Posts Tagged ‘Work-in-Progress’

On Practicing…..

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

I’m doing more practicing for the Free Motion Quilting challenge. This is a bit of a “challenge” for me, as I am not used to just practicing without it becoming something I can use. I keep thinking about what I can turn this practice piece into……I need to get over that! It’s practice…..practice……practice…..

Now, in keeping with the video, we’ve been marbling for nearly 20 years. We look back at what we originally did and are kind of appalled at just how bad the initial pieces are. But it was fun to marble, and so we kept on and experimented with new patterns and other things to do with the fabric. This was practicing to get good. And now, with a couple of new opportunities, we are “practicing” even more, and the fabric looks amazing. And for the first time in a lot of years we are trying new patterns. In the last 50 pieces we have done, we have perfected three new patterns from the traditional.

We have a system for all the various stages, but more than everything involved in the process, we are having way more fun than we used to. We get good feedback, and I think for the first time we realize our work really is good and belongs “out there.” Funny how validation from others makes a difference!

So the Humane Society takes old bedding and sheets for cage blankets……that just might be where some of the practice pieces go………sheesh, it’s a rambling kind of day…..

Wednesday Work in Progress

Yay! Three of the eight table runners are complete and at their new home, in time for the holiday festivities for which they were made. There are five smaller ones still to be done, but they should be finished by the beginning of June. I learned a lot doing these, and I have a few ideas for keeping them straighter during quilting when I get to the smaller ones. But that’s after a few more current projects.

I put the first one on the main table, and then we arranged the other two around them. The visual appeal of the three is really stunning – I was quite amazed. Betty, my second mom, cut them all out in the winter of 1991 when she was in Vermont. They have lain dormant in a box since then. I first attacked the project last fall and completed the first sample block in January. It’s only been since May that I have really worked on the project.

Now I have a deer quilt to finish for our bedroom, and then on to my first major art piece, with a deadline in mid-February. I am taking pics of the whole process, in preparation for writing an article about the process. I have a list on the wall of the studio with all the projects – unfinished and “to be made” – I want to work on. It did feel good to cross off the first three table runners today!

Each block is a white design, some original Hawaiian patterns and some that are unique designs by Betty. Once we started thinking about layout, we decided black and white would be very dramatic. Each block is done in color for the satin stitch. I wanted to have some subtle color to the overall effect.

Each block is attached to another with a small divider, which has been free-motion quilted. It helps to set off the design even further.

To stay in the spirit of Hawaiian applique, since the family was stationed in Hawaii for a number of years, I echo-quilted each block with two rounds of stitching. This accented the design, as well as anchored the runner together so nothing would slip and slide.

Another 20 blocks await!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Busy week in the studio! I’ve been slowly adding little goodies to the wall, as I want to feel like this is a real working studio every time I walk in to it. This wall is some samples, my color wheel, and some of the fabric cubbies. This is of the poster for the Tikkun Olam show, and other goodies, like the holiday gift list….

Some of the certificates and exhibits we’ve attended. I really enjoy looking at all of them. In the past we usually just tuck things away and never have a chance to revisit them often enough. That is definitely changing.

New shelf hubby put up to keep all the notions from getting in the way and having to be moved each time we marble – or I lay out a quilt to sandwich. Don’t know why we didn’t think of that sooner….

The three large table runners in progress. There is a HUGE amount of work in finishing these up. First, I have 17 Hawaiian motifs, all of which have had satin stitch done around them. The black and white is the predominant color, with just hints of color in the satin stitching. I am now in the process of echo-quilting each motif around the outside, like is traditional in Hawaiian quilting. This is a lot of start, stop, raise the presser foot, lift and turn, and repeat. I’m having to take a lot of breaks because it’s rough on the shoulders.

Each of the joining pieces has free motion quilting, black on black. I’m trying out some new motifs on each of those two-inch strips.

Now about a year ago I asked for suggestions for changing the quilting on a “fish quilt” I had done MANY years ago. I took all the quilting out, and there it sat, along with other “needing to be finished” projects. Well, I’m at a point where I need a serious break from the table runners, plus I want to have a couple of “basic” quilts ready for the guild presentation the beginning of November. It seems that all this time I have been percolating possible quilting ideas.

The thing about this quilt that is so great is the marbled fabric that makes up each of the “fish.” This is a case of when the fabric came out of the tray, it said “fish” to me. I always knew I would like something that accented the fish. I started with the borders of fish, and I ended up using one of the decorative stitches on my workhorse Bernina. Then I used another decorative stitch for the first of the waves, and I added some “bubbles” in free motion to the center block.

