Saturday, 30 June 2012

June recap

I’m not sure what happened to June but tomorrow is July already. I have had some computer issues this month which has left it turned off for the better part of the month, and I have made my first attempts at blogging from my phone.

Phone blogging is no less than an adventure I’d say. As I live in Norway and am a Norwegian, my phone is set up for the Norwegian language. This has been quite an interesting feature as it keeps translating English into Norwegian words totally unrelated to what I’m writing, and sometimes into English words which it thinks it recognizes from previous entries. The translations are sometimes funny and other times rather nasty. Sometimes I’ll catch them, sometimes I think I fixed it, and sometimes I’m just too fast – for which I apologize. I’ll be handing in my computer soon so consider yourselves warned; I’ll be keeping the posts short and sweet to stay clear of unintentional spelling errors.

Anyways, computer or no computer, life has been moving on and these are few of the June highlights:

Beautiful sunsets should never go by unappreciated

Painting paper towels with grandson

Urban sketching trying to capture the fascinating lines on some new houses down the road

Cuddle time

Watching the soccer stadium fill for a Mods concert

and listening to 25000 people singing Tore Tang which is kind of our city’s anthem

Realizing woolen yarn should not be couched onto cushions

Vacuuming the local thrift stores for new supplies for an upcoming class

Enjoying one of the statues from the exhibition Broken Column which I pass every Tuesday night

Spending a Wednesday evening with my sewing group cutting scraps into strings

Enjoying lots of time with this guy

The baby quilt made for grandbaby being published in Quiltemagasinet

Adding gesso to this mixed media quilt as an attempt to tone it down

which did not work. Really.

Cutting pieces from the thrift store scarves and leaving thread trails all over the house

Seeing my book in a book store

Toning down black in a mixed media piece a notch by adding paint

Continuing my mixed media quilting adventure with a size 100 jeans needle which leaves almost decent stitches

and some clearly visible holes when unpicked. Never mind, now it’s finished.

Thank you for all your well wishes regarding my toe woe, it is healing very well, thank you very much, and I’m back in shoes. That is the one pair of shoes which will accommodate my brand new silicone toe guard. Yes indeed, I am a silicone babe now and quite happy not to be walking around in one shoe and one sandal any more. I have 4 pair of new-ish shoes being stretched at the shoe repair place right now and one pair being ice stretched in the freezer. Not to worry, they are safely and hygienically packed in plastic bags. Will it work? Well, I don’t know but it’s worth a try as the shoes are unwearable anyway.

Ok, July, I’m ready. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I am spending mine with my guys.)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Now you see it, now you don't

I have been playing a little with mixing opaque and translucent fabric paints and am totally loving the effect. The technique is highly scientific: 4 dabs of paint on a plate, 2 opaque, 2 not. Mix them up a little and start painting.

My canvas is the corner of an old table cloth of which the pattern is peeking through the non-opaque paint. Maybe I should paint the whole thing. Mmm, some blues would look lovely too next to this, wouldn't it...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Another day another colour

This morning I have been quilting another sample/inspiration piece for the mixed media class.

I am having some issues with the thread tension again and have changed my needle (using size 90/14 which should be big enough), cleaned the bobbin area, adjusted the top thread tension and tried 5 different threads. No luck. In fact it got worse after removing the lint. Any ideas what I should do??

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Thread heaven

I have been playing with sheers for an upcoming mixed media quilting class this weekend. No reason for idle hands just because of little toe woes, right!

This is my spring version and I'm loving all the pretty pastels, digging through my thread stash for happy colours, some of them haven't seen daylight in years. Thread heaven indeed!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Toe woe

A regular visit at my foot therapist this week left me with an inflammated pinky toe. Being a diabetic and all, this is a bit scary in addition to quite painful. With all the padding and dressing it looks like I've grown a 6th toe and wearing shoes is not an option.

Not to worry, I am sure I'll find something useful to do besides watching telly, I have lots of sheers (if not peers) to play with, no feet needed...

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Reboot Step 2

While I’m waiting for my ATCs to arrive at their destinations (seriously, it’s been 15 days, how long does letters need to the US? I have shipped books that only took a week) so that I can post the rest of my ATC steps, I have some progress on my Reboot piece to share. Right now it’s just lying here, waiting for inspiration to strike for me to take it a step further, and I think I know what to do next. I’m not sure when to call it done, but I expect to know when that happens, and besides it’s only an experiment so it doesn’t really matter. I think that I will learn a lot from just adding layers and stitching until it’s overworked, so that’s basically the plan.

I started quilting the background with a variegated blue/green thread which I haven’t used for ever and I soon remembered why. After the thread breaking a few times, I simply switched to another one. The background is quilted in a snake-ish pattern with the -ish added because it was too narrow to get some real snakes going.

Then I quilted the shapes with coloured heavy weight threads, defining the shapes and making them pop; orange on the top three rows

and different greens

on the bottom two.

The orange on the top row looked odd, so I ripped them out and stitched with beige thread instead.

Yup, I like how the shapes pop.

I haven’t measured the piece, but the shape is quite long and narrow. The squares are 2 ½” so that gives you an idea of the size.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


The fear of quilting my mixed media piece has passed and I am enjoying quilting the living daylight out of it.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Scary quilting

Realizing how long it's been since the last time I turned on my sewing machine, I decided to have a go at one of my paint/collage-y experiments. Is it too stiff for stitching? Should I be wearing safety goggles?? What am I doing???

And breathe...

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Play on a Saturday

Painting on the most facinating fabric using our creative emergency kit and loving it.

Friday, 15 June 2012

ATCs Cutting to size

(Click the links for the previous Foundation, Layers and Quilting posts)

Armed with my most non-slipper-ish ruler and a sharp blade in my rotary cutter, I started cutting the piece into the required size of 2,5"*3,5” rectangles. As the edges were not exactly straight (not even with an -ish added), I could not cut from the back as I normally would have done to avoid the slippery tulle, but with a little extra weight, I managed not to mess it up.

I got 23 little rectangles from the piece, just missing a 1/16” or so for a 24th, and with a narrow strip leftover to try out a few embellishment ideas -

each little rectangle totally different from the other.

Don’t you just want to dive in to play?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

ATCs Quilting

(Click the links for the previous Foundation and Layers posts)

I wanted to try something different quilting wise, so I stitched a wonky grid all over the piece using bright turquoise thread. To make it easy on myself, I just stitched between all the pins to make the grid.

As you may notice, I left the top tension so that the bobbin thread in the grid shows on the top and I have since learned that there are classes taught that uses this as the main design technique. It might actually be fun exploring this – later.

When the grid was in place and all the needles out, I put on the free motion foot and free motion quilted inside each little box with a red variegated thread.

I stitched each box in the same row with the same pattern, using some of the patterns I used when teaching the free motion class earlier this spring.

It’s a little bit silly though, no one will notice the quilting patterns when cut into little pieces, but it was a fun exercise quilting wise – and it looks great on the back with the red stitches going into the green felt backing.

Using felt for the top could actually be an interesting idea, couldn’t it…