About Me

My photo
Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label batik. Show all posts
Showing posts with label batik. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Necessary Notion #3 - Buttonhole Cutter set

This is a notion worth it's weight in gold, in my opinion!  I have used it often, and it's very effective, whether you want a decorative "hole" or desire to cut a buttonhole very professionally!  If you've ever tried cutting a buttonhole with your seam ripper, you know it can be a bit risky and challenging... to not only cut yourself, but not to rip through the end of the buttonhole.  This notion also makes cutting buttonholes on any of those knits, fleece, or other s t r e t c h y fabrics a breeze.  It also makes for a very lovely professional finish on a nice wool coat, and if you use this tool, you won't have a "rippley' buttonhole, which sometimes happen when you use your seam ripper, and isn't very attractive.

This is the quilt where I first used this hand-dandy little tool.  I cut lots of satin ribbon and  leftover batik strips from this quilt.  It was a quilt I made over ten years ago, titled "April Angel."   More on that another time.  Yes, I punched holes in the quilt, just above the binding.  Then I painstakingly threaded all the ribbons and fabric through each hole, tying an overhand knot.  I used a large, plastic, yarn-style needle to do the fabric/ribbon pulling... it took my at least a couple hours just to do that part.  But it was worth it.

Nothing new under the sun...but isn't that fringe cool!?  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here's a fairly simple way to add a bit of free motion embellishment without alot of time investment.  I love to buy the  pre-made, decorated hand towel (and I have made them too). Great gifts for the girls at the office, and for any other gift giving need you may have. It's really cool to make them fun, as well as unique, combining free motion, fusing, and embroidery, as well as bit of "fluff" with a ruff...ruffle, that is! 

The best part is adding the  'unexpected' embellishments!  Another example of how you can add a touch of free motion to any project, and make it very special!

I had a great batik in my stash (oh imagine that!)... so started by cutting a 5" or 6" strip of it, doubled up, and then ruffled it. Doubling a ruffle makes it more professional looking in my opinion; it hangs nicely, is finished off nicely, and it also runs through the ruffler foot quite smoothly too!  (Makes you look like a star!)  Attach to your towel, by laying the ruffle underneath the towel, and stitching along the towel's already existing hemline makes it easy to line it up!
Adding the lovely crocheted trim makes a statement of country style on top of the ruffle. But you don't need to stop there... I was pretty sure I had a lovely ribbon somewhere in my stash and found this beautiful blue rayon ribbon that was the perfect accent for the towel.  I top stitched it right above the trim using my 'triple straight stitch'--- in black thread of course!  Why choose a plain straight stitch when you've got so many others that are fun to choose from? I was tempted to use a flower-y decorative stitch instead of the triple straight stitch, but decided the three little batik flowers were enough, and didn't need any more... but it would have been cute, either way!

I used a black thread: King Tut 40 weight cotton for that, and also black cotton on my bottom in a 50 weight  Masterpiece; both threads made by Superior threads). By the way, this particular towel was embroidered first.

THEN comes the funnest part for me, and that is to add a little fused flower --- which was a very basic five-petaled flower I drew free hand onto fusible web, cut it out, fused it on, then added a bit of yellow wool, fused into the center.  Using black thread for the free motion motif made a bold statement, but in a very light-hearted,swirly, curly-q'd and leafy meanderings, tiny little circles, all following somewhat, the curves of the petals.  Such fun FUN thread play with black thread to match the embroidery design.

Inspiration is everywhere... and for me it came from the embroidered design "ZENSPIRATIONS" from Bernina.   I'm not an advanced embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love the 'plug n play' of USB sticks in my machine.  So quick and easy! And I fell in love with the whimsical nature of the words and their STYLE!

So I repeated some of those same design elements featured in  the embroidery as my inspiration for the free motion motif on the flowers.  You can too!  Practice on a bit of paper first, if you are hesitant to go straight to your machine. It's really great to go off the line, and give your quilting a sketchy look!!! Smiles everyone!  No need to be... dare I say it... "perfect?"!!! Absolutely NOT.  It's charming, fun, fast and easy-breezy girls!

KNOW that the stitches will be a little 'off' tension-wise on the back side, because the towel is not real thick, and so it doesn't have alot of stabilization to the fabric.  And that's OKAY!  We're not being perfect - we don't need to be... this is fun, loose and FREE!.  Just be sure to loosen your top tension, match the color of your top and bottom threads, and try to hold the fabric firmly with your hands without gripping so tight you can't free motion!  If you prefer, use a spray adhesive, and attach some of the wash-a-way type stabilizers on the back. However, I DID NOT. and you can see the results.  After all... it's creative, and above all... it's FREEly done! 

I hope you found some inspiration...and FREEdom here!  Add your own special touch, and enjoy adding to your skills, and making a quick project, not to mention a wonderful gift to have on hand.

"Freely, Freely, you have received... Freely, Freely, Give."


