Friday, January 31, 2014

progress comes slowly

I've begun doing the quilting on this piece (the color in this quickie photo from my cell phone is terrible, but you can see the stitching!)

I decided that just two colors of thread were enough -- the black that I used to stitch on each side of all of the black pieces -- and gray which I am using to do a very close cross hatch stitching all around the edges of the blocks

this piece is still in the hand stitching stage -- I've been building up layers of hand appliqued foliage there along the bottom under the telephone lines

as soon as I get those finished I'll move on to doing the birds on the wires and in the sky

so far this piece has been very loose in terms of planning -- while I usually have a specific pattern I follow after several modifications of drawing, all of these plants have just been free form cut and stitched down

just another experiment of technique, and so far I've very pleased with this one

this piece came home this week

it had hung in a small works show in Denver, then in a local store's gallery, and last week it was entered in another small works show where it did not make the cut

now that it is back in my possession, I've listed it in my Etsy store, so if you're interested in having a small (affordable) piece of my work in your collection, you can use the link there at the top right of my blog to go check it out

this piece is finished!

I created a whole new (for me) approach to the "chain" -- it is almost more a beaded ribbon and the clasp is more like a button hole with a barrel button

sometime later today I'll take some really good shots so I can enter this in a competition (watch for the opening of voting soon)

I already have a new piece of bead work in the works -- it's been in the back of my head for a lot of the time I've been working on this

another finished hat!  I'm working on a matching pair of mittens now

it snowed again last night -- I shoveled out to get the paper, to clear the front walkway and then to clear the patio for the dog -- we're supposed to get more snow this afternoon, so we're not planning to go anywhere today

time to get to those projects

Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby Quilt

finished putting the binding on this last night and it's in the washer now

when I first heard that a pink zebra quilt was the desired item for this particular nursery I was not sure how well this would go

I have to say that in the end I'm pleased with it

and since that quilt is done, I can get to these two art quilts that have been patiently waiting their turn at the machine to be stitched

the backing and the edging of this piece has been finished now, and I'm struggling with teaching myself a new technique for the "chain" piece -- and I'm waiting to get the chain done before I build a bail since having to redo the bail part because it is either too small or way too big is annoying

and then there is the other question -- to fringe or not to fringe?

don't have an answer for that one yet

the third pair of purple yarn scrap mittens is finished too -- 

I've begun a new hat which is a very dark navy with a very fine red thread in with it -- not as interesting to knit as these purple ones were, but it does look very nice and I'm trying to make sure there is a good mix of appropriate colors for both boys and girls in this group of goodies

it's snowing this morning, as predicted, so we're not planning to go anywhere -- just maybe back into the studio to work on projects!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

blue spider?

that's how the DH was referring to this piece until I got most of the blue beads stitched around it

I'll be adding the rhinestone trim around the edges today and getting it ready to put on the backing

which also means I need to figure out how to hang this and what kind of "chain" it needs

I finally figured out what I needed to do to the eyes on this piece

now it's ready to be stitched

last year I created a piece titled "Warning Sky" that I donated to the fund raising auction for Studio Art Quilt Associates

shortly after that piece sold, I did the little rough sketch that is a variation on the idea

I've been working on that piece the last week or so -- need to take a picture of that to show you soon

meantime, I've been quilting the pink zebra baby quilt, and it was moving right along until I ran out of thread yesterday afternoon, so no work on that one today since it is still snowing here and I'm not going out in it for a spool of thread!

time to work on some other things

Sunday, January 19, 2014

more finished work

this is another of the sewing projects that was still hanging out after Christmas

my daughter had been wanting an organizer to hang on the back of the front seat to keep Mr Cute's toys up off the floor of the car and we couldn't find one that did exactly what she wanted

our usual solution to these problems is that we buy a pattern that is close and then I make it into what she needs

having finished this project, I'll be mailing off a box to her with this and the pants for Mr Cute on Tuesday

last night I finished these -- and my plan to knit two pair at the same time worked quite well!

