Monday, May 18, 2009

From Lemons to Lemonade

Sometimes you just don't know where your head is. That is how I felt the Friday night of retreat last month. I had a wonderful time, but it took me hours to get anything done on Friday. Once I got going, I couldn't understand why a piece I was making wouldn't lay flat. It was to be a large square in a square wallhanging. I had the purple center square in the neon green, the green in the hit pink and the hot pink in the black. But it wasn't until I put the black on did I notice it was waving at me. So, I took the black off. Still waving, so I took the pink off. Hmphh, the green and purple were flat, great. So I re-cut the pink, trimmed down the black and on they went. You guessed it, it was waving. So I took it apart again and once done, it looked pretty good. I put it away Friday night, saying a good steam dance in the morning and I could begin dressing up the background. Well I was wrong, squaring the piece up, made me realize the no amount of steam was going to solve whatever ailed this piece. So away it went... I wasn't wasting my weekend driving myself crazy. I put it away and started something else. Well, that was three weeks ago.

Last Thursday before getting ready to hit the road for my daughter's college graduation, I pulled it out. I took the pink and black off again and re-cut them, fresh from the yardage. I figured that the bias's must be way off for it to be waving so much. WRONG.... it still waved!!!! Standing over it, I decided to measure all my sections.... guess what.... the center square wasn't a square... it was a rectangle. Instead of measuring 12" square. It was 12" x 11"... !@!@!@! And NO I hadn't opened the bottle of wine Friday night. How could I have done such a thing? I am a measure twice, cut once type of gal. Well it happened... hence my lemon.... hmphh.... So, I left it on the cutting table and left for the weekend.

Then today while sitting all day in the Jury Panel room, waiting to be called, I sat and read the Libby Lehman book, Thread Play, Mastering Machine Embroidery, I had purchased at the Ricky Tims Super Seminar. And it hit me... I was going to use my lemons to practice my Thread Play. I always pull out some piece of fabric that doesn't thrill me anymore to practice quilting techniques on, so why not use this top that obviously wasn't going to be completed in it's present state. At least not by me.... I don't frog something 4 times!

Well, what do you think....
It is still a little warped, but I am fine with that. The thread square is not centered, but I did that intentionally, since the whole piece is off. I will steam it when I finish with the thread play and then block it after it is quilted. It isn't going to be an heirloom, just a practice piece. I think I will even practice bobbin thread feathers as part of the quilting (aka Ricky Tims).

First, I used a variegated purple, green, and blue Rainbow, Superior thread to create the square. Next since the variegated thread didn't have any pink, I added some pink using a Madeira rayon. Since I wanted the pink to stand out, I took a medium pink and began highlighting the square, then added a second layer of highlights in a lighter pink. Last, I outlined the square in the lightest pink, to give it some definition. I will use Libby's Ribbon technique to decorate the outer black section in pink, green, purple ribbons. I will probably use the Madiera rayon, as I like the sheen it has (plus I have it it two shades of all three colors, so I can get the highlight on the ribbon.) I am thinking of adding some small wonky square embroidery in the purple/pink/green areas.... just not sure yet.

Yep, I think I have the beginning's of a nice cool pitcher of Lemonade. Do you agree??


terificreations said...

Love it! I love the take on Libby's Splat method, very neat & clean.


Mary Anne said...

That is way cool! Has the new baby arrived?

Renee said...

Actually, this is using Libby's Sheer Embroidery technique she shows in her book. She does it all in one color way, but I liked the variegated thread. This is definitely one way to showcase all the thread I have accumulated :-).

No baby yet... but should be this week :-)