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 superior threads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label superior threads. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014

superior thread with feathers on leather ~

happy friday friends ~

glad to have put a bit of a 24-hour bug behind me, and show a project that's been on hold, but one i am anxious to pick back up and... finish!  

yup.  more feathers.  and they're on leather.  this is "faux leather" and a polyester based fabric.  so that means it is completely washable.

and i'm using magnifico thread by superior threads, and  lots of it, as this is a large piece, about 40-50" inches although i've not measured it... but it is a challenge to put this heavy material, and sandwiched as a quilt, under my machine and quilt these lines smoothly, but that's what a challenge is for!  and i hope to accomplish a beautiful complementary color design.  {that's my hope*}




onward!
blessings on your day!
xo
leslie

Friday, October 17, 2014

"northern night lights" ~ for superior threads

hello! 

my oh my, where has the week gone?  wait ~ i remember. perfecting a buttermilk biscuit recipe... test driving a mid-arm quilting machine at a local quilt store {babylock}; studying isaiah, {i'm leading bible study and giving the messages for awhile!}, and i've joined a local gym to help alleviate joint {hip} pain issues, sending out orders from my etsy store, and besides enjoying our amazing october weather, i got out for some lunch with friends, and even {semi-enjoyed} grocery shopping!  whew.  am certainly loving retirement!

and... a great portion of time at the sewing machine.  now that's what i call a terrific week!  

i'm really honored to have been asked by superior to create this special piece, and very excited to show you my quilted rendition of "northern night lights" ~ a special commissioned piece for my favorite thread company:  superior threads!

approximately 20"x 34" in size, it began with a beautiful inspirational piece of hand dyed fabric that gave me the idea for the northern lights theme, dyed by the talented vicki welsh.

i hand painted additional colors, with silks acrylic glaze paints, added real silver leaf, and layers of bits of angelina fibers i melted together to create custom colors, as well as a strips of textiva film, and other accent pieces of hand dyed fabrics that were added to the base of the quilt fabric, all prior to quilting it.

i used quilters dream batting, 'dream orient' between two traditional layers.  no extra stabilizer. 

let me give you some other facts about this completely thread painted art quilt.  approximately 16+ jumbo bobbins from my bernina 830 were used;  about 13 different threads {at my last count ~ i may have missed some!}, and i think maybe 20-30 thread changes, as i went back and forth, looking, pausing, and adding thread colors here and there as i quilted along.  silver metallic, razzle dazzle, magnifico, masterpiece, and bottom line all made their way into this piece; size: 21"x 34."

how much time from start to finish?  about 50-60 hours.  and i loved every minute!
looking from the top down into the body of the quilt.










 the back side:  {i always love using bottom line in white, with all my silver metallic threads, especially in free motion.}
 yeah... lots of pics, and the weather was beautifully cooperative with no wind, and pretty sunlight, {although my last pic wasn't so great of the entire piece} and now it's time to pack it up and mail it off to superior threads where it will be in wonderful company i am sure!  {pun intended!} lol
thank you superior threads, it was an honor, and i give all the credit to our loving, and living Father Above.

Soli Deo Gloria!
XO
Leslie

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

autumn splendor ~ a hand painted quilt

good day ~ 

leaves... leaves... leaves!  always a fun, artistic motif to play with, especially this time of year.  and i have a gorgeous view in my imagination!

this is how it plays out:
first, i hand-painted the leaves with silks acrylic glaze paints. and i added free motion quilting in two motifs, tiny stippling and miniature feathers.  a bit of bobbin play for dimension, and sparkle, and well, because... it was really fun!  the top and bottom edges were cut wavy, and the sides are deliberately not perfectly straight... it is designed to be a table runner or a wall hanging.   
the stems of the leaves are couched with a very stiff, wirey metallic thread called "facets" i found when we were visiting in washington state. i purchased it at the quilting bee in spokane.



and i've been using this new quilters dream orient batting. {love!}  so smooth, and wonderful to quilt.



it's for sale in my etsy shop.  

thank you for taking time to stop by!  

blessings on your day
xo
leslie

Monday, September 22, 2014

a rosey black t-shirt with free motion embroidery ~

hi there, happy monday!

well, as i noted in my last post, as i was lamenting the troubles with the bleeding paints... note there is an upside! and that is simply that silks acrylic glazes work beautifully on the black t-shirt.  why?  i don't know!  i wish i did.  but ~ i washed it and it didn't run, bleed, nor did it fade what. so. ever!  hmm.  the picture below tells the story, after washing and drying: 
you see that elaborate painting style?  {uhhh not!} ... really simple... just some basic "c" shapes, and small ovals, circle-shapes... i blended the paint colors just a little bit... pretty simple.  add a few triangles for leaves, and you're good to go!

and i finished fine-tuning those simple shapes on my t-shirt with a bit of free motion thread action:
{and i like how the black fabric "shading" shows under the paint color}

and the stars of the show are; king tut, magnifico, masterpiece and fantastico threads, all from superior threads

i kept my threadplay pretty simple, too.  the painting laid down just a color base design, and all i really needed to do was add a bit of enhancement, or highlighting with the threadplay, or, what could be said to be free motion embroidery.

i first began with the king tut, in the center of each flower motif, utilizing the peachy color for a little bit of contrast.  then i went to the magnifico purple and periwinkle for the petals, and the fantastico  variegated green for the leaves. masterpiece {100% 50 wt cotton - beautiful}, was in my bobbin the whole time.  and a 90/14 titanium topstitch needle {from superior as well}.  and a ball point needle... yeah, well, i didn't have one.  but the titanium topstitch {from superior} worked like a dream, actually.  

i lowered my top tension if i needed to, depending on whether there was puckering, or if the threads were pulling too much one way or another.
so the acrylic paint, the silks glazes are shown with their color descriptions as well as the thread colors. {but i forgot the peach-colored one in the middle of the flower  - sorry about that}.  but... i couldn't quite let it be.  sometimes that is what sleeping does to me!!  lol.  things... ideas... inspiration sometimes won't leave me alone.  it happens often to me.  how about you?  so... let me hear what you think about the final detail i added, below:
 and it all begins with your bobbin. and a really beautiful, thick thread.  enter into stage right:  razzle dazzle thread. in beautiful, bright silver.  a black would have been good... but i didn't have that color... or purple, which i did have...  but one has to make a choice, so there you have it:   


i love the result.  and this will be a beautiful t-shirt i would be happy to wear and enJoy.  would you?

thanks for stopping in!  blessings on a fine day, {or week} ahead!
xo
leslie

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

leather beauties ~ zippered bags

good morning ~

i thought i would show the last two bags i've made.  the first one is custom request from my friend sami, and she wanted it to be more of a large handbag. so this one is pretty large, at about 14" in width, and 10" tall, created from the beautiful faux leather fabric i've had on hand, and with a slight western theme, too.  i do really love to free motion on this fabric.  

although it's "faux" ~ it quilts beautifully.  that is to also say that one must use that a topstitch or leather type of needle is required.  i used a 90/14 topstitch needle from superior threads.  click on that link and it will take you to their webpage where they explain exactly why they are the best!!  {i agree}.

as usual, i am free motion quilting with magnifico thread, the 40 wt polyester {my favorite}  with a masterpiece cotton 50 wt bobbin thread, also from superior threads.  sami requested a handle on this bag too, and i made it into a bit of  a wristlet, with a very thick and sturdy handle.  

let me say that stitching through four layers of this fabric is a certain challenge.  go slow.  be patient!
it was fun to design this bag with the butterfly fused, and the bling.  however, one of the things i have found with the bling is that it does not adhere to the faux leather.  faux leather fabric is really a polyester... so fusing the bling on was a problem without melting the leather.  next time, i would fuse it to the fabric, which makes a  strong bond.  live and learn!
but the bling was perfect for the body of the butterfly!
and i'm tickled to use the beautiful tapestry ribbon which looks so good on the leather, and adds to that western, but very modern feel to this bag.
the butterfly is a new fabric design by laura gunn, called "flutter" for michael miller fabrics.  love those charming butterflies, and all that they symbolize.  

