Monday, March 05, 2018

Making Fabric

Maybe it was all the snow we got this past weekend.  Maybe it was just a longing for Spring.  Maybe it was a longing for colour.

Maybe it was all three.

Whatever the reason, I found myself in lock-step with a quilty associate of mine, another Albertan -- artist, traditional quilter, long-armer and blogger, Cathy Tomm.  

Both of us, it seems, have been working on string blocks in swaths of monochromatic colours -- she, green and purple, and I, blue, purple and red (with green to follow).

I'm working on a new piece, large for me, which (if it turns out as envisioned) I'll enter into SAQA's "Season After Season" juried exhibit.  I may have alluded to this project in a past post (or two), but now it is on one of the front "burners" in my sewdio.  It has to include an Artist's Journal, so I am trying to keep that up at the same time.  This is not my habit, so it's been a bit of a challenge to make the effort to translate what's in my head onto a journal page!

Blessedly, as I am now really working out the process, I've begun taking photos.

Sorting colours

I determined that as far as possible, for this project, I'd use up stash.  They were all a-jumble in a basket or two or three 😉 so I had to sort them out to get the colours I wanted.

That done, I thought I'd do it with random piecing, but I discovered that most of said scraps are in strips, so I decided to string piece them.

I began with the blues.

And moved to blue-purple, and then purple...

Added some red-purples.

The blocks are rectangles that will finish at 6" x 8" -- or 8" x 6", depending on how they're laid out.  In the photo immediate above, I laid them out on the guest bed to get a feel for how big the piece will be.  Depending on the layout, they'll be 5 blocks x 6" by 9 blocks x 8" OR 4 blocks x 8" by 12 blocks x 6".  

I don't know yet.  Time to get back to that journal and draft out a couple of alternatives, complete with colours.

Meanwhile, there's other fabric-making going on.  I'm exploring some different techniques, inspired by the inimitable Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, for small pieces that will be heavily hand-stitched and put in shadow boxes or on mat board or canvases, for the Lacombe Art Show & Sale (no news yet on my application but I'm hoping for later this week!)

Inspirational photo

Materials for "Flora"

On the bottom right of the second photo you'll see some of my recent snow-dyed efforts -- cheesecloth and/or scrim, which features in the stitched material.

Fabric scraps, sandwiched between Sticky
Solvy layers, backed by a synthetic evenweave
and free-motion stitched

Solvy washed out, fabric backing trimmed -
ready for next steps

And so the fun continues!

Getting back to my more usual way of working, I've finished a second 'mini' in the series based on photos taken a local ranch...

View Over the Valley I - (C) 2018

View Over the Valley - Detail

And yes, that's a slice of needle-felting you see creating the forest on the horizon.  😊

There is clearly more to be done.  The blocks for the "rectangle quilt" -- taken from a pattern in a recent issue of Simply Moderne -- are finished and need to be sewn together.  I've managed to lay out several rows "in a way that pleases me", and have to get them together so I'll have room to lay out and assemble the rest, and then...the entire top!

On the guest bed -- view from the door!

On the guest bed - view from the 'side'.
Pay no attention to the quilt underneath!  ;-)

Not to mention...that I'm still plugging away at the units for Clue #6 of Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake mystery.

And the rest of the fabric needed for my daughter's "Random Rails" quilt top has been delivered -- so must get those washed and cut and assembled into blocks to finish that top.

My long-armer doesn't know it yet, but I hope to have four tops (the Rectangle, the Rails, the Ringo Lake and the now-finished "Not So Grand Illusion") delivered to her for quilting by month-end!

On ward and upward but first I'll belatedly link this to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  This week she's talking about the legacy of an artist who's filled our lives with colour and whimsy -- if we've been fortunate to see her work...and may of us have (including me!) without knowing it.

Now...must get out and shovel that last bit of back sidewalk so I can put out the compost and the garbage!

Stay cozy; surround yourself with colour and whimsy; Spring's coming to these parts soon!


Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

Well, Margaret, you have been busy. Love the colours used in the strip piecing - so alive! I do like bright colours. No snow dyeing here as we have no snow, which I'm thankful for. Winter is not my favorite season. Good luck with all the projects.

Cathy Tomm said...

Wow I kind of inspired you to dig out the scraps and make fabric. I love doing the scrap sewing. I am now sewing flowers on my lime green backgrounds from Saturday's post. Love the thread play to make the flowers.

Judy Warner said...

Way to go, Margaret. So many projects! They all love k exciting. I would find the journal a challenge too!

Sha said...

I really like the last quilt top and am interested to see how you quilt it. Go girl go!