Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer crazy quilted block

I have been working on a crazy quilted block for a swap on one of my groups.  After researching the cost of sending this one and getting one back in return I have decided not to participate in the swap.  It is the same place I was with the felted wool swap earlier this year.  So I have now learned the lesson but I still have most enjoyed the process of making it!!  I started by piecing some scraps onto a cotton substrate.  The finished square was to be 8" x 8" so we needed to allow at least 8.5" or 9" so that when it was sewn up it would finish at 8" square.  We were warned that stitching sometimes takes up some inches as well so I started with 9.5" to make sure mine would be large enough in the end.  I stitched on blue scraps at the top for the sky, green for a prairie horizon line, yellows for a canola field, a deeper blue on the lower right for creating a prairie lake and a gray on the very bottom for the road using my sewing machine to secure them in place.  Some were sewn to each other before stitching them down.  Others were stitched directly in place.  I started my hand stitching by stitching all of the stitch lines in a colour of thread as close to the fabric as possible.  Then I added stitching on the green horizon line to give the feeling of trees.  I did a variety of greens and then added some brown to simulate trunks and branches.  I added a white line of stem stitching to simulate a jet's vapour trail and added a little silver bead at the end to represent the plane.  After a bit I started feeling that I needed to add some machine stitching to keep the layers all
in place.  I realized that the process of adding sewing machine stitching would have been much easier before the addition of any hand stitching.  Lesson learned for next time around.   I added some beads to the tree line and eventually added a couched funky fiber to the bottom of the green to add texture and represent the shrubs that are often present there as well.
I added stitching to all of the open areas.

I added some stitched birds to the sky. I added a stitch bird to the prairie lake. I added beads to my rows of canola field and also to the water texture I added.  I have so much enjoyed travelling this province this summer.  The skies are so blue, the canola fields are so yellow and
the water reflects so perfectly the sky and the waterfowl are always swimming around and looking so at home on them.  I added a fence - brown fence posts and gray barbed wire between the bottom road and the rest of the piece.  This is what summer means to be now that I have moved back to my home province.  

So in the end no one will see my square but that is fine. I plan on making the other three squares in this Seasons series and combining them in a finished work once the year has come and gone.
I know that my square does not have the typical crazy quilt layout but I am happy with how it turned out and look forward to more stitching this year.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fun cards with rounded squares

Made a couple of these cards with rounded squares.  I found these laser printed backgrounds from a while back and decided to fill them with some purple decorative papers.  I cut the squares 1" and rounded two corners of each using a corner rounder.  I glued them on the backgrounds, rounded two of the corners and then applied them to purple card fronts.  Quick and easy cards!!  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Artsy Cards - Collaged buttons with doodling

I needed cards for my monthly card exchange and decided to revisit collaged buttons which I created earlier this year.  They are fun to do and fairly quick.  I combined a plastic circle die cut with some paper scraps and then punched two holes to make it a button!!  Check out the this link to find out how to make them!!  OR click the Tutorial tab above and click on the Collaged Button Tutorial.  I made several and created these cards.  I traced the button onto white cardstock using a pencil and then doodled that line with a fine tip Sharpie and continued until I was happy with the design.  I considered adding colour but so far have not - maybe next time!  I tied the button to the white layer then layered it onto black and then onto coordinating card fronts.  For the top one, I used a black marker on the edge of the white, layered it onto lilac and then onto a green card front.  I added a stamped greeting to one of them.  These were fun artsy cards!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Art Quiltie - make it a great day!

I created this quiltie for a swap on one of my groups for July!!  I am happy to have the chance to make a few more of these!!
I started with an experiment in free motion stitching that I made up a while back. I took small pieces of fabric and used small pieces of fusible webbing to tack them in place on my substrate fabric. I just kept laying on pieces overlapping until all the surface was covered.  I started free motion sewing and I found that the tension was off so the fabric wrinkled up a lot. I had set it aside as an unfortunate experiment and when I found it the other day it looked better than I remembered. So I decided to trim it up (4" x 4") and use it as the front of my little quiltie.  A while back I had my sister print off some sayings for me onto printable fusible fabric because it requires an inkjet printer which I no longer have.  I chose this little saying from the sheet and cut a strip of green fabric which coordinated with my front.  I trimmed out the saying, fused it to the strip and then stitched all the way around. Next, I stitched the strip to my front.  I went looking into my fabric embellishments and found this flower and leaf combo that worked well with it.  I stitched them into place with embroidery floss in the right colour and then added sequins and a seed bead to the middle of the flower.  To add a bit more texture I decided to embroider some flowers on the green strip as well.  I used seven french knots to create the flowers and added green leaves using several chain stitches.  I was happy with that!!  I used several scraps to create a little quilt for the back and stitched it to a layer of thick flannel using one line of stitching that spirialed from the outside edge to the inside.  I backed the two pieces and stitched all the way around the edge and then did blanket stitch all the way around with brown embroidery floss!!  Pretty happy with my little creation!!  Half way through my border stitching I remembered that I had wanted to try couching yarn into the edge when I did blanket stitch the next time.  Needless to say that will have to wait until next time!!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Art Quiltie with stamped fabric

