Sunday, July 20, 2014

Soaring Temperatures

As temperatures head for 110 F., I sit glued to the AC and happily stitch away. I've come back to this tunic, thinking I might be able to finish it. I haven't been able to do needle turn appliqué for awhile and I miss it.

I've been thinking that I may never wear this (pretty wild, after all), however, it is becoming something idea is taking over.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Contour Drawing

While I machine quilt the Pomegranate Tree (for some reason I love to machine quilt even though it is a big quilt and a small machine, something about the rhythm and seeing order imposed), I'm trying to find time to work in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Skool homework assignments. Here, a continuous line contour drawing of a bizarre, antique, brass pitcher/urn inherited from my grandmother. It has the most marvelous handle, nearly impossible to draw.

But, of course I had to start with a blind sketch and the feel of the line felt so good, while the contour drawing was slow and my hand was unsteady. Liberate the lines!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Under the Pomegranate Tree: The Weed Section

Machine quilting into the night with a brown thread on top.
Stitching around the French knots in the Weed Section, which, in real life, is dry and colorless by the time the fruit ripens in October or November. I'm rather liking the way the floral prints are working.

I've left the ends of threads. I think I'll couch them down in their odd shapes. This won't be particularly visible as it's just sewing thread, rather thin, but, I like the unexpected detail...and who's counting time?

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday." 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hand Quilting

Savoring the hand stitching/quilting, I fall in love with this piece again...
And the process is so pleasing, working on small areas and seeing possibilities for stitching.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Istanbul Sketch

As the little people prepare to leave, I'm trying to get back on track and keep up with the Sketchbook Skool homework. Here, a quick watercolor outline in beige of the Blue Mosque of Istanbul. Then detail work with a Copic Multiliner 0.5 and 0.2.

I got an angle that included two of the six minarets. I had to finish from a photo I took, otherwise I would have had to spend several days on the spot. I finally treated myself to a Stillman and Birn sketchbook with heavy paper--very nice to play upon. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Another semester of Sketchbook Skool and the homework is to draw toast in order to observe very closely. 

Me being me, I couldn't help playing with the words...and I really need practice on human faces. This is an attempt at Danny Gregory, co-founder and teacher of Sketchbook Skool. I used a watercolor background that I made awhile ago and a Copic Multiliner 0.2 pen.

Now, back to stitching...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Snippets Recycled

While traveling to Istanbul, I didn't forget my stitching. My kit included throw-away snippets from a previous project, which I stitched to a base fabric.

They were such lovely colors, I couldn't throw them away. No idea what this will become, just doodling around.

Looking at the photo, I realize that you might be thinking: "hey, Nadia, you're way out on a limb here." And I would totally exciting!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The roots are quilted, but the rest of the Pomegranate Tree will have to wait.
I'll be unplugged for five days. Rather looking forward to that. 
I've got my stitching kit, sketch kit, camera and suitcase ready to go.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

House Sketching

Finally finished the sketch of a house beside the small university where I teach. I worked on it mostly while proctoring exams--a good use of time.
One Sunday, we traipsed off to the police station to file a complaint against the evil neighbor (who is building 2 huge refrigerated buildings) who hurled insults at us from his side of the property line. Sketching helps make the best of a bad situation...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt: FMQ, 3

Every evening, I work through a few lines of quilting on the roots. 

I'm finishing this section because I can see what needs to be done. The rule on such a big project: a small bite at a time.
Looking at the photo, I'm reminded of how much I like to machine quilt, how much I like the effect. The lines are so interesting.

Of course, there is a problem looming ahead that I will deal with when I get there: the quilting around the roots is close, which will probably shrink the bottom a bit if I don't get just as much quilting done on the tree. I could have quilted the roots separately and then sewn them to the tree in a quilt-as-you-go technique (the intelligent solution), but I like working on the whole thing at once. The buckling is a familiar problem.

...ah, but it will all quilt out...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Problem With Sketching

Yeah, the problem with sketching is that it takes time. I drew my wooden toy motorcycle for Sketch Club two weeks ago...and still haven't finished.

I drew the house next door to the classroom where I was proctoring exams...and still haven't finished.

And I'd rather be stitching-- but the sketching is awfully fun...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt: FMQ, 2

Sitting on my sewing machine table, the Pomegranate Tree Quilt awaits me each evening. The outline quilting around the roots is very slow and rather complex.

My method is a non-method. I safety pin the sandwich and then pin furiously where I'm going to machine quilt (at least every half inch, if not closer). Tedious, but it works for me. It will eventually all be filled in with FMQ.
See here for an overview of the whole tree.

Linked to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday".

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt, Quilting

I felt the urge to do at least a bit of hand-stitching into the Pomegranate Tree. The running stitch also serves to quilt between the machine quilting--vague leaf shapes. More French knots. I'm using two strands of machine sewing thread because I have such a large collection from my mom.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

On My Sewing Table: FMQ

The machine quilting is going fairly smoothly, if slowly. Mostly outline quilting to hold the sandwich together and create a sculptural effect.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Unexpected Work

It turns out that Tunisian teachers work until the end of June, proctoring and correcting exams and re-sit exams (final-shot-exams for failing students). I've never given so many bad grades in my life...something's wrong somewhere. Things have skidded downhill since the Revolution. It looks like I'm developing a series of drawings of students taking exams.
I suppose I'll be preparing all summer for the coming school year.