various things in progress

I am getting prepared for my tiny world class on Saturday-

and working on the owl pattern. It is not coming together as straightforwardly as I had hoped. Things that work well when I am in my groove, are now not working at all. I’ve got to step back and rethink how some of it goes together.

I’ve been cleaning the house because of family visitors and the class on Saturday. Yes. it really needs to be done, every once in a while! Anyway, I love the little messages I find on the refrigerator door. I assume, left by one of my kids.

studio photos

Yesterday morning-

I feel like I am running in place here- lots of things started and I am not sure what direction to go in. I am working on the Luv-able and Hug-able pieces in a very different way then usual, since I am making one of this and one of that- not my usual practice. I should be back on track soon though. And back to the pattern. Well, as soon as I’ve gotten over this bad cold. Then I’ll see if I can figure out how to use the new scanner.

Here is my desk today. I am making a kitty with a skirt made of the vintage fabric in the bottom photo.

Amazing, isn’t it!

I have one piece almost finished but with my head feeling all fogged in, I can’t decide if she is good yet. I might have to change her face.

quilt details

since you seemed interested…

here are some close-ups. This fish fabric was something that my mom bought for me when I was in high school (think early 70’s). I loved it so much, I could never bear to use it. I have finally gotten to the point where that seems very silly. I worry a bit about how the older fabric will hold up.

This is a piece of Japanese cloth- probably a gift wrapping cloth. The weave is slightly looser than a standard quilting cotton but still a solid fabric.  I have been collecting Japanese cloths for years. My mom had some that I got when we cleared out the house. I got other from various places over the years- I visited Japan in 1983, my brother gave me some (he lives in Kyoto), there is a Japanese Cultural group in town and they have a yearly yard sale. I am always keeping my eye out.

This piece is more of a gauze fabric. Maybe a towel?

Another gift wrapping cloth-

And the top swirls are another one of the gauzy fabrics. I hope they hold up. The chain design cotton along the sides is from a roll of kimono fabric that my mom bought, sometime between 1965 and 1986- she went to Japan a few times during those years.

None of the main pieces are pieced- just big blocks. The strips of red and navy on the front, and golds on the back are pieced. On the back, that center section is Marimekko fabric. The stripes are printed on it.

I have made great progress on my studio clean-up. I think I am about to call it done… for now. There are always a few things that I can not deal with. They usually look like this-

Sort of my studio version of a junk drawer…

cleaning up

and a few other things.

I got an idea that if I raised the bottom shelf about 4 inches, I could actually fit another row of bins on the floor. Once it had occurred to me, it was the itch that had to be scratched.

Yikes- easier thought then done. Firstly, moving the individual shelves on these metal wire shelf units is no easy task- especially alone. And, I think it hadn’t really sunk in, how much stuff I have on that thing. Oh well, it was time to take everything off and go through it all anyway.

Here we are, shelves rearranged and bins starting to go back on.

I have been going back and forth- sorting and putting away until I am bored and then over to hand-sewing the edge binding on the quilt. Both are moving forward! Here is how things look this evening-

I just have a little left to go on the binding. Both desks are beginning to reappear. I have found many, many partially finished dolls- certainly more then I remember having. I’ve re-found fabric that I now have the perfect use for. Still a ways to go on the cleaning but I have made great progress.

Also, I took my Bernina 930 in for a spa treatment-  you know, a tune-up, and am using my Bernina Nova. What a great little machine it is. And speaking of machines… my son wants a sewing machine. I have one that I thought about giving him, but I have heard many tales of woe about shipping sewing machines- they just don’t like it. He lives in the Minneapolis area. Does anyone have suggestions for a place that sells good used sewing machines in the Twin Cities? I saw a perfect Bernette when I took my machine in today and would have loved to get that for him- but of course I would still have the shipping problem. Thanks for any help!

one more thing- Classes in October. I will be teaching my Fresh Fish during this Art Weekend that looks like so much fun! It would be great if you could join in the fun! Also, Tiny World Pincushion on Oct. 30  at my house- there is still space if you are interested. Check out the class link for details.

buntings, or garlands or whatever they are called

I’ve started a carry-around-project bag to stick in my purse. I seem to have a number of appointments lined up on the calendar and I like to have something to work on as I sit in the waiting room. I am cutting out circles.

