Planning

I am not a good planner and I procrastinate a lot. Now we have decided to move back to Scotland; we need to downsize considerably! Although it will tug at our hearts to get rid of our book collection, that is relatively easy. We did that to come here and I still miss some of those books 20 yrs later. Art on the wall (not my work), equally easy. Just take the originals or get the kids to chose which ones they want. Two pieces might be an issue as they are both large and are artworks by my two daughters. I don’t think they want them. My biggest headache will be my artwork. I have stuff from high school, my foundation course and my degree course. Then I have the work I have made in 40 yrs since then! As I have never sold anything, I have been hoarding a lot of work, and I don’t want to get rid of it! But I will have to been strict with myself and burn work that really should have been gone a long time ago. It’s not as if I don’t have a record of my artwork; I have photographed (poorly) most of it already. Plus, I don’t think people will be clambering to get hold of them once I am dead and buried, much as I like to delude myself. Ah well, I have about 30- 34 months to get my sh## together

On the creative side, I have had a more productive month. I finished both of the Lisa Walton courses.

This is my piece for the Aurora course.

I was very happy with the outcome of this quilted piece. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed bead embroidery as I have been concentrating on teaching myself various quilting techniques over the last few years.

I also dyed my own fabric on this course, using it like paint, rather than immerse the cloth. I plan on doing more this month plus some indigo dyeing. I tried out bobbin work in some places. It was fine but I think I prefer to hand embroider to get a similar effect. Obviously its quicker, so I won’t say, never again. Finished size 19.75 x 14.5 inches (50 x 37 cm)

Fantastic Fusion

The next project was based more on a traditional quilt. By fusing the fabric before I cut it, the design became more flexible. As there were no seams, it wasn’t bulky and using Mistyfuse as the base made the result more like making your own fabric. I decided to free motion quilt the surface as if I was doodling on a page. There was only one area that didn’t work after I quilted it. I promptly unpicked it! Hopefully, not a mistake I will make again but I probably will. This piece ended up measuring 17.5 x 20.75 inches (44.5 X 53 cm) I finished it by facing the design, rather than do a traditional binding that is generally used in quilting. I also added hanging triangles so it could be hung on a wall. I also faced the Aurora piece like this, as seen above the Fantastic Fusion image.

I loved using Mistyfuse as a way of creating a design. I will continue to use it in conjunction with the painting of the fabric. I am feeling much more optimistic about this direction my work is going. I have already started another piece. As I listened to Kate Bryan’s podcast “How to be an artist”, I was mulling other ideas that were percolating in my brain.

Now I need to get the sketchbook out and work on those ideas. Yes, sketchbook, something I don’t use much. After Susan Shie’s class, I realised that although I couldn’t continue with that way of working, I need to use my sketchbook more to ramble around my brain.

Spiral Fabric Collage

I am having one of my regular artistic blocks which isn’t helped by this pandemic. Each day rolls into the next, so I have to mark a cross on the calendar to check which day it is.

I am also trying to sort out all the thousands of digital photos I have on various hard drives. It’s very confusing. I have used photoshop elements for years but only recently took a course on how to use and manage it. The first thing I did was disable the watch files which are linked to Onedrive and Amazon. Before that I would see a pop up downloading from such and such app and stop it but not until several photos were downloaded. I have ended up with so many duplicates. PSE has got a program for duplicates but its not very smart, to be honest. I think mainly because the file names have changed, so it uses visually similar comparisons. You can’t beat a human eye in those circumstances. None of the online cloud programs seem to have a solution for duplicate images either. So far I have deleted about 4000 images because they were duplicates or other reasons ie a photo of your meal for instagram. I don’t do that anymore. I am planning on having it complete by 12/31/2020, to start the year afresh! Then I have sort through all the old photos that we have and the ones from my parents. Unfortunately a lot of them lack names, dates or location. This is why I decide to sort out my digital disaster. That way, in the distance future, my kids will have a reasonable record to wade through. Not until 2021 though!

A while back, I decided I wanted to explore fabric collage. Much as I have enjoyed the quilt making, there are limits such how many quilts can a person have. I am not good enough to sell them and my family is small, so sharing is not an option. Even before I started doing traditional quilts, I wanted to make art quilts/wall hangings. Fabric collage seems to fit into my broad spectrum of art work. I did attend a workshop at the beginning of the year, oh that seems like another age ago but I wasn’t happy with the result. I am currently working on it and I am still not happy with it! It was too basic and was basically applique with scraps of fabric. I want to create a whole image.

I had seen the work of Susan Carlson. Unlike my work, it is monumental in scale but seems to be more inline with my way of seeing things. On her website, I saw she had a eworkshop where she explained her process by using a simple spiral. I signed up and started the Spiral Eworkshop. It was much harder than I expected! I realised my fabric collection which I thought was reasonable was not. It was lacking in lots of respects, in its variety, pattern, colour and tone. As I was about to go fabric shopping, a friend step up with a huge bag of scraps. She is much more adventurous with her choice of colours and patterns. I still had to shop for some tulle for quilting. Within days, I had finished the project. I plan to make another spiral before I progress further.

Now I have to figure out what I will do with the original sunflower collage which doesn’t look much like a sunflower. I am going to chop it up and rearrange it. I don’t like it, so I might as well experiment. Here is how it looks at the moment.

WIP

I am also going to work on a pet portrait. I signed up for a workshop by Lea McComas. Her style is very different from Susan Carlson and uses digital imagery. Susan Carlson does also but in different way. Lea McComas uses fusible backing rather than glue to place the fabric and her fabric choices are not bright or patterned because she uses different threads, colours and weight, on a sewing machine to enhance the image. As I am wading through my 20 yrs of photos I am trying to find a suitable photo of any of our pets. Again, harder than you think, especially if you have a black or grey cat. Once I have selected the photo, resized and posterized, I will need to get it printed. With the pandemic getting worse by the day, I will get it done online to reduce my risk of catching covid. By the New Year, I should have the enlarged posterized photo and the fabric I want to use.

At end of 2021, I will be doing my own fabric collage, using my photos. I have collected scores of photos over the years, on visits to Scotland,France, London and Texas. Once I have sorted out my catalogue, I will finally be able to use them for what they were intended for. In the meantime, I have a lot of learning to embrace. Until a few years back, I didn’t know a thread had a weight!