Tag Archives: quilting

A JUST FOR FUN – Halloween Project.

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A JUST FOR FUN – Halloween Project.

I am not a serious quilter, but I do on occasion like to make little quilts for wall decoration.  Being that Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to see what I could make from my left-over fabric scraps.  My goal was to create something interesting using only things that I had on-hand… without making additional purchases!

After sorting through my stash, I came up with this collection of possibilities.fullsizeoutput_ba9

Considering overall design, scale, color, etc., with size of pieces available, I selected the jack-o-latern motif fabric as the center-piece with coordinating strips for the sides to be sewn in a log cabin pattern.

fullsizeoutput_baaAfter assembling the pieces, I hand basted the decorative block to a piece of muslin to give added support for the embellishment to come.

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Then it was into the embroidering hoop for adding decorative features.

fullsizeoutput_bafI began by placing small orange and black beads on the bottom and top sections.  They are a little small and tend to get lost, in the photos I taken, but show quite well when examining the piece in person.

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More beads.IMG_6087

Next I added cross stitches and French knots to the skeleton fabric.

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And lastly, I  finished up with orange and green primitive stitches on the last side piece.

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I added a black border and chalked in guide lines for more primitive stitching to be added.

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Once the decorative block was embellish, I layered it over cotton batting and an orange contrasting fabric.

 

 

All additional stitching, such as the outlining on the jack-o-latern and more French knots were sewn through all layers to secure the sandwiched pieces.

 

 

After all the embellishing, I trimmed the excess fabric away and machine stitched the bias binding, also made from scraps, to the outside edge of the piece.

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The binding was applied to the front and then wrapped around to the back side and hand basted into position for a final stitching down.

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Special attention was paid to the mitered corners to help create nice and neat finished look.

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With matching thread, I used teeny tiny stitches to secure the  binding and corners into position.

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After the binding was completed, I pressed it lightly.  If desired, small plastic rings may be sewn in the top corners for hanging if desired.

This fun little project measures 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ and will be hanging in my work station between now and October 31st.

I hope you like it!

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Happy “Little” Diversions

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Happy “Little” Diversions

I was rifling through some deep sewing storage looking for a specific piece of fabric.  I didn’t find it, but while searching  happened across these “little quilts.”  They were neatly folded and tucked away waiting to be rediscovered.

People who know I work with fabric almost always ask me if I quilt and I always say, “no,”when in fact I do quilt from time to time.   What I mean when I say no, is that I do not quilt as my main creative outlet;  I haven’t spent my lifetime perfecting my quilting skills like the artists whose magnificent creations adorn quilt shops and shows.  Rather, I am a little quilter of small projects…  offering happy little diversions from my more seriously focused fabric pursuits.

Each piece carries with it a memory, like small snapshot in time… oh yes, I remember when I made that…..

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Folk Art Adventure

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What started out as a ‘fun little project’ has turned into a colossus of detail.  I began with a collection of flowers and other elements cut from various fabrics.  I bought a variety of beads and of embroidery floss for embellishment and started in.IMG_9322I have seen many examples of “folk-art” having had the opportunity to visit The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.  I am intrigued by the nature of this category of art with its bright use of color, eclectic and unexpected pairings of materials and designs, and endearing inattentiveness to quality or standard that magically comes together with a kind of flea-market cachet. It is such a departure from my natural bent towards creative order that when I saw a display at a local shop, I thought I’d like to give it a try.

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I’ve discovered that I like the somewhat tattered and unplanned look.  There is a certain creative freedom which develops in the absence of exacting precision; I can use any color thread and don’t worry about evenness of stitches or tidiness of French knots and I can stitch on beads with abandon.  There are no rules, no dictates, just art and that’s fun! IMG_9356

Creating Unique Fabrics Out Of Scraps

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Repurposing Scraps – tutorial

I like the fabric that I used in my last coat so much that I wanted to utilize every little bit that I had left over. I’ve used this method of taking scraps and sewing them together to create a new piece of fabric before and it always proves to be an interesting effort.   I began by looking through my fabric and trims to see what I might have that would go with the piece I the main piece I was working around and came up with some pretty complements.  It’s amazing the bits and pieces I find that I have squirreled away for later use and then forget about; it’s always fun to rediscover them.

