Hi everybody! I think we all need a diversion and some quilting to help deal with the roiling of events in the news lately. As for me, I have been starting two new projects after my last one that was going to be entirely on painting quilts took a nose dive. By the way, if you want to know about painting quilted fabrics stay tuned. I will still present these techniques scattered throughout my other projects as needed, but not a whole video series for those techniques after all. Mostly I have to work on camera placement and filming techniques for painting quilted fabrics. The problem was entirely related to painting while filming.
Sew what are these new projects? Well, one of them, and the next video project, is a second dive into wool applique by machine in which I will be making a pretty scene with a Kingfisher bird on black wool that will be sized for use as a decorative pillow top. I am nearly finished making the pattern and I will be using my Scan and Cut digital cutter to cut the pieces. The downloadable pattern will be available on my shop for a small amount and will include both a pdf file for those who do not have a digital cutter and the svg files divided by color for those who do. I will be providing videos showing how I do them for this project, including the use of my new Scan and Cut.
The second project is a new “show quilt”! Sew there will be a video exhibiting only some of the making of this quilt and there will be no pattern. I am making my fourth deep space quilt and as soon as my fabric arrives this week I’m ready to start construction. I will be using Deep Space II #98 Peppered Cotton designed by Pepper Cory to build the scene, inspired by NASA photos of M51 Galaxy (there are many), which is a spiral galaxy that has a second spiral galaxy farther away and kind of behind it on the edge, making it look like a small spiral is attached to the larger M51’s tail. Unlike most of the other peppered cottons, this one is not a shot cotton but is yarn dyed intensely black. It makes me happy that the name of the fabric is “Deep Space II”. Thank you Pepper for bringing it to my attention. I love making deep space quilts. They are a whole cloth quilt, built entirely with free motion stitching and almost no marking. It includes a little paint, a large Angelina Fibers applique, and covered with black veiling, then quilted together in ways that make sense, and adding some free motion embroidery to represent the space dust. After that, I add a lot of hot fix crystals, kind of using the NASA photo as a guide for placement to represent stars. Some of the larger stars or star clusters are sometimes backed with an embroidered representation of the light that shoots out around it from the lens flair often in a cross shape that is highlighted on the NASA photos. This adds to the interest and beauty of the quilt in my humble opinion.
I like having two very different style projects going at once because it allows me to move from one to the other when I need a break from some aspect of a project.
Sew this past week I spent a fair amount of time thinking about and updating my Quilt Project Plans spreadsheet for the remainder of this year and into next year. It is way more than I can possibly do in that space of time perhaps, but it is wonderful to look forward to the near future projects and be able to pick from some of those I have already thought through a lot. I also keep a handwritten notebook where I describe most of the projects more fully and sometimes keep outlines and notes to help me make them. I have been doing this for many years. Way back to when I only did clothing designs and sewing. It’s sometimes fun to take one of the old notebooks and look through them to see just what I actually made of the many plans that have floated by. I sometimes pull a long-forgotten project out and make it.
Sew happy everyone! And remember, sometimes you need to abandon a project and not feel like it is a fail. Doing so can often open up an explosion of new ideas when you realize you no longer have to struggle to complete something that just isn’t working, and sometimes persistence through the challenges helps you to finish works and you come out with a real winner. Give yourself permission to take the path that works best and be sure to have fun in your studios!