Monday, August 25, 2008

An M & M Day (Marbling and McDowell)

Well, finally feel caught up on sleep after the camping trip last week and have hunkered right down to getting some things done!

The most immediate needs were to use some of the already alum-ed fabric I had for some more marbling using my larger tray (22 " x 30"). I actually measured how much marbling size I would need ahead of time as the methylcellulose is not cheap (about $20/lb). I made up the size yesterday, ironed my fabrics with a very cool iron and was ready to go this morning. The last obstacle was how to lower the fabric down as the method we used in class would not work with only me and this larger piece of fabric.

So, I took 2 wooden slats (1/4" x 2" x 2 feet) and four clothespins. I made my design in the tray and then attached the wooden slats to the fabric with the clothespins and held onto the slats as I lowered the fabric. If you center it properly, the slats stay above the tray (they are two inches longer than the tray is wide). I then undo the clothespins and the fabric falls the rest of the way (really only the last inch or so on each side). I need to get it a little smoother but it works!

I made quite a few this morning -- none very spectacular but I was just using up the fabric that I had basically rejected when taking the Elin Noble class so my expectations were not high! They were all colored pieces of fabric and some were poly-cotton which is a little more difficult to get to work (it doesn't absorb as quickly as the all cotton pieces). The poly-cotton tends to be a looser weave as well.

This was some blues -- both transparent and opaque on a bright red piece of fabric.

This was done as a result of first using a small piece of cloth in the middle of the tray to pull up the color and then letting the remaining color drift across the top before setting down this piece.

This was the first piece I did before I got the one above. This was blues and some green on a white fabric.

This was blues and greens on a pale yellow piece of fabric.

With still more energy after lunch, my sewing room beckoned and I FINISHED the practice top for the Ruth McDowell class. After I did all the preparatory work, the actual piecing was very fast. One thing I would add to all those little pieces would be a directional thing (I think she says to do that and now I know why!) for each little piece. It was a little like a jigsaw puzzle at the end. Of course whenever I get near finishing something, I am a bit manic (read compulsive) about getting it done quickly! I actually managed to not lose any of those little pieces -- thought I did but found it at the end "misfiled" on the tissue paper pattern I was pinning everything to. I may actually have my main pattern be cloth in the future!

Now to take my own pictures and do the tracing and blowing up of the image. I am really looking forward to the class! I have bought a toaster oven and coffee pot to take with me so I don't have to eat out every meal. Hopefully the room will have a fridge but will take a freezer chest just in case (this is not one of your more upscale motels!).

Of course, the camera will come with me and I will post whatever the other students and Ruth allow. Usually teachers don't mind as it is publicity and I don't share any copy or their "secrets" online although anything I come up with is certainly fair game!

This is my completed Ruth McDowell exercise from her Piecing book. I wanted to do curves so picked this pattern even though it was more complex than some. I did change the colors however and went with a more medium blue and yellow instead of white for the water lily. It was a good learning experience.

1 comment:

Priscilla Kibbee said...

I love the Ruth McDowell piece. Hope you bring it with you tomorrow.