forgiveness... and new life! 
and the next one, a small all-leather bag with another butterfly motif.  pretty rayon ribbon for the zipper pull, too.


totally fun!  love the bottom, too.  this one is class sample, now at the prickly pear quilt shop in helena montana, where we are in the plans for setting up a free motion class and more.

enJoy your day!
xo
leslie

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the "mrs. kimm" apron ~ painted & quilted

hi there ~

well, the bridal shower is over, so i want to share a gift that i made for the bride, now that she has received it! {and she loved it!}... but more on that, later!

a plain white apron:
hand-painted with "silks" which are an acrylic glaze paint medium, made by luminarte, which is shimmery-pretty, much like twinkling h2o's, but for fabric.  they are thicker, smooth paint, with more viscosity, and are really a dream to paint with, and work so beautifully on fabric!
the other great thing about silks acrylic glazes?
once the paint dried, i heat-set it with my iron, putting a protective cloth over the painted area.  then it was time to put a bit of fusible batting underneath the apron top area, and then free motion quilting, here i come!  so fun to do!
naturally, i chose superior threads "magnifico" for this project, as i wanted glowing color within the paint, and did not want the thread to overpower it, but i also needed it to have enough 'thread presence' so it showed up, especially for the name "mrs kimm" on top:
i deliberately chose a thread color to blend with the flowers, and leaves.
and it's a wrap.  very fun to give.  now all the bridal shower guests will get sharpie pens, and sign their names, and they can also add any additional words of wisdom!  

this is such a great gift!  and "mrs. kimm" loved it! i'm sure your next bride-to-be will love one of these two.  

other ideas?  patchwork!  embroidery!  and what else could you think of to embellish this sweet gift?

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Saturday, April 19, 2014

kitchen towels ~ tutorial

weekend greetings to all ~ gosh, i think i've done about 30 of these towels now!  ... and i've so enjoyed it!

it's really a simple, straight-forward process, but here are tips and hints {as promised}, that {i think} make for a more relaxing process, and... a more professional finished look.

i begin with a purchased towel, but of course, you can buy your own cotton linen fabric and finish the edges yourself.  that type of fabric can be found by the bolt/yardage in quilt shops, too. 

first, choose  a 90/14 titanium topstitch needle, as this will pierce cleanly through all the thicknesses of towel, especially those thick hems on the sides, as well as the extra fabric and embellishments.  it also suits the thread i'm using, which is magnifico 40 wt by superior threads.  it produces beautiful looking stitches! and for the bobbin thread, i love a basic white color in superior's masterpiece cotton; a 50 wt thread.  

i also engage the dual feed on the bernina 830, but a walking foot would work well, or an open toe #20 foot {by bernina}.  i chose to use my patchwork #37... see why below.

then ~ one of the best tips:  press fabrics using mary ellen's "best press" starch.  by far, it's a top notch starch product, and so easily available.

 i buy it in the gallon size as it is more economical, and although it's a alot of money to spend, it's such a better value, as i use it in all  my quilting, pressing, and sewing. it just gives such a nice crisp edge, and you don't need alot of it. 
 after pressing, i cut my fabric in 3.5" strips.  usually, i can embellish two towels with this length, cut cross-grain.  this measurement is entirely arbitrary, though!  

nice, neat pressed edges make for easier placement on the towel.  generally, i turn the long edges up one quarter inch, and the short ends, about an half inch: 
and i add crochet trim, by turning under the short ends about one-half inch:
 my placement tip for aligning fabric, ribbons or any trim, is pretty simple.  line it up with the horizontal edge of the printed line or in this case, the checkered print/weave of this towel.  i also do my best to ensure the bottom edge of the trim, is parallel and aligned with the hemmed bottom edge of the towel.  generally, my rule of thumb is to put the bottom edge of the trim, right on the stitching line where the hem is.  

