Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday WOW – August 31

This is what I worked on today

pink mystery

It’s the Mystery quilt and we now have all of the directions.  So, today I got the blocks put together into a top.  All it needs now is the borders.

corrines mystery

I sewed at the local quilt shop today, and another stitcher was working on her Mystery quilt, too!  Naturally, I like her fabrics better!  Turquoise and brown . . . it looked like a chocolate mint candy bar.  Yummy!

And on a different note . . . while I was getting ready to come home, a pickup pulled into the parking space next to me.


I don’t know how far this fella rode on the side of the truck, but I’ll bet it was a wild ride!  After posing for this picture, he hopped down and took off down the sidewalk.  Maybe he wanted a ride in to the barber shop or something!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Slow Sunday

I attended a class reunion last night . . . and today things have been moving a bit slower.  There just isn’t as much extra energy as there used to be!


But I did spend some time experimenting with Lutradur.  Here is the page I printed last week.  As you can see, printing directly on the medium makes for a very subtle picture.  I cut out some of the flowers from a second print and layered that piece.  Still very subtle.

So, I thought I’d try painting the Lutradur with gesso.  I will share the mistake I made, so maybe no one else will do the same thing.


Not a very good picture, but you can see a bit of red on the left and a couple of vertical lines?  I laid the Lutradur on some scrap paper to protect my work surface.  When the top was almost dry, I lifted the Lutradur to discover that (1) most of the paper is now glued to the Lutradur, and (2) what paper did peel away left behind traces of ink – from the opposite side of the scrap paper!

So, I have another sheet of Lutradur drying on aluminum foil.  And I peeled it away after some drying time and flipped it over onto another sheet of foil.  I think there will be some very interesting effects when everything has dried.  In fact, even the aluminum foil looks interesting with the gesso that worked its way through the Lutradur!


While we’re drying gesso, I tried some Watercolor pencils by drawing a simple flower shape.  Then I used a woodburning tool to “cut” out the shape.  The tool melts the fibers and leaves a very organic looking edge, while cutting with scissors leaves a crisp edge.  After I took this picture, I was able to pull apart the few fibers holding the flower in place. 

I can see that this material has some pretty interesting qualities.  There’s lots more that can be done with this and I’m beginning to understand why it has pretty much taken the crafting community by storm!  I will definitely be playing with this some more.

As soon as the gesso is dry enough, I will do another print.  I think I’ll go ahead and print on the piece with paper glued to it, too.  Did I say it was a mistake?  No, it is an opportunity to explore!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Thing About Paper-Piecing . . .

. . . is the –er, um – well . . . the paper!


I mean, there are bits of paper and fabric everywhere!

But, then, the end result is pretty cool:


I think I may have gotten the hang of this paper thing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday WOW – August 24

Sheesh – hot weather is back!  I finished a couple of projects last week and seems like I just want to sit in front of a fan now!  Fortunately, that kind of feeling doesn’t last too long.

Today, I started cutting fabric for the next quilt.


I wanted to work with pastels on this one.  Definitely a change of pace for me and I had to dig pretty deep into the stash! 


I also needed my calculator to figure how many strips to cut.  Yes, I designed it in Electric Quilt.  Yes, I changed my mind after printing out the cutting plan! 

I am going to try a Disappearing Nine Patch.  When browsing through my collection of blocks and quilts, I found three  separate directions for DNP.  That tells me I really want to make that block!

Oh!  Those pretty flags up there?  That’s one of the projects I finished.  It’s a swap – I will mail mine out tomorrow, and there are two more coming to me.  Once they have all arrived, I’ll give you the full lowdown.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Stutters

OK – I may be running out of ‘S’ words for my Sunday posts.  Perhaps a dictionary is called for.  Anyway . . . . .

Today I’m still working with ways to get photographs onto fabric.  This time I used TAP – Transfer Artists Paper.


The technique is to print onto the TAP and then iron it onto your fabric.  It reminds me of the T-shirt transfers we used to buy.  The TAP is actually coated with some kind of polymer and the heat transfers that polymer.  It does leave a plastic feel on the fabric, but not as bad as I expected.  The literature says that washing will soften it even more.

You really do need to read the instructions on this stuff.  It needs to be removed while still hot – and that means immediately!  In the time it takes to set your iron down, the paper will cool enough to stick.  Fortunately, more heat takes care of that.

Also, they mean it when they say use in a well-ventilated area!  If you are at all sensitive to chemical odors, you may want to give this a miss.  I don’t generally have trouble with these things, but the odor from this process is very overpowering.  Even with my fan on high, I was not eager to try again!


With those few issues, however, it makes a very nice image.  Very crisp and vibrant.  Stitching on it is excellent and as I pressed during construction, I did not notice any further odor or smudging.


While I was printing, I also printed the same photos on Lutradur. 


You can really see the difference here, with the TAP on the left and Lutradur on the right.  I will be doing some additional experimenting with the Lutradur next week so come back then.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday WOW – August 17

Well, as usual, the worktable is a bit of a mess.  That just means I’ve been busy!


