Tuesday, May 10, 2016

An Update On the Naked Ladies

Spring is harder on my quilting hours than the holidays. As fast as it rains, the grass grows, and so do the weeds. I have to sneak time to work on my projects, and there have been days at a time I didn't get anything done at all. Add to it a little planned getaway last week, and I felt pushed and stressed.

My plan was to take the Naked Ladies project along to work on so I hurried to start the quilting. I had a good idea what I wanted to do, and had done rough sketches beforehand. I'm sure this has happened to you, too, but things didn't go exactly as I had anticipated.  I wasn't sure I hadn't botched the entire project by the end of the machine quilting phase, and panic set it. I was seeing mistakes without knowing how to fix them, and decided at the last minute to leave it at home. It was all I could do to walk away.

"So, what happened?" you're asking.

Parts of it were just as I'd envisioned, but the moon looked as if it was popping off the quilt. I'd fused the moon and flowers, but had not yet done the applique. As a matter of fact, it had been almost 30 years since I'd done any applique. When I tried running a needle through the Pellon fusible, it was not as easy as I'd imagined. The moon actually had two layers, and it was nearly impossible.

The quilting in the woodland area felt right, and the movement created with several thread changes in the body made me happy. 

Maybe a break was just what I needed, and I could figure out the problems before I came back.

Off we went for the weekend, and we took in an artist's co-op gallery on one of our bike trips. Tower Gallery Art is a fiber friendly gallery I found out, but currently has no fiber artists in the group. If you find yourself on Sanibel Island, Florida, treat yourself to a look around. It really is a special place.

Not having a project on hand, I occupied some down time by going through everything related to applique on CreativeBug. There are currently 21 classes just for applique, and I felt like I was at my own mini retreat. I was educated! I figured out what I had to do, and made another plan.

*If you've never tried CreativeBug, you may be missing out. One monthly or yearly fee gives you access to ALL the classes, and you can save one class a month to have at your disposal forever. I'm both an affiliate for them, and an avid customer. When in doubt of a gift to give, I give CreativeBug subscriptions. So far, everyone else loves them, too.

As soon as we were home, I sneaked off to the studio, and I worked on the edge of the moon. (Deep sigh of relief.) Next, I tackled some of the raw edges on the flower. Slowly, methodically, I found the methods worked like instructed. I rolled it up, and marched it home to try some hand embroidery next. (Yes, that was another CreativeBug class!)

Blanket stitching, running stitch, and some couching of a beautiful variegated yarn I'd found on clearance last fall all helped to make me see my idea become clearer. 

So far my feelings have swung from freaked-out to fabulous, and I'm wondering how long I can string the work out. I'm realizing that we have a very different feeling about our work when we are actively touching it, stitching it, and looking closely. It's night and day to stand at a long arm machine. Even changing the light from studio to home changes how I see my work. Yes, I love machine quilting, but doubt I'll ever give up hand stitching a little bit, too.


#BraveQuilter link up is open through May 11, 2016 at midnight. Sign up if you'd like to join us. Details are available by clicking through the link.


Jayne said...

Julie, this is so beautiful. The quilting is fabulous...the touches of hand embroidery puts it over the top. It's perfect! I've often been in the middle of quilting when the feeling of 'oh crap' what am I doing hits...you fought through it and look at it now!

Stitchin At Home said...

This is coming right along,the touches of handwork add to the overall appeal of the piece. I don't know as if I would have the patience to do the handwork myself.

Sharon - IN said...

What a great quilt and get-away too! I have looked into CreativeBug but have not taken the plunge yet. You mentioned in an earlier post - if I'm remembering correctly - that your moon was too bright? As I looked at your quilt today, I thought maybe a little paint to add those shadows we see when looking at the moon might be something to consider. But, I like what you have going right now!

Sew Surprising said...

Id say this isnt naked anymore but well dressed, its a beauty :)

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France Nadeau ❅ inspiration imagination creation said...

Sometimes, walking away is necessary. We come back to the work a few days later and our point of view is usually different. Your piece is beautiful and your stitching really adds a lovely texture. I agree with Sew Surprising above.
Thank you for participating to my Fabric, Thread and Yarn link party. Have a good day!

Kate said...

Sometimes walking away is necessary to clear out the expectations and open yourself up to other options. The naked ladies are looking very lovely. You found some great solutions to your challenges.