I still need to make one more pair of mittens to have the same number of pairs of mittens that I have hats, but I need to go through the yarn stash and pick out something that will go well with that other hat

then there is this

which is a great example of why I don't usually try to do any bead embroidery that needs to look balanced and even all the way around

because this definitely does not

so, this has been picked out again and I'm trying to come up with some new approach as this makes three failed attempts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

beading again

I hadn't done any beading for quite a while, having dedicated much of November and December to getting Christmas projects finished

Earlier this week I started this piece for a "blue" challenge

I'm pretty pleased with the progress so far

and of course as soon as I spent some time sorting through the bins to find stuff for this challenge, some other materials caught my eye and I have another project waiting in the wings


last night I went off to one of my artist groups and wished that I'd had a camera other than my cell phone and that someone else was driving!

since I couldn't take a picture of that full wolf moon rising behind the bare trees, I had to do this little drawing after the fact

so will this turn into something more than a 3 inch square drawing -- not sure -- but I'm thinking about it

the replacement for the replacement printer arrived yesterday, and all is good!  and the replacement card from my bank for the one that was compromised by Target during the Christmas season arrived and I've switched everything I needed to on that too

so -- I think we can start trying to get back into a more normal routine -- some actual studio time coming up!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ready for the quilting

the hand stitching on this is finished!

now on to the quilting

I've been working on mittens to go with the hats that I'm knitting for the Cheyenne River Reservation

and while I like to knit 2 mittens at a time, I only had one ball of each yarn -- so this very odd pair

I'm now working on the matching pair

then there is this

the replacement looks just like the original

spent over an hour getting it set up -- started out to do that the same way I did before only to discover that the CD drive in my computer no longer works --- 

then this morning the "new" new printer had it's own hardware failure and I spent another hour today with the result being yet another replacement printer is on its way


this is putting a real kink in my getting anything done

Sunday, January 12, 2014

some finished work -- and some nearly finished

Mr Cute was still in need of some pants -- he could still wear the size 2 around the waist, but the weather is too cold for shorts

Gramma to the rescue -- my daughter bought the fabrics, and we were going to have a sewing lesson while I was there at Christmas time, but we ran out of time, so the fabric came home with me

The making of these took a bit longer than usual because I took pictures of each step along the way so I can write up a tutorial for my daughter's future use

these came out pretty cute!

this little knitted critter is all ready to go as soon as I finish the baby quilt it goes with

this was a fun pattern to do

and this is the quilt top -- finished putting this together last night -- time to press it then put together the sandwich and get it quilted!

The replacement printer hasn't arrived yet, so the pile of things that need printing is growing -- and I have a couple of new quilting projects that I want to print out the patterns for --- hoping it will be here tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

good things -- and not so good things

the quilting on this is done now

I want to put this on stretcher bars like an artist canvas, which means I still have some research to do to figure out if I can get something ready made this size or if I have to make my own

I'm pretty pleased with how this came out

this piece is coming along nicely

I need to put the gray around the outsides and then add the black "framing" around the rectangles then this will be ready for quilting

the pink zebras are also moving right along

this is a baby quilt I'm making for my granddaughter's baby that is due toward the end of February, and both the pink and the zebra print are at her request

this has been an interesting project -- so far it has gone pretty smoothly, I even found some pink and white zebra print for the back of the quilt

then there is this

right after Thanksgiving, my older printer died, and I got this new one

late last week it started having problems

after doing all the self help steps I sent off an email to the technical support folks 

this morning, after a 10 minute phone conversation with them, they told me they are shipping me a replacement printer

ok, so the print list will pile up until it arrives, but I'm pleased they were so willing to honor the warranty on it

time to get busy!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Back to working on things

because I have not yet solved the how to on the dog piece, I've moved on to some other things

this piece, for instance, is progressing nicely

it is very different from most of the pieces I've done, since I prefer to work in representational themes, blame it on the piece that I did for the local quilt guild I guess, since that one was also abstract

I have returned to working on this piece -- the applique work has been done for quite a while, but I had other things going on at the sewing machine, so I hadn't started it yet

adding the stitching on the little car made it look much more finished, and I'm looking forward to creating some vegetation in the background with more stitching

and then there is this project -- yes, those are zebras -- and yes they are pink!!

I stamped all of these panels yesterday to put them into a baby quilt I'm working on

they still need to be ironed, now that the paint is dry and I will be adding some embroidered details -- manes and some little clumps of grass -- to each one before they are set together with several shades of pink around them

it is snowing this morning, so there are no plans to go out of the house for anything -- should be able to get a lot of work done on projects!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The word for the year

It is unbelievable to me that we are already in a new year -- 2013 flew by so fast

Last year at this time I wrote a post titled "A Brave new word" where I talked about choosing a word as a "touchstone" for the year regarding my art work

The word I selected for 2013 was "Brave"

Little did I know then that I would be exercising that word not only artistically, but personally as well

Given that, I've thought quite a bit about possible words for 2014, and I keep coming back to one:  REACH

Specifically as it is in the context of the quote from Robert Browning:  "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp -- or what's a heaven for?"

In that context on my art this is a sort of extension of the whole Brave idea -- learning last year to be brave enough to try things I might not have otherwise, I am well aware that I am already Reaching toward things that I do not yet grasp.

I hope this year to extend my Reach