Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moving Right Along

I'm finding that the shortening days are a real challenge this year.  I so enjoyed being outside in the long summer afternoons, stitching away.  The plus side of doing more inside though, is that I am Getting Things Done at the sewing machine and if hand-stitching or knitting, am able to watch a few favourite programs on my computer.  One of these is Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims' "The Quilt Show", to which I've subscribed for the past year -- and which I'll be renewing shortly!

Yesterday I watched the episode with Cara Gulati on 'Curves for Cowards'.  I liked her approach (no pins!) but even more, I liked her philosophy vis a vis her work:  "I don't make award-winning quilts on purpose".  That is, she explained, "I just wanna make pretty things.  I wanna make a bunch of 'em and I don't worry about them being flat and square because I'm naughty."  This makes me smile!  For close to 50 years I was  a rigid follower of rules -- until I began to make quilts.  Yes, I study, and learn techniques and try to practice safety when it comes to dyestuffs and glues, but I am not fussy about my quilts.  I will make them to the best of my ability but they will not be seeing the inside of the major quilt shows any time soon.   I'm  learning to accept that that's how I really feel about my work, as I struggle with wanting the success of others but not wanting to endure the blood, sweat and tears it took 'em to get it.  Ain't it fun being human?!

While I was watching, I hand-stitched my bias applique piece for Module 7, Activity 12 (out of 14) in the C&G.  The assignment involved making my own bias 'tape' to create a design from a shape in the annals of my sketchbook.  I chose this 'u' shape that I'd traced from a metal 1/2 circle, a found object from one of my walks.

First I made a mock-up in paper on a paint-washed page in my sketchbook.  I used the outer edge of the shape for my piece, figuring it would be easier to emulate in bias tape. (The round centres in these 'flowers' were stamped on with a sponge dipped in paint.)

Next I made the tape and tried it out on fabric.  Here you see it pinned and lightly fused to the background (I have an old roll of narrow fusible web that didn't stick perfectly but certainly helped with the curved shapes).  You'll notice the curves are even shallower than those of the original shape, because the tape, with glue on the back, was stiff and wouldn't curve more deeply.

I tried attaching one of the 'flowers' with invisible thread and the blind hem stitch on my sewing machine.  Not highly successful!  The thickness of the bias tape vs the light weight of the background fabric made for a very 'un-pretty' result!

In the end I took it out and stitched the entire piece by hand.  Not having matching thread (green) in my inventory, I turned to my stash of embroidery floss and found just the thing -- and a single strand worked perfectly.  Here's the piece, all stitched.

As I type, it's had its 'blossoms' painted on it (remember the sponge?), and is sandwiched for quilting -- which will bring me through Activity #13 of 14.  I'm on track to finish Module 7 by month-end!

(And I've just made the deadline for posting to the Sept. 12 WIP Wednesday on the Needle and Thread Network.  Phew!)

1 comment:

rtquilter said...

Ah, a kindred spirit who collects odds and sods on walks! I had a purse full of metal bits , rusty bottle caps, washers, chunks of rusted automobile when we came home from Britain this spring. Fortunately, no one stopped me at the scanner! Anyway, your project looks fascinating and I shall watch this space in hopes of seeing the finished product. Good work! Keep on collecting too 😉