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Moving Right Along…

I love it when I get on a schedule where I can work steadily. It feels good to be getting things accomplished.  Working from home guarantees lots of interruptions! Now that I’ve said that, let me show you what I finished today…the “Kemshall Bag”.  My progressive work on this bag has been documented in previous posts.  The sample in Quilting Arts had square beads hand sewn on the edge and there were lots of them.  I had already put so much handwork time into this, I wanted to finish the edge in a more timely fashion, so I chose a pre-packaged beaded trim.  A little ribbon for the hanger and it’s finished and ready for gift giving.

This next project is in process.  It all started with a piece of rust dyed cotton sateen.  That was the inspiration along with a piece of screened cloth with turquoise and black dye.  I have had the pieces laid out together so I could stare at it for a couple of weeks.  Today I went into action to implement my vision. In the book The Painted Quilt, by Linda and Laura Kemshall, they document how they never start working on the cloth until they have sketched, painted, and mapped the initial idea out in a journal.  I love their journals and that is a wonderful idea, and I will do sketches and doodles, but so far they have never emerged into anything full blown.  I was enjoying the colors of the rust and turquoise together along with some discharged black cotton sateen.  So I took pictures of the layout, ran some photos out and then proceeded to sketch my ideas onto the photo.  For some reason, I find that photographing the layout and seeing it on the computer screen helps me to better see and finalize the initial composition.  Having photographs of that gives me the opportunity to sketch onto it more layers of what I see as the final look.  If that look doesn’t work for me, I can make another photo to work on.  I use 4″ x 6″ glossy photo paper from Epson.  Every time I order ink from them, I get a free packet of 4″x6″ photo paper, so I’m not really out anything but some ink.  I have done this a couple of times and find the idea very helpful for me.  I wish I were as organized and thoughtful as the Kemshall’s, but at this point, I’m just not.

The piece is larger than what I have worked on recently.  I decided I needed to do something larger.  Since I’m not sure what I will do with this or where it might be entered, if at all, for now I am going to hold out on the full view and just show a few closeups.  It is ready for quilting and I am excited to get it to this stage.  I don’t know if it’s good or not, but I love the colors and I’m happy with the theme and it does look just like my sketch on the photograph.  The name of it is….But Words Will Never Hurt Me. (You know the old saying..sticks and stones may break my bones…)  And who knows…maybe the start of a series?

Rust dyed cotton sateen, dye painted screened cotton, discharged black cotton sateen, stamped, discharged, inked.

Wednesday This ‘N That…

I have been here, I just haven’t been blogging. You know… how LIFE gets in the way. Monday afternoon I had to go teach my sewing class with young girls. There are five of them, although not all of them sew when I am there. They are working on a quilt called Crooked Nine Patch. It was designed by my friend SuznQuilts and was made so that it is easy for kids to do. They are so excited and having so much fun. Sometime later I will take pics of their blocks to show you all the variety they have.

On Tuesday, I had errands to do and pick up a few groceries. My husband is working long hours in the field, so I am trying to keep the food train going for him and try to keep lunch somewhat interesting, since they eat on the run. But Tuesday afternoon, I decided it was time for me to do some sewing for FUN!!! I actually haven’t sewed anything much for quite some time. First, I worked on the hand stitched bag that I showed awhile back. I liked the pears that the Kemshalls stitched on their bag, so, lacking any other inspiration, I stitched pears on mine too and then added some paint. This is a birthday gift for a friend of mine and that birthday is coming up soon. She likes folk art and I have kept the pears imperfect and a bit funky in shape. Believe me, it wasn’t that hard to do…with free motion stitching. The next thing to do will be to bind it and shape it into the bag, then maybe add some beads by hand.

Creating art takes alot of brain power, so there are times when I just want to sit at the sewing machine and do mindless piecing. That’s my break from thinking…that’s my fun. This is when I like to pull out something unfinished and get back to it. Yeah, I still like traditional fabrics, and yeah, I still like muted reproduction colors. So except for getting the applique stitched down, I did get the borders on and the stars fused to the quilt. This ended up being a double bed size, but the fun thing about it is, it has 579 different fabrics in it. It is called Civil War Logs, again by my friend, SuznQuilts. It is all (as much as we can tell) civil war reproduction fabrics. Four of us started collecting them several years ago and trading strips around so that we all had that variety. In this particular quilt, each fabric has been used only once. It is windy out today, so I couldn’t photograph it on the clothesline. It just flies up like a sail!

I am quite pleased with it and am thinking of getting it hand quilted (probably not by me) in keeping with the Civil War look. I think I know some ladies who hand quilt every week around a big frame.

Today I finished emptying out the van from the festival and organizing everything in the garage. It’s hot out there. I am sweating badly. The other thing I am doing today is attempting to discharge rust dyed fabric. Yep, it works. Here are the results. The circles on the bottom are the discharged areas. Now I want to do some screenprinting with dye paint. How many different chemicals can this cloth stand?