Serendipitous Sewing

Greetings after a quiet weekend here on the annabella blog. Craftin’ was a-happenin’ in the interim, just no postin’. I continued to follow the sun around the house and garden, take pictures, contemplate (my navel and others’), read and think about my current art path.

Here’s a quote from the Tom Robbins book I mentioned that I’d like to share:

That’s the value of artists, isn’t it? Even when they aren’t aware of it, they’re dreaming our dreams for us.” (I would argue this might better read, “that’s one of the value of artists…,” but I’m taking this out of context, plus who am I to split hairs with Tom Robbins?) The bottom line is that we are all, as artists, dreaming our own dreams as well as those of the collective conscious. What we do with all that energy and content is up to us.

Embroidering Escher

I spent some time with the embroidery quilting square and tried out another outline stitch.

on the left, the beginning of Whipped Running Stitch, a.k.a. cordonnet stitch); base stitches are yellow
on the left, the beginning of Whipped Running Stitch, a.k.a. cordonnet stitch); base stitches are yellow (they’re kind of covered by the thread in the needle)

 

1st round finished: the metallic red thread doesn't have enough punch the first time around
1st round finished: the metallic red thread didn’t have enough punch the first time around; book suggests going back over everything to get a heavier wrap (will do!)

 

(I flipped the image for this pic so the comparison isn't as easy) Here's the double sewing of red metallic thread - better I think.
(I flipped the image for this pic so the comparison isn’t as easy) Here’s the double sewing of red metallic thread – better I think.

The swirls are slightly different from this angle, and it becomes obvious how the consistent outline stitch brings the curves forward more than the broken overcast stitch.

And a side image

Interesting effect to use the much smaller metallic thread with the thicker no. 8 base thread
Interesting effect to use the much smaller metallic thread with the thicker no. 8 base thread

I have my next outline stitch picked out, but I think I should add beads to those blue dots on the first “L” so I can get a balanced view of my next stitch. It’s a fun project to pick up from time to time to push my free form skills.

On the patterned work front (also related to my upcoming Art and Soul Retreat…plus the reason for today’s serendipitous title…):

This weekend I started sewing the arms, legs and body as pre-work for a doll I plan to make at the Art and Soul Retreat. This would be quick and easy work with a sewing machine, but alas. I got an awesome sewing machine as a gift recently, and I’ve read the manual front to back (with the machine in front of me, identifying each part), but I’m very intimidated when it comes to threading this bad boy and engaging that foot pedal with some cloth involved. I’m on a waiting list for a class in which I get to bring my machine, pick out a pattern, and pay an expert to walk me through the process.

Until then, here’s my hand-stitched version (front and back). Hopefully this holds up in the “stuffing” process for an appendage so skinny. Please note strategic positioning of hearts – at least one of those are gonna be a tattoo y’all!!

Arms for my doll, hand-stitched to look/act like machine-stitching
Arms for my doll, hand-stitched to look/act like machine-stitching

I’m working on the legs and body next, but the serendipitous part is that I found what appears to be a machine-sewed skirt at the very dimensions of this future doll!!! I was unfolding the material to lay out the arms and legs and found this!

pleated skirt in complimentary material, created by someone else's sewing machine!
pleated skirt in complimentary material, created by someone else’s sewing machine!

I can’t decide if I’m more pleased by the triangle of sunlight on my dining room floor or the ready-made pleated skirt. They’ll each get reused multiple times…it’s a skinny doll.

Here’s what we call “stress flowering” in a plant we got from a neighbor. (Get that baby in a better pot with auto-watering asap!)

String of Pearls plant and its other-wordly bloom
String of Pearls plant and its other-wordly bloom

There’s lots of wackiness going on in the garden these days – I’ll try to capture some better photos to share soon.

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Thoughts? How are you making art and living life these days?

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