Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sidetracked Sunday

Today was one of those dis-jointed days.  A day where I worked on a little bit of everything, yet got nothing done!  The kind of day when you are busy all day, but have nothing to show for it.  Don’t you just hate that?

Nevertheless, I did try to work on today’s embellishing technique:  using craft foam.

P4290004These pieces are the result of heating the foam and then impressing with a stamp.  I then used paint to highlight the impression.   Being quick to stamp while the foam is hot gives the best results.  You can really see which ones had started to cool.

P4290005 These are foam sandwiched between layers of fabric and stitched.  There is another step involving heat before these are ready to be added to a page. 

At this point, two things occurred to tell me it was time to call it a day:  (1)  Sarge had dinner ready, and (2) my sewing machine ran out of BOTH bobbin and upper thread!  What are the odds?  So I’m hoping to get back to this in the next day or two.  I’d really like to see how heat affects these flowers.  Once I have completed the whole thing, I’ll be sure and share it here.

So stay tuned.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It’s a Wood Elf

I did most of the work on my wood elf and set it aside to think about final embellishments.  But, you know what?  I think he’s done!


I just can’t see how adding anything else would make him better! 

P4230004And I just adore his little elflet friend!

P4230005Don’t they make a charming pair?  Very cheerful!

P4230002 P4230006Now, all he needs is a name.  Something wood-ish.  Woodrow?  Woodruff?  Or, since he’s built on a walnut branch, Wally?  No, that’s too simple.  He needs something complex and quirky.  Got any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday WOW – April 25

Today was a busy day . . . but productive!  I spent today at the quilt shop and sewed blocks together.P4250001

  And sewed even more blocks!P4250002

You’ve seen these blocks before in the WOW posts.  Today was different, though.


Because, today, I finished it!  Er, sort of, . . . but not really.  Now it needs borders.  But I have a plan for that.  So “finished” is not far off.  I hope.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scavenger Sunday

This week’s experiment was sort of the same techniques as last week.  Today I made a mixed-media collage page.  I scrounged around in my “junk” drawer and pulled together different materials to make one piece.

P4220002There are lots of pieces left over from other projects as well as things I’ve never tried using before.

P4220004In the top half, shown here, you can see a piece of metal that I pushed through a new mold I picked up recently.  There is a piece of fabric “manufactured” by stitching snippets of fabric.  And behind that is a piece of melted cellophane.  The blue piece is a washing machine dye catcher.  I don’t remember what item was that blue, but it had a lot of excess dye!

P4220003On the bottom half, you can see a piece of fusible web that has been painted.  The girl’s face is stamped onto a canvas-like fabric and colored with oil pastels.  You can just see that I used two blue hot-fix crystals in her eyes and a gold one at her ear.  Along the left edge is a line of sequins, beads, and Tyvek beads.

Not too bad for an afternoon’s work.  I had time to do some work on my wood elf sculpture and clean up my worktable!  Hmmm.  I should have taken a picture of that.  It won’t last long!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday WOW – April 18

We planted a couple of trees today, which is very interesting in the wind!  Once that was done, however, I headed down and spent the afternoon sculpting.

P4180002As usual, the worktable is crowded with various projects, but I’ve been making steady progress on the wood elf and today he got a little elflet.  You can see it cooling there on the right.  This piece may be moving slowly, but I’m so happy with the results so far.  If only I could spend all day, every day!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sandbox Sunday

Did you have a sandbox to play in when you were a kid?  I remember a big tractor tire from the farm, painted green, and filled with lovely sand, made just for building castles or tunnels and what-have-you.  Well, today’s technique, attaching ephemera, was like that – made just for play!

The book suggests making a nine-patch sampler, so I did!

P4150004Since I am one of those people who can’t seem to throw away bits and scraps, this sampler was a perfect idea for using some of it up.  Now that you’ve seen the whole piece, I’ll show you close-ups of each “patch”.

P4150005First is part of a tea packet, topped with the foil wrappers from two types of candy.  I freehand stitched a flower shape on the blue one, and beaded the pink one.

P4150006 The background on this square is cut from a Kleenex tissue box.  They have such lovely designs, don’t you think?  The top layer is a piece of fusible web that I had painted and stamped some time ago.  I punched the letters out and captured them underneath when I ironed the webbing in place.

P4150007This is a piece of craft weight interfacing (Pelmet or Vilene) that had also been painted and stamped – probably at the same time as the webbing.  The flower was on an old Mother’s Day greeting card.

P4150008A square torn from an old newspaper.  Not quite yellowed, but not looking new either.  The “O” is from an opera souvenir book and it’s held on with a little square brad. 

P4150009The background piece was a hand written note I received several years ago.  It was already torn in half but I don’t remember why!  The heart is a paper towel that had been used to sop up paint at some point.  The flower is from Christmas decorations that fell apart held on with beads.  I told you I never throw anything away, didn’t I?

P4150010There’s another one of those tea packets.  This time I cut an insert from a Russell Stover’s box and stitched it on top.  The newspaper is a fragment from the same page as above, with two more of the square brads.

P4150011 Almost done.  This is from the same opera souvenir book as the “O” earlier, and there is the flap from that pink tea packet.  I had a tiny scrap of some hand-painted cotton and I fringed the edges and used some free-motion stitching to attach it and the tea flap.

