Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Studio Reno

I haven’t posted here because my studio is emptied and undergoing a Reno. I did bring one sewing machine to my kitchen table so I could do a bit on my twister tote. Since I’ve been away for a couple days for another doctors appointment and with the running around I’ve had to do for supplies, I’ve  not done a lot. 
I finished putting the front and back together. This is one side with the twister template.

Here is the front and back all done with batiks. We have a quilting day this Saturday so I’ll get it mostly done I hope.

My studio started out like this after the closet dividing wall was ripped out and it was opened up on the top as wel..

The holes got patched and the flooring was added. Lucky we had enough extra leftover from when we’d originally laid it.

And today the paint was done. It’s a very light grey.

Now, I’m waiting for cabinets to go atop the closet space along with a counter top. Coming later will be a larger window to replace the existing one. There will be a new ceiling light and an in wall small ironing board. 
I’m so excited!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Twister tote

I can’t believe that it’s April 4th and we’re having another snow day. Schools are canceled and I rebooked a dentist appointment. I’m having @ very domestic kind of day, changing the bed, washing clothes, making a roasted vegetable soup and sewing.

At lunch time, I chopped and roasted a tray of veggies—tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, onion, and garlic sprinkled with sea salt, basil, oregano and no salt herb mix.

After roasting it went into the pot with some broth and frozen corn. I semi puréed it using a hand held blender.

I’m craving a grilled cheese on whole grain bread to go with.

Last Saturday at our guild UFO a generous quilter was giving a workshop on making a Simply Charming Twister Tote. 

I was so inspired by all the themes and varieties, I decided to try it myself. She’s doing it again this Saturday. In the sewing room I’ve been cutting 30 5 inch batik squares to be sewn in rows, 5 by 6 to prepare for cutting the twister blocks.

 I chose 3 fabrics for bottom, handles and pockets.

When I need to rest my back, I can put my feet up and do some knitting. I’m working on a merino wool Gingerbread Hat, pattern found on Ravelry.

The yarn is a pure merino superwash worsted weight, Mecha, by Malabrigo in Peru. I picked it up in Amherst, NS last week atDeanne Fitzpatrick’s Studio. 


I thought you might like a look at the books I’m reading right now.

And finally this magazine.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Show opening, final swoon block

Three small trips in the last couple of weeks have kept me from posting. My most recent one was to the opening if the SAQA Atlamtic show at the Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, , NS.

Here I a, near my Waterfall piece.

A very old friend from high school university days met me for dinner and the opening and my son and his wife also drove up from Halifax. I was as e cited to see them as I was to attend the opening.

 I’ve been sore and tired, catching up, getting outside and I haven’t done a lot of stitching. One nice thing about the longer spring days is I can get out later on the trail.

The evening light is so pretty.
It also means the light is good for a little more evening free motion stitching. While I haven’t felt like any serious stitching, on Saturday night I did a bit of black free motion on a small leftover piece of painted canvas. Just for fun.

I will use it up in some little projects.

I’m working on the 3rd and final swoon block. I’m finally getting the hang of it! Geometric pieces often confuse me.

My plan is to use 3 vertically and add to the sides with a few stars in a border.

I happened to notice on Facebook that I hung out my first line of clothes well over a year ago. How I love a line of fresh dried clothes. You can see why this year is later!

The small items barely clear the snow.
This afternoon I’m off to my knitting group.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Swoon blocks

Being primarily a fiber artist, I’m particularly slow at doing bed quilts. I made one of these swoon blocks a year ago and I just now finished a second one, lol. They are 24”. My thinking is they would make a nice twin to throw size Quilt for my mom who has just moved into assisted living.

I was planning on 3 blocks. I would kind of liked to quit now and put them together as a medallion with simple borders so I can finish it sooner. The burgundy fabric stands out in value though. I may need a 3rd block for balance.

I’m hopefully heading to PEI where my mom resides tomorrow if the storm eases up. I’m truly hoping it is the last big snow storm; I know we’ll have more snow. Besides sewing, I’ve been making bread, washing clothes and packing.

We do try to make the best of our winters! My husband keeps his ‘golfing range’ with net going all winter and spring until the course opens.

The evenings are brighter wisince the time change and it’s nice to get out more after supper.

