Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sewing ADD?

I hate cold feet! What does this have to do with sewing? Last year I made sets of heatable corn bags for everyone in the family for Christmas. They're just like the rice bags except I fill them with feed corn from the farm supply store. I made a couple of sizes, a longer, narrower one that could drape around a neck, and a medium sized wide one perfect for warming the feet. The last couple of evenings have been pleasant, except that my feet got cold, and I cannot sleep with cold feet. So last night I pulled out one of the warmer bags, heated it in the microwave two minutes and tucked it at the bottom of my bed. Instant comfort and I was asleep in no time.

center of large stars for SITP
I had a very productive evening in the studio last night. I've been thinking about improvements and last night pulled out a swing-arm lamp with magnifier that I'd planned to use on my workbench. I set it up next to the machine I use all the time for piecing. Great!

I finally pulled out my Shakespeare in the Park (from Judy Martin's Creative Pattern Book) and figured out what I have and what I need to do to finish it. I'm doing it in scrappy blue, purple and pink, with a single cream background throughout.

This is such a gorgeous pattern, and I love the sense of motion. But it's not the easiest to put together, so I'm afraid I have some flying geese with their points cut off. But once it's put together, I don't think that will be noticeable. And, quite honestly, if I tried to go back and remake all those units, this quilt would never get done. Even if I had enough of the background fabric to redo it, which I don't.

So, I have all the Snail's Trail blocks done, and all the small star blocks, so just need 16 large star blocks (and all the assorted setting pieces).  Eight of the blocks are cream stars on dark, and I got five of the centers of those blocks done last night, with components for the rest of the eight centers ready to go. My new goal is to finish the eight light on dark blocks this weekend, then next weekend move on to the dark on light.

I played some, too (that's why it's sewing ADD), trying out some echo quilting and fills. A while back I wrote about seeing "hyper-quilting" on Patsy Thompson's site. While I was demonstrating at the quilt show, I did some simple free-motion in light thread on dark fabric. It came out pretty, so I decided to play with it. I cut off a small section and echo quilted the light with a bright pink. Then I came back and echoed again with spring green and did a filler stitch between the flowers, feathers, etc. Then, as a finishing touch, I brushed just a bit of color in with my new Shiva paint sticks. I think it's kind of gorgeous! Now I wish I hadn't cut the piece off, I could have done the whole piece this way and had something pretty impressive.

original quilting on back, with echo quilting and paint, front

Finally, I'm working on a little hand applique. In one of the magazines I picked up, they explained an applique technique where you baste the pieces on, using small stitches and heavy thread, then cut the stitches out and fold under along the stitching line. I wanted to see if I liked this technique better than the folding/gluing/pressing/paper template I've tried before – and I do! I'm getting much smoother curves and sharper points. I'll post more on this later.

Looking forward to a beautiful weekend. We need to get outside and do some work on the house (the joys of having a 100-year-old house) and I need to work on some of my organizing/decluttering projects, but I'm mostly looking forward to getting back into the studio.

So, time to get busy. More later!


Cheri said...

That is some lovely thread painting. Put it in something...pillow top or something.

Joan said...

Love what you have quilted ... I have never heard of Shiva Paint sticks....can you let ke know what they are?? Ta

Vicki said...

It's an oil paint stick that looks like a fat crayon. There are a bunch of solid colors and a smaller number of iridescent colors, which are what I am using. You can use them with stencils or brushes to add color/shine to your work and they are permanent after they've dried and are heat set. They are crazy expensive, so they've been on my wish list a while!