Friday, July 22, 2016

Patch Works

I've made a few nine-patches on my new white piece this week.  I'm using a bit of color as well.  Planning something that could be as big as 27 x 27 inches, more of a cloth than a quilt although I'll likely quilt the top to a single-thickness backing fabric.  I actually don't know yet.  Just taking it one step at a time.

I also haven't yet decided whether I'll gather 36 nine-patches and then piece them together, or perhaps put a few together at the outset and build outward from there.  I'm just making patches at this point.

I continue to battle that allergy sinusitis I wrote about months back.  I suspect it became a sinus infection some weeks ago although I haven't had much in the way of typical infection symptoms.  I did get antibiotics for it earlier this week.  No significant change yet.  I'm taking amoxicillin but may have to go to something stronger if this doesn't knock out the infection.  It's been maybe 30 years since I've taken antibiotics for anything.  I'm also taking probiotics.

Some excellent recent reads ~~

Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 15, 2016

French Vanilla

I spent the last few days working away on this piece.  And then decided last night that as much as I do like it, what I'm after right now is something that's more white than this is with its off-white fabrics. So this morning I stitched the nine blocks together and stuck this on my design wall for use later on in something else.  Or I might take it apart and use the 9-patch blocks in other pieces.

The color white...there are as many whites as there are versions of every other hue.  What I don't want right now are colors like ivory, buff, vanilla, French vanilla, old lace, eggshell, cream, etc.  I'm looking for something that I would consider real white, something perhaps like coconut white.

I went through all my "white" fabrics again last night, many of which I just purchased recently, and separated them into stacks by how white they are.  It's amazing how all those vintage linens I have are so many different shades of white.  No two are exactly the same.  Fortunately there are some really white ones in my stash, and so I'll start my project over again.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed working on this so it wasn't a loss by any means.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Those gold threads...

Hard to photograph well, but here are a couple images of those gold threads.  As you see in the bottom photo, I left 1-1/2 to 2 inches of thread loose after knotting at each end of every row and column.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


This is Nightfall, about 19 inches square.  I quilted this piece with metallic sewing thread as I did the previous one, this time gold.  When you see the quilt in the flesh, tiny flecks of gold catch your eye.  I decided not to do any embellishment on this after considering a couple of possibilities.  Once you start, where do you stop?  Hence, nothing added. 

I'm so enjoying working with little squares, that now I'm creating an indeterminate piece, using white and ivory squares.  I'm making small nine-patches that I'll eventually stitch together.  Working with 1-1/2 inch squares (my preferred size and the size in Nightfall), as well as smaller and larger squares.  You can work all sizes together into one piece, which is what I intend to do.

I recently bought a number of quarters (fat and long) of a bunch of different fabrics, to flesh out my stash.  I like using handmade and commercial fabrics together.  A lot of the white/ivory cloth I'm using now is vintage table linens that I've had since my eco dyeing days, as well as undyed silk jacquard fabrics, plus other undyed cottons and linens.

Have a great week.  Blessings. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Sky, So Far

This is what I've completed thus far on my homage to the sky.  That dark blur on the right side is BeeGee's tail on the wag.  Size at this point is 18 x 12 inches.

I feel discombobulated -- so much craziness happening in the world, everywhere.  I don't know how to hold it, how to embrace it all as just what's so.  It feels as though the air is filled with tension.

I've put my handwoven fabrics On Sale at Etsy -- 15 percent off through July 20.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Field of Green

This is Field of Green, 14 x 16 inches.  The difference between the finished piece here and the one I showed you several weeks ago is that this has been quilted, with Gutermann metallic copper sewing thread. 

If you read my early post yesterday, which no longer exists, just forget we had that conversation.

I always loved this piece just as it was/is.  Some voice in my head, though, said it wasn't done enough just as it is.  So I spent several days during the past week mucking it up with appliqued tree branches (which I saved and will use elsewhere) and way too much embroidery.

During the day yesterday, after posting the now-deleted image, I felt so uncomfortable about what I'd done with this piece that I deleted the post.  I spent last night removing all the embroidery and the applique, and treating the quilt with a solution to remove the pencil and chalk markings (which are 95% gone).  And this morning I added bits of quilting in places that were previously covered by applique.

