I love to dye fabric, make thread pictures and quilt. I live in the Yukon on an acreage with my husband, 2 dogs and 34 fish. It's the 'good' life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plum Embroidery Art

Here is the latest  embroidery piece that I made last week.

And here is the picture I used as a reference.I like the grey/purple dust on them And they look so delicious.




My embroidery is done mostly in this hoop as it is easy to position, but it takes some getting used to because the tension is not equal on all sides. Notice that I usually print out the picture on the fabric and use that as a reference to my work. I often move away from it as I work, but it gives me a great starting off point.




This is how I set up my work station. Thread in the nice holder, reference picture set up where I can see it, lots of needles under the table. Sometimes I want  to use a 90 needle and some threads even need a 100!



Here is the completed piece. I am still not sure WHY that bit of light brown absolutely wanted to be in the picture, but it screamed until I used it. Diva!






And here it is cropped. I like it as I learned some things about curving thread for realism. And I’ve practiced some shading as well. I need to do more curved images as it is so interesting to see how this works…


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mixed Media 3

Dessert Pincushions

I love this Japanese book that shows gorgeous desserts made from felt roving. I don’t have the book here and I don’t recall the name offhand. But I attempted this for a class and we made much better pincushions in class.



Contemporary Bag


I love Ton Schulten’s  work A LOT. And I love Ineke Berlyn’s work so much that I was ecstatic to receive her book Landscapes in Contemporary Quilts. I have made a few pieces from her book and used her pattern to make a gigantic handbag that I use to carry all my big rulers and stuff to classes. I love it a lot…



Texture Class

I took a class early last year from Fibre and Stitch and it blew me away. Here is my beginning piece:



And here is how looks to date. I don’t know if I am done or not:


No, I won’t tell how to do this. You need to take the class and support your online artists. J


That's IT for now.  Hope you enjoyed these last few posts..

Mixed Media 2

More fun techniques!


Wrapping Paper Landscapes

Just cause I could. This is from Stitches Mag (my favoritie British mag). I believe it is an online lesson if anyone wants to try it. Cut up metallic (sp?) wrapping paper, then add the grasses and delphiniums. My class loved this technique the best. And they got to use Blow Pens! I had to order these babies from Australia, but the were a big hit...


Another Wrapping Paper Landscape

Just cause I liked the dark one so much, I did another.


Circles Inside Circles

A technique online for making circles is at the FibreAndStitch website. I made a journal cover and a 'coffee cuff' with this technique. Its just way too much fun.



Circle Journal

OK-- I made about 10 of these journal covers cause I liked making circles. Her is another one. I used a 'feral bead' for a page marker.





I wanted to show how I remember which stitch looks good as a circle. Next couple of pics show how I label the stitch. I have a Bernina and used the number of the stitch here.



I just couldn't use a white (gasp!) piece of fabric to do my sampler.



Paper Journal

I took an online class with Sue Bleiweiss and we did a paper/leather look journal. I loved this technique and experimented with using fabric. See the crinkled fabric tree trunk for how I successfully did it in fabric. I fused the fabric to a piece of wool with the embossing tool.



Painted Tyvek

Again, I like to use SetaPaints.




Painted Tyvek Example

Here, and next 2 pics are how I used tyvek in a small piece. Painted tyvek, burned felt, chiffon, cocoon fibes and burned cellophane.


Close up-

You can see the cocoon stuff and burned felt here.


Mixed Media--Soldered Felt and Chiffon

From a technique in Quilting Arts Mag. This was a fun class and really got the students to play and have fun. It is good to teach some freehand quilting, how to use a soldering iron (or wood burning tool), how to make an interesting background with cheesecloth, tissue paper and paints, and how to pick a good composition. Inevidably I am asked, what do I DO with this piece. I always say; "Beats me. What do you think?" Anyone else have a better way to respond to this question?





Embroidered Flowers

I have been digging British fussy stuff lately and this field of french knot flowers makes me happy. This was based on one of the techniques from Gilda Baron's book--The Art Of Embroidered Flowers. Love this book and Gilda's techniques



One of my favorite classes, but I don’t think the students liked it as much. They were all polite as I was jumping up and down and practically screaming at their work, but that’s it. Once again, I think students really like to see a finished piece as sometimes it is too hard to think of what to do with these pieces. Leaves are from my front yard.



Shrinking Thread

I sooooo wanted to try this thread out and made a class out of it. It was fun, but again I think I got more enjoyment out of it than the class did. J


I made a square hoop like thing out of a round metal macramé hoop. I wrapped the shrinking thread vertically in rows and then horizontally to make a kind of loom/weaving look.

