Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Slow but Steady

This has been the progress in the studio today, and it is a relief to find I'm enjoying the process and the challenges of choosing the right thread combos. Sometimes we resist needlessly...well, at least I resist when I could be having a little more fun. So what if the first line of stitching doesn't make the leaves pop like you thought? Try adding another...which is what I did with the above. I'm really having trouble getting decent pictures - either the colors are off or the shine from the rayon thread blurs the stitching. Anyway, the first outlining is in the lighter thread, then I went back with a darker or brighter one stitching next to the first line of stitching. I really like the effect.

Here's my red charm all stitched - again, the colors are a bit off but I was really pleased at how the light yellow thread really brought out the detail on the somewhat drab paint of the stamped leaf.

All the charms are now stitched - at least to the point where any additional stitching will be as quilting. - and the ideas for what and how to attach them to continue to come. I dug around in my batting stash (yes, I have a batting stash too) and found some that is a dense polyester fleece. After some hemming and hawing, I decided the charms need something between them and the seams in the background. I will quilt just through the charm and batting, with the dark green thread, and probably finish the edges with satin stitch too before I sewing it to the background.


June said...

I think I'm confused about "charms."
What are they -- which are they? Is it the whole thing -- a kind of challenge? Or the leaf shapes?

Anyway, you chose well on the thread (as you know). Isn't it fun when it works. And I think that with stitching, more is the only way to go. You can't begin to tell what's working until you get a good deal done. For me, of course, that's about 20 miles of thread. But I'm considering changing my ways and working smaller. It might be time.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Sorry, June, for the jargon. I refer to the squares of hand-dyed fabric that I used for the stamping project as "charms" because that is what they started out as - from the business Judi and I had. If you are a traditional quilter (which you are not!) you would know that a charm square refers to precut squares bundled for sale. We chose to cut our bundles at 5 inches since that seemed to be the most popular size showing up in patterns and books. It's a little like the current craze of "jelly rolls" - it allows a quilter to add a lot of different prints or colors to their stash without much thought or outlay, then creates a market for new books to tell the quilter just what to do with them. I guess it all started with the fat quarter and kept getting smaller!

Thanks for your encouragement on the stitching. I'm beginning to think that part of my recent blah feeling about my work is due to how little stitch I've been using. I recognized a need, after all those little minimalist minis, to put more stitch in my work. And indeed, I am much more excited about these as more and more stitch gets incorporated. It's the pendulum thing, I guess - even Michael James admits to some swinging over the years!

June said...

Ah, thanks Sheila. I learn something new every day. Actually I learn more than one thing new every day, but that's merely the sign of my vast ignorance:-)

I shall try to remember: Charm, charm, charm -- 5" square, 5" square, five inch square.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Last night, lying in bed (isn't this where we always remember what we should have said earlier?), it occurred to me that those charm packs come from an older tradition which you may have heard of. Charm quilts were very popular in the late 1800s, typically made of one-patch patterns such as hexagons or diamond shapes, each patch of a different fabric if it were to be a true charm quilt, hundreds of individual fabric designs. This example from the Quilt Index site is very much like one in my collection (yes, I have a collection of antique quilts - you're probably not surprised).

Hey, if we didn't learn one or two new things a day, wouldn't life get rather dull?