Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Back home and back to work

You may have noticed my absence from the blog. I've been away in Saint John, NB for SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) retreat. It was a jam packed weekend with good food, (yeah, no cooking!) where I met lots of fiber artists form the Atlantic region. Each person's work was unique and awe inspiring.

I also stayed at my son's and his fiance's for a couple of nights, having a little visit with my grand puppies.

Bosco, the grey Aussie-doodle, just had his first birthday.

He's a sweetie, very affectionate. Imagine when he crawls up on my chest for a snuggle!

They sure are great company for each other.

I came home on Monday night exhausted and I've slowly been recuperating. This morning I made it to my weekly yoga class only because my friend was picking me up. I wasn't my usual self, but I've been taking it easy for the rest of the day. It is beautiful out, but I haven't gone out other than to hang a line of clothes.

I've been anxious to get back to work on my latest art piece. Yesterday, I unpacked, washed clothes, cooked and organized my sewing studio.

Today, I could get back to work.Although it doesn't look like I did much, I've been fusing, cutting and arranging bits for 2 hours. My back was complaining and I needed to stop for a snack break.

I pulled up all the large pieces, laid them back exactly where I want them, and started cutting the little bits of colors for the ripples and dark spots. I'm hoping another day will do it and I'll be ready for the stitching.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

More on the wave

This is a quick post to show the very little bit more that I added to The Wave today. I'm getting ready for a retreat on the weekend.

There are a few odd things I need to finish such as this little name tag. I had the brooch already, so I saved time--took the pin back off,stitched my name, and put it back on.

I was supposed to be gathering together some fiber Art for show and tell and instead couldn't resist adding some bits.

I'm only auditioning the light blue on the bottom for color. I will get to a fabric store while away, and I can look for something.

It's still a ways from the sewing machine and I'm so anxious!

Monday, April 6, 2015

My daughter's cushion covers; more on the wave

Well, my daughter, Caley did manage to finish her cushion covers for her apartment before she left yesterday afternoon. I put them on my cushions for the picture.

I quite like her choice of fabrics from my stash. Even though she hasn't sewn in about 8 years or so, and then just the basics, she did the whole thing with my guidance. She quilted in the ditch vertically and horizontally. The back has a Velcro closing.

After a snowshoe trek on the fresh snow with my friend this morning, I had a short rest (with a shut eye), and then I went into my studio to do a little more on The Wave. This is based on a photo that my son recently sent me of himself winter surfing.

I'm working at my ironing board, using a tracing paper overlay, drawing and cutting fusible backed fabrics as I go. I've got the tracing paper taped to the top of the interfacing backing, so I can flip it down to draw the pieces and then lay them into place with tweezers.

I keep referring to the picture on my I Pad for color reference, going back to my tracing paper pattern to cut shapes.

I have already stitched the background trees with the snow and netting on top. The netting greys the fabric a bit as I didn't have quite the right color. The turquoise color will also be greyed with either netting or stitching.

Yes, no surfboard yet. I'm still working on getting all the basic shapes laid down. This is a small piece, maybe about 9 by 11".

I hope you're creatively enjoying your day.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My daughter's sewing

Yesterday,  my daughter arrived from Charlottetown for a two day visit. She is doing her final practice teaching for her BEd degree, graduating May 9th. We went for a walk and watched a movie last night. This morning, we emptied all her boxes that are stored downstairs and edited about six boxes down to one large Rubbermaid box. Yippee!

We were home this afternoon snacking on the hot cross buns I had just finished when she says she'd like to make pillow covers like my sofa cushions for her apartment.

Off she goes to my sewing room to look through my stash. This is around 3:30 and she says she'll finish them before she leaves after lunch tomorrow. I should also mentioned that she hasn't touched a sewing machine in about 7 years. Lots of confidence there.

And oh, she wants to quilt them in that crazy way I do ( stippling)! I'll have to teach her.

She cut 32 squares and put them together. After a call to the boyfriend for measurements of her sofa cushions, I think a small border is needed.

I took this with my I Pad in low light, so the colors are way off. There is actually a bit of mauve in the circle print. I'll get a better finished picture.

We are in the midst of another crazy snowstorm, so at least we've got something to do.

I tried a new hot cross bun recipe-- not my family one-- just for fun. I'm going to be lazy and just tell you to Google Crosbys molasses hot cross buns and you'll find it. 

