About Me

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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 couching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label couching. Show all posts

Friday, May 18, 2012

SUNSHINE n' SATIN

I love to quilt with unusual fabrics - make that more 'unexpected' than anything.  In the last few years, these beautifully smooth and satiny cotton sateens have come into the quilt shops, and I LOVE Them!  This beautiful fabric really just showcases quilting, as well as looking like silk ~ dreamy beautiful! I wish you could feel the hand of it once it's quilted...

And I for one, love-love-love to mix up fabrics and textures and try something unexpected!  Who doesn't love batik fabrics? And speaking of mixing it up, multiple thread use is a favorite way for me to kick things up a notch on my quilting.  It keeps me focused, challenged, and more interested in what I'm working on. Same goes for pretty trims, too.  The flower in the picture below could use a bit more detail, right...
And let's not forget a little "fuzzy wuzzy" in a soft, textured cotton velvet.  One of the unexpected results of adding my free motion applique stitching around the edges of the brown velvet, is the surprising textural look it gives to the outside edge.  Makes it look a bit more complicated, and more depth... and well, 'edginess' to it.  I LIKE that.
I named this piece "SUNSHINE and SATIN"  as that is the feeling it evokes for me!  And... I believe that says alot about how, why and when we quilt... 
Flower above without stitching on the petals.  Flower below WITH stitching on the petals. 

Ahhh... that is much better! But I do have to say I wish I had not 'travelled' with the yellow thread around the flower center.  Pure laziness, I guess, as I did not want to tie off each time, and now I find it's distracting...
It's easy to make any pattern or design in a book very special and unique to your own sense of style and color.  This is one of my favorites; from Sunflower Hill Designs by Julie Popa:

And it's even better when you know your feet, tension, needles and threads! Check out the  TNT Post on December 28, 2010.  I just love this pearl crown rayon thread in creamy white, by YLI Thread Company.  Beautiful results on this cotton sateen!




Tension issues?  Check out my blog post here regarding stitching and "homework!" I tighten my UPPER tension, usually at least two whole settings (from a 4 to a 6 for example), when those thick threads are in my bobbin.




Bobbin Play anyone? It's easy with a just a little practice.  The leaves were first FUSED on (with steam a seam fusible web).  A 90/14 microtex is absolutely essential when working with any fusible product, in my humble opinion.
Hints and Tips on Bobbin Play are posted.  That lovely YLI pearl crown rayon in a beautiful soft white has such an attractive texture in the swirls... and they don't steal the show from the design and the flowers since they blend in with the background - just kind of add a 'wow' factor (in my world, that is!) 

I chose to do a little meandering, add a few pebbles, quilt in a few smooth, soft undulating lines... all in white.  I love the changing shapes; it's rather magical on a sateen fabric.  I also added little buttons of thread color using a Rainbow tri-lobal polyester for a little pop of color and texture on the white surface.   
Joining one of my so very favorite artists - Jennifer of Studio JRU today!

Happy Friday Everyone!!! 
Here's to creating with some wonderful textures!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dancing With Bright Eyes

The latest.  A paintstik background, rubbed with numerous rubbing plates, and lots of different colors overlapping each other on some hand dyed fabric you're not sure what do with! Let the paint dry, and heat set it with an iron. Add a curved border.
Add a little bit of couching.  Use several yarns!  Why not?
Use a pretty batik backing you've had in your stash for five years.  Yeah, baby!
Take a look at your fabulous bookstore of quilting inspiration.  Courtesy of Patsy Thompson's "Hyper quilting" (a must-have for any serious or beginning quilter, I might add).  Decide on a motif.  (Practice first but not on your original piece!)
Go over it with another line of quilting, using a different, but fun color of thread.  Add some bling baby!  Move your feet -- I mean, use those feet! Click here: (#20 or #39 Bernina feet), or use use the search function on the blog to see more info I've posted on both of these feet).  Sew add a bit of couching onto the curved edge border, and why not on the binding, too?  Yahoo!

