Sunday, 25 November 2018

Improv Stitchery

A need for busy hands motivated more improv stitchery - this time on rainbow painted fabric I'd made as a class demo a while back.

The fabric was just the right size for a zipper bag, so that's what it became!

I took inspiration from the fabric for the diagonal flow of stitches on the front of the bag. The marks in the paint also inspired "ricing" and French knots.

What to do on the back?

Inspired by a friend's gorgeous handwork, I decided to try spirals.

Hmm. Too much tension in the first couple of spirals caused fabric to gather in their centers.
Not a deal breaker. Just learn and move on.

I soon found the tension that would create fabulous texture without bunching up the centers.

I wanted the back to relate to the front, so carried a sprinkling of stitches over the top.

And that's how this happy, little bag came to be!

Studio News
Remember the snowman quilt I made as soon as we came home from Peru?
(click the links to see relevant posts if you're curious!)

It was my donation to the Festival of Trees, and guess what? A pretty ribbon!

I'm happy to support our local Women's Shelter, ribbon or no ribbon, but I confess - I'm tickled that my work was chosen again this year. :-)

Clients will be happy to know that I've added five more pantographs to my collection.
(click HERE to see all 60+ choices)


Snowy Owl




I've chewed my way through a sizeable list this month and am relieved that life can settle into a more sustainable pace.

In fact, I'm taking today off to rest and fight a head cold that's trying to settle in. Tomorrow is another day!

Linking up with:
Slow Sunday Stitching @ Kathy's Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Imagination Rejuvenation!

With so many things to juggle, you'd think my own projects would be cast aside completely. 
But I need them! 

They are a respite when I feel "stuck" in other areas of life (such as rockin' a seam ripper for two straight weeks - ugh). I always know what to do next because I can simply please myself!

For example, this piece of fabric was unloved, so I stitched the heck out of it just to see how it would change.

And then I made it into a zipper bag - just because I wanted to! (Here's a zipper bag tutorial for ya!)

I left visible tails whenever I began and ended a line of stitch - and, why not? It pleased me to do so!

Some lines of stitch align, and others do not. My project, my choice!

It's so freeing to do whatever captures my imagination in the moment!

Teaching others is another way to flirt with imagination! Prepping a new class is an opportunity to test ideas, create samples, and play with a purpose. 

This is one of many needle felting experiments, which I documented in my sketchbook for later reference. 
(I know. I'm such a nerd!)

Testing an idea for a needle felting workshop
The best part of teaching is enjoying the symbioses of shared creativity. So exciting when that happens!

Taking a class also stirs the creative fire - so I signed up for a two day workshop with Judi Madsen

I'd taken a class with Judi four years ago. With more experience under my belt, I hoped to glean even more inspiration this time around. I certainly did pick up on more detail - and there was a LOT of detail. The photo below shows only a small part of what we covered.

one of Judi's many demo pieces

A collage workshop hosted by my guild was another fun way to revive my creative spirit. 

Most people prepared in advance. Alas, thanks to my crazy life, I was pulling fabric and packing my bag at 6:30 on the morning of.
As a result, I spent my class time cutting strips. 

I'm okay with that. It was both restful and engaging - just what I needed.

I'll be making Abilene. (a Laura Heine pattern.) Moo.

(It's so nice to have a million projects on the go. Choices are good, right?)

Oh, hey! I finished my small collage started in April at our guild retreat. 
(A finish in the same calendar year it was started - Yay, me!)

Each of us received a kit containing the background fabric, a fat quarter of floral fabric with a fusible product on the back, a rectangle of yellow, and a strip of woodgrain fabric. The challenge was to compose a still life collage using only what was in the kit.

Auditioning borders from my stash.
Quite a creative group, yes? Each composition is unique!

I quilted an organic grid over my collage - the sacrificial quilt - to test the effect for myself. 
Even though I knew all would be well, the first few lines took a certain amount of bravado.
I'm quite pleased with the frame effect of the border.

One last project to show - it's not quilting, but . . .  the landscaping in our front yard is finally finished! (and we love it!) Sod and mulch cleaned things up in a hurry.
I made a plan, and then we hired expert help for the concrete work, rock placement (machines! YAY!), sod, and mulch. Hubby and I planted trees and shrubs (over 30 of them) with help from our wonderful son-in-law and a neighbour's skidsteer/auger.

It's a lot of work to get from mud and weeds, to "finished" - I'm so glad we had many helping hands!  

Fresh off the Frame

Hey, did you notice the frog block on the corner of the collage board in the photo up there, above the house?
Well, here it is again with all of its friends! 

It's maker persisted, sewing all eleventy-billion pieces into the cutest top. She may deserve a medal - but instead she has a super cute quilt to bind!

client quilt

And finally, a Before and After (one of my favourite things!)

Kool Kaleidoscope, client quilt

(The light is harsh, but you get the idea!)

client quilt

Ahh, I can feel the tingle of "creation anticipation" creeping into my bones again. Life is good!

Try, learn, & grow!