Friday, February 20

The Sorting Begins

Well the sorting has begun. Just starting all the little stacks was fun. Little Auggie tried to help. There was even some flannel in solids/prints. Now my living room is really a mess. I still had the boxes in there from my new computer and several other things that should be in the closet. But I didn't have time for cleaning,  I needed to sort fabric. I was very happy with all the solids. I always plan on buying some solids, but then I end up purchasing pretty prints and when I need a solid I have to make a special trip. My little White sewing machine that I always use when I sew away from home pretty much stays in the living room ready to go at any given time. 

Oh joy oh joy fabric.

This was a wonderful gift and it will be used with joy.
I've just got to figure out how to make it all fit into my sewing room.
Small problem.

Thursday, February 19

Christmas in February

A few days ago I received a wonderful gift of fabric. Five big boxes of it! I've done a quick look threw the boxes but not gotten it all out and sorted it yet. I'll have to wait for the weekend for that. It is such a treasure trove of wonders. I'm sure it will prompt me to design new things.\

When I buy fabric I tend to buy the same color families and types. Anyone who's seen my stash knows I've gone wild with oriental fabrics. My favorite fabrics are things I l love to look at when I'm sewing and afterwards. I like to look at them even when they are just laying on the shelf. But when some ones gives me fabric it's sometimes a bit out of my normal scheme and I'm always glad of this cause it gets your design brain working in new directions.  My friend Paula turned me on to the 30's fabrics which I am now very fond of, wandering away from my favorite earth tones. The influence of your quilting buddies widens your outlook on fabric. I started collecting civil war prints a while back and I'm just about finished making my first wall hanging from it.

Another thing that influences my designs is the art I look at. I recently was on line looking at the art work of Gustav Klimt which I've admired for many years. Now thou since I've been quilting I want to try to reproduce one of his painting as a wall-hanging. His Tree of Life painting just amazes me and to think about doing it in fabric would be a challenge, but well worth the effort. I'd also love to try The Kiss as a wall-hanging. Like most quilters I've got lots of plans, and not enough time to make all the quilts I want to. There is just never enough time to sew as much as you want. You do have to spend some of your time buying quilting books and of course fabric.

Sunday, February 1

Little Tree back on the Sewing Table

In November of last year I started a little thread painting experiment. I'd never done this before so I choose this simple design. It started out from a stencil from a scrap booking store. I just put the stencil on the mini check fabric and pounced the shapes. I stitched the tree and then it hung on a little hanger for several months while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with it.

Now with all the Holiday sewing behind me I started on this project once again. I started off by quilting the background around the tree shape. This was hard on my eyes due the the mini check and I wanted a tight small stippling, so it was slow going. With the background finished I moved on to designing the sides and corners.

When I started thinking about the other elements I needed to make this little tree into a wall hanging, I wanted to use shapes from the tree, so I drew a simple leaf and acorn. 
I've recently started collecting civil war fabrics and set the small basket full of fabric on the cutting table to make my selections. I really like these fabrics with there soft hues and gentle patterns.

The raw edge leaves and acorn are blanket stitched to the blocks with a small decorative leaf stitch from my Phaff on the connecting strip between the blocks.

The 4 corners are log cabin blocks. I opted to foundation piece these. I'm not a big fan of precise cutting and I had no idea when Paula taught me how to foundation piece it would become one of my favorite methods for doing all the precision work I do. You created a monster Paula - smile. So now I have almost all the sections completed. I've picked out a nice mini oak leaf print for the back. Hopefully it will be all together soon.

I will be taking a break from sewing next weekend to go to a scrap booking retreat for several days. Scrap booking is so much like quilting to me. You cut up big sheets of paper and then put
them back together with other bits to make a beautiful piece of self expression. Very often my ideas for these 2 different hobbies wash over into each other as far as ideas and techniques go.
I've started sewing my scrap booking papers and folding my fabrics. You just never know what will happen next.