Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stitching, machine and hand, and (almost) always practicing

 I'm working away on some of the work for the Kemshall's Patchwork and Quilting class.  I'm really not much at patchwork so this particular bit was right up my alley.  It's a stamp I made from sticky-backed foam and then stamped onto fabric using Jacquard fabric paint.  I then made the piece into a four-patch using some of my hand-dyed fabric and quilted it up with batting and backing.  Not terribly exciting, but progress nonetheless!!  It was interesting to play around with the different configurations of the stamped pieces.  I also have a little hinged mirror that allows me to easily see what a design would look like multiplied several times. Very handy and it saves a lot of time..and paper.  It's always interesting and often surprising to discover which designs will look good (and not so good) once multiplied.
This is another variation using my little stamp that I subsequently stitched into by hand.  More of my hand-dyes.  This is a green made from my blue mix and golden yellow, all from Dharma.  Still not thrilled with the greens I'm getting so quite a bit more experimentation will be necessary before I'm satisfied.
And this is just one a number of pieces that I keep on hand all the time: top, batting and backing ready to practice free motion stitching.  It's so easy to get out of practice and I find that when I have pieces prepared and ready to go I am much more liable to go into my sewing room and sit down for half and hour here and there, just to keep my hand in, as it were.  I'll often take Leonard Cohen with me, or sometimes Vivaldi. One doesn't want to be alone ALL of the time!!

I'm off to stitch some more.
I'll be back.....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kauai Hawaii

So, I've been to Hawaii.  I'd never been before.  I went with my son, daughter in law and their wee mouse.  It was wonderful to be able to spend time with them all.  We went to the island of Kauai and it was very lush, very warm, very pretty and pretty wet.  It is their winter, after all.  But it was beautiful.  The first day we walked down to the beach, about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying (at Poipu Kai) just in time to see several whales breaching off shore.  It went on for about 10 minutes.  Pretty amazing, but pretty impossible to capture on film.  Alas.
This sunrise picture was taken off our lanai one morning.  Lovely.
Can you guess where this one was taken???
There are feral chickens all over the island.  All Over.
 We went for a train ride one day around the property of what was formerly a huge private estate.  For part of the ride they stop the train for a spell and allow you to feed the (wild) pigs and (not so wild) goats.  The island is home to a huge population of wild pigs.  I tried not to think about that when we went to a luau a few nights later and of course, pig is on the menu!
 We walked over to the Hyatt and saw this swan making his (her?) way over to a feeding spot at the edge of the water.  It was like a little parade!!  The koi were quite excited to follow along since they like to be right on hand in case of spillage!!  Of which there is plenty.
 A gorgeous sunset one evening off the master bedroom patio of the unit we were staying in.  Lovely.
 And back to winter.  I went a couple of weeks ago for a drive up island and stopped in Cowichan Bay to take a few pictures.  Not lush like Hawaii, but still pretty gorgeous.  (The water is just off to the right, in case you're wondering where the 'bay' part comes in!)
I really don't feel as if I'm doing much on the creative side.  I'm almost embarrassed to show you this!  We were to find an inspirational picture and do a sort of colour proportion study based on the picture.  This is about 6" by 8".  Not terrifically exciting but fun to play with colour and fabric.  The hexagonal piece from the last post is based on this colour study.  I'm still working on the hexagonal piece but I can only stand to do a bit a day because I find it strains my eyes.  I've realized I don't really enjoy fussy little bits.  Who knew!!??  (Well, I guess now I do!)

I'm working on a bit of free motion stitch as well which I find more enjoyable.  I'll take some pictures soon.
I'll be back...