Sunday, 29 November 2015

Blessing in Disguise

I was cooking.
I was using my WONDERFUL cast iron dutch oven.
I bent to put it in the oven.
I hurt my back. I had been sore and muscle tired from the gardening last week and the pot was just to heavy.
I've done nothing for 3 days.
Well no. I sat for 3 days.........................................................................................

and FINISHED MY JANE STICKLE QUILT BLOCKS.  ( well the 169 interior blocks.)

(And that's the last time I'll do all the easy ones first!)

Now I'm trying to decide whether to do the exterior wedge blocks. 56 more......and they're bigger and more complex. I have the  material for that.
The REAL issue is I do not have enough of the base material to FINISH  this quilt.
I don't have enough to sash it.
I need to choose another fabric.

(Did I mention it all hand stitched?   Silly me..what was I thinking.)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

25 Trees

There you are. 25 paper pieced trees.
(I swear it took me 20 trees to finally get the hang of it!)

So they'll sit on my board now while I decide whether to finish them in a classic quilt style, or mount them in a more modern way.
Either way they will all be embellished, "tarted up" as the phrase goes. That should be fun.

( and one is silver! )

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Guild Anniversary - 25 Shades of Grey

Nothing due 'til April but I hate having things hanging over my head.
I will probably create several pieces but to get me in the mood, I've finally decided on a first effort.

I came across this little guy on line. Very simple but rather effective.

In my EQ6 i made this paper pieced block.

From that I assembled this.
The blocks are 5 inches square so the total size of this piece won't exceed a square yard.
A nice size to inspire.

The parameters of this event are self evident in the title of the Guild Challenge. 25 Shades of Grey ( moan...Silver anniversary)

I'm thinking as a title....

25 Shades of Grey   or   A True Canadian Winter
 ( heehee ) 

I only have 21 shades here.....BUT WAIT.. there's my stash!

2:00 pm UGH...
I forgot it takes me a few pieces before I get the hang of it again...................sigh

4:00 pm Finally got my head wrapped around this process.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Sunrise - Final

The addition of two more geese and the slight extension of the grass edge gave this a more pleasing balance. It was rebound with a standard French binding ( adding 6 layers on the final stitching pass ) with a walking foot, bringing the number of layers of cloth in this piece up to 10.
Good Grief!
Good old Juki.
I can hear the geese.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sunrise - Finishing the Grasses

I was a little leery starting on this today after all the grief it gave me yesterday, but it sewed like a dream with the stronger stabilizer. As the thread layers at the bottom started to build I ran into some breakage with the standard Gutermann thread, so I switched to a thicker quilting thread Though it was more linty, I reduced the breakage and forged (mowed!) ahead.

I started out very cautiously in the bottom corner.

The painter's tape was to define my two axis, about 1.5 inches off the canvas. The piece behaved beautifully but as the grass lines became longer and moved away from the edge I had to get creative about the direction I sewed. I didn't want to put a crease in the stabilizer.

Almost complete.... but something was missing. Here our fields are filled with Queen Anne's Lace (carrot) so I added a stalk of the dead herb. And that little bit of sky at the top right. Geese.

I had to stop here because someone was asking about dinner...................!
I'm thinking tomorrow the grass line needs to be extended to the right and we need MORE GEESE!
Cautious though...less is often more!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sunrise - Trouble of my own Making

I should have known better since I had noticed the ripple early on.

All that tight stitching over cloth batting and stabilizer gathered the edges of this piece every so slightly.....well quite a bit. My thought was "I can quilt it out."


by the time I added more cloth, 3 layers remember, as a border, there were just too many volatile spots.

FMQ  does have a tendency to tighten up and if it can move the material, it will.
So I was left with this ripple in the border. Bad enough, but my nice finished envelope edge was also distorted.

So I cut it off and spent yesterday finishing the outdoor chores instead. (Hummmph)

The thin barked maple was given protection, not so much against rabbits, as mice.