It’s hard to believe this snow will be gone by June.

My latest knitting project is almost done.

Lest you think I’m pretty slow getting it done, I have 2 other things on the needles. I like easy socks to take to my knitting group and I’m finishing a sweater for my grandson. I alternate projects depending on mood, attentiveness and soreness of finger. 

Does anyone else do that? Based on my group of knittters, I know I’m not alone.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Finishing birch trees

Life hasn’t smoothed out much since my last post. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the I Pad, and on my phone texting and talking, acting as an information gatherer about different homes and care levels for my mom and acting as a go between with siblings. Some bothersome things have been happening with my mom who is pre Alzheimer’s and we are still in the midst of finding our way.

When I do have some time, I’ve found it hard to settle and relax into some stitching.  Because of the lousy weather and my on going back issues, I can’t get out for my exercise either. I’m a bit antsy.
Such is life.
I pushed myself to go in my sewing room for a while this afternoon and finish a piece. I’d like to call it Sister Birches. It just popped into my head. I feel an affinity for trees when I’m out on the trail and I’ve heard a lot of scientific talk about their actual abilities to sense other trees and their needs. Anthropomorphizing like in certain movies that I’m fond of  may be too much but thinking of them as living breathing entities appeals to me.

I’m done. Of course while it sits, I can ponder it and add any little details before adding the binding. I’ve tacked it up with the only possible fabric I could find here in my stash.  I will wait to cut it as I’ll be in a Quilt shop this weekend and I’ll take with me.

While all the family things are happening, I’m giving myself permission to sit and knit (and even out on a tv!) when I need to relax. Besides my usual socks, I’m making a toque with a Noro yarn with a wool, acrylic and silk combination.

Take time to do what you need for yourself.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When life gets in the way

You know how we roll along and then life throws us a few curves? I’ve had a few of those lately. Some family illnesses, both my mother and mother in law and then this terrible flu that’s going round. I’m doing physio for my side and neck. It may be caused by my fall way back in December.
I’m feeling generally tired and I’ve been conserving my energy, spending a little less time in my studio. Snowshoeing is the only outdoor option as our streets are icy and rutted, sometimes full of water, and not great for walking.

I’ve been giving myself permission to rest when I need, picking up my knitting or maybe reading. This too shall pass.

I have progressed some on my surfer adding more fused pieces as I go. I found some of the white water that I’d made for another piece.

I’m concentrating on all the little slivers before I move on to the stitching.

Last year, made 1 Swoon block and got so frustrated trying to cut pieces for the second block that I gave up. Since I’m trying to clear out some UFO’s, I pulledit out and got a friend who has made it to help me cut and lay out the pieces.

Today, I put together the one 9 patch on the bottom right.

Here is the first block.

Optimally, 6 blocks would work well for a twin sized quilt but I may only have 3 blocks in me! If so I’ll add some smashing s and maybe some smaller stars.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Birches, snow dyeing and a surfing piece

What a beautiful February day! Lots of snow but very bright and sunny. The days are getting much longer and I’m able to get out snow shoeing later in the afternoon without getting the chill of impending dusk. Since my bout of back and neck pain with cervical vertigo, I’ve been taking it easy, going to physio and neck massage. This week I’ve eased back into snow shoeing. I so love to be out on the trail where there is silence and fresh air. I love to stop to breathe deeply and to commune with the birds.
Yesterday, I spied this little nest for the first time. It is very small. I’m not sure about the bird. Some sort of finch or small bird.

The pilliated wood peckers have been to work on this dead tree. I love  the circle patterns!

I’ve got some Procion dyes that are quite old and this week I decided to try a little snow dyeing to use it up.
Magenta and blue loosely pleated:

Yellow, blue and a touch of magenta, loosely pleated:

The soft pleats suggest landscapes to me. Water and trees.
Scrunched, magenta and blue:

There seemed to be a lot of color rinsing out so I stopped and dried them. I may try rinsing again just to be sure.

In my sewing time, I’ve been finishing my birch trees. For now, it’s tacked up on the design wall for pondering. There are still a few touches to add in the foreground.