On my Fabric Postcard group we are having an art quiltie swap.  There was one in June and I missed it!!!!!  Fortunately, I am blessed to have a member of the group that volunteered to swap one for one with me so I made her this cute little quiltie!!
I started with a square of stamped fabric which I received in a swap a while back.  I love the quote so I cut the fabric piece down to 4" x 4" for the front of my quiltie.  I found and installed my free motion foot for my sewing machine.  It was not working properly so I found a YOUTube video that gave me a visual of the process and a few hints on how to best proceed with free motion stitiching.  Once reinstalled and the adjustments made it was working much better.  I layered my square over a piece of batting and started stitching.  You can see from the photo that my free motion skills are only in the beginner stages but I did manage to go around the petals on the flowers that were stamped on the fabric.  I will keep practicing!!
Next I stitched my backing fabric (4"x 4") to a scrap piece of fabric and used the same technique to embellish the swirls on it.  Next, I found some coordinating pink embroidery floss and added double sequins (iridescent white and fuchsia) to the center of the flowers and secured them in place using a ivory seed bead.  I added three more stitched flowers in the same floss and added fuchsia sequins and ivory beads to their centers. as well.  Then, I laid my front on my back and trimmed them to the same size and added a few more loops of free motion stitching to secure these two piece together.  With that much complete, I changed my foot back to the one for regular stitching and zigzagged all the way around very close to the edge to create a nice neat edge.
I have been playing with the idea of making fabric tape using fusible webbing for a while.   So, today, I decided to play and made some fabric tape to bind the edges of my quiltie.
I positioned a strip of fusible webbing (sold to fix a hem without sewing) on the edge of a coordinating solid, enclosed it in resist paper and ironed it.  The fusible webbing very nicely adhered to the edge of the fabric.  I trimmed away the piece with fusible webbing on it and I had created a length of fabric tape!  I cut a four inch length and positioned it neatly on one side of my quiltie with half the tape on the quiltie and the other half hanging off.
I place resist paper over and above and ironed it in place.  It fused very nicely to the front portion of my quiltie. Next, I turned the quiltie over and ironed the remainder to the back which very neatly bound that side of the quiltie. I cut another 4" strip and positioned it on the opposite side and repeated the steps to bind that edge.
To finish it off, I cut another two strips but made sure they were long enough to cover the strips I had already put in place, trimmed the corners into a point so that the corners would look mitered and adhered them in the same fashion as I had done the other two sides.

You can see how the binding looked in position before I ironed down the final edge to the back of my quiltie.  It worked very well and created some very nice corners on my little quiltie.   I decided to add a row of straight stitching very close to the inside edge and the outside edge of my binding to help secure it and to give the binding some texture and definition!! I am very happy with how well this technique worked and will certainly be using it again when I am making quilties!!
So my quiltie is ready to go and will be off to my partner this week!!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Exchange cards that reused supplies!!

I like to reuse items when I am creating so saved these images from a pocket calendar I used several years ago.  I loved these funky collaged images when I first bought the calendar and decided to use some of them to create cards for my monthly card exchange. I trimmed the images and layered them onto coordinating card stock.  I trimmed two pieces of different coloured cardstock to just less than a quarter sheet, embossed them and stapled on strips of decorative mesh on the left hand side trimming the mesh to the edges of the cardstock.  I glued these layers to my card fronts and added my focal elements using 3D foam tape.  I really like how they turned out!!
The decorative mesh is something I made a while back.  I used scraps of fiberglass window screening, applied embossing ink, covered them in gold embossing powder and then heated them with the heat gun.  They take the heat well and the embossing powder adheres to the mesh very nicely.  Another item that I reused on these cards!!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Watercoloured cards using ADORN IT images

My sister gave me several images from an ADORN IT scrapbooking page a while back.  These are just perfect for cardmaking!!  I trimmed the edge to be even with the border and watercoloured the image.  I used my stamping jig to stamp a birthday greeting after it was dry.  I layered it with yellow cardstock to coordinate with the bee.  I found this serendipity background which coordinated nicely so I trimmed it down to size and stitched it to a green card front.  I added the focal element with 3D foam tape and my card was done!!
If you have never tried doing a serendipity collage click on the link and go find out how easy it is to use scraps of paper to create something that you can use in your art!  It is a fun reuse for paper scraps!!