Saturday, August 24, 2013

Angelina Fibers

Angelina Textiva and Crystalina Fibers
These are different kinds of fibers made with a polyester/plastic base. They are cut in different ways..the Angelina fibers has a straight cut and is cut very, very fine; the Crystalina fibers are crinkly cut with a jagged edge and are wider; Textiva looks more like cellophane. For our purposes, we used mostly Angelina fibers and some Crystalina, but did not experiment with Textiva.

These fibers will adhere to themselves when heated with an iron, but will not stick to anything else unless an adhesive is used, like Wonder Under or Steam-a-Seam, or by stitching. The fibers are both light-reflective and light-refractive so gives a nice shimmery, sparkling effect.

Angelina Fibers - Sue
Sue chose to use the fibers as a background rather than as an embellishment and has created a spooky scene, perfect for Halloween. She combined fiber colors, added flying birds and creepy trees to the scene. Her moon is circled in the center with quilting.

                                                                                      Sue

Angelina Fibers - Annette
Annette used her Angelina fibers as clouds for her pastoral scene, as well as on her tree and the apples falling from the tree. The clouds seem to catch the sun and reflect the light.

Annette

Monday, August 19, 2013

Machine Stitching

Machine Stitching
In this section, we will show pieces that use Programmed Decorative Stitches on the sewing machine as an easy and effective way to add embellishments to a fabric, as well as Machine Couching which uses a zigzag or decorative machine stitch to tack down a length of yarn, cord, ribbon, floss or braid. Both are equally attractive and provide a way to add a softer embellishment to quilts.

Machine Stitching - Joyce
This piece incorporates couching, programmed stitches, free-motion stitching and some beading. It is hard to see because colors blend and stitching is small. I started with a square cut from some home d├ęcor fabric. Most of the sections are separated with narrow ribbon or yarn that is couched in place. Some sections are separated with programmed stitches, but I used a shimmery clear thread that doesn't show well in the photo. There is free-motion threadwork in all of the sections, and here and there I added beads or tiny buttons. The square is placed off-center onto a black and white background and finished with a traditional binding in the same fabric.

                                                                                  Joyce

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thread Lace

                                                           Thread Lace
Regular or decorative sewing threads can be used to create a piece of lace that can be inserted into your piece or appliqued on top of it. It can be open and lacy, or close and dense. The trick is to make sure all your threads are connected to each other at multiple points so it doesn't fall apart and that is best achieved by stitching in straight lines, multiple times, and then finishing by making a narrow zigzag stitch over the stitching to bring it all together. We used a water-soluble stabilizer as a base for our stitching, and also used a hoop to keep our work taut but not tight, and then when the stitching was complete, we ran the piece under warm water to remove the stabilizer.

Thread Lace - Sue
Sue fashioned her thread lace into a vase, by placing the rose colored lace over a green base, threaded pink grosgrain ribbon through the lace and then attached the finished vase to a white background. She added green leaves with lovely decorative stitching on them and couched green pipe cleaners for stems.

Sue

Thread Lace - Joyce
Again, I have several lessons into one piece. Don't you get tired of finishing and finishing all those pieces??? I started thread painting with an open leaf design on a light color fabric. Next, I stitched a grid on the bottom and drew a weird bird on it. The bird is stitched with a circular stitch described in the book for the heart...first the yellow wing, then the blue bird. The flower and stem are thread painted, using variegated thread for the flower. Beads and a few long stitches finish the flower. I found a similar color 30wt. cotton thread to make thread lace using Sulky Solvy. The lace did not come out as good as it looks. When I washed the Solvy out, many pieces were not attached as they should have been. When I put everything on the blue background, I caught up the loose spots and stitched them together onto the background fabric. (the quilt police will never know) With gel medium, I added a few choice words printed on ribbon.
 
                                                                                  Joyce

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ricing

                                                                  Ricing

Here is a simple, but effective, way to add texture and filler to your backgrounds. The stitch is about the size of a grain of rice, hence "ricing" and can be stitched in a random pattern or a planned pattern. Thread weight will change the look of the stitching; heavier threads are more pronounced and noticeable, use lighter threads for a more delicate look.


Ricing - Donnie
Donnie has employed several approaches to the use of ricing, with a random pattern, straight lines both vertical and horizontal, as well as straight diagonal lines to show different ways to enhance your quilt.
 