And take it outside into the garden area, so it can perform a happy dance with your sunflowers. 
Or dance the Mambo yourself!
And celebrate!

You're Done.  Nice finish!  EnJOY the fruits of your labor.

SOLI DEO GLORIA


Sunday, March 20, 2011

BOOKMARKS and Bernina Foot 2A

These are pieces of leftover embellished fabric from a quilted scarf. 
After trimming the edges of the scarf, these pieces were made into bookmarks.  

There are many possibilities of finishing the edges... metallic paint, yarns twisted to make a rope or a satin stitch zig zag.

A very useful skill is to employ the zig zag satin stitch with the #2 foot; which is included in every Bernina machine as a standard foot.

Why is it so great?  Because it makes a really beautiful RAISED satin stitch!


Align the outer right-side edge of the foot (not the toe) with the edge of the fabric.  Ensure that the right-hand swing of the needle covers the right hand edge of the fabric; adjusting your width as needed to do so.  Set up your machine for a zig zag with a satin stitch... this means approximately .6 inches in length and width as you prefer it for your project. This foot is designed to be used with stitches that overlock or overcast the edge of the fabric, keeping edges flat , reinforcing those edges, and preventing tunneling of your stitches.  A win, win, win! A great alternative to a serger overlock stitch... only with your home sewing machine... a stitch and foot that is often underused and overlooked!
Caution:  
make sure your needle position doesn't have your needle hitting the little metal bar!

Do you see the little metal bar below? That's your secret weapon! The needle will stitch OVER it, creating a slightly 'raised' feel, giving YOUR stitching a very lovely look!

And it looks a bit like this.  Hard to show the dimension in the picture, but I did my best!
I love it for finishing edges and seams on wovens, like these bookmarks I've made.  It's sturdy, practical, and best of all, it gives it a professional looking finish!
Here are some "Tested Techniques"  from my "FEETURES" Bernina Foot book for the #2 foot. If you've never given these books a look; I hope you'll do so when you have an opportunity.  Wonderful resource... filled with lots of color projects/applications for every foot Bernina sells.  If you aren't sure about buying a foot... and want to know more, go look it up in the book, ask the dealer to let you borrow the foot, and take it for a test drive in a live demo ... before you buy!


Here are some samples of some other bookmarks I made...

In the peachy colored bookmark below, I also used leftover pieces from the silk, quilted table topper I made earlier; that post was called "Pick Up Stix Glitz" where I featured the Bernina #39 foot.  So fun!  You can see it here.






And one of my personal favorites: (see my post on this foot) at this link:  #43 free motion couching foot) for couching on cords effortlessly in any direction you desire... loops, soft curves, tight curves; you can do it all quite flawlessly with this foot.








Friday, February 4, 2011

SILK FIESTA!


A FIESTA... no Siesta going on here... but if y'all have a more creative title for this piece, I'd LOVE to hear it!

I do really love bold colors, and the lovely rayon ric rac yarn featured here has been a favorite for many projects.  And this is the last of the silk fabric scraps I found stashed away!  I'm pretty happy about all the little samples I've made with it.


I love using my zig zag in free motion, and this was also another opportunity for me to use my favorite silver metallic thread GLITTER from Superior Thread Co.   In this piece, you can see, hopefully - my "zig zag jewels" and a then I did some straight stitching in between the yarn rows... but not everywhere!  That would have been predictable, and... not to mention... very boring. At least it would have been for me!

And... this is where knowing your machine can really pay off... in Bernina Land, it's referred to as 'temporary altered stitch memory' and you can learn lots more about a free motion zig zag in a post here

Yessss...! The free motion couching foot #43 really wins the supporting role on this project;  the gorgeous yarn gets the 'best actress' award!
In case you missed that blog on the #43 foot, you can find it here.


Yup... Phil's fabric for the binding - again.  (Phillip Jacobs, fabric designer, not my personal friend or anything like that!)  I just like that fabric so much I've started calling it that!




