Monday, March 2, 2015

Shanties border

I didn't think I'd have time today, but I'm just popping in for a quick note and a few pics.
Now that March is upon us, the temperatures are slowly warming and the days are getting longer. All the snow that has been dumped upon  us is at least good for something. Perfect really, and I plan to make the best use of it in the next few weeks.
I was out snowshoeing 4 times last week with a friend and we have plans for this week too.

Today I had a couple of quilting friends over. Carmel has been wanting my help to get an art quilt started based on a photograph that her daughter gave her. She got the design done and the main pieces cut out. She went off with some directions  to how to proceed and I'll help if need be.

Then, I had a bit of time to add borders to one of the shanties along with a bit more stitching. I still have a bit of white to add.

It measures 5" by 7". I often have to think about whether I want to border a piece and sandwich it or put it in a frame. Perhaps a frame would suit or even enhance it but I still seem to go for the traditional fabric border, batting and backing.

I've added the borders and if it sits well with me, I'll sandwich it and quilt some of it.

If you miss me here, know that I'm outdoors enjoying the sun and the snow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Still playing with rejects, shanties

This week, I've had several appointments and have thus been capturing bits of sewing here and there.  I am so thankful to have a space that I can walk into and pick up where I left off.

Before going out for my second appointment this morning--I got my hair cut-- I cut and backed a couple more pieces from my reject box.

This first one is screen printed with the fern and a repeat motif and colored with Neocolor II crayons just like in my last article in Quilting Arts magazine. (in the sidebar)

I didn't really like the effect or the colors but with the blue background added and some stitching, I think it will make a nice bag or maybe mug rug. It is about 4 1/2" by 6 1/2".

This one was a from a series of Gelli printed ulips that I did and it really wasn't working. Definitely a reject, but a little black free motion stitching and more color added to the tulip, and I think it will suit a small project.

I've almost finished the stitching on this piece and think I will add a border before adding the final quilting. In another post, I will show you the batik that I think is perfect for it.

As usual, I can;t get through a day without watching and photographing some birds.
The male purple finch visited briefly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Playing with free motion

It was one of those days where it was supposed to go one way and went instead in a completely different direction-- in a good way though. Yoga this morning was cancelled due to more snow on the way, but my friend and I wanted to do something, so we went snowshoeing. The snow was light and falling gently with no wind.

Then our other friend is leaving Friday for the South so since it wasn't yet snowing too heavily, we met her for lunch to wish her bon voyage.

After finishing another bagette yesterday, I could do  something new. I didn't really have enough time to get into my larger fiber art pieces.


 Still in the mood for rummaging into my scrap boxes, I found some pieces that weren't big enough for bags but just right for bookmarks.

It is so fun!
Cut the prints
 Back them with a heavy stabilizer.
Add some fusible backed flower and leaf shapes (from a fusible scrap box)
Spread some threads or ribbon bits (collected from fiber art projects and friends)
Lay tulle on top


Free motion stitch it all down. See what a difference a little stitching will make?

Add fabric to the back and zigzag around it.

I'll add them to my box where I collect little gifts to use for friend's birthdays and such. Add some tea and boo for a perfect personal; little gift.

Monday, February 23, 2015

On the trail and a bit of sketching

It seems the weekend went by in a blur. We were not overly busy, just nicely busy. On Saturday, I went to my sewing group, taking some hand quilting and coming home early to go snow shoeing. I went out on the trails again Sunday with a friend. I didn't get much sewing in due to the stretching and soaking needed after the activities. Bad weather days will bring more studio time. I'm just so happy to be able to get out considering that I was barely able to walk for a while because of my hip.

This is as near to perfect place as it gets for me. The air was cool, but not too cold, the snow perfect, and look at that sunlight glowing through the trees.

I went again this morning. It's going to get cold and we're expecting more snow on Wednesday. I am nearly ecstatic that I can now get my snowshoes on by myself! In the last few years  I've had to get my husband to do it, thus not being able to go out alone. Healing my knee and sticking to daily yoga have made it possible.

Today, I could take the camera, some birdseed, and stop when I wanted to.

On  the weekend, we were followed by some hopeful chickadees. Today, I was able to feed them.

 Since I have an appointment today, I must get going and won't have studio time. I did a little colored pencil and watercolor study at breakfast this morning of some twigs that I picked up.

