Traveling in Spirals: Working Small

I found this forgotten treasure of 5″ by 7″ mats, painted fabric backgrounds matched and in place, in a supply closet last week.  A few days later my sister shared information about CreativeSprint.  I am blending the two together for an April visit into working small.

I first used this format three years ago.  I added cut, fused fabric shapes to the painted background. Stitched accents created a third step to the process.

I will share daily the results of the Sprint.  I am curious what the cumulative gallery and process will be.  I plan to enjoy this visit to small dimensions.

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Advent Interlude 3

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Let every heart prepare him room.

Some years, preparing room is as simple as changing the sheets in the guest room.  Other years, the room has been renovated.  But this is a year that requires an empty space.

The tree is decorated.  Presents are wrapped.  Packages are shipped.

I need this empty little stable with its one wandering sheep as a vision of empty space.

Mono-tasking on Multiple Projects

Mid-week studio progress report: little steps in multiple areas.

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Purchased fabric for a wall hanging based on a hymn.  Next step: cut into pieces.

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Pinned the pieced front of a wall hanging to the batting and backing.  Next step: quilt the layers together.

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Stitched cross and rings applique to the front of a silk banner.  Next step: outline the shapes with couched cord.

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Draped prototype of a rayon summer shawl on the mannequin.  Next step: hem and seam the 5 shawls.

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Created appliqued abstract of seashore.  Next step: ?

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Prepared new screen for printing.  Next step:  make a trial print.

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Stitched and tied two silk scarves.  Next step:  add the color.

What Makes a Good Apron?

aprons in kitchen 013 Do you choose a full apron made of a cheerful print with good pockets?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you prefer this half apron made of upcycled fabric, with extra long ties and good pockets?

 

 

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Do you want an apron like mine, an apron much-loved through use?

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need an apron that is just right for you? Bill wants a full apron with good pockets and extra long ties that go around and meet in the middle. He does not like to tie an apron behind him. Bill is a baker; he needs a serviceable apron. He asked me if I would make one for him. I am.
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Aprons are available at fibergig; click the icon to see the shop. Please convo us about custom orders.

A Year of Listening: to What?

This is my year of listening. On Mondays I post a quotation from my collection, words that resonated the first time I heard them, and which continue to resonate. That is a plan for listening which I share with others. I also have personal listening that is about discovery. What am I hearing?

I started listening to Ted Talks as I work in the studio. I am listening to understand the size, structure, and energy of these presentations. I also get to think about topics that would not necessarily come across my radar.

I am listening to trusted voices. Good words come from folks dear to me, good and familiar books, and from those who share my path, if even for a short time. I also hear my own voice, sometimes more clearly through my visual art.

The best thing I am hearing is God’s laughter. Several years ago, I told my sister that I wanted a complex answer to a simple question. This was not a whim, not a clever sound bite, but rather a deep desire, a prayer. I listen and I hear complexity. How do I like this? God is laughing and I am dancing.

Colman

Affirmation: A little Salt

Recently I had three craftsmen in my home installing a new heating / air conditioning unit. Their comments on the amount of visible fabric generated conversation about craftsmanship, the joy of problem solving with mind and hands working in concert. In a few moments we affirmed each others’ vocations.

Many years ago, an employer told me I was worth my weight in salt. I retain her quick remark, made in the midst of some hectic retail work, as a page turner on days when I doubt what I am doing. I appreciate that this was not a compliment, but an evaluation. Most days, she preferred gold; she made jewelry. But when there is cooking to be done, a little salt is often desired.

Who has smiled over your work space? Who has described your worth? What do you do with the affirmations?

Using Stuff to Get to Enough

I like being in that place between work and play.  It is not a blurry, ill-defined place for me.  It is where my imagination is happy, and often, productive.  I create games that make my work more playful.  And I have a new one.

It is called “I own it; I use it.”  It is less than a week old, but I like what it is doing for me.  I received an inquiry for burgundy and gold Christmas stockings.  I have suitable fabric in my stash.  There is a vegetable soup simmering in my kitchen, created from what was in the refrigerator and the pantry.  There is nothing new about what I am doing.  What is new is the focus.  And my attitude.

If I am simply using up what I have, I can miss the pull of another shopping experience.  When I am playing my game, I feel empowered by my choices.  I have collected these materials and equipment and today I am choosing to use them for what is required now.  The game is not about stuff.  It is about my attitude.  I believe it is part of my journey to discovering my own “enough.”

Do you want to play?  What have you used today that has delighted you?

A Simple Stitch

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of my learning to sew.  I learned to sew because I am a farm girl.  It was an essential part of the education, as was cooking, gardening, and gathering eggs.  The first seven years of sewing were painful and tedious to me, because I wanted to be reading or wandering the fields and orchard.  But I had good teachers: mother Juanita, Grandma Alice, sister Phyllis, and Aunt Helen.  For these women, I give thanks.

Today I am using a simple straight stitch on a quilted garden.  I remember many years ago finally falling in love with a simple straight stitch when I conquered an understanding of garment construction.  The ability to make and mend clothes was an essential element in my personal economy.

Today I am love with the simple stitch all over again. It gives me power to communicate.  My art can tell a story or evoke an emotion.  And there is a new set of women who consistently persist in encouraging my stitching: Emily, Donna, Marsha, Mary Ann, Mary Lois, Paula, and Joyce.  In these women, I rejoice.

Today I stitch.