Monday, January 31

Messy Techniques & Good Mail

Ok, I'll admit the bigger mess I make the more fun I have. So this technique was right up my alley. This is for the Techniques 4 Textiles Journal we're working on over at Quilt With Us. This is really pushing me into great new directions. I've been wanting to get into this one for days but just had other fun stuff in the way. So after getting back from errands today I grabbed my little box of supplies I'd set aside for this and played with some fabric/paper/fabric paint/and some gauze.



First I cleared off the counter and rather than covering the surface I just used my largest baking sheet. Thought I might need to keep the paper towels close at hand. 


I sprinkled the muslin with water, just using my hands. 
Then I dribbled 2 colors of fabric paint on the damp fabric.
Brushed it all over with watered down glue. 

Using plain white wrapping tissue I dripped fabric paint
on a mushed up ball and carefully opened back out.

I placed this on the muslin and painted with 
more watered down glue. You have to be careful
or your paper will tear. Then I added the gauze in
small sections with more watered down glue. 

Next I added watered down gold fabric paint to the glue 
and painted the whole surface. 
Then I used more tissue paper, this one had
silver glitter in it and I put that in small sections 
to cover parts of the fabric.  

You might notice that these are not my normal colors. 
I did get a little out of my box, but just as I was about
to walk away from this I did take my buddy "walnut spray" 
and spritzed one corner. (lower left) Just couldn't help it.


Good Mail
While out running the errands today I stopped by the post office and had a wonderful surprise. I got my fall block from my swap partner Linda G. The theme of this swap was "Fall Colors" and the one thing that was a little different was you had to use one non-traditional quilting fabric/fiber or something not in a normal quilt. I will be making this block into a fall wall hanging. I have a little lap quilt to finish up and then I'm right on this. No ideas yet, but it's wanting me to work on it I can tell.

Linda also sent me some wonderful goodies. I really love feathers 
and she sent me a bag full of beautiful pheasant feathers. 
She also sent along a very sweet pillowcase. I just love
hand made pillowcases but I don't make them for 
some reason. My mom used to make them for us and for that reason
this made me think of her and I just almost teared up. It was the 
good kind of tears thou, that are prompted by a beautiful memory. 

Friday, January 28

Playing With Wire

I have 2 wire jewelry classes this weekend so I'm making a few samples and putting together the class kits. So wire/beads and all my tools are what I'm into today. 


I had to cancel my wire workshop on the 22nd due to snow and we're having makeup class this Sunday afternoon. So I thought I'd change up the class a bit and have added 2 new items, a free form copper necklace accent and a coiled and wrapped bead. Each use several different techniques. I've also got a free form funky pin started and hope to wear it on Sunday. Hubby had to grind down the pin part of the wire till I get my grinder lesson - which will be soon. He's so good to teach me all this cool stuff about working with metal. I aim to be fearless with the power tools very soon. Torches and grinders and presses oh my!


One side effect of teaching class is I never finish a project in class, I'm just showing the student how each technique is done. All these little bits get tossed into the King Leo can and later become parts of my fiber art. It's my version of the butterfly effect.

Wednesday, January 26

Finishing Up a Nagging Project

I've had this journal cover lying around in my sewing room for weeks it seems and every time I set it out and arrange things for the cover - I just can't make it work out. Today it came to me - less is more. So I tossed over half the elements into a King Leo can I put unused bits into and then it all came together. Considering the underlaying theme of my fiber journal this cover design is more fitting. 



I also got this wall hanging completed this morning.



Close up of the beads and background


Monday, January 24

Finished up some fiber beads today I'll be using on a 
wall hanging that is "almost" done. Used all Oriental flavor fabrics
and some metal (sheet & wire).

The page I'm working on now for the Techniques 4 Textiles Journal 
is Fancy Footwork. I've been using some of Edna's machine feet 
cause I just don't have that many. I've learned about some feet I
hadn't even heard of. We've been making our samples on 
white fabric and today they got a little dye job. 


I was sitting at my table laying out the foot samples and
a friend called and I'd just opened up the paint jar but
needed a brush in the other room. So there I sat with
no brush and while we talked I picked up a straight pin 
and dipped it in the paint and played with a little
scrap on the table. We laughed that I would paint 
with a pin, but you know after I got off the phone and
looked at this I really liked it so I did a few more. 

 Here are the sample's sewn together so far. I need about 3-4 more. 
Then I think I'll call it quits on this page. 

Friday, January 21

Facelift

This week I was trying so hard to stay on budget and went into JoAnn with a list of 3 things. I'll now amaze you by saying I only bought those 3. This could be a record. I needed a new sketch book, fabric paint and beading needles. 


The first thing I do when I get a new sketch book 
is to decorate the cover. 
So this morning since I'm snowed in yet again I thought
this would be a good time to get some little projects done. 
The screen on the book cover is from a friends old screen door. 
When she told me she was replacing the door and I asked for 
the old screen  - she thought that was odd even for me. 
But I really like the way it looks. 

And one of my favorite sayings goes on the front. 


This is some of my new fabric paint. I love the metallics. 


Wednesday, January 19

A Little Old, A Little New

Yesterday I was working on the page for my journal that uses different feet on your machine. As an added bonus Edna brought one of her old machines that has a hand crank. It was so much fun to sew on this. The stitches were very pretty and after I got the hang of it, it's very easy. I made the front of an ATC. I did keep looking for the foot pedal thou. 


