Tuesday, January 31, 2012

felt flowers and some patchwork

A simple ATC today
Simple felt flowers stitched onto a black felt background.  backed with a playing card (I knew they were useful for something)

Today is my quilting group, so I decided I had better put up a picture of what I am doing.  It doesn't seem like I do much patchwork, but I have several on the go, which will get finished....one day.

My name for this pattern is windmill crossing, but I know there are other names for it.  I have completed about 15 of these blocks, and have lots and lots to go
So it is going to be a long time befor the blocks start to be pieced into 3x3s.  I am afraid that I have felt a little guilty, what with Lisa finishing her quilt, and Nicolette nearly finished her dear jane!
I thought I should make some space in my room full of ufos.

Monday, January 30, 2012

precious and not so precious

today's ATC has some working parts!
This one is simply scrapbook paper on a playing card with stickers and flaps.  The question is what is precious?
 I suppose choosing the correct answer depends on who you are!

And now, I will show you what I have been working on all these weeks.  I submitted this piece for an exhibition, but it wasn't accepted.  It was my first try, so I will live with it and I was not happy with it myself - we live and learn.
On the flip side, not being chosen means I can put it in our little show here in march.
anyway, here it is
It has a poem free machined on the background, freeform piecing and beading, and six small thread paintings.
here is the first one, some rugged mountain ranges
this one is of a jewel sea (the 12 apostles, near lorne, vic)
cooktown orchids in the treetops
Some ferns

A cross section of an opal
My brown country (King's Canyon, NT.)


Remember failures are what drives creativity.  They create space for learning and problem solving.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

some face wipes and a sampler

Today's ATC has leaves on it again! (are you surprised?)
This card is made from a painted baby wipe and face wipe which I made here
I have layered a square of face wipe on top of the baby wipe and some more pressed leaves.  I freemotioned around the square and the leaves and used the paint colours as a guide for stitching.  I have so much trouble with satin stich edgings (my corners get eaten up) and have tried lots of different ways, and I thought, what if I tried it free motion?  and it worked reasonably well - needs a bit of fine tuning, but no eaten corners!

Now for the sampler,
This rather untidy piece of work began it's life as a sampler for a quilt which I will show you tomorrow. 
Basically, it is simply different coloured strips tacked down on a backing, to which I have then added lots of different stitches and embellishments. 
It now has a new life as part of my TAST2012 challenge, because it is the perfect base for me to practice the stitches on.  And as it happens, three of the four stitches we have done are actually on it already.
On this section, I have
  • some straight stitches, 
  • a couched piece of  machine wrapped cord
  • a piece of tulle bunched up and sewn down
  • some seed stitches with a nylon knitting ribbon
  • a fly stitch pattern
  • some random fly stitches
beginning from the blue frayed piece, which is organza attatched with running stitch
  • a pice of satin braid couched down with a line of blue pearl beads above it
  • a piece of blue and white eyelash
  • cretan stitch with a piece of nylon knitting tape woven through it
  • a pice of flat tape secured with vertical straight stitches
  • some random lines of basque stitch
  • a piece of furry eyelash couched down and surrounded by seed stitches
 Starting just below the eyelash and seed stitches
  • green ribbon attached with a chain stitch at top and diagonal lines of fly stitch
  • a piece of ladder tape yarn couched down
  • another frayed piece of organza attached with a curvy chain stitch and random beading above
  • three buttonhole stitch leaves
 Starting from the leaves
  • a piece of green chiffon which has not been embellished yet
  • a piece of burned organza attached with three lines of very messy snail trail stitch
  • some more eyelash couched
  • woolen yarn twisted really tightly, then sewn down
and that is as far as I have got.  Now it can be my sampler for the challenge - bring on tuesday!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

a meteor and some red stuff

today's atc began it's life as a sun.
... and became a meteor in the process - organza and cellofoil on black cotton, distressed with heat gun. echo quilting.

After my lazt day yesterday, I decided I needed to get some work done - ahh guilt is a great motivator!

