginners Guide to Embroidered Boxes" by Janet Edmonds, but the patterns and designs are my own.

The first step is to gather supplies.  The base is always 
Duipionni silk, backed by felt.  Depending on the size of the design, there may also be a layer of interfacing.

Then I pick thread, both matching and contrasting.  Next is embellishments.  This can involve beads, cabochons, metallic threads, and anything else that takes my fancy.  This time I hope to include some polymer clay faces that I made awhile ago.  I'm thinking of covering them with metallic leaf, once I settle on the metallic I want to use.  I have made a rule for myself--only one metallic per piece.

Working from my stash I have put together four potential pieces.  The critical point turned out to be beads.  This is my bead stash, and you wouldn't think I would have trouble finding a bead to match every possible option, but I had great trouble finding beads to match a light fuchsia silk I bought today.  I may have to take that colour out of the running for now.

 So I have fuchsia and dark teal, silver/gunmetal grey, and lilac, all with the beads I have tentatively put with them.

Next are the metallics, mainly various hand threads.  Machine threads are the next step.  Right now, in my decision-making, I'm leaning toward the teal with silver, or the grey/gunmetal with silver.

I'll post my progress with this, but each piece takes about 3 months of intense work, so it won't be too soon!

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network, and maybe Nina-Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Fridays.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Taming Chaos

This weekend, circumstances dictated that my basement studio get some TLC.  This took two full days.  A car load has gone to the local thrift store, and there is a large laundry basket full, and headed for the same place.  I have pretty well filled my big recycling bin. This was an emotional experience as it meant letting go of  all of the projects that have been saved over the years, in hopes that my physical health would improve to the point that I could take them up again.  I have known in my head that the day would come, but up until now had not accepted it in my heart. The biggest surprise to me, was the sense of relief I found myself experiencing, as they went through the door.  Many other items are put aside for friends, and I look forward to seeing them to new homes, over the next couple of weeks.

One thing I found was a partially assembled Storm at Sea quilt that I started in 2004, using fabric that I acquired at Quilt Canada 2004, which was here in Winnipeg.  I quickly accepted, that I would never finish it, but realized that enough had been put together that I could re-purpose it for a small charity quilt.  It took about an hour, but the top is together and I'll try to sandwich it ready for quilting this week.

Here are some pictures, in progress.

I plan to link this with the Needle and Thread Network