Monday, May 15, 2017

Covering Hangars

In my last post I showed you how I used a piece of trim on an art quilt. Today I'm going to show you another use for trim. I happen to have a great deal of lace and other trims as a result of inheriting my Mom's collection. Mom was a very creative person and had plenty of supplies for her various hobbies and clothes making. I am always looking for ways to use some of this supply.

One of my pet peeves is when my clothes slip off the hangar. I have purchased some hangars that are coated to prevent that, but why not make my own?

I found that if I wrapped lace around wire or plastic hangars the lace did a fantastic job holding the clothes on the hangars.

Here is some of the lace I used.



To the right you see the finished hangars. I just did a tight wrap, starting at the base of the hook. I went around the body of the hangar and then up around the hook and back to the base. I put a dab of glue at the end point, and tied on a piece of ribbon.

These are very useful in my closet, keeping my clothes off the floor! They look cute to me, as well. Thanks for visiting my blog!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Bird of the Night - Trim

  The upper and lower parts of this art quilt are separated by a piece of trim. It is the long series of circles you see above the leaves. This pieces was originally white, and I painted it to match my design. I'm going to show you how I changed the color on that trim.


This is the way the top looked before the trim was put on.



I didn't care for the way the stem of the flower just ended. I needed an element to fix that. I pulled out my various trims and found one that was essentially a string of circles stitched together.

This  is the trim, all piled up. It is next to a piece of yarn that is a pale yellow green color. I wanted to make the trim the same color as the yarn. I pulled out my inks and other paints, mixed a few colors and found something that would get me to my desired color. These are the colors I used:



Here is a photo of the test painting process:



I painted the trim on top of a "white on white" fabric, figuring I'd get a painted fabric out of the process as well. That turned out to be a good idea because I always have leftover paint.

Here is the trim drying:



I was very happy with the color I got. I stitched the trim to the top using a clear, monopoly thread. I used a basting glue to hold it in place while I stitched so it didn't shift around.

I cut the trim in a couple of places to leave a gap where the leaves popped up above it. I was careful to completely cover the end of the flower stem.

Overall I'm happy with the way that turned out.

Thanks for visiting my blog!




Monday, May 1, 2017

Come to see me at the Beyond the Edge reception!

Beyond the Edge Fiber Artist's "Expressions in Fiber Art" reception is this Friday. I hope you can be there!  Here are the vitals: Center Gallery - 250 East Center Street, Anaheim, CA. 5 - 6:30 pm. 714-765-4311.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Stitching the Background




I'm going to use this post to show how I quilted the background on my Bird of the Night piece. This is a detail that shows a little bit of the stitching that I used near the interface of the lower leaf area and the upper flower head area. I used horizontal lines around the leaves and switched to stitches in different directions above the leaves. I wanted a separation between the two areas and used directional change to help with that.

I did the parallel lines using free-motion stitches. They are not perfectly aligned and straight, but that did not make a difference in the overall look I was going for.

Since I used a black fabric, it's difficult to see the stitches.  I used my photo editing software and lightened/increased contrast on a couple of photos to help with the visibility of the stitching. Here are some other background stitching areas that are a little easier to see:

     I'm not sure if you can tell, but I used a dark blue thread instead of black. It still reads as black on the fabric, but when you are stitching, that slight amount of color difference allowed me to see what I was doing a little more easily.



I parallel stitched in varying directions all over the background. I avoided any horizontal parallel lines in the flower area because that stitch direction was used on the bottom only.




That's all I have to say about that! Next time I'll talk about the trim I used between the leaves and flower.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Quilting in Progress - Bird of the Night



Today I'm going to show some of my choices for free motion quilting. Before I did the free motion quilting I had pin basted the three layers (top, batting and back), couched the major shapes and straight stitched inside the major shapes to divide the area up. Below you see it with the pin basting done and couching in progress.



After this step was done it's time for creative free motion quilting!

Thread color choices:

A few years ago I bought some Superior Super Bright threads. They almost have a fluorescent appearance and I love them for areas that need to stand out.  These are what I used almost exclusively on this piece. The bright color against the black background was necessary for the image to been seen from a distance.  I found many other light and medium values did not stand out enough when I looked at it from a few feet away.




I had created a color plan and intended to use this as a guide for my stitching. I tested out two choices and preferred the one on the left, below. I deviated from this plan because I found that lavender and other purple colors did not stand out enough on the black background.






Below I show my criteria for free motion quilting stitch choices:


1) Choose a design that fits in the space well or adds a direction for eye movement:



I did this on the leaves. I wanted them to read like leaves, so I stitched directionally away from the center leaf vein. It also helped to give shape to the leaf.


2) Choose some designs because they are tighter and add more color:




Stitch patterns in the flower petals were done in a more dense fashion to make sure the color showed from a distance. I chose stitch patterns that are good fillers.

3) Choose some because they are fun!




I really like the alfalfa sprout-like stitch that I used on the head and on the front most petal. That is just a fun shape to me!


I'll be showing the background stitching in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, thanks for visiting my blog!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Couching



I'm doing some posts to show the process I used to make my "Bird of the Night" art quilt. This is a detail of part of it. If you look closely at this photo you can see that the bird head and major petals have a piece of yarn stitched around them. The process of sewing down this yarn is called "couching". For me couching is basically using a Zig-Zag stitch over the yarn to stitch it down

I do the couching before I machine quilt inside the flower. It is my boundary line for stitching. I use a wide Zig-Zag stitch for the couching to make sure I cover the yarn.

I used blue yarn and orange yarn, depending on the part of the flower. It makes a nice outline, thicker than machine quilting thread. I also did some straight stitching (multiple passes) over the major dividing lines inside the flower head and petals. Here is an action shot of this work!



I defined the leaves on the bottom the same way. In this area I couched green and yellow yarn. I like this technique to make sure the shapes stand out from the background.





I think I will talk about the machine quilting stitches in my next post. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Upcoming Gallery Show - Expressions in Fiber Art

I love being a member of Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists! We have another exhibit beginning May 1st at the Anaheim Center Gallery.  My work and fiber art created by 7 other wonderful artists will be on display.

There will be an artist's reception on Friday, May 5th from 5 to 6:30 pm.  I would love it if you could be there!

The City of Anaheim will generously provide food and drink at the reception too!  The brochure is shown below, but just in case you can't read the address it is:

250 East Center Street, Anaheim, CA. Put it in your GPS and come to see us!




Thanks for visiting my blog!