28 Jun

Murphy’s Law

One of the hardest things about being creative professionally is that you can’t just turn it on and off like a 9 to 5 job. Sure, I used to go to work at 9 and leave at (hopefully) 6 and try to make appropriate, beautiful, creative designs, but some days it just didn’t happen. And some days, I’d be sketching at home because that’s when the inspiration hit. It’s the same thing trying to nurture my fiber art now. Just when I start getting into a nice, messy, creative momentum, leather-clad Norwegians on a motorcycle arrive at the door, and then my kid gets sick.

Not that I don’t like Vikings, it just meant that I had to clean up the piles of bubble studies-in-progress and the soft sculpture “mis en place” that has taken up residence on the guest bed. Work was going to stop anyways since my sewing machine let me know that it was time for it’s annual tune-up. My dealer is all about customer service though — she gave me a cute little loaner to drive while mine’s away. I love the way it matches my Fliegenpilz decor.

Even the machine is red and white

OK, so I’ve set up the loaner machine, and the Norwegians are on the road again, but now my son appears to have Pink Eye. No school for two days. Argh. Then I realized that the faces I’ve been embroidering for my softies are too big. You’d think I’d double check before making 18, wouldn’t you.

What I did manage in the last three days though, is this:

Embroidery WIP

It was going to be a base for a bubble study, but then it became an embroidery I could sit in the living room with and converse with friends or an eight year-old while working on it. I need some advice though. I had originally thought I’d machine stitch bubbles in the border, but now I think that would obscure the grid in the fabric too much (part of the exercise was to be to use the grid to make more regular bubbles, but now I don’t think that’s appropriate for this piece). I considered quilting vines a la Jane Sassaman, and my Hansel and Gretel quilt, but that’s not exciting me either. I could just leave it as is — not a quilt at all, or maybe hand quilt loose rows in the border and a little into the main area just to keep it from getting too puffy. So that’s one question. The other is how to finish it off. I have a honey colored wooden frame that it looks really nice in. If I were to frame this piece, either quilted or not, what would be the best way to go about it? I imagine wrapping the fabric around acid free foam core or other board, but then do I just tape it to the back with acid free tape? Or does that look sloppy? Lace it on with stitching? Then I’d have to finish off the edges nicely. Or, since I’d cover the whole back with a dust cover, does it matter? Any embroiderers or cross-stitchers out there with advice? I’m envisioning the frame as the “binding,” so I don’t want to float a conventional little quilt on a backing within the frame. Thanks in advance for any help.

4 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law

  1. This piece is really neat! I kept looking for the gnome who lives in the house. IMHO, you could either echo the circle within a circle that is in the upper right, or the shwosh (paisley) design and still keep the integrity of the grid. I have found that circles tend to accentuate geometrics. Do you have a scrap of the grid fabric to try out some ideas? When I frame pieces, I tend to do the acid free foam core route. I figure with the dust cover I am covering up the sins of workmanship and if anyone wants to peek – well, that’s there problem. I have done a pillowcase approach and then slide the foam core in and blind stitch the open end. Whatever you chose it is going to be great. Now off to eat some more raspberries and cherries. Cheers from one of those Viking types!

  2. If you want the foam core to show, then you can pillow case finish it and then punch some holes in the foam core and attach the finished piece with stitching through the holes ( without the stitches coming through to the front). Other wise, I think you would have to tape it and then I would cover it with a piece of fabric or acid free cardstock on the back. Have you thought about stretching it on stretcher bars? I am looking at it on my lap top and need to look again on the flat screen downstairs. I want to see more detail.

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