From 'placemat' to art!

 I finally am getting around to transforming my Four Seasons from 'placemats' (a gentleman customer wanted to know if that is what they were) into wall art. Summer Blues got willow branches tied with yellow grosgrain ribbons and stretched with 'spider webs' to join it to the frame (invisible thread artfully placed). Sold.
 Winter Silence got willow branches and snow ball wire to simulate falling snow. The picture tells me I may have gone overboard with the snow... I can fix that! I will add Fall and Spring as soon as they are finished, which is almost! Available for sale.


Viking-less Handwork

My 38 year old Viking died 2 1/2 weeks ago. Second motor I have burned out on the poor overworked machine! There are ongoing withdrawal symptoms occurring...
I am cranky, as the company I ordered the new motor from took 11 days to ship, not bothering to email me that it wasn't in stock and would take more than the 5-7 days promised on their site.
I am weepy because when the motor finally did arrive, it was the wrong one! I would have loved to be really cranky at the company-but the dufuss onus landed on moi...I had ordered the wrong one!
I have trouble focusing on what art work can be done by hand, as I keep looking over at the gutted carcass of my Viking siting on the kitchen table. The Eldredge is a sturdy little fellow, but does not do zig-zag, so my options of sewing are limited.
But, this has had a bright side. In my search for projects I can do until my new motor comes I re-watched Gilda Baron's landscape technique and went at the 4 special panels I had purposefully dyed for this. So, here is step one in the progression of playing with paint, sequins, beads, cardboard, bubblewrap and non-skid drawer lining.
I have added beads and sequins to the blue panel, variegated pink French knots and yellow seed beads to the pink panel. I chopped up my well-loved purple silk shirt, using the buttons and silk as petals and flower centers. I am leaning toward leaving the orange panel as-is. Once I get my Viking running I will free-motion some more stems, do a little machine lace for bushes, then quilt the living daylights out of the skies. Hurry motor, hurry!


"Bead" necklace

Colouricious's "Mom", Jamie, keeps sending out interesting newsletters suggesting, "Try this!" "Look at this!" I usually try everything once, as you never know when your next 'bestest' genre may crop up... When the bead necklace was featured the other day I ran out to the shed and whipped one up. Only fun kids and crazy ladies like me would actually wear this! Really fun and bright! Thanks, Jamie~  ( I didn't have large beads-so I raided my childhood stash of marbles!)  Colouricious' link can be found to the right on my blog home page.


This is still 'rough draft' form, but I wanted to show you a before picture. I already love it, so the finished piece should be a winner! The rocky basalt upheavals near Riverside, WA are incredibly interesting. The lava must have kept building up before shoving the mound forward, then repeating. The 'lava' was created with dryer lint. First I sprayed basting spray on the batting, mushed, arranged and placed the 'basalt', then sprayed that with basting spray. Next I used sand paper to make water color pencil dust, brown and black, sprayed it with water to blend, and let it dry. I had strip pieced the gradation sky and field/foliage. I like the linear sky, but the fields needed breaking up. The plan is to satin stitch everything down, once my beloved Viking gets his motor installed. STILL waiting for it to arrive!



A while back I  posted a picture of the yo yo barrettes I am making. Tonight I made 'Darla' to display those barrettes. I sandwiched 4 layers of warm and natural batting between two face shaped cotton fabric, sewing just crescent shapes for the eyes (as if they were closed) and then an O for the mouth.  The camera makes it look like I shaped the whole face! Fun!
For the hair, I took two shades of orange yarn, braided them and applied them to Darla's head with hand stitching. She looks stunning with all her clips in! :?}

Last of the slashing work

 My beloved Viking sewing machine died last week. I have ordered a new motor, but meanwhile I am sewing on a circa 1890's Eldredge. We are talking straight ahead straight stitch and that is it. But that is enough to do the slash work sewing!


Ebb tide

How to build a flower 101

I am happily whipping out flowers in thread for cute pins and future quilt adornments. I thought I would share my technique, as it is quite beginner friendly. I do tend to use 'technical' terms like loop-de-loops, slinky, zigzag and spiral. :?}
 You should have your machine set up for free motion embroidery; feed dogs down, tension loosened a bit, pressure foot light, and any hopping/embroidery foot you usually use.  Hoop up some woven water soluable foundation, as we will rinse most of it out at the end. I do leave some of the tacky stuff in the flower, as it seems to help it get all curly and funky and nifty looking, but is still flexible.
Shall we begin?
First sew spirals (think snail shell) from the inside out, and back again.

 About the size of a quarter.

Then do loop-de-loops, like a slinky, round and round and round to make the center strong!

Add a tight slinky in choice of color to enlarge, and give even more strength, then add petals. Yes, you may draw them out, but free motion eye-balling/sewing is fine!

Now you lay down a strong base by zigzagging up and down each petal. Next I go up and down each petal several times with big, loose loops. It will all be covered up in smooth sewing soon. The base is critical if you want your flower to hold its shape when the foundation is rinsed out.
Now starts the all the way up and down loops, as well as short strokes at the base and the tip of each petal, until you are happy with the density, looks like it will stay together when you wash out most of the foundation, the general flowery look...
 Once you are done building your flower you take it to the sink. Run the water until it is good and hot. Rinse out MOST of the foundation, but not all of it. It will feel slightly tacky. Lay your flower aside, or outside, to dry thoroughly.

Now that it is dry it is time to add beads and the pin back. Or you could choose a barrette clip. Depends on how you want to use it. You could use a button, or many buttons, a pom-pom, add a bug...just have fun!

Want to add leaves?  Go to http://quilts-artfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2012/05/leaves-101-tutorial.html


Slash, slash, slash

 I have been spending a lot of time in the Quilt Shed!
Sun, surf and sand ll
 I am wrapping art board or stretched canvas in fabric when mounting the works.
 This slashed heart is going to heal and grow.
Grow Toward the Light
Grow Toward the Light - detail
Sun, surf and sand
Sand dollar on sand (paper!)
Maze - detail

Lindy the Slasher!


detail - Concentric
On Concentric I stitched approximately 1/2-3/4 inches apart as I went round and round.

Husband of the year!

Husband installed a little window air conditioner in my Quilt Shed this week and today set up the laptop for me to have in the Shed as well!!! I can cruise the internet, find a nifty quilty something, press print, and it will show up on my printer in the house. I can play music while I am online out here. Can't in the house as Rick is ALWAYS on his PC working on his proposal for the colleges in Scotland, or researching for his next sermon. Having separate PC zones makes it very, very nice for both of us. Yeah! Thanks, husband!
I will have to apply discipline to myself, though. It would be way too easy for me to spend the day online instead of quilting!


La Couleur Pourpre

I start with photo on fabric. My iris was a beauty this spring! I use the photo as reference to keep colors bright and true.

The left petal is mostly done. The rest is in 'production'. I will have to make a thread-matching run today!
Once I have finished all the thread painting I cut the flower out as an applique', make a small 'quiltlet' of it, then mount it on a larger canvas covered with fabric. Love making these! The gold rayon embroidery floss will become the 3D 'beard' on the foreground petal.

Olivia, Queen of the Jungle

Olivia- she was 'framed'!

Olivia, up close and personal. Just a fun thank you gift for her owner's hospitality!