Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get my things organized to take to our craft shop down town.
Oh, and by the way, I figured out my matching points problem on the blocks from yesterday's post. When the seams are ironed flat, they go together perfectly. Unfortunately, I'm on the last row. Now I have to join all the rows together, but I can't open the seams. I will have to iron really well and struggle with it.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Well, I'm having such trouble putting it together, I've decided to show one block and vent! While I'm no expert quilter, I have made many quilts, but this one is defeating me. You can see that it's a shoo fly block in which I've changed the colors. I don't really know what it is called-- may have heard it called Lifesaver.
I have ironed the seams as opposing seams, but I'm having a terrible time to get the points of the half square triangles to match nicely. I've trimmed it, ironed it, pinned it, carefully and still end up ripping out several times. I have one more horizontal row to put together and then I must put the rows together which could be even worse. I'm going nuts!Any suggestions?
I'm linking to the Needle and Thread Network.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Since I didn't officially retire, but rather I left due to illness, I have this feeling that I need to account for every minute of my day. After a night like last night I gave myself permission to relax today and it has been quite a lovely day once I got myself awake. I met 2 friends for tea, did one quick errand and came home.
I already decided that this week I would devote to finishing up some things because I'm taking my art to Chal Baie, our local craft shop on Friday. The first thing I did was to finish the little tiny bit (it took about 10 minutes but was sitting for months) of machine quilting in this baby quilt. Finally, done!
After lunch I tried a new recipe for rhubarb chutney which I will have for supper with lentil loaf.
I got my sheets in off the line; I will have a fresh bed to-night.
I've been walking around the yard taking photos of the latest blooms. The apple tree was in full bloom last week.
Today the lilac is at it's best.
The next thing on my agenda for the week will be to finish putting together a quilt which I am doing as a gift, so I cannot picture it. Sorry, it won't be a very artful week for blogging!
I'm off to make a cup of tea.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I'm looking forward to some rainy weather so I can sew again! I'll get to sew all day on Saturday at our last guild UFO day..
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I also just discovered after all these years that the goldfinches like to eat the apple blossoms. I've seen the cedar waxwings do it; they visit us for the apple blossom time and disappear after that.
After lunch with Gord, I finally came into my sewing room and got back to some fun on my runner. I've almost finished the quilting.
I added the lighter green to each end of the runner. To quilt it, I sort of freely followed the design from the stencil, meaning that I didn't trace it, so now I have to copy it somewhat for the other end.
I wrote on the weekend about my daughter's half marathon on the Great Wall of China. If you'd like to read about it from her perspective, check out the blog on my sidebar called My Adventures in Korea.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I've been missing my sewing machine and am waiting for some rain to get back to it. However, when I settle down for a bit of TV time before bed, I've been knitting a second baby afghan, more boy's colors this time, not for anyone special (yet), just because they're fun to knit!
After the long weekend, I had a couple of errands to do this morning and then I made lunch for my husband and I. When he works in town, he sometimes comes home for lunch which is quite nice for both of us. I relaxed and took some time to enjoy myself despite the heat.
One thing I do like about the summer is changing the heavier curtains for some more summery shears. I love their misty effect and the way they sway in the breeze with the open windows.
I don't need a big bouquet to stir my soul, even the tiniest of sprigs from my yard can provide days of enjoyment..
And then to make the day even better, the mailman brought me a package from Leslie of MarveLes Art Studios. I could not have been more amazed at what she had taken the time to put together for me. You know how sometimes you're a little down and it happens that something comes to you just when it is needed? Well here it is.
Needle and Thread Network.
Monday, May 21, 2012
It has been sunny and warm this weekend so we are filling our time with outdoor chores. Yesterday we went golfing; today my husband is cleaning the deck. I will be planting some seeds.
My daughter, who is teaching in Korea, has also been busy this weekend. She ran the Great Wall Half Marathon.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I should get back to my sewing machine.
Friday, May 18, 2012
You might like to see some batiks I've been collecting for my next quilt that I'll be making for my sister in law. The colors match swatches from her curtains and bed spread, and while they're currently not my colors, I think they're very pretty in batik.
My daughter is currently in China, having flown there last night from Korea. She will be doing the Great Wall of China marathon. She sent us a page where we can put in her number and track her in the race. It starts at 8PM our time to-night. We won't see pictures until she gets back to Korea since they don't allow Facebook there. I think it's just amazing that we can track her progress from here.