Monday, January 31, 2011

Bernina Foot #39; a couching technique

This is a (Bernina) must-have foot for lots of reasons! Most machines will have something similar... Tomorrow, I plan to showcase a project that shows this technique on an entire easy table runner project, utilizing some left-over scraps of silk I was given.  (There's a teaser photo at the end)... YOU too, can creatively apply this easy-to-use and very simple technique on your quilts and garments!  Why should you own this foot?  Here's a few of my reasons:
  • Visibility! 
  • Most folks don't realize/see that it has a small hole in the front of the foot that enables you to load a thick thread (like Razzle Dazzle/Superior or YLI Candlelight and more), and couch it on perfectly, and perfectly centered --- easy!
  • The red marks provide ease for exact placement, especially the middle mark, as the thread will stay aligned in the center position, and so the red middle mark is a wonderful guide in itself, couching or not!
Choose a narrow zig zag; mine in this photo is 1.2mm wide by 2.35 long.  You can adjust as you see fit depending on your type of machine.  Basically it's 1.5mm by 2.5 in length.
In the pic below, you may be able to  see the very tiny zig zag stitch on the thread where it's been stitched and then cut.  To load the thread into the foot, I usually have to wet (lick!) the end of the thread, inserting it into the front, and feeding it to the back of the foot. 
When I couch with a silver thread, I use a white top thread; but this is strictly a personal preference, depending on what look you're going for.  I like several different kinds; choose either a 40 weight white polyester or a 50 weight, such as masterpiece cotton for blending with the silver thread.  I also love this foot for it's clear visibility when it comes to top stitching!   And.. don't forget your needle position adjustment is a great tool to use... (Bernina's have 9-11 different needle positions)... all of which can be moved/adjusted  while you are sewing!
Perfect placement for both techniques is where it really shines! I top stitched the fabric first, using my far left or far right needle position, (and lengthened the stitch too!), aligning  the edge of the foot as it worked for easy placement as a guide.  With it 's clear visibility, it's easy to keep a perfectly straight line, too!  Once all pieces were top stitched, then I switched to the thick (Razzle Dazzle or YLI)  thread, threaded it through the center hole, from front to back, set my zig zag (as mentioned in the dimensions above), center needle position, and stitch!  Watch tomorrow for the full showcase on what the final project looks like!



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

REJOICE for RACHEL

"REJOICE for RACHEL!"

This is the first quilt in a series I am planning... dedicating an art quilt to each of several Sisters and Friends.


REJOICE!  That's what I feel everytime I see this lovely young lady, RACHEL. I rejoice! So this art quilt is dedicated to her!  (And it is her birthday gift too!)  This young lady was part of a girls basketball team that won their school's first-ever Class C basketball championship several years ago - their highschool has only 32 kids in it!  She now plays college basketball at MSU-Bozeman, MT.  (GO BOBCATS!) Charming, warm-hearted, strong, faithful, and FULL of  vibrancy our Rachel is... beautiful, athletic, and a good friend to others;  she's a hard worker,  (see how she can help her Uncle John vaccinate cows!)  

That vaccinating gun is "hot!"
Charming, and warm-hearted!  I am so fortunate to know her, and we and the rest of the girls have an awesome blessing of spending time together at Flathead Lake whenever we can. Moms and girls... we've had the huge blessing to share some absolutely fabulous memories together! I love you Rach! 

It's a fairly small quilt; approximately 8x10" is painted on a muslin base using tissue paper, and acrylic paints.

Free motion couching adds dimension and texture in a very free-wheeling way!  Lovely fabric flowers are fused on.  Heavy bobbin play in pink for added visual interest.  By now you know there is lots on this blog about Bobbin Play, couching, metallic threads! 

