I've been feeling stuck lately so decided to play around with a few new things.
Beryl Taylor had an article in Quilting Arts Dec./Jan. 2011 on machine reverse applique. I thought it would be fun to try using busy black-and-white patterns as my foreground.
You make a set of them:
Then cut them in quarters and rearrange them to make wonky circles:
I first saw Ro Bruhn play with these here. I love what she did with all the hand embellishment on top and thought I'd do that. But Beryl's directions call for these to be 4" squares, which end up with some pretty tiny, but very thick, little bits. I think I'll try it again with at least a 6" square before I work with hand embellishment on top. This is the sort of project I love because it gets me thinking of all sorts of variations to try next.
The other thing I have been absolutely loving is working through the exercises in Steven Aimone's "Expressive Drawing" book. I first wrote about that here.
Right now I'm doing an exercise where you draw with black paint and then go back in and "erase" with white paint. You work as large as possible, fast and loose. It's fabulously freeing!