more fabric bits

Welcome to 2016!

Or as I like to say – better late than never! I’ve been suffering with what I thought was the flu, which developed into bronchitis, and seems to be acting like a cold now. Whatever it is – I’m fed up with it. I have very little energy and a periodic cough that has people treating me like I have the plague. For the most part I have been staying home, resting, drinking fluids and all that jazz. Even though I know this sort of thing has to run it’s course, I wish it would pick up the pace.

When I do have any energy, I have been doing some busy work in the studio. I’m sewing little elements that will go together to create something larger. I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but I hope to have lots of “bits” to work with. We’ll see. I was curious as to exactly how many little elements I’ve been working on, so I did a count the other day. I have just over 1,000. Now I understand why it feels like this is a never ending project.

making bits

more bits

fabric bits

basket of bits

finished bits

As you can see in the last picture of “finished” bits, there are numerous rows of stitching on each bit. I have a couple of ideas about how I’m going to use these, but time will tell what will work best. I’ll let you know.

I’m also taking an online course called Creative Strength Training with Jane Dunnewold. We’re on week 3 and it’s been very interesting so far. Lots of things to think about when I have the energy to focus. I’m sure my art practice will be enhanced by this work. Better get back to work before I need a nap.

What happened to October?

I swear it was only a few minutes ago that I posted – could it really have been Oct. 3? My my my. What a busy blogger I’ve been, just not blogging. Sorry but you all know how that works!

I am stealing a few minutes in the airport to get this post done. I’m off to Art Quilt Tahoe for what promises to be a fantastic course with Jane Dunnewold. The class is called “Improvisational Design for Digital Printing”. If that doesn’t sound fabulous, I don’t know what does! In case you don’t believe me, I’ll post about the workshop and conference at the end of the week – promise.

Here are a few shots to show you what I’ve been up to, in case you don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook. If you already do, I apologize for the repetition.Kush in a basket shields for DFG printed tea towel printed items Kush watching me in the studioDrat – wanted to put some explanations in for the photos, but I’m out of time. Apparently my flight won’t wait for me! So welcome back and thanks for sticking with me.

tour day

Surface Design Association Conference, San Antonio, Texas. Wow! The first official day of the conference saw me up and at an Area Representatives’ Meeting first thing in the morning. I was standing in for our local rep, Karin, and it was interesting to hear about things going on in the rest of the SDA world. Then everyone gathered to board buses and start our gallery tour day. An outstanding array of art was displayed around the city, and it was somewhat overwhelming. I’m including a variety of photos from the first 2 venues that we visited. My next post will  continue the tour.

Elise Deringer and Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen – Looking Through: New work from Elise Deringer and Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen.

Elise Deringer

work by Elise DeringerElise Deringer

Kelsey Viola Wikirchen
work by Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen
Kelsey Viola Wikirchen

work by Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen

Earth Friendly Alchemy: Explorations in Natural Dyeing. This group show contained some beautiful work, though the various dyeing techniques were lost on me. I’m not ready to start dyeing yet so I’m satisfied to enjoy the efforts of others without understanding exactly how the results were accomplished. Pieces not credited are due to an oversight in my photographic record keeping.

Earth Friendly Alchemy

Ana Lisa Hedstrom

work by Ana Lisa Hedstrom

Bhakti Ziek

“Rain” by Bhakti Ziek

Lisa Grey

work by Lisa Grey

Catharine Ellis

work by Catharine Ellis

Jay Rich

work by Jay Rich

Sara Goodman

“Squam Ridge Line” by Sara Goodman

Earth Friendly Alchemy Earth Friendly Alchemyunknown artist detail

Valerie d Walker

“Hotaru/fireflies” by Valerie d. Walker

I’m afraid I wasn’t organized enough in keeping track of artist names and titles. I’ve tried to include artist info as often as possible, but it was difficult keeping track of all that we were exposed to. If you can add to the credits, please send me a comment and I’ll update the post.

look – a different place to pin

I am slightly obsessed with Pinterest, but I’ve created another place to pin. I’ve made a couple of pin cushions. This may seem like a random thing to do, but I have a good reason. I’m going attend the upcoming Surface Design Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas. One of the optional member activities involves making and donating a pincushion for sale. This was the description in the brochure:

“Plethora of Pincushions. Our first-ever pincushion sale to benefit SDA. We’re asking you to donate wild, wacky, wonderful handmade or vintage pincushions to offer for sale in the SDA Bookstore. Compete for the soon-to-be-coveted Pincushion Prize—a $100 gift certificate accepted at any SDA vendor.”

Sounded like a project I could tackle. I looked online for some design ideas and formulated a plan. I found an interesting shape to work with and cut some scrap fabric to test the pattern. I liked the result. Then I decided to create an interesting fabric for my pincushion. I chose to use wool and I wanted to alter it with my embellishing machine. What’s that? Oh, a little something I bought a year or two ago, and this seemed the perfect excuse to take it out of the box. I did that, and I started to play. I used beautiful houndstooth wool pant legs and scraps of lovely hand dyed wool fabric. I put them together to create a unique fabric. After a bit of trial and error, I made my first pincushion. It’s less than perfect, but totally satisfactory as a prototype.

another view of 1 first pincushionSince this was really just a test model, I quickly made a second one. I learned a few things on the first one – this one went together more easily and I’m delighted with the result.

red and orange pincushion top view red and orange 2I almost forgot to tell you about the filling for the pincushion. Research revealed that crushed walnut shells are recommended  for filling. These are available  in small bags at sewing shops, or in larger bags at pet stores. Guess which one I picked?

walnut cat litterKush was delighted with my choice. When I get tired of making pincushions, she might even get to try this litter.