Friday, 7 April 2017

Trauma and quilting

It has been a VERY tough few weeks in our family. Our darling Mum, 97 on the 12 April, finally got a placement on a Long Term Care Home. She is really NOT amused but she's strong, stoical and sensible enough to understand the necessity for the move. It is a lovely place and she has a bright room with her bed beside the window onto the patio. Mum LOVES a "sunshine day" so she has a front row seat now. Sadly, she no sooner got ensconced than Norwalk Virus attacked so things are pretty tense. Mum seemed to be getting the bug but, thank God, now seems to be beating it! Anyway, in light of all of this, I have NOT worked on Bug Lunch for quite a while.
This is pretty much the whole piece. You can see which panel is done- as of an hour ago!!!

I am VERY pleased to announce that I have now finished quilting one of the four main panels and am fairly pleased. I know now some things I would do differently another time but there will not BE another time with this one. So here are a few detail shots for the nice "Detail People" who kindly follow my ramblings.

I'll start on the panel to the right of this one next and then finally, do the far right, far left and the little background triangle at the bottom left. It is fun to be quilting again but I am VERY rusty! This piece may not see the light of day!! We'll see.

My garden begins to call to me too. Our weather has picked up a bit recently. Snowdrops, crocus and Reticulata iris are all done . Daffs are following right on with a few hyacinths. I have LOTS of helleborus in full bloom. I need to remove  the old , dead leaves so we can see the flowers!
Crocus Tommasinianus- all done now but soo pretty and delicate

Helleborus Orientalis- tasty to some bug apparently

Iris Reticulata- also finished for this year

I hope YOU are all well and enjoying the onset of spring. I am starting to . I have to get a routine going- working, gardening and , of course, visiting Mum! God bless one and all. Take care!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Pieced and ready to layer.

The photo I worked from is on the left, the untrimmed piece in the middle and my freezer paper cartoons on the right.
It has been a rocky few weeks here recently. I have had a LOT of extra responsibility with my Mum  so work on this little quilt has been sporadic at best. However... I have FINISHED the piecing!!! Yay!  I have cleared the BIG mess away and now have to make small messes ;-) That's VERY easy for me to do!!

It is brutally cold here right now and no snow to cushion the blow. I feel very very sorry for the poor little snowdrops. They are all in bloom and every morning when I check them, the little blooms are lying right down, heads on the frozen earth! Nature's protections are amazing. Just the simple act of removing a lot of the water from the stem when it is really cold protects the little cells from bursting in the low temperatures. Once the sun warms them up , they stand up tall again. Maybe when the sun warms ME up again, I'll perk up!!

Today, once the daily "chores" are done, I have to layer this little quilt and get it ready for the sewing machine! I have not used my machine for so long that I will be pretty rusty so I'll make up a "junk sandwich" and play quilts on that to loosen me up. BTW! That silly hand is doing well but still stiff and swell-y . IT does alright at Zentangles though. I use those as an exercise to regain control and just for hand exercise. I highly recommend it! VERY Zen and very good training for precision.

So , here is the process for those of you who like the process! The piece IS complete to all intents and purposes. I MAY add bits as I go along but here it is - done- ish! Here are some of the many many little layers that make up this quilt top.
Look at the little topographic piles of fabric! Wish me luck pinning and quilting this! I do NOT deserve sympathy.
Now I trim most of the really extraneous junk...

And begin the layering process. Step one iron the backing fabric, cut it to size and tape it down - wrong side up!-VERY snugly!
Backing , upside down, taped tightly.

Then measure cut and press the batting. Place it carefully on top of the backing.
Batting laid over the taped backing

And then, add the quilt top and square it up in preparation for pinning the layers.
The quilt top placed squarely on top of backing and batting

The pinning begins in the centre and works out to the edges. This was a BEASTLY job because of the thickness of so many little layers but I DID get it fastened together.
You can see the little PILES of fabric I am pinning through and, eventually QUILTING through! Thumpity thump thump!

Then the pins have to be closed- OUCH!! My fingers are sore tonight despite the assistance of my Kwik Klip.
The pins are all in - now to close them

Now that the pins are all in and closed up, I'll hang the piece for a while to be sure no pins need moving.
All done and I treated myself to a nice hot cuppa, and a sit down with the heating pad at my back (DH likes the house cold like a meat locker!!! Summer AND winter!)
It looks pretty smooth but I will not start quilting till I am sure. This has been a long ordeal! I find myself working painfully slowly. Drives me NUTS!! Maybe it is time to cease and desist and take up some other form of madness??? On that cheery note, I am off to start today's Zentangle! Tirra!!

PS, on a silly note- this piece is tentatively called "Bug Lunch" because that is what it was . Fresh Peony Leaf Salad for some chewing beasty or another!