I got all the loose ends done on my block for the Quilt With Us swap - Fall Colors. 
One of the extras tossed in for this block was to use one non traditional quilt material. 
I used 3 - felted wool, metal and a polyester. The background is made from the edges of
fabric with a layer of burned synthetic. Then some free motion and finally the leaves. 



My zen tangle for today is a bit different. When I first started looking on line for how to's I saw a lot of people were drawing on shoes/visors and t-shirts. That combined with my new DVD on fabric painting was the reason behind my little fish t-shirt. Things were going along pretty good till I forgot one of fabric paintings main rules - too much water is never good. 
When that paint ran on the top of my heart it was a sad, but a learning moment. This is on the sleeve. The front has my little fish. Hopefully I'll get this finished soon. Now waiting for each color to dry before moving on. Lesson learned.



The original tangle that started all this fish stuff is now a necklace.

Saturday, January 15

4 x 6 inches of joy

Yesterday was a post card day, I completed 4 of these. I love doing ATCs and Post Cards, but post cards give me that little extra real estate to play with. You can experiment with techniques and not have any commitment to a big project. I must admit I have slight commitment issues with big projects. That could be why I've never made anything larger than a lap quilt. My true love -  these funky mixed media smaller quilts and I just never tire of making them, as you may have noticed. 




When wall hangings do not behave they are
taken away to become postcards.




Ok this quilting did make me a bit nutty(er). It was just too small. 
Felt like I needed a big magnifying lens to drop down 
from my glasses, like in the old SF movies.


Friday, January 14

Embossing Metal for my Fiber Art

Yesterday I had a really fun day. Stefanie and I went out and had a good lunch at Cracker Barrel, one of my favorite places. Then we went to the movies and saw Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D. The movie was really good. I've seen all 3. After the movie we went to JoAnn and did some shopping. They had tons of sales and I picked up a few new toys. So this morning I couldn't wait to get started playing. 

I got more of the thin metal sheets. 
They emboss very well with my Cuttlebug. 
You can even use the dies to cut the metal. 
This metal had a short trip into a hot flame 
first to change the color. 


Here is a close up of the color variations and textures. 


The scrap booking weekend is getting closer so my mind is turning towards
things I'll need. The huge tape gun has been on my wish list
for several years, but is a bit pricy and yesterday it was on sale and I 
got 60% off - well just couldn't pass that up. 

So off to make an ATC from the metal I embossed. 

Wednesday, January 12

Tap Dancing With New Shoes

Well one of our challenges for the Techniques 4 Textiles journal is to learn all about the feet that came with your sewing machine. I just ignore the bulk of mine and get by fine with my "A" foot, 1/4" and open toe darner. I don't think the newer machines come with as many feet as they used to, or at least mine didn't. So yesterday I played with some feet that belonged to Edna and she taught me how to use 3 new ones I've never used before. She has so many it was mind boggling. She brought these wonderful little boxes that hold some of her antique feet and they were so pretty I wanted to share them. The boxes are over 100 years old. 




And this morning with my coffee came this little zen doodle fish.

Tuesday, January 11

The first journal pages

Yesterday I worked on my techniques journal and got a 
good bit of the intro and 1st page done. 

There is still some embellishment to be done to the
intro page but this page is almost completed. 

The pin weaving page just needs the title and journaling.

I've decided how I'm going to do the titles, but just need a new tool. 
Oh joy getting new stuff. 

Finally got out of the house today after days of being snowed in.
Had to be rescued and was glad to get out and play. 
Went to JoAnn and did some sewing. Working on the 2nd part of
the Techniques challenge - exploring sewing machine feet. 
I learned how to use a ruffler, pin tuck and a fringe foot. 
It's great to have friends with lots of knowledge, feet 
(sewing machine that is) and patience.

And my recent tangles

Monday, January 10

What's Up In My Studio

We got 3 inches of snow last night and that is just enough to bring this southern town to a stand still. With the little hill in our driveway I'm pretty much stuck (yea like I care) Just an excuse to play. So the snow men will have a BBQ on the deck and I'll just watch from the warmth of my sewing room.


One of my quilting buddies, Edna got me started on Zen Tangles. I have to admit at first I didn't know if this was going to be for me or not - well I'm hooked. These are my little practice pieces I've done so far. Sure nothing to write home about but I'm learning. I work on them each morning when I'm having my coffee. Very addictive. I have ordered 2 books which will help a lot. For now I'm just winging it.



Got this video in the mail a few days ago and plan on watching it today. 
I love the workshop DVDs from Quilting Arts.


And here is the update on what I've gotten done
on my Techniques 4 Textiles journal. 

Made my journal from hand made paper over book board.

I'm making little "bits" to decorate the front. There will be 11 in all.
This is what I have done so far. Each one will be a different technique. 

This is the inside. Used a different hand made paper. 

The binding is post bound so I can make it as thick as I need to. For now I have shorter posts. I'm sure I'll need to add the longer ones pretty soon. Have those on hand already.

Our first 2 techniques have been posted over at Quilt With Us and they are 
Pin Weaving and Fancy Footwork

Thursday, January 6

Metal In Quilting

Well if you follow this blog you probably know how fond I am of copper and use wire in quite a few of my  fiber pieces. I found this thin sheet metal on Tuesday and used some of it yesterday to see if it plays well with my other supplies - Yea! I just love it.

 I did some simple texture on it - just using my stiletto, 
and then passed it threw some flame to alter the color. 
It's just 40 gauge and it didn't even dull the needle - joy!

The back is very plain.