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UFO Showcase, Part Two

Sometimes, I pull out an old half-finished project and wonder, what WAS I thinking?  These two squares put the crazy in crazy quilt:

They were the result of piecing demos that I did while teaching a crazy quilt class a couple of years ago.  Obviously, I was grabbing random pieces of fabric during the demo and not paying attention to color, pattern, and the fact that they would need to be heavily stitched and embellished.  I’m not sure if I should even try to finish them, especially considering the amount of projects that I have already underway.  Part of me wants to see how much worse I can make them!  These two squares remind me of a couple of quotes from the BBC series Top Gear, “ostentatious and ghastly,” and “ambitious, but rubbish.”

Finally, what in the world will these bits become?

Chunks of wet felted wool, and funky yarns that will be transformed into more of an ongoing series.  One of the finished pieces in this mystery series has already earned me an award at a regional quilt show.  More on that next time.


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UFO Showcase, Part One

UFO as in Un-Finished Object.  As the year draws to a close, it is time to get pensive and reflective.  As I walk around the house, I’m not coming up with any art quilts that I finished this year, so rather than mope about what I didn’t get done, I’d rather look at what I want to finish.  Maybe by putting these UFOs here, I will be more motivated to finish them.  Today, here are three things I want to finish soon.

This is the first of two sample pieces that I started in the same color blend to show off what can be done with the dyed vintage doilies, napkins and fancy pieces that I sell.  These are both at the midway point where I start doubting the whole project, which is why I have set them aside for far too long.

The second sample, companion to the one above:

The last one for today, another sample of making use of a slightly damaged vintage tea towel:

This one is also stuck in that midway phase.  What I really need to do is just sit down, stick another bit of something on it, and stitch.  I need to stop thinking so much on these, and just stitch, stitch, stitch.  Check back on Thursday for three more UFOs.


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Rethinking Old Projects

Take a look at these three small wall hangings. 

What do you think?  Does one “speak” to you more than the other two?

These are not my latest creations, I made them in 2014 when I set out to complete all twelve of the design exploration workshops in A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas (Landauer, 2011).  You can definitely see how I was influenced by the collages of Kurt Schwitters.

The one at top left has been hanging in my sewing room, the other two have been in a suitcase, bumping along to the quilt shows, hoping to find new homes.  I dug them out today while looking for something else, and I am thinking of adding more hand stitching to the two that have been packed away.  I have since learned many more embroidery stitches, and looking at these early pieces, I think I could improve them a bit.  I don’t want to spend much more time on them, and I definitely do not want to make a habit of re-doing older pieces, but I really like this group, and I want to give myself a week to see what I can do with them.  In the very near future, I am going to start over with the workshops from the book.  I want to get through all twelve lessons in 2020.

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Two Little Trading Cards

A day late, because I’d rather be stitching than typing!  The two artist trading cards that I talked about last week are mostly finished.  Here is a view of them after trimming the excess fabric, and with one piece of embellishing trim added:

Now, here they are after about fifteen minutes of machine and hand sewing:

All that I added to each card was one piece hand dyed lace trim, three pieces funky yarn and a glass ice cream cone bead.  That was it, and they end up looking wonderfully complex and multi-layered.  The last step that I need to do is add a piece of muslin to the back and zigzag stitch around the edges.  I also usually add a loop of ribbon to hang them.  Quick, easy, and beautiful!

I am still struggling with getting my online store up and running, meanwhile I have listed some of my crazy quilt top fabric boxes to Ebay, check out my listings here.


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Very Small Pieces

Another very quick post for today.  I have been playing with little shreds of fabric.  Now, I am not one who feels compelled to make use of every little scrap, but I have been setting aside the trimmings that result from my box making process.  Once I trim each side, I end up with a substantial pile of fabric bits, a prime example of which you can see on the left side, below.

A few days ago, I embarked on a quest to use some of these little scraps.  I’m starting by making some artist trading cards by fusing the scraps to fusible interfacing (center and right, above).  Next, I will machine quilt the cards to secure the pieces.  I have not yet thought about embellishing, other than that hand stitching is out of the question.  Amazingly, the overlap of the little pieces has made the cards too thick to easily hand stitch.  That actually doesn’t bother me, as these cards are supposed to be finished quickly.  Over the weekend, I will work on ways to machine embellish.  My sewing machines need more exercise anyway.  Check back on Tuesday to see the finished cards.