This is a garland that I made in the first batch, before I went to Renegade Brooklyn. You can see it hanging in my tent, here.

I am trying out some single hue strings- pinks



Which do you like better?

They have 100 dots per strand. That is about 12 feet.

My studio is once again a complete disaster. I’ve got way too many things going on right now. I am cutting and sewing a range of dolls (with the help of Sage) and will then finish them over the course of the Autumn. The result is stuff everywhere, every surface covered, entering the room is a challenge…  but hey! I am getting lots done. I’ll clean it up another day.

2 more babies

the other 2 projects I brought to NY. I thought they were finished on Monday night. So smug. I didn’t get around to photographing them until late on Tuesday afternoon. As I was looking at them through the camera, I started to know they weren’t quite right. The photos confirmed it. Back they went to my desk. They both had some rework and now I am happier.

The green bird baby-

The first face had eyebrows but the poor baby looks so unhappy! And a little Frida Kahlo too.

The misty morning baby-

Can you see the difference? I restitched the face onto the doll. People are often surprised to find out that I usually stuff my dolls before doing the embroidery. I didn’t stuff these babies first because they were traveling with me. This face was stitched onto the doll when I stuffed it. The main baby fabric stretched when I stuffed it but the wool felt of the face didn’t. The stitches got pulled and Frankenstein-ish. Now I am happier.

The gray-blue fabric is woven cashmere that I dyed. I am not sure what color dye I was working with, but when it came out, I wasn’t thrilled and threw it into the pile of fabric to be redyed. Every time I went through the pile, it would catch my eye and I’d think about it then put it back. One day though, it followed me up to my studio and after the moonbeam girls, this baby needed to be made.

I spent several hours yesterday cleaning and sorting out piles in my studio. Wool is now mostly put away and time for toile and tattoos. I am working diligently to have a good selection of work for Renegade. It is one month from today- YIKES!  Anyway, look- open flat spaces in my studio! Well, not anymore, but I did document it while it lasted.

gone fishin’

First some notes- Next Wednesday (4/14) is the next Crafty meet-up- details here. All are welcome, bring a friend.

I want to schedule the next class for June- Tiny world or Fish. Sometime between June 14 and June 28. Any interest? Ideas? Preferences?

This is my desk this morning-

I admit defeat. Sometimes you just have to back away from what you are doing and turn to something else- since curling up in bed and moping really isn’t an option in my life right now. I will probably come back to the various girls in a few days. After 2 attempts to photograph and then tweak a doll who turned out to not be finished after all, I am working on some fish.

I had something I needed to try out with some 2mm felt (that is twice as thick as standard felt).

I brought my new fish over to visit my friends next door. They both liked the blue fish. I’m rather partial to the red one myself.

Things got silly rather quickly.

more studio photos

I want to show you what I did with the used flat file I bought last March.

The top two drawers are where I store my crewel wool. Son Julian made me those cardboard dividers when he was home last summer.

The third drawer down has misc. embroidery threads- ribbon embroidery, Danish Flower threads, crochet cotton, other random stuff. I store my floss over here.

Fourth and fifth drawer- all my delicious wool felt.

Then comes the buttons- drawer six-

and drawer seven. I just got these 2 drawers arranged after Christmas.

The bottom 3 drawers have papers and things that I stuffed into them when I moved- ie more potential goodie organized storage space. This flat file organizing is working well for me. It helps me see so much of what I need to choose from at one time.

One last thing to show you- my roll of paper. It hangs right above my desk, always handy for when I have an idea or am making a test pattern.