OK, So much for the clean studio getting me back into the "creative zone"….
I have been sort of on "standby" for going to stay with my 95 yo grandmother when she gets out of the rehab center and back to her own home. She ended up in the hospital during my studio cleaning spree, after falling on the ice. Nothing broken, but she was treated for hypothermia, and needs help gaining more strength. I was trying to put together some pieces to take along with me to do some hand work and beading on while there.
This is the first piece I ended up starting…. Notice anything about the colors??? I don't use orange, do I??
The charm squares of the orange fabrics just happened to fall together with the manipulated coneflower photo printed on cotton. Since the rocks have been everywhere, I added some rocky pieces, then not knowing what else to do, a piece of deep brown suede-like fabric called out to be added. This is how far I got- the piece is headed to be 12" square.
With the little bits and chunks left over, I decided to make up some ACEO's. The next photo shows a couple of the ones done in the oranges and brown. I have a nice little bunch of photos printed out on fabric to play with. In both pieces with the coneflowers, I brightened up the orange flowers with dye pens and pencils. These are ready for beads. I did finish another one that I listed at my Art Quilt Etsy Shop. Click the link and check out the first ACEO you find. Etsy is not behaving for me tonight to get the direct link.
I did have to try some prettier colors, and here are a few done using some bright blue dyed silk, with other flowers. Each one has a little chunk of the rocks that I will add some beading to. I have not accomplished any more than is what is shown here until this week.
I have been a member of a group quilters "team" at Etsy, keeping up with daily chatter, etc. A little while back, someone mentioned scrappy strip blocks, and one thing led to another, and we decided to set up a block exchange. We are each making a batch of simple scrap blocks from strips and are exchanging them. Many of the Etsy Quiltsy members are more traditional quilters, making quilts of all sizes for snuggling and babies to large beds, as well as art pieces.
Here is what I started with… the above cubby in my shelves was packed with various strips and other scraps of fabric. I have not done any "regulation" piecing in a long time… Fusing has been my favorite construction method, so pulling out scrap strips from old projects and stitching them together has finally gotten me to my machine. I have actually spent a few late nights stitching! That is a real accomplishment, since I haven't been able to "lose" myself in my
quilting in a very long time. To start the year, I needed to clean and organize the studio- great, I have room to turn around, but still no real urge to get in there and do something.
Digging out leftovers from my days of mass producing wall hangings, placemats and table runners, and ironing out the creases (OK, lots of creases when you jam things in small spaces), and sorting them into color families (Yea, real scrap projects aren't supposed to be sorted..I've gotta sort- see photo below), has proved to be "just what the doctor ordered".
I started with the simple blocks with strips stitched onto foundation blocks, and now am just randomly stitching strips together for blocks. I keep telling myself that I will not pull out any more scraps to iron and sort, but keep seeing something peeking out to grab, and more than that one comes out in the wad, so lots more ironing is getting done. I guess there is something therapeutic about pulling the old stuff out to make something useful out of it.
While so far, I don't really consider what I am doing at the moment as very "art quilt" related, it is helping me to sweep the cobwebs out and get myself ready to be at the place where I can create again. Above are a few of the foundation pieced blocks I made for the swap.
My playing with strips led to playing with a new idea… Prettier bags to use for grocery shopping trips.
This bag was one I ended up with… One was a "keeper", I did the handles wrong… it works for me, though. I listed this one at my AndrusGardensQuilts Etsy shop, and it sold already! I guess I better do up a few more- I have strips ready for some in blues and dusy rose and mauves along with more in purples.
I hadn't planned to take anything more than hand stitching projects to my grandmother's, but now I think I will take my machine and some of my nice neat bundles of strips along to work with. Maybe in the end, I will finally get back to my quilting…. I have really missed the therapy of losing myself completely in it.
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