Thursday, December 27, 2007

Last Minute Gifts

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful holiday- Christams , Hannukah, Eid!! I spent yesterday picking up and planning my next projects . I am thinking about things that I want to do as opposed to projects to work on for sale. i really love this time of year as it is my true play time! the garden is not calling as everything is asleep, the kids are well occupied with friends and their own projects and once I get my art space straightened out , I can dive in to some new ideas and projects!!
I did want to share some projects that i POWER CREATED just before Christams. These gifts were so press off the sewing machine that they were still smoking as I wrapped them!!

I have just stuck my toe into the fabric creating waters using a wonderful new fusible web called Misty Fuse. This stuff is awesome- I love it!! It has been advertised in my two favorite magazines CPS and Quilting Arts for a long time and many of my Art group friends use it often. Now was my turn.!!!

This padfolio is designed to hold an Office tablet of lined paper and has an inside slash pocket for storing loose papers. Below I have provided the steps that I used for putting this project together.

My materials were:

background fabric from my stash, dismembered silk flowers, painted drier sheets, stamped fusible web, dyed cheesecloth, rayon thread for decorative stitching, fusible Timtex(Ultra heavy stabilizer) sewing machine with zig-zag stitch, parchment paper , tuille, iron and ironing board..

Here is my starting pile. I painted the drier sheets with Lumiere paints. Sometimes I used several colors on one sheet and I did not saturate the sheets with colors- I left open white areas. i also ripped the sheets into smaller pieces.

I stamped some images- again using Lumiere paints - onto some fusible web that had a paper backing and let the images dry thoroughly.

You can see here-hopefully- how gossamer fine this Misty Fuse wb is! The first thing that I did was fuse the web to my background fabric.

Then I went about placing my blossoms and painted drier sheet bits werever I wanted them to be. I simply collaged them . When I found an arrangement that was pleasing, I put down the parchment paper over the top and fused everything down with the iron. Then I move on to the next section. I started in one corner and the collage grew from there. For the stamped images, I peeled off the paper backing and placed the web with image down on top of the collage and heated the whole thing again. In this photo you can see the fern image just to the right of the two orange flowers.

This was the sheet once all had been fused to the background fabric.

Next I covered the piece with fine white tuille. You can see the pile of tuille on the left. I pinned everything down really well and went to the sewing machine.

I used various colors of threads and stitched centers in all of the flowers to resemble stamens. i stitched along many of the fern images in green threads and I did lots of Free Motion Embroidery (FME) all over the place to secure everything together. It is difficult to see lots of the stitching at once so I took several photos.

Here you can see the stitched flower stamens and the painted cheesecloth that I added to the left of the purple flowers.

It is easiest to see all of the stitching from the backside of the piece! The stitching adds a wonderful additional layer of texture to the whole project.

Once the stitching was complete. I cut the fabric up and fused it to the Timtex(heavy stabiliser). I then fused identical size pieces of interior fabric to the other side of the timtex and satin stitched the perimeter of each piece. Here you cn see the final padfolio with the interior fabric that I used. I made some cording out of coordinating ribons and yarn to use to tie the padfolio closed and tacked it to one seam. I created a button out of a scrap of the fabric/Timtex?lining sandwich and sewed it to the front with a green bead.

Here you can see the cording and the Button Closure. As an extr little giftee I amde a book mark out of another scrap of fabric, sme beads and a giant paper clip. (available at Staples). I made a poccket of the fabric sraps, stitched around it on three sides and glued the clip into the pocket with Fabri-tac. Then I added the beads and extra cording tails as embellishments.

I am really pleased with this project and I know that I wil be making many more as gifts!! I have also asked several friends to save their used drier sheets for me! They just look at me, role their eyes and give me a hug!! They are beginning to understand and my art friends want me to teach a class for this project!!!!

It is going to be a great Arting year!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rusted fabric

I have wanted to try this technique for "dyeing " fabric for awhile. Then when a recent CPS magazine came out with Lesley Riley's rusted fabric projects on the cover I jumped in. I scurried around and set up three experiments and tucked them away where they would not be disturbed. I was to leave them alone for two or three days...... Well, I promtly forgot about them! ( I am sure that none of you have ever done this , I thought not!!! LOL!!)