 
 
Ricing - Annette
Annette used a wide variety of threads in this technique, including metallic thread to see what the effects would be. She set her ricing stitches in a stained glass framework and tried different patterns of her stitching.
 
Annette
 
Ricing - Claire
I tried stitching with different weight threads and included a variegated thread in the lower center section. I liked the look of the heavier threads (3 strands of embroidery thread and a perle cotton), but could see a use for the lighter weight threads when looking for a more subtle effect. I added buttons and a cascade of narrow ribbons for embellishment. I finished with a traditional binding but added a narrow trim inside the binding and randomly quilted the border.
Claire

Ricing - Candy
Candy created a setting for her ricing and shows us another use for this very effective stitching tool. Her ricing stitches become the rain falling on and around her umbrella.

Candy

Ricing - Kathleen
Kathleen made patterns with her stitching and created new designs on the darker fabric while using the ricing as a good background on the lighter fabric, showing us that ricing doesn't have to sit in the background. It can take front and center with planning and embellishments.

Kathleen


 
 

Wool Beads & Silk Petals

                        Wool Beads & Silk Petals

A quick and easy way to add texture, depth and movement to your quilt is by playing with wool beads (which are available in several sizes or you can make your own) and silk petals, which are available in craft stores, and creating your own designs using these elements.


Beads and Petals - Annette
Annette stitched fabric triangles to a background and then created motifs or designs using petals to make flowers with beads as a center and leaves to place on these triangles, embellishing further with a decorative machine stitch.




Annette


Beads & Petals - Sandy
Sandy created two flowers using the silk petals, and completing the flowers with wool beads for the flower centers.
 
 
                                                                                   Sandy

Beads and Petals - Donnie
This is the start of Donnie's piece using silk petals and wool beads. She constructed a four-panel piece and made a flower with Bella Nonna petals in the upper left corner and regular silk petals in the lower right corner. Wool beads finished the centers of these flowers,
                                                                                             Donnie
 
Beads and Petals - Joyce
Finished in a day! I used the silk petals (both kinds) that Claire sent me and the little round wool beads also. A slightly different format than the book because of the size of the flower. No leaves for that flower so I painted some of the white petals. I cut down inner petals, and all are attached with a few stitches and centered with a silver button. Small flower is centered with a wood bead to which I added a few glass beads. Top left has felted wool leaves stitched down, with wool berries held in place with glass beads. The wool bead collection on upper right contains round beads held in place with a small sequin and French knot. There are also 3 larger felted wool beads that I made in the felting section. Some quilting was done before adding embellishments, some after. Bead section is surrounded with couched yarn. It is finished with traditional binding.
 
 
                                                                                  Joyce

Beads and Petals - Kathleen
Kathleen used a variety of silk petals on her piece, using both the Bella Nonna petals that Annette contributed and the plainer silk petals from the craft store. Because we could not find green plain silk petals, Kathleen painted some white ones green to use as leaves. She has little star-like beads or buttons in the upper right corner as her flower center and the lower left corner to add interest. The wool beads in the upper left corner has a small glass bead sewn to the top of each wool bead and there is a wool bead in the center of the lower right corner flower. The edging is a pleated ribbon we found in a funky sewing store in Pittsburgh.

                                                                                Kathleen

Needle-Felting

                                                        Needle-Felting

This technique requires the use of a barbed needle to mesh fibers together, commonly using wool roving through fabric, felt or even batting to create designs or landscapes or..., and you can use it to make dimensional embellishments such as felted tube beads. It's fast, fun and easy to do. Equipment is simple - a barbed needle, a dense foam block to punch into and your roving and fabric base.

Needle-Felting - Annette
Annette chose to create a daisy-like flower, stem and leaf using this technique. She then added a ribbon bow and hand embroidery. She has button-hole stitched her light green background to a navy base which is then finished with a buttonhole stitch.

Annette


Needle-Felting - Sandy
Sandy translated her fascination with snowflakes into a needle-felted version of these snow crystals. She started with white felt as a base for the felting, then added her sky full of snowflakes in different sizes and shapes.
 
