Posts Tagged ‘lines’

Sandlace – First Samples

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

sandlace sample 1

Well, although I could go on for a long time in PSE, drawing lines on photos of sand ripples to explore the idea of holes making a lace pattern based on the brights and darks, once I began to think of it as ‘sandlace’,  it seemed time to pick up needle and thread and start working with the idea !!

My first sample, the grey and cream in the upper right corner, below, was of the cream, bonded on one side, holes cut out and the edge shaped, then ironed on to the grey background.  Although I did a little stitching, and I liked it, it also seemed too flat, too ‘neat and careful’, I felt.

sandlace 5_samples

The grey and brown on the left is also heat bonded, and really, the small cut-outs feel too small to do much about – so I am just leaving that as is.  Which is what making samples is all about – its certainly not about finishing anything off, unless you specially want to, of course.

The third sample I did was cream, sewn to grey and then cut out after the orange stitches, which worked well – can you tell I’m keen on the florescent thread?  And, the dark grey stitching is actually attaching the whole thing to one of those painted stretched canvases I have around, its 20cm sq. – and I have several 30cm sq, so I will mount them as I do them, because that worked well, too.  On larger pieces there will be room for several French knots or other textural stitches if I want them.




Patterns Of Holes – Current Exploration

Monday, October 28th, 2013

These couple of beach photos show why I find patterns on the sand inspiring – although I have only just connected them to my current ‘holes’ focus.  They are of sand ripples and drainage lines of course; but to each photo I have added some sketch lines to highlight the potential of such patterns as ‘holes’, which to me mean ‘lace’ of a freeform kind.

In this first one,  I sketched in some lines to show how I see irregularly edged fabric with cut holes, and stitch on patterns suggested by the drainage lines, and knotty things of some kind like the little lumpy bits on the sand.

sand lace 2 web


And in the second, I have quickly sketched around shapes to show you why I am thinking ‘free form lace ‘ of a kind.

sand lace 3 web

And, if I made some holes with a crochet hook or knitting needles,  both those would provide additional textures …hmm, possibilities.

I’ve already hacked various sized and shaped holes into a variety of fabrics this morning, and now they and some of the cutout bits (these in a mesh bag) are all  swirling around in the long wash cycle.  After a spell in the dryer I hope some interestingly frayed and inspiring pieces of fabric will take me to another step in what I have in mind.



New Work, Featuring Green

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

mostly about green web


With working title  ‘Mostly about Green’,  this is a detail of a work in progress, showing  the wonderful black chintz background before and after quilting.   The quilting along the edges of the strip inserts is very bright green, fluorescent.   Green is my absolute  favourite colour, just in case the red one I posted a week or two back  fooled you  ;-p    This one belongs to my Ebb & Flow series, certainly, and although both are about colour, I think the ‘Mostly About Red’ one one belongs to the Tracks series.   If you read both series statements you might agree or not, and feel free to comment – but it’s my say !

May I Have A Pattern for this Quilt, Please?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Window Onto Bougainville Street

Window Onto Bougainville Street,  1992,   132cm x 102cm

Last week I had an email from a quilter, Jan in Australia, who apparently loves this quilt she saw in magazine article, and asked if there’s a pattern available.  I am always happy to help others who want to try working how I do – which is essentially what a request for a pattern is about, even though all my ‘patterns’ are essentially make-it-up-as-you-go-along.  Seriously.  But I replied, and this post is based on what I sent back to her.

I told her I didn’t mean to sound difficult when I said there is and there isn’t a pattern to this quilt.   When I made it, 20+ years ago, I used this kind of design several times, working from a pencil diagram on a blank page, which is pretty much all the pattern I need and use.   I added a few notes or lists of colours or ideas for further exploration, then started cutting.   To me a line is a seam, and if I see some wonderful lines and shapes I can adapt for a patchwork pattern, I draw a simple diagram.   So looking at that quilt, you can see it’s just a divided square, and then each segment has a strip added on one side before putting all the segments together.  Other quilts made with this method include several in my  “Colour Memories”  gallery .  For this one, it was the first of a series I designed this way, and I think I cut a square from cardboard and marked dots along the edge so every square would have exactly the same angles – these days I’d do it totally freehand, and it would look different but the same – certainly much more ‘modern’ and ‘arty’  – and now that I think of it, after 20 years,  I might just use this idea again in a different way.  Keep an eye on this blog!

Using a blank worksheet from my ‘Hot Quilts From Cold Scraps” workshop handouts, I diagrammed out the following directions:

window onto bougainville street blog

To make this quilt from this block design, you’d start with a fabric piece larger than you want to finish up with  (I think “Window Onto Bougainville Street” squares are 9″ maybe 10″)  and then when all the piecing’s done, trim each block to size.  Yes, of course there’ll be some bits left over – scraps – and I suggest several ways to use these, too, in the workshop – so it isn’t wasteful at all.  I always keep useful sized scraps and segments of trimmed off bits, and use them in new works.  The strips were cut 1″ with a ruler, on the grain, and using 1/4″ seam allowance that shows 1/2″ on the front when done. If you cut them a bit narrower, showing on the front will be narrower.  Work out how many squares of which size you want.  I’d suggest at least one fabric common to every square to unify them.  You could add sashings and borders if you like – its up to you!

In my “Hot Quilts From Cold Scraps” workshop people either use a traditional pattern of their own choice, or learn how easy it is to come up with a pattern of their own to use as we explore the factors that make for successful true scrap quilts.   Then they either choose to cut the fabrics using a ruler or templates or pattern pieces (ie work traditionally)  or they can choose to cut freehand, which is known as “improvisational piecing” either way’s fine with me.  If you’d like to try improvisational piecing, which I call freehand piecing, I found this great little tutorial of the absolute basics –  and am always  here to help if you have any difficulty(send me a pic and description of the problem) but I’m predicting you won’t have any.

Certainly everyone in the Hot Quilts workshop is most likely working on something different as we all explore the principles of designing successful scrap quilts.  I myself always piece freehand these days, ever since learning how just after I made this quilt – eg check out my website gallery “Ebb & Flow”    After the segments are pieced I often trim to a geometric shape using a ruler, as I love the grid layout thing.

The Glorious Straight Stitch 4

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

hand quilting new ideas 1 blog

Of course, the straight stitch in running mode through layers = quilting stitch.

Detail of a new piece with the working title of “Mostly About Red”.  Green is my favourite colour though, and the next one is ‘mostly’ about greens despite the large amount of black background  :-p     The quilting thread is  a flourescent topstitching thread in one of the intense flourescent colours now available along with fabric and paint here in Uruguay.   Such things are probably nothing new in the USA, but here they are, relatively speaking – partly because the government has brought in laws requiring motorcyclists to  wear a floursecent vest for heightened visibility.  (They had to try something, as the accident rate is positively alarming)  Mostly people are wearing the proscribed vests, which are also now widely used by all kinds of workers  on or near roads and construction sites.  But I have seen these vests tied to back packs, and wrapped around an occy strap holding a load onto the back…. slightly visible from the back perhaps, but not from the front.  And now after several months in traffic the intense colour of some of them has been toned down by emission particles built up all over them – some need a good wash.  Perhaps floursecent helmets will be next ?


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