Practice makes…..one crazy!!!

The last step on my Meadow Art project is to add the daisies. In my last blog installment about this project, I showed some of my attempts and concluded that the best way to do them was to do the initial work on the machine and then use embroidery floss to finish the petals (#4).

THEN, I started thinking about using Perle cotton in the bobbin and working the flowers from the back. The first few attempts were not successful as I didn’t have the tension set correctly……

I kept changing settings until it looked like this…..

Those are better and would work for another type of flower, but not for these daisies!!

I made several other tries using a smaller Perle cotton (size 5) in the needle but it just didn’t look right.

In the end, I moved back to my plan of machine work under and hand-work over.

I decided to color in the centers to give me an idea of exactly where I wanted the flowers to fall…..

….. and then stitched the first five flowers on the machine The two on the left have been finished completely with hand stitching and centers stitched……..

They are not nearly as good as the ones on the sample, but they do look good on the piece. I also noticed that the ones on the sample have some shading on certain sides of the petals so I am going to explore that further before I finish the artwork.

The important thing is that I am still enjoying this process and am already starting to think of other ideas that I want to do in this same format!!

Off to a good start

Yesterday I started on my new Meadow Art project and had SO much fun with it!!

As I started, I decided to stabilize the initial fabric base so that there wouldn’t be too much scrunching up as I added stitching. I used a thin fabric with fusing on one side and ironed the two pieces together …..

The fabric was sized at 14×19 inches, although it looked a LOT bigger than that when I was staring at a blank canvas…..

Following the instructions, I started tearing strips of fabric, making sure that I had lots of strings on the edges. You know, the things that we normally HATE when we tear fabric…..

I also cut/tore burlap, flannel and silk and added those to the mix. When it looked balanced…..

…. I took it to the machine and sewed each piece down, staying close to the torn edge……

Next, I started adding bits of trim and lace…..

….and went back to the machine to secure them to the background. At this point I realized just how much I like my Juki machine……

It is a workhorse!!!

After each step, I ironed the piece from the back, just to make sure that it stayed relatively flat…..

I failed to take a photo of the next step, but I used cotton thread to sew in some flower stems, grass and other linear elements.

At this point the instructions suggested putting a heavier yarn in the bobbin and sewing textural lines but I didn’t really want to mess with my bobbin so decided to switch to my other sewing machine and couch the threads instead. I had this thread/yarn in my stash……

….and thought that the extra texture might be nice.

My trusty Viking machine came to the rescue and I was able to use the couching foot……

…..to attach the yarn.

This is where I stopped on the first day……

….and I am really happy with the texture that has appeared. My only concern is whether the darker threads will be covered by the paint, but I think that I can make it work even if they don’t cover well.

The next step is to apply paint and then to start doing more embellishments.

I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

Meadow Art….collecting the supplies

On Monday morning I had planned to start with my new drawing/painting regime, but I had several errands that had to be done in the morning and simply ran out of time. Plus, I managed to lose the leaf that I had collected for my first drawing inspiration!! I did eventually find it, but decided that it was telling me that it was okay to put it off for a bit.

Since one of my errands was to a local art/craft/fabric store, I spent some time going thru the supply list for the Meadow Quilt and seeing what I actually had on hand.

I pulled out the box labeled…..

“Other” meaning non-quilting fabrics….you can see that I don’t own many!!!

I found an inspiring array of fabrics, including two pieces of “Color Catcher” that might work as well……

The printed piece on the right is probably a polyester so I will see how it accepts the dye before I use any of it.

I also found a white silk scarf that had come as a freebie when I placed a dye order many years ago…..

Then I moved to my box of laces and trims and began looking for pieces that could look like flowers or weed in the background. Remember that these will all be painted over…..

My favorite find of the day was a long piece of tatted Tricot loops that my Grandmother made……

It will be so much fun to include a small section of this in the project!!

As I head to the store today, I am going to look for “Daisy” trim that doesn’t have the green leaves in it, maybe a white burlap and some yellow tulle for the buttercups.

I did buy one thing from Amazon because I couldn’t find it anywhere around here…..horticultural fleece. If you are like me you are saying “W H A T”??? This is the lightweight fabric that you use to cover your plants during a freeze. I bought a HUGE piece of it but will only use a few inches….at least it isn’t expensive!!!

I think that this project will be a blast!!!!

