Posts Tagged ‘marbled fabrics’

Traditional Sampler Quilting Tutorial

About two years ago I asked for some volunteers to make traditional blocks using marbled fabrics, as I wanted to show what can be done with traditional quilts besides the art quilts I do. Now that I am improving my machine quilting skills, I turned one of the blocks into a new teaching sample for both quilting marbled fabrics as well as using marbled fabric in traditional quilts. First up is the back of the block – a list of all the threads and needle sizes used, as well as any (and all) tension issues, so they could be discussed (and I wouldn’t forget what I used where).

Back of traditional block

Back of traditional block

I quartered the block, and one section was left completely unquilted – because that is also an option. Here’s the front of the block:

Marbled quilting sample block

Marbled quilting sample block

Far left – unquilted. The yellow pieces have three different designs. I’m partial to the one with pebbles quilted throughout the piece. I used Bottom Line in the bottom, size 80 Superior needle, and Bottom line in the top.

Each marbled piece is done in a different free-form design. Lower center uses a Superior Thread Brytes, heavier, so I used a #90 Superior needle. Upper right used Bottom Line on the top and followed most of the curves in the pattern. Right marbled fabric used a variegated Superior Rainbows thread and only did a few of the wide curves. Different looks in all three. One of my favorite stitches is just following basic curves, and you can see that in this quilt:

Free motion quilting

Free motion quilting

For the white – BIG lesson was don’t use a distinct variegated thread unless your fmq stitches are VERY even. Spent three hours taking it all out. The white was patterned with circles and small crosses. For the bottom right I used yellow Bottom Line in the top for a hint of color and gridded the triangle,  using the fabric pattern as a guide. Upper left, also with white Bottom Line, I followed the circles in the white fabric pattern.  Right triangle I followed both patterns, also white Bottom Line, and found it too busy.

After the New Year, I want to experiment with more like this. Let me know if you have done something like this to determine different quilting ideas.

Monday Marketing – BUSY!!!

Coexist

What a beautiful Monday morning! It’s 10 AM and I’ve already accomplished photography of baskets, cutting fabric for the next project, and done all the Christmas cards. Plus – lots of great stuff accomplished over the last two weeks!

So….finally updated the Facebook business page with our gift baskets for sale – sold two, and I have another ready to go up. It’s been a lot of fun making the baskets and choosing some of the “ugly” fabric in the stash, as that turns out pretty darn cool. The Etsy store is up and running again, as well as Ebay, so check them out.

Etsy Shop

Etsy Shop

Ebay

Ebay

I’m contemplating a new online platform – just need to do the research. One of the biggies was the first newsletter in just over a year. No sales or offers, just a welcome, we’re still here, and it’s good to be making art again. I have plans for the first of the year to get back to a regular newsletter. Redid framing on a small 9 x 12 piece ready to go on Etsy, and another piece that needs new serging and mounting. Have another show set for three months with two other artists, starting in April – law firm, so will probably do some fiber, and we’ll save the digital work for the solo show in August. Had a great time at the Essex Art League holiday party this past week. We’ll be doing a  demo for them, as well as a class or two, and we’re looking at a couple of open studios within our new apartment complex. We are back to seriously looking at video, so who knows where or when….or who?

The big thing for me has been the decision to self-publish my novel, so Monday Marketing will also include my work there – need to set myself some deadlines. I’ve given agents and publishers seven months – time to move on and get this out there!

Let’s see what the rest of today brings for momentum!

Gift Baskets AVailable Now! SOLD!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SOLD!

We’ve been almost missing the holiday season this year, but we finally have enough of our lives together again to offer gift baskets of marbled goodies. The top is a basket from a year ago; the new pics will follow. These baskets contain:

  • a hand-wrapped fabric bowl, good for all kinds of uses around the house (and perfect for regifting!);
  • a fat quarter of marbled fabric;
  • two 8 x 8  swatches of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • six 6 x 9 swatches  of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • five pieces of hand-marbled satin/nylon ribbon in two lengths;
  • 4 note cards with digital marbled designs;
  • a coupon for a FREE table-runner pattern for the fat quarter or other material (sent to you as a PDF);
  • a coupon for 10% off any sampler package from the website;
  • two notions of our choice; and
  • hand-marbled leaves and flowers.

