Friday, March 22, 2013

The Most Reckless Pattern

So the pattern for the new piece is headed into the homestretch.  I like how it's turning out.   I'm interested to see what it'll look like translated into fiber.

What sort of fiber, you ask?  I'm sure you've been waiting with baited breath.  In any case, I'm going to try rug-hooking.  I've wanted to learn for years.  Part of what's kept me from trying has been that the project needs to be planned in advance to get the look I'm envisioning in my head.

Since I tend to work more intuitively, the whole planning thing has been a bit of a stumbling block.   But, this is the year of me being brave, so I've thrown caution to the wind and . . . spent a whole bunch of time carefully planning this project.  It seems backwards, but it makes a kind of sense to me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Sunshine

Today is the first day of Spring, and although it's bitterly cold, the sun is shining with a vengeance.  Cold, bright days are my favorite studio days.  Cold is my nemesis, so I'm content to cuddle in front of my space heater stitching the textile garden around me.

The white stitching around the appliqu├ęs is really working for me.  I started with it because my orange thread was snagging and I'd just had it.  As soon as I completed one flower, I was sold.  The power of each individual flower really shines.  At the same time, somehow the flowers blend together more seamlessly.  I suppose that the seams themselves are receding.

Alongside the roses, I'm working on plans for another project, still in the sketch phase.

It's not fully ready for the light of the blog, though it also benefits from the light of day.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I had an amazing yoga session today.  You know, the kind that leaves you more energized that when you started, even though you worked really hard?  I tried to channel that energy into art today.

I'm experimenting with background and how it adds to the whole.  This tablecloth is so intense.  I'm working to balance the inevitable focus on the red flowers with other pieces in the foreground.  In any case, the intensity of the roses seemed a good match for my mood.  I stitched as fast as I could using a white thread, to allow the images to speak for themselves.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lovely Mail

I received an awesome package the other day from Sarah's sister-in-law, Nancy.

First, a bunch of yummy fabric scraps.

And best, a vintage 30's quilt top!

Isn't it beautiful?  These hexagon quilts floor me.  They take so much work.  I am so glad to have one now and to have had to cut and piece each little hex!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dogs and Tea Towels

Shop mini-update has been accomplished!  Check it out for new bathmats.  Obviously I'm still working toward decent pictures, but I did get good enough sun to get the job done.  Meanwhile, I finished a whole tea towel in less than 24 hours, including sleeping.

I feel good about finishing this piece quickly.  I have a tendency to dilly-dally on pieces.  Not that it isn't good to be careful, but sometimes you have to simply move forward.  If you wait too long, you lose the energy of the thing and it never gets finished.

And it always helps to have a good helper.

Nothing beats a good dog sleeping on my handmade housewares.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Photography Blues

I'm having trouble taking pictures of my pieces.  Frankly, I'm not a terribly good photographer even on a bright, beautiful day.  So when I need to take pictures and we are knee-deep in gloomy days, this is literally the best I can get:

Those are both heavily edited and obviously the color is a disaster.  I need to rethink my photography.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunny Patchwork On A Gloomy Day

We haven't seen the sun in days.  What a waste of all that extra daylight.  I've been filling up all the gloom with patchwork bathmats.

After trying every conceivable binding, I finally settled on no binding.  It was so labor-intensive and the results were not awesome.  So I switched gears and decided to use a zig-zagged edge, which is just about my favorite thing in the world anyway.  The results are more me than any binding ever would have been, I think.  Now I'm dreaming of a serger to really lock down those edges!

Here's the newest piece.  I like that, by offsetting the squares, I get the illusion of more pattern.  It also saves me fussing over those perfect corners.

Unfortunately, Josie is not impressed by any of it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Humble Bathmat

Everything in your homes should be either useful or pretty or belong to your child.  With a pretty bathmat, you can have two out of three.

Apparently, I forgot how to make bias tape.  I can't tell you how many hours this took me.  If I paid myself a living wage for this, I'm sure this is a $200 bunch of bias tape.

After all that work, I had half a mind to save it for, you know, posterity.  Alas, it was meant for something greater.

There were, I confess, a few false starts attaching the bias tape.  Terry cloth is sort of a tricky medium to work with.  I usually partially hand-stitch bias tape, but I couldn't imagine working with that loopy material.  So this is fully machine-stitched.  The next ones will be better.

Still, it turned out pretty nicely.

And it's fully reversible!

This one already has a home, but I'm working on some for the shop, now that I can make them in less than 40 hours.

And here are some future bathmats.  My good friend gave me a giant bag of vintage sheets yesterday.  Aren't they just the height of gorgeous?  The cat's meow?  Suffice it to say, I get a little too excited about used bedding.