Just for fun

Today I went back to persevering – for a couple of hours – with the watercolour experience! It’s all pretty horrible. Haha I don’t know, if I get hooked on it, I might improve…. giving it a bash with some free online lessons from Www.ArtTutor.com which I tell myself will help me in my art practice – and even if it doesn’t, I don’t suppose it’ll do any harm!

The main textile work I am currently busy with is a group challenge which was set by the members of our Textile Group (Reddy Arts). I have to run with it, and the criteria are: 60cm square, start with a white fabric, (e.g. a bed sheet) and all commercially purchased prints and hand dyes are forbidden. I am not convinced that challenges are a good thing.

For this I have opted to  use a very old painted and stencilled piece made several years ago and which has been languishing in the cupboard ever since… It started way back in the days of experimentation with new techniques… there were so many possibilities, so many to try, and thus we gave ourselves permission to play which resulted in giving everything a go! Until eventually we ran the risk of becoming technique junkies without a clue where to go from there… that is a trap, BEWARE! (I still get sucked in….. viz: the watercolour painting) So this piece of original painted and stencilled (with various texture media – eg glass beads and structure gel – mixed in with acrylic paints) now altered with cutting and reinvented with stitching, both hand and machine, is planned to feature a couple of birds… (Surprise!)  but is so far from my usual style of work, I believe it will not be recognisable as mine at all…..  but isn’t that what challenges are all about? Exploring new directions?

So onward, I need to go get stitching, painting and whatever!

 

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Tetraspinner instructions…

ARE COMING!!! Meanwhile, today, I have made another one, to check the latest fabrics – I now have panels in not only the original colourway (as seen in the video!)  but 3 others plus black and white outlines for the colourists in our midst. This tetraspinner  below  is a finished size of 8.5″ across (as are all the fabric panels). I have decided not to include individual triangles for printing in the pattern as the fabric prints make life so much easier, much of the construction work is already done, and the time needed to make one up is halved- the more you make of course, the faster you will become. Suffice to say, it’s far easier than having to print and cut out many individual triangles and then sew them all together….. This has been an enormously educational journey for me, learning how to make a large tetraspinner initially was challenging and fun, working it out as I went along. My original large one consisted of all individually traced, painted, embellished and quilted triangles, and was weeks in the making…. My first pattern and instructions were all written, drawn up, and photographed with numerous steps, and pages and pages of printed matter! The patterns all in two sizes… large and smaller…. Once I thought about designing and printing the triangles on to fabric yardage, to save time, it became increasingly more logical to do this whole thing as a panel, sticking with the smaller size only, which keeps the costs down for one thing and to make handling the finished item much easier – making life so much simpler for purchaser.

Hop across to flickr to see a few more photos of the new fabrics I have designed   – four different colourways and a black and white version for those of you who would like to colour it in your favourite colour schemes…. here is a taster or two: how one of the new panels will look made up!

The fabric and instructions with photos and diagrams will soon be available from 2SewTextiles  in our Etsy shop,  just some final tweaking to be done,  the listing to sort out, and a bit of streamlining for purchase of the fabric panels.  Definitely before the end of September. Deadlines are good.

 

Project overload – or when you can’t find your scissors

Lately I’ve been engaged in several textile projects concurrently….  Somehow I seemed to keep adding more to the pile…not quite sure how it happens but I think it is because sometimes you are waiting for something to arrive, so in the meantime you start something else…. and so it goes.  The consequence of course is that eventually I become engulfed in a deluge of fabrics, battings, off cuts, threads, papers, rulers, and quilt sandwiches….. It was difficult once again to find even one pair of scissors,  and I have several….they are always under something, but which something is it?  What to do, what to do? Trying to find stuff slows up the creativity, and the pressure to complete things was building, building, building…

All this despite a post  I wrote last year,  in which I concluded that tidying  up after myself was the solution to avoiding being snowed in yet again by textile flotsam and jetsam – at least in theory. Actually, I still believe it’s a sound strategy, although I have in reality been less than successful. How can this be made to work, I asked myself? My conclusion was, that every project (currently I have 6 upon which I am working, and several more that could be added to the list)  needed its own box, into which it can be tidied, before I tackle the next bit of the next project, and so on! The short way would be to rush out and buy 6 new boxes. Easy you think? Sure. But wait. Where will the boxes be stored? Every inch of space in the tiny sewing studio is taken… And it overflows into the bedroom….. And the art studio is also full of things…. The store room is chockers, and the spare bedroom is overwhelmed by artefacts and equipment and books and boxes of things – all belonging to various offspring…

I sent out an SOS to a very good and patient friend…

Who said, “no, you don’t need new boxes.” Who said, “throw out some stuff.” Who said, “donating is good”. Who said, “throw away 20 things”. Who said, “start with the plastic bags” ….. “what plastic bags?” I cried. They have important stuff in them. They have useful stuff in them. There are only two…. Or three…

“I have to make a list,” said I. “No lists, ” said she. But I did have to have a list. It calms my mind, to make a list. So I made a list. Of my current projects. Then I knew I definitely needed at least 6 boxes.

“No” said she. “Just start!!”

It took me two days.

The payoff is – I can find all of my scissors, see my ironing surface and cutting mat…. and I have repurposed 6 boxes into project containers!

ps: to my lovely friend – here are the photos you requested (see comments in the post referred to above) !!! there is even room for Bailey.

pps: Oh and did you notice the tetraspinner fabrics have arrived? that is a fat quarter which will make one tetraspinner ) Not long now! That is project priority number one.

 

 

 

Quilting with rulers

Enrolled in an online ruler quilting class recently… This weekend I managed to get started… Two projects, one is the class sampler, in beige, taupe, red and brown,  which will be a large quilt, and the other a table topper…. Under which I plan to hide my cutting mat! The rulers are designed by Leonie and Bill West : find information about them at  http://www.westalee.com.au/

I was the lucky winner of a voucher from Punch with Judy  for an online class, at the 2015 Queensland Quilt Show.  I am so glad I chose the  Ruler class !! There are also other classes you can take, but I am doing the introductory one.

These are the first blocks for the table topper – because I made them first, while waiting for  the pale beige fabric to come into the store… I do think it is important to support your local fabric suppliers.

and a few more

And here are the first blocks I have done for the class sampler

 

Have to say, having the greatest fun!

Here are some more blocks:

More to come as I get them completed!

WIP: That Tree again!

Because of the holidays, and being rather busy on my return, I have neglected my blog, but suffice to say that my creativity has not been! It started with all the holiday photos, enormous quantities of which required considerable culling… And then I wanted to practise my drawing (the intention being to do one a day -I think I managed 6…although that’s not to say I won’t get back to it.) but, sewing? Have I done any? Well, some. This tree, for instance. I have some progress. It has been interrupted by my spending some time working on three accompanying pieces, (being depictions of the residents of said tree) and I am pleased that they are now at the ready-to-quilt stage. They have posed a few challenges, as has the Tree. The Tree has been subject to a few poor construction decisions -I say poor, as they are not exactly bad (especially in light of some of the really bad decisions people make all the time, including self) and so these little regrets will just have to stand, and we must accept that which cannot be changed, with grace, one hopes, and not lamenting. Anyway, I am not going to make it again… And I shall let the viewer be the judge at the final unveiling… Which incidentally will be 16th April. opening night is 24th April so store that away in your memory for future reference.

Detail, the Tree
Detail, the Tree – roots
Detail, the Tree
Detail, the Tree – trunk