Friday, March 30, 2018

Two ways to do Improvisational design... First Curvy then boxy...

I sewed some this week. Sewed like a dervish. Even Milo's antics were ignored.

All sewing was improv.

For me, there are two ways to sew as you go... one involves sewing free cut curves with oddly shaped pieces. I did that with the green scraps.

 The other is fitting in hard edge shapes, like squares, rectangles and triangles together, and I used that technique with my ocean scraps. To me, that's more like putting a puzzle together.

 Both ways are fun.

With curves I use all the odd shapes so it's a bit more like a mosaic. And the curves lend themselves to organic work, like flowers and landscapes.

I start both styles the same way, by sorting through my small scraps. Seems easier to start with little pieces.This time I found some pre-sewn sections to start with and began by laying the bits out, sorting by tone, seeing what might work together. Moving things around... sew a little, regroup...
I wanted to do a green landscape, so I decided to do strips at the top like trees or grasses, and small odd pieces at the bottom like forest floor. This time I stayed with light greens for some reason. It could have benefited from some darker pieces in the bottom, and the image is washed out so it does have more variation than it looks.
You can see I am sorting it to fit together eventually. I do not plan beyond that. I keep the wrinkled little odd shapes to one side and pull them out if they might fit in somewhere.
I love how lines can join up, like the curve near the right bottom continued into the next insert. Random surprises.

Color and texture.
considering how it might eventually be squared off, I like forming it on my grid mat.
sewing a line, then moving groups around to balance the color. The strips were smaller on that left side, so I put together two sections to make them longer.

That line becomes a hard design element, and eventually I ended up inverting the whole section so the hard line was closer to the strong  horizontal line joining the forest floor to the trees.

 Still, the process is the same. sew a few pieces, lay them back in the puzzle, sew some more.

While I was doing that, I also made three small squares... and thought to join them in another work.

Recognize the top left piece I started with some days ago?? it has now been turned on it's side since I added in a tiny grouping that looked like mountains. The tree I was building became more like shadow, and I am going to insert a trunk to the side. I have to integrate the three tones, I saw emerge, probably with some little raw edge applique pieces just sewn to the top and allowed to fray.

I'll do that during the quilting process.
Do you like the avocado green strip along the top of the forest scene? I love the tone, but am not sure about it, so it's not sewn in yet.

I also made another dresden, with dark green.

I turned to a bag of ocean fabric scraps leftover from making two ocean quilts. I have so many pretty and some whimsical ocean prints of every color. This was all in a little bag inside the turquoise scrap bin.
The pieces were mostly hard straight edged. So I started fitting them together on the mat... til they formed a large rectangle, wider than long. Then I start sewing one to another, and seeing if it fits in with another section... keep going, move them around, sew some triangles around a little fish block...

triangles to triangles, polar bears to crabs to turtles to fish...
 It's so different from sewing the weird shaped ones to each other. It's still fun, putting the puzzle together, building sections to find they fit almost perfectly to the other sections. Big pieces like the top right turtle, next to little shards of others.

I loved putting a triangle onto a strip, just to blunt the edge a little, seeing if I could merge some colors. To me it looks like a glass kaleidoscope when the little pieces fall into place.
I have very few pieces left now, it's all sewn into something about 24" X 30"
It is ready to quilt, and I think it could use a focus so maybe some thread lace fan coral??? Maybe one fish tail applique swimming off? Or a seahorse??
I was happy to see flamingos in here, and the mermaids fit along two sides. I had only a 2 1/2 " strip of them. I like the crazy frogs, and dolphins and fish wearing snorkels. That big whale near the center.
 I know it's a mish mash of color and print but I kind of like it.
I usually do a whimsical portrait or statement quilt. Recognizable images. Working in an abstract, improvisational way is very different for me, and I find it really engages my design sense.

