Monday, March 28, 2016

about bloomin' time!

happy spring!

warm, soft, bright days - many still with early morning misty fog, but it burns off quickly and the sun shines brightly in a soft blue sky

yesterday i wandered out into the backyard and found chives almost a foot high already and my tiny lilac in bud

i've been working on a bit of a floral theme in my needlework as well...

my patched and appliqued pocket-piece is sporting a lovely textured flower, each petal different - one plain, a tiny embroidered flower adorning another, the rest cut from fme lace cloth made by yours truly

i stitched a tiny, tiny buttonhole stitch around the raw edges using a fine off-white linen thread that sinks right in to the fabric and is barely discernible... it added no "weight" to the appliques, nor did it alter their delicacy at all - simply just holding everything in place

i'm at a thinking point with that piece at the moment - a stand-still
not sure what i want to do next...

whenever this happens to me i turn to something new

taking the idea in a new direction, exploring a few possibilities, but on a different piece

i made a textured background using a piece of wool, a raggedy scrap of lace, a length of rayon ribbon and some bits of patterned cotton cloth

more "patches", here, pinned in place

 love how the little flower echoes in the lace

not taking too long with this, wanting something that will disappear a little, not in the fore-front... much of it will be covered by the flower-petals-to-come 

though it will add interest to the overall effect, i think... i hope

 then the decisions for the flower... colour, shape, number...

i settled on a brown check for the flower centre and a mottled red with dark brown accents for most of the petals but a few few in a lighter red

the differences are rather noticeable here, but i think they'll be less so as i add the embroidery - outlining each petal with decorative stitch and then even more on their surfaces

 that's the plan anyway - now to decide on threads, colours and stitches

 there's always something that has to be decided - planned out, just like a real flower bed

colour, spacing, height, fillers, edging plants, textures and so on

 first up is structure though - i need to applique these in place before i can do anything else

 and while i'm doing that, i'll think about what comes next...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

on a roll...

i wanted badly to do a blog post on the 29th, for posterity, because it's odd... i like things that are different so february 29 is a happy day for me

as usual, the best laid plans went the way of the saying... drifting off into space and time

leap year might be a good descriptor for this year, in more ways than one - it feels like we're already racing to the finish
yet here i am, holding on bravely to each minute, cherishing the everyday...
the older i get the better i understand the truth of "now"

i was thinking lately of many of things i have posted here over the years, of processes and systems i have tried - i realized i rarely post of how i progress with them

i still write every day, in the mornings... by lamplight in winter, sunlight now - usually three pages but when time is stifled, i sail through two
in the past 2+ years that i've been making morning writing a daily ritual, i've missed one day

the daily sketch went by the wayside pretty quickly - not enough inspiration and i found i couldn't let go of trying to make them perfect

the daily stitch practice is going great and my pieced cloth is growing already

the list of twenty-five whittled down to five - creative works to concentrate on in a limited fashion, a process used by warren buffet?

almost 18 months later, i adhere to this rigidly

this is by far the smartest thing i have ever done in my creative life - it has not stifled nor limited me in any way, shape of form - rather, it has freed me, mostly from myself
i choose better, smarter, am far more aware of how long things really take, and in the end, i choose what to do wisely

i've certainly stumbled with it, refined it a little, but wouldn't work in any other way - for me, it is brilliant

my last list included making three more components of my "attendent noel" roll, designed by bea for quiltmania

i am so in love with this piece - the random delightful-ness of it

 this time, a little ginger cat with a purple collar - she brings to mind miss josie... she always looked adorable in a purple collar of her very own

a collage piece - little girls looking up a chimney for you-know-who

 and two teeny-tiny little nine-patch quilt blocks

 they're all stitched in place on the linen strip - i just need to extend the vine upwards and trail it over and around some of these latest elements

slowly growing in length, the fabric is from an old linen damask-type tablecloth

it was fraying like mad so i took some extra time and buttonhole stitched around the perimeter to keep it in check

it's such a treat to work on these little pieces - they make up quickly, are simple to alter the design as desired, or even substitute, a great way to use up precious snippets of fabric and ribbons - buttons, especially

a place-keeper for treasures

knowing proper technique allows for changing things up; abandoning those old rules allows for more creative spontaneity than ever 

i really am on a roll...