For your viewing pleasure –

Contents of the gift basket

Contents of the gift basket

The Stuffed Basket!

The Stuffed Basket!

So you want one……email me. Baskets are $50.00 – a $75.oo retail value, shipping is USPS Priority, $16.00. We can custom, but our time is short…..If you want to order one beside this one (they are all one-of-a-kind)- and want it by Christmas, December 10th is the LATEST!! Domestic orders only. OR….plan now for birthdays and Mother’s Day!

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning…….

Why can’t I stay caught up on my blog reading? Which I really enjoy, and I get so many cool ideas, but then other things get in the way, and I get behind, and then I feel bad….of well, just delete the 75 items from Rachel Maddow and the 138 from Al Jazeera and move on from there…….

Marbling in the big tray this morning – and tomorrow morning – first time in over 2 years we’ve done really large pieces. We have orders for some, and when the Martha Stewart article breaks, we will be (hopefully) doing a lot of ribbon pieces. We’ve had to totally reconfigure almost everything in the house to make this work. The studio is changed around, the sewing table was totally cleaned off and reconfigured, so we could move the machine easily and set marbling combs on the table. The ironing board holds all the paint. The set tub in the garage works nicely – hot water on demand (unlike the rest of the house…). We’ve got the drying racks in the garage until we are done, and then the fabric goes into the dryer. The Kitchen counters are cleaned to hold the small table ironing board for quick wrinkly pressing. My table I do my school work on is cleaned off for a cutting boards now…and hubby woke up realizing he needed a LOT more carrageenan for tomorrow’s session. The idea being if we’re going through all this, let’s get the most use out of the session as we can…….But everything is working really well.

I watch Project Runway, and most times I have no idea what I would do with the challenge….except last night as we were watching the unconventional challenge, I had ideas….for the hardware. A really cute metallic vest. Hmmmm…..what does that say about my design sense?

I hate commercials – they’re just so…so….commercial. We don’t need that stuff. Too much conspicuous consumption. That said, I am buying a new sewing machine tomorrow, a Brother, with 90 decorative stitches and a basic alphabet….for less than $200, because I am waiting until it is on special. I started sewing on my mom’s 1000-pound Singer, bought a sewing machine within the first week of landing on Maui for my first teaching gig, left it with the drama department when I moved to Vermont, bought a Singer with “stretch” stitches that I passed to my mother-in-law, who sold loads of doll clothes for the grandkids. I bought a “computerized” Singer machine that had a lot of bells and whistles, and on which I made my husband’s first – and only – leisure suit. Twelve years ago I bought my Bernina workhorse 1008, and a used Bernina serger, and ended up selling the last two machines in a yard sale. I LOVE my Bernina workhorse, but it has extremely limited decorative stitches. My work with the marbled fabrics is taking me in another direction, and this is about all I can afford at this point, so, in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, I will “make it work.” Phew……

I do tend to believe in conspiracy theories – you will never convince me there was not another shooter on the grassy knoll. That said, I’m wondering about the Pope. I think there’s huge amounts of back-stories on him that are just now being hinted at. Dan Brown could have another interesting “Angels and Demons” if he wants. I want to know how the Hitler Youth played into his background. Granted, the church teaches about forgiveness, but inquiring minds….and just what is the Italian government after? The Catholic church will never be able to do enough to wipe away the stain of sexual abuse…..well, maybe making a woman pope would do it…….

I told you I would be rambling. Each time I take a break from the marbling process and sit here, something else is floating through my head…….

