Carte Blanche For Dave The Muse

A while ago I wrote a post about my supply of embroidery floss and how it would make a piece of modern art or something the like. Of course, this would need the expertise of Dave the Muse. I was talking to him lately about the project.

‘Hi Dave! Would you like to help me with this ‘modern art’ project I’m planning to do?’
‘Are you kidding? Of course I would!’
‘OK, let’s see. I need a pattern, maybe like an abstract painting.’
‘Are you going to do cross stitch again?’
‘Yes, that’s what I thought of. I’ve already chosen this piece of Aida fabric.’
‘Which colours are you going to use?’
‘Everything in this basket.’
I showed him my supply of floss and he became very excited.
‘Oh! That’s a lot of nice colours!’
‘You can use them all in your design. Whatever you’ll be designing I will stitch it.’
‘Really?’
‘Yes.’
‘Ha! Carte blanche for Dave the Muse!

Then he darted off to do some research about modern and abstract art.

I’m curious about the things he will come up with.

Mallards And Mondrian

Most of you may have heard the name of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian or are at least familiar with his paintings. Now what has he got in common with mallard ducks, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you about it.

I always wanted to do a project in the style of Mondrian’s paintings. Years ago I made some notes on a piece which would combine Mondrian’s style with that of another famous artist (I’m not telling who it is because it’s still on my to-do list).

Yesterday afternoon I was browsing WP and came across a nature photography blog with a picture of a flying mallard duck that was absolutely fascinating. Also that afternoon I had been visiting some art quilting sites.

‘Why not combine both?’ I heard Dave the Muse ask. (I have a growing suspicion that I’m always the one being blamed for her creativity – Dave) Some scraps in blue, green and yellow from my stash were quickly found, with some black, white and grey fabric added.

I’m going to guide you through my design process now. – No, I didn’t have a plan or rough sketch or something. Cut and sew as you go. Designing ditto.

As the blue, yellow and green strips were 10 cm wide (4″), I cut some 5 x 5 (2″) squares in five different colours, 24 in total. Another 24 squares from the grey fabric completed the first round of cutting. I sewed a coloured and a grey square into pairs, pressed them and scattered them randomly across my design board. Like this:

This is just a first and very rough idea and the layout will change during the process.

After measuring the pieces, I cut 24 rectangles 5 x 8.25 cms, joined them and pressed again.

No, that’s not working this way. The amount of the grey fabric is limited. Scale it down.

White is still missing. But do not overdo. Fixed.

Fill up the holes with the grey fabric. Done.

Now sew everything together and add black sashing.

I noticed that I have turned some of the blocks accidentally. I will unsew the seams in the bottom right area and sew them again. But not today.

Because I totally forgot about housework while playing around. Furthermore, it’s already getting dark. Also, the washing machine is calling me to hang up the clean clothes.

And then I’ll be putting my sewing machine and the ironing board to rest so there’ll be no more tops until, say, um, Easter. Promised.

Knotweed, Not Bamboo

Japanese knotweed stalks

In my last Fixed! Friday post I introduced you to a piece with a yellow binding which had reminded Avis of Oh Sew Tempting of bamboo. I hadn’t noticed that before, but yes, she’s right. There are indeed some yellow species of bamboo, but most are green.

Knotweed (wip)

Strangely enough, just one or two days before I had thought of something – taking a backing fabric, cut it and insert a different fabric. I’ve even made some sketches. Avis’ comment led me to some pics I took last fall – not bamboo, but Japanese knotweed. Just the stalks without the leaves – and yellow.

After sewing on another project which had found me while I was looking for something else, I got out the yellow and brown fabric. Two of the extra fabrics from the other project, a brave cut across both of them. Sewn back together and cut again. Some strips from the yellow fabrics inserted. Voilà.

This needs a little more work – borders, binding, maybe some quilting. I’m currently exploring my sewing machine skills and there’s a lot to learn.