I finished another three red button blocks.
For challenge 3 at Tangled textiles, I made a red quilt using buttons in Beryl taylor style you can see it here and here.
I actually designed too many blocks and so am putting together another one
I think I have already shown these two, but a refresher won't hurt.
The top one is on a bronze brocade, then a circle of gold sequin waste, squares of red and cream organza placed at 45 degrees to each other.  The cream organza is frayed.  next, four vintage mother of pearl buttons on the corners of the cream organza, and in the centre a circular metal filigree finding held down by a bead and sequin.
The bottom one is on red satin with two frayed cram/gold satin squares at 45 deg angle with a large pink vintage button and another mother of pearl button topped with a heart shaped brad.  The edge of each square was beaded with red metallic bugle beads.
This one was on gold satin with a bit of texture.  I made a gold lutradur flower for the really vintage button on this one, then made danglies fron bugles,and seed beads, with a red natural seed at the end of each.
This piece of fabric had a great harlequin pattern, which I used to space my buttons.  each yellow/gold diamond had a mother of pearl and a red button stacked and in the centre three red diamonds, I did some feather stitch in gold thread.
Since I missed TAST 2012 last week, this close-up can serve as a sample.
This piece of fabric had a japanese feel to it.  To keep along simple japanese lines, I just added stacked buttons to the three different areas and  put some twining cretan stitch in red and gold along the edges.
Here is a close up of my messy cretan stitch, which is this week's TAST 2012.

The pot of gold is not at the end of the rainbow, it is in the sewing room.

Friday, January 27, 2012

skeleton leaf

Another 'a bit different' ATC today.
This was a skeleton leaf free machined in a hoop on water soluble stabiliser, which was then washed away.  I trapped it between two layers, of acetate and sewed them together with the basting stitch on my sewing machine.
Nothing to show today.  I have worked up a new batch of ATCs, but you will just have to wait to see them one by one.
It is extremely hot here and maybe a cool change on monday, so I ambeing lazy,  wandering around doing bits and pieces here and there, trying to keep cool.  I will try and get some work done this evening - perhaps after a swim in the creek!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some leather and some flowers

Happy Australia Day!

Today's ATC is a bit different.
small offcuts of different coloured woods sewn onto a piece of leather - backed with card. Holes for stitching were made with hole punch. thread is an ecru coloured cotton perle 5

And now - today, I had one of those quick fix days when you just have to make something quick to fix you up.

So, I made a fanfold fabric book.
I started with some heavyweight interfacing which I cut to 13 x 10 cm.  I am using four pieces.  I like to use an even number because then you can fold it up with everything inside.
I laid them out on some prefused fabric, spaced about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart to allow for folding, and ironed them down.
Then I laid another piece of prefused fabric over the top, and ironed it down, so I had the interfacing sandwiched between the two layers.  I ironed again on both sides to check they were well fused.
And then I had a little fanfold book that stands up on it's own.
I trimmed the edges up to the interfacing.
I played around with some arrangements of a few dimensional flowers I had lying around.  I like the one on the right.
Then I chose some  buttons to cover up the centres. The next little bit involved a lot of glueing and stitching.  I stitched all the flowers and leaves and buttons down, then reinforced  with a bit of fabric glue.I found a scrap of binding that matched both the front and back and attached it initially with double sided tape cut to 1/4 inch, then sewed it down.

Here it is almost finished - a bit of quick gratification!
The last thing I did was to make some cord by stitching the binding together, cut off a piece to make a loop and attach it to the outside , thren thread the cord through the loop and tie it up.  I did not want to attach the cord tp the covers as I usually do, because then it would hang off when the display was open.

Pretty good for an afternoon's work!

I think if I were to do another of these which involved a lot of stitching, I would leave the fused fabric off the outside (and perhaps even the interfacing) until the items were stitched on.be easier to stitch that way, but it would depend on the items

There is a quote that says neccessity is the mother of invention, but I think maybe neccessity had a sister, called creativity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poppies and time to regroup

Today's ATC is one of my favourites so far.
Cotton background, batting, card.  Straight stitch, chiffon circles attached with beads or  folded.
This ATC took less that half an hour and, well, I love it.  I am a bit of a dimensional flower addict.

Finally, the stress of the last two weeks with two projects due is over. The first, my Tangled Textiles Challenge, I showed here.   The second, which I will still have to wait a week or so to show you, is also finished, and  what a relief!

