1) I removed EVERYTHING! - all the stuff that I've been accumulating for years. The piles of fabric, papers, magazines, books, and the paints, glues, sandpaper, and all the tools and equipment and furniture too.
2) With everything piled up in my dining and spare rooms, I enlisted the help of a friend to sort fabrics into piles of like colors. Since I work with both crazy quilts and fabric collage techniques I have LOTS of little scraps and pretty much keep everything. With a little help from my friends I have amassed a huge amount of scraps.
3) I laid down my NEW floor. I'd been reading up on this cheap new technique - papering floors, that I found on Pinterest and it was finally time to do it. Click HERE for the best tutorial I found online. I gathered together the materials purchased 2 years ago: a roll of brown contractor paper, a gallon of Elmer's white glue and a gallon of water-based Polyurethane. I then spent 12 hours on my hands and knees, tearing the paper, crumpling it to add texture, soaking it in a mixture of glue and water, and laying it down piece by piece.
4) Next, I made it pretty. Most of the posts I saw on the paper technique ended with a dark stain, but I decided to go another way. Using some stencils I already had, I sprinkled yellow stenciled designs randomly across the floor. Final step on the floor was the polyurethane, applied with a paint roller on an extension handle. I added three coats over one day letting it dry to the touch in between (about 2-3 hours). It could use a few more coats but that will have to wait.
5) Final step was to load back in ALL my stuff and organize it for functionality. I finally have all my tools in one place and all my fabrics sorted plus three different work surfaces: one for sewing, one for cutting and design work, and a third one for the messy stuff - paint and glue. And I also have a pack and ship area.
I can't wait for 2016 and to get in there and use it!!
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I confess, I am a bit of a control freak. My day job for years and years has been in the realm of financial management. In that realm there are spreadsheets and accounting programs, budgets and projections.
You can make a spreadsheet look pretty, but the dollars add up and if they don't, there is a mistake somewhere.
In my studio I have had to learn how to let go of that. As creativity takes over, I've found that making mistakes can be an important part of the process. Allowing myself the flexibility to pivot from one idea to another right in the middle of trying to make something has brought me to new places that I may not have gotten to otherwise.
In the process of making a crazy quilt, a collage or an embroidered piece, I often find myself inventing a new path/stitch/look to push beyond something that's not quite working.
I've learned to say Yes! and sometimes it ends up just feeling like magic!
Spring has finally sprung and May has me on the road first east to Cambridge, MA and then west to Columbia County Historical Society in NY:
Saturday, May 9th - 10am to 4pm
Fayerweather Street School annual Art of Craft fair
765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
to teach a Crazy Quilt workshop
Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17 - 10am to 3pm
Columbia County Historical Society New York
5 Albany Avenue Kinderhook, NY 12106
and I am ready to roll after spending most of the very long winter at home in the studio. It was a good time - very introspective and exploratory. I feel blessed to be constantly on the move creatively - cooking up new products that were so fun to make: belts, bags, new little boho fiber art necklaces, and I also added 3-dimensional beadwork to one of my embroidered paintings - what a gas!!
1) It’s improv with fabric!
Unplanned and unexpected combinations of color, fabrics and embellishment make it a completely improvisational process. I never know what the end result will be when I start a piece and I love that. It’s fun to watch it take shape and to know that every piece is one of a kind and completely unique.
2) It’s something wonderful to do with all those scraps of fabric!
My pack rat nature finally pays off when I can use all those saved bits and pieces of fabric from other projects, not to mention getting to use old clothes that I love but no longer wear. It’s also a great way to experiment with different types of fabric: silks, satins, velvets, cottons, upholstery fabric – its all fair game and fun to play with.
3) Lace, buttons, beads, charms and thread!
I just love the process of embellishing a crazy quilt and have at one time or another used just about anything that can be sewn on. A lace collar cut from a stained blouse edges a velvet piece of fabric beautifully, while a single button or earring whose partner was lost long ago finally finds a home. And, then I embroider and embroider and embroider, playing with stitches I learned in my teens and creating a few new ones along the way. Its fun to see how differently a stitch can look with a bead placed beside it or in two different colors.
Join an upcoming workshop:
Columbia County Historical Society for a weekend workshop
May 16-17 - 10am-3pm
The Yellow House in Palmer, MA in February, March or May for a hands on workshop
CRAZY QUILT CLASS
Learn to piece together scraps of fabric to make a beautiful crazy quilted pillow top or decorative hanging piece. This Victorian era craft is creative, fun and improvisational. We will explore suitable fabrics and trims, and the best way to fit your pieces together to achieve the most beautiful result. Sign up for the Embroidery class to learn a variety of embellishment techniques for the final piece. Bring your sewing machine and extra sewing machine needles. Instructor will provide all other materials for a $5 fee.
Dates: Tuesdays, February 10, 17 & 24, 3 classes, 6-8pm OR
Saturdays, March 7 & 14, 2 classes, 1-4pm OR
Thursdays, May 7, 14 & 21, 3 classes, 6-8pm
An Embroidery class follows each Yellow House Crazy Quilt Class so you can learn how to do it all!
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