Monday, February 29, 2016

The Winter Quilt

Just a quick post to show some progress.  I did a little work on this piece yesterday, weaving to see if I can make it a bit lighter in value.
It looks like it will help some but it will take more than just the doors.  I'll do a little more this afternoon and see how it goes. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thoughts about art and stitching and more on the Moon and Stars

I think I'll call this done for now.  I may cut off the part to the right of the black line I drew, not sure yet.  As I worked on this more I thought about stitching and painting and which I enjoy more.

No conclusions, I seem to enjoy the one I am doing at the moment.  And at the moment it seems to be stitching.  While sorting through fabrics I came back to a quilt I started a few years back. Each block was different and I wanted to keep it that way but was out of ideas.  I had all the squares done, strips put together and laid out ready to put it all together.  I realized two things... it wasn't big enough and I didn't like the center block.  So, it was set aside.

I'm not a quilter, I made one when we first got married and the teacher was an excellent quilter but also one who insisted on perfect.  I don't do perfect.  I finished the quilt and it became a blanket but that was almost 40 years ago and it's a bit worn.

That is what prompted the new one but once done and not really ready to be finished, I just couldn't work up the enthusiasm to do more blocks.   It was to be a blanket for our bed and since my thinking was winter, it was (is) whites and off whites.  The strips have been sitting unfinished in my sewing room ever since.

 This is the Center block,..
Much too dark for for the rest of the quilt.  I got to thinking about it and first thought, cut it our of the strip and arrange the rest of the strips around it instead of just long strips.  I cut it out.  Then decided I could probably do some embroidery using lighter floss and see how that works.  I may also just applique a piece over the top of it.  We'll see.  Doesn't matter, my mind is in motion and I'm inspired to take up this quilt again.  Hopefully I will be able to finish it this time.

And just to give you an example of how I stray from medium to medium, this is a ccokie jar I made a few years back.  I love it but we don't do cookies in our house so it sits on a shelf in our dining room.

The color doesn't show up in this photo but you can see there is a lot of texture.  I love texture!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Moon and Stars

Yesterday I did a little more work on this little one.  I have no idea where it's going to end up but for now, it's fun going.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A little sketching and a lot of stitching

It's part of my DNA; stitching.  And for a long time I denied it. "No, I do not like to stitch."  Yes, I can do it but I don't like too.  But I kept buying fabric and embroidery floss and yarn, and I didn't get rid of all of the leftover fabric, yarn and equipment from earlier days -- way earlier.  Comparing a package of my embroidery needles with some I looked at last week -- the package of Boye needles I have, still marked 15 cents and it's just one of many.  The package of the cheaper brand I looked at... $2.49.

So why am I writing about this you ask.  Because I've discovered that I truly do like to stitch, what I didn't like was having to do it perfectly.  Yes, there are some things that I'd like to do better and I'm willing to practice those things so I know I will get better -- again.  A blog I enjoy is Jude Hill's Spirit Cloth, she practices on small pieces and keeps them, sometimes using them later in larger works.  I like that idea.  I also like Jude's classes and started to watch videos of a heart class.  I thought I'd do the heart thing so started with this one...
But realized I seemed to be doing more circles. Hmmm, is that because I seem to run in circles at times or at least feel like I am. Perhaps.  Anyway circles became moons became faces.  Here are a few...

 This one is a piece of discharged denim, I added stitch to the center trying repeat sizes.
then another discharged piece that still needs something

 This one got a face

So did this one though not a happy one.
And this one

Then I decided to try printing a face on fabric and adding it to other fabric.  This is a Christy Girl from a very old book I have.  If the book where in good shape it would be something to sell but it isn't so I use the pages.

And then just faces that may end up as circles but at the moment, just features
And then I had to practice some stitches I like to do.  The woven picot forms the petals and french knots fill the center.

The woven spider web is another one I love to do.
And an open circle, something Jude posted that I had to try

Jude also does a lot of feathers so I had to try one of those too.
But still painting as well.  Here are a couple sketches done with my Tuesday Painters.
Beth's Bonsai

and Connie's Coffee Grinder that isn't functional.

Now I'm off to do more work on that first piece I posted today.  I need to finish the satin stitch and then put it away for awhile.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zen and Art

I’m reading the “Zen of Seeing” by Frederick Franck.  Very interesting;however, slow going.  It is handwritten and his handwriting isn’t all that easy to read.  His concept is a good one… go slow, concentrate and really see what you are drawing.
It’s rather like art as prayer in that one gets lost in the process.  I’ve always felt that way; however, I don’t always work slowly and really look so I decided to give it a try.  That’s what my dailies have been this week and so far I’m liking them. 
The berries above were the first ones I concentrated on.  Day 2  and 3 -- just ink, no color, from a juniper bush.  The big one the first day, the smaller piece the 2nd day.

Today my Tuesday Group painted at the library and I did a couple branches from a bush that was just out the front window. 

This is so totally different than my usual practice which is a quick sketch, usually in pencil, then ink and color.  These are done with ink, no pencil first, then If I’m adding color it’s last.  The first one, day 1, I used my Inktense pencils for the color.  Today I used my watercolors.  I like the result so I think I’ll keep going.