Thursday, March 31, 2016

Free form piecing

I've just realized that it's been a week since I posted. As usual, I've been busy, but haven't seemed to have accomplished much. My two priorities were getting the baby quilts in the mail which I did manage to get done.

Today, a rainy day, was perfect to stay home and get a few things done. I actually got my kitchen/dining room damp mopped-- an achievement the for me as it's often difficult to do. While it dried I spent time in the sewing studio.

I even made a list which I completely ignored! My mind has been like a butterfly lately, flitting from one thing to another. These are the projects lying on the sewing machine that's set up for free motion stitching and quilting.

I had good intentions the other day to finish a mug rug; however, when I ran out of bobbin thread, I stopped.

That was first on the list today. Something else was distracting me.

On Monday, we had a snowstorm that dumped about a foot of wet snow and disrupted our power from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM. I spent a few hours that day picking apart the pieces of the sun prints and choosing a slightly different arrangement.

That is what caught my attention today. I just had to start putting it back together.

I've got to get it done and call it quits before it drives me crazy. I get obsessed with moving things around.

It is on its way-- still missing a few strips and colors here and there.

After lunch, I made a batch of granola. I love the little bit of crunch on my yogurt or cottage cheese snacks.

Now that I've had my snack, I'm going to make a tea and relax with my feet up before supper. Not sure if I even have any energy left to knit on the latest socks.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Snowy Good Friday

We've been getting what I hope is the last significant snowfall although we've had them later. It's been a day of domesticity. I made fish chowder this morning along with some banana paleo muffins. I'm not really into paleo but I do try to eat less grains and if I eat bread or rice, it's always whole grain. These muffins were made with almond butter, bananas, eggs, and coconut flour. They are full of protein and fiber with no added sugar. We had them for lunch and they are definitely good.

I'm feeling a bit low today-- likely a result of the weather and medication adjustments. After lunch, I sat with my tea and finally finished stitching the binding on the pinwheel baby quilt.

I've realized that stitching a printed label to the back of the quilt is not possible with my fingers, and so I opted to free motion stitch it.

When life gets one a bit down, it's time to pull out the print basket and have fun picking and stitching fabrics together for a mug rug.

I thought I'd relax by free motion quilting it.

It was going well until I stopped after the first tall flower and moved to the leaves on the left. I forgot to put the presser foot down. What a mess underneath. I'm sure there are electronic machines that let you know it's not been lowered but my good ole manual does not. Has that happened to you?

I decided that was the message to stop and head to the sofa for some hand work. Last night, I finished knitting this little sweater and there are lots of ends to sew in.

For those who celebrate, I'm wishing you a Happy Easter.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Friends, quilting shanties, piecing curves

I started off my day by meeting friends at the nearby coffee shop. While I like a day at home, I try to always make time for friends.

After getting a wash out, I headed into the sewing studio where I put some finishing touches with thread and paint onto the shanties.

After lunch I sandwiched it and did some outline quilting.

When I reached the outside border the tension went off, so I took that as the time to stop and switch gears.

I moved to the sun prints which involves cutting and piecing free form curves. More relaxing.

I've gotten all the original straight seams taken out and resewn most with the curved strips.

It's getting closer to what I envisioned.

Next, I turned on my computer and wrote up the outline for a workshop.

It's been a productive day.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stay home and sew

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to head across town to snowshoe on a short section of the trail where I haven't been since the fall.

The vistas are a little more open in spots than the woodsy one near my house, but still pretty. There is even a beaver pond.

Getting out yesterday means today is a rest and ice pack day, but the good news is I'm still good enough to sit and sew.

On my drive over yesterday I was thinking about the sun print pieces and I was picturing them with more curvy lines in the joining strips rather than the staging pieces that I've stitched.

Last night, I couldn't resist putting together a few strip curves to see how it would go.

Still more to do as I have to snip out all the straight pieces. Again this is only an idea.

By 3:40 I needed a break, so I stopped for my snack and put my feet up in my corner. Hubby just made me a hot chocolate. I've got everything close, some knitting, (another baby sweater) and a binding to stitch.

