Whiling Away The Time

I just tried sitting in my standard transmission car – it’s 2 1/2 weeks since I broke my right wrist. I can steer using my left hand, but I can’t shift gears with my right! So independence is at least a week away!  I’ll try again next weekend. The new fibreglass cast is providing more support for my wrist but it’s also rubbing protruding bones and can be very uncomfortable and limiting. Thank goodness Wimbledon starts tomorrow – that will help me pass time because sewing is out of the question – I can use the machines, but I can’t cut or press! And the cast is not allowing me to knit much. I’m currently not being creative.

Instead I’m keeping my eyes open for other art endeavours that open possibilities.

Came across one the other day –

The Sandy Cliffs and Blue Skies of Martha’s Vineyard Abstracted into Paintings by Rachael Cassiani

Cliffs Of Martha’s Vineyard – Abstracted

Now there’s a textile wall art idea! I must go through some of my landscape photos to see if I can do something like this with one or more of them. I’m drawn to the large swaths of colour and the way the image emerges. Rachael Cassiani does this with paint – I would do appliqué and thread painting.

Another creative example I came across was –

Quilled Paper Sculptures by Sena Runa Embellish the Natural Forms of Everyday Objects and Animals

Sena Runa’s paper quilling is spectacular! I can’t imagine how much time it takes to execute what appears to be a simple piece as this poppy seems – it must have taken considerable time. Each piece illustrated in the article is breathtaking. Again I can see how. I might render something like this single flower into a textile piece  – where she has done the quilling, I would thread paint.

Lots of ways to experiment.

 

Three Hangings

I’ve been working on these three hangings for the past several days – I needed a few more wall hangings to fill out the stash for the upcoming showing in Parrsboro in August and decided three simple long narrow panels would work. These three panels are done except for the hidden binding which I’m just about to do.

Three Hangings – in Progress

Finished dimensions: 10″ x 42″.

Once started, I can see a gazillion more I could do but I am going to stop here for now. I still want to get the Black Rocks piece done for the show; however, I’m turning to garment making for the next couple of weeks.

Garden In Bloom – A Colourwash Quilt

Finished this quilt last evening with a hidden binding. I auditioned various fabrics for bordering but I didn’t think anything worked very well. A black border muted the white corner and any other colour simply didn’t work. So a hidden binding it was.

Finished Watercolour Quilt

Final dimensions: 18.5″ x 24.5″. As one of the women in the Friday knitting group would say – a good sized place mat!

I quilted the piece by stitching in the ditch on a zig-zag – that allowed me to do complete stitching runs in a single thread colour. The lower left corner was stitched in black, the upper right in white. The more middle tones I stitched using an Aurifil variegated grey. I did a reasonably good job – the stitching isn’t at all obvious.

I’d considered quilting the panel in 4-block or 16-block units. I went so far as to create an embroidery design, but in the end I thought I’d not be happy with the quilting overriding the colour flow and in the end settled on stitching in the ditch.

I have several hundred 2″ blocks left over from this project. I don’t see me doing another art piece like this but you never know. I have discovered these quilts are also referred to as “colour wash”. And it also qualifies as a “postage stamp” quilt because of the small block size.

I’m happy with the outcome. Notice I embroidered my signature using black rayon embroidery thread along the right side. The bottom rows were too busy for any signature to show.

Now on to the next project.

First Pass – “Watercolour” Quilt

I’ve just spent the past two hours trying to set up some kind of graduated layout using the 2″ squares I cut from the jellyroll I bought from Whims.

Not an easy task I discovered – 40 different fabrics (20 2″ squares of each) which I’d put in tonal groups in ziplock bags. Trying to keep track of what I used and what I had was not so straightforward.

Watercolour Quilt – First Pass at a Layout

This is my first graduated layout. I am thinking about sewing this together just to see how it turns out but I have no idea what I’d do with it after that! This array would end up about 16″ wide x 20″ long. Although I started with 40 different fabrics many are rather dull and not easy to incorporate into this layout.

Looking at the photo, now, I think I may rework this layout by extending the dark colours further to the right and see what else may be possible with the dull colours in the middle. That will mean collecting up squares from the same fabric, piling them to one side, then digging through the bags for more of squares that belong to the darker colours!

