Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's Growing in My Creative Garden

Sometimes between larger projects, I find doing something simple and straight forward helps to tide me over and can respark my creative fire. A few days ago I decided to make a table runner after attending the Westshore Quilt Show and finding an Easter coloured fabric. I had seen some amazing quilts brought by Montana art quilter extraordinaire Barbara Olsen, who dropped into the show for a surprise visit after taping an instructional DVD here on Vancouver Island. Her colourful machine appliqued florals led to me imagining doing a collaged floral table runner (and a quilt), yet when I actually went to sew, I decided I liked the fabric as it is and I wondered why make it so complicated? So I kept it a simple oval shape and one fabric without further embellishment. Then, a day later, I decided I wanted to expand and improve my technical skills and with that end in mind, I headed to the studio with a paper piecing book in hand, planning to make one simple block. Somehow, enroute, my eye was caught by an old pink sweatshirt I had decided to one day make over into a jacket. I suddenly found myself auditioning fabrics to collage to the front of it - and I never even cracked open that book! I love how this seems to just 'happen' - some new creation is born when I listen and follow what wants to arrive. The seed was probably planted a few years ago when I first thought of making over this sweatshirt and with sun from the recent quilt show inspiration and a little fertilizer from the table runner, it began to grow. I've used two fabrics I cut into pieces and then free motion sewed onto the shirt. Bias tape, a fancy stitch and a frog completed it - and I laundered it to fray the raw edges. I did have some technical challenges when I came to overlapping the bias tape and there were suddenly multiple layers to get through while using a fancy stitch. I substituted a jeans needle, which I imagine helped somewhat, although there are still a few brief places that the stitch distorted. I noticed that when I would start sewing on a flatter piece next, the stitch would remain distorted for awhile, so next time I was going to stitch after a thicker part, I turned my Pfaff off and then on again and voila, the stitch had reset and came out as it's supposed to. I wonder what I'll make next?


Ruth said...

Wow, I can't wait to see this actual jacket, it looks so cool! And neat that it was done quickly. I agree it's good to have little projects in between the more major ones.

Yvonne said...

Thanks, Ruth. The tablerunner was the quick part - not the sweatshirt, though. I often find I begin something thinking it will be much faster to complete then it actually is, and I think that making something that is straight forward and simple successfully is a boost to carry me onto tackling something else that's more involved.

Laura said...

HI Yvonne
Great sweatshirt - that pink is great on you. Really makes one dream of spring on this wet day.
We do need less complex projects.
I have one in mind with a piece of fabric I bought at Kitaamba.
Have a great creative day and week!

Yvonne said...

Thanks, Laura. Kitaamba does have some gorgeous fabrics - I bought a few, too, that I've left sitting out in case they spark my imagination. I look forward to seeing what you make with yours!