For those who celebrate, happy Ester!

Monday, March 30, 2015

More Painting and auditioning fabrics

Today, is the first that I've been back in my studio since last Wednesday. The weather is really warming up and although things are starting to melt, we have still tons of snow! It's still great to get out on the trails and I've been taking advantage of it.

This morning my son in Nova Scotia sent me more pictures of him surfing in the Atlantic Ocean near Lunenburg where he lives.

Can you see the land in the background with  line of snow? Aren't the colors in the water extraordinary?

So, instead of typing up an artist statement for a piece that I'm submitting or working on the surfer from last week, I had to look in my stash to see if I had any colors of fabric that would work.

  I don't often dye fabrics and with no fabric shops nearby, I rely on my stash for my fabrics. I think this piece is doable with lots of thread play and maybe some netting over the background to subdue it.

This is just me playing with strips of fabric. Sometimes I have to see if it will work before I start cutting out the the actual shapes. My next step will be to trace out what I can see as separate shapes of fabric on fusible and then layer it over the interfacing.

The next two weeks are short weeks with the Easter holiday. My daughter is coming for a couple of days and hubby is taking Friday and Monday. I've got a trip out of town with a friend on Wednesday.

My head however is stuck in the clouds, or should I say waves; I'll be thinking about it all time until I can get back in here.

Hubby is home this week and will shortly be home for dinner. I've got to go get something ready. I had root veggies roasting in the oven just now, and almost forgot them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sky painting, shibori painting,, and the wave

I'm pretty sure that today is one of the nicest days we've had for some time. Sunny, warm and springlike. I've got another line of clothes out since yesterday's dried perfectly. I even washed two pillows in my front load machine following an article I saw somewhere, maybe Pinterest. I didn't save it. I just remember that they used dish washing detergent as one of the cleaners. I added Oxyclean. They're now hanging on the line looking lovely and white.

Despite the gorgeous weather, and though I was sorely tempted, I opted (really the pain forced me) to give my sore hip and leg a rest and  stayed inside to play with fabric and paint.

First, I painted a sky for the piece I want to do with surfer from pictures my son sent me. I cut out a few pieces in what I think will be the colors for the water. I've laid it all out and I have a picture of where I want it to go. Can you see it?

I'm pretty sure I'll be painting another sky. It's not quite what I want, but at least this one will be usable in a future piece. Some of the water shapes may change as well, but it's a start.As usual, there will be lots of stitching once I'm happy with the basic underlying colors and shapes. Some of those will change too. And as you  often see with big waves, there is a lot of white froth and foam. I've come across some different ways of doing it, so I'll be experimenting there too. I'm out of my comfort zone; it is a challenge that will occupy me and my thoughts for a while.

While I was at my painting table, I also did background fabric for more birch trees using the shibori method that I wrote about in Quilting Arts April/May 2013.

Here is the first piece still moist and wrinkled.

Now it is dry and I've ironed it.

The background is a marbled batik that I pictured  as a sky and forest on a spring day when I bought it.The blue runs down into the bottom (forest floor) so I'll have to do some strategic appliqueing and stitching. It will go on my design wall to think about while I work on the surfer.

The next piece I did on my usual mottled gray batik.

I will be using it to do a demo piece for a workshop that I am teaching the end of April. Can you see birches in there?
 I'm connecting to the Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A binding for Shanties in Blue

I've made a list and I'm slowly crossing off the items. Do you do that? Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in worrying about remembering every little thing I want to accomplish in a week, that I keep circulating it all through my head in a continuous loop. Making a list stops that process and I can relax.

The second shanty piece that I'm calling Shanties in Blue was on the list.
After getting out with my friend, Alma, on our usual circuit on our snowshoes this morning, I had lunch and tackled a couple of things on the list-- made a phone call, got a package ready to mail, (yes, the giveaway), and then I moved into the studio.

I got the backing,  the binding, and the label  on --just need to hand sew it back.

It measures 9 1/4" by 11 3/4". I quite enjoy doing these. I like the size, the colors in the winter landscape, the small, sometimes wonky buildings and the idea that they go away and come back the next year in a different configuration. More next year.

I feel productive. Now I can take a break before I run to the grocery store and the post office.