I did the bottom drawing this morning with my tea and the top two yesterday.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thread painting

I love that I have a sewing studio that I can leave my work set up in--sometimes still with the sewing machine needle in it-- and that I can walk in at any time to do a little stitching. I also love free motion stitching and even a few minutes is satisfying.

Working on two versions of a scene is good too. I'm seeing the advantages in switching from one to the other without the need to change thread colors.

I have translated a little organizational tool learned from a friend ( thanks Sue) into keeping my threads for the current project corralled. I purchased a bunch to use in a shallow drawer for sorting thread by color. The extras bins are great to take matching colors for the current project to the machine. I used to have them rolling around on the top of the cabinet and of course falling off, dah.

Before Christmas, I purchased some solar powered colored lights and used them on my branches that are tied to the back deck. As the days grow longer, the lights are staying on longer--currently until nearly close to 10PM. It is such a pretty view.

I was greeted by this sight of the same view this morning.

And here's my birdie pic of the day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thread painting, 2 zippered bagettes

I've had a lovely day and I'm just popping in to show you my projects. Before I went out to lunch with a few quilting friends, I finished 2 more of the little zippered bagettes.

They are from an Atkinson pattern and come int 3 different sizes. I'm having such fun going through my printed and painted scraps to use as the inside of the bag that shows behind the vinyl front.

Even a tiny scrap added to strips of fabric works.

I got home around 2pm--we visited a little shop nearby that I hadn't been to that carries a little bit of fabric, zippers, buttons,etc and I even found my sewing machine light bulb there.

Supper will be an avocado, tomato, chicken mix, in tortillas warmed with cheese. Easy peasy., so off to the studio I headed again.

I did a little free motion stitching on the painted fabric pieces form yesterday. I only started a second one because the first one seemed to have bled a lot but it faded enough and I think it'll work.

It's actually easier to work on 2 at a time as one doesn't have to change thread quite as often.

I'm working form back to front. It always helps to see it up on the screen to scrutinize it and see what I would add or change. The shanties and the people are not yet worked.

My hubby is leaving work at 4 to come home and we will get a walk in before dark. It is sunny and finally warmer. I love February for the warming sun and longer days!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sketching and Painting on Paper and Fabric

You know I really do go through my day lost in my thoughts and musing about my fiber art pieces and how I might proceed. Since my word for the year is 'focus', sometimes it seems I'm not doing a great job. I have been trying to focus on being present when I'm eating, doing yoga, and exercising at least. The rest of the time I dream away.

Like many Atlantic coasters, we had a big storm yesterday; the wind and the drifting have continued today, and so, many things including highways are closed. I ventured out for a while this morning to clear the front walk and the bird feeder on the back deck. No sooner did I close the door, the birds swarmed in. While making my lunch, I got caught up in the antics.

This goldfinch was sitting on the clothes line right in front of the window and seemed to be watching me

I really felt the curious stare of this pine siskin.

My kitchen window is such a bright sunny place and I've often dreamed of having a small bay window filled with plants. While this isn't affordable at the moment, some pictures on Pinterest inspired me to add some greenery around the area.

I dragged out a macrame hanger that I made some 30 years ago! I've seen a comeback of them on the net. My husband put a hook into the ceiling and I put it up this morning.

He's also going to replace the pine shelves with wider and longer boards so I'll have more plant space.

I want to add another small shelf on the lower right and then I'll have lots of green space.

I often don't know just what I'll pick up to work on when I walk into my studio.

My intention today, was to add more thread painting to my current fiber art, but upon entering  the studio, I got distracted by my open sketchbook with the sketch that I did of more shanties yesterday.

Some white cotton fabric was still resting near my iron ready to be drawn upon. What could I do? I quickly traced a few lines onto the cotton and then used my Inktense pencils, The Neocolor II crayons and my water-brush to add some washes.

The photo above is still wet; there is some bleeding (it's a challenge to know just how much water to use on the cotton) and the colors will fade some as they dry. I never know if it will work, but often once it is dried and heat proofed, the stitching will add definition..

Happy Monday! I hope you're having a good one, maybe with a bit of creativity-- even it's hanging a plant or making dinner-- wherever you live. I'd love to know what you're up to.