Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wanda asked if any of the snow I've gotten this winter had melted. No, not very much, meaning that the 6 inches of snow the high winds blew around last weekend filled in all the spaces between the snowbanks still three to four feet high. I wasn't snowed in, I was drifted in. Today, on the other hand, I am snowed in. It started at noon yesterday and is still coming down 28 hrs later. The weatherman was loath to break the news that there's no end in sight. The 12 inches that fell in the first 12 to 15 hours will continue to stack up: another 4 by tonight, 2 more tomorrow, 2 more the day after, 2 to 4 the next...there isn't a day this coming week that doesn't have snow in the forecast. I like winter and snow a lot, but this is getting ridiculous!
The picture above may look familiar. This is the view of the back deck where I let the dog out at night. I've been keeping a narrow path shoveled for her, letting the excess pile up. With this last go, the pile is as tall as I am and I'm having trouble tossing the snow over it. Of course, some of that snow has slid off the roof.
Here's what it looks like out front:
And here are more views out the back. Note the snow on roof - that's all new.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
This is one of the blogs I follow, and this line from Monday's post here made me nod my head in total agreement. The fear of ending up in regret is partly responsible for my plodding work style.
"At the beginning stages of playing with an idea, it's better to move a bit more slowly than to sit in a glum heap of regret for blindly acting on an impulse."
Jeanne of Exploring the Surface
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
There are times when I wish I could work faster, but experience has taught me there's no point in trying to rush some parts of the process. As long as I move along a little at a time, the proper answers will present themselves, and I will save myself a lot of grief.
Such seems to be the case with Off the Grid. While a simple piece, it has not been a straight forward one, full of decisions less about design than about approach, which is dictating the sequence of events. I had my little triumph yesterday, after pulling half a dozen possibilities for a border to confirm a thread color. Questions remained to be answered before I could proceed with the quilting.
The slave driver in me kept insisting that today I needed to at least layer this, if not actually start the quilting. The rebellious teenager in me kept whining, Nooo, I'm not ready. So I cleaned the bottoms of my irons, traced the next redwork cross pattern on the pre-cut panel, and turned to face Off the Grid. Well, at least I could make the final decision on the border, I decided.
With different lighting than when I pulled the possible candidates, there was no question as to which one was the perfect foil. And now, everything else is falling into place. Along the bottom you can see the commercial yarn I will twist with my painted one to couch along the edge. The two spools of thread will be my quilting colors. I'll trim away the center of that border fabric before fusing it to Decor Bond. I'll layer and quilt my painted fabric, make my pillow turn "mount," center my "quilt" on it over the exposed Decor Bond and fuse the two together. The final step will be to couch my twisted yarns along the unfinished edge of the quilted portion, effectively stitching all layers together.
Now I have a plan, the details pinned down, the sequence figured out. Now I can proceed, no more whining!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
The painting of the cotton yarn from my paint play session on Friday did not work quite as I had anticipated. As you can see from the picture, the color is right for use on "Off the Grid" but the paint did not travel as much throughout the ball as I thought it would. I wanted longer lengths of really dark sections, and only bits of the very light. Perhaps the yarn wasn't wet enough before I applied the paint, or perhaps I should have spritzed it several times after applying the paint. I thought about re-wetting it and applying more, or perhaps trying another color on it, but the parts that are dark at this point are a little stiff - all the pigment settled in a concentrated area. I don't need to add to that. I planned to twist several strands together or twist it with another yarn anyway, so I think I'll just go with it the way it is.
The tints from the waste water, on the other hand, turned out quite well. When I dipped the first one, I forgot about pigment settling to the bottom of the cup, so I used the wadded up fabric to "stir" and it picked up a lot of pigment in a few areas. I was afraid I wouldn't like this, but it actually worked well on these two. The larger piece in a lovely orchid while the smaller piece runs more to lavender. Not sure how well that comes through on the computer screen, and not sure why the two would be markedly different having been dipped in the same solution. There are fine veins of darker color running throughout, and then a few intense areas - a true marble effect. I may use these as the base for my next experiment: rubbings.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Looking back at the other Celtic stamping, the black ink looked odd, so I considered how I could tone and blend it in a bit. I went back to the midnight blue Dye-na-flow and experimented with applying it with a fan brush. One has to be very careful about overloading the brush, as you can see in the upper right portion, and it takes a very light touch.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I don't want you to think I'm not working on anything (other than shoveling snow...) just because I haven't posted. I declared the holidays over and told myself it was high time to get back to work. I recognized my reluctance to do so was partly due to the logjam in my studio. Since New Year's I've been sorting and tossing and organizing everywhere but in the studio. Yesterday was the studio's turn. I had some pictures to print and documentation to take care of from the last few projects. I had a lot of stuff taking up space on my table again, waiting for me to do a little prep on something I don't intend to work on for a few months, but needed doing before putting it away. Once I did that, a bin disappeared followed by a box of odd yarns, and suddenly, half of my table reappeared. It's amazing to me how the condition of my workspace can so effect how I feel when I'm in there. I didn't really need that table space to proceed with the next quilt, but darned if my mood didn't improve with the cleared space.
The picture above shows a piece of fabric I folded and applied paint to some time last year. I don't remember many of the details, but I do know I expected more of the paint to show in the folds to create more of a grid effect. I pondered what I might do with it for quite a while. I was particularly bothered by the two corners that picked up so much color, but on opposite sides of the fabric. I kept flipping down one corner to compare, and that's when I hit upon the idea of leaving that flap down and creating a piece call "Off the Grid." I finally solved the technical problem of that flap yesterday, having cut a triangle to fill the corner, its raw edge tucked under the fabric fold. I fused this to Decor Bond to keep it nice and straight when I quilt undulating lines across its diagonal as in some of the blocks in the pink quilt.
I'm not moving quickly on this because there are so many decisions. The yarn is there because I've decided to couch some kind of yarn around the outside and also along the flap edge. But I'm still wondering if I want to quilt those undulating lines or just stitch them before adding batting. There are a few spots where I intend to quilt along the straight lines. Maybe they should be the stitched ones, not quilted. I'm also considering that the couched yarn edge finish may not be enough and it may need to be "mounted" to a background that would act like a border or mat. There's a certain sequence depending on which way I decided to treat the various steps. Not a straightforward project for sure, but one I am pretty excited about, so I am willing to take my time working through these questions.