In the meantime, I’m slowly cleaning out my storage closet. I found this piece of a winter surfer friend of my son’s in Lunenburg, NS and decided to finish it. A couple of years ago, I did one of my son. The pieces were all laid out, so I cut an interfacing and started stitching in the sky and the background water.

I still have leftover pieces of thread lace that I made for the waves and spray. Maybe enough to do it.
I’m feeling pretty satisfied to be finishing some things tat have been languishing in the closet. Pieces that I’m not so fond of, I’ll pass along.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Slow stitching

I know there is a hand stitching movement called slow stitch which although I do enjoy is not what I referred to in the title. I’ve always been slow at finishing a piece but now I’m slower! Everything was going good for me and then a new problem develops in my back and neck. I’ve been stitching in shorter bits of time. 
I’m still working on this piece, getting ever closer to finishing. As usual, I’m already thinking and planning my next piece.

In the meantime I finished this little 6” by 8” piece for the SAQA Spotlight auction and hope to get it mailed this week.

I started with a Gelli print on white cotton, free motion stitched with black, added a few more designs with variegated and Hollowshimmer thread and finally did some hand embellishing with perle cotton and beads.

This is the postcard that was  made to advertise our SAQA Atlantic show opening March 28th in Dartmouth, NS.

There is a sliver of my waterfall on the right. I am planning to attend the opening if all goes well.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday studio afternoon

My husband just made a spiced hot chocolate while I quickly diced veggies for a pizza. We’re doing it the easy way—purchased whole wheat  crust and grated cheese. That way, I got to spend most of the afternoon in the studio and now I’m sitting with my hot cocoa.
I finally got to cut and arrange the birches on my stitched background and I added some black spots and lighter grey areas with fabric paints. Once it’s dried overnight and ironed, I can add some stitching.

After that I pulled out one of my Gelli prints to do a bit of free motion stitching on. It’s to be used as a donation in an upcoming SAQA auction if all goes well.

I often like to outline in black and add layers with other threads overtop. 

Something else I’m working on a few strips at a time is this piece of muslin oversewn with selvedge edges. This has been laying over the back of my computer chair for ages!  Another project I’m going to finish. I’ve added about 10” more and have about that much to finish it. The plan is to add batting, lightly stipple quilt it and then make a simple slip cover to slide over the back of the chair.

Im feeling satisfied finishing up some old projects as well as starting some new ones. Always percolating are ideas for what’s next.

Happy Saturday, I hope you’re having a good one.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Two pieces accepted into SAQA Atlantic show

I’m so excited to let you know that my last 2 fiber art pieces, Waterfall and Autumn Umbels and Ferns were accepted into the SAQA Atlantic Canada show, Transitions which will open in April in Dartmouth, NS. 
They will travel to the Inverness Art Centre October 2018 and to the Art Centre Saint John. in 2019 with more venues to be announced. 


Autumn Umbels and Ferns

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Finished tote bag, new quilt, thread painting

For some time I’ve wanted to make a quilt of softer colors for the my bedroom. The majestic mountains pattern is one I’ve liked for a while  too. I’m using the tutorial by Bonnie Hunter. I couldn’t wait to try a few sample squares to get the idea. The blocks aren’t sewn together yet.

I cut about half of the squares that I'll need. I'm going for a more neutral look, a sort of 'low volume' look so I may remove the few darker ones.

Yesterday, during the snow storm I also finished the tote bag except for slip stitching it closed and top stitching along the top edge.

I am planning a small reno here in my studio. I have my 2 machines set up along the outside wall. since it's such a small room -- about 9+ ft by 10ft-- I can't do much else in the room except sit at my computer just opposite.

Beside the computer space is a closet full of fabrics and a few other quilting supplies. the pain is to remove the wall, install cabinets across the top, and extend the counter all the way across making room for my 2nd sewing machine on the right. I would have room fro a couple of IKEA cabinets below.
This would allow me to remove the desk in the opposite corner making room for an armchair for hand work.
The second phase would involve installing a second window which would make it more like a sunroom and give me a better view.

The sun is shining this afternoon; however, besides shovelling the front steps and walk, I opted to stay in as its pretty slippery after the storm yesterday.

I've been stitching on this fall/winter scene. It's almost ready to have the large birch trees added.

I'm linking to the Needle and Thread Network.