Friday, June 30, 2006

Tuppence, Tuppence, Tuppence a Quilt

Progress as of Friday:
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This is part of day nine's treatment. I made the feather stitching into seaweed and then I needed some fishies. Found two oval buttons and drew the fish features with a permanent marker and added some stitched fins and tails:
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The sunflower is part of day nine's treatment. The coin is a real tuppence sewn on in shi-sha style, which after a bit of googling, turns out is a Hindi word meaning 'little glass' and refers to the method used to embroider mirrors onto items and is a common theme in India. The method works for any flat round item. The instructions for this are on Annie's blog for day ten.
I added the row of blue beads since I needed something fairly skinny on this seam since the motifs take up so much of the adjoining pieces:
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This is day eleven's treatment. I used buttons instead of beads:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I am getting down to the home stretch on this piece...I only have a few more spots where I can easily put in more stitching.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crazy, Quilt...Crazy

Progress as of Thursday:
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Redid the fans from day two...Wasn't happy with the originals...I know I did them wrong. Thankfully Debra did some really detailed pictures on her blog that showed exactly how to do them...and I finally 'got it'. Much happier with them now. Frog-stitching on velvet is something you want to avoid if possible. The velvet does not want to give up on the thread!
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Day nine's treatment. I did not have any flowery looking braid so I made do with this gold flat braid:
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Day ten's treatment. I am running out of two sided seams to do treatments on, so I did all of it on one side...a bit crowded, but I think it works ok. I have one two sided seam left but its too near the fans to do these half wagon wheels - its the same stitch:
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Crazy Quilts Are Heavy!

Here's the progress as of Wednesday - with all the buttons and beads it's getting quite heavy!
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This is the other half of day three's treatments - I used a very shiny red thread between the green leaves - it does not show up as well in the picture as I would like:
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This is day six's butterfly... I need lots more practice with the long/short stitching...
Lessons learned on this one:
1. Don't try this on fuzzy velvet if you don't have infinite patience...
2. This stitch REALLY needs a hoop...
3. Plan these kinds of treatments before you put beads on the piece...Beads make the hoop not work....
4. If your chunk of fabric is stretchy and its already lumpy, putting this kind of treatment on it does NOT improve the lumpys...Especially if you can't get it hooped.
Not the best looking butterfly, but its as done as its going to get at this point!
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This is day seven's treatment. I started out with a much more contrasting lacing, but could not get it to the backside with the needles I had on hand last night. Did not bead it - don't have enough small ones that are alike. May bead later if I find some beads that look right. This also looks better in real life:
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This is the remaining part of day two...At least on the top of the teeny tiny gold rickrack I finally found. The gold thread would NOT go thru the tan velvet - it kept shredding and breaking so I went with something else on the bottom half.
The button is the treatment for day eight...
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Monday, June 26, 2006

More Crazy Stuff

My Mom sent over a bunch of really cool trims...several have found there way onto the block already...

Here's the quilt block as of Monday:
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Detail of first day's treatment -its way to close together, but its staying that way! And some of the cool picot tatted laces:
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Detail of day five's treatment:
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Detail of day four's treatment: the lacing drove me crazy until I saw the picture on sharon b's site - that cleared it all up!
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Detail of Picot Tatted Lace- this may get the second half of day three's treatments:
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Detail of gold mesh flower (the background actually is a light pink) - Idea came from Annie's Crazy World, who is doing a 100 Days of CQ Details too! I'm not sure I like the green leaves, may take them off and try something else. They are my first attempt at embroidering with ribbon...kinda wonky :
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Detail of half of day three's treatments:
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

This is a Crazy Month!

Here is some progress on my Journal Page for June..Its not done by a long shot...But its turning out to be a blast. I decided to do a Crazy Quilt block...It's something I have wanted to do for a long time and this month seems just crazy enough!

One of the Crazy Quilters in the blogosphere - sharon b - is doing a series in her blog on a 100 Details For 100 Days Her site is a veritable treasure trove! I am kinda 'playing along' but I will run out of seams long before the series is done... Unless....I MAKE MORE CQ BLOCKS! Allison was the one who pointed me to this series...I am grateful! Her Crazy Quilts are a treat to look at! She is going to be following along with the series too.

This is the naked Crazy Quilt block, made out of mostly velvet with a chunk of silk in the middle. These scraps came from the stash I acquired from my Granny. She did lots of charity quilting and people would give her bags and boxes of fabric - she saved the 'fancy stuff' into a separate box:

The innermost white stiching is the outer edge of the size for the Journal Quilts. I plan on making a pillow style backing (with the two overlapping pieces of backing), slipping the Timtex stiffening piece in thru that and buttoning on a piece of fabric with the normal stuff I put on the back. That way I can take it apart if needed...

When I finished the naked block I said to myself "I don't think I particularly like this style of quilting"...But then I started in on the seam treatments and that is FUN FUN FUN!

Here is my progress on decorating the seams as of Sunday AM:
I attempted the first day's treatment (the seam with the green French knots) - I got it just a wee bit cramped so I didn't get all the elements in but I think it looks ok...I did the second day's treatment (the orange and purple seam)... The pink ribbon on the blue piece at the bottom is my attempt to make something like rickrack, which is the basis for day two's second treatment...Which I haven't started. I put in a call to my mom to see if she has any - if she does, I may take my ribbon attempt off - or not! I still have day three, day four and now day five to do!