P4150012And lastly, this is an Ocean Current label that Sarge brought home one day to see if I wanted it.  I said yes, even though I had no idea what to do with it!  It had one grommet in the corner and I added the other one and tied it in place with red ribbon.  The blue patch was already stitched on with red zigzag.

Looking at my collection of “junque” (ephemera is the polite word, I guess) I’m guessing I could make one of these pages every day for – oh – the next twenty years?!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday WOW – April 11


Once again, I am working on the disappearing nine-patch.  If it seems like I’ve been working on this forever, that’s because I only sew on these blocks when I go to the quilt shop for the day.

You can see the pattern when the blocks are reassembled really clearly here.  And today I reached a milestone:


I sewed the first row of blocks!  It should go together a lot faster from now on.  Gee!  I better start thinking about what the next quilt will be!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I’m in Love with My New Tool!!!

After much thinking and delaying and more thinking . . . I finally ordered a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine.  And it arrived this weekend!  Oh boy!




This is the “before” picture of Sunday’s paper pieces.  You can see that I used the butterfly shape and the reverse of the butterfly.  I also cut a six petal flower.


What I really wanted the machine for, though, was to cut fabric for applique.  Oh my goodness!  It works beautifully!!


This leaf is fused and ready to stitch and all those curves are cut absolutely perfect!  My head is all abuzz with ideas!

P4100008Things like birthday postcards!  I belong to a fabric postcard sub-group that sends out birthday postcards.  This is perfect!


I had to try some shapes right away and made a journal page.  This thing could become an addiction!  If you don’t hear from me for extended periods, you know what I’ll be doing!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

New York on my Mind


This quilt block is called New York Beauty.  I always thought it would be too hard, but after taking the paper piecing class last fall, I decided to give it a try.  It can really be a pretty block.


So, here are the finished blocks I showed in a Wednesday WOW post.  Nice, huh?  Wanna see what I did with them?


I made a shirt-tail on this green top!  This shirt has been an old favorite of mine, except that it had a gathered band at the bottom.  When you are getting older and becoming short and round, the last thing you want is a gathered band focusing on your hipline!!!!

Well, the focus is still at the hipline, but hopefully it will be on these bee-yoo-ti-ful blocks and not on my – ahem – generous anatomy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Swell Sunday

Happy Easter to everyone!  Today was a beautiful day, but I dutifully headed to the basement and turned to the next fabric embellishing technique.

This week involves paper, and ways to attach it to fabric.  Here we go.


First I attached paper by stitching on the sewing machine.  That’s pretty straight forward.  The paper is a combination of mulberry paper and patterned/glittered card stock.


Next was hand stitching.  I used two strands of embroidery cotton floss and did a straight stitch and french knot pattern.  Easy!


Then I stitched the paper (mulberry again) down using buttons and sew-on butterflies.  Sorry for the blurry shot.  Those butterflies apparently were too bright for the camera!


Then I tried grommets and laced ribbon through the holes.  I like the way this came out.  Very neat but with a little flair.


Last (but not certainly not the least!) I used staples.  Hmmm.  They don’t really show in this picture, do they?  I stapled a bunch of threads at each corner and then tied a knot in each bundle and trimming them short.  Maybe if the thread bundle was smaller the staples would show.  Wouldn’t it be neat to use those colored staples and a contrasting thread?


Here is the page with all five techniques.  That was fun and I feel like I really accomplished something.  You might recognize the background piece from when I experimented with stamping on fabric here.  I think I will use a solid color when I bind this page.  It needs something to hold all that busy together!

I wonder how many other techniques I can find for attaching paper to fabric. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

About That Appliqué

I managed to get both appliqué pieces done to the stage of layering with back and batting.  They will need quilting, of course, but they are small so I don’t need to clear space at the sewing machine!


This is the one I did Thursday.  It is the first in a series that the local quilt shop is doing as a Block of the Month.  Of course I had to sign up when I saw that Iris was the first block.  And a lovely purple, too! 

I managed to cut one of the stem pieces backwards somehow, so did some improvising.  I seem to always make at least one mistake so that my version of a kit looks slightly different from everyone else’s!


This is the one I did today.  It’s a McKenna Ryan pattern and I’ve been itching to do it for quite awhile.  I do like all her designs, but so far this is the only one I’ve actually done.  I plan to make this one a wall hanging for my kitchen.  Maybe I’ll hang it over the new coffee maker!


Here are the two hanging side by side.  You can see they are not very large (note the cabinet handle in lower left).  At this stage, I could decide to put them together with other blocks in the series and make a larger quilt/wall-hanging.  I may do that with the flowers.  Something to think over, anyway.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday WOW – April 4

April showers have arrived and it makes for a perfect day to spend in the sewing room!


I have a couple of appliqué projects started and spent the day fusing fabric and cutting pieces.  Yes, the whole day!  If tomorrow goes as planned I should be able to get at least one of them done.  At least the appliqué part.  It may take longer to quilt and bind, but they are small-ish pieces, so who knows?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We Interrupt This Program . . .

So, there I was, all set to work on the Sunday Serendipity project . . . and Sarge had other ideas.  After a “discussion” about priorities, I ended working on an entirely different type of project!  You know.  The type that involves actual work!

So, I will try again next Sunday.  Just so you don’t go away empty-handed, here is what I’ve been working on lately: