Sunday, July 30, 2023

July and the World Watercolor Month Challenge,
and Make Nine finish #7

At the beginning of this month, I came across the World Watercolor Month challenge on Instagram. The challenge was to paint 31 watercolors, one for each of the 31 days of July. I’ve painted and posted a daily watercolor all month (the final post is tomorrow) and it’s been good for my art practice and a fun experience.

Prompt: Fragment, World Watercolor Month, July 2023
Watercolor, Posca paint marker and Micron pen.

There were 31 daily prompts for Challenge participants to respond to in their watercolor. The prompts were optional, but a good opportunity to stretch one’s imagination. These are my personal favorites of the watercolor compositions I painted and the prompts that inspired them.

Prompt: Recycle

Above: I “recycled” motifs from two previous compositions–the larger circles and the smaller pebbles.

Below: Overlapping rings in warm and cool tones of "aubergine."

Prompt: Aubergine

Prompt: Detour

Above: Watercolor combined with slow drawing. This one, called "Detour," seemed to be a favorite of my IG and Facebook viewers.

Below: A daily practice is "valuable" in developing skills and strengthening creativity and the thought process. These watercolor botanicals will be used as fodder for art journaling projects.

Prompt: Valuable

Prompt: Mechanism

Above: The watercolor shapes in the background is a "mechanism"{ for slow drawing and mark making in the foreground. This composition illustrates the concept of layers.

Below: At the urging of an artist friend to explore these darker, moodier colors, I did a few compositions using a palette of dark blues, indigo and near-black watercolors. Details were added with a white Posca paint pen and a Micron pen. The second of the series in this color palette is shown above, in Fragment.

Prompt: Risky

Make Nine finish #7

This is the first Challenge I’ve done with the watercolor medium. The timeframe of 31 days was achievable, the daily practice was good for me, and the prompts were interesting and provided a path for the compositions. 

Make Nine 2023: Online Challenge prompt

I'm counting this Watercolor Challenge as fulfilment of my Make Nine 2023 "Online Challenge" prompt. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

12 kitty quilts donated. 6th Make Nine finish for 2023

Yesterday, we dropped off 12 kitty quilts to the Cat Clinic of Chattanooga. These charity quilts are pieced and quilted throughout the year as time permits… or when I need an improv patchwork project to occupy my hands with something mindful. 

Twelve kitty quilts with scrappy bindings for the cats at the Cat Clinic of Chattanooga.

I use up scraps and discontinued fabric samples to piece these quilt tops and I attach the scrappy bindings by machine.

A Scooter Cat reception at the Cat Clinic

Jessie and Walker, two of the Cat Clinic's scooter kitties, were out in the front reception area when we arrived. 

Here is Walker, one of the scooters.

Jennifer, one of the techs, says that Dolly, another of the scooter kitties, has a particular affinity for the quilts. She expects a different one to be put on the floor every day... just for her. 

Dolly on a new quilt. Photo credit: Cat Clinic of Chattanooga.

Scrappy patchwork for kitty quilts

Here are photos of this batch of scrappy kitty quilts. The patchwork for the quilt tops include a variety of fun prints and geometric patterns—cactus, sugar skulls, farm animals, snowmen, aliens, circles, dots and stripes—in a rainbow of colors that are puzzled together to a size approximately 25” x 27”.

Four of twelve donated kitty quilts.

I practice free-motion quilting on these quilts and sometimes try to come up with new design combinations.

Four of twelve donated kitty quilts.

Four of twelve donated kitty quilts.

The quilts all have either a flannel backing or flannel on the front with a cotton backing. 

Showing the flannel and cotton backings on the kitty quilts.

I try to donate a batch of these quilts each year. Although I've not counted, I imagine there have been close to 50 quilts donated to the Cat Clinic over the years. The kitties and the staff at the Cat Clinic love them. What’s better than that?

Make Nine 2023 finish #6

I’m also counting these 12 charity quilts for one of the Wild Card prompts for my Make Nine 2023.