This is one of the detail seams - its hand made lace with the beads from a necklace that the clasp came off years ago and has been sitting in a baggie in the kitchen drawer waiting for me to fix it...I 'fixed it' alright, eh? (my camera is not taking very good closeup shots...I think there is another setting I need to use...gotta get the book out and read up on close shots - Hopefully will get better pictures as this progresses.)

I went on a hunt for beads and buttons that I could use for embellishment and found I DO have a few hanging around. I found another dead necklace that has some nice maroon beads, some wooden beads, a few bugles, a few beads that are a bit larger than seed beeds, even a few little metal feathers! And the piece-de-resistance...Some milliflore beads I think my daughter made out of Fimo years ago... I dumped out my button collection and separated out all the 'interesting' buttons. We'll see if any of them make the cut to actually get places on my block.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Three Coins in my Coin Purse

My favorite coin purse... I got it as a gift from a friend probably close to 20 years ago. Its been in nearly daily use since then...I love how it fits into my pocket at work so I don't have to drag my full purse down to the cafeteria. Anyway, since its been around that long, it got a wee bit worn. I patched it up a couple of times by sewing fabric to the inside, but as you can see, it was on its very last legs as the leather is crumbling:
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I have searched for a coin purse like this one every place I go that has leather goods - but have never found anything close. Nothing to do but take it apart to use it as a pattern to make a new one. Here it is in pieces after I spent some time with it and my handy dandy frog-stitcher:
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Here are the supplies I purchased over a year ago (I've known this day was coming for a long time!). A new zipper, some snaps, upholstery thread, BIG needles and of course, some leather!
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Sewing leather is a gas. Not the same as fabric at all - it sticks to the bed of the sewing machine and if you start too close to the edge, the leather disappears into the bobbin area and pulls the needle plate up (mine is held in place with magnets...) - you have to start far enough for the feet to get a good grip! And...pinning is not easy - I ended up holding the final pieces together with safety pins! After a few hours, I now have a NEW version...Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Not quite the same...the old one is floppier where this one still is stiff...but I expect after a few months it will probably soften up!

I may try making one in ultrasuede as that might be a little easier to sew.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

May Journal Quilt Challenge - Raccoon Finds A Home

Here is May's Journal Quilt Challenge (A bit late, but better than never!).

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Text from back:

This month I am exploring the wonder of helping Nature.

One of the highlights of May 2006 was participating in a rescued raccoon release. My friend Donna brought five feisty, bright-eyed, fat and sassy raccoons from the raccoon rescue preserve and we released them in the Santa Ana Riverbed. It felt good to be of a small help to our wild friends.

The central picture for this month’s piece was an original drawing of a baby raccoon that I did in 1980. The original piece is a bit smaller so I used the enlarge function on my copier and made it the right size for the journal pages.

The raccoon is colored using All Purpose Inks from Tsukineko. Two borders were sewn around the central piece and then fused to the interfacing. Quilting was done around the raccoon and the tree branch.
The back was printed and fused to the interfacing. The outer border was wrapped around the edges and stitched to the back.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chemistry Lessons for the Fiber Artist - Part Deux

Last Saturday we went for another Fabric Dyeing class - this time for a 12 step Rainbow.

We each picked a red, a blue and a yellow - Mine were Cherry Red, Electric Blue and Lemon Yellow. Then after weighing the fabric, the instructor printed out a recipe for mixing the colors to get Yellow, Yellow Orange, Orange, Red Orange, Red, Violet, Purple, Blue, Indigo,Teal, Green and Yellow Green. We carefully mixed the required amounts into the glass jars and added salt water, the scrunched up muslin and closed the lids. This time I wanted some mottling to occur so I did not shake the jars too much. Every 15 minutes we turned the jars over. Here are my rainbow fabrics 'cooking':

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After an hour and half of turning, we added soda ash water and did another hour of turning. Some of the ladies brought knitting to keep busy and some played Soduku...After soaking in the soda ash, it was time to rinse:

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It was taking a long time to get each person's 12 pieces rinsed out so I decided to just take mine home and do the rinsing there. Here are my pieces packed up to go home - they are in seperate zipper bags to keep the dyes from bleeding into the other pieces which happens until the excess dye is rinsed out:

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After rinsing, and removing the extra dye with Synthrapol and hot water, these are my pretty pieces of fabric.

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I am MUCH happier with these than the black graduated series, though that was an interesting experiment. My violet and purple did not come out right, and the oranges are too close..If you have done hand dyeing, you will immediately recognize what went wrong by looking at my red piece. For those who haven't done dyeing - the red has little spots of darker color where the dye did not completely disolve before I distributed it in the glass jars - which means I did not mix it enough. But, I like the steely blue that I got instead of purple and the brownish color instead of the violet is interesting too. And I love the red piece with its darker dots! (I want to try sprinkling dry dye on wet pieces to see what happens!) Overall, I am really happy with the results!

Next lesson is in painting with fabric dye - I am anxious to try dye painting with the thickener.