Friday, January 30, 2009

Free-Motion Stitching

While I was working on this the thread in my sewing machine got all out of whack and it took me forever to get it stitching right again. Then once it was working smoothly I just couldn't stop, and this is how it turned out...

This photo looks a bit more busy than it does in person - but still, maybe too much. Free-motion stitching is fun, maybe too fun. I have always said I didn't care for the look of it, but it was because I was never very good at it. Still not, and not quite sure how to use it. I always prefer the look of stitches done by hand, but if I am to get as many pieces done as I would like I will be using the machine more, then adding hand-stitched details. As for the machine free-motion stitching - I am learning the delicate balance of speed of the pedal and speed of the hand - it's still tricky for me - but loads of fun to practice. I am trying to make practice pieces into something useful, gifts maybe - and plan ahead as far as sizes, so these are large enough to make something. This one - the cherry branch? (about 12 " wide) - is destined to be a zippered bag I think...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reverse Applique Part II

This is how my experiment with reverse applique turned out. The overall size of the first photo is about 8 " wide. I really like this technique, but I should have stitched larger shapes for the cut-out areas, the pattern on the fabric is a bit hard to recognize because the holes are so small.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reverse Applique

I just started this piece, working on machine free-motion stitching and trying out reverse applique. The top fabric is cut away between the stitching to reveal a contrasting fabric just under the top layer. It's kind of tedious to cut away the fabric, but very fun to see how it looks when you are done - a nice surprise. This little circle I have cut away so far is about an inch across (to give you an idea of the overall size) - I plan to cut away more over the next few days - maybe add some embroidery and hand stitches...

Lovely Little Dots on Birds

I have been working on this little patch of dark brown fabric - adding stitches with white embroidery thread. Then for the last few days the starlings have been showing up in our yard, searching frantically under the snowy leaves for??? The patterns on these birds are amazing. I think this may turn into a project of some kind...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sketchbook Cover

It might be that Fiber "Arts and Crafts" Almost Every Day may be a better title for this blog.

I started a sketchbook for the year and made a patchwork cover for it in hopes of experimenting with some stitches, etc. directly onto the cover of this book. The inside cover panel are both possibly shirt fabric scraps from my Grandma. One has staining on it - but the resulting color and pattern is so nice. The inside panel colors are so soothing - the outside is a little nuts. It looks very unfinished - but I have a whole book of stitches I want to try.

First entry in the sketchbook includes dimensions and details to make the sketchbook cover. This was pretty straightforward - but I am trying to be better at saving a pattern for things I cut and sew from scratch so I can make another if I want to.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Now What?

These overflowing bins of fabric and thread are an excellent representation of what my brain feels like now. I have loads if ideas in need of some organization before I can pull any of them off. I have not started my new sketchbook yet this year - it is kind of a ritual with me to begin a new sketchbook each year. Doodling and sketching also keeps me from going completely mad during the winter months leading into spring - the first 20 pages or so always filled with seedling and plant drawings. Once I have organized myself this weekend - I hope to begin to experiment a bit with the many supplies of fabric and thread that I have.

These photos show my wonderful supply of quilting scraps handed down to me from my Grandmother - many probably originally from my Great-Grandmother. I try to work them in whenever possible. There is also my embroidery thread, ETC. drawer. Also one blank already quilted canvas awaiting some sort of embellishment.

I will be back - a bit more organized...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Art Quilts on Brick Walls

Several of my art quilts along with those of Janet Cohen are on display at the Cobblestone Grill in Zionsville now through March as part of the Zionsville Art Initiative's Art & Space Program.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last One

I believe this will be the last little piece to make it into the little showing. Everything must be ready by tomorrow afternoon.

The many little wires are those used to hold anything and everything very securely attached to it's cardboard packaging. Most of the ones on this piece came from the past months birthdays and Christmas gifts. This was my first time "embellishing" with anything not fabric or thread.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Time in Sewing Room Required

I have had the little idea for awhile to have a fiber art blog to motivate myself to sew more - quilt more. Here it is. I am in need of outside input. I will ALWAYS take into great consideration the unique artistic observations of my husband and 4 year old (almost 5 year old) son - he has a keen eye for subtle details and use of color - but I am hoping my wonderfully artistic and creative friends and family will also be my critique group.

I have (almost) completed a few small quilts for a two month showing at a local restaurant. I am at the same time so excited for the opportunity and discouraged at the small number of pieces I have to choose from. Raising two small boys and spending time in the sewing room can be a tough combination. I know I can squeeze in more sewing time and I know too well from keeping up a two years and running family photo blog that others watching and waiting can keep the updates coming. I have many more ideas and experimenting to do and am hoping to run them by all of you for feedback. Comments, comments, comments, please!! As the title says - almost every day - if all goes well...