Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finished Jellyroll Rag...and on to the next thing

I think I finished the red jacket in record time for me, not too many interruptions this time.  I called this one Jellyroll Rag.  The swirls made me think of dancing and jellyrolls and the color was just like the filling in the bakery jellyrolls I remember from childhood.  How's that for free association...

Here's a detail shot so you can see the insets and couching work I've done to add spice to an already beautiful fabric.  I've added those sparkly threads inside the paisleys and along the swirl.  The couching helped to smooth the edges of the insets, and then I needed to add the threads in other places to tie things altogether.
Once I finished this jacket, I needed to work on some of the more mundane tasks around here.  A jacket commission motivated me to do a major sorting and organization of my fabric stash.  Kim wants a wrap jacket in blues and aquas for a wedding rehearsal dinner in June.  So I needed to go through what I have to see what my possibilities were.  I wanted to make sure that I'd left no stone unturned, so I decided to go through literally everything we have.  

Here's what our work area looked like while that was in progress.  It's a mess, but there's actually a method to that madness.
Once I got everything sorted, I realized I needed a better way to store the fabrics to make them easier to access and use.  (One thing always leads to another, doesn't it...)  So I made a trip to Target and bought a dozen large clear bins.  Now everything has been put away and the bins have been lined up and labeled.  I can see what I have and can get at things easily.  What a big improvement:
The tabletop is nearly clear now and I'm ready to start the next project...but after Christmas.  My son comes home tomorrow, so I'll be taking some time to hang out with my family.  Hope you have plenty of time to do that in the next couple of weeks too.

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Red This Time

Three blue jackets in a row made me realize I needed to do something different this time.  Following my usual pattern yesterday afternoon I pulled out a bin of fabric to see if I could find something that called my name.  I started with a bin of silks and never went any farther.  A set of red fabrics nearly jumped out of the bin and into my arms.  

For me red is about as far from blue as I usually get.  It's not that I don't like red, I just hardly ever work with it.  

Here's the set of fabrics I pulled out.  The big piece with the swirls and paisleys is one I've had for along time.  I just love the patterning and the fabric has a nice soft hand.  

I didn't have a good idea of what I was going to do with the fabrics, I just thought that they went together well.  Some of them hadn't been prewashed yet so I took them home to do that last night and just let the ideas stew.

Today my ideas started to come together.  I decided to do some reverse applique to incorporate motifs from the flower and fern fabrics into the empty paisleys. 

Here's my test piece.  After I did a couple of these on the sleeves, I decided it needed a little something more.  I've started couching some sparkly threads around the outline and along some of the swirls.  It is coming out well, but I sure didn't set myself an easy task.  I did three and then decided that was enough for today.  It requires way too much patience for a late Friday afternoon.  I'll keep going in the morning when I'm rested.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dance Rhythms

I just finished another jacket that I'm anxious to share.  I call it Dance Rhythms because the wavy lines make me feel like swaying in time to some jazzy music.  Does it make you feel that way too?

Here's the Front
And the Back

 The background fabric is a great African hand-dyed damask I bought from Becky Hancock of St. Teresa's Textile Trove at the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium this past June.  My photograph doesn't really do justice to the wonderful interplay of the patterns from the dye and the weaving.  You have to see this one in person to get the full effect.  I've added inset waves that I've pieces together from lots of my scrap fabrics.  To top it all off, there are handmade glass buttons from Penny Faich.

I'm pleased that I got it finished in time for Holiday Open Studios this weekend.  Maybe some lucky woman will find this under her tree on Christmas morning...