Then I added layers and layers and layers (about 3” thick) of chiffons and other burnable, shiny fabric with a layer of Angelina on the top. This was covered with solvy on both sides and then making small circles I quilted this with shiny variegated rayon and silk threads. When done, lay in hot (almost boiling) water for 5 minutes or so and watch the puffy thread


Mixed Media 1

I have a number of past mixed media techniques that I decided to put in one location, so for the next few posts I will add a lot of these projects I have made over the past 3 years. It was like a trip down memory lane and I got excited over several things all over again. You should see the books I have stacked all over the floor of my craft room!   lol


Selected Feral beads

Love the name, alas, it is not mine. These are one afternoon's frenzy bead making. I will probably get cancer from ignoring ventilation precausions. Made these as folows: **UTEE melted with embossing tool, wrapped with wires. **Others are scraps of fabric wrapped with funky threads. **Others are felt stitched to fabric then burned with embossing tool.




Flower beads

Pretty dark, sorry. The fussiest and hardest of the damn beads to make. I made six and said frig it. I think the instructions are in Quilting Arts Mag.




Painted Fusible Web

This was a fun class I took from my friend Ruth Headley (also my only quilt store owner). Her and I have taught fibre classes for over a year and when we don't teach, we attend the other's classes. I did this quick scenery pic to put in my technique page.




Technique Plan

This is just a look at how I do my teaching page and then I put it in a plastic protector in a 3 ring binder.




Technique Plan 2

The other side of my technique page. This shows all the types of fusibles I used in this class. **If interested, every different type of fusible does different things. My 3 favorites are WonderUnder, Steam A Steam and Stitch Witchery.





Another example I used for a class demonstrating a few techniques the students had already played with.




Close Up Example

Just to show how I label mixed media examples.



Fibre Trees

In an attempt to help get the creative process started, I did up the next series of "trees" using different processes.

This one is snippet leaves and puffy paint trunk.




Puffy Paint Trunk

Close Up. Dime added for perspective.




Tyvek Trunk

I use SetaPaints only for Tyvek. I prefer the shine they get when heated and don't add a 'paint' like feel to the tyvek. Also, it doesn't peel off

like acrylic paint does..




Just cause its weird

I don't even know what I "mean" by this one...



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rusty Truck Thread Painting

I have loved this truck picture for a long time and spent some months pondering how I would ‘paint’ it. Since I have a class in a few weeks on this very subject, I thought it was a good time to work on it.

Here is the original picture. It is not mine, I got it in a Google search (and the original owner could be the winner of a lovely piece if they email me.)


I loved the one headlight and the sad, plump fenders.

From that photo I made this:

rusty truck completedClick for bigger picture.  (8” x 5”)

Note that this is not fixed or trimmed to size. I wanted to show that one can control the warping if one works smartly and in a number of directions. It does take some practice and lots of firm ironing as well.  :-)

Here is my setup when I work on piece like this. I like to have all my threads and a picture of the piece near my sewing machine for reference.

rusty truck set up

I JUST realized that I reversed the picture when I was making it! The broken headlight should be on the left. You know, I actually thought something was ‘off’, but I couldn’t figure it out. Well shoot! 

Anyways, I like to have all of the threads I will use right beside me. I am lucky in that I bought a huge set (300 colours) on Ebay for a very reasonable price. I am soooooo happy I did this. It is spun polyester thread with fuzz on it, and I love it for embroidery painting, but would never quilt with it. It is dull, so I like to use some shiny rayon or silk threads with it. None in this piece as you can see from my sample. This little thread holder (by June Taylor) was picked up at Michael’s at Christmas when I was in the big city, and it works perfectly for my needs.


I am glad this one is done and I am satisfied with it. It took about 6 or 7 hours in total to  complete, and that is about 4 hours more than I would normally take. I think I stopped and started a lot to get the design right in my head.


But its back to my first love, landscapes now that I have this itch out of the way.   :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just a quick note

I am doing rather than talking lately, and today I had a breakthrough with my thread embroidery technique.

Thread embroidery is probably the ‘art’ I do the most. I don’t know if its because deep inside I am a secret painter, but I love to draw with my sewing machine. I have already bored you all with my love of Alison Holt’s remarkable thread play, and I have spend many a happy day making trees and flowers and leaves.


Today I tried a different technique—a variation on this theme—and found out that I like this way of ‘painting’.



This is a picture of fireweed that I believe was taken near Braeburn after a major fire the year before.. I used to drive this road once a week and for several weeks the fireweed is beautiful. I used a variety of cotton, rayon and silk thread on this piece.


My next one is going to be a rusty old truck that someone gave me permission to use.