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 free motion zig zag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free motion zig zag. Show all posts

Friday, January 31, 2014

forget-me-not angels {on a sweatshirt} ~

hi there  ~

when i first began quilting, i played with quilting on garments, quite a bit. in fact, this is truly the way i learned free motion.  it wasn't by traditional quilting, it was on "ready-to-wear" more or less. 

this sweatshirt is one i purchased, made specially for my friend lori. and you've read in my last couple posts... i recently visited her, and she pulled out all the things i had made her oh-so-long ago!  and she happily wore this sweatshirt, {and still does} which is very cool. one of the angels in this design had reddish hair, {me}, the other dark, {lori} even though they have both faded now. {ain't it the truth?!} lol

although i no longer recall where the pattern came from, i believe i got the design from a book, and just traced it, fusing it onto this plain white sweatshirt.

again, i free motioned with a zig zag stitch all the applique shapes!  i was kinda amazed when i saw that i had done that, on a stretchy polyester-cotton fabric, no less...  

even the words, which say:

"silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of angels."
~ longfellow

{one of my favorites}

one of my most favorite "early" projects, and it tickled me to see she still had it!  thanks my friend.

bless your day to all you angels out there in the infinite meadows of heaven {on earth}.

speaking of heaven ~ happy {happy} friday!!!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Treasure Those You Love

It's about the basics, and the 'base' as well.  That is, the paper fabric base. A leftover pattern piece, song lyrics, a scrap of organza.  Once I had all the embellishments in place, and once the last layer of white craft tissue was put on top, (while it was still wet with glue/water mixture from the muslin base),  it was lightly painted with diluted paint; about 50/50 dilution.  Whether you choose to use acrylic paints, or inks, it doesn't matter.  Keep it light.  Or add more color... just keep in mind that if you get heavy-handed with the paint, the texture gets thicker.  Not a bad thing.  Just so you know.  Once dry, and ironed so it was mostly flat, I stamped it, adding a favorite doodling of 'trio's of white dots' as I call them, using a white Sharpie paint marker.  Lastly, I fused a flower onto the base.

Now for that free motion zig zag!  Once you master this stitch, you will feel like the Beverly Hill Billies striking oil in their back yard!  Okay, maybe not quite that exciting!  But still... I'm not so sure!
When teaching this in my free motion class, I am often asked "what stitch length do we set?"  depends!  In this instance I chose a 2.0 width.  Remember... how you move the fabric (from left to right only) determines the WIDTH.  Which means it turns into a straight line!  COOL.  And FUNKY.  LOVE!  And I not only like the look, it's alot of fun to do.  As to length... no need to worry, if you move up and down, it turns into a zig zag... and depending on how fast you move, you will either stretch it out, or make it look more traditionally, compact!

YES... it takes practice, and control, and being steady with the stitching.  Too much jerking and you will certainly wrestle with a bent or broken needle.  Too fast, and you may shred your thread.  I love this stitch mostly for it's wow factor with variegated thread, and for the functionality I get, in accomplishing what I call free motion applique!  It's that simple.  And it's a wonderful skill to cultivate, use and enJoy!


Friday, January 21, 2011


This piece was a bit of an experiment... I wanted to play with  my newly dyed fabric, and with my new Zenspirations embroidery designs (love the USB stick to plug n play!)  The embroidery design is the the framed box, and the "Big L" only. (check out my post on the "BLOOM" towel a few weeks ago here)
After I finished the embroidery, I added the letters: "ove" on my own, free motion style. Using the same black thread I embroidered with, which was an Isacord 40 weight polyester, I switched to a zig zag stitch, keeping my needle at a 45 degree angle.  I set my zig zag stitch to a width that I felt looked good in relation to the size of the big "L" - about 2.5 inches wide, (feed dogs are still dropped), and using the #29 clear free motion foot, (you want visibility for this!), I began free motion stitching the letters "ove" to finish...  extending a little "flair" shall we say... so the zig zag line curves, and flows it's way all the way through the framed border, which I personally thought looked more attractive than if I was to just stop it at the inside border of the frame.

Why not add a sticker?! I found this clear sticker in my scrapbooking area (which is quite sadly neglected these days)... How I loved doing this!  Just "run right over it!" --- using of course, a pretty thread in a pinky-green-mango color scheme!!!  There's fibers under it... paint.... all added to lutradur; a kind of newer 'space-age' fabric (for lack of a better term!)  I'm not sure I know how to describe lutradur... a man-made polyester-type product that can be painted, stamped, cut, sewn, burned... you name it!

This is a shot of the three little squares of lutradur, and  further experimentation --I mean embellishment that I added!  ...further 'enhanced' with a my free motion #43 couching foot using a hand-dyed yarn... just for kicks and giggles! Don't forget to LAUGH!!!  (and for practice!)

I took design motif cues from the embroidery design, keeping it a very simple loopdee-loo free motion circles...in solid black, and then like a pitcher on a baseball field... CHANGE IT UP!  Bat 1000 when you grab a beautiful variegated thread - my personal favorite, which is Superior Threads "Rainbow threads --- they are lovely tri-lobal polyesters that have shine and brilliant colors (love them!).  The tip is to use a 90/14 topstitch needle... drop your top tension a notch (or two!), and use a bobbin weight or lighter, 50 weight cotton thread on the bottom.

I added some stamping to one of the little squares... in a bit of white paint, right onto the lutradur.  It didn't come out quite as bold as I was anticipating... but hey, that's how you learn!  (and have fun!)
Leftover pieces cut deliberately into triangle shapes... and "doodled" over randomly!! Raw edge borders... no need to spend time hand stitching on this piece.  Also, I left the center commercial green batik (with the black circles) deliberately "off kilter" --- one of my favorite ways to play!
And I ripped the fabrics, so I could get those fluffy edges... 
and don't forget it's
"love... binding it all together!"
and the finished piece looks like:
 "...love  binds everything together in perfect harmony" --- Colossians 3:14

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FLOWERS from Mac

Ah... the sweet memories of summer in the middle of January!!!  Awesome! God is good... really GOOD!
It really doesn't get any better than this when it comes to spending a little vacation time on a hot summer day with the girls by the lake... sitting... chatting... fusing and cutting!  A darling boy "Mac" helped me cut these flowers out... and so the title of this quilt 
I don't "do perfect" --- and some of the couching with the yarn wasn't right on the edge of the flowers... but that is why it is so important to keep at it... practice... invest in something you like to do... DO WHAT YOU LOVE.... and Love What... You... DO... and you will get better... and pretty soon... it LOOKS EXCELLENT... and you have a finished project that represents a tangible result of your learning... and loving the process!

Bright and Charming... just like our favorite young nephew "Mac" ....

I used some of favorite fresh fabrics... pretty flower pattern...... glorious ribbons, and metallic threads!  See my blogs on bobbin play... bobbin quilting... threads and needles!  Oh Ah... don't forget the pretty yarn...
 LOVE to learn.... learning to LOVE...
 Practice... practice... PRACTICE!  How FUN it is!

and soon... your garden looks like this: 
"The Sweet 16" 
charming and very 
colorful little darlings...
Pattern was adapted from "Classic Runners #142" here from the Little Quilt Company
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