Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Odd Bit of Creativity, 3

The idea of stitching a tiny Jibba (traditional outer garment for Tunisian men) came to me around fifteen years ago. And then a 12" armature came into my possession recently, reviving this idea. 

The frame was something else that I changed to fit my needs. I added metal wires for wild hair.

Then I cut out a pattern. I will make the Jibba a bit large for shrinkage as it will be a wild needle turn appliqué design, not at all traditional. Actually, it won't look at all like a Jibba, which has a specific style of embroidery around the neckline and edges to reinforce them. Yeah, men wear embroidery. Isn't that a refreshing thought? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shredding a Shirt, 2

The weather has been mostly beautiful, which means that I spend the day preparing house and garden for winter--a lot of repairing, painting, trimming, and weeding. This also means that I fall asleep with needle in hand when I finally get to sit down...not getting much done, inching along.

To solve some of the size issues, I rolled up the lower edge and held it in place with safety pins. Seems to help.
   It grows all the same.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Small Paint Can

My mosaic desk looked overwhelmingly messy, stacked with sacks of broken tiles and old paint cans. I finally found some time and pushed everything aside to make some space. 

A big paint can awaits me, but I couldn't figure out what to do on it. Blocked. So I turned to a small paint can (about 5" tall) and just started gluing tiny shards from the mess on the desk. The mess looks the same, but I'm glad I got back to the mosaics. This can still needs grouting and I have a cute plant in mind to put in it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shredding a Shirt, 1

"Shredding" was Jude Hill's word for this technique. "The shredding of a dream" I think she said. The size of this piece makes it difficult to stitch and control the buckling. I'm thinking I may have to find my quilting hoop, if only I could remember where I stored it...Never thought I'd see the day where I said that.
I attached the neck of the second shirt. Then I realized I should begin cutting in behind the green shirt so I pinned it to one side. The collars (so stiff--why do men wear them?) throw a monkey wrench into the works. Yet, I'm rather surprised the way the design is developing. This is the type of thing you can only find out as you do it. The dark brown is pleasing to work on because of its graphic qualities.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Branching Out, 4

It keeps growing...
...around 4' wide and 6' tall so far. It takes up the whole wall.
A few branches to add at the top plus the fill-in background patches in white and beige. 
Beige falls very low on the list of colors I use, it's almost a non-color. 
Yet, I like it here, especially the variety of prints, solids, and stripes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Branching Out, 3

One should not look closely at my construction techniques--absolutely primitive. However, this piece speaks to me as it takes shape.
Just the top branches to attach. 
Big and messy (lots of rippling), yet it sings such a joyful song.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting Started

Just a pause before I get back to stitching the Wing Cloth. I felt like at least getting a start on "He Went to Work Everyday...Then He Retired", otherwise known as "The Retirement Quilt," or maybe "Flying Away" although I swore up and down I wouldn't do anymore wings. Looks like I was fooling myself. The original layout has five men's shirts to represent the work days.

I pinned the first shirt to the background. Then I cut away some fabric from the back.  I'll keep that piece in case I need more of that color. I also cut away the back of the collar, which was quite stiff.

I stitched down the top of the collar and shoulders. Small problem: the shirt fabric is beautiful, but a tight weave making it slower to stitch. Beyond that, this piece is at least four feet across and just as long. "What have I gotten myself into?" she wailed....

Prediction: this is going to be a BEAR to work on. I have no idea how to proceed. Lucky my vision for this piece overrides all thoughts of future exasperation...and I do like the colors.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Roots Finished

Whew! This section simply did not want to end. 
Usually, I work steadily on a needle turn appliqué piece with no particular thought to finishing. Then, a day comes when I can see the end in sight and I make a huge effort to finish. This one dragged on and on. Very intense at the end.
Now I can concentrate on the tree. I've been admiring the number of browns in the roots, however, I'm ready for more color.

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Drat, I Forgot My Stitching, 2

In Tunisia, one goes directly to the electricity or water company to pay bills. One would not send a check by mail or pay through internet as it's risky. So today we went to pay bills, which proved to be very poor planning because there had been several holidays and everyone else had the same idea. If I had known that it was going to take so long, I would've brought my stitching. Drat! Fortunately, I had a sketchbook in my purse. The employees looked exasperated, the clients looked desperate.
A little girl, whose father was stuck waiting, came to sit next to me and watch as I drew the back of the lady in front of me--little did she know...

I chatted with the little girl a bit, I showed her my sketchbook. I was the only person doing anything...everyone else was getting annoyed. One woman started yelling...she should've had a sketchbook, too.

I got out some colored pencils and had fun. The Reluctant Sketcher strikes again!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stitching Roots, 13

Admittedly, I was optimistic when I said just a couple more days to finish. 
Still inching along...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stitching Roots, 12

Making some headway.
A couple of more days should do it...hopefully. Lucky, I have such a long To-Do-List, which allows me to dream about other projects on the back burner while stitching.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Odd Bit of Creativity, 2

The concept of a plump potholder does not exist in Tunisia. Since I must grab playtime a few minutes here and there lately, potholder recycling seemed a good time to play. 

I started with two weary and stained potholders that were way too thin, although I was happy to have found them. Or maybe someone else found them for me...Anyway, they looked bad.

I just stitched on scraps and didn't even bother with a binding.
There's still the other side to do. More fun later.
And when I see them hanging on the kitchen wall, I'm delighted. 
Neither pretty nor ugly, just useful. No expectations, just utility--what a relief.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stitching Roots, 11

With the slow-down caused by high temperatures during the day, 
I seem to be making good headway on the roots.
It's amazing what one can do when glued to the A/C...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to the Pomegranate Tree

Looking back at my blog, I see that my pause from the pomegranate tree has lasted for over a month. Time to get back to it. I continue to sew sections onto the body of the tree.
Trying to sew down the main branches, keep some kind of balance, and control the buckling (good luck with that).

Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Angel Passed By

Just recording an idea for an abstract piece that came to me while working on the roots appliqué. 

I would use an appliqué fabric, which is curvy strips sewn one on top of the other with newsprint as a stabilizer. After removing the newsprint, I would attach the fabric to a base fabric, possibly patchworked. Then I would start cutting into the top fabric and stitching.

Turquoises and blues sound tempting.
Turned vertically, this idea looks like a pair of wings, but I think I'm leaving that idea behind, or a couple of combs?

The journal where I catch ideas is very boring. Just thumbnail sketches and scribbled ideas. So imagine my surprise when I turned the page...

An angel had passed by and left a message.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cleaning Up

It's that time of year; school starts soon and the grandkids leave in a week so I'm trying to clean my studio to get a fresh start when I finally find myself with tons of time on my hands (really?). The Wild Thing has been sitting on the floor with a pile of fabrics for too long, annoying me no end.  So I decided to machine stitch all those little pieces down and clean up the mess. At first, I had it all pinned down. It's like working with a porcupine. 

Now, I'm not sure I can do this. No idea how it will turn out. I'm simply sewing pieces of fabric onto a couple layers of newsprint--a primitive appliqué,
raw edges showing. The white thread shows.

There remains a big spot of paper to be covered. Hmmmm. 

And I made two, thinking that it would be just as fast to do two as one. 
What folly...

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