You have to close the door to the inner censor.
Ignore her knocking and whispers that it's of no use, and possibly ugly.
Keep going through the moments when it has no focus or meaning.
Remember angles are interesting in a finished piece.
Stand back and look at it after a little trip to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Don't be afraid to move a section around or discard it.
Enjoy the rotary cutter. Embrace the unknown. Form a tight bond with your sewing machine.

linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays  
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays to do Tuesday (where you'll find others working improvisationally)
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Main Crush Monday
the mop link party mondays
sew can do mondays

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Like #82, dolls, videos, treasures and poodle mischief

Welcome to this week's list of likes. Starting with Iris.
 this little Bunny-girl has lived with me since my time in Tampa... she holds an old quilt.

 I could never have have chopped up an antique quilt but I sure love that some artisan did.

 I have thoroughly enjoyed youtube this week, watching Mary Berry's ( tours of castles), and "Who do you think you are" click here to start UK. It's been fascinating and I want to see them all now. I love the American version and had no idea it had been done in England long before.

I learned so much about history. Lineage and family are fascinating to me, as I have none.
 I learned that humans have fought over pretty much all religions, for all history.
When will we tire of arguing over ways of worship? What a waste of time and humanity.

some neutral fabrics
I went to the Sewing Expo in Denver last Friday, found some fun items to purchase, and met some like minded people in the doll making guild.
check out those red toenails!

They encouraged me to come to a meeting, and I said I might have found my peeps. The booth minder said, yes indeed, I had!
 Doll makers are keen observers of human nature and love details. Me too.
Not to mention, they have great sewing skills, as it's not easy to sew tiny gussets and fingers.
I admired the lace makers although this is not one of the things I want to explore myself..
Like any artisan, they surround themselves with supplies that are beautiful and useful. This is the working tray of a woman who said she had wanted to learn the skill from a young age.
Intricate! Beautiful! delicate threads in brilliant colors. Working your way through the pattern is time consuming but like any making, it's all about the making not the speedy production of items.
Although I have done weaving, and many other crafts, I was most struck by the lovely collection of bobbins used to hold and organize the threads to wind around the little pins in pattern.

I enjoyed looking through shops I don't usually see on the East coast shows, and I got to meet Laura Heine, a painter and quilter who's work I have long admired.
I kind of tried to lean closer to her as she didn't want to come out, but it was fun for me to put a face with the image I created of her over the years.

A shop from Washington State had cool headbands, including this spoon tiara... 
Now why didn't I buy that??
 These are a few more things I did purchase...

and the one that got away was the little pin cushion tuffet kit... dang! I was going to go back and buy that!

I found an art supply store in nearby Parker,(Guiry's)  that welcomed Milo into shop as well.
What a treasure trove of supplies that was. I went to find some caron d'arche pastel crayons to try on fabric, and they had maybe 8 brands from which to choose. And lots of inks, and paints, and markers. I couldn't leave these bags behind either...
the crayons, a stadler gold pen, and ink pad I've never tried. Plus the two bags!!!
I liked this cow in the shop...
gratuitous cow photo
I opened boxes in the studio storage in order to create again (post on that improv tomorrow)

improv sewing with scraps
Then two days later found out we are no longer allowed to stay in this rental indefinitely, but must leave in three months.We have continually looked for a home to buy, and tried to sell our home in MD with no success. I am frightened and sorry we ever made a move.

That said, here I am trying to remember there were good things from this week. Following the antics of Milo made me laugh through the tears...

Milo's Moment:
Hi Y'all! I have always, in all my one year of life, enjoyed paper. It makes a very satisfying sound when it rips.
And this was like the clown car of paper! Daddy ordered something from the guy who drops off boxes at the door, and this one had LOTS of long paper.

I grabbed a hold of an end and dragged it to my place in the family room..

so I pulled...
and pulled
and PULLED til I got it to a place where I could destroy it like the other newspapers I found...
UH, OH... I thought to myself, where's the Mama? What's she getting into? I tell ya I can't leave her alone for a moment... then I heard her shout...

"MILO!!! What the fizzy have you been doing!??"
 I mean, I am not ashamed to say she startled me!

I said, um, nuffin... munching on some paper. I mean helping you to recycle. I may have pulled out a few toys, and er, a shoe or two as well, why do you ask?