I seem to be falling behind on lists and blogs, and yet I am getting stuff accomplished. I finished a whole cloth fmq as a commission for a friend, and it turned out wonderfully. I have three other pieces backed and ready for the machine. The website has the ordering page done for the ribbons, I am staying up with college algebra teaching, and yet I don’t feel organized. I am meeting deadlines – two books in the works with some of our work, for example. But I am bogged down mentally. Part I am sure is not being back at yoga on a regular basis, and not getting the home practice of yoga back to daily. Too much sugar is definitely affecting moods. I want to travel – and I don’t want to have to wait until July to take off. Lately I seem to be really missing Hawaii – and New England, although not the snow and cold. Evidently I just need to “go with the flow,” as I am getting things done…..but the damn Autumn pattern is still not complete……………………………………

Thinking about the Shopping Surge….

CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.

Cyber Monday is tomorrow, and I think I am ready…Etsy is loaded with fabrics, and I have a few more art pieces to get listed this evening. In the meantime, my mind is going to the last couple of days and what I am learning about trying to take advantage of this gift-buying weekend. I did a blog post for Handmadeology about getting ready, but it never made it up in time, so here’s what I was thinking about preparing for Black Friday and ensuing Madness:

Get Ready –

1. Send a newsletter, even if you haven’t sent one at all, or it’s early for your next newsletter. Ours is going out a week early, several days before Thanksgiving with the holiday specials. We did this – haven’t checked stats yet because I’m waiting for the end of Cyber Monday. The sales pitch for all three sales was at the bottom of a pretty newsy newsletter….maybe it needs to be on the top, but I feel uncomfortable with that.

2. Decide on your specials. Internet marketing shows folks love deep discounts and/or free shipping. This latter is usually the easiest for us, but be sure to specify if it is continental US or some other limited range. Black Friday was 20% off anything on the website, plus spend $40 and receive a free pattern. Saturday was free domestic shipping off the website. Nothing Sunday, but I will change that for next year, as that’s what I saw a lot of retailers doing. Sunday will be 50% off any fabrics on Etsy, and 20% off artwork on Etsy. Have not seen a spike in visits.

3. Have products ready for shipping. Check for : care codes, package supplies, postage scale (we finally bought ours today), custom slips, tracking slips, padded envelopes – anything you can think of that you will need for shipping. Think about various combinations of items you could sell and be prepared. All of this is set. We do carry-over from other events, and we pretty much have this down.

4. Check website, blog, Etsy store, Redbubble – any place you have product to sell. Are the sites ready? Prices set? Postage listed? Pictures up? Any descriptions need to be changed? Discounts added? Interesting comment from a website visitor – why no pictures by the samplers? I added a rationale about two years ago, but now I think I need to come up with something that closes the sale.

Get Set –

1.  Make sure your Friday and Monday are available for taking online orders. Printer ink? Paper? Not a problem – ready to go for tomorrow.

2. Consider sending a brief reminder newsletter on Friday morning reminding your subscribers about the sales. Consider doing the same reminder for Monday. Been using Promotesy to send out reminders on Sunday for Monday. Need to think about “how much is too much.”

3. Have blog posts ready to go announcing your sales Run one on Thursday evening, and then run one Sunday night for Cyber Monday. Did this for Thursday and Friday, and this is the one for Sunday night. Cyber Monday is already to go.

4. Have something on your website announcing your sales. Have a link directly to your products to make shopping easier. Did this (for the first time) on the front page of the website, with links.

Go –

1. Send confirmations of orders and give customers an estimated shipping time. Done.

2. Send out a brief email when you ship to let buyers know their package is on the way. Thank them again. Done.

3. Wrap carefully. Check Paypal for confirmed addresses, and if not confirmed, email to be sure the address is correct. Done.

4. Consider giving a small percentage of your profits to a nonprofit for the holiday. eQuilter has done that successfully – over one million dollars donated. We’ll be way under that, but it’s a very good feeling. Once we know a total, the check is going to Tucson’s Ben’s Bells, a nonprofit representing kindness.

CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.

Wednesday Work in Progress

Lots of work redoing the website – looking at old pictures, seeing how far we have come, and it’s been quite the journey. I tend to get obsessive on these things, and I am now trying to rein myself in….not every piece we’ve ever done has to be on the site, but I want a good representation. This site has served as an online portfolio, and it’s been great. Now I want to expand into other information, as well as attempt to rev up the sales portion on the site. Many thanks to web guru Suzan of Saltwater Systems – nothing short of amazing!

