Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Oooh I love to Dance a Little Sidestep

So I put on my dancing shoes and pulled out the empty loom.  I had a warp in a bag that had been there since April of 2018..... So roughly two years....not bad, right?  Ha ha.

This warp is from a class that I went to called "Dye that Warp Party."  We came with warps made and tied up ready to dye.  The dye we used is a thyrene dye that the teacher gets from Japan. It contains both a bleaching agent and an overdye.  That all happens in one pot, like magic.  I have never seen anything like it.   I think she had two or three colors and this one went in the "red"  bucket.   The original warp was colorful with shades of blue and yellow.  We did some resist techniques to cover parts of the warp so that those areas would not get dyed.  As you can see the bleaching agent did not totally remove the color. That resulted in some oranges and purples where the red blended with the original colors.

Warp coming over the back beam

View from the back of the loom.
The colors in this are so happy and so "me."  I will be weaving this in odd moments when I want to do something different.

I am still quilting on the colorful quilt with the batik on the back. I think that there are only six setting triangles and the outer border that need quilting, so that will be done pretty soon.  Good news!  I remembered to put the label on so that it is both sewn down and quilted onto the quilt.

Keep your head high and your hands washed. Stay home and maintain social distance when you must go out for essentials. I am going "old people shopping" tomorrow morning. I have already set the alarm. I have my mask, gloves and my pocket bottle of hand sanitizer ready to go.


PS - Angie, you are a no-reply blogger so I can't respond to your comments.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Getting Some Quilting Done

I looked and looked at the quilt top and could not determine how I was going to quilt it.  The muse was very quiet.  When I decided to look for a different quilt on my blog, a photo showed up that made me go "Ooooh, I love the way that is quilted."  So I pulled out the quilt and looked at it. While this will be different in many ways, that quilt told me what I needed to think about to quilt this one.

Do you look at you past work for inspiration?  Or do you maybe have an "idea board" or some other type or plan for inspiration?  Some days we just need a kick start.

What I really loved on the older quilt was the way the quilting was divided into sections that all worked together.  I saw that I used several "Square Flower" motifs.  It is one that I learned from Lori Kennedy. That link will take you to her blog tutorial. Of course, I have changed the motif a little and made variations.  But I love the basis of it.  To quote a country song, "When the bones are good, the rest don't matter"  and the bones on this are excellent.  I learned from Christina Cameli and Leah Day that you can take a basic design (the bones) and create endless variations.

Here are some sneak peeks including a photo of the main backing fabric.
Square Flower

Floral with Leaves and squiggles

Backing fabric and some quilting
This backing batik is a "mystery" batik that I bought many years ago.  Cutting it was difficult because I love the way the colors change and blend.  Using it for a backing was perfect - and it was big enough if I added a nice solid to either side.

For now, I am planning to use a huge floral-ish motif for each of the big squares. I have not yet decided what I will do for the setting triangles and border. I drew my inspiration from the quilt below.  I may well draw more inspiration from this fun quilt.
The stitching isn't perfect but it certainly makes me smile.
Oh yes, the "other side" of this inspiration piece can be seen here.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Quilt Basted and Stabilized

You may think I have just been hanging out and doing not much.  But, I have done things - I just haven't posted in a few days.
Honestly, in the current situation, it is hard for some of us. I will survive because I am a survivor.  But, still, it is hard.  (sorry just being honest.)

Anyway,  I got a quilt basted and the stabilizing (ditch quilting) done.  I don't ditch every seam but I did outline all of the rows - and as this is set on point, that was challenging for me.  One thing I did while doing the ditch quilting was to listen to Ricky Tims reading today's chapter of Lizzie Albright.  The link should take you to the playlist so you can start from the beginning.  I love children's books and children's fantasy is a favorite.  Think "Wizard of Oz" meets "Harry Potter" with a quilt providing some inspiration.  It is quite interesting.

Back to my quilt.
Here is a partial photo of it after basting and stabilizing as it lays on my bed.  I confess  that I had a hard time seeing where I had ditch quilted and where I hadn't.  (yaay)

Here is the photo of the top from Dec 2018.

Another thing I had been doing is some weaving.  I had a narrow warp on my loom so I wove it off into two separate pieces. One is cotton while the other is synthetic yarn.
You can see two sections of the cotton on the left while the synthetic yarn piece is on the right.

I may be missing for a few more days as now I have a nice basted quilt to be quilting on at my leisure.  I hope you are being kind to yourself and not feeling guilty if you aren't staying busy.  You have my permission to just relax and simply exist.  But please be aware of safety guidelines if you have to leave your home.  Wash your hands and wear a mask at the minimum when you have to go on an essential supply run.