Finally, to all the Canadian readers, have a great long weekend!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Next week, I believe I will cut the border off and add new ones in the quilt as you go method. I will be much happier.
This morning started out damp and rainy looking but the skies cleared by noon time. I hung out a wash with some fabrics that were delivered to my door early this morning. I was still in bed when the doorbell rang! Besides some batiks that I ordered, there were also these threads which I hope to use for machine quilting. The red on the left is YLI which a friend picked up for me. The other 5 spools are Wonderfil which came in my fabric order from Patsy Thompson Designs along with her book called Hyperquilting.
Also, today, I had a new little friend visiting, the purple finch.
I had time only to add borders to this small runner. Perhaps I'm crazy to use it as a practice piece, but I want to try out some machine quilting designs with the new thread. I love the colors though, so if it's not good enough to sell, I might like it for my own table.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
What really gets me excited is getting the quilting/thread sketching done. I realized after changing colors every few minutes, that next time I should sandwich 2 little pieces with the same theme, then I could do one color on each piece before I would have to change it.
Friday, May 11, 2012
The gold finches are a plenty right now and love to visit the feeders. In winter they both have the same coloring,but in spring the male develops his wonderful color to attract a female.
I've been wishing to get back to some sewing, so I quickly did my errands and lunch with my friends. I even left the cafe first in anticipation. I have many pieces to choose from for stitching but decided this little one with the ca, and I like to take handwork with me. After I'm done the machine stitching, I will embellish this one with embroidery and beads.
For today I got it sandwiched and backed since I like to do thread painting on my pieces, I also line it with a pieced of stiff interfacing.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I had a go with the second stencil but the results are hard to see. Yesterday I was afraid I may have ironed too much before rinsing out the fabric but those ones were good. When I rinsed the ones I stenciled today, the results were rather ghostly as you can see below.
The green one was even less color accurate. I always have a hard time to get greens to photograph right. They end up looking too brown.
Wanting to get as much use from the stencils as I can, last night I tried my hand at carving a stamp for the first time. I use lots of stamps in my work, but I've always used craft foam which I cut and mount onto Plexiglass. I tried it out with paint to see what parts I need to clean up. Luckily, it doesn't have to be perfect since I'll be stamping on fabric and then stitching over it.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Then, I couldn't wait to try it out. I happened to find a spray can of Elmer's glue, advertized for use on stencils; it's amazing what I can find in my closet! After spraying a fine coat of spray on the back of the stencil, I dabbed at it with a rag to take off any globs and to leave it just tacky. The bit of glue stays there and is just tacky enough, to have a better connection with the fabric thus resulting in better lines.
I tried a stencil brush, but found the paste which is jelly like, works best with a sponge brush. Here you see the vague impression of the paste applied to a commercial fabric. This is what it looks like before ironing.
Here it is on a Bali.
The next step will be to cut the second design and try it out. Then I will be ready to carry it further--perhaps I'll make a foam stamp all or part of the design to use on the Gelli plate. I might even send it to be made into a silkscreen. One design can be used for lots of fun!
Monday, May 7, 2012
This afternoon, I set up my stencil cutter which I've barely used and got prepared to cut. In the picture you can see how I set it up. (Well, now that I look at it, you can't really see the layers.) There is the cardboard on bottom, then the paper pattern, the glass, and finally the piece of plastic. All this is taped down so nothing shifts.
I realized quite soon that the plastic I was using was too thick but I finished anyway because I was dying to try it out!
It was definitely too think to dab the discharge paste through and the effect is blurry which doesn't really bother me too much as I didn't want it too defined. I will run to Staples tomorrow to look for mylar to try agian.There are no stores here that would carry stencil material.
Oh, and I was quite surprised by the color after discharging. I do remember now that I read somewhere the color you get after discharging can be a surprise and it was! I don't mind the color though, I was jsut expecting white.
This is all a very complicated way to make a piece of fabric to try my freee motion quilting on. It would have been so much easier to use a piece of plain fabric but that wouldn't be my way, LOL!
The other thing I did today was to package up some of my mixed media prints and cards. I do have a couple in my Etsy shop but I need these for the shop downtown where I plan to put my things in June.