Friday, May 27, 2011

Playing with Color and Texture

I'm trying out new technology today.  We recently broke down and bought a small laptop computer for our business.  My main motivation was to be able to take it with me to the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium next month, but now I'm finding many other uses for it.  Today I'm learning about sharing pictures and documents from my office computer via the web.  I'm hoping I can add pictures to this post via a new service my husband set up for me.  It is my test run to see if I can manage this on my own.  I'm pretty computer-literate, but for many things I still feel like a newbie.

In my more hands-on world, I've been creating more Free Lace scarves.  The gallery I am working with in Newton has requested longer ones than I've made before.  Customers want to "make a statement" with their scarves.  My previous ones didn't have quite enough length for that.  I made a big push and made four scarves in four days this week.  I wanted to make them as different as I could.

Here's the first one.  I've incorporated triangles of shot silk as well as threads of various textures, even one with some sparkle.

This is the second one.  I had just a bit of some beautiful yellow threads that I wanted to use.  There wasn't enough for a big project and I also wanted the challenge of using yellow.  It's not a color I work with often.  The overall reads green to me because of the combination of yellow and blue threads, but the yellow adds a liveliness that pleases me. 

Here's the third.  This one incorporates triangles of silk and squares of an embroidered sheer.  With this one I got to a place where I thought it should be done, but it didn't feel quite special yet.  I had a random square of sheer fabric setting on my table that kind of jumped up at me to say "use me."  It was a fairly small sample that had an embroidered grid pattern filled with circles.  I loved it but didn't know what to do with it.  I realized that the colors worked well with my design and the sheer was soft enough to work well in a scarf.  So I cut it up and added it in.  Another example of why it's necessary to keep a stash of fabric and supplies on hand even if you don't know what you're going to do with them.

Here's the last one - another challenge color for me - orange.  The color alone makes a statement.  I've toned it down a bit with some purple, but it's definitely bright.

So I have to say that it's work I'm pleased with.  I hope they find good homes.

I also have to say that I'm pleased that I've managed this new system and gotten my blog written with pictures included even though I'm away from my office computer.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Need Lead Shoes Today

I haven't posted for a while because I was working hard to finish the jacket commissioned by my neighbor for his wife.  The hard work paid off - I delivered it right on time last week.  Today I got the nicest note from her.  She'd worn the jacket four times already and had received many compliments and lots of questions about where she got it etc.  She felt great and her husband was very pleased with himself for ordering it.  Makes me feel so good.

So here's a look at it:

The bands on the front and cuffs are crazy log cabin squares.  I worked in many colors so she could coordinate with lots of things.  As an added challenge - and more fun - she had given me several fabric remnants from her 87-year-old quilter aunt to work in if possible.  I am pleased to say that I managed to use at least a bit of all the fabrics she gave me.  I think it's wonderful that the jacket has that added level of meaning for her.

Now the secret of this jacket is that it is reversible so she can get double the wear.  Here's the "inside."
In my original plan this side was going to be just plain, but as I thought more about it I realized it needed a bit of spark to be sure that she would really get double the wear.  That's when I decided to add the couched threads.  These are the Stef Francis 5400 rayon threads that I love so.  They add great color and shine.  (Don't tell her but these were leftovers from Sonja's wedding dresses.  The colors were perfect.)  In her note she said she'd worn both sides already, so I guess it was a good decision.

So now you see why I need those lead shoes - to weight me down to the earth after all the good news.  I've got lots to do, so I can't just go floating away...