*** FYI -  I wasn't apologizing for being honest, but for being a "downer" - which I don't like to do.  But I felt that folks should know that even the "happy face" people are struggling right now too.... I want folks not to feel guilty for having what I think are pretty normal feelings. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 30, 2020

More Improv and a bit of a capella

I have been playing a bit more with improv piecing.  I am undecided if I will use the pieces to make a quilt.  Perhaps I will use them to make more notebook covers.  The notebook covers are a fairly quick finish compared to making a quilt.  Although I just had  a "brainstorm" about using these pieces for a modern quilt  with a lot of negative background space. Hmmm... time will tell.  I do love making the notebook covers.
Here are the last few bits I have pieced.  They are not "squared" but rather just have the edges straightened.
While it doesn't look like much, there is a lot of work and time invested in these pieces. But, getting to use up a lot of smaller "scrap" pieces is a joy.  I did pull out a couple of my smaller hand dyed pieces to add to the pile.

Here are the rest of the pieces on my portable "display board."
They clearly need to be pressed again.

I recorded the little a capella video  a couple of nights ago to share
 with whomever wants to hear it.  It is also on YouTube.





Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 




Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible.
Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply.
Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Improv and more

It has been interesting to be isolated.  I am an introvert but that doesn't mean I am not a bit social.  I do like interacting with people. So, I have been sitting outside recording some tunes to share on Social Media.  I have no idea if this will work but here is a link to one of them.  My Facebook Page for quilting and other art is HERE

Meanwhile I decided to take the random scraps that have accumulated near the sewing machine and just do some improv sewing; no real plan, just paying attention to value a bit -but no stress!

The yarn that I worked on is now finished and put up in a center pull ball for ease of use.  I also finished another single ply of bamboo that I had spun.
Bamboo on left - Wool spiral ply on right
Stay home! Let's flatten the curve. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Forgotten Project Finished! And Spinning Q's Answered

The "forgotten project" has a binding on it.
I used an old multicolored batik from my stash that has dots on it.  I thought that it would add color and repeat the circles in the quilt top. And honestly, it was just fun!

Here are some quilting closeups.  The quilting is NOT perfect because it is hand guided by me, a human.





I had fun doing all the quilting on this little quilt. 

Yesterday on the "spinning wool" post, A Left Handed Quilter asked "...could you explain what "stacks" and "coils" are?"  These are a couple of ways that spinners add texture to yarn.  Since my yarn is still hanging to dry, I "borrowed" some photos to show you. 
Spun Coils

Spun Stacks
As you can tell the coils are a much more defined "orderly" texture.  But the stacks are more "wild and messy."   As I have woven with both in the past I will tell you that for weaving both get distorted a bit by the warp threads.  But they both add a nice texture to the woven fabric. 

She also mentioned "ply" in her comment. So I will tell you that plying is simply combining two spun strands into a unified strand.  The sewing thread you buy is most likely a 2 or 3 ply thread. 
We call the original spun strand a "single" - it has been spun but not plied. Singles can be used for weaving but are rarely used for knitting or crochet. 

I hope you are staying in and staying virus free. And I really hope you are washing your hands very well if you have to go out - both before leaving and after returning home!

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Thoughts and a bit of Yarn

I have been just chilling the past couple of days.  Monsoon weather has set in here again.  I awoke to thunder and heavy rain that is still falling down.  Yesterday I  decided to take a wool single that I had spun and make a spiral ply.  Before I started, I watched a class that I bought on Craftsy a few years back;  Spinning Art Yarns by Jacey Boggs Faulkner. 
Being in "chill" mode, I watched most of the lessons. So as I was doing the spiral ply, I also added some stacks and coils in it.  I am not a great spinner, but it is very calming for me.


But while I was reading a "suggestion" to parents today, I decided to add my two cents worth. Feel free to send it to anyone you know who may need this idea.

Those of you with school age children (and younger) remember that reading stories (yes I mean fiction) is perfectly valid for learning. Do NOT tell them it is educational. Snuggle up with them and read. If they read well out loud offer them the opportunity to read to you (and siblings.) If you read the right books, they will learn a lot without realizing it. i learned about science from children's books that later sparked my imagination to find out more about it.
This is great for stress reduction for them AND for you. Just enjoy the time together. If you read a story where something is cooked/made/etc and you have the stuff, you can cook/make/etc together as a follow up to the story. Then they learn life skills in the process.
What if it is a failure? LAUGH and explain that we all fail at times but if we look closely we can learn something about what went wrong and maybe do it better next time. But LAUGH - and they will hopefully learn to find humor in the worst of times. And what a glorious life skill that is!

