I am experiencing a lot of computer issues and will be back as soon as I get them resolved. I apologize–I cannot respond to comments from my last posts. Thank you and I hope to be back in January. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays no matter which you celebrate, and remember–already the days are getting longer and the nights shorter in the northern hemisphere.
We have weather in the 60’s predicted with possible severe thunderstorms for this weekend. That is better than the ice which kept us in last week. May all of your celebrations bring you closer to family and friends and may all your travels be safe and uneventful. I am hoping for a healing nation and more kindness in the new year. We can never give up hope, and please don’t let anyone tell you differently. I am skipping the resolutions and working on goals for a happier, healthier and more creative me. Try to find one good thing in every day, especially the days that bring you hardship or worry. Send out your love and good wishes out to the universe. Even on days that get me down, I smile at everyone I meet. I recently read that even a fake smile is good for you. I can do that.
This made my day on Wednesday. A red-shouldered hawk took a break on my arbor and he finally turned his head on the fifth shot. Better to be lucky than good. Till next time–
CreativeSprint is a 30-day challenge group created by Noah Scalin and moderated on Facebook by his sister, Mica Scalin! Every day from October 1-30, we receive a daily prompt. Ideally, you sign up and receive an email. For some reason, I do not get the emails so I pick up the prompt from the Facebook group. Sometimes I don’t get the whole prompt but I try to make something any way. The idea is not to make a perfect, finished piece of art but to do something inspired by the prompt, even if it’s wrong. I use “wrong” loosely. After responding to the challenge, we then document and share what we did on Facebook and/or other social media with the #CreativeSprint tag. You’ll see below I have missed a couple of days, either because nothing came to mind or I was just too busy. If you want to sign up and play, go to the following link. I am usually a day behind because no one posts before 9-10:00a. I’m usually up at 3:30a and really busy by then. Here’s my responses for the first 15 days (more or less). (and it is “.co”)
Day 1. Make something that will fit in the palm of your hand. I used scraps from my work table to make Migration and then some other scraps to make Bump on a Log.
Day 2. Make something inspired by your name. I like to cartoon, so you’ll often see that as my medium because that’s how I see images. What can I say – I’m easily amused.
Day 3. Make something inspired by a nursery rhyme or children’s song. I thought of a jump rope rhyme, “Call for the doctor, call for the nurse, call for the lady with the …”
Day 4. Make something inspired by today’s weather. This was a whacky phrase my father-in-law often used.
Day 5. Camouflage something. Remember this hippo I was working on? It’s not that easy to hide a hippo. Last year, I also camouflaged myself.
Day 6. Deliver a message in a unique way.
Day 7. Make something that represents the town that you call home. I posted several photos representative of where I live now.
Day 8. Find a new use for something you would normally discard. I deconstructed a quilt I hated, added some other scraps – some trapunto bunnies, some free-motion practice pieces – and made an Ugly Snuggly (cage mat for local animal shelter).
Day 9. Share a secret or make something inspired by a secret. My secret is that I often wear a tiara when working in my studio.
Day 10. Start something; have someone else finish it. Have not done this yet.
Day 11. Make something intentionally messy. I don’t need to do this–it just happens as I work. I do this constant dance in my studio–I move everything off my quilting table so I can move my quilt around as I free-motion quilt. Then I move everything off of the cutting table so I can cut fabric or square up a quilt. Repeat.
Day 12. Make something in a box. I made an advertisement for my blog and put it in the box with Fortune Kitty.
Day 13. Recreate a famous painting–Scheidung Abends (Divorce in the Evening) by Paul Klee. Artist-dyed fabrics with paper arrows.
Day 14. Two things that aren’t typically found together. This is a video. My idea was that I should not be paired up with a camera.
Day 15. Make something inspired by an important teacher in your life. This I also have not finished.
To be continued, sometime around Halloween. Be afraid, be very afraid. Until then, here’s Jack in the Box. Try using some of these prompts yourself! It is amazing what people in this group come up with every day. Some in our group also involve their kids and/or other family members.
I have sewed binding to my two Christmas table runners and decided to try a new technique before I start quilting my last Christmas projects. Go to Kathy Loomis’ blog for full details.
I started with a 15×15-inch square of Kona black and used long strips from the table runners for the fine lines. Kathy suggests crosswise cuts, but these were lengthwise and worked just fine. She also presses the seams to one side, but I leave them open since they seem to want to go that way. Do what works for you! This is an easy four-step process: slash, sew strip to one side with 1/8-inch seam, sew the strip to the other side, press the intersections/seams. Repeat. I used the left side of my presser foot to sew the second seam 1/8-inch away from the first seam.