We’ve added more fabric samples so people get a better idea of what can happen with marbling. You can see that here. We could add so many more from our pile of “Never Sell These,” but this gives a good idea.

Also, I’ve added small pieces we’ve worked on to the Small Works page. I do like working in a 12-inch-square format, and I want to do more of that when some of the bigger projects are finished.

My Nature series has really grown, and as I look at all the pieces together, I can see how I am really drawn to quilting the traditional stone pattern. I want to do more with the bouquet and nonpareil patterns, and I have the perfect piece of red cotton that has started calling me. In the meantime, I’m practicing my machine quilting on some smaller quilts. My Christmas quilt is almost redone – I succeeded in accenting the stars. I need to sew the binding, so hopefully a reveal in another couple of days.

It’s great to be so busy….we have a major order we are marbling in the next few days, and it’s a secret at this point….but it’s for a magazine feature…………….

Using Marbled Fabrics in Quilts

When we started marbling, we were hooked from the very first piece. The problem was…what do we do with the fabric? Each piece was so gorgeous it was hard to cut into it. We knew we had to get over that mindset. Folks consistently asked, “What do you do with the fabric? I don’t know how to use it.” Confession time – I wasn’t quite sure either. I saw a book and thought marbled fabric would look cool. Now it was “put up or shut up.”

I was a beginning quilter with virtually no good color sense…that was hubby’s field. I figured black goes with everything, so my first quilt was an attic window pattern.

This was a nice way to show off smaller pieces of marbling, but I had to stretch further. It took a number of years before I stopped being afraid of any color except black. I started a Block of the Month, using blocks from Judy Martin. I became more daring…this time it was not black…..but other solids. I built the designs on the colors in the marbling. My January block had a definite “coolness,” so I looked for solids with some texture that would work. I started to expand design ideas and felt that traditional blocks could be the key to using these fabrics.

Now another confession…..when I first started doing quilting, I was pretty much “stitch in the ditch”….with metallic threads, no less. The quilt above is 12 years old, and I took it apart (oy) and used my newly acquired FMQ skills. I didn’t stitch the marbled blocks, as I wanted them to stand out.

The completed quilt – marbled fabrics within traditional blocks. You can read more about the actual quilting here.

I was hooked on finding some great traditional blocks that could spotlight marbling and go together harmoniousl. Summer……..I had some great neon orange cotton, a nice piece of Moda Marbles, but I needed additional fabrics so the quilt wasn’t overloaded with green. I stretched with the print fabrics I added to complement the marbled fabrics.

There’s lots of machine quilting throughout, but the marbling has been left on its own. (I also took this quilt apart…. kind of obsessive. But as quilters, we KNOW what we want. More about the quilting here).

At this point, I had a great piece of marbled fabric that said “I want to be fish.” I found a traditional block that could be used as fish. Thus the “fish quilt” was born (you can read about that quilting here). This time I quilted the marbled fabric by following the lines of the pattern and used stitches from my workhorse Bernina.

The completed quilt –

I started getting very bold – it never occurred to me to just quilt the marbled fabric itself. This was a major breakthrough. Traditional is fine, and I still work with traditional patterns, but quilting the marbled pattern gives a completely different look to a quilt. This quilt, “Nature 1: Rock Garden,” became my first quilt accepted into a juried show, “Expressions in Textiles.” It is very zen-like, and the quilting emphasizes the rock garden and sand.

Go traditional or go contemporary. Don’t be afraid of the marbled fabrics. They can be the spark that makes your quilt.

 

Monday Marketing

  A definitely busy week! I’ve been list-making for four weeks now, trying to keep track of everything that HAS to be done, NEEDS to be done, and WANTS to get done! I finally had to admit that I can’t take the Craftsy class with Cindy Needham I want until after the first of the year, because there are too many things going on that need to be finished up by the beginning of December.

