Monday, July 29, 2019

Silk tumbling block suncatcher, rough draft

This is where we are right now.

Silk backing, with the first tumbling blocks cut out, and others waiting to be cut. These are the whole pieces, but the edges  will be folded over the paper templates. So these are bigger than the finished pieces will be.

This is just a bit of playing to see how they work together. Silk is not the easiest fabric to work with, slips around, but it's lovely enough to persevere anyway. Great transparency. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Mise en scene, bring your own accent grave

Here's where we are:

Background, completed pillow, epp patches orl present n krect. They're so exact and neatly nested, in fact, that they look like fabric printed to look like patchwork! You can't tell it's pieced. I insist that means it well made, not that it seems to be back where it started...

Then, middle ground, are the 60  degree diamond templates for the silk tumbling block design happening next, and the silk pieces.  Since this will be see through, the seam allowances need to be consistent. We'll see how it goes.

Then, foreground, a mass of cheap and cheerful printed pieces for whatever happens after that. This will involve playing with and sorting and other kindergarten type "work".

And while you're here, this is the back of the above pillow which I printed from a scan of a lovely batik tunic I have. Scanned, printed on transfer paper, ironed onto the fabric.

 Not to be used in epp any time soon. The tunic, that is. But printed out versions are a possibility.

I think I like the idea of two sided pillows, for variety, and there may be more.

I have other pillows I've made using linen table napkins, which are a good size, press up a treat, and are hemmed already. The two you see here are probably 15 years old, still like new.  Gracious living. I think.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ideas all over

So the pillow top is almost done,
fusible hemming tape done, needs to be stitched down, then the back attached, stuffing. Done.

So I'm looking at another idea or ten.

One is this heavy cotton runner I forgot I had, motifs of various exotic things, which I'll work into some design, using the plain backing as a contrasting element.

And the other is this batch of habotai silk samples, just waiting to be turned into a kind of suncatcher, pieced and hung in a window to catch the light.

I'm thinking about clamshell shapes, as you see, a few templates cut out, but that might change.

I might end up, whatever shapes I use, backing it up with another piece of translucent silk, one of which I have,from way back, already hemmed. It dates back to a workshop I taught on freeform embroidery on silk. I dyed the pieces for the students, but this I left white..

I have a second set of samples in shades of white and black, too, so this can go on further, if I like the first try.

I like very much being able to find art materials all round that I'd hardly registered before.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

First epp project done, yay!

All the columns stitched up, here's the result, pressed and looking good, before the Removal of the Basting and the Retrieval of the Templates.

It's fun to find that I didn't catch any template in the final stitching, so they were easily removed, once the basting stitches came out.

This was fun, though it was a bit like topping and tailing where you sometimes  throw the fruit among the stems and have to fish it out. I had to rummage in the debris for a template here and there.

And the patchwork looks like fabric, great joins, no gaps, rayon is forgiving.

I have a piece of sage green linen to mount it on for a pillow top, with another piece of linen for the back.

Meanwhile I followed up on the paper piecing book by downloading and printing out her templates so I can get adventurous. 35 pages, to be exact.

 A lifetime supply. The book is really only half the story.

And my other reference book on various quilting approaches arrived. From the V and A. And very good.

Can I admit I have ordered a bunch of various cotton bits, and template I can get right into Flossie's designs. Well, I have.

Now I plan to have a pot of tea.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Why I never made it to my book group today..

Before I got in the car, I checked the mailbox. And this was in it.

The afternoon completely  reshaped itself and ended up being a plunge into this wonderful history and account and biography and how to's of English paper piecing. Priorities.

Just look

 I did stitch a column of my own epp piece, humbly, after seeing these dazzling works.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

My inner bookkeeper loves this

Isn't that a nice word? Three double letters in succession, where was I, oh right.

After I got two columns stitched together, and had to refer to the pictures to see which way up they went, I realized that if this is going to be portable, it needs a better command system.

I used masking tape up the back of the first two columns, but didn't like how it pulled when I took it off as I sewed along.

So, I numbered the columns and the blocks' positions in the columns. That way, even if I drop the lot,  I can easily establish what goes where and which way up.

Then each column of patches got its own envelope. I refrained from numbering the envelopes, since that would veer into ocd territory, and it's better not to. This project is compulsive enough.

And I didn't label the Ziploc bag I put all the moving parts into. I have a feeling I would not be safe with a label maker, somehow.

I can see my house all labeled up like those diagrams in beginners' foreign language books. Wall! Table! Pen of Gardener's Aunt! ( old French teacher joke).

Patchwork design sort of done

A few adjustments might happen before I stitch. But this is the 81 patches, laid out 9x9. About 14.5" square.

 I was thinking about this, well, dreaming last night in fact, woke up and realized it was a chance to have a radiating design from a central motif, here the cross shape in greens.

This is something I've done many times in different art forms, seems to be a recurring need.

Then I went on arranging and changing as you do, to get echoes and internal movements, some about color, some about shapes. Some of the best fun I've had in the studio in years.

I already see a couple of places where patches need to switch places. Pictures are helpful that way. In fact I'll do that now and post the result. Back in a few.

Okay, one change led to another, as they do, but I think I'm there now. Very subtle changes, now they're done, but they fixed a couple of annoying bits.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Patches ready

Here are the 80+ patches, ready to organize in some interesting way. Each is tacked over a cardstock template. I got pretty good at this after a couple of dozen!

I grouped them with like designs, to see what I have.

 1.5" squares, laid out 9x9 would give  an approximately 15"x15" total square. Which can make a good pillow top. Or something.  Since the squares will be whip stitched together, there won't be any measurable increase in total area.

The main reason for laying out and counting was to see what I can make with this collection. The cutting and seam allowances have taken up, I estimate, about half the original fabric area.

It will be fun to push these around and see how they relate. You can already note how some designs move over into others.

This design is a beginner try, to see how the construction works. When I assemble them, I'll know what to do better, with more ambitious ideas. I already learned a ton from doing this.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

EPP in progress.

Sounds medical, but it's English paper piecing.

This is the progress to date. It's the stage where you tack the fabric squares onto the templates, to make neat patches.

After I get all the patches set up like this, I can arrange them in a design I like, before overstitching the patches together.

At that point, you avoid stitching through the templates, then once all the piecing is complete, you take out the tacking and release the templates to use again.

These are 1.5 inches square, pretty much dictated by the printed designs.

And they're definitely of the just one more school of  work.  So this is the latest technique I'm learning.  Very portable, the whole lot fits into a medium sized bag.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Announcing a new rabbit hole

Too hot in the studio to weave, a bit humid for knitting, so until cooler weather,  I need a portable rabbit-, I mean artform. One I can do in little sections, anywhere.

And thanks to Kate Jackson, the YouTube presenter of The Last Homely House East of the Sea, which I love and recommend, I'm trying my hand at English paper piecing.

Me, the nonquilter. This is the sort of paper piecing where you remove the paper templates at the end, for reuse.

I like working in parts that will be incorporated into something bigger, a lot of my art works that way. And reusing the templates appeals, too.

I don't have a fabric stash, never use it much. But I realized I have a rayon vest already printed patchwork style, giving me a lot of patterns, and I haven't worn it for ages.

So here's the vest

And here are the patches cut out,  and sorted into like designs,plus scraps,just in case.

And here's the kit of patches, template and card stock ready to go. Needle, thread, scissors, done.

So we'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, I've added e.p.p. to my esoteric fiber vocabulary.