Sumac is such a stately, regal plant and I think that certainly shows here in this print. I started this piece before I started Maples which I shared here. I dove back into my supply of fabrics that I created and added two silk pieces that I painted with acrylic paints in a surface design class in 2015. I am loving how these fabrics are finding their way together.

Again I turned to some hand-dyed variegated thread I purchased from Elin Noble many years ago.

I like to create one step at a time, making decisions about what I will use and how I’ll use it as each new step presents itself.  Here is thread painting done. Now — how to quilt the background surrounding the sumac.

I’ve been doing this a while. I have a lot of thread. And yet, I did not have the thread I wanted for this portion of the project.  It just arrived this week. Stay tuned.

Small notebook cover

I took out a small piece of fabric this week and did some simple surface design work. I left some blank spaces so that I could add a bit of hand stitching. I have several small notebooks (4 1/2″ x 3 1/4″) in my stash that need a nice cover for them and, frankly, I needed to do some stitching. This project would be small and satisfying.

I used the techniques shared by Carol Ann Waugh in her Craftsy class called Stupendous Stitching. (You can see the first project I completed from Carol’s class here. It’s been a book that I go back to again and again now — I wouldn’t be without it.) The lavender and blue batik led the way for selecting coordinating threads and other items for decorating and finishing the project. Here’s the first cover completed.

03-24-16 Notebook-2

The inside:

03-24-16 Notebook-3

I use elastic as the closure for these small covers since they are intended to be carried in a purse. I also stick to embellishments that will lay flat on the surface of the fabric and will be less inclined to catch on other items carried in the same container.

03-24-16 Notebook-1

You can see earlier posts about creating notebook covers for large and small notebooks by clicking on the notebook/notebook cover category to the right.

Time to complete the other three covers.

Black Oak

I’m still working on my Native California plant series. I completed the top for Black Oak which will finish about 26″ x 60″. I really enjoyed putting this one together using some of my ‘radiator series’ fabric created in Lonni Rossi’s surface design class at Asilomar, some rust fabric experiments and some sun prints. Once I pulled out a stack of likely-suspect fabrics to use, things just seemed to jump together for me — or did they? I loved the fabrics but something was wrong. Here’s where I pick up the camera and start taking pictures. It’s amazing what one sees on the computer that one cannot see on the wall. Click on image for a larger view.

Black Oak rejectThe large piece of rusted fabric on the left jumped out way too much. And the background doesn’t show at all. I took everything down and went shopping for a new background fabric. When I had the new background up the answers became clear. Here’s the final top.

Black Oak finalI’m thinking about how to quilt this piece.

While thinking about the series in general — there will be a minimum 3-5 large pieces —  I decided to expand the series. I’ll be making a foot-square piece as a ‘partner’ to each of the larger pieces using this pillar format. I’ll be using the same fabrics in each pair of quilts but I’ll use different techniques in the smaller ones. I think that the two sizes hung together could be a very interesting exhibit and working out issues in the smaller piece can lead to decisions for the larger pieces.

I’ve constructed the top for the foot-square Black Oak II piece. I’m allowing myself to think about just one section at a time, quilt it, then move on to the next section. Some days I just can’t tackle deciding on the whole top at once. It’s surprising how this one decision has relaxed me, allowing me to focus and just have fun.

Black oak Foot SquareI should have this piece completed very soon so stay tuned.

I’ve promised myself to go back to finishing my Sunflower Scrap VI piece — not done, but not forgotten! — before I turn to quilting the large Black Oak piece.

This posting has been shared at Off the Wall Friday. Click on over and see what’s happening there.

Oakleaf Hydrangea II

I fussed and dithered and tried like crazy to use a couple of the fabrics I had pulled out for this project but in the end I edited down to just a few that really worked. I have to stop treating my audition fabrics like my dinner plate — I do not have to use every fabric that starts out as a possibility!

I’m very pleased that the silk deconstructed screen print fabric found a home here. It so nicely echoes the deconstruction of one of the oakleaf hydrangea leaves. And the Ghana wax batik mimics the blossom.

Franki Kohler, Top done

The copper and blue fabric — another ‘find’ while cleaning up my stash — is a hand-painted fat quarter. Straightening my stash continues to reap big rewards! And I was happy to find that some of the fabric I painted in Lonni Rossi’s surface design class worked well at the top — that’s linen painted with Setacolor opaque.

This piece really speaks to me of the earth and the cycles of nature — fresh and fading.