The same treatment for the corkscrew hazel.
They will happily endure up to 3 feet of snow and should "Monsieur Lapin" break through my barriers, they can trim the branches, not really harming the trees.

And I assembled the skeleton of my Winter porch display.
This won't be finished until after freeze up. The branches are placed into a framework of crisscrossing bricks, in a deep wine juice bucket. This is filled with water . When it freezes later this month the whole display will weigh well over 100lbs. No winter wind is going to shift that!

Then I humbly returned to my art...sigh!

After cutting off the edge I placed the whole piece on a new backing with a heavy embroidery stabilizer. I don't use this grade very often and certainly not on piece this big, but I was stuck. Either do it .......or toss it.
So now I had how many layers?
The "pink" cloth (1)
batting (2)
light stabilizer (3)
two layers of white cloth under the border print (6)
a heavy stabilizer and last (7)
backing material (8)
8 pieces of "material" Juki was not a happy camper.

But I persevered. I had no choice. Thread broke again and again. I couldn't switch threads so I was stuck with the white on top, but I did change the bobbin thread to a mono filament. At least with that, the number of times I stopped and restarted is undetectable.

So tomorrow? It's back to finishing the grass. I have no idea what devilry that is going to bring, but I won't be surprised this time.

( all smoothed out and ready to finish....)
And after prepping the yard for winter?
The first and always fabulous snowfall............... magic

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sunrise - next step

The next step was to give it a contrasting large border in white. I auditioned a few in my stash and they ranged from purple to pure white. I chose a pale creme white on white.

None of the whites were capable of concealing the edge of the bold colour on the main portion of the cloth. I remedied that by sewing the chosen white to two layers of a yellow white. This gives ALMOST complete cover.

This is the only drawback to building a cloth frame to the work. The white always needs to be beefed up.

I maximized the pink surface, but that included one spot that missed the paint. This resulted in a pure white spot (left edge).

A really simple fix......... pink crayon. You can just see the spot. But this will be covered.

With what? you ask.
A black silhouette of grasses.

However, when I'm not confident, my second name is PROCRASTINATION.
I am so hesitant to actually stitch over this piece! (Remember the hours of stitching? That's another reason I slipped the wreath into the mix.)

I avoided it and decided to totally finished the edges first.

To get a perfect edge, I added the backing stitched around the whole piece and cut into the backing where the sleeve will be attached. After the piece was turned, pressed and edged with a line of white stitched, the opening was closed with a slip stitch.

So here it is.
(I went for a walk and STILL don't have the nerve to stitch BLACK onto this lovely confection of sherbet pink!)
Maybe tomorrow?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christmas Wtreath - Day 2

Here is the finished wreath on my front door.

After I put the wreath outside I realized that while it is protected from the elements it's not heavy enough to withstand the wind. And I'm sure a few days of intense afternoon sun will permanently damage and fade the fabrics.


So I'll find a spot indoors ( where my Bah Humbug hubby can walk by it daily and roll his eyes!)

In the end I opted for using only one side. I reasoned that a two sided wreath would cause some damage to the hidden side, if only flattening and maybe dirtying the prairie points. ( Actually I couldn't bring myself to do it all again!)

After gluing the fringe to either side of the prairie points, I glued the supplied red buttons in as random a pattern as I could. (A lot more burned fingers handling the little buttons.!

The second cardboard was cut out and covered with a christmas material, then glued to the backside of the wreath.

Cute little ( indoor decoration ) project but definitely not designed to hang out doors in a Canadian winter!

Monday, 16 November 2015

UFO's Come in Many Shapes - Christmas Wreath

I've been sitting on the this kit for a least a year. I bought it on impulse in a fabric shop I was visiting with a friend. When she heard MY Christmas wreath was over 30 years old she convinced me I NEEDED  a new one... THIS ONE.

It passed in and out of my vision several times this fall so today I decided I DO IT!
As soon as I started it I remembered why I put it aside.
92 pieces, to be cut, folded and ironed.
But it went together smoothly after I got over my piecing snit! Wedges and prairie points.

