Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Road to recovery

Ever been away from something so long you forget how? After that exhausting August, no problem threading the Janome but mis-threaded the bobbin winder. Twice wound up a tangled mess. Goes to show the last thing learned is the first thing forgotten.

To jump start back into quilting, I took another terrific EBHQ workshop at the end of August. Valerie Goodwin gave map making lessons in Map Maker Make Me a Map. Not quite up to speed so I didn't get very far on either of two maps: first Why-o-Y City
Then a map of the Japanese Tea Garden. Don't see it? What about a bird on the back of a pig?

For another boost of creativity another workshop at the end of September: Painting with Machine Embroidery with Carol Shinn . The room full of sewing machines brought me back to much younger days spent at the sweat shop where my mother worked. Those weren't good times but the drone was soothingly meditative as I free-motion embroidered. First: embroidery over painted canvas which started as a rectangle.

Second: embroidery over iron-on image transfer which created a heavily plasticized surface.

For I used my Bernina 830 - no, not the arm-and-leg one, the original - to sew these. In the weekend between tried this out on my Janome 6600P: What a difference! The old Bernina was so easy to use whereas I really had to study the Janome manual to get the settings right for freemotion.

I tried out a stiff non-woven material - truth be told, weed blocker fabric. The image is a freebie from Dover Publications (sign up for their free weekly samples). It'd probably distort more with additional stitching. See Carol's new book Freestyle Machine Embroidery: Techniques and Inspiration for Fiber Art for more information about the distortion. Or take her workshops - she's a terrific instructor.

But that did it. Once again in the habit of going into my studio from 9 to 11pm. And clear headed enough to make visual decisions.

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