Friday, February 26, 2021

A Bit More of Everything

 I'm still working on Everything All at Once -- but never fear, Gentle Readers -- I am pacing myself!  😃  And of course, what comprises "everything" is evolving over time.  

First, what's finished?!

"Frolic!", that's what!  Yes...I've finished the top for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery from 2019.  It's double-bed size -- 86" square -- and I'll have it quilted by my long-arm friend, Sylvia Sawyer at Windwood Long-arm Quilting just up the highway.  I found the perfect location from which to photograph it on Monday this week, in the February sunshine:

I'm rather non-plussed that it turned out so well, but then again, Bonnie's patterns always make my shoddy piecing look fabulous.  One goof: I applied the borders with the blue side of the arrowheads next to the top itself, rather than the pink.  It made positioning the corner-stones a challenge, but...I just went with what pleased me, and in the end, it'll all work out!

What continues?  

Well..."Grassy Creek", Bonnie Hunter's 2020 Mystery -- but now I have 9 blocks finished and 1 nearly there.  That's more than 1/2 the number needed for the size I'm making.  

And..."Traffic Jam", that scrappy free pattern from Pat Sloan  that my friend A. shared with me.  It now has enough 6-patch units for borders on two sides!

Shown here: centre block plus layout for border on right side.

It takes 11 of these units to go down each side, and each unit has six 2 1/2" squares.  Then there'll be the top and bottom borders -- each of which will take 11 units PLUS "corner-stones", which are really 9-patch that's a lot of scraps!  Of course, because of how they breed, I'm not really noticing much difference in the sewdio...Sigh.

Sock knitting continues too.  I'm well on my way down the foot of the second sock for the February Socks from Stash challenge, but I Must Knit Faster to ensure I finish by Sunday evening!!

And what's new?

In the Knitting Department, I've cast on a Comfort Wrap for a friend who's recently been diagnosed with cancer....

Pattern: Simple Comfort Wrap
Designer: Lisa Santoni Cromar
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Collection "Tafi"
-- 60% alpaca, 40% silk
Colour-way: 7594 - "Mesa" (red on red)

It's a simple enough pattern repeat, but somehow, every once in a while I drop a YO (Yarn Over) here and there; I've already had to TINK (KNIT backwards) at least twice to get it right!   I really must slow down so I can finish this faster... 😉

In the Art Department...this week there's a new "finish" and a second piece underway.

For several weeks I've been 'auditing' a class in mark-making on paper and fabric, taught online by Canadian textile artist Susan Purney Mark.  I've met Susan and took a short session with her in person at a SAQA Western Canada Regional Retreat a few years ago.  Before that, when I was a Co-Rep for our region, she taught a workshop for us in Calgary. I enjoy her work and have one of her small pieces  in my home.  

Her workshop,"Cloth to Codex" (usually taught in person but not this year!) has been an interesting program.  Even though I am not fond of working on paper or making books, and not an enthusiastic 'mark maker' either, the substrate of the work is inspiring.  One of Susan's practices is asemic writing which I really like -- but I like *actual* cursive writing even more and so...

On Tuesday I dug out a stretched linen "canvas", and made this:

The Thing with Wings II
8" x 10" (unframed)
Pitt Pen, machine thread-painting

I reprised my piece for the SAQA Benefit Auction in 2020, entited The Thing with Wings, inspired by the poem on hope, written by Emily Dickenson.  First, I wrote the poem out on the "canvas".  Next, I sketched the tree on the back of the 'canvas' and outlined it in free-motion thread painting. That took some doing, because in order to get the stretched piece under my needle I had to remove the foot and the needle from the machine -- and put it all back together in order to stitch!  

I cut a piece of mat board and inserted it in the back of the stretcher bars to support the linen, and will have the piece put in one of my favourite 'floater frames.  I like it very much, and have hopes it will show and sell at the Lacombe Art Show and Sale this year, which is booked for the last weekend in May.

Then yesterday (Thursday) I started another new piece.  It's inspired by a photo taken by my talented daughter, Gina, which she included for the month of February, in a 2021 calendar she gave me comprised of her photography.  A few years back she purchased a glass 'ball' that she uses in her work, and she used it to take a photo of a tree in the vicinity of the High Level Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta, where she lives.

I took inspiration from that round image, blue on blue, and from some thoughts I've been pondering in recent weeks, about the 'little blue planet' on which we live.  The tree in her photo inspired my creation of a similar 'Tree of Life' image, and the circular image, my creation of a kind of globe.  The working title is "And She Saw That It was Good".

Here is my first draft:

I looked at it, let it sit for a bit, and decided it required a bit of tweaking.  Here's my second draft.  

Can you tell what I did?

Self-dyed and commercial cottons
Fused applique
Approx. 15" x 23" before quilting

Here's a close-up of the motif...

There's still quite a bit to do to finish it, but I'm letting it 'percolate' now.  Eventually it will be finished with a facing as a soft piece with a sleeve-and-dowel hanging system.

It was so warm earlier this week that I found myself outside on my back stoop, stitching in the sunshine!  I put a cushion on the little chair I keep out there, and wore my Harris Tweed cape over a couple of layers, and was fine.  My hands didn't even get cold!  

I spent most of that time stitching down the facing on the back of "On the Straight and Narrow".  Now all it needs is a sleeve!

Today, however, we're right back into February weather, with snow flurries and gusty winds.  It'll be a good day for assembling those 6-patches into a border and attaching them to "Traffic Jam"!  

Later on, I'll curl up with some of my knitting, and -- oh yeah!  -- do the suggested reading for an online Lenten Retreat I'm taking online at 2 p.m. tomorrow, and for the following 2 Saturdays.  Whether you're registered for a spiritual retreat or one that will find you exploring new artwork, as Nina Marie is this weekend, it pays to be prepared!  I'll leave you with a link to her Off the Wall Friday -- and wish you all a weekend filled with creative blessings.  😊

1 comment:

Bethany G said...

Another very special, arts-focused pos, Marg... YOUR art and that is a treat for all of us. The inspiration you share with us is so stimulating and a wonderful treat. Don't stop now and thanks so much for taking good care of your friends!