Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Quilting in the studio

True to my goal of finishing my latest pieces in the next few weeks, I spent some studio time this afternoon free motion quilting my sun prints.

I'm excho quilting around the leaf prints and doing straight line quilting along the strips. Sometimes I feel like I'm not as skilled at free motion quilting as I am at thread painting or sketching. More practice is needed.

A bit more quilting and I'll add a binding, the same blue as the border.

Meantime my garden piece simply needs the various insects sewn on, backing added, and a few lines of quilting to secure it.

I made several more of the bees. They're addictive now that I've got the method down.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer days

We are in the middle of a beautiful hot sunny stretch, muggy, but at least there is relief at the beach and with the A/C in the house. I'm so grateful for both.

This is my favourite place to be at my in laws on a hot day.

I love putting my toes in the water and floating around in the gentle waves with a noodle. The water in the bay was lovely and warm on the weekend.

A little quick sketching while drying off and waiting for barbecued burgers.

In my sewing room this morning after a bit of a house clean, I started (barely) the quilting on this piece.

My aim is to finish both this and the garden piece in the next couple of weeks.

I want them done before my surgery; one might make it to a show.

The heat is really inducing growth in the garden. The tomato plants are huge.

The yellow zucchini are taking over.

The clematis has wrapped around the apple and is in full bloom.

My cosmos are just starting to bloom as well as the annual poppy sprinkled amongst them.

There's something new to see everyday.

On my way out to sock knitting this afternoon, I placed one of the glass birdbaths out the front. You can't even tell there's water in it. I wonder if the birds will use it. It adds a bit of color and whimsy at least and there is a solar light in the bottom. I'm anxious to see the glow at night.

I've got a couple of days to get into the studio and then I must pack for our weekend on PEI and for the baby shower we're doing at the cottage. We'll have some of the dad's family, our family and a few friends. I hope the weather will cooperate so the children can play and the men can golf while the shower is on.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ladybugs, bees, and dragonflies

I've now finished the stitching on this piece and I'm ready for a backing and a few lines of quilting. The insects were the last things to do.

Last night and this morning, I put together a tiny dragonfly, about 1 1/2" long.

Neither one is stitched down yet as I will block the piece first and probably put them on before adding the backing.

I quite like the little one made by wrapping a folded piece of 24 gauge wire with a layer of yarn and metallic thread, two tiny beads for eyes.

When I'm working on them, I lower my ironing board and use my sewing chair.

Can you spy the bees and ladybugs?

2 bees, 3 ladybugs.

My favourite bee below.

On top of this, I'm organizing a baby shower for my daughter-- our first grandchild, and it's a boy! We're holding it at the cottage on Prince Edward Island on the last weekend in July. Both parents live and work there and there is lots of family on both sides. I've been busy making lists and running to the dollar store for decorations.

Besides that, a few friends are coming over on Thursday to make glass garden art and bird baths. I've been experimenting with arrangements.

Nothing is glued yet and there's lots more glass pieces not out yet.

I went yard saling last weekend with a friend where we picked up lots of pieces of glass and I also scored these glasses. A friend tells me the ones in the back are depression era. They both fit my hands perfectly and I love the polka dots! I'm thinking they may have come from peanut butter or mustard promotions at one time. I remember having some like that growing up.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

A dragonfly emerges

Well, I can't tell you how many hours went into figuring out this one dragonfly. After many trials I've come up with something. To me it's all worth it as it's all about the process and one's absorption in it. And I have been absorbed even when I haven't physically been in the studio. The mind and the creative process have proved for me to be as good or better than pain killers.

I finally settled on a pipe cleaner coiled at the head, wrapped with yarn and then the moire strip of fabric, winding it with thread and stitching it down.

Two beads for eyes.


I've enjoyed working on this piece so much. I'm almost ready to back it and quilt it. A few ladybugs are needed.

I just centured outside to hang clothes and check plants. Wow, it is hot and muggy. Hubby is back from Labrador and plans to come home from work at lunch time. We may head to the beach. While I was watering plants and nipping buds, I spied a cricket hanging on a stalk. I ran inside for the camera thinking, oh wouldn't this be nice on my piece. Of course he left before I made it back. There's always the Internet as a resorce.

So, I stopped to take a few pics, views that you may have already seen. It excites me so as it grows! These are some of my herbs by my kitchen doorstep.

And another one of the birdbath.

The vegetables against the deck are growing and climbing. There squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, pole beans and peas, and tomatoes all squeezed in there below the deck. In the pots are Swiss chard and peppers. No space wasted.

On the deck tomatoes are filling out and a new pot of lettuce has sprouted.

This is happiness to me.

Simple pleasures.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Gardening and sewing, the best of times

It's not warm and sunny, but at least the sun pokes out now and again and it hasn't rained yet today.

I spent an hour in the garden this morning after going out for a Saturday paper and gas.

I moved the rock border forward, dug up some sod, moved an astilbe and put in a new plant, a bleeding heart. Very satisfying. I won't push it, that's it for today.

After lunch, with my tea, I did a small coloured pencil sketch.

And then I headed to the sewing studio for more stitching on the garden piece. I haven't settled on the name. Dream Garden? Dreaming Garden?

I'm getting closer. When I see it on the screen, I notice spots where I want to add more stitching. The orange flowers need a darker thread and the burgundy ones need highlights.

I always love the view from my sewing machine, even, and especially the line of clothes.

The last time I worked on the dragonfly wings, I struck the wire with the needle and broke it, the wire that is, not the needle. Today, I wanted to try again.

I was quite succesful by going as slow as possible in the narrowest zig zag.

It's painstaking but it works. I'm just not sure about the thickness it gives the line. I'd like them to be more delicate. I've used the narrowest zig zag, sparsely spaced and the smallest wire I could find locally. That's the best I can do for now. I'll be away in a few weeks and will look for something.

I also played with an idea for the body wrapping a pipe cleaner with fleece and fabric which unfortunately list its iridescence when wrapped. There's always a drawback. I'm wondering if I could use starch on the unwired ones to mold them into shape. Or a white glue. Research is needed.

I'm actually sitting on my deck with my tea, the first time in a week. I'm on my own for supper. The plan is to bake salmon tips with yellow zucchini and bok choy with some fresh herbs in the little Black and Decker oven. Simple and tasty.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Free motion stitching

There's not a whole lot showing as different. I've been free motion stitching a bit, slowly making my way around the leaves and flowers.

It takes time because I like to go back in with a darker value to give some depth as I did in the hosta below.

I went looking for a lazy boy that would suit my style and my needs this morning as I believe I may need one for comfort after my hip surgery. I think I found the one I want.

I'm quitting my sewing time a bit early now to run on a couple errands.

Oh, and I quickly put together this little pillow cover for my knee cushion.

I hope you're having a good week. Take a few minutes to be creative, nurture your soul, or to simply breathe and be.