And so it begins

I finally have my workspace somewhat organized and completed. Now I can begin on some projects. I have limited supplies here in Texas but I’m all about using what I have and not spending money. The exception for me is something really really cheap at a thrift store or ropa. I have another new place to get wonderful scraps. There is a drapery and upholstery place in downtown McAllen that has the standard stuff but they also design their own fabrics and sell wholesale to other places. When they have pieces that are small like a fat quarter or a little larger, they sell them for 25 cents. That’s in my budget! At the top left of the picture below is one of those pieces. I knew when I saw it that it had a home in one of my art quilts.

I wanted a hand dyed look for the piece I’m working on. I don’t have any dye here and my textile paints are buried somewhere right now in the closet area that still has to be painted. So I decided to build my colors using loose threads and fun yarns. I thought they might yield some interesting results since the fringes would tend to bleed into the next layer. I started with bright yellow cotton and layered different white and ecru fibers. Then I started adding colors. Just like dyes, I had to consider the juxtaposition of color to get the look I wanted. Maybe not as serendipitous as dyeing, but it yielded some good results.

Here is a small section of the piece as I worked. I’m liking the organic feel and the contrast of color. When I was pleased with the layering, I used that little 25 cent piece to layer on top. Then I had to stitch it all together to hold all those threads in place. I used the grid pattern of the top layer to stitch on. I wanted the contrast of geometric with the organic middle layer.

I used a walking foot because I didn’t want the backing to pucker. But I somewhat used Susan Shie’s method of wonky grid quilting that I learned in her workshop at Arrowmont last fall. Even though I followed the grid pattern, I let the fabric sandwich take on a life of it’s own by not holding the layers tightly together. This goes along with my recent exploration of letting each piece find and define it’s own edges. Square quilts be darned!!

That’s it for now, just some peaks at what is in progress. It has a long way to go and miles of threads before it’s complete.

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