Nellie"s Needles

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Mess of Yarn

I couldn't resist stitching the silk sari yarns onto the rest of this piece.

Untitled - 12"x 18"
That's a lot of looped yarn.  Now to decide how much of it will stay ... how many will get knotted ... whether all the loops get cut  It will stay pinned to my design board until I get back from up north after the holidays.

Seeing it up there now, I think it may benefit by having a border to frame all that wildness.  I look forward to the adventure of taking this one to completion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Messing Around

I really don't have the time to mess around with this.

However, this newly discovered concept excites me.  So I went digging through fabrics and yarns last evening instead wrapping presents.  The background is a heavy upholstery fabric sample and the rectangles are silk fabric samples that I rotary cut free-hand to get irregular shapes.  Then there was the time it took to sort through a drawer filled with variegated yarns.  I found three balls made from the cloth of recycled saris.  How perfect is that?  Shadows are an added bonus element on this piece that does not appear on that first one.

Now, I've really got to get those presents wrapped before anymore playing.  All of my holiday chores must be completed before I fly out of here next Wednesday.  But I think I'll find the time to couch the rest of the yarn in place.  Then I can take the piece with me to play with the knotting and cutting of the yarn.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Mess of Yarn

The piece that's pictured in the previous post (when it was covered in a mess of looped yarns) is finished.

Untitled - 11"x 12"
I had cut the loops and then began tying by two together at the corners of each colored rectangle.  I had done this and trimmed them for nearly half the piece while watching TV.

My intent was to use the old tradition of yarn tying a quilt in a contemporary way.  The problem was that this was beginning to look boring.  Besides, I was missing the yarn lengths with their wonderful gradation of colors.  But I had gone too far with tying and clipping those ends short to make a good composition.  It hung on my design board all day while I wrapped presents.  After supper I got the idea to cut the top part away.  This balanced that area of knots with the clipped short ends with the part that I hadn't yet tied and cut.  I knotted the corners of a few more rows.  But rather than clipping the yarn to make small neat knots, their lengths were graded from those short ends to the long uncut ones.  I tamed those longer yarns by combing them with my fingers.  I love it!

Here's what became of the top part that was cut away ...

two postcards

The above pieces are part of a little challenge that I set for myself to see how I could create very three different pieces using similar backgrounds for each.

The idea was spurred by my Thursday Bee group.  One of our members, Pat Blankenship, donated a large amount of bonded Batik fabric scraps for us to play with.  We were instructed to bring a pre-quilted foundation on which to create a design from Pat's scraps.

I had just sorted through the trunk full of my UFO's and came up with three quilted pieces that I had cut away this art quilt.  The orange/rusty/green background had been quilted before I cut "windows" to drop in the three focal pieces.
 Regeneration - 60" x 34"

Here are two of them ...
.... and the pile of Pat's scraps I brought home to continue playing.

And finally, here's the first one begun that day at Thursday Bee.
Moonlit - 11"x 16"

And the second one created while taking breaks from the aforementioned messes.
Posies 11"x 16"

I enjoyed "playing" with these.  It's playing that keeps creativity fresh.  I'm excited about the loose yarn technique I stumbled upon.  I suspect you'll be seeing a bit more of it in my future work.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Since getting back to Tennessee in mid-October, I've been dealing with messes.  The first and biggest was the painting of our condo complex.
That included drastic pruning of all our shrubs even before we were unpacked.
After the painting was finished then it was cleaning up the garden beds and getting the pansies planted ... then getting the many, many pieces of outside art in place. That helped clear the mess inside the condo.

This is just the entryway courtyard.  I kept thinking the painting crew was finished, but they'd show up to do, or redo a bit more.  That necessitated moving stuff out of their way.
There's also a patio and upper deck with just as much art and sculptures that went through the same thing at least once.

In the meantime, my studio kept getting more stuff piled into it that needed to be sorted through and put away.  I could hardly walk through the room.  Also, during the summer the hardware holding two shelves of books in my supply closet had given way.  That was a HUGE mess in there.  I couldn't bear to have anyone see all that, so I took no photos before it was all sorted out and put in order again.

It hasn't been quite all work and no play.  We took off on three trips ... each for about four days at a time.  Also, I was spurred to do a bit of playing by my Thursday Bee group.
Right now this piece looks to be a tangled mess, a reflection of my fall.  I hope to find time in the next few days to tame it.  In the meantime, I must figure out Christmas stuff and get packages wrapped and mailed before I fly north next Wednesday for the holidays.