Etsy has been selling well, and we need to get a LOT more fat quarters done and in the shop. The website should undergo some major revisions this week, and I’ll finish all the little cosmetic things I still need to do….pictures, descriptions, order form…..I get REALLY picky when it comes to having every possible loose end covered. EBay has also finally picked up, after a nonexistent summer. And we need more remnants for that site.

Craft Gossip ran our tutorial, and the number of newsletter subscriptions jumped. The newsletter will be going out on Sunday this month – trying a new delivery date to see if the “open ratio” is better. We have a guest post with C&T Publishing on Friday, full of pictures using marbled fabrics in quilts, both contemporary and traditional. Still have a few things to finish up on that post. We had an inquiry from a major magazine about fabric, so we worked on samples over the weekend and will get them in the mail tomorrow, along with notes about the fabrics.

Finally got a thread order done, and I should have a bunch of new threads for a couple of new projects by Friday. I need to put the binding on my bed stand runner, as the quilting is done for this month’s free motion challenge. I need to do another blog post for Handmadeology, this time on the importance of having product available whenever you do a demo. Might seem like basic knowledge, but we did a lot of years of demos without bringing anything to sell!

Work in Progress Wednesday….The UFO’s

I have been working on a guest blog post on using marbled fabrics in quilts, and it occurred to me to look at some of the more traditional quilts I have done to inspire people. Well, turns out most of them are UFOs…….so here’s a look at what I still need to quilt – now that I have some really good free motion skills. I’m really inspired to start working on these….after the patterns are finished…..

Needs to be taken apart so I can determine why there is the fold there…..The fabrics worked so well!

Known as my origami quilt…..complete with pins…..

One of the first quilts I really started to expand my thinking….(forgive the thumb…).

Gotta think about how to quilt this one……going to definitely quilt the marbled blocks.

And…..here’s part of my October FMQ challenge – LOVE LOVE LOVE how this is turning out! I have a few more things I would like to do to this piece, so maybe it will be finished by next week Wednesday. It’s a combination of a lot of ideas.

I have some really cool ideas for using the trapunto technique on marbled fabric…going to be the next piece.

Work in Progress Wednesday

I have been working, even though I haven’t posted anything lately. I’m trying to finish some patterns and start the last of the seasons hangings – Summer. “Spring” turned out so much better than I anticipated. When I first started the log cabin blocks, I wasn’t sure they would really look like spring, and if there would be enough contrast within the blocks. I think it turned out wonderfully well.

I so hope I can get “Summer” to be as vibrant.

And now…a few new pieces just out of the marbling tray…..

Back to work!

Monday Marketing….After a Brain Dump…..And Asking for Help…….

Over a week ago I made the following list of things I wanted to focus on for the coming week for marketing…..

update ebay “About Me” page; schedule for pattern release; review and comment on blogs – been doing better on this; look at TAFA marketing for holidays; Handmadeology post on community for this week; Southern Cal artist packet completed; Stumble pages; new small gallery; contacted CraftGossip about quilting info

Well, based on yesterday’s post, I haven’t made a huge amount of progress, to my way of thinking. But – I did get a couple of these done, and now I have a couple of major deadlines to meet within the two weeks. I was locked out of Word Press this morning, but now I’m back and working on things. I will have a tutorial up on CraftGossip, which makes having the updates done on the website more critical. Plus, I will be having a guest post on a publisher’s blog, so again the website needs to be worked on. The Handmadeology post on the importance of community was completed, and it had a lot of good feedback. I’ve been enjoying Stumble and collecting and pinning some great images. Now I have to figure out how to add the Stumble logo to the blog.

Now about asking for help: I would ask you to stop by our main website and give me some feedback about any updates, changes, or new products you would like to see. I have some ideas, but for some reason I can’t seem to really get a “feel” for a lot of changes. I’d appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Works in Progress…..

…yeah, I know, I’m still behind….but I have been working.

