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

 

Devore or Burn-Out (etching)

Devore or Burn-Out
This is a process of etching away/eating away fabric, using a product called Fiber Etch. It will erode fabrics like cotton and silk and will not touch or react with polyester fabrics. For this reason, polyester thread is used to stitch the design so the thread will hold fast and use cotton fabrics for the "to-be-removed" fabric.

Burn-Out - Claire
I drew a leaf and zigzag stitched the edges and veins on the light purple fabric which then became the fabric that was removed behind the stitching. I added a new fabric behind the light purple fabric so that it shows through the now-open leaf.

Claire

Burn-Out - Sue
Sue drew her design on the green batik fabric and used a red fabric behind the open design. One of the problems that we encountered with this technique is finding a way to hold the open webbing that you create to the background and Sue solved this by hand stitching the webbing in place with matching thread.This may only make sense if you are working with this technique yourself but it does makes perfect sense.

Sue
 
 
Burn-Out - Joyce
Instead of drawing my own pattern to burn-out, I found a perfect candidate for this in my stash...a colorless grey flower in a large print. I stitched, as directed, around all the sections using polyester thread, but must not have applied enough of the gel to do a good job. It was very difficult to loosen the fabric from some of the edges, in spite of ironing several times. I ended up snipping away some of the rough spots with scissors. I repeated the flower color and black in the borders, quilted both and added large grey buttons with white button centers, tied together with peach yarn. Thick yarn finishes the outside edge. I think I would like to try this another time using a fabric blend, so the polyester threads remain after the burn-out.
 
 
                                                                               Joyce
 
 

Lutradur

Printing on Lutradur
Lutradur is an interesting spunbonded fiber, a 100% nonwoven polyester translucent web, that is a cross between fabric and paper. It has the strength of fabric with the body of paper. It will never fray or unravel. You can paint on it, fuse it, print on it, cut it, stencil on it, stitched, stamped and even melt it.. It comes in two weights, 70wt and a slightly heavier 100wt.


Lutradur - Claire
I have combined flowers that were pre-treated with gel medium and those that were not. The wise advice is to coat the sheet of Lutradur with a layer of gel medium before printing on it and that advice seems consistent with my results. The colors are brighter with the pretreatment than not. The sheets of Lutradur are backed either by a full Avery label sheet or freezer paper as a carrier through the printer. The flowers can be cut out with scissors for a clean-cut edge or can be cut with a heat tool which allows a more organic. uneven edge. Both look fine.
Claire
 
Lutradur - Sue
Sue made her bouquet of flowers by the above-mentioned techniques and arranged her flowers attractively in an oval frame.
 
Sue

Lutradur - Joyce
My first attempt using Lutradur was to print white dogwood blossoms. They came out very grey. An attempt to whiten them with paint taught me that water in the paint only loosened the print and made them even darker grey. I switched to the peachy blossoms I had printed, plus some leaves. The 3 lighter flowers did not have the gel medium applied to the Lutraur prior to printing, the 3 darker blossoms did. I stitched stems on the background fabric, cut out blossoms and small leaves with scissors, attached blossoms with beads and leaves with a few veins stitched to hold them on. Large leaves were cut out with a heat tool for a more organic look. Ribbon trim and copper beads and charms were added. Edged by machine in copper thread.
 
 
                                                                                 Joyce


Lutradur - Candy
I've decided Lutradur is not my thing! I worked and worked to get this just right, but it fought me all the way. The colors were a bit dim, so I touched them up with fabric paints. It still is a bit quirky , but it's done!
Note from Claire: Don't you love the woven basket and how the big flower goes off the quilt?!
                                                                                   Candy



 



Rusting

Rusting Fabric
 
You can add a patina of age to your fabrics by placing some hardware (washers, screws, old tools...) or steel wool on your muslin and spraying with an equal mixture of vinegar and water. Let sit overnight and you should have interesting results from this adventure.
 
 
Rusting Fabric - Annette
Annette has combined the rusting, a new technique for her, with her love of all things embroidered. She has used silk ribbon embroidery to make the green leaves, and hand embroidery for the beautiful flower and stems below to enhance the rusting design.
 
Annette

 
Rusting Fabric - Sue
Sue has rusted an interesting assortment of hardware and designed this piece to make the most of her rusted images. Don't you love the tools that were hand quilted diagonally across the center?
 
 
 
Rusting Fabric - Claire
I used a selection of washers, old long screws and some steel wool to see what would happen and I think I got mixed results. Some rusted images are sharper than others, but I find it all interesting and can see potential uses for this technique in future quilts.
 
Claire

 
Rusting Fabric - Candy
I titled this "Garage Bling". The backing is felt, and the middle is our bubble project because the colors seemed to work together. Tried new machine stitching in dark red along the edges. As my husband pointed out, people in FL are careful not to buy things that rust so I had to search through nuts and bolts for rusty looking items. I added feathers and embellishments.
Candy

Rusting - Joyce
I was not thrilled with my rusting project. Several items did not rust well, but I managed to cut some square pieces that work on the background I chose. I added screws, nuts, hooks, etc to the rusted fabric. The background fabric was enhanced with overstitching and beads in some places. Some copper strips and metal embellishments complete the piece. The small metal piece at the top is from Claire and reads "Embrace Imperfection." How fitting!!! It's finished with a pillowcase edge.
 
                                                                                    Joyce

Rusting - Kathleen
Kathleen rusted a variety of items - screws, keys, washers - and like the rest of us, wished they had all come out sharper, clearer, but the effects she has gotten are wonderful. She added some of the rusted  items onto her quilt as embellishment as well as small beads for more interest.

