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Cancelations? Get Creative.

Here in Ohio, the coronavirus has caused a multitude of event cancellations, and the list seems to grow by the hour.  I’m not going to get on a political soapbox about the response to the virus, other than to suggest that if you suddenly have some spare time due to event, school or work closure, take the opportunity to learn something new.

Turn off the TV, turn off the news, get off the internet for a little while, (after you finish reading this post, of course!) get out your needle and thread, or pencil and sketchbook, or any tools or supplies that you’ve had sitting and make something!  If you’re like me, you might have a stack or two of craft books that are begging to be read.  Pick out a book, open it and start a project from one of those books.  Think about the creative skills that you have mastered, and take some time to teach it to someone else.  Making something or expressing yourself creatively is a great escape from the troubles of the world.  With, that I am off to escape from my laptop and get lost in some stitching.

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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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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.



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The Last of ICAD 2018

I finished it!  Almost a year and a half late, but my quest of the index-card-a-day challenge from 2018 is at an end.  Week 8 (prompts: radio, mint, postage, cassette tape, tide pool, circuit or network, typewriter):

Week 9 (prompts: twister, favorite color, staple, wish, telescope):

These little daily challenges are great exercises in many ways.  They also prove the theory that you have to make a lot of stuff to get decent at art, and a fair amount of what you make isn’t good.  So, is bad art still art?  It exists, but should it?  Many of my cards are terrible.  There are a few gems, and some that I could have done better, but I won’t re-do those.  I am keeping all of my ICAD efforts, and over the winter I will make fabric boxes to hold each year’s cards.

I am going to forge ahead and finish the cards for the first year I tried the challenge, 2017, but I won’t post my efforts as frequently.  I don’t think that I will stick to the one-a-day pace that I set for finishing 2018 (not to mention that I should have done one card a day when the challenge was current).   On Thursday, some thoughts on my fabric collage boxes.