Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playing with new techniques and toys

I haven't spent as much time in the studio as I'd like, but I have been having fun trying out some new techniques and materials.

A couple of weeks ago I got some Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. These things are so cool. You can sketch dry for a colored pencil look, brush with water after drawing to soften and intensify the lines or start with a wet surface for a real watercolor look. This weekend I took a thread sketch (last post) and colored it in with the pencils, wetting the fabric first. I love the effect. I still have a few finishing touches to put on, some tiny seashells, I think (if I can find them) then decide how to bind or finish it.

Another piece I am working on is fused applique, with detailing quilted in. I cut out the fused pieces like a puzzle, so I wouldn't have too thick a layer to quilt through, so for the most part it is quilting pretty well. I did some very small background quilting for the sky, which doesn't really show in the photo. Still a bit more to do here, but I'm pleased with the progress.

I've done all the thread sketching and quilting on both of these on my Singer 15-30 treadle. It's my favorite for free-motion quilting.

On the traditional side, I'm still working on the red and black quilt from the Treadle On Boat Shuttle Exchange. I got the binding on a couple of weeks ago (with help from Rascal, previous post) and while hand-sewing it, decided I really wasn't happy with the tan quilting on the black borders. So now I'm picking out the borders. I'm beginning to think this quilt will never be finished.

Lots of other stuff going on, of course. Our guild, Staying in Stitches, is holding its first quilt show this fall. As part of the publicity committee, I've set up a blog (on my list of blogs) to post details of the show as they are worked out, and I'll be sending notices to all the quilting magazines.

And for the next week or two I'll be on hiatus from quilting. I'm making new table covers and window treatments for our restaurant. They are the final step in redecorating the dining room, so getting them done is top priority.