The other day, while digging around for some trims for another project, I unearthed my rusting project. If you could see my art space right now you would understand why I use the verb unearth!!!!

Here they are!!

This piece was done on plain white muslin using vinegar and water to induce the rusting process. I wrapped the fabric around an iron rack that I had purchased at a Thrift store for $1.I am going to use this piece in an Art Quilt and I plan to make more pieces!!

For this piece I took a series of three iron washers and wrapped them up in a strip of muslin. This is also going to be used for some sort of fabric collage piece.

This piece was done using a iron frame for a tile trivet. I think that this must have scome from a Thrift store as well, at some point. I am in the process of making sketches for each of these rusted pieces. I have come up with some exciting initial ideas. We will see how they turn out! Stay tuned!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Gift Cone- A Case Where Giving Was Such Fun!!!!

My wonderful and fabulously creative friend, Ruth Rae, had a fantastic article in the special publication Quilting Arts Gifts. ( The magazine is still available on some newstands!) She described how to create wonderful fabric and paper Gift Giving Cones. (You can access Ruth Blog thru the list to the right of this column.) This is an example of a gift were the container or vessel holding the gift could serve as the gift itself. Of course Ruth presented the directions and example in her own glorious style and I knew immediately that this was a process that I was going to enjoy!

I created a cone to hold a special Bird that I had created for my friend Karen's birthday.

The back.

This is the sort of peice where anything goes, the more texture and little surprises the better. The back is equally as important as the front and the top portion of the interior is very visible once the gift inside has been removed. There are many different surfaces and angles to keep in mind with this project.!!

The front detail.

I used white felt as the interior core and then layered on cheesecloth, organza, tulle and silk, sheet music and text from vintage books. I stitched pockets to tuck vintage buttons into and added amny different bits of vintage lace and trim. The center focal point is a vintage rhinestone shoe clip and then vintage mother of pearl buttons complete the closure down the front. The bootom is finished off with a vintage prism from an old chandalier.

The front interior.

After pinning all of the layers together, I went crazy with the machine stitching and practiced my free motion embroidery stitching to add even more texture!

Here is the special littl Wing Ding that was tucked inside!

This was a wonderfully fun project and I so enjoyed presenting it to Karen! I was so proud to give this gift and she was overwhelmed to receive it! This was definately a case where it was more fun to give than to receive!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sorry to have been away for so long!!

I have survived my two show weekend!! The first event was at my dear friend Karen's house. I was included with a great group of 5 other artists. Karen graciously opened her home to the public for our sale. I was very pleased with how I did, sale wise and I had a fabulous time meeting and talking with all sorts of neat people!

I had several very new peices of work with me and I was sort of hesitant about trying to sell them. I loved them both but I was not confident that they were "good enough'. Ever been there???

Well both of them sold!! I decided to put a high price on the large peice as I would not have been at all upset if it had not sold- but a wonderful gal, who happened to be a music teacher, snatched it up and declared that she must have it. It is such an amazing gift to be able to experience another person's connection and joy to something that I have created!!

Here is the peice that she bought. It is 17x22 and I did it on canvas board.

It is difficutlt to catch all of the details of this peice in a photograph. The bird is cut from collaged sheet music that was then washed with gesso. I used oil pastels to add in the details. The background is paint scraped and then I added layers of glases, some stamping with gold, some sheet music and tissue paper that I had written on. After adding the phrase, I doodled on the tree and leaves. Karens glorious red walls served as a wonderful background for our display! Maybe I can convince my husband to paint our diningroom that color- tho she said that it took 5 !!!! coats of paint!!!!!!

Here are some other pictures of my work at the show.

I sold 6 of my birds!! People either thought that they were really weird or they loved them and had to have one! One gal bought two of them!!

I made the mirror in this picture that same way that I described the canvas board piece and I sold quite a few of my ornaments form the tree.

This piece is 8x10 and it sold as well!

I love this mirro and I am just as glad that no one bought it! I put down cheesecloth and then painted it with gesso and then applyed color in washes. THere is alot of texture in this piece that is not shown very well in the photo. THse are three beautiful Cape Cod scallops on the front.

The good news about not selling out is, now I can shop from my stock for all of my personal Christmas presents for friends and family!!


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