The kit came with the cardboard template with which to mount the seasonal wreath of your choice. I thought at first this might be too "spring green" fro a Christmas wreath.

I even got this baby hot glued to the form. A little stuffing gives it a gentle relief.

I have the option of doing the one side or repeating the whole exercise again to make a BACK! an different wreath for another season?
Don't know yet.
( In retrospect, $30 for two pieces of cardboard seems a little pricey.)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sunset? New Title - Sunrise

After looking at the colour blends in this I decided it was probably closer to a sunrise than a sunset.
It didn't take 10 hours today, but it did take 5.
Here's the original first.

And the finished quilted cloth.

Keeping the lines straight was done by checking the lines every inch or so. Minor corrections don't show. In all I'm very pleased with this finished Background.

I included a picture of the back. This shows clearly the spacing of the stitch lines. It was a great opportunity to use up orphan bobbins from other projects.

I do have a feature/finish in mind. A silhouette style of bowed grass. Though I did see a picture of a bird on a tree branch in silhouette too. It'll take a few days to decide, or rather commit to putting it on this background.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

New Work - A Sunset

When a photo, picture or painting makes it to my monitor as my screensaver, I know this piece is happening soon. Having finished a lot of other commitments I was finally able to turn to this piece.
The events of this day make me want to tie into sadness and uncertainty surrounding the Paris tragedy. That could be reflected in the title. But for now. The process.

My fabric, painted last summer?

A full metre was a little large so I cut a piece ( OH I HATE doing that!) looking for a heavier feel for the bottom. Then as I had done with the large blue sky, I started stitching, this time on my domestic, setting the lines no more that 1/8 of an inch apart.

I worked for about 3 hours and this is where I am.

The thread intensifies the cloth colours. There is probably about 10 more hours of stitching ( Maybe less?)  Then I can over lay the silhouette I have on mind.

The hardest part is keeping those lines STRAIGHT. I stop and measure about every inch and find I'm often 1/4 out??! But its easy to correct with small changes.


"What can men do against such reckless hate?"

Friday, 13 November 2015

Group Challenge

My Fibre Art friends are wonderful women. Each brings something different to our get togethers.
That said, they each have a wicked sense of humour.

We exchanged some fabric and notions the other day, blindly. We don't know who contributed what. I received this grouping.

The challenge?........Create a piece using some or all of each of the contents in the bag.
After puzzling for a week, I finally dove in and 3 days later I have a finished product.
Can't show it for another couple of weeks, not till December, as its being returned to the giver via Secret Santa!

I started with the zipper.

After I was finished my work space looked like this. LOL

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wicca Moon - Final

The five elements of the pentagram are stitched in place, in black.
Just a little over 5 weeks to the Winter Solstice.
'til then...............

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wicca Moon - Day 4

It took me awhile to decide which symbol to feature in this piece.
I settled on the Triquetra, the modern interpretation being the connection of mind, body and soul. The original Celtic-based Pagan symbol for the three realms of earth, sea and sky.

I had intended to render it in a glossy white metallic, but as the thread would not cooperate today, I ended up stitching it in sliver and then giving it a touch of pearl paint.

I added a light layer of angelina, secured with netting to add a hint of Northern lights.
There is still a lot of unquilted black. Right now, I'm leaning towards adding the 5 symbols of the pentagram: self, spirit, fire, air and water, not as a feature but to be present, stitched in black, as a texture rather than a visual.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Masculine look in a Dsiappearing 4 Patch

I do get tired of the uber feminine quilts and patterns out there. But this little gem caught my eye last
guild meeting. Just finished quilting it in time to pass it on to be bound.
Great use of men's shirt fabric.!

Tree for the Winter Solstice - day 3

The tree is stitched in place with the roots sitting on and winding around the sliver of shadow. All that needs to be added is the Wiccan embellishments.

The second photo is enlarged and over exposed to show the gnarled affect you can achieve with the twisted yarns.