Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Free Motion Challenge

This month's FM challenge was presented by Paula Reid, and I really hoped it would include some trapunto, but it didn't.  The challenge was very similar to the one presented by Don Linn a few months ago, I used the technique he taught to transfer the design to my fabric (like I'm sure a lot of others did).
Instead if spending money on the bats that Paula used, I found a piece of rubbermaid shelf protector and cut a small piece off.
This worked really well, I didn't even need my gloves for quilting this small piece.  This idea wasn't mine, I had seen it a couple of years ago on some other blog.
 Anyway, here is my finished challenge piece, the thread I used was a buttery yellow Aurifil 50 weight, and I used a green chalk pen to transfer my design.  Once it's washed out, the yellow should should up better!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Well, I'm trying to rust some fabric using the burn barrel in my yard.    I got the idea off of another blog, can't remember which one, but have been thinking about trying it for a few weeks now.  I tied some fabric around it yesterday, then sprayed it with vinegar and covered with some plastic.
The plastic blew off a couple of times before I secured it really well, I think I might leave this out there for a week or so and see what happens.  I ran out of vinegar, and went to the store to get some, plus a few more groceries.  When I got home, I couldn't find the vinegar, or some other items I bought--I left one bag at the checkout counter, apparently.  Since it's a 10-mile round trip to the store and home, I picked it up on my way to work this morning, so I can re-spritz it tonight after work.

I've been doing some experiments with textures and creating fabrics, too, using soluble stabilizer and layering pieces of fabric and stitching like crazy.  A friend of mine told me about Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn, who write books about creating texture, hand embroidery, and all kinds of other great stuff.    She let me borrow two of her books by them, Fragile Fabrics and Creative Embroidery, which have been inspirational.

This was my first attempt, I stopped too soon:

 This was my second attempt, I added lots more layers and some eyelash yarn and a bunch of different colors of nylon netting.  Really liking how this turned out--I definitely can see myself continuing with this.
I'm linking up to the Off The Wall Friday today, hope you check out all the links there!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Works in progress

Some pretty terrible pictures here, I apologize, but my camera is definitely on it's last legs.  This is a piece I'm making for the PAQA-South juried exhibition, which has a deadline approaching early next month.  I don't have a lot of experience entering competitive shows, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

The background is a bunch of shibori fabrics I've dyed over the last few months, and I've made around 20 leaves using my hand-dyed fabrics and satin stitching the edges--now I have to decide whether to sew them on by hand or if I should machine sew them on.  The quilt sandwich is done and quilted--maybe I should have sewn the leaves on before quilting it, or maybe I should fuse them on?

I'm not a huge fan of sewing by hand, I find it too tedious and when I sit down on the couch in the evening after work, I tend to fall asleep rather than get anything accomplished.  It's easier to stay awake after a long day at a boring job when I'm at the machine!
Here's a brief look at another piece I'm working on for the same exhibitition.  I need to start the quilting on it, but always seem to find the first stitches difficult to take.  Once I get started, I'm fine.  Do I quilt the orange sky in a wavy pattern, a straight line pattern, or go crazy with swirls and twirls?  I drew some of the various lines on the quilt top with a chalk pencil to see what might work best, but I seem to always change my mind when I actually start sewing.  (This fabric looks REALLY ORANGE here, but it isn't that bright in person).
Another project--a flower petal pillow top that I started with a blue fleece fabric.  Just have to finish the center, maybe with a yellow fleece and it's all ready for a backing fabric and a pillow form. 
Ok, and here's the reason I didn't join the Off-The-Wall Friday link-up last week, a birthday party for my granddaughter in New York that I attended, and got to spend some time with her over the long weekend.  Of course, the onesie with the "1" and the ladybug was done by Grandma.