                                                                                Kathleen

 



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Discharge Dyeing

Discharge Dyeing
This process involves removing (discharging) color from fabric by two methods that we employed. One method uses a Gel Bleach Pen and the second method uses Soft Scrub, a cleaning product containing bleach. Both need to be shaken for a better, more even, consistency. They each had its pluses and minuses but both were interesting to use


Discharge Dyeing - Donnie
This is my discharge dyeing piece called "nine lives". Can you tell that Donnie is a cat lover?!
Donnie

Discharge Dyeing - Sue
Sue used different foam shapes that she stamped on to the fabric to remove the color and got an interesting mottled effect. It's always exciting to see the results from this process.

Sue

Discharge Dyeing - Annette
Annette used Soft Scrub to remove the color from her blue fabric and since the Soft Scrub is grainy and thicker than the gel pen, it can have some dimension, which Annette chose to highlight with embroidery to give her shapes more form and substance.

Annette



Discharge Dyeing  - Claire
This technique produced mixed results for me. This was the first attempt at discharging the color from fabric and I considered it "play", where I used a couple of stencils and hand drew a spiral and hand wrote the word "art". When I carefully planned a design for what I thought would be my finished piece, I couldn't get the fabric to discharge, despite three repeated attempts. I used the same Gel Bleach Pen, the same Soft Scrub and more importantly, the very same fabric (a Kaufman Kona Black), but it didn't work. I shook the containers to make sure the bleach was well distributed, but to no avail. So I went back to my "play" piece and cut it apart and sashed the individual pieces to make a new design. In the end I like how it turned out, but wonder why my repeated attempts didn't work. More work is needed with this technique for me.

 
                                                                                  Claire

Discharge Dyeing - Joyce
I had picked up a bag of small game pieces at the Dollar Store and decided to build my discharge dyeing around those items. The hopscotch and tic-tac-toe games are done with the bleach pen. Numbers are painted, using Smooch. The writing is done with Soft Scrub in small squeeze bottles with metal tips. Soft Scrub applied to rubber stamps made the squiggles. Dice had holes for attaching with thread, while other game pieces were fastened with gel medium. I did a little quilting before adding game pieces and edges are finished with both a heavy ribbon and a multi-color yarn, couched on over the ribbon.

                                                                                  Joyce

Discharge Dyeing - Kathleen
Kathleen had good control of the Gel Bleach Pen and the Soft Scrub to enable her to get good definition on her designs. These products are not so easily controlled but when it's possible, designs come out cleaner, clearer and more distinct. Her choice of border fabric echoes the color that resulted from the bleaching process.

                                                                                 Kathleen

 
 
 
 

 

Photo Transfers

                                                     Photo Transfers

Transferring images onto fabric and using these images in your quilts personalizes your work like no other technique. There are many ways to transfer images/photos and we experimented with prepared fabric sheets from Printed Treasures and Jacquard and while both worked well, the Jacquard gave the cleaner, sharper images on a smoother sheet of fabric. This is our observation, and we would use both brands again in the future depending on the outcome desired.

We also tried printing on silk, which gave us a lighter, paler image which is appropriate in some circumstances.

It is possible to use any fabric to print our photos onto and we ironed fabric to freezer paper to use as a carrier in the printer. This is particularly good if you are making your own labels and want them to blend into the backing fabric better. It is also good to use if writing labels, poems, names, dates ...Images will be reversed so you need to prepare for that

Other methods include the use of Transparency Film and Transfer Artist Paper, which will be the choice of method if washability is important.


Photo Transfer - Sue
Sue had recently attended a hot air balloon event in New Smyrna Beach FL and had taken some bright, colorful pictures that worked very well for this technique. She combined the image transfers with the Printing on Ribbon technique that we had played with, and framed the transferred photos with black fabric for more definition before adding a couple of gold appliqued stars. 
                                                                              Sue

Then Sue transferred a photo of her Mother onto silk which resulted in a more delicate, ethereal look. She added a few gossamer leaves and some yarn to complete the piece.

                                                                       Sue



Photo Transfer - Claire
I used a photo I took along the York River in VA while visiting friends and transferred it to prepared fabric sheets. Transfer Artist Paper was used to transfer the butterflies to fabric and I found that product easy and fun to use. After adding strips of fabric to fill the piece out, I added beads and buttons for embellishment and ended with a traditional binding.

                                                                           Claire


Photo Transfer - Joyce
Joyce used two types of fabric sheets on this piece - the brightly colored garden photo on the right was transferred with prepared 100% cotton fabric sheets and the photo of the iris on the left was done with silk fabric and then both were stitched to a white framing fabric before being hand-stitched to the floral background fabric. Joyce opted to combine techniques in this piece by Thread Painting the large flower in the lower right corner. She is in the process of hand stitching the edge with a buttonhole stitch to finish it.

                                                                            Joyce

Photo Transfer - Joyce
This piece contains fruits transferred to fabric using both Inkjet Transparency Film and Transfer Artist Paper, some in color and the small strips in black and white. A small branch is machine stitched and finished with silk leaves and tiny fuzzy balls for apples. Beads, bugs and a barn are added embellishments and large rick-rack finishes the edges. I was not happy with the colors produced on the fruit using these methods.

                                                                                    Joyce



Photo Transfer - Candy
Candy chose five of her grandchildren to star in this piece, with the words "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" printed on ribbon and illustrated with a luscious looking ice cream cone. The edge is finished with ribbon.

Candy

Photo Transfer - Annette
Annette made this piece in a class with Liz Kettle, one of the authors of the book we are working with. She transferred an image onto fabric and built a collage with it as the focal point. Note the hand stitching in larger stitches as a design feature.

Annette