Hi dear readers. I am pretty excited because I have finally gotten a good start on my wool applique project and have made a decision about what I will work on for my secondary project.
So today I pulled together all the pieces I have had around the studio for a while that are available for my wool project. I was pleased to find my packages of felt that I had bought some years ago are fine melton wool felt . These are mostly two unused packages of a variety of colors I bought them from Nancy’s Notions probably 7 or 8 years ago and they are in wonderful shape. They don’t have these now, so I recommend Sue Spargo sets such as the blue set or the red set I highlighted available on Amazon.
I have several gorgeous melton wool pieces in one yard cuts that I ordered about a month ago. Since the wool applique projects I am making for my book and videos are small, these 60 inch wide one yard cuts will make two or even three of the projects background pieces, a test piece, and are likely to have small leftover bits that can be added to the smaller pieces for the appliques.
I have also been identifying where to find the supplies for people who want to make these projects themselves. I will share those with you at some later point once I figure it all out.
I have some interesting hand woven placemats I bought somewhere sometime years ago and decided they were not going to work for placements for me, but they were really interesting handwoven look. I don’t know the fiber content though I think it is cotton and wool, and I can’t even remember when or where I bought them. I washed and dried them by machine and they came out in good shape. They will be an interesting addition for appliques I can use in the future or for the show quilt I am planning on making at the end of the great wool project. Before I cut them out, they will have to be backed with interfacing and/or Steam-a-Seam fusible, which kind of acts as a stabilizer and will keep them from fraying. I will show those to you when I figure where and how to use them.
Sew I have made a couple of decisions for studio activities for the future. I plan on making a new deep space quilt as my second project to work on for when I need a break from the wool project.
I always want two projects going at once to give my mind and sewing muscles differing things to do from time to time. The neat thing is that deep space quilts are made almost entirely free motion with angelina fibers, a little bit of painting, and hot fix crystals. That means it will mostly be done in Studio Fritz the room where my Bernina Q20 longarm sitdown machine (Fritz) resides. While the wool project will mostly be done in Studio Gibbs where my Bernina 880 plus (Odette) lives and where my cutting/painting/whatever island is. I also plan a bit of needle punching with my little Bernina 350 for which I have the needle punch attachment. That, too, will be part of my book and video projects.
A Word About the Future of the Craft of Sewing
Okay. I know I said two decisions. The second one is to figure out the direction for my work for the future. I decided I don’t want to do online live classes like on Zoom, but I will do some hopefully enjoyable videos and put them on YouTube. I have been and still am a studio artist and this is my main focus. I did do some local classes at G Street Fabrics, and was kind of considering entering the larger teaching circuit, but that avenue is no longer available at the moment. I had found it so much work and it barely paid me back for the work and expenses I invested in the classes. I loved it and glad I had the experience, but I won’t be returning to in person teaching.
While I still very much wish to share what I have learned, I am going to do this by writing books and making videos and perhaps the occasional trunk show if invited. I will continue to work in my slow way toward these goals.
I don’t know if the quilt shows will fully come back for years. I am going to still make professional show-quality art quilts, and capture the making of them in videos and blogs and books. If the in-person shows come back, I will then have some to enter just for fun, but I’m not going to stop making them. I don’t know what I will do with them beyond that and giving them away here and there or selling one every so often and enjoying them myself.
Don’t worry when you hear of shows closing and people changing their current paths in the quilting or sewing world. The sky is not falling. There even appears to be some new interest in sewing and quilting brought on by people making masks and experimenting with sewing during the pandemic. Sew if you have the opportunity, teach someone to sew even if it is remotely. As Becky Thompson on her YouTube Vlog Power Tools with Thread likes to say “Go sew something!”