Playing with New Toys

Still in recovery from Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, I didn't want to do anything yesterday that required actual...well...brain cells. And so, I thought, that might be the perfect time to simply play with some new toys that I purchased in VA because my brain wouldn't get in my way.

I pulled a piece of kimono silk scrap out of a scrap bag I bought from Laura Murray's booth (Laura Murray Designs). For just a few dollars, I got a bag stuffed with scraps of silks that she'd dyed or painted. It's always a hoot when someone's rejects are so gorgeous!

Choosing a scrap, I got my Shiva paint sticks ready. The first thing you have to do is rub the tips with a paper towel to get the skin off. I rubbed away, accidentally snapping the top of the gold one off as I went after it a little too aggressively. No loss, though, since I can still use the snapped-off tip. Next, I chose one of the new rubbing plates I'd picked up, sprayed it lightly with a spray baste so the fabric would stick to it, smoothed the fabric over it, then went to town using the method that Laura had been demonstrating in her booth--short, light strokes with one color, then another, then another. Loved the result.

Next, I pulled out my Perfect Pearls Mists spray bottles that I'd picked up from Jane Davila's booth. I chose one of the stencils I'd bought from another booth (sorry--forgot to write down the name of that one) and spritzed some pearl white onto the stencil. That will take some practice, but it was fun to test. You can see the smudgy result on the right of the ginko leaves in the center. For the other three sprays, I just lightly spritzed the color over the surface of the fabric just to see what it would look like. I really love that effect--just a very light shimmer.

I've got several books in my quilt library on surface embellishment that I'm perusing again for ideas and inspiration, and I'll just keep playing--I know I'll discover a method or combination of colors and fabric that will create a piece that can be expanded upon or used in another way. I've already got some ideas!

For the record, since I didn't have specific plans for what I was buying, I stuck with basic metallics. So I have paint sticks in silver, gold, and bronze, and mists in gold, bronze, pewter, and white pearl. I figured those would be the most versatile to start with. The vast majority of rubbing plates and stencils are abstract or natural designs, although I have a gorgeous peacock stencil that I grabbed when the vendor reminded me I was buying enough to get one free. Bingo!

On the Stonehenge Mariner's Compass front, I decided while I was gone that I was definitely going to start from scratch. I didn't need a whole lot of brain cells for the first step so I did manage to at least make the new copies of the paper-piecing pattern, this time on my Carol Doak Foundation paper. Today I plan on getting those pieced together. So (hopefully), more updates later.