Fiber Frenzy – Thread painting tutorial

 

Mary Ann M. (check out her blog here) gave a short demonstration for how to work a piece with thread painting.

Specifically, she talked about how to make embroidered pieces and then cut them out and applique them to our quilts. 

The first pieces that she showed were sewn on tulle that was sandwiched between two pieces of Solvy.  When the Solvy is soaked out, the tulle holds the stitching in place…..

_4082249This top one uses a straight stitch making small overlapping circles, while this one was stitched with a free-motion zig-zag stitch.

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She then showed us some of the wonderful pieces that she has been doing some thread sketching on…..

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I absolutely love this piece…..but you know how I am about sunflowers!!!_4082251  She suggested several books for us to look at……

  –  “Thread Magic” by Ellen Anne Eddy

  –  “Thread Painting Made Easy” by Terry White

  –  “Threadwork” by Effie Mitrofanis

She also mentioned Laughing Cat Design Studio blog where there is a wonderful tutorial for doing thread work.

Thanks Mary Ann for inspiring us to try something new…..

Susan Brubaker Knapp – Part 2

Yesterday, I was privileged to take another class from Susan Knapp……this time it was all about Thread Sketching.  As with the photo class, I learned much and truly enjoyed the day.

The goal of this class was to prepare and thread paint a dragonfly.

First step was to assemble the pattern…..

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Then we traced the wings onto our backing fabric and added fused body shapes  cut from our favorite fabrics…..

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We pinned the top to a piece of interfacing and pulled out the threads…..Susan suggests using a 50 or 60 weight cotton thread, but also encouraged us to use what we had on hand……

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and started sewing……

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after the majority of the thread painting was done, we went back in and added the tiny “window panes” of the wings. 

Here is my finished project……

_1221449 I particularly like the hairy legs!!!

Once again, Susan did a wonderful job of teaching, encouraging and creatively helping us to solve our problems. 

_1221428 I LOVE the intent looks of everyone’s faces!!!!

This is her dragonfly……

_1221430 I desperately wanted to keep examining it before I would sew, but instead tried to make the thread painting truly my own!!

When I got home I started looking at photos with idea of trying to thread paint one of them.    This is the one that I keep coming back to……

_3094537It has lots of texture and easily distinguishable shadings.    Maybe, just maybe I will attempt this sometime in the not to distant future!!!!

Stay tuned………

A Day With Susan Brubaker Knapp

Today I spent a day at my local quilt shop taking a class with the famous Susan Brubaker Knapp.  Check out her website here or her blog here…..

You have probably seen some of her wonderful thread paintings in many of the popular quilting magazines and today I had the privilege of sitting under her teaching!!!

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The class was called “Start with a Photo” and it took us through the process of using a photo as the inspiration and then turning it into a quilt.  She provided a photo and pattern of a red barn……

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The first step was to use a sharpie to draw the design onto  a medium weight upholstery clear vinyl.  This is the pattern that we used for the rest of the day.

We then prepared fusible web sections, selected fabrics and fused the piece together.  The full piece was placed on a piece of sew-in interfacing and the FUN BEGAN…..

We took various threads and started to add details with machined threadwork.   Most of the threads were 40 weight, but many of us used whatever we happened to have.   I particularly enjoyed using some variegated threads in the grass areas. 

Here is my piece at the end of the day……

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Obviously I have a way to go before it will be finished!!!!

Now, on to the REAL quilts of  the day.  Here are some of the quilts that Susan brought to inspire us……

I loved these spools when I saw them in a magazine……

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This is a small quilt (maybe 8×6) and Susan told us that there are only four different pieces of fabric in it….the rest is done with THREAD……

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In this one, the slices were done separately, a back was sewn on, they were turned and then appliqued to the top.  The result is that they have a LOT of wonderful dimension……

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I love the movement in the grasses……..

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Some of these pumpkins are done in trapunto to give them more dimension…..

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I am fortunate to be able to take Susan’s Thread Painting Class tomorrow…..I CANT WAIT!!!!

Fun Workshops – Day 2

The second day of Margaret Hunt workshops was about using threads to enhance fabrics.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the entire workshop, but at least had a chance to make this threadwork  butterfly……..

 

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I am most excited to be able to use this type of thread embroidery to enhance some photos or create a thread landscape.  Here are some of Margaret’s examples…..

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Be sure to check out her wonderful borders….in many cases there is a pieced  border and a tiny, tiny flap border.

AHHHH…something to aspire to!!!!!