Posted in productivity, quilting, stash

Dragonfly

How much stash do we quilters have that is just too precious to slice into?  It sits there for year after year, maybe when you bought it you had a project in mind but then it was just too beautiful to cut and if you use it all up there won’t be any left, and of course the older the fabric is the more true that is, because designs get retired faster and faster these days.

By the way, off on a tangent, I really appreciate the manufacturers who have the guts to put the year the fabric was issued into the selvedge!   Why doesn’t everyone do that?  To me it just makes so much sense.  I always look at the publication date of any book I’m reading (yes, even cookery books, I know, I’m a nerd!)

Back on topic again, Cathy Miller aka the Singing Quilter teaches a reverse applique mola class that’s intended to use up the fabric that’s too beautiful to cut, and she doesn’t make you cut it!   This little dragonfly is my first attempt at this technique, complete with my own little wrinkle that sidesteps binding and showcases the fabulous fabric on the back of the piece as well as in the image.

Cathy just released another CD and I went to the launch party at Satin Moon recently where she not only performed the songs but told us the stories behind them, which was fascinating.

Sidestepping binding is a hot topic with me right now because I’ve had a busy week with one thing and another, but I need to get the binding hand sewn onto the Shattered Angles quilt.  I get sidetracked so easily between taking stretch breaks, tending to family needs, work deadlines.  But I did make good progress today so I’m confident that tomorrow I’ll get it finished so it can go to the Post Office on Sunday (ours is open, since it’s in the back of the drugstore, what a blessing!)  I have a scrap of bright orange and turquoise batik pinned where I stopped yesterday, so that encourages me to keep going.

Also because I have another longer term project on the go at the moment, workwise, I have started scheduling in a set amount of time per day to work on each of these projects.  I just have to remind myself that you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Does anyone else struggle with this, elusive balance in life (well, probably everyone does!)  And what do you do to keep yourself on track?

Posted in quilting

Which End is Up??

They do say that the mark of a good composition is one that works in any orientation, so perhaps I’ve achieved that for once.

While in the workshop with Susan McGregor at Satin Moon last week, I felt that the piece would be turned this way (second photo). That was how her sample piece was displayed and I was not aiming for a landscape effect, just wanted to learn the technique and play with the subtle batik colors.
At the end of the day, Susan and I were looking at my work and she suggested turning it sideways, (third and fourth photos).

At home I thought about it some more, and discussed with a family member, and we decided that the third photo was most suggestive of a landscape. Based on that, I laid a piece of fusible embroidery thread across the bottom of the piece and fused it on to use as a cutting guide.

This piece is still not finished because as mentioned earlier it’s to be embellished. While talking about the logistics of embellishment with fellow FAD members, people challenged me to hold it up in different orientations to rethink it, and I’m now leaning towards the last photo, with the curved edge at the top.

Who knows, perhaps in the course of embellishing some other epiphany will come? But I’m thinking to take that as the orientation for the embellishment.

In any case, this technique, which is topstitching the curves and matching the top thread to the fabric (in most cases) has many possibilities and I plan to play and experiment. Although my stash doesn’t contain that much batik, I’m thinking paisley prints, commercial marbled fabric like Moda, and some of my hand dyed fabric. So I look on this piece as the first of many ~ this is a great technique to have in the repertoire.

Posted in creativity

Nothing is Wasted

This piece started life as a piece of plain white felt which I used during the Colour Hues session at Satin Moon to test the various colours before using them on fabric. On fabric they do not look at all the same as in the mixing bottle.

I read somewhere that the flower foot is easier to use on heavier fabrics. Having reached a point where I needed to see positive results I have been playing with different threads, including metallics, varying stitch width and length and trying out various stitches that my machine has. The very large circles and curves were done by tracing round plates. Once again I have to wait for the marker to vanish.

What to do with this next? I was contemplating using it for a book cover, but the book would need to be 7 inches high by 4-1/2 inches wide MAX. Maybe better to keep going with embroidery and perhaps beading and make a small wall hanging. Interesting, compared to many fibre artists I think I tend to underembellish, perhaps this is a new departure for me?

Am now kicking myself that I didn’t get amethyst and malachite chip beads from Eileen Neill at the Symphony of Quilts. Oh well, maybe she would do mail order.