Then it was change the foot, change the thread, and start in on the fish.

It’s perfect. It is exactly as I wanted and what I had envisioned before I even knew I could do it.

Oh yeah,that’s what I’m talkin’ about! And my quilting stitch is getting MUCH better!

Wednesday Work(s) in Progress

Wow – what an amazing couple of days, and the workload changed dramatically! Which is good, because I have the time for it! If I were still working full time teaching, I’d be pretty depressed right now because I wouldn’t have the time to do all thesethings. But I am thrilled that life is picking up!!

So – I snapped a few picks of the studio (I forgot all the stuff on the dining room table – the “other” studio) as the new Mac is headed up to the Apple store for an “overnight” as all the material, photos, etc. gets transferred from the oldie to the newbie. Here’s what’s happening in my world today:

The new desk/computer work station, with a fabric piece that needs to go onto Etsy…not happenin’ today….

Fabric on the design wall that’s part of a larger order to be completed (that’s actual marbling of the order) as a reminder of this part of the business.

The Hawaiian table runner commission that I want to have done in time for debut at the big Thanksgiving dinner…plus it’s for my second mom who is amazing, so I really want this to be special.

The cutting table/workspace, which will need to be rearranged so hubby can alum lots of material today so we can marble tomorrow morning.

And finally, my Guilin piece, which I really want to finish – learning lots from my Quilt University class, and get hung on my bedroom wall, so I can start (snort) the next landscape – my Great Wall piece………

Life is AWESOME!! Just when I posted yesterday about how amazing the day had been, I checked email one last time before bed to find we have a demo gig planned potentially for the beginning of November – which makes me think I need to respond to that NOW since we will be without computer till sometime tomorrow………

It All Started with the Yucca…..Wednesday Work in Progress

Albuquerque Outdoors -

This new piece has had an interesting origin…..we were in Cornville , AZ visiting friends, and our driver wanted to stop in the high desert and see about getting some yucca stalks for walking sticks. If you look at the picture, the stalks are what’s left after the gorgeous blooms are done. They are evidently extremely strong and hold a lot of weight. So we have two collected stalks in the car, and I’m thinking, hmmmmm – these could make interesting wall hanging “hangers.” Turns out we got as a gift two really strong, perfect-height-for-hiking sticks from another friend we were off to visit, so I decided to keep these two, one as a walking stick for me (I just need it for balance) and one for a potential hanger for a wall piece.

I was looking at it today, as I was kicking around another weaving piece. It would make a good “topper” for a new piece. I had in mind a set of seasons pieces, and then suddenly I got the thought to create the fabric and weave them all together for a year of seasons.

Here are two samples of some of the weavings I have done with marbled fabrics. The first is my very beginning one, Gaia 1: Interdependence. The second is  Gaia 3: Autumn.

All of a sudden the design was in my head, and I sketched it out, something I don’t normally do. Here it is:

Creating the fabric will take some time, and I know with other projects in the pipeline, I won’t get to this until mid-September. Hubby is the main marbler, so he will have his work cut out for him. I will need to also watch the proportions in this piece – ever mindful of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia from Project Runway…..

Stay tuned for progress. In the meantime, here’s a few stories for past weavings in the Gaia series.

Sunday Stories: Autumn

Sunday Stories: Gaia 2

Sunday Stories: Gaia 1

Work in Progress Wednesday – Two New Quilts

Awright, so they’re not technically WIPs. But I haven’t shown all of them on here before, and I really do love them. And close observers will recognize the blog heading as the fabric in “Salmon Run.”

“Salmon Run” returned from its several-month engagement in Alaska at the Cordova Historical Museum. I love having it back – I am so fond of the fabric.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting.

You also haven’t seen my latest piece, “Bamboo Grove,” in a full shot.

This piece had so many techniques I hadn’t tried before. I am reconsidering the tops of the bamboo stalks…I may decide to take the leaves off and try another way of attaching them to increase their fullness. So I guess it still is a “work in progress.”

What am I working on now? I am doing an art show on November 20 with the Tucson Art and Craft Association, so I am preparing fabric for that, as well as requilting a few small quilts. I am thinking of revising my still-unfinished “Iceberg” piece from several years ago into a series of Icicles for Road to California – I have till December 15. I can still use all the techniques I had planned, just in some different forms. I am still thinking about the next “large” piece with marbled fabric and don’t quite know what it’s going to be……I have some really great large pieces of fabric lying around.

But…I also have about four other quilts in various stages that I need to get to! Such decisions we all have….what’s waiting on your list of to-do?

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