March Short List

Wow. The third Short List of the year already. Even though I finished nothing on the January or February Short Lists, I still believe in this method. I know it’s the right approach for me; it just takes a bit to get in the flow. March is the month where I turn the corner.
As a reminder, the Short List is something old (UFO), something new, something painted and something abstract. I’m also adding a fifth category for handwork. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I picked it up again.
Something old: Retro Charm – The binding is 75% done.

retro-charm-front
Since I know I’ll finish it this week I’m also adding the still life from the Esterita Austin class.

pottery-in-progress
Something new: Sunflower by Zebra – The sunflowers are fused and I’m ready to start the machine applique.

fused-sunflowers
I’m also making a pincushion this month after I spilled a whole container of pins between the bed and the wall. Twenty years of sewing and I’ve never made a pincushion.
Painting: The painting technique for February is layering color. I found some inspiration in the paintings of Gerhard Richter.

paint-layering-background
Abstract: The first Playtime method is called Hopscotch. Think of little blocks of fabric sewn into little logs of fabric with funky angles on both the logs and the blocks.
Handwork: The batik challenge from my Art Quilt Group. It’s still in the design phase, but wool appliqué may be involved.

batik-challenge-mock-up
So much for not adding anything new to the list until I finish something. And I will finish something this month.

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A Little Background, No Stash

No fabric in or out this week. I’m working on four projects, but most are in the early stages.
I added yellow paint to the background fabric for the first paint layering experiment. All the yellow/white areas got a coat of translucent yellow and some received opaque yellow. No difference visually, but the opaque spots feel stiffer.

paint-layering-backgroundThe grape color is way off, but the yellow truly is that bright.  It’s snowing this morning and I can’t reproduce the lighting from the first photo, no matter how much I mess with it in Photoshop.  Here’s what it looked like before (on left).

hand-dyed-backgroundsI’ve struggled with how to add paint to the fabric in a way that results in the effect I want. My inspiration artist (Gerhard Richter) uses large boards to scrape paint across bigger than life walls. I need to translate that to a fat quarter.
The answer came yesterday when I stopped at the library book sale. I picked up a book on faux finishes (for walls) and there it was. The author used a wallpaper brush to paint textured stripes. Bingo. I’m glad other people think of these things so the rest of us can use them.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 3 2/3 yards
Fabric Out: 4 1/3
Net Fabric Used: 2/3 yard

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Choosing New Ground

I’ve been thinking about the March Short List and how little I’ve finished this year. The natural response, of course, is to work on four things at once.
I haven’t forgotten about layering paint inspired by the art of Gerhard Richter. This technique will take time because the paint has to dry between each application. It makes sense to fit this project in between all the others.
For step one I need to choose background fabric. I want to start with something that has a definite color pattern.

hand-dyed-backgroundsBoth fat quarters are my hand dyes. I can’t imagine using the grape/yellow fabric in a quilt. The colors came out flat and dull. Not a dyeing success. The blue/purple fabric is not 100% cotton. You probably can’t tell in the picture, but the cross-threads didn’t take the dye. I did some kind of shibori rubber band technique on this one. Love the effect, hate the fabric.
I decided to start with the grape/yellow fabric. Next step I will highlight the yellow areas with bright yellow paint. I want to create parts of the background that will shine through the layers.
This is going to be SO fun.

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When Cold Cancels Quilts

My Art Quilt Group meeting was cancelled last night due to weather. The winds kicked up out of the south and drifted the east-west roads, and then they shifted to the West and drifted the north-south roads. I got the cancellation, but I didn’t have to like it.

I used the unexpected free time to try out different paints on felted wool. I decided to appliqué symbols on the batik challenge squares. I chose black for the symbols so they would show, but I only have cream-colored wool.

painted-wool-samples

The samples from left to right are black fabric paint, purple fabric paint and black acrylic paint.

The acrylic paint didn’t cover the fabric as well and had a gray cast to it.

The purple paint was an accident. I thought I grabbed black and decided to give it a try anyway. That one dried much lighter than it looked wet.

The black fabric paint was my fave. I got the best coverage and the most color saturation.
I also decided to hand appliqué the symbols. I’m really enjoying hand stitching the binding on Retro Charm. I hadn’t realized I missed handwork until I picked it up again. Maybe a slow stitch project should have been category #5 on The Short List.

No kicking me out of the sewing room this weekend. Looking forward to some quality time with my fabric paints.

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Binding And Stash Report

I made the binding and attached it to Retro Charm yesterday. I can work on turning it through the week when I’m too tired to sit at the sewing machine. Some nights it doesn’t pay to work on a machine with moving parts.
I haven’t officially finished this UFO, but I’m still thinking forward to its replacement on the Short List. The still life quilt from the Esterita Austin class feels like the right choice. It’s small and mostly needs quilted. I may have a little painting left to do on it, but not much.

still-life-2
No fabric in this week. Between the snow and the bitter cold, I didn’t go anywhere I didn’t have to.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times
Fabric In: 3 2/3 yards
Fabric Out: 4 1/3
Net Fabric Used: 2/3 yard

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Interrupted Plans

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on taking Craftsy classes. Many people suggested I try one of the free classes, which I plan to do. Your comments were interesting and insightful. Reading them helped me understand Craftsy’s appeal.
Work continues on Retro Charm. That quilt will be my main focus this weekend.
I planned to work on the Art Quilt Group challenge instead, but someone else had different ideas about the weekend and I’ve been ousted from my sewing room. The entire weekend. Which sucks, because group is Tuesday.
Guess I’ll have to shoot for next month.
I did audition the Cherrywood fabrics and decided on theses dark purples. I even cut up the batik, an act of faith on my part since I’m not sure how I’ll put this all together.

batik-challenge-mock-up

The final quilt may look a lot like this, or it might be three separate little quilts somehow hooked together. I won’t know until I play with it.
So many ideas. This would be the place to self-edit.

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A Craftsy Class Question

Should I, or shouldn’t I?
Seems like everyone is talking about Craftsy these days. I see quilters buying classes like I check books out of the library. Now I’m not one to do something just because a lot of other people do it, but my inner student loves the idea of learning something new.
I took classes at the now defunct Quilt University. I liked the feed back from the teacher, but I never could keep up with the schedule. For me, the feedback made the experience valuable. Life inevitably got in the way.
The fact that Craftsy classes move at work-at-your-own-pace schedule appeals to me. The lack of feedback doesn’t. I’m having a hard time understanding how these classes are any different from buying a book or DVD and working through it.
I’ve also read the reviews for several classes. I may be wrong here, but it looks like a lot of people rate the classes without doing the classes. How can someone know the instructions are thorough without testing them? It’s like saying a recipe tastes good without baking the cake. How do you know that?
So I’m looking for some feedback here. Have you taken a Craftsy class? Did you do the projects, make the food, sew the purse, etc.? What makes it better than buying the book and self-teaching? Remember, I have that love affair with books.
If I take the plunge, the class will be Stupendous Stitching with Carol Ann Waugh.
So should I, or shouldn’t I?

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