Sunday, February 27, 2011

Design Decisions

I have been working on a sample piece, in preparation for a larger one the will be done with the same hand dyed fabric.  I got the hand embroidery done while on a business trip a week ago, and finished the machine quilting today.

I tried all kinds of quilting designs on paper, and nothing much worked well- or at least, that's what I thought.  I want the quilting to contrast with the curvy lines of the spiral- that decision was made after drawing some curvy quilting, kind of like McTavishing on a grayscale photocopy of the piece.  Nope.  None of the straight line designs did much for me either, so I went with this.  I'm not sure about this one either, but at least it's only journal quilt size so I haven't got a lot of time or materials invested.

I like how the outline around the spiral appears almost like I did trapunto.  That is an effect I will do again on the larger piece.  I'm also happy with the hand embroidery, although I may play with color a little more in the larger piece.

I used a golden yellow for the straight line quilting, and although the colors of the thread and fabric blend well, I think it washed out the entire piece more than I like.  I will probably use monofilament in the larger piece, so I get the texture without the color. 

I will have more surface design going on in the larger piece- more stencilling and stamping, and probably some done after I quilt.  I want the large spiral to be the focal point, but I want the viewer to see layers also once they come in for a closer look.

I am still feeling totally uninspired in the studio, unable to focus for any length of time.  Diane summed up how I've been feeling very well, even though I haven't been doing any mindless piecing.  Maybe I should try it, I can think of at least two UFO's I need to get done this year.  I'm beginning to wonder if what creativity I have melted away with the fat I've lost the past few months??

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Travel, and Repurposing

I have been gone for the past week in southern Utah- not fun, work.  But it was gorgeous in St. George at least one of the days I was there- it was hard to leave to come back to the cold.  Winter is supposed to return this week, and I am heartily sick of it.

I did get some hand stitching done on a sample piece for a larger work I'm doing.  I've dyed, overdyed, stenciled and stamped this fabric.  I knew I wanted to add hand stitching, so I managed to get some done during meetings.  It's already sandwiched, once the handwork is done I'll be figuring out the quilting.  Yes, I know, sounds backwards but it was what would work for me.

Seed stitch adds such lovely texture!  A detail--

I also stayed up late last night, working on a tee.  I dyed and printed this tee from Dharma a couple of years ago.

It was big and baggy back then, and it was even bigger and baggier now that I've lost a bunch of weight.  I've been going through my closet, weeding out clothes to sell at our annual garage sale this spring.  I decided I didn't want to get rid of a couple of tees I dyed, though.  So I found a Burda pattern for a basic tee, used some I already have that fit well to help determine measurements and sizing, and altered the pattern.  I had to redraft the necklines a bit to make them fit on the fabric pieces- finally found a use for those French curves I bought!!  Then I picked out the hems, took off the ribbing at the neck, and cut the shirt apart.  I couldn't make it long sleeved- the sleeves are very different.  The original had a flat cap, the pattern has a more fitted cap, so there wasn't enough length for long sleeves.  But I am happy to say it worked, and was well worth the effort!!

It fits really well- skims my body without being overly clingy.  I think it shows off my printing even better than the original.  I even managed to reuse the ribbing around the neckline!

I have another tee to alter- I think I'm going to try something a little different.  We'll see-- but boy am I having fun being skinny again!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I got several comments about the book I just got, and thought I'd post a few pages to give anyone interested a taste of the book.  The table of contents shows the wide ranging variety of symbols the books covers--

I liked the relatively short entry on Silence--

And another, longer entry on Flood--

And finally, one on Hand--

The entire book is like this- all 700 plus pages.  With my psychology/social work background, I find the information about a lot of the symbols fascinating.  We'll see how it impacts my art!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

It Arrived- Finally!

This book 

that I ordered from Barnes and Noble the end of January FINALLY arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  Can I just say I am not impressed by the shipping company they use?  It went from Reno to Carson/Los Angeles, sat there for a few days, then went to Provo (nine miles north of me), to Salt Lake (fifty miles north of me!!), sat there for a couple of days, and finally came to Spanish.  It would have been faster and probably better if they'd just shipped it priority mail.

I'm glad I got the book, though.  I was expecting a coffee table kind of book- big, and on the thin side.  It is just under 10' by 7', and at least two inches thick.  There is a massive amount of written information in addition to visuals- but in smaller, very readable essays about the symbol in question.  I expect to spend many nights reading this before I go to sleep!

So, if you have any interest in the symbols mankind has used for millemia- I'd highly recommend this book.  I just don't recommend B & N's shipper- use the post office if at all possible, or order from Amazon.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


is something I have been sorely lacking lately, hence the dearth of posts.  I have been feeling flightly, unable to concentrate on much of anything.  I go down to the studio, ditz around at something for fifteen minutes, and leave.  Pathetic.

At least I can say I'm motivated in other areas.  This weekend I decided I was going to put the carpet cleaner I got for Christmas to good use.  We got the living room and our bedroom (which is huge) done.  Not perfect, but a great improvement.  We also rearranged the furniture.  I got daring- it's on a diagonal, NOT lined up along the walls.  I've watched way to many HGTV design shows!

With nice clean carpet, I wasn't about to have a dirty dog running around.  So Sadie the Border collie got a haircut and a bath.  Unreal how much hair that dog has, especially in cold weather.  While she doesn't enjoy the experience, she does act like she's feeling better afterward.

So now that I've bored you with my weekend doings, I do have some fiber pictures.  The scarf I used the DeColourant on is still waiting for its second layer of screenprinting.  This is a scarf that was ugly, then got a couple of overdyes that greatly improved it.

I'd thought I'd use the DeColourant with metallic gold for the next round, and I probably still will.  I used it with regular DeColourant on another scarf, and I could hardly tell the difference between the two.

I've also been slowly working on the first piece I'm doing for my ECHO group.  I finally made the stamps with the spiral design I've been playing with, using sticky backed fun foam.  It does work rather nicely!

The third stamp is one I did using an idea from a book I got last year, on making surface design tools with household objects.  Those are corn pads, just stuck on a piece of acrylic.  

Doing these, I learned that if I pay attention to how I cut, I can end up with two spirals that are slightly different.  Look closely at them and you'll see what I mean.  The unbroken spiral on top is actually the other part of the stamp directly below it.

Another work week tomorrow- then next week I am in southern Utah all week for work.  I'll be paying a visit to the Superior Thread headquarters while I'm there!!  Maybe I'll get some motivation in some warmer temperatures--