There are a bunch of things going on, one of which is finished and waiting to go up in Etsy, and the other two in various stages of completion. The completed piece started in a traditional clam shell pattern that I put aside in my stash. Since most of the small quilts i have done as practice pieces have all sold in Etsy, I figured to do a few more. This is a great piece of fabric, and it reminded me of the few times I went clamming on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the Outer Banks, especially the bay side. So I just let the design guide my free motion quilting.

Quilting pieces like this is so zen-like, and I love the effects.

I serged the edges in a fine stitch, just shy of being a rolled edge. I knew I was going to add some yarn to the outer edge to simulate the foam of waves receding. But the piece also needed some focal points. I was looking around to perhaps buy some small clam shells and not having any luck (had no idea that there are so many packaging types labeled “clam shell”). It finally occurred to me to go to my second mom, who is a fanatic when it comes to shells…..she has LOADS of clam shells, so I had my pick, and then hubby added clear nail polish to bring out the subtle colors.

Problem was I still felt I needed some blues for accent, so I spent about an hour sewing on a variety of blue seed beads…..and it looked terrible. I pulled them off, only to realize I shouldn’t have any problem with beads coming off other pieces I do…they were secure. Went to get the white yarn and saw some cool blue yarn I have used in the past to simulate water. So…….got the fabric glue and went to town on the edges. I like the final result – don’t love it, but I do like it, and since it’s really a practice piece, I know someone else will like it too. Here goes:

Next up are some small squares and rectangles from about 10 years ago, as I wanted to do something with geodes. I pulled these out again to see about small Etsy pieces. I laid them out and realized I had kind of a cool wall hanging developing.

The quilting is completed on all seven, and the serged edging just kind of fades into the background, just like I like it. This is the basic stone pattern in marbling. What I discovered with them this time is I used a “micro” stippling for the white spaces, and all of a sudden I had a great sand effect.

Love the effect!

I was thinking originally to connect the pieces with beads, but then I found some beige Offray ribbon that we marbled. Gorgeous!! What I don’t use will go up in Etsy or Tophatter.

And then I decided to look through the beads and stones to find something for the very bottom. Lava and some tree agate…..

Hopefully by next week I will have a finished piece.

And then…as I am trying to work on some patterns, I started free motion quilting another piece of stash fabric. I used some Superior blue silk, with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I like the effect of not too large thread just outlining the design.

I have decided to go with an orange Rainbow for some of the piece.

Again, hopefully, a finished piece for next week, along with a completed pattern. Lots to do!

Work in Progress Wednesday – Out of the Marbling Tray

One of the fun things for me in marbling is trying to see what else we can come up with as we marble fabric. This has led over the years to marlbing silk flowers and ribbon, as we didn’t want to waste the accumulated paint on the sides of the tray. But what to do with the paint and size left in the tray after the actual marbling is over?

We have taken pieces of cotton and laid them directly on the left-over bath as we are getting ready to empty it. The results have been really interesting – very organic, lots of striations. Here’s what happened today.

This first is the shot of the marbling tray after we finished our last piece of cotton. You can see the paint left, some on the surface, but most on the bottom of the tray.

Nothing really interesting at this point. So I started to scrap the bottom paint down towards the end that we will bail from.

Now it’s starting to get a little more interesting.

More scraping.

Definite possibilities here!

Now we’re ready to lay a few pieces of treated fabric, just to see what comes up……and this is what we ended up with –

I see lots of possibilities.

And now it’s time to complete another table runner for my second mom. You can read about the first 3 here. I’m renewing my hate affair with 1990s white polyester…..here’s some of the new blocks. I don’t have the coverage for the satin stitch with this particular thread….I think it might be a little too thin. And each keeps buckling, regardless of how many times I stop, lift the presser foot, and turn to keep from bumps.

This is the last of these five for this next table runner. This will probably take about two hours.

Love how the green glows in these next two.

