Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just Another Manic...Wednesday?

So, I woke up at 5am today...went straight to the studio and just kept going. I had a couple of projects I wanted to work on. The first was my arch-nemesis..."Ol' Yeller". This beauty hails from the earliest days of my fabric experimentation. I wanted to make a Watercolor quilt, but without being hampered by such constraints as actually READING and FOLLOWING the instructions. I cut out a handful of 2 inch squares, arranged them on a design board and it made a nice lap sized quilt. Of course, when all was said and done, my points were not even in the neighborhood of meeting one another and the size had gone from lap quilt to uh...napkin. Fortunately, before I had pieced it completely, I acknowledged the fact that my points would not meet and added the strips to sort of break up the fact that there are NO straight rows of blocks here. The top languished in the bottom of the unfinished projects barrel for about 6 or 7 years now and resurfaced during "Studio Clean-up '06", so I decided to parole the prisoner and see what I could do to finish it. Before the long sleep, I had already done some sick things to it. I thought I would try a fantasy fabric approach and put a bunch of threads and tulle over it and tried to quilt over it. I about burnt the motor out on my sewing machine and gave up in frustration. A few years back, I actually took it out and pulled all of the quilting stitches out of it, then returned it. So, I took the poor thing out, put some batting behind it, found some of the cheapy fabric I had used to construct it to make a backing and went to town on the quilting. For some reason, although I know how to sew, Free motion quilting freaks me out. I can SAY that I will move slowly and carefully, but once the needle hits the surface, I'm like on CRACK, yo. I have no rhyme or reason, I just go nuts. Since I started in the center, the brunt of my hysteria fell THERE. Hence the inexplicable Rorschak-esque splotch in the center (What do YOU see?)

Here, I am attempting to add some kind of beauty to this mess. Things go better with Cats!

Next on the block (literally) was an Asian block made of vintage kimono silks. I have had these for years now, and had no idea what to do with them, so Voila.

I used the method I read about on Allison Aller's Blog
where you make long strips of fabrics just sewn together, then cut them up into chunks and piece them. This was a very challenging method, which I have not tried before. The problem with this new method (for me) was that I still wound up with tricky triangular spots to fill, but I was able to work around this pretty easily. It really helped me to break out of my original "Bullseye" looking piecing which would start near the center and work out and eventually just turn into long strips because I didn't know any other way to do it. I have to admit that I thought most of the silks were rather plain and ugly on their own, but I rather like them all together. I definitely have an appreciation of how old and high quality they are. To add some different texture, I added in a couple of Asian themed cottons and some Dupioni for solid color.

Finally, I wanted to add some pictures of my studio cats. Yes, Virginia, cat fur IS an embellishment!


Christine said...

Those are beautiful, Robin! Sigh...someday I will get back in touch with my artistic side and break into my box o' art supplies under my bed...

Robin said...

Thank you! As for the art supplies, I know it is hard...if I were still working those dayshift hours, I could probably close this studio down and turn it into a kitty bedroom, cuz it seems to be headed that way already!