Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Burgundy & Blue

Spring is here, the days warm up if the sun comes out, the birds and bees are going wild with enthusiasm, and the almond trees have put out their blossoms. This made me think that I would like to wear one of my tunics this spring. So I pulled it out and stitched in bed last night.

Do you see the pocket (burgundy) nestled in among the strands? 

Now I think I see how the strands should travel: up and over the right shoulder (as you look at it), down across the back and up the left front only half way....maybe. I'm thinking that this combination of colors is so out-of-style and untrendy. I can't think that I've seen much burgundy or maroon on the internet lately. Untrendy suits me.

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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Whole Picture

The finished calendar front nestled in among the "stuff" that I keep trying not to accumulate...
Of course, I'm not trying to not accumulate my art quilts...clear as mud?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Working Small & Fast, 2

Struggling with grading finals and preparing courses as classes begin this week. I managed to find time for a quick sketch in my planner (6 1/2" x 3 1/2") as I waited in the car while out doing errands. 

We were parked in front of a bridal shop. The costumes fascinate me. This one was actually silver and the bright pink of the background. Two things that caught my eye: the odd angles of the mannequin's limbs and the patterns in the fabrics. The word "Laroussa" means "the bride". I tried to think more about drawing letters than writing them.

I think I'd like to go around and sit in front of bridal shops and draw wedding costumes...someday...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Enjoying Shapes

Being sort of between projects or rather steps of projects, I picked up the Retirement Quilt and stitched on a strand last night. 

And then I cut and safety pinned the other side as well this morning. It's measuring nearly five feet wide and is already rather heavy. 
What a mess! Nothing like a challenge. The trick is to work just one small piece at a time. Each strand engages me when I try out different ways of cutting and stitching.The forms and shapes mesmerize me. Peace. This piece/peace will be with me for awhile.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I'm supposed to..., 2

I know, I know, I'm still supposed to be grading exams. And I'm NOT supposed to be starting anything new. But I had this stack of snippets with such interesting shapes and beautiful colors that I put into a tin--leftovers from my oranges sketchbook page.

I tried to use up a bunch of bits in my sketchbooks, but I just kept creating more snippets. 

So I chose gray and black base fabrics

and started to stitch down the interesting shapes of one snippet with a running stitch.

I cut out a hole and reverse appliquéd the edge. Raw edges with finished edges. No idea where this is going, just playing. No expectations.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stitching the Sea, 3

The more French knots I add, the more I want to add. 
They create such an interesting effect, like using dots in a sketch.
I like the shadowy white designs of the fabric as well; 
they form undercurrents below the more obvious stitched currents.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Cow, 2

The action's over at MulticoloredPieces.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Cow, 1

What I like about my blogs, is that they keep me on track and they push me to do things I would not ordinarily draw a cow. Yup, I need a cow to illustrate my next post at MulticoloredPieces.

Still some more work to do on this. Maybe I'll add some fabric as well. 

I looked at a bunch of pictures on the internet to get the idea of a generic cow. I could've chased after the neighbor's cows to draw en plein air, but I've chased them out of the orchard enough. And they really are very b-i-g animals--to be avoided in my mind.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stitching the Sea, 2

Things pile up again as a new semester begins. 
Just a bit of stitching in the wee hours...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I'm supposed to...., 1

I know, I know. I'm supposed to be grading exams today. However, the bank gave out a stand-up calendar (7"x5") with a beautiful turquoise blue tempting.

I've been wanting to do a play book for awhile. The rules are simple: fast (no hand stitching), small, and only tiny scraps from the scrap bag. Maybe I'll sketch or paint on some of the pages.

With a glue stick, I attached cottons and shiny brocades.

Enough fun...I better get back to grading exams!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Small Scraps Into Smaller Scraps, 2

I glued down the circles on my textile sketchbook page.

It seemed a bit bland, maybe too "pretty"? Hard to put my finger on it.

So I added some free motion machine stitching, scribbling a bit, in dark green and maroon.

Ah, yes. Much better.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Purse Sketchbook, 4

Finishing up this page by adding orange to the red
and I decided to try adding some lines with a permanent marker.

One can get such intense and surprising color with fabric. Don't know if this works, but, it doesn't matter--Just for fun, no expectations...

Linked to "Quilt Matters TGIFF."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stitching the Sea

Being in the middle of correcting final exams, 
I'm back to stitching into the wee hours of the night.
I added a strip of the light blue and white sea fabric across the top, 
however, I gave it a black tea dip first...
and I'm really pleased with how the fabric went toward a silver-gray. 
Stormy seas ahead.

The curious kittens came along to get into the action. They just never hold still.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Purse Sketchbook, 3

Going back and adding watercolors to black and white sketches pleases me so much. Here the left page is by me and the goat sketch is by GD1 (first granddaughter).
I did the square zentangle at the Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Meeting (Knoxville, TN) in 2012--lots of wonderful memories from that visit. 

Zentangles usually bore me silly, however, I really like this page now that I've added color. Guess I'm just hooked on color. Thinking in terms of complements, double complements: red and green, orange and blue. Love that goat! Thank you, GD1.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Purse Sketchbook, 2

Starting with a piece of fabric glued into my purse sketchbook (8"x5 1/2" / 21x15cm)and adding rectangles.

Just gluing them down unevenly.

Hmmmm. I find the red over-powering. More playing required.
Or maybe I like the other direction.
Looking at the date on the door sketch, I realized this sketchbook has been a couple of years in the making. Where does the time go?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stitching hOles, 2

More invigilating (proctoring exams), so more holes...

Plus I added a few bean shapes. For once, the teaching has allowed me to move forward on my artwork. I hadn't touched this piece for quite awhile.
Now, I will put it away until the next time...although I have an idea for one corner that I want to try out...

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

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Small Scraps Into Smaller Scraps, 1

An exercise in existential absurdity: taking small scraps and cutting them into even smaller pieces. We probably perplex and baffle the world.

But what fun to make such a mess!

The circles are for a textile sketchbook page (11 1/2" x 8").

Remembering the Library Summer Caterpillar when I was a kid. We wrote in the name of a book we had read on a segment...anyone remember? 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stitching hOles, 1

Today I to me, that sounds like a dirty word, but if you know a bit of British English, you'll understand that I was proctoring exams. Once the students got to work, I pulled out a piece that I've worked on for a l-o-n-g time (over 10 years, I suppose) and stitched holes in reverse appliqué.

They make interesting studies by themselves.

Some are smooth, some are frayed.

I began making them all different.

Tomorrow I invigilate as well. More holes to come...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What a Mess!

Having finished the wing appliqué, I took a pause and started cutting into the retirement piece (long name: "He Went to Work Every Day, and Then He Retired") just for fun.
But what a mess! If you should wonder about my technique, none exists. Strictly figure-it-out-as-I-go. When faced with such tangles, I try not to panic and just start in a do-able corner, picking some part that looks easy. I decided to pin down the strips with safety pins temporarily so I'm not working with a porcupine. 

To complicate things, I'm trying to keep recognizable elements like collars, cuffs, seams, buttons, and pockets. This piece will be the BIG challenge for 2014. Nice way to start the year, all the same...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy, Happy

The action's over at MulticoloredPieces.

Looking at the wings from another direction...something growing.

Wishing you a happy, productive, and peaceful New Year.