Friday, December 09, 2005

Wastebasket Treasures

It is snowing like crazy today in Maine. What a winter wonderland! I may even break down and buy a tree and decorate it. Today's photo art is all about what you have in your quilting wastebasket. If you piece--and I only do it under duress--then you have strips you have cut off the edge when evening off the cutting edge of the fabric. Or selvedge edges. I had a big wad of them in the basket and I was not quite ready to really work but wanted to DO something so I made these. I kind of sorted the wastebasket strips into color families to begin.

I cut 14 and a half inch squares out of fusible batting. I layed the batting on top of a square of backing fabric and then started laying the strips out on the batting surface. Some were placed north and south and then crossed with strips going east and west. Then thinner strips were layed on top of fatter strips and more strips etc. I also took stuff off all along the way if it didn't work with the "theme". When it's the way you like, carefully move the whole thing to the ironing board and press from the center out to fuse. There will be loose stuff not in contact with the fusible but the pressing (notice I said PRESS-not IRON) will hold it in place. I layered one with some tulle--my favorite all purpose tulle is the orangey red one. Goes with everything and doesn't dull the colors. No! it doesn't make everything red. It's a miracle what it does. Try it.

Then, because it's only 14 inches, I just started sewing the strips down with a straight stitch down the center of each strip. The tulle was held down with a few straight pins.

The one without tulle was spot glued with regular washable Crayola white glue. This is my glue of choice because I got it for 88 cents a bottle and anything that's okay for children isn't going to do anything bad to the fabric. And it washes out with water. And that is important because I am VERY MESSY and end up with glue all over my hands, shirt and pants and even in my hair (if I forget and brush my hair out of my face with a gluey hand). Wash it out of your clothes while still wet and you're okay. It peels off skin and other surfaces. I glue all my quilts. If you can't glue it; don't do it. Though fusing is a close second. The gluing doesn't change the "hand" of the fabric like fusible WU does.

These are nice "warm-up" excercises to do before you get down to real work or they are excellent excuses for an hour or so of work in the studio when that's all you have. I mean to try a smaller size and make a postcard just to see what happens. Everyone seems to have made a fabric postcard but me. Got to get with it!

Now it's time for my snowblower lesson. I like to shovel snow but the Hub believes in machinery----I am so NOT happy about the snowblower (noisey and stinky). Shoveling snow by hand, in the evening with the stars out above--well, that's a good winter Zen thing. I usually do a nice herringbone pattern down the drive. Good vibes until the street plow drops 4 feet of street snow at the end of the driveway. That's BAD. For the Zen and for the back. Therefore, I need to know how to operate the stinky snowblower. Let it snow.


Karoda said...

Hi Joanne, this is Karoda from Seamless Skin. Welcome to the ring. These are the cutest little exercises...sorta like crossword puzzles for the art quilter :)

Deborah Boschert said...

I think these are the delightful pieces I saw in person. I adore them! And you are so funny about the snowblower... how did the lesson go?

Micki said...

what a great way of being creative with the littlest bits!