I am reveling in the summery freedom I am feeling this month. I think I have successfully squelched my guilt gene for the moment. I continue to work a bit most days on the fat quarter quilt but there's not much to share since I am just repeating this overall design of paisleys. Each addition of stitches looks the same as the last (except perhaps my individual paisleys are improving). This was a trial of this idea of picking a pattern that could be repeated in rows the length of quilt, ignoring seams I would normally stitch in the ditch or block patterns I would accentuate. So if I liked how it worked, I'd use this method again. If I didn't like it, not a big deal as this quilt is going on my bed. And it only took a few passes for me to start questioning my decision. Not sure I'm that thrilled with what I chose for my quilting pattern - putting a paisley in each of those small squares is making for very dense quilting and I'm not sure I like how it looks continued into the unpieced areas. And no surprise that my surety about thread color almost immediately changed too. Should I go blue or gold? Neither blends with every fabric and the gold thread seemed the most logical at the time. But the way it stands out on the darkest blues were bothering. However, it is growing on me, and probably when I pull it out from under the needle for the last time and give it a wash, I'll be fine with it.
There's been sketching too, and work on the next pocket calendar spread, though not enough as the end of the month is fast approaching and there's quite a bit still to color in. I added another item to my Comforts sketchbook. The heat of summer had me standing in front of the novelty icecream case and remembering how much I liked fudgesicles as a kid. So a box came home with me. A simple thing to draw, following a photo, not the actual fudgesicle of course, but it was a chance for me to work some more with watercolors and one of the new waterbrushes on paper actually meant for wet media. I've also been back to the park on my walking route, arriving just as the sun dips behind the mountain so I am not baking in the sun as I work on sketching a group of flowering plants. It was those purple spears that first caught my eye, and I decided it would be good practice to try to capture just the essence of these flowers with either watercolor or colored pencil. I opted for the pencils for simplicity sake, got the gist of if down on site, then darkened the whole thing up later that evening while relaxing in front of the tv.
One connection I've made since following this urban sketching movement is that my brain, being so detail oriented, often automatically strives to capture every detail of my subject exactly, or as completely and exactly as I can. Working with the watercolors and plant life, I have to let some of that go, don't have to draw every leaf and bloom, don't even have to do a line sketch first. This is good to practice and links to my textile work as well. There are times when I could and should back away from so much realism and detail and go for the soft blur of essence.
Speaking of soft blur of essence, I've been back out on the Pend Oreille Bay trail several time but sans camera. The views don't change much, and I was only slightly disappointed I couldn't capture the lovely blue sailboat anchored just off-shore. Sometimes you just have to let the "sharing" and "capturing" thing go and stay in the moment, experiencing the essence of what you are passing through. But I've not left you high and dry. See this post for my first hike on this trail that i DID capture and share.