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Once I had gathered my materials selected, I cut a piece of bleached muslin to size to use as a base.  Organza would be a good substitute for muslin if you wanted something lighter weight, but I was thinking sturdy for a bag possibly.   The size of the muslin is determined by the length of scraps I am working with  Then I cut out my strips.  I organized the strips in a way that I thought looked interesting and then began to stitch them onto the muslin.

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Beginning at the right edge I sew the first strip down face-up along the left side .  Place the second strip right sides together along the right edge of the first strip and sew down the right side with a 1/4″ seams securing both pieces.

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Press the second strip out to the right and repeat the process until the base is completed.  I don’t worry too much about being perfect or staying on grain, because I like the somewhat random looking nature of the end result… that is part of the charm of this type of quilting.

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Once the muslin backing was completed I added some burgundy cord for embellishment.
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I then trimmed the piece to the edges of the muslin.

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I repeated this process and will be incorporating these strips into a bag or maybe a decor item.  Not sure yet.

Fabric Art Tutorial – Hello Little Frank

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Glad to See You!

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Sometimes when I’m in the middle of an art project, my studio looks like a tornado passed through.

Drawers and cupboards fall open, materials and tools are scattered all about the room and I groan thinking about having to put it all away at some point.

creative chaos

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Today, quite unplanned, I decided to make a wall hanging for one of my boys as a Christmas gift (hopefully, he won’t be reading this blog entry).  He had a little dog named Frank who was very sweet.  I wanted to make a reminder of Frank for his wall.  Using what I had on hand, I sorted through the scraps of brown fabric from past projects.  I selected five basic colors and began snipping and fusing.

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snips of brown fabric

It didn’t take long and I had enough to cut out the body.   I made a little flap for the ear and outlined it in black for definition, added a little red color, a little eye peeking out from under the ear flap and a little black tip for the nose.   Once that was done, I was ready to try different backgrounds.  My preference was for the green background, but one of my boys thought his brother would like the white better, so I followed his advice.

 

green background

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Next I cut out the pooch’s name in my very best cursive writing… cutting letter is a little tedious, but the result is usually worth the time and care it takes.

cursive letter cutouts

I then found a piece of leftover batting I had used on a long ago quilt project and used that to add some loft in between the front and back pieces.  As luck would have it, I found a cute piece for the backing from my fabric stash that coordinated nicely with the front design.  I sandwiched the three pieces together leaving an extra one inch border of the back fabric to fold up around the outside to finish the edges.  The I stitched around the dog and on the name for a little added definition.

Here is my finished piece… I hope he likes it.  I do!  It looks especially good sitting on my red table runner.  Hmm…

Merry Christmas Evan!

Creative Photo-editing; Confessions of a PicMonkey Junkie

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Circles, Circles, Circles

I recently read an article in a quilting magazine that said circles are popular!  With that, I decided to have a go at circle making to see what the appeal was.  I have lots of fabric scraps left over from various art projects (Chieko Mamba) which I used for this project.  On the surface this type of work seems too simple to be very interesting, but I was a surprised to learn there is more to putting the fabrics together in a pleasing way than I thought.

First I made a 7″ x 7″ square and then applied the circle design.  I cut a 9″ x 9″ square of contrasting fabric as a back which would leave 1″ on all sides to fold up for a binding.  I sandwiched a piece of batting in between the front and back and stitched into place.  Below are the results… nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  I knew what I had to do… make an appointment with Dr. PM.

Serengeti

Here is what the original looks like after going bananas with the PicMaster... who just happens to be my new  BFF!

Blue Serengeti 

It could be an Italian mosaic or  French Country curtains or whatever…

Blue Serengeti framed miniature

Actually, this does get me excited; I am so intrigued by the endless possibilities of photo-editing… it’s just amazing what can be done with an original image to make it more interesting or just different for the sake of being different. I’ve added a gallery of miniatures at RemnantWorks where customers can choose a design and then have it printed in any color that suits their decor.  What a great option to provide!