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Some Practice FMQ -Tablerunner

The old table topper that was minimally quilted - wow - virtually not quilted.
There was a line of quilting in the ditch where the pieced center met the borders. And two lines of ditch quilting, one on either side of the center strip.   Seriously, what was I thinking????

I started by doing a row of pebbles and a row of zigzag lines.
Ooh, I like the textural contrast of those next to each other.  So I alternated that on all of the skinny strips.  I did a few other designs in the border and did the zigzag twice (crossing itself) on the wide strips.   Then the narrow border got an organic line  in it.  Boom! Done.
What are you doing in your sewing/quilting room these days?

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Wow...This is quilted

Staying in is causing me to get things done. 
I did a LOT of cleaning in the room where most of the fabric lives until it is ready to be used.  I found some things to play with. But I also used some time the last two days to quilt on the new Juki TL2010Q machine.  Here is the quilt I quilted.  You may remember it from a February post when it went from "Forgotten project" to "quilt top" in one day.

I did all sorts of fun quilting on this with no concerns about perfection. Guess what?!!??
Yes I love it.  I do.

One of my "finds" in the cleaning session was an old table topper that was minimally quilted.  I am quilting away on it.  No photo at the moment. But maybe tomorrow or the next day you will see it.

#quiltersquarantine

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Really Finished


And now "The Night Sky" quilt is finished.  After a drizzly morning,  the sun came out and started to warm the earth.  I decided to take the quilt out into the yard and snap a few photos.
I didn't worry about spreading it on the ground because it has yet to have its spa treatment. (washing before giving.) 


But since today is St. Patrick's day, I couldn't resist playing with the color in the photo editor. Now it won't get "pinched" ha ha.


A lot of the quilting on this is simple wavy lines, but three of the corners got special treatment.





And of course it has one of my labels on it - for posterity and all that.


The binding matches the front background fabric - mostly because that was an easy choice to make. It was all sewn on by machine - specifically the new Juki TL 2010Q machine.  It sews really fast so the binding went on pretty quickly.

Now, to decide on my next project and get going!

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Something New

This year I got a little bit of money back from the IRS.  It wasn't enough, but with some saved up "fun" money,  and finding a good deal I was able to buy a Juki Straight Stitch machine.


It only does a straight stitch - no zigzag, no programmed stitches. But it does backstitch with that lever on the bottom right.  It also has a thread cutter that you can activate with a button on the machine OR with the heel portion of the foot pedal. 

I decided to lower the feed dogs and put on the 1/4" quilting foot that came with it.  Then I tried some free motion quilting.   I was amazed at the quality of the stitches.  It is easier to see where I am going and where I have been when quilting due to the nice wide open harp space.

So, I put it to the real test.  I pulled out some "problem threads" that just don't do FMQ all that well.
Rather than starting easy, I pulled out a cheap, old metallic thread that I started to throw in the trash and then decided to keep for hand embroidery.

No breakage,  no skips, the stitch quality is as good as I have ever gotten.
So I did another one.
Again, no problems.

I tried embroidery thread too.


Nice!
Just to really test the machine, I basted the quilt sandwich with a basting spray that did NOT work well the previous time I used it. That spray caused the thread to break continually,  even using the best thread I own.
It never hesitated.  I think I love this machine.
I even signed my name.

Yes, I do believe this is a keeper. 



Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

An "Almost" Finish

Though the binding is not on yet,  this quilt is much closer to being finished. You may remember The Night Sky quilt that I am making for my nephew.  At last the pieces are all joined and the label is even sewn onto the back. 

I know now that I do not have a good place to hang a quilt this big for a photo.  The quilt is 80" by 80" -so it is a pretty good sized quilt.

The wind lifted the bottom of the quilt off the ground; otherwise it would be dragging.  The pieced blocks are all made with Island Batik fabric (even the white!) The blocks were cut with my Accuquilt Go! cutter and the 8" qube set and companion sets.  The blue background fabric is a different brand of fabric but I don't remember what brand.

I am really happy with this quilt right now.  I just need to choose binding fabric and do that last step. Then it will get a nice warm bath, as I always wash my quilt s before they leave my hands.

I am sure my nephew will love this. His only request was "blue." Ha ha.  The great thing is that he doesn't have to figure out which is the "top" end when he puts in on the bed.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.