That was just another one of life's many lessons in trusting my intuition.  If something is simple and beautiful and I like it just the way it is, that's good enough.

What I love most about this hand stitching work is building the base with little squares, and applique when I use it.  I don't want to do a tremendous amount of embroidery on every piece -- Energy Rising (now called Kundalini Rising), was an exception.

I've already cut out squares for my next piece, a paean or ode to the darkening sky.  Now I can start in on it with a clear conscience, now that I cleaned up Field of Green.

If you're in the States, I hope you have a safe and fun holiday weekend; and just a plain-old great weekend to the rest of you.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Energy Rising

It's done!  This is the piece I've been working on for the last two weeks.  It is a representation of the chakras, the subtle energy centers in our bodies.  If you're not familiar with the chakras, this link has a really good description/explanation of them, including their color correspondences.

I've been working with my energy recently, meeting weekly with a friend who's been reading my chakras.  It has been quite illuminating.

A couple weeks ago in meditation, I had a vision of my lower chakras -- the root chakra (red), the sacral chakra (orange), and the solar plexus chakra (yellow) -- as being a cauldron heating my energy and sending it up into my heart chakra (green).  My opening heart was sending energy up into the throat chakra (turquoise/blue), the third eye chakra (indigo), and the crown chakra (purple), with energy also streaming down from my crown to my heart.  The resulting stitched piece, surrounded by squares of white/ivory fabrics representing white light, is the manifestation of my vision.

I had zero problems with my hands during the production of Energy Rising.  I've been using this arnica oil two to three times a day when I'm stitching or otherwise using my hands intensely, and I swear it works.

Energy Rising is composed of 115 inch-and-a-half squares of cotton fabrics (and a few pieces of silk), and measures 8 x 36 inches.

So...I guess I need to begin soon on that appliqued tree I mentioned a couple weeks ago.

Hope you all have a lovely summer weekend.  Blessings. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Staying in Touch

I spent Wednesday through last Sunday working on my latest piece, which isn't this nine patch.  I won't show the new piece until it's finished.  It's long and narrow, that much I'll say, also that it has personal significance for me at this time. 

What I accomplished last week was to assemble the 115 inch-and-a-half squares together, add batting (a thin piece of fabric) and backing, and quilt it.

I've just begun the embellishment, most of which will be embroidery.  The next few days are completely clear for me so I hope to make a lot of headway...or possibly even finish.

I'll also say that this piece, which came to me last Monday evening, will be the first piece of art in my life that went from inspiration to fruition in such a brief period of time.  I've been known to fiddle-fart around to the point where I completely talk myself out of even bothering to begin many projects in my life.  So this new thrust of "idea to manifestation" is new for me. 

I attribute this change to numerous threads in my life right now ~ the idea of impermanence, that everything changes all the time and that we only have now, really; the opening of my heart and my creative channels with the healing work I'm doing; love of the raw materials and the sheer joy of working with them; and likely more I can't think of at the moment.

The small piece above was a test piece I did prior to completing Gravity's Rainbow, on which I experimented with construction methods as well as that cool embroidered dot (thanks Jude) in the center of each square.

Lots of good things happening here.  I hope there are in your life as well.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Work in Process

This is a stitched piece I've been working on.  I actually started it before Gravity's Rainbow.  This one will be called Tree of Life, and my next step will be to fashion something tree-like in the center. 

Originally I thought I might embroider the tree, especially after seeing the awesome embroidery Jude has been doing lately.  Towards that end I spent most of last weekend trying out my embroidery chops -- satin stitch specifically -- on a nine-patch sampler I made for that purpose.

Jude uses a stitch she calls Stacked Running Stitch, and I did try some of that in the piece below.  Satin stitch works better for me, though.  Although it does use more thread, satin stitch goes much more quickly, and you don't have to keep moving your stitching hand back and forth between the front and the back of the fabric.  Anything to do less unnecessary hand movement in my book.

Instead of embroidery, I decided to applique a tree.  But alas, this project will have to wait because I had an inspiration for another piece on Monday night that I am hot to get moving on.

The last photo is of my favorite piece of my own art, from the 1970s.  A framed color wheel of satin stitch flowers, inspired by my 7th Grade art teacher who taught us about color wheels.

Hint:  the new handstitched piece is another rainbow of sorts.

Hope you're having a great week.