A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Reawakening and Relaxation

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world~~Robin Williams

Sometimes I simply need to remind myself I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Dare to play and experiment.  This is a 7″ by 7″ mini-quilt (with double-binding–corded and regular bindings) made for my friend as shop-warming present.  It’s a proportionally replicate of her shop logo–Nicole Michelle Decor.  Beautiful first-class shop. Check it out. I free-motion quilted with Silk threads and had to redo a few times.  Not perfect, but, it’s the thought that counts, right?!

I have been seriously itching to paint my own fabric for a long time–accumulated a ton of books on the topic since last year–so many possibilities and one of a kind cloth. A month ago, I got a hands-on demonstration for watercolor-pencil painting on fabric from Kristin. Why did I procrastinate the play? Craftastrophe, maybe? These exercises are really about courage, I guess. To make a blank piece of cloth to some sort of art and then show it to people can be scary. I open myself up to ridicule. It is always nerve racking.

Summer time is a time of reawakening and relaxation. What better way to relax than to reawaken a plain cloth (fat quarter) with a burst of color!

Organizing my threads

I spent a better part of Tuesday night adding layers–1) first tried light sketching with Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 pencils. It’s too faded to make a difference. My poor eyes couldn’t see the lines. 2) Mixed 1-part Martha Steward Fabric Medium and 2-part water–worked out great here and half the price of my go-to Liquitex Textile Medium.  3) Paint small working area of cloth with watercolor pencils, 4) Touched up with Inktense pencils.  Now that I get some idea of how it works, I can easily skip Step 3 altogether.  Inktense is the way to go.  Go on smoothly.  Colors are vibrant.  I only need very little of it unless I want the color dark on the fabric.  5) Let the cloth dry overnight.

I treated the colored cloth with dry hot iron next morning, washed it gently by hand with mild soap, and hung dried. Surprisingly, no color was lost between rinses even though I did not wash the sizing off beforehand or let it dry for 24 hours as some suggested.  I believe the fabric medium played a major part in this result.

Stroke by stroke, “Traveling down the childhood memory lane” is born–the boats, its shadows, water fluidity, stone wall, rope posts, and row houses (awaiting thread painting to give more details.) I love my first child-like painting!

Wish I could wash the birds off the sky and start over though. Typically, I can paint over it. But I won’t as I will be fine-tuning the cloth with threads later in the quilting process.

No matter how badly I mess up, there is something of value here. I always say some of my best ideas came from my worst ‘mistakes.‘ Once a couple of strokes in place, I wasn’t afraid to take creative risks. I now call this creative fertilizer for my crafty garden. Oh and…sometimes it’s good to know when to stop adding ‘one more thing‘ to the designs. It’s why I left the sashing plain.

This is a blast to work with, literally had me giggling (in a good way,) but it was the brilliance of Inktense Blocks and fabric medium that lured me into a late-night paint party! I can’t wait to seam the pieces up, add cotton batting and some pieced-backing, and start embellishing/quilting it. Meanwhile, I washed a few more clothes, awaiting to be dried for more experiment. I am thinking of using all the acrylic paints and washable textile medium by Delta, Ceramcoat, Folkart, Liquitex, Deco Art, and Chromacryl I already have.

It’s a good thing to take a break from the computer sometimes and pick up a pencil. I love to doodle, dream, sketch, and do what I please on this once white cloth. It is all about inspiring self to spread my creative wings. I need all of the positive creative inspiration I can get as it isn’t easy for me–not at all. Is there something you’ve been procrastinating? Be brave. Have courage and confidence.  Dive in. What the worst thing can happen?

Enabler Alert. I am delighted to share a couple of knitting and crochet patterns published this month. Diamonds and purls knitted shawl pattern is FREE for the month of August.  No coupon code needed.  Thank you, Jenny, for a fine lace beauty.

Are you as crazy about Mandala as I am? Take a good look at what Dedri Uys designed. The vivid colors.  The lotus-like flowers in the corners.  Raised petals.  All the little details in Sophie’s Garden are stunning!  What’s more?  The pattern is FREE as a bird.  Would you make it?

That’s the wrap, folks. Visit my Facebook page here for another inspiring project to be shared later today.  As always, it will be FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

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