Now, today, is time to regroup, and get my routine up and running again.  I will return to my normal posting format in the next day or so, probably tomorrow, depending on how much I get done today - so off I go.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

don't forget to have a giggle

Today's atc is a card one, just for fun
play ing card, decorative paper, punched holes with quilling paper threaded through and small spiral quilling.  stickers: a definition and picture  pearlescent rub on smudged on the definition to integrate it with the background.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A pebbly arrangement

I love pebbles.  I often pick up lovely smooth river stones on my walks, and you know I bought a bag of them recently!
This ATC is made from a piece of a quilting sample with pebbling pattern, and pebbles trapped under organza.  The organza has long frayed edges, which are difficult to see in the photo.

My other project, which I can't show is moving along, but it is going to be down to the wire, I can see. 

There is a fine line between letting work rest (briefly) to allow for contemplation time - and procrastination and I think I cross it regularly!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

another leaf

Today's ATC is a simple leaf.
Quilted fabric, organza, thread sketching, glue and gold leaf edge.

Still working away,  but make sure you take time to play!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

some shadows

Today's ATC
Quilted fabric, fused tree, glue and gold leaf edge
This was an experiment, playing with shadows.  I did not stitch as I did not want to interfere with the clean lines, however I could, perhaps have fused a sheer or tulle over the top and stitched it down to make it more sturdy.

My secret work is moving along, although not as fast as I would like.
I went to the interweave winter sale and bought a few video downloads to watch (Very cheap) while I am stitching.

be creative every day

Friday, January 20, 2012

round and round in circles

today's ATC is just felt, cotton thread and a few sequins and beads.
I am working very hard on a secret!
A bit of free motion handwriting.
and more..........................................
a bit more...............................
and some bits that I am hand embroidering.
There are 32 lines and it has taken me a long time to finish this section.
This project also involves the thread paintings I was working on here.

UH well, back to the needle and thread.
oh, and here is my little Tammy, sleeping on the washing basket!

An ATC a day keeps the creativity flowing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

a bit of tulle and Transfers

 today's ATC is HOT
Abstract cotton fabric on heavy stabiliser.  Decorative yarn trapped under tulle with free motion scribbling. yarn couched on the edge

Now, an update on the fabric transfers I was doing last week.
This transfer (of a dover copyright free image) was done on very high count cotton using an acetate overhead transparency (not a printer transparency)  When you print this way, the ink does not soak into the transparency, but just sits on top of the sheet.
My fabric had been moistened thoroughly, but was not dripping.  I made sure there was no water sitting on top by wiping it.
I carefully placed the transparency face down onto the damp fabric and without moving it, pressed all over with a brayer (I used the brayer, but  I have found that it is not as good as using your hands)
If you look carefully,  you can see down the centre of the picture, there is a pale streak.  The brayer did not make good contact here, so that is why I find using your hands is more successful.
another point to make here is that there was a little bleeding with just water.  If you look carefully at the edges, you will see that they are a bit wobbly.  Also, if the fabric is too wet, this will happen, so there isis a bit of balance to it.
This transfer was done using an Alum solution to wet the fabric. (I use a saturated solution, which means no more alum will dissolve in it.  It is available at chemists, but you might have to order it.)
As you can see, I was still using the brayer here, but the edges are much clearer and the image is much more defined.
Imagine my surprise, when searching on the internet, to find this method being used by a printmaker!
This is a very complicated image, so these results are pretty good.  The main points are:

  • use an overhead transparency, or a thin piece of acetate (the flexible sort, not stiff) cut to size for your printer.
  • prepare your fabric (damp, but not wet) before printing, I find placing an absorbent piece of paper under it helps with this)
  •  Don't disturb the ink on the acetate before transferring it
  • use an alum solution for slightly clearer prints
  • I heat fixed my prints when still wet, but I actually found that they did not bleed if left to dry and appeared sharper
  • use your hands to smooth the transparency and transfer the print
Obviously, this process will differ with different inkjet printers as they all have different feed mechanisms and inks.(don't use a lazer or photocopier for this method)

One of the main advantages of this method is that it is very cheap.
  • after transfer, simply wipe the acetate clean and reuse
  • you can get a reasonable print with water