There was focus. There were diversions. But things got done. I made my final choice of border quilting design for Naomi's quilt. Was intending to do the one on the left but it ended up not being wide enough, so I opted for the more elaborate one on the right which is the perfect width . . . and has hearts! I cut strips of the quilting paper, folded it into fourths accordion style and taped one end over the design. As I finished tracing that section, I folded down the next quarter and continued tracing, repeating until the entire strip had the design transferred to it. This length is for the side borders.
Then I unfolded it and taped it to this cutting mat, laid a blank strip over it, taped it in place and traced the design onto it. (And discovered a glitch in my method of transferring from the book which resulted in several of the heart loops being stretched - but I like it.) Repeated one more time for a top border which was longer to include the corners. And that is where I got stuck. No matter how many times I tried, how many breaks I took, how much mulling when not in the studio I did, I couldn't figure out how to turn the corner of this border design. Yes, I could just continue the design straight across the corner but you know me. I wasn't about to be defeated, and finally last night I came upon a solution that I think will work. Need to transfer it to the other corner, then trace the complete design onto the last paper strip. Quilting should resume this week.
In the midst of this preparation for border quilting, I switched gears to work through a video class offered by my Handmade Book Club. The video was going to disappear at the end of the month so I had a deadline pushing me along. Here's my setup for working on botanical drawing with India Ink.
The first part of the class was devoted to making a small Japanese stab binding book. Luckily, I had one on hand that I'd made back in 2020 when this binding was an offering of the month. I made three different ones, with this one having signatures of rice paper so that I could experiment with gelli prints in it. Hmmm, never got around to trying that so was happy to use it for this class.
Before drawing in our books, it was advised to make some marks on a scrap piece of paper to get used to the way the brush and the India Ink played on the paper, and seeing the difference between full-strength India Ink and some that had been diluted.
Then it was on to painting/drawing in our books, following what the instructor, Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio was doing in making leaf shapes and stems. I'm using a pretty hefty rock to hold down the cover and pages as I go. I also inserted parchment paper between the page I was working on and the next page. Even though I doubled over each page before inserting into the binding, sometimes the ink bled through.
I couldn't seem to get my brush to do the thin-really thick-back to thin strokes that she was getting. After a few more pages of copying her designs, I did as she suggested and struck out on my own. I quite by accident found myself making these "broken" leaves that I really liked. If you look to the left, you can see how the dark ink shows through the two layers of rice paper. I rather like that as well. Interesting to see the faint image of the following page showing underneath the current one. I'm thinking of ways I can capitalize on this as I add work to this book.
This is perhaps my favorite page, simple and minimalist.
Finally, a really big diversion: the start of motorcycle racing season this weekend. I watch most of the races on my computer, and there is always content before and after the race that doesn't require me keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Since this computer is part of my office setup, sometimes I can work on bills and paperwork, sometimes I can do something creative, and this time I picked up my stitch camp piece and added a few more stitches as I listened. I really haven't done much with it, but it does sit on my printer so I see it everyday, pondering what to do next. This time it was to add running stitch spirals in more of the dark blue circles, and some whipped running stitches, a stitch that is new to me. I use a single strand of embroidery floss to make the running stitch, then "whip" this shiny 3-ply thread under the running stitches. It's a little like couching. I honestly can't remember where that thread came from and I'm only guessing that it must be rayon, but it is certainly my favorite teal blue. I still have no sense of where I'm going with this, just trying to read the marks and envisioning what stitches might enhance them. I've always thought there was a sense of water flowing through the center so hope my stitches bring that out.