And now, since it IS Wednesday and since I actually HAVE a post written I will send this to the

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Moving along- but EVER so slowly!!!

Progress IS being made! I can only work for a brief time  because this silly old hand still tires easily. I AM getting there though. I have gotten all of the basic background done. There will be LOTS of tweaking , touch ups and refining to do but I'm getting there. I am REALLY not used to working so slowly. It SHOULD be teaching me patience- but, 't'ain't! So I do lots of "tangling" to get myself headed in a positive direction and unwound!!!
This is the basic, all cotton - now for the FUNNN!

Looking at the basic layers, I decided to try some tulle layers on the first two panels- far left and the one next to it. There is a lot of subtlety on those two parts and I want some softer colour changes ( why don't I just PAINT the darned thing?? ) I am a stubborn old thing and want it in fabric, not paint!! That's why!

So , now I have the basic softening started. I have experimented with the tulle. The freezer paper does not really adhere to the nylon tulle but the Misty Fuse does really well. I may not do the freezer paper next time . It seems to leave some waxy residue where it does manage to stick. Soo-- Lots of pins from here on in. Also, I experimented with sticking the tulle onto the cotton and then fusing more cotton bits on top of the tulle! NO PROBLEM at all, if that bon mot helps anyone out there.

The first of the tulle layers. May or may not do more- except in little places. Stay tuned!

The green bits are background there you could see through the Peony leaf. I hope you can see the beginnings of the more subtle colour changes here?

I am actually getting down to some smaller patches and I should make up a bunch of bug holes. It will look totally different with the bug holes in place.

And, to finish off today,  couple of Zentangles! I have started trying to add "gemstones" to a few of them.The one with the blue stones was "Explored" today, for the Flickrites among you. They are REALLY fun to do- VERY addictive, very relaxing, very ZEN!!

BTW, this looks a bit grainy here where I used coloured pencil but NOW, I have availed myself of a blending pencil and the difference it startling! If you use pencil crayon and have never tried a blender, try it! You'll LIKE it!

As it is Wednesday today and, as this IS, DEFINITELY a W.I.P.... I will send this off to the There is always something exciting going on over there. Have a look. Post some of YOUR work!

Monday, 6 February 2017

A slight diversion!!

Needing a little break from a LOT of cutting, I turned to my beloved ( and very useful) Zentangles! I am finding that as I strengthen my hand, I am losing some fine control so I am going to lay off the rubber ball squeezing for a bit and see what happens.
I like the openness of these two and the "jewels" came out not badly

The second picture I did was in a different sketchbook with coarser, toothier paper so the "gem" looks kinda "woolly"!!!I REALLY need a blending pencil if I want to get the right look. See what the weather is tomorrow. Sounds pretty bad but if it is OK....
REALLY like this but the rough paper gave me woolly "gems" :-(

I also spent a LOT of time shooting photos of CHEESE for Macro Mondays!!! The prompt for this week was "Say Cheese" but we could not use people- just cheese! Here are a couple of examples. It was a fun week.
Holey Emmentaler , Batman!

Parmesan curls

Jalapeño cheese twist with sesame seeds

Tomorrow, I'll post the progress on the Peony leaf Macro. It is coming along - slowly. There is a lot of detail in that piece and I DO want it all in there. I want a crunchy, gnarly look to it when it is done. Lotsa texture!  Anyway, tomorrow is another day. Enjoy your evening and , maybe see you tomorrow!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Moving along slowly

Had therapy again this AM. I am doing well and working on breaking down the scar tissue as well as strengthening the hand- and , of course, keeping the tendons working smoothly without locking! So far, so good! Yay! Sarah!! I am not going back now for two weeks! This is soo great compared to the first round!

Anyway, SLOW progress IS being made on the Peony Macro. I am working on the silk overlays with varying rates of success. I have done a LOT of scissor cutting today so am taking the rest of the day off. Here it is so far. Not sure about the red overlay- the big one! I'll have to have a good stare at it and decide if I like it.

Still so much background work to do before I settle down to working on the bug holes. I'll try to repost the original picture to see and to show you how it is progressing.The big white splodges are HOLES and there WILL be colour behind them eventually. The white is just the "Southern Belle" base I am working on. It gets totally covered up in the end.
I must recheck the original photo as the hard line near the bottom of the red bugs me and I ALMOST feel the colour is too intense. More of the background colour on there will change the look a lot so I shall be patient ( it says here in the Book!) Time is a wonderful thing. It clears the mind. Mine REALLY requires clearing !!

See! I still think the colour is too intense and that lower edge of the red is too harsh. Stay tuned! All is NOT lost. I am nothing if not persistent!

OK, 'nuff for today. Hope everyone has had a good, productive and creative day. Cheerio for now!

