Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Serendipity–Shredded

Today I started on another book by Jennie Rayment.


You might remember that last fall I worked my way through Jennie’s “Creative Tucks and Textures.”  This one promised even more fun things to try out.  I think I’m going to enjoy this book, since the tone is fairly informal.  For instance, the first technique is called Vandalism!


Preparation is quick and easy – just layer fabric and stitch.  Then the fun part . . .


. . . slash and shred!  Similar to the chenille technique, only the top layers are cut and then the surface is brushed to cause it to ravel.  Yes, it makes a mess!  But I wanted to try a few more.


This piece is cut and ready for one of the brushing tools I tried.


And this is the end result.  Each of the layers is a different shade of blue and the number of layers cut varies from one at the corners to all except the last in the center.  I was hoping to see more of a color change, so I tried one more time.


You can see the blue layers peeking out at the edges under the orange.  And straight lines this time.  More on that later.


And the result with corners added to make square-in-a-square.

So here is what I learned:

  • Major curves are not as effective at ravelling as a gentle wave.
  • A closely woven fabric may fray, but not show much through the remaining threads.
  • Clipping perpendicular to the stitching will help in both of the above.
  • The best fraying tool is actually my fingers.
  • A lint roller is absolutely necessary!

Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I continue to pick threads off of myself!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday WOW–January 23

I decided to do something a bit different this week.  Rather than go out in the cold I stayed in my nice warm studio.  So today you get to see what’s really on the Worktable!


I am taking an online class (yes, another one!) and spent today sculpting with polymer clay.  This is how things looked when I started.  How about we zoom in on one of those heads?


Oh my goodness!  Doesn’t she/he/it look awful?  Well, I never said I was doing well in this class.  LOL!  Actually, this is not anywhere near being finished.  Remember, this is where I started today.


See?  Isn’t that much better?  I think so and I am encouraged by the amount of progress so far.  I am learning some neat tricks for working with the clay and – perhaps most important – patience for making small adjustments at a time.


And this is how the table looked at the end of the day.  You can ignore that green paper with the photo of a doll.  It doesn’t have anything to do with this project.  I tend to get different projects mixed together when I’m in the midst of things.  When it gets too confusing, I’ll stop and have a good clean-up.  Just not yet. 

I’m having such a good time!  Can’t wait to start on the next lesson!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Would I Do Without EQ?

I recently added some bookshelves to my studio and while rearranging some of my books, I came across a (large) notebook I’ve labeled Quilt Blocks.


This is where I’ve been putting all those magazine articles and quilt shop handouts that I save “in case I want to make that quilt some day.”  Yeah, well, it could happen!

Someone in an online EQ group said that she enters blocks and quilts like that into EQ.  It saves space in her shelves/filing cabinets and it gives her some practical experience with EQ.  Now, why didn’t I think of that?

So, I worked non-stop on culling this collection and putting the designs into EQ.  I figured I can always use the EQ practice and I won’t have to start another notebook . . . yet.  And I might be able to lift the current notebook without injuring myself!!!


Two weeks later, I have a nice, neat notebook (still pretty full) and this pile of page protectors ready to hold new information that I really need to keep!

Oh yeah, and some pretty cool quilts in EQ.  Take a look:

Puzzle Weave

Puzzle Weave

Perfect Tree

The Perfect Tree

Hilltop Houses

Hilltop Houses.  These are all log cabin blocks!

This is just a few of the more than 100 quilts in my file, so I’ll be showing more of them from time to time.  [Note: I’ve since broken that one file into several.  You could say the file was a tad large!]

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Serendipity–Kimonos

This chapter is a little different than the previous ones.  Firstly, these are not flowers!  Also, the folding part is very basic.


The base of this block is pieced.  In this case, triangles were added so the Kimono shape sits “on point.”  They could also be pieced on the square, I think, but the design is more interesting this way.


The fun part is adding the details.  There are two ways to finish the square:  as the front of the kimono, above . . . .


or as the back with a pleated “bow.”  All of the detail pieces are appliqued with the raw edges turned under.  The bow gets a little pleating, but that’s about as intricate as it gets.


There are options for layout into a quilt, too.  This one (above) shows kind of what it would look like if triangles were added to the corners to piece in the usual rows and columns style.  A contrasting color would be used, of course.


I chose to set four of them in this grouping.  It makes an interesting picture from a distance and then gets more interesting as you move closer.  I like it!