This time around I’m quilting each square separately and then piecing them together – will (should) be much easier to manipulate all of it under the machine. I’m hoping to have this completely finished by Sunday so I can move on to the June challenge for the Free Motion Challenge. Got lots of ideas for that one!!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Busy week! The commission piece (the triptych that wasn’t) is done, awaiting beading. As I was on the floor at yoga last Friday, I was looking at a very skinny part of the wall and thought, this would be perfect for a long piece. On Thursday night I had started the stitching on the lichen, and I absolutely loved the way they worked out, and I no longer wanted to cut the piece into three. This skinny wall section will be perfect. So over the weekend I steamed and blocked the piece, got the binding on and hand-stitched down. Love it! Took it to yoga on Monday to show her, and she is thrilled. The only thing needed at this point is some blue beads along the “stream” to add an additional color and bring the piece together. Formal pictures next week when the beading is done.

Also completed are two new fiber bowls for my gift baskets of marbled fabrics, set to go up in the Etsy store. We’re doing pictures later today so I can get the stuff up in the store. Wrapping clothesline with fabric is the absolutely perfect activity for watching television at night.

And…I am finally starting another major piece that has been brewing for a couple of months. I’ve had the backing since October, and the marbled fabric was done in September. I finally got the batting two weeks ago, and today I made the sandwich, chose thread, and started the quilting. It’s sort of a whole cloth, but not really. There’s no piecing at this point until this center medallion is done, and then I’ll just kind of see what happens. This seems to be the way I work….intuitively, guessing along the way, trial and error. Most of the time it works.

Here’s the first focus fabric….very “brain-looking,” and I’m approaching it as though these were dendrites in the brain. Doing a thread check –

– going for the one on the top, as I like the black section in the thread…looks like the nerve endings are skipping, which is the look I want. The lower thread will be in the bobbin.

I started the stitching, and then I took everything out – not happy with tension, and I wanted to analyze the pattern yet again.

This picture, when I saw it through the view screen of the camera, made me somewhat upset. I couldn’t see the discrimination of the black and the blue through my own eyes. I am having to look at it through a photo, so I know where I want to stitch. THis is the first time that I am aware of my eyes not being true to what I am seeing and want to do. Doesn’t make me happy…..

 

So I took my own advice from the Monday Marketing post to just get in there and do the work…I did, and I have a lot to show for it, with more to come.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

Busy week! I’ve been dutifully getting a list made each day, and I am being pretty successful at accomplishing everything. The biggest news….I FINALLY have all the names entered to be able to start the newsletter. Next week it should arrive in your mailboxes….a mere 16 months after the last one. I’ma workin’ on it……

Here’s a couple of pictures of what’s been happening this week. We are waiting on about 10 years of pima cotton to get started on our next big order, as well as a large order of paints. Meantime, hubby is planning to marble some small test pieces for a couple of projects. First up, a piece of linen that has wax on it. We met a wonderful batik artist up at StashFest in La Conner, Margot Bianca. You can check her Etsy store here. We spent a lot of time talking, and we’re going to marble a piece of linen, and then Margot will dye it, and she is going to batik a piece of already-marbled cotton. Should be a lot of fun to experiment. We’ll show results as they happen.

The studio is ready for marbling. We can dry in the garage, but sometimes for pretreating, it’s just easier, especially if there are mostly small pieces, to set up the drying racks in the studio. We sure do know how to maximize space!

And we do recycle, as you can see from the OJ bottles – they are perfect for keeping carrageenan as the bubbles disappear and then get stored in the refrigerator. We always cover up the rugs, even though we are obsessively neat, because the one time we don’t, paint will spatter…..

I am currently finishing a piece for my yoga instructor, as we are bartering: art for yoga lessons. You may recognize the piece….this is the “remains” of my “Shallows” piece, and it is in the process of becoming a triptych. More on that as it gets finished, hopefully by next week.

Still lots of shading, binding, lots of beads so that we have a small stream running through the three pieces. And of course, my lichen……

I’m also trying to start the pattern for the seasons wall hangings. I’ve got the ideas, and potentially the right fabric. Here’s spring….

…and here’s summer…..

I may actually combine the two…it will depend on how it works out.

There’s lots more on the list, including a new book I am starting on tutoring. I need to schedule significant writing time, along with all the sewing. So far, so productive!

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