Did you want to play with the paper? Sorry but it's pretty chewed up right now, maybe the guy will bring another box of it tomorrow.

That's it, now
 Sit! Stay! Clickety-click on the links to other people with like posts this week!

new this week:   1.
2. .http://3poodlesandanana
3 craftscaviescontras



 linking to some of these

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Main Crush Monday
the mop link party mondays
sew can do mondays

Make My Saturday Sweet @ Amanda’s Books and More
Our World Tuesday
Travel_Tuesday  Our World Tuesday

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
lovelaughquilt.mondays http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays  

Saturday, March 24, 2018

I found some green leftovers

note some blades are from strip sets
Hee hee! I found my green leftovers box !

I found a couple scrap bins and brought them to the loft

We are reluctant to un-box possessions as we hoped to find a more permanent home but... things being what they are, our home still not sold in MD, and homes here so expensive, well, we may be here longer than we thought. So... better go ahead and open some boxes
I got this dresden tool in a magazine for Christmas so I thought I'd try using it... a different angle and size than the blades Linda gave me...
So I went through the teeny green scraps box, sorted it while listening to my book on disc, and it was calming. Milo chewed his nylabone, and barked at the window at the workers across the street.
I could be happy in this house layout, storing my supplies in the small room and working in the loft.
I'm happy here at the moment.
While rooting through my green bin, I found these improv units and brought them out to play.
I realized the tones could not all go together, but started cutting curves and sewing in some dark pieces which turned into sort of tree silhouettes.
I might applique a little owl on here or it might be changed. This is a playground.
While I listened to the book, and tried to calm my worried mind, I sorted the pin cushion mess onto the two I found. Ahhh, cuteness, a machine, a window and a book.

linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Main Crush Monday
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays to do Tuesday 

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Quilted Heart

I am slowly unpacking some boxes in the studio... and can you believe it??!!
I already have four new projects going at once, and the studio is not truly set up.

That's so me

The thing is, I listen to the muse, and just flit from project to project following the excitement.
I do finish projects too. I like all aspects, the start, the process, and the finish.

I am hampered by not finding my insert for the sewing table, and my machine tray was broken in the move, but I am persevering and this week quilted the V-day quilt background.
While listening to this book...
I love this series, about a group of older women who are the vigilante's. They take up "lost" causes in helping people right the wrongs of life.

I admit to milling around one afternoon in the studio just to hear the end of a disc!

Before even starting on quilting, I did an envelop turn, so I can put a row of beads along the outside of the edge later.
I don't know where my threads are, but I found a box of rayon so I used the red to free motion quilt some spirals and vines/leaves inside the heart. Not too much, I wanted some puff left to the piece. Matching the thread color made it subtle.
Not catching the embroidery in the foot made it a challenge.
Can you see, barely, that I also used the red rayon in the bobbin while I did the free motion on the heart?

Switching to the walking foot, I used the red rayon thread to go around the outside twice, again still subtle against the busy floral background, but I know it's there and it will echo the red beads.
I echo quilted around the heart, in white cotton thread, and on one side, sent radiating lines out to the edge.
I toyed with the idea of marking it, but, really... I just wanted to sew not be perfectly even or straight.

The observer's eye wants it to be even, and will see it as even, so I just relied on experience and muscle memory and it looks great! Just like I wanted it to! And the process was enjoyable.
I forgot to say, I blocked it too. After the embroidery and quilting, one side was slightly off kilter, so I laid it on the cutting table, spritzed the edges with water, mushed it into place and let it dry like that.

I am an art quilter, but I still care about construction, and a wonky quilt is distracting.

Strive for excellence not perfection, and express yourself in your art. This quilt will change yet again, when I add the beaded binding, and the embellishments. Then the sleeve, already made, and it will be done. Done is good.
Meanwhile, yesterday, after I finished this part, I worked on some abstracts, on the watercolor, and experimented with a dresden plate tool I got in a magazine. I lost track of time and almost missed Project Runway!

linking to
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays to do Tuesday