This brings us to the end of this book.  There have been some really cute ideas in this one that I’ll probably return to from time to time.  Next week, I’ll choose another book (there are still several!) and we shall see what’s next!  See you then.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday WOW–January 16

Another Wednesday . . . another day spent stitching.  I really like those kinds of days!


I was able to finish this section of the purple project.  I’m liking those purple spikes!  It’s a good thing I do, because there are lots and lots of them!  LOL!


I got started on the next section as well.  This one has 21 spikes and background pieces!  I think it’s going to take a looooong time to finish.  And then one more section before I’m ready to start assembling sections.  That makes for a lot of Wednesdays.

You’re going to be seeing an awful lot of purple-project-posts!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–A Plethora of Polygons

Sorry about that wordy title.  I couldn’t come up with anything else!  And today’s experiments were all about polygons from 5-sided to 12-sided!

I actually started with 6 sides, probably because hexies are all the rage these days and I’m always looking for different ways to use them.


This first one was super easy to fold and the “petals” are just folded back and pressed.  These would work up quickly for a larger quilt or wall hanging.


This starts out exactly like the first one.  But then it gets a little more complicated!  Instead of just folding over the edge, these petals are folded into little diamonds.  I really like the way it looks (and that messy center will be covered later) but folding can be quite a challenge for – um – mature fingers!


After doing a pentagon (which I forgot to photograph!) and this octagon, my fingers were limbered up enough that I felt like I was on a roll.  Sooooo. . .


I folded a twelve sided polygon!  I think I’ve got the idea now.  After 31 petals, I should hope so!  One thing I learned is to mark the center since it is important to make sure all the folds meet right there, and tacking each one in place before moving to the next one helps a lot.  And I also learned it’s a good idea to let the fabric cool a bit between pressing and manipulating.  The fingers can get a little singed!


And here’s the finished flowers, along with a few from earlier lessons.  I can definitely see this becoming a bouquet or flower garden style of quilt!

I wonder what’s coming up next week?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday WOW–January 9


I finally got back to working on the purple project today.  One of the drawbacks to working on a project like this is that it can feel like there’s no progress.  All those little pieces just go on and on and on!


But you need to have faith that it will eventually all come together.  This particular step is almost there.  In fact, I should be able to finish them next week.

Of course, there are still two (three?) sections to go!  At least it will be a bit of a change.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Twist Clockwise

Today’s folding was challenging to say the least!  The instructions in this book have been really easy to follow so far, so perhaps I missed reading an important step.  It wouldn’t be the first time!!


My first attempt went pretty well, but I really had no idea how I got there.  So I tried again. . . and again. . . and again!


It took me an hour to get the second one right.  No kidding!  I re-read the instructions several times and even tried a paper version.  I even partially unfolded the first one to see if that would help.  I nearly gave up, too, but I couldn’t do that.  What would I post about if I gave up?!  But eventually, I figured out how to do it.


Feeling a little wary, I tried a third time.  This one took only about two minutes to finish!  Hooray!  Now, I’m feeling cocky, so I made a couple more.  No reason to stop now, right?


Well, I wound up with a fairly nice looking 9-patch block, but it was really a trial to sew the blocks together.  When/if I make these again, I will secure the outer corners (centers are already hand stitched) and take more time to square it all up.  These were incredibly difficult to sew together and I had to redo each one of those four points to line up nicely.

That was exhausting.  Hopefully next week will turn out much easier.  I’m not counting on that, though!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday WOW–January 2, 2013

We’ve started the New Year with snow in these parts.  Not a lot, but what there is is FROZEN!  Just the right kind of weather to stay indoors and play – er, I mean – work in my studio.


I went for a change of pace today.  No fabric!  Just paper – and glue, paint, stencils, etc., etc.


When finished, these will be cut into dividers for my appointment book.  I’ve been using the same calendar book for many years, but the refills are pretty pricey.  Especially when I write fewer and fewer things on those pages.  Nothing at all for December!  Of course, as soon as I decided to make my own pages, I’ve written something every day.  But that’s another story!


What I really wanted to do, though, was experiment with some of the art materials I’ve ordered lately.  The leaves above are from a stencil that I sprayed with Perfect Pearls (by Ranger).  You can’t see how much they sparkle in the photo.  Too bad.  They are really cool!

I order a lot of my art supplies from Joggles.  Do you know about them?  They send out a weekly newsletter and have been doing weekly videos showing you how to use the products.  Marketing genius!  I watch those videos and want everything!  LOL!  I manage to curb the impulse most of the time, but some things just call to me over the internet!  This was one of them.

Hmmm.  I wonder what this week’s product is.