Afterthought: I removed that deep red, hard edged piece late last night! New day today. Fingers recovered. Determination "screwed to the sticking point"- and today, I'll redo that bit! Stay "tooned"!!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Two days running?? Almost!

Well, the "bug" has well and truly bitten me! I am chugging right along with this little Peony Leaf piece and , so far, so good!

I forgot to post some of the fabrics I auditioned and chose to use...

I am working on trying to keep the golden yellow of the leaf with an overlay in spots of a translucent rose, pink, and/or violet. So far, pretty pleased with this. I used bits of hand dyed pure silk organza (and chiffon still to be used) fused in place with Misty Fuse. The Misty Fuse is magic- very adhesive but also quite transparent so, in this case, my golden leaf shows through! Yay, Misty Fuse!!

The deeper purply brown here is not transparent. It is a cotton hand dye. It will get some heavy stitching of veins eventually! I think the next place to go is to the left hand panel to do the broad sweeping colours and then, back to the bug holes! All in good time! I'll have the "big picture" and then I can go for the remaining nitty gritty details! This is going to be FUNNN to stitch!

Am I having fun yet?? You betcha! Sadly, I have a headache today so may not push too much harder for the moment. Don't like headaches!!!

We awoke to a glorious sunrise today, not spectacular but soo pretty! I HAD to shoot a couple of pictures.

Not a spectacular photo but it DID catch the glow of the SUNSHINE :-D for the first time in ages. Sorry it's crooked! I was hurrying before the light changed.

The orange stripe is the sun on the Niagara Escarpment running just north of our back garden. In summertime, as many of you already know, we don't see the Escarpment from the back windows as the trees in the foreground act like a green screen! What you see here is about thirty feet below the upper part of our back garden.
It has been a good day and continues to be , despite a sore head! That will pass. I hope you are ALL well and happy, busily engaged in creative undertakings. Enjoy!! Groundhog Day tomorrow- also Imbolc ( for the Celts among us) and St Brigid's Day for the Irish among us! Happy Groundhog day. Hope we get our wish! ( Secretly, I am pretty ready for SPRING, despite the lack of decent winter so far!)

Sunday, 29 January 2017


Here's the Macro I will use to work from. SUCH pretty colours!

I had forgotten how much STUFF I needed around me to make an arty quilt!! I have been up and down the stairs so many times this AM to get STUFF that I have just had a major LOW BG and have had to stop and get a banana and peanut butter to get me back on track.
....And THIS is only the start!
Here's the pattern enlarged by my Printer ( a person, not a machine!) The paper pattern is on the light box and freezer paper is on top , waiting for me to trace the paper pattern onto it. The line of masking tape is there because the FP is only 18" wide and this piece is about 20" x22".

Just a closer look at the original photo and the pattern. LOVE my light table!!! Love the Guy who made it for me too!!

I'm going to try to work on an abstract of an autumn peony leaf. It has FABULOUS colours- pinks, yellows, purples and CHARTREUSE - to name a few! It has bug holes where critters have gnawed through the leaf and the holes have now developed little concentric circles of varying colours and textures. As you can see in the original photo, it is VERY close macro so that all you see is the colours, textures and patterns. Hope it works out!!

And here is where the macro came from- shot in VERY tightly on the holey bits!

These were 2015 photos. This year's Peony leaves just went brown and horrid! Not enough water over summer:-(

I love my peonies. This one is a very deep red. I don't let a lot of red into my garden but I DO love this peony ( which shall apparently remain nameless)

The diningroom table is a MESS again now! Yesterday, it was a Photo Studio. Today... Fibre Arts. Sarah, my very nice therapist has given me the Go Ahead to start working again as long as I PACE MYSELF and don't stick at it until I have cramps in my hand!( I DO do that!)

LOOK at the colour! SOO gorgeous!

I could almost use each one and do a little abstract series! ONE AT A TIME though, just now!!

LOVE the purples and chartreuse!

I really like the softness of this one. The colours are yummy!!

Well, this is it! I am off to finish up the tracing, clear up that clutter and then start auditioning fabrics. I did that earlier ( like over a YEAR earlier- then I got stopped by my injury! Anyway, back in the saddle at last- for very short, gentle rides!

I cannot get this to go back to the regular look so I am finishing off today on a "caption " . Sorry about that! I should have done all of the text at once and THEN inserted photos! I am rusty on Blogging as it has been a L  O  N  GGG time since I was in the habit! Anyway, nice to be back. Hope you enjoy it!

Well, still 'no go' as far as getting this back into the regular text part of this post but, as I FINALLY have some Fibre Art work to show you, I will post this to the Hope you'll all check out the interesting posts there and watch for slow progress on my project- the first in most of a year! It feels GOOD to be back!!