Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love to Start Projects

I realized last night that I love to start new projects. I get so wrapped up in a vision of what my next project will look like that it consumes me. I am starting a new project - supposed to be an exercise really - of trying new techniques for stitching and surface design. What starts out as an idea, flicker a spark of something to try, moves rapidly into a full blown project that keeps growing beyond the boundries I have set. If I have slept on an idea, my mind takes over and a simple project grows out of control. Am I just having a mid-life thing or am I just letting the creative self out to play? I don't know.

I found a new way to machine applique that does not involve fusing adhesive to my work. What I like about this new technique is that without thinking about what other people have done, I solved a problem that was bothering me. The problem is that when you use the fusable webbing, the glue makes the fabric applique look very flat. I am not satin stitching or zig-zaging over the raw edge, but I am using a close, small straight stitch that I stitch down before triming the applique. I'll post pictures later. I trim the applique very close to my stitching and the effect is very good. I'm not sure how well it will be secured, but my art pieces are not going to be handled too much or washed, so I don't think this will be a problem. I'd love to hear comments on this technique if you have an opinion.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thread Painting

Last night I finished up a "thread painting" which was discussed in the Art Quilt Workbook. I decided to create a frog quilt since this is the next challenge in our Art Quilt Network group. I started my quilt about a week ago and I loved the process! It was so very much fun. I don't think I would have been as happy if I had a limited selection of thread, but as it turns out, last year I bought a Guterman thread case/sampler with about a hundrend spools of thread in every color. Lots to choose from - it was perfect. Green is one of my favorite colors so I had even more choices.

I also felt very free to use raw edge applique with the thread work. I didn't use an adhesive to "glue" the fabric on my base - instead, I placed the untrimmed, loose fabric scraps (right side facing out) with the thread painting stacked next as I used the outline of the frog and stitched from the back of my work to applique the piece in place. Then working from the front, I trimmed the applique close to the stitched edge with scissors. Later, as I quilting the piece, I ran over most of the raw edges. It looks secure, yet not glued down. It has some dimension.

Something I learned about this is that the thread tension will change as you layer each thread color. Also, I used a vintage linen napkin as my base and I loved the softness of the napkin, but it had a tendency to shrink in - even though I used a heavy interfacing to stablize the work. I had read in "Quilting Arts" that for interesting colors, you could use two threads at once, but I was not successful at this. I found that it looked better and was more painterly to use the threads individually. I also found that I got different results with the same two colors depending on which thread was sewn first. I will definitely do this again, but I'll probably dye my base before starting. I loved the vintage linen, so I will be visiting antique shops soon for more of these wonderful canvas fabrics. Anyway, very fun!!! Give it a try.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going to Florida

It is rare that I post more than once in a week, let alone twice in one day, but I am excited about a vacation we will be taking with Jim's girls in Florida in July. Yipee! I can't wait to see them and have fun in Florida. Since my birthday is the week before (July 5th,) it will be a great gift to see them and have Jim and Sophie relaxing in the sunshine! I'll post back about our trip. We have fixed up the house and have a fun tropical theme going on with the decorating. Our camel "Joe" resides in the Bar room. When I was there the first part of the month I found a great "Bud" neon sign that has a palm tree and fits in with the fun in Joe's crib. When we were selecting furniture for the house, we shopped at thrift and consignment stores. Jim would have selected all wicker, but I wouldn't let him. He moved from a wicker fetish to tin wall art. We are off that kick now - (thank goodness) - but honestly we had so much fun decorating together. Click on the Slideshow to view pictures.

I had dinner at a Tumbleweed resturant Monday night before an Art Study Group Meeting. I ordered a fajita and it came back smiling at me. I may use this for the subject of a new quilt "When life brings you onions..."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Preston is Almost Here!

I am so excited about our grandbaby Preston who will be here soon. This is a picture of his 3-D Ultra-sound and the photo is incredible. I am probably going to work on an art quilt featuring this picture. He looks like an angel. The photo has so much detail - it is God's miracle!
The dark hair like part of the image is not actually hair. I can't wait to meet him. He is already over 5 pounds, but he has a lot of growing to do. I am so happy for my son and his wife.