It’s gonna sit on my cutting table over night, and likely into the weekend before I actually time to take it apart and start over.

Modern Flowers – II

Just finished. I’ve spent the past four days stitching the edges of the appliqué – the leaves and flowers, and creating embroidered flower centres. It’s been slow but steady. Whereas I did a narrow quilt border on the previous version of this idea (flowers on a black/white background), this time I took the flowers to the border edge and decided to do a hidden binding so the cropping of the flowers was easily evident.

Modern Flowers – II (Wishing For Spring)

This version of the idea is brighter than the previous one. I could continue with variations on this theme, but I’m going to stop here. This is wall art piece #9 – I’m aiming to have 12 pieces completed by the end of July – so I’m getting close. On to other ideas.

Last week I cut a set of “watercolour” jellyroll strips in to 2″ blocks – I want to try doing some kind of “watercolour quilt” with the fabric squares – a wall art piece, actually, not a lap/throw quilt. I thought this would be a quick and easy project – not so sure now that I’m trying to lay out the squares in some kind of dark/light array.

There are quite a few people who are doing these quilts – there are any number of tutorials on how to make one. They use a special fusible gridded interfacing – not going to bother with that – I am planning on simply sewing the blocks together in rows based on the layout I create on my cutting table. Also many versions of these quilts use the “watercolour” piecing as a background for something else – I may end up doing something like that but I have no idea what the top appliqué elements might be at this point. Anyway, this is the next project I’m going to try – let you know how I get along!

Modern Flowers

When I finished the first modern flower appliqué wall piece a couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to try a second hanging – this one laid out on the horizontal with a border but having some the flowers spill off the piece entirely. Also I didn’t just want to repeat the flowers in the first piece – this time I decided to use layers of offset circles, again with leaves flowing through the space.

Modern Flowers – II

Early in the week I took the black/white leftover pieces from the first hanging, created a centre panel, then added a white-on-white mitred border; next I backed the pieced fabric using medium weight woven fused interfacing to stabilize the panel so it will remain relatively flat through the thread painting process. That worked well on the previous piece – Floral Collage – I decided to try it again on this larger piece.

I had kept the pile of small fabric scraps I used on the first flower appliqué on my cutting table – I didn’t have to go looking for more. This morning I cut various size squares from the scraps, added fusible web to each square, then cut out circles from 1″-6″ in diameter. What I have at the moment is a tentative layout. I think I want to add stems and more leaves in a somewhat lighter green to complement the dark leaves I have already cut out.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll fuse the individual flower elements, cut out stems and more leaves, play with arrangement, next fuse the whole to the background. Then I’ll start thread painting. The temptation is to simple outline each circle using a narrow blanket stitch but I’m not sure I’ll do that – I may decide to use doubled embroidery thread and straight stitch several rows close to the edge – I’m sleeping on that.

Floral Collage – Finished

I also finished the floral collage this morning. I resumed thread painting when I got back from Toronto (visiting family) – adding stitching to the leaves, flower petals, and using an embroidery stitch I modified to provide a shaped satin stitch for the stamens. It’s not obvious, but I did quite a bit of stitching on this piece.

Floral Collage -m Finished

I wasn’t sure whether I liked the “raw edge” appliqué – I began by stitching the edge with a very narrow blanket stitch but didn’t like how it looked (it didn’t work with this fabric as well as it did with the printed bark cloth I used for Tropical Flowers); in the end I decided to do just a couple of rows of straight stitching (short stitch length, single embroidery thread) as close to the edge as I could get. Up close the raw edge seems to add to the delicacy of the  petals and leaves.

The lime green inner flange works well to tie the leaves and the greens in the bordering fabric together. While the batik is busy, the inner border separation keeps the flowers from being overwhelmed.

I’m pleased with the overall effect. In this piece I decided to have the flowers spill over into the border – this makes them stand out from the background.

The flowers look a bit like Cosmos, but the foliage is wrong. I’ve spent a bit of time trying to identify the blossoms but haven’t come up with anything definitive. The fabric designer may have just improvised.

The wall hanging is finished with a hidden binding. Final size: 14.5″ x 20.5″.