At one point, I slashed each half again, adding a short strip before adding a long strip to put it back together. I also used a really small seam allowance for one of these short strips. You will need to straighten the long edges if you do this.
Here is the back. As you can see those intersections don’t like to lie flat. Just hold them down firmly as you sew past them. I added a red line at the end, hence the name, Crossing the Red Line.
After trimming, the piece will measure approximately 12-3/4 x 13 inches. Let me know how it goes if you try this technique. I’ll get back to you on those Christmas projects.
P.S. I hope this doesn’t post twice. I originally wrote this early this morning but it disappeared from my drafts. My photos were available but no text beyond half a sentence. Ain’t technology grand?!!!!
I have sewn the binding to my two Christmas table runners and decided to try a new technique (piecing very fine lines) before working on my last Christmas project (another UFO). This is a technique by surface designer Kathy Loomis- go to her blog for the details.
I started with a 15-inch square of Kona black and 1/2-inch white strips–I had long lengthwise cuts left from the table runners. I don’t always follow directions because I just do what works for me but it really doesn’t matter because this is a can-hardly-go-wrong process with four steps. Cut the fabric, sew a strip to one side, sew the same strip to the other side, press. I pressed the seams open since they naturally wanted to do that instead of to one side.
I used the left edge of the presser foot to stitch approximately 1/8-inch away from the initial stitching line. After adding a second line, you will need to press the intersection seams and hold them down as you add new strips.
As you can see, those intersections don’t want to lie flat.
At one point, I made a slash, then added a short strip to each side in a different spot, then sewed a long strip between the two halves. You will have to trim the long sides before you put them back together if you do this. I also made one strip with a smaller seam allowance.
Adding a final red line. As you can see, the edges will need to be trimmed. My 15-inch square will trim up to approximately 12-3/4 x 13 inches.
So there’s my fun for the day. Try this out and add your own twist! Let me know how it goes. In the meantime, I’m digging out another Christmas UFO–some blocks I made as samples for a block of the month sampler quilt a few years ago.
Day 2: Use your name as inspiration.
Day 3: Use a nursery rhyme or children’s song for your art prompt today. I used a jump rope rhyme.
Call for the doctor, call for the nurse, call for the lady with the (alligator purse).
For the month of October, I have chosen to participate in a CreativeSprint by Noah and Mica Scalin. They give us a daily prompt, we throw something arty together. The idea is to forget about perfection and making a masterpiece and just be creative. Play with your food, with your leftovers; if you’re outside, play with the river, sticks and stones and leaves. Do something without judging. If you want to play, head on over and sign up. Then you can see what others do on the facebook page, their blogs or social media. I started one of these sprints a couple years ago and didn’t follow through. I’m following through this time because I need the censor who tells me that I’m not a artist and all those other degrading message to shut up. There is no contest here, just fun. And who knows, something cool may happen along the way.
Day 1: Make something that fits in the palm of your hand using materials readily available to you. Since I’m quilting, I had a little scrap of a quilt sandwich and the corners I cut off my Ugly Snugglies.
The corners reminded me of birds so I sewed them in a vee-formation to make “Migration,” a tiny art quilt.
Then I rolled up another scrap and sewed on a bump for “Bump on a Log.”
Can’t wait to see what the prompt is for Day 2. I’ll let you know!
I have renamed my blog to bycandyp (previously icandyet) because I do more than dye fabric and I want my name to reflect that. Otherwise, I will continue talking mostly about current quilt projects, art at Crystal Bridges, as well as photography from the trail and other places of interest. Stay with me as I make some changes here and there. It’s a process.
My machine is back from the shop, so I should be posting this weekend about my Christmas table runners. It’s Christmas in September (and October) but we’re finally having fall weather here in NWArkansas and Halloween is coming up! Be afraid (but not too afraid). I’m only slightly scary (cackle cackle).
Day 4 with my machine being in the shop. Yesterday I cut up a bunch of my free-motion quilting practice sandwiches into cage mats for the local animal shelter. Sometimes I make a large sandwich, either when I haven’t quilted for awhile and need a lot of practice or a design isn’t coming easily. Here is #52. When there’s enough room, I add a doodle when I sign the cage mats, which I call Ugly Snugglies. They’re ugly but they can give a little cushion to the bottom of the wire cages in the animal shelter. I was practicing a border design for my redwork quilt and writing for a cosmetic bag for a friend, the one with my free-motion wienie dog. The writing was too large so I left it off.
A couple years ago, I decided to practice meandering on a large sandwich because I just didn’t seem to be able to do this with ease. Now I can do it with ease but why would I? It looks like a mattress cover and there are so many other designs to try. It can still be useful for a utility quilt (something you’ll throw on the ground for a picnic) or a donation quilt when you need to finish something in a hurry for a good cause. After you master meandering, try making the design really small (usually referred to as stippling)–it can make a trapunto shape pop up quite well.