                                                                                               Sandy


Needle-Felting - Claire
I was inspired by a needle-felted landscape that Donnie had shown me that she had made sometime ago. I decided to make a landscape myself and started with a piece of Hobbs Heirloom Cotton batting as my base and felted three trees with shaded trunks to it. I added a grassy area littered with rocks and flowers and placed some wisps of blue in my sky. The piece needed to be stabilized and framed, so I fused the felted batting to a layered brown batik quilt. After stitching around the edges of the felted batting to firmly hold it in place, I stitched around the outer edges of the brown quilt which was then pinked and the piece is finished.

                                                                                                  Claire


Needle-Felting-Sue
Sue built her needle-felted butterfly on a background of muslin which was then mounted on green felt. Her small butterfly in the upper left corner has gossamer wings made from sheer silk petals and the body is a wool tube. The wool bead in the upper right corner is surrounded by embroidered rays.
 
Sue
 
Needle-Felting - Donnie
Donnie has three layers of fabric to her piece. First, she did her needle-felting through a piece of muslin (top layer). She layered her felting in the larger circles which adds more depth to the circles. Then she hand stitched the felted muslin piece to a black wool border (second layer) and finally secured it all to a layer of white felt (third layer/backing)
 
Donnie

This is the first of the two pieces that Donnie has felted. She created this needle-felted landscape of trees growing from a tumble of rocks with a patch of sunny sky in the background before our group started on this project and it needed to be included here.

Donnie


 Needle-Felting - Joyce
These are supposed to be "pods" of some sort. I drew a pattern on paper, then stitched through the paper with thread nearly the same color as the background so I would know where to felt what color. Then tore off the paper. Several colors of wool roving make the outer parts of the pods while the center is black. The long black line running through is wool needlepoint yarn felted in. The light part around the black was left un-felted and I put ricing stitches in to resemble seeds in the pods, some are straight lines, some are random. The black seemed very stark, so I added a few French knots in the thread used for ricing. I think I don't care for the ricing, but the felting is interesting and may have other uses.
 
                                                                                     Joyce

 
Needle-Felting - Candy
Candy started with a sunshine yellow background and laid her sand in the foreground and added blue water. Now she could "grow" her tree trunk and sprout her leaves felted with a few colors of green roving. The coconuts add dimension and color and her sandy beach is scattered with beach grasses.
                                                                                   Candy
 
 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sashiko

Sashiko
Sashiko is a decorative style of stitching based on an ancient form of Japanese embroidery. It was originally used to make clothing warmer by stitching several layers of cloth together with a filler. Today, this embroidery/stitching style serves mostly decorative purposes on clothing, linens and quilts. Primarily a fairly long running stitch is used, traditionally sewn with white or natural color thread. Sashiko thread is heavier in weight, like a perle cotton.


Sashiko - Annette
Annette has chosen a traditional Japanese pattern and white thread. Her forte is hand stitching and embroidery and this is an excellent example of Sashiko.


Annette

Sashiko - Claire
I used a traditional pattern for the lower section and a small fan design for the upper right, adding a bow to it. On the upper left, I needle-felted small rectangles and sewed glass beads to them. It is finished with a traditional binding, which seems appropriate for this piece.
 
Claire


Sashiko - Joyce
Having been to Japan a few years ago, I used all Japanese fabrics in this piece. I had a pattern for the large Sashiko fish and some of the water design and used white cotton Sashiko thread. The red design was measured and drawn before using red pearl cotton thread to stitch. Authentic Japanese coins were applied with gel medium. Edges were finished with traditional binding in two colors. I love this piece because it brings back the memories of a fantastic trip.

Joyce


Sashiko - Kathleen
Kathleen used traditional designs with white and red pearl cotton thread. She added leaf shapes in white felt and peach buttons held in place with green thread, tied on the top of the button.
Kathleen
 
Sashiko - Sue
Sue used a combination of traditional Sashiko designs, one angular and one curvy, stitched in heavy white cotton thread. She added Japanese characters at the top in a red cotton thread and ricing below the Sashiko designs in a white cotton thread. Her finish is a traditional binding.

Sue


Sashiko - Candy
Candy went with a different look and made three separate designs in more than one color cotton thread. She tied the designs together with straight lines to mimic sashing and set the blocks off on their own to shine individually. Finished with a traditional binding.

Candy