Tag Archives: thread play

Wabi Sabi and pulling weeds

I like to think of it as experiencing Wabi Sabi instead of weed pulling work. The ground littered with wonderful decaying plants. The textures, colors, the shadows and light, it is ever changing. I’m happy to recreate it in art…

A little weeding and a lot of wabi sabi
A little weeding and a lot of wabi sabi

My garden has often been a source of inspiration for me – from the old fence boards to the insect nibbled leaves and the rusty found objects.

painted fence boards on fabric by Ann
detail Shadow of Oneself by Ann

rusty

When I think about decaying leaves I think of the spectacular fiber art by Barbara Schneider and her Leave Series. Barbara’s work seems to always be evolving. It is so inspiring to me. Thanks to Barbara for allowing me to share her artwork. I hope you will stop by her website and enjoy her wabi sabi fiber art and so much more.

Leaf Fragments, var 1 by Barbara Schneider
Leaf Fragments, var 1 by Barbara Schneider

Warm-up Wednesday

Well, I thought about doing this post yesterday with the title Tension Tuesday but Warm-up Wednesday seems to have a better ring to it!

I test tension and warm up for free-motion thread play at the same time. After testing my tension and ending up with this flower, I decided I needed to do my machine’s tension test on a solid piece of fabric (maybe a painted sky scrap?) so that I could add to it every time I tension test, creating a picture (which I may paint in the future). I know the best way to test the tension is sewing loops and straight lines but I can’t seem to help myself!

warm up flower
stitching tiny produce

I recently learned on LuAnn Kessi’s blog about a tension gauge, but decided to hold off on buying one since I seem to be doing okay on my own. Have you used a gauge for checking sewing machine tension?

I mentioned it before – Because I change thread often while working on art quilts I have gotten pretty fast at adjusting the bobbin tension on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. I had a student in one of my workshops say that she uses only one kind of thread so her machine never gives her tension trouble. I think in some cases that is a good idea, but I like to change up the thread to get different textures. It also helps me remember to clean the lint out.

Adjusting tiny screw
Adjusting tiny screw

I wonder if some day sewing machines will just “feel” the thread, automatically make all the adjustments so all sewing goes smoothly!

Quilting Away

If you haven’t free-motion quilted or thread painted but wanted to, I encourage you to just jump in! I have had to get over a lot of hang ups because I came from the “hand quilting, perfect stitches, and needle turn applique” mindset. Working Playing with my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine and thread has been some of the most fun I have had in my fiber art career. But this can be done on a home sewing machine too!
garden quilt update detail 06 09

garden quilt detail 06 9

I’m so fortunate that I get to do this and call it “work!” I’m about to quilt the sky on this commissioned piece, after yards and yards of thread and many hours of free-motion quilting the flowers and foliage. Here are a couple detail photos… The sky and most of the flower fabric were painted by me and the butterfly (and birds which don’t show in these photos) will be a lesson I hope to be giving on Curious.com/fiberdesignsbyann in the future.