Wednesday, January 6, 2010

finding sanctuary

I spent the day yesterday cleaning the studio so today I got to spend some time working on the many projects that are on the roster.

The one at the top of the list is my piece for the Sanctuary challenge coming due in a few weeks. I've been fiddling with it off and on for a while but finally found the right direction last week.

I spend nearly as much time writing as I do making fiber art. I've always got a journal and a sketchbook going at the same time, and I love handmade books. I usually treat myself and purchase a handmade one each year but I recently bought a couple of books so I can learn to make them myself.

It didn't take me long after Karen announced the theme as Sanctuary that I knew I wanted to do something about writing since I find total piece of mind when I do it. My initial plans were to make a black and white piece but the more I looked at it, the more underwhelmed I became with it.

So I did what any self respecting artist would do...I kicked its butt into the trash can and started over.

I found a good groove and today spent much of the day working on it. I stitch everything by hand and I mean everything. I feel like it connects me with the piece more. The first thing I do is what I call a foundation stitching. I like big bold stitches (I figure if I'm going to spend hours with the needle and thread, I want it to really show up) so that's the first layer. This holds everything in place (almost like a fancy basting except its permanent and part of the design) and then as I continue to add things to the piece, I stitch it more densely.

Here's a peek of the foundation stitching:

I also enjoy adding three dimensional things to my pieces as well so that's what I'll be doing tonight. I've got three elements that I'm pretty excited about so I need to stitch on those as well.

If you'd like to see an another sneak peek of a different portion of the quilt, please visit my personal blog.

Can't wait to show it complete!

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