I loved this sweet little birdie posed on a "wire" or branch of decorative stitches! This quilt is finished with a very "free" bound edge... the fabric is simply folded over, and stitched somewhat randomly!  FUN FUN FUN!
Detail of Bird and Decorative stitches in "RACHEL"
I really had to challenge myself to get out of that 'perfect box' --- it truly is entrapment!   So I let my stitches BE imperfect, meandering, and decided I could just do a decorative stitch and STOP in the middle of the line if I felt like it!

OH... AH... how I really ENJOYED doing it!  Couching... bobbin play... no 'perfect' plan... just being... FREE!  Much like Rachel!

I love her freckles and pearls... right at home on the ranch!

Detail of Free Motion Couching onto the Fabric Flowers --- HOW FUN IS THAT!


Thank you Lord, for Rachel!  Bless her as she continues to grow, learn and be your LIGHT! Amen!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wool Flower Beaded JEAN Jacket

Flower detail of the back of the jacket
My most favorite Jean Jacket!

I LOVE to embellish clothing!  And I've found some products I really enJOY using.  Art Glitter, namely.  What a great product.  Durable, pretty and easy to use.  This jacket has been washed LOTS as I've enjoyed wearing it LOTS!

This is the front of the jacket, where I've added more flower motifs using wool roving and my Needle Punch Accessory Kit for my Bernina.

It's so easy to use...
1. Insert the felting needles (there are five of them all attached together in a circle on one needle shaft)
2. Replace the stitch plate with the special one for needle felting (including in the accessory kit); it has a large round hole to accommodate the  five needles).
3. Remove your bobbin case!  Please see complete package directions if you have this accessory item.
4. Ensure you're all in 'alignment' by hand-wheeling your needles and making sure they go straight down with bending or snagging.
5. Attach the special protective needle felting foot (included in kit)
6. Place your roving and assorted yarns under your foot (I used a shiny one here too - you can see it in the picture above) Most excellent!
7. Start needle punching by pressing the pressor foot.  Go slowly at first, making sure the needles are all 'in sync' with each other.  I needle felt first the front, and then the back, and then back to the front.  Three times is all you need!  Please contact your Bernina dealer for more detailed information, or visit the Bernina website here.


More embellishment opportunities await!  Such as the jacket COLLAR and CUFFS! I hope you are remembering... YOU are the CEO of that sewing studio, quilt room, kitchen table.... you get my meaning, right?"Creative Embellishment OFFICER!" Yes you are! 


Bobbin drawing is easy to accomplish when you can turn the cuff easily to the wrong side... and start stitching.  Notice in this detail that I used a pretty thread for my top... as it's likely it could show at some point... if I felt like rolling up my cuffs... and of course... just for fun!






Pictured is the top front of the jacket, with one main flower, beading, couching and bobbin play... and then the little added extra detail of bobbin play stitching line on the collar!

The picture below shows wool roving as the base of the flower.  Once once that is done, you have a "road map" on which you can work in your couching, bobbin play, beading, (some of it has been done by hand!) and other threadplay as you will!  I like how some of the bobbin play stitches "go off" the design - like on the leaves.  Not perfect... just quite... EXCELLENT!
Top of jacket flower detail
Here's another pic of the jacket BACK below.  First, I proceeded with the Bernina #43 free motion couching foot to make the beautiful hand-dyed yarn into the flowers shapes (very basic 'wavy' shape!)... then added the beading (by machine free motion style of course!)  to 'join' them.  The last thing I did was add the Art Glitter glue, loving that fine point metal tip, and then let it dry, heat set for permanency.    I did add one bead into the center flower on the back, by hand as it is too large to attach by machine free motion.
Because I have really enjoyed wearing this jacket, when it comes to washing it, I took extra care to button it up and turn it inside out, to protect the beading from bashing against a metal washer tub and dryer.  I have washed it on "normal" and also dried it on "normal" settings.... numerous times over the past three years.
Art Glitter is a great product, I think!  High quality, very reflective glitter.  The website is highlighted above.  Check it out, or ask your quilt store to get in stock for you.  Love the fine point tip that comes with the set, and it's a fast drying, heat set type of glitter.  and of course, it's washable!
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