Tag Archives: Mean Streets

Yet Another Finish

August has seen one finish after another, and when I say finish I mean I’ve even sewn down the facings. Here’s “Mean Streets” (33 by 22.5 inches) which I began as one of the last assignments of my Elizabeth Barton master class.

I used a grab bag of fabric – eco-dyed linen and silk organza, painted silk organza, coarse weave linen, netting, and a fabric softener sheet. There’s non-woven interfacing under the top to help stabilize the varied assortment of fabric.

The inspiration for all the shadows was a photo of a rough town on the Mexican border. A harsh light filters through a grill to cast stripes of light onto the buildings and street. Away from that light the scene dissolves into shadows.

I really did a lot of free motion quilting on this. In fact, it’s so stiff I think it can stand up on its own.

I made the graffiti with a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint.

I used black netting to give shadows to the side of the building.

Electric wires are strung haphazardly across the buildings.

This piece won’t hang in my house, if my husband has anything to do with it, though I’m proud I managed to realize my initial idea of danger and menace.


Filed under Completed Projects

What’s Next?

For my October projects I’ve stepped away from the current master class assignment and concentrated on projects already started. I did the sketches for the October assignment but that’s it.

I divided my stuff into work in progress and work abandoned. The work in progress is mostly past master class assignments that I need to complete. The work abandoned is an attempt to be honest with myself.

Why abandon work? I don’t like it anymore/ I don’t have the quilting chops to finish it well/ I lost momentum all apply. I began some work in a fit of enthusiasm and then got bored. My fifteen by fifteen inch interlocking squares series is one example. I just can’t bring myself to make any more. Other work I can’t figure out how to quilt or know it will require free motion quilting skills I don’t possess or am physically incapable of.  (My shoulder issue turned out to be an inflamed rotator cuff.) I may turn some over to a long arm quilter.

To return to work in progress, I decided to concentrate on four projects. I plan to quilt two already pieced tops (correction, one already pieced top), complete and quilt another, and piece a large project I began last spring.

JMM May 2016 layers blocked 2My silk organza layered piece has been sewn down and I’m working on a quilting design.

drunk-pink-elephants-detailMy lines master class piece is quilted and faced. Never again will I make bias strips from silk crepe. It’s like sewing worms. It’s also impossible to photograph.

I finished the individual blocks for Transgendered and am working out a design. My concept is to change from pink to blue in a diagonal line. Here’s a much earlier picture of this project.


The top of Mean Streets is mostly complete, but it needs some final touches. I have yet to figure out how to quilt it.

Then, there are small hand work projects hanging around that I pick up very occasionally, mostly when I’ll be a passenger for some hours.

One further goal – I won’t start any more projects.



Filed under In Process

September Master Class, Parts 2 and 3

September’s work presented many technical challenges, so Mean Streets is a vague pinned together mishmash of fabrics instead of finished. I did get the Misty Fuse I ordered and have fused at least a yard of it to dyed and painted silk organza. Some of that yard ended up on my iron. Now I’m in a quandary about how to cut up said organza as much of it cannot be replicated.

But, onward. Here’s what I sent in.
My work on Mean Streets has been very slow. I’m still working out the direction of the light and where shadows are cast. I’m also waiting for a shipment of Misty Fuse to hold down the silk organza. There are sags where the organza droops between pins that aren’t meant to be there and some gaps where pieces don’t quite meet – all not meant to be part of the design. The shadow of the light pole is paper for now. The street in the foreground needs considerable work. I don’t intend the abupt change from the yellow to white to remain. I doubt I’ll finish this by the end of the month, but that’s OK. The size seems to be working out to about 35 inches wide and 29 inches high.

Elizabeth’s response:

You know in the photograph, you don’t really see some of the problems you mention…so don’t worry about them.  it does look really interesting and mysterious…which is one of the great ways to use lost edges.

At present you have two yellow squares competing for attention, but I know you’re going to fix that….
Also the very interesting yellow and black fabric on the right draws one’s eye…I’d carry bits of that fabric through into various places within the quilt.
The colors are super…and blend together really well…and it does have a very gritty urban feel to it – so you’re really capturing the atmosphere
I also really like the edge contrasts you’re developing…so I think it’s a really great start and definitely well worth continuing with…
and yes…you’re right to pool the shadows…excellent way to pull things together.

So what did I send it for my finished project? Why, a completed Emerald Isles.



Filed under Art quilts, In Process