This is my cutting table actually, and it doesn’t look very messy in this picture, does it?


Ah – there it is!  I am getting close to finishing this quilt and I’m really liking it so far.  Wanna see?


There’s at least one more border to go on, and a little more applique I think.  I’ll tell you the story behind these blocks once it is really done.

Oh yeah!  I got so much done today because I had some strict supervision:


I can’t get away with any fooling around with these two on the job!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweet Sunday

Here we are again.  It’s time for a Sunday special experiment.  This week’s chapter of Fabric Embellishing is printing on ribbon.  But first, I want to show you the finished project from last week.


As a reminder . . . this was a photo (of my parents on their wedding day, by the way) printed onto fabric using an inkjet printer.  I then cut the photo in quarter inch strips and wove them on a threaded “grid.”  After adding the fabric frame, a little embroidery and there you are.


To print on ribbon, you just set up your text (in any word processor) and print a paper sheet first.  Then you use double-face tape to attach the ribbon over that text.  Run the sheet through the printer again – and you’ve got text on ribbon!


Er . . . sort of.  As you can see, it isn’t always very legible.  Apparently the inks tend to bleed on polyester and nylon.  Just as, apparently most of my ribbon is polyester or nylon!


This particular ribbon was the best of the lot – and it is a fairly cheap floral ribbon!  Ah well.   I enjoyed the exercise and got a few usable ribbon pieces for future use.   And since it didn’t take very long to do this chapter, I had time to clean up my worktable a bit.  Yikes!  I can see the table top!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday WOW – August 10

I’m not sure what happened today.  I distinctly remember taking the camera, pointing it at my work surface, and pushing the button.  But when I arrived home from the quilt shop, there were no photos on the camera!!!

So, even though I spent all day stitching on quilt blocks, I cannot show you this week’s progress.  What I can do, however, is show you my worktable on Tuesday!


Yesterday I started the beadwork for the pennant swap I am a part of.  Once this step is done, I plan to add the backs and finish the edges, then perhaps some more beads before shipping them off.  Deadline is August 31 . . . there’s actually a chance I might make it!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sulky Sunday

Before I get to today’s project, I have a message for the Sulky company:

Thank you!

Yesterday, Sarge came back from the post office with a box.  “What did you order from Georgia?” says he.   “Erm, nothing?” said I, thinking fast!


Ooooh!  It’s from Sulky!  I bet I know what that is! 


Peeking inside, I thought, “If this is the third place prize, I wonder what first and second look like!  Wow!


A huge assortment of threads, including holographic and invisible threads, three of the newer stabilizers, four fabric marking pens, and a guidebook full of yummy projects.  This will keep me occupied for quite awhile, I’m thinking.

And . . . . there happens to be a project in there that matches up perfectly with the Fabric Embellishing book I’ve been working my way through.  The stars are aligned!

Er, except that I didn’t quite finish the project. 


I can tell you about it.  I printed a photo onto fabric, which was the Fabric Embellishing project.  I’ve done that in one way or another on many, many projects.  Ho Hum.

But, then I ironed stabilizer (Sulky, of course!) on the back of it and cut it horizontally into quarter-inch strips.  I then wrapped a decorative weight thread around the pins you see up there which are also at quarter-inch intervals.  Then I proceeded to weave the strips.  Easy enough, although it does take a steady hand and some concentration (both in short supply today!).   If you look closely, you might be able to see the edge of a second sheet of stabilizer under the pins.  Once the weaving was done, the whole thing went under the iron again.  Here’s the back side after everything fused.


Now, I just need to construct a frame of some kind and finish off the edges.  I’ll do that this week and show you the finished product when it’s done.  I may do more with this technique.  It’s pretty cool!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday WOW – August 3

I had a productive – if not very interesting – day today.  Once again, I did most of the work at the quilt shop.  Besides uninterrupted sewing time, there are tons of inspirational ideas!


The remaining 30 squares of the Mystery Quilt are completed.


With the finished blocks at about 8-inches, the full quilt is going to be a pretty good size.   Hmmm.  Maybe I will make two smaller quilts!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

She’s A Winner!

At last, the Hoffman Challenge winners have been posted (go here to see them) and I can tell the world that my fairy won a prize!  Woo hoo!


Now, I know that there’s no reason not to show photos of my entry as soon as possible, but I have this weird superstition.  I just can’t seem to do it until after the judging!  Ah well.  Here she is . . . Fairy Dreams.


I made a little fairy child, taking her nap among the leaves and flowers.   She won third place in the Best Use of Sulky competition – and I’m thinking this had something to do with that:


Her wings were stitched on wash away stabilizer, with a flexible wire around the rim.  I love the way they came out!


You can see the wings a little better from the “back” view.  This is where her flower headdress shows best, too. 

Now this sweet fairy will travel about for a year before she comes home.  I’ll miss her, but she will have lots of dreams to tell about when she returns!