Who’s Feeling Bright and Sunny Today?

windycity11

Windy City #11 by Laura Wasilowski

As winter doth drageth on in the northern hemisphere, I am reminded that the days ARE getting longer and there shall be light eventually. But first, I must shovel snow.

fusingtableAnd then enjoy my messy studio where it is always sunny and bright! Why? Because there is fabric to play with and imagination to be explored. Have you fondled your fabric lately? Maybe it needs your personal attention right now. We don’t want our fabric to feel lonely.

Hope your days are sunny and bright!

The End: Gardening #4

feltlikegardening2And now for the fun part in making this Felt Like Gardening composition. Connecting the flowers with Chain Stitches that curl and loop to the ground adds motion and liveliness to the design. It’s always good to give a composition as little activity.

fabricscraps2As I  set this aside for a new project, I’m reminded that we all have so many ideas in our head there’s not enough time to finish them all. You have to pick and choose. And sometimes we must give ourselves permission to choose the fun project over the obligatory project. Think we should all go play play with our fabric now!

The Girdle and Gardening #3

feltgarden7Thank heavens for my skills of disorganization. As this embroidery evolves (without a plan), I am forced to discover new ways of using stitches and thread colors to enhance the felt. When in doubt, go with old Chain StitchesThey hold  down the little yellow leafy things and Straight Stitches make the veins.

feltgarden8Next up: have Blanket Stitches girdle the flower lobes in place. (Girdle, haven’t used that word on years!) Add a few Bullion Knots to top off the flower and a Stem Stitch to outline the bud.

This strategy of not planning too far ahead for a project started years ago. I had a specific look I wanted to achieve for a piece of artwork. That look never approached what I saw in my minds eye. It was so disappointing that I did not live up to my own standards. And so I gave up and chucked my standards. And feel much better now, thank you. Give it a try. Chuck your standards today!

Felt Like Gardening #1

feltgarden2Once the major elements on my little felt embroidery project are tacked to a background fabric, it’s time to add decorative stitches. The wiggly bits (the “grass”) are stitched first. These delicate strips are secured to the background with an embroidery stitch usually associated with flowers: the Pistil Stitch. Pistil Stitches not only travel across the strips to trap them into place but, add a little bead of thread to edge. It’s a twofer!

Incidentally, I’m teaching a class called Felt Like Gardening at Quilters’ Affair in Sister OR this coming July. This piece will be an example for the students.

New Year, New Project

feltgardenn1aIt’s about time I stopped partying and begin working on a new project! Here you see the beginnings of a small garden design using acrylic/wool felt. All the shapes were cut using an Accuquilt die cutter rather than by hand. (I don’t want to leap into real work right away.) See the green “grass” area? That’s a cut-away fabric, the remains of cutting out leaf shapes. You could call it the negative of the positive shape.

feltgarden1bAfter cutting out the shapes, my next step is to arrange them on a background fabric and take a photo of the design. Then I remove smaller shapes that are stacked or can be added later and tack the remaining shapes into place. Now it’s all ready to stitch. Any ideas?

 

A Go-To Solution

windycity1andbird

Windy City #1 and Bird by Laura Wasilowski

Need a solution to that design problem that’s been nagging at you? Here’s what to do: Put a Bird on It! Yes, if a quilt just doesn’t sing to you, maybe it needs a bird. A charming bird always saves the day.

windycity1

Windy City #1 sans bird

Compare this before picture of Windy City #1 to the one above. Note that it only has 2 elements of interest: the house and a tree. But, add a bird and the magic number of 3 is reached. Thus, the reason for putting a bird on it. Try this at home!