Letting Go

Life is either a great adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

Last week I shared with you the beginnings of my first ledger page for my online class, Ledgers-A Record of Stitch, with Karen Ruane. I had a design that I was pretty comfortable with:

This week I planned to finish up the page and move on with other projects. As I completed the French Knots on each of my crosses, I focused more and more on the circular portion of the design. My original ideas of simply stitching the two circular outlines just didn’t excite me any more. So, I began looking at what other fibers I might have in my studio that I could use.

One thing led to another and as you can see from the photo below, where I wound up with quite a ways from where I started. 🙂

My new design is much more vibrant and mysterious. I continued to explore color balance and the impact of differing proportions on composition but I gave myself permission to just let go and play. The unstructured, scattered nature of the yarn that I crocheted together to meld the blue and black carries the free form of the organic gatherings of French Knots to a more extreme form.

I left the little black circle in the lower left as information on another color balance example as this is for a ledger of design ideas. In one sense the little circle is a bit out of place. In another, it fits as it develops the progression of darkness through color proportion from the small crosses to the large circle to a final extreme expression.

You might wonder what might have been influencing me as I was working on this composition. I suspect it is the Harry Potter series where I am currently in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Twill be interesting where my reading takes me next! 🙂

Linking as always to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

Preserving Vintage Cloth

The past few months I have been working with a delicate piece of vintage cloth. It was most likely originally a table runner. I found it at an antique mall in upstate NY. The linen cloth was so soft to the touch. Often in the projects I work on during my time with Karen Ruanne, we cut apart vintage pieces and re-construct them into new uses in pouches, lace cloths, etc. However, I decided to preserve this piece of cloth in its entirety while re-purposing it.

I folded it in half with the intention of creating a pouch where one could store other laces, ribbons, etc. I then began a process of embellishing it, starting with the front which had an opening in the middle.


I then carried part of the design onto the back and continued with embellishing, using part of a vintage hankie from my stash.


The flowered fabric was a Japanese cotton I had found on one of my expeditions to the NYC garment district. I used it throughout the pouch, including the lining.


The pouch retains the soft hand of the vintage linen fabric and now can continue its life in a way that it will be gently cared for and appreciated whenever used.




Time flies….

The holiday season certainly makes the time fly by! I returned from my trip to the East Coast just over a week ago and immediately got into holiday preparations and a quick drive over to Seattle. The trip back East was extremely busy. I packed up about 10 boxes of household items to ship out to Spokane. They have all arrived safely and our second house feels more and more like a home. While I was in NYC, I did manage to visit a few places in the garment district and couldn’t resist picking up some additional fabrics.

These will work wonderfully in my hand stitching projects:

Elegant white cottons


And, this piece of cotton fabric from Japan may just show up in some of my art quilts as well!

Japanese cotton print

For now, it found its first application in a piece that I have been stitching for the past month for the end table by my bed in our new home.


Despite all the chaos of the past few weeks, I have been steadily working on projects and the piece for my nightstand is now complete:

bedside table cover

While home in Victor, I also stopped in my favorite antique mall to see if there were any new finds. I am taking another stitching class with Karen Ruane in January called Patched Pockets.  A theme in the class involves using vintage hankies. I think these will work nicely in the class:

Vintage hankies

Amidst all this activity, I have been gradually developing a plan for the new year but am not quite ready to commit it to print! Perhaps by next week!

Wishing the best for everyone in this holiday season!

Snow covered pines

View from my studio today



Play time in my Studio

I am in my second full week at home……strange that it feels a bit like vacation. I may have to ponder that a bit!

It has meant that I have had time to wrap up some projects and begin to explore some new ones.  Happily part of my tasks for the week was to send off one of my art quilts that was purchased. I won’t say much about it as it will be a surprise present for someone but, needless to say, I am delighted it is going to a new home. 🙂

I also finished up the piece which the lettering I wrote about a few weeks ago was for. Here is a glimpse at some of it. I am calling it JOY!.

close up of art quilt

With so much World Cup action to watch, hand stitching was a must for this week. Here is a glimpse at my latest pouch – it is being constructed from some fabrics I purchased on my recent European trip, including some delicate Liberty fabric from the well known London store, Liberty London.

hand embroidery


I have another art quilt on my cutting table but I am not sure exactly where it is going yet. I think I will wait to share till I have a little more insight into the piece.

PS I am linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall blog so be sure to check out what others are doing too.