"Wild Card" prompt for Make Nine 2023.

Make Nine 2023 tracker, July 2023.

12 scrappy kitty quilts donated July 15, 2023.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Discoveries while doing 100 Days of Textile Collages

I wrapped up my 100 Days of Fabric and Stitch Collage project at the end of May. I have 18 stitched compositions that eventually will be made into a textile book... that's the plan, anyway.

Detail of stitching on fabric collaged composition.


2023 is my third year doing The 100 Day Project. I always learn something from the process or at the very least, I get more proficient with some skill or technique that in which I'm interested. Here are my discoveries from this year's 100 Days of Fabric and Stitch Collage.

  • A composition takes as long as it needs to take. At the beginning of the project, I planned on spending [exactly] 5 days on each composition. 20 fabric squares x 5 days each = 100 days. I learned that some compositions come together in a flash, but others need more time to develop and refine. I quickly learned this by Day 12.
  • Yarn, string, thrums and knitted swatches add dimension. When I dove into a basket of old knitted swatches and a jar of yarn thrums, my compositions become more dimensional. This was fun! Clipped yarn tails, knitted gauge swatches, frogged swatches, dyed cotton string from a shibori project, tatted motifs with mistakes, and other leftover yarns and other odd bits brought dimension and variety—and a lot more interest—to the collages.
Tatting, felted wool, yarn-dyed wovens and printed cottons.

Unraveled knitting and novelty yarns couched over fabric scraps.
  • 1 - 6 strands of embroidery floss—all good choices. The weight of a stitched line can be varied by using 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 stands of embroidery floss. I used all of these on various compositions throughout the project. 
Running stitches with 1 or 2 strands of embroidery floss.
Couched floss around flower petals and leaf shapes.
  • A diversity of fabrics. Hand stitching with the yarn-dyed fabrics [from Diamond Textiles] was such a dream! All the background fabrics for my collage compositions were from Diamond Textiles. Various fabrics were used for the collages—yarn-dyed wovens, quilting cottons, batiks, a cotton knit scrap, and a printed linen. The linen was difficult to needle, which was surprising to me.
Yarn-dyed wovens, batiks, printed cotton fabric.
Running stitches, couching, satin stitch, French knots, blanket stitch.

Combining yarn-dyed wovens, quilting cottons and a cotton knit (center).
  • Couching. I really enjoyed the couching stitch. Couching yarn, string, tatted bits... I am enamoured with this stitch!
Couched yarns with French knots.

Dyed cotton string couched over blanket stitch rounds.
  • Stitches are not permanent! Stitching is not like mark-making with ink or paint (thank goodness). There were a number of times that I took out stitches—either the stitch was not appropriate (couching was better than a back stitch), the thread color was not the best choice, the stitch was poorly formed, etc. You don't have to go with the first decision. Over the 100 days, I became less and less hesitant about taking out stitches if I wasn't satisfied. Re-do it if you don't like it!

Embracing the imperfection of frayed edges

Since the collage fabrics were all scraps and fabric swatches, the edges were left frayed or pinked. I liked the organic quality of the frayed edges as well as the texture they provided. It also allowed the process to be spontaneous and relaxing... the wabi-sabi aesthetic.

Frayed and pinked edges of a discontinued fabric sample.

Running stitches with cotton sashiko thread. Couched yarn thrums.
Yarn-dyed wovens and printed cotton scraps.


Documentation and progress posts from this year's 100 Day Project can be found here:

Prepping fabrics for textile collages

Stitches used on my collage compositions: blanket stitch, running stitch, couching, French knots, lazy daisy, back stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch (and maybe one or two others).

Daily photos of 100 Days of Fabric and Stitch Collage are posted on my Instagram feed at @veronica.fiberantics and #100daysoffabricandstitchcollage.  

The backs of these pieces are interesting, too.

Back of composition with couched yarns.

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