After cutting up some squares and rectangles, I rounded the corners and used one of my zigzag stitches around the edge. This stitch has a straight stitch to the left of the zigzag–makes a sturdy edging. Here are some designs I have practiced for quilts during the last three years.
Sometimes I also zigzag some small pieces together to make one mat.
Here I was trying all kinds of motifs for my self portrait.
The layered flower, wandering clover and leaf border/frame designs were all used in Waiting for Spring. I also practiced using a twin needle but my needle broke rather quickly so I gave it up.
I used all-over feathers for an entire quilt (String Theory 1).
Ideas for Christmas quilts.
More Christmas designs.
Lately I’ve been using unloved fabrics for the backing on my quilt sandwiches.
I ended up with 20 cage mats in various sizes so I’ll donate them next time I’m up that way.
It’s another nice day here and I have a fresh battery in my camera so I think I’ll hit the nature trail for awhile. I put on over 10,000 steps yesterday, which really surprised me. A lot more fun than 45-minutes on the treadmill. I hope you’re beginning to enjoy some fall weather where you are. Maybe I’ll have a message to pick up my machine when I get back! Hope so. Otherwise I’m going to have to start cleaning cupboards… I have a new polish a friend recommended. I’ll let you know how it works (unless I actually get back to my quilting)!
Day One: Machine acting up with 7-1/2 presents left on border of Christmas table runner #1 and both outside borders on #2. Start cleaning house; find out vacuum and floor steamer still work.
Day Two: Take machine to shop; finish cleaning house, including bathrooms. Clean deck window; search for suction cups; no luck.
Day Three: Find suction cups; hang bird sun catcher brought back from Colorado by daughter. Maketh me happy.
Think about doing some Itajime (folded/clamped resist shibori) with pre-reduced indigo. Nah.
Trim up my free-motion practice sandwiches; tomorrow I can zigzag the edges and then donate them as Ugly Snugglies (cage mats) for the local animal shelter. (Stay tuned for Day Four.) Go to DMV with daughter; stop by Bentonville Convention Center and photograph Bentonville Square, a prize-winning slice quilt made by the Van Go-Go Girls, appraised for $3000.00. FOR SALE.
Stop by grocery store for dinner. No word on machine yet. Stop by Birdsong Garden and Landscaping to get picture of blue gnome I’ve been watching from highway. Find more chainsaw art. These guys have personality and attitude. Proprietor is away getting new flowers. Will go back for ornamental cabbage and a look inside.
Stop by the gallery, drop off packing for shipping pottery; check to see if trail is open yet; it’s not. Take pictures of haunted house instead.
Decide to go for walk on trail with camera. Go up on mountain bike trail; safely maneuver steep climb up and down. Take a tumble when I step off to get the last trumpet vine–basically just sat down in gravel. The step was twice as deep as I anticipated. Rewarded by both herons.
Last of the Trumpet Vine
Maybe my machine will be ready tomorrow. If not, I’ll have to find something else to do. It’s finally cooler out so maybe it will be Tanyard Nature Trail for me.
I have finished my Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild of NWA. This was a challenge put out by Paula Mariedaughter, one of our members. I was in a panic last week thinking that it was due for our September meeting (next week), but it’s actually not due till October. Ah well, it’s finished. Go here to see what else this creative quilter is up to. She’s always putting a new spin on quilt design and makes the best labels.
I faced this quilt using Susan Brubaker Knapp’s tutorial. Check it out along with her other free tutorials.
The only thing I do differently is Step 4. I don’t like to pivot at corners, so I sew to the end, and then cross the seam at the corner. I also use these little clips instead of heavy pinning–you don’t want the facing to show on the front and this helps.
I had a little trouble with the quilting. After doing all the straight-line quilting in the center, I went to free-motion quilt the lily fabric and ripped out this lily twice. Then I quilted this spot with regular stitching, which required a lot of pivoting, cleaned and oiled the machine AGAIN, changed the needle AGAIN, and free-motioned the remainder with no problem. Gremlins, I’m tellin’ ya.
I also finished my placemats. See my previous post for the Round Placemat Tutorial. And why does spell check always want “placemat” to be two words? Not doin’ it.
Well, it’s back to my studio. I am putting everything away so I can get back to finishing up the rest of my Christmas UFOs. And here is one of my favorite Paula Mariedaughter quilts from a local Q.U.I.L.T. Guild of NWA show in 2013–those wonky flowers and the colors just make me happy. Till next time, do what makes you happy for at least part of the day!