Posts Tagged ‘fabric choices’

Really, Really Tiny Baby Steps

August 24, 2016

I meet challenges one step at a time. Literally. When a new project looks too scary, I do one thing a day. Taking really, really tiny baby steps works for my nerves, but does extend the timeline for my projects. The handbag project is a good example.

The lining pieces are shiny and golden, and that's all that matters

They’re shiny and golden, and that’s all that matters

Although I couldn’t find a pattern that had all the features I wanted, I drafted modifications that should work. Should is such a scary word on so many levels. I took a full day to decide on the fabrics just to avoid starting on step one of the instructions. The lining fabrics came from a package of silkies that waited in a drawer. The pieces aren’t as large as I need, but since they’ll be on the inside who will care?

Lani Longshore handbag hardware

Next came the outer fabrics, which I chose based on the hardware I already owned. That was the first modification, by the way. The pattern calls for a continuous strap, but I wanted to use these clips and D-rings. I found enough scraps of a red linen-like fabric as well as some brown faux leather for the exterior of the bag.

Angled straps, no zipper

Angled straps, no zipper

Here is the first piece I assembled. It came out well enough that I started on the second panel.

Angled straps, wonky zipper

Angled straps, wonky zipper

Notice the zipper on the panel. This is why I nearly failed my home economics class. Zippers and I aren’t exactly mortal enemies, but we for sure aren’t friends. Once I saw how crooked the zipper was I decided my work was done for the day. Tomorrow, seam ripper in hand, I will begin the battle again.

Luck and wisdom!

Art Lessons

July 6, 2016

I think I’ve mentioned that the art quilt critique group I belong to has decided to give ourselves art lessons. Specifically, we’re going to explore elements of design in a semi-structured way. None of us are in a position to enroll in a formal art program, so we’re going the do-it-yourself route. In the past, I’ve incorporated our assignments into a project I wanted to do anyway. I planned to treat our latest assignment, exploring negative space, the same way. Then I changed my mind.

The tree wants to disappear

The tree wants to disappear

This is not the start to the project I need to get finished. It is, however, a good piece to explore negative space. The fabric for the tree limbs seems to drop away from view. That’s partly because it is a delicately grayed green, and grayed colors retreat. The background contributes to the effect, because it is so exuberantly busy.

The grapevine wants to show off

The grapevine wants to show off

This is the project I need to get finished for a challenge on the theme Colors of The Vineyard. You can see that both projects use the same background fabric. I originally planned to use the yellow and green fabrics on the same piece, but a little voice said, “Think before you cut.”

So I thought, and realized that I had the opportunity to do something new in my art quilting. I could use a project as an art journal page, in effect giving myself permission to abandon a piece if it didn’t work. I fused the green branches onto a small bit of the background and immediately realized the fabric wouldn’t do at all for my challenge piece.

I will show the green piece at the next art quilt critique meeting, and ask the other members what they would do if it were their quilt. If I like their ideas, the project may evolve, but if not it has a place in my art journal. I’m already beading the yellow piece for the challenge. And I’m very excited to be taking baby steps toward becoming a more dedicated art student.

Luck and wisdom!