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Embellishment - "THE FLATHEAD" Art Quilt

I was born and raised in Montana; my father's family homesteaded on the northern border of Montana, near the Canadian border, in the Sweet Grass Hills. My mother's family homesteaded in western Montana, on the Flathead River.
 For many summers, I would pack up my boys and we'd travel 240 miles to go to the Flathead Valley, and spend a week with my Gramma Ila, enjoying the family farm, and picking what seemed like tons of raspberries, strawberries and more! My Aunt Vi had the most incredible Raspberry Patch... her huge yard was encircled with 4-6 rows of raspberry bushes that surrounded their home!  Fabulous! Sometimes we had time to go through Glacier Park too... but we always had to get those berries home into the freezer!

"THE FLATHEAD" landscape art quilt is lovingly dedicated to my Gramma Ila, who passed away in 2002. The Flathead Valley is shimmery lakes, sparkling rivers, lush fields and purple mountains majesty.

This impressionistic journey began by thinking of those beautiful images and sweet summer memories with my Gramma. This fabric has three color gradations; a mauvey pinky (berries) color on the bottom, then a periwinkle purple (mountains), blue and soft gray/blue/green (sometimes rainy skies!) on the top.

Here is a detail of the 'feather' motif I added with a free motion couching foot.  (The Bernina #43).  I loved this yarn, and it was a fun thing to do... and a bit unexpected!   The other embellishment I enjoy using is foil.  This happens to be silver leaf, the flimsy stuff, usually for wood crafts, and the like.   

How I love couching free motion style!  Such creative freedom it brings me.  To add more definition and presence to the silver leafing, I couched a deep purple yarn, which had a bit of golden flecks in it, and I loved the contrast and dimension it brings to this piece.... reminding me of those lovely, tall shining mountains, with rays of sun reflecting on the sparkling lakes and the cool breezes in the evenings.  (Not to mention the color of the berries!)  In the picture below, bobbin play detail.  See
Blog entires on December 15:  Bobbin Quilting and December 23: More Hints if you'd like to know more.
Hint:  I used white thread on my top so the silver bobbin thread would be dazzling...
My favorite silver thread was just calling to me!  And I decided to let it meander... just like the Flathead River through the steep mountain gorges... and of course, (below) there has to be just a glitzy touch of angelina fibers... it just reminds me of the sun and water, and fresh air!
In the pic below you will see a zig zag stitch; this is traditional couching over a fiber or cording, or something thick that cannot be sewn through the eye of the needle.
The picture shows where I've couched on wool roving.  The beading you see here was done by machine, without a foot... yes you can do it that way!  The exception however, is the triangle silver bead in this picture.. it was done free motion, but I did have a foot attached; the #29 (Bernina) clear free motion foot, which I turn to constantly!  I just set it for a zig zag... and carefully... ensure your stitch width accommodates the width of the bead hole to the edge of the bead by using your hand wheel first!  Then, at a slow speed, stitch your zig zag 3-4 times to secure the bead.
Questions? Please let me know and I would enjoy answering them! I love to demo this fun technique in the free motion classes I teach. I will be posting instructions specific to this technique in the New Year!

Beading by MACHINE... "look mom, no hands!"  Well.... not quite!  There is no foot, but I can bead faster this way than I can by hand, actually.  It takes practice of course!  Sooner than you might think, you can add a great many beads in a small space of time. It's a big plus to know your machine, and have good knowledge of threads and needles.
HINT:  I always use polyester (Isacord brand) for strength, and size 2mm beads with holes that will accommodate a 90/14 needle, which in my opinion, has to be a microtex needle for sharpness.  An advanced technique, it also requires a great deal of caution and focus as you certainly don't want to put the needle through your finger, (No, I haven't done it with this technique!).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

 I hope you all had a great Christmas!  Ours was great!

I loved being able to make these quick ornaments with my new Sizzix machine; the "Big Shot" and am anxious to try out more new shapes.  This year, they adorned Christmas packages of quick breads, and pretty glass jars of homemade hot fudge sauce!  Woohoo!

I fused white fabric, which already had beautiful silver sparkly snowflakes as the pattern, and fused it to timtex on both sides, then ran it through my Big Shot machine, presto magico!

A bit of angelina fibers, button and a bead, and DONE!  LOVE it!

I am looking forward to using some more dies in the quilting related arena when my budget will allow me to try one or two more.  Although I bought my machine/dies from Patsy Thompson's website, you will also find additional items and great information from:  IHAN (I Have  A Notion). Both of these ladies are great to answer questions and I can't wait to see what they will bring us in the New Year to whet our appetites!  I'm really hoping Patsy will bring us some FEATHER designs!!!!

I enjoyed using some of buttons in embellishing these ornaments... and loved also that this cool red batik with white 'snowflakes' looked quite charming to me...
Here's praying you find a year filled with God's love, and the JOY of Jesus Christ.  May all the work and play! of your hands glorify Him.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...