Enough to keep me busy until supper.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tea with friends and playing with sun prints

This morning I had a friend for tea, another one stopped by and after lunch a third friend popped in for a little quilting advice. There was a stream of laughable (better to laugh) occurances before they came.

I got up late to make the muffins, discovered I had no milk for tea, and then found --after they were started--that I had no orange juice left for the muffins. I made these muffins today to accommodate the first friend who doesn't eat oatmeal. I substituted a combination of unsweetened cranberry juice and almond milk for the liquid.

Then I found out said friend doesn't eat cranberry, lol. She ended up stopping for a muffin of her choice at The local donut shop. Mine turned out good though and I was able to offer one to the next friend.

We had some good chat and laughs and after all the visits were over, I played a bit in my studio.

Most of the pieces are not sewn together. I'm auditioning different fabrics.

This may take a while.

For sure the vertical dark green is bothering me. The pieces will be in constant movement as I study it, sew a few more bits and as I move back and forth to other pieces while I contemplate.

I also played with another doodle, squeezing a few more onto the page.



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Poinsettia runner, Sketchclub doodles

It's a bit of a snow day here today, so I've stayed in doing all things domestic-- some wash and homemade bread.

While I'm dreaming about getting into some more spring like artwork such as the sun prints currently on my design wall, I really felt the need to finish cut and stitch my stamped poinsettia fabric into a runner.

The details in the batik fabric are not showing the best above. My camera needed charging and I had to use theIPad. Difficult to get a good picture when I had to back away so far in order to fit it all in the shot.

Was I crazy to have cut it all up?

I've also still been playing with a few of my doodles from the Sketchclub APP.

I have the I Pad and a very old computer which would not run Photoshop. Someday, I'm going to get a new one and learn it, but for now I'm stuck with some very rudimentary tools.

In the one above, I took a doodle, cropped it in Picasso, copied it into a Word document and sized it so I could fit several together on the page.

In the next one, I printed some doodles out, cut them out and pasted them onto the paper

And for this one, I printed a design and actually traced them all onto the paper.

It's all somewhat labor intensive but still fun to do. I think I could make one full page craft foam stamp that would be great to use when Gelli printing.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Creative flow

Creative time in my studio is often varied. It can be slow and ponderous and detailed like when I'm doing thread painting on a small piece such as the shanties.

Other times, it is more frenzied and energetic-- which is not so often. I've been like this for the last 2 days and I just have to go with the flow. It means that when I walked into the studio this afternoon, my intentions were to finish the shanties, but I found myself picking up fabric and rotary cutter and starting to strip piece some curves in the luscious colors that match my sun prints.

The strip pieced curves are on the left. I also pieced a narrow strip of chartreuse silk which you can see above running horizontally above the bottom fern.

These are placed in random order for the moment. I'm piecing together all the components and I'll have fun arranging them later.

What could be more fun! Especially on a cold, windy, winter day when the sun is better enjoyed 'through my window'.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A snow day equals more creative playtime

Everything was cancelled today due to snow and freezing rain. That meant I had a whole day to do what I wanted to creatively - well aside from a few household chores.

I had a 'to do' list. First on the list was to finish printing the small poinsettias on the piece I had started so I could peel off the freezer paper masks and put it away.

Notice they're not perfect but that's the fun in handmade, paint and stitch will fix it up. I made two pillows for the sofa and this is meant to be cut up for a table runner.

Next, the plan was to finish my fish shanties. I got distracted when I noticed a sun print hanging over the cutting table. Thinking it would be a bit of creative fun to pull out a couple fabrics for a mug rug, I couldn't stop! I know, I'm so ADD! You have to go with the flow.

I cut the piece up and spread it out on the design wall. Sorry, lighting is not great since it's such a grey day.

I even went through my fiber collection.

Now, is the thinking part. I read in a fiber art book once that the first part of creating a new piece by throwing bits together is fast work. The next step where one thinks about how to put it together is the slow part.

So in the meantime while it percolates, I moved on to the shanties, sewing the first border on.

I'm auditioning a piece of white yarn.

Next (below), I'm pondering a piece of lace which would be inserted only on the left side.

Finally, I almost finished the thread painting. Just a few details left.