one thing i learned about crocheted-type trims... they tend to stretch quite a bit during sewing, so be on the look out to shorten, and tuck edges under, as you approach the towel edge. 
 auditioning the total look of this combo ~ and i love it! this combination of color and style on this checkered towel creates a romantic, classy country look!
 and to achieve flawless placement? my go-to, all-time favorite notion is 1/4" "steam-a-seam" tape.
i have it on hand in 1/4" and 1/2" sizes.
 one of my favorite tips to share for keeping the tape in place is making sure the fabric is warm... {recently pressed}, which helps it to stay in place. and once it's laid down, i burnish it with my finger.  i peel the paper back gently. i've found that if i rip off the paper backing too fast, the fusible tends to pull off as well, as it's a very thin layer of glue, and somewhat delicate and flimsy.  burnishing helps the fusible to stay in place when i flip the fabric over, until it's time to press for the permanent bond.   
 {peel the paper back gently... }
 before a final pressing, check to align the trim and secure with pins, making sure the overall placement looks good. {above}

i align trims such as rick rack by placing the lower edge of it right along the long edge of the printed weave, using the lines of the towel as a guide. in the photo below, you can see where i placed the fabric along the horizontal stripes of the weave of the towel, too:
the pin marks the stitch of the hemline of the towel for placement of the rick rack
and my favorite choice for topstitching?  the bernina #37 patchwork foot.  i keep my eye aligned with the inside edge of the right-side toe of the foot, even with the folded {and fused} edge of the fabric.  this makes it so easy to get perfectly pleasing  placement!  

another tip? use the straight-stitch plate, too. *{if you do, engage the safety feature on the machine so you don't accidentally break a needle, because you forgot the straight-stitch plate was on!} this combo of tools really makes achieving a beautiful look... effortless!
 i took the time to switch thread color to match the ecru colored crocheted trim... i just think it looks better.

another vip tip?  lengthen your stitch length!  the default length of a straight stitch on my machine is 2.5, and i adjust it up to a 3.0, but you could go a bit longer, too.  that choice is yours! but it does really make a big difference in how the stitches lay on the top, and... it just looks so good!

and one very important technique, that makes all the difference in finishing? before you start stitching, remember to... pull... that bobbin thread to the top when you begin!  that way you won't have any ugly thread nests on the bottom!
tying off when you start, makes it's much smoother to finish up the "loose ends" when making the final connection to the beginning line of stitching. i'm cautious about how much i reverse stitch, too, so i backstitch only about 2-3 stitches, then stitch in place about 2-3 times, {or use the knotting function if you have one}, and after clipping threads... all is well!
an extra securing function i like to do, is to stitch down the edge of the rick rack trim, too.  this keeps it all nice and tidy, and will prevent any unravelling, as i like to fold the raw edge under the trim itself.  and i also take a couple extra stitches in reverse, on each of the corners, just to reinforce them.

when i attach rick rack {and this is the super-giant size!} {so fun}, i tuck the bottom half of the trim under the fabric, and generally, i don't fuse this, but i do make sure to pin, and stop often when sewing to make sure everything is "on course!"

one of the other things to keep in mind, is that depending on the weight of your fabric banding... some fabrics stretch more than others, so while sewing, it can inch forward, to be prepared to adjust the length of the fabric banding towards the towel edges, and you may have to shorten it a bit to make it align with the edge of the towel.  you could wrap it around the back, too... but i felt it was easier and more professional to turn it under and have it meet the edges, the best i could!

 and the back... look at how nice and tidy it looks when you take the time to pull up the bobbin thread before beginning to stitch!  {and the reverse stitches are in the same place as the beginning stitches}  no need to overdo it with backstitching!
 here's a bit of the rick rack raw edge showing underneath so you can see what it looks like.  if you want, just trim it down a little more, so when it's washed, it doesn't leave a bunch of threads unravelling.
and of course, i lightly press everything again when i'm finished!

and how much time do these take?  well, barring time choosing fabric and trims, {ahem!} ... i can usually get one done in about 30 minutes, give or take.  they really make nice christmas gifts, and so lovely to have on hand for weddings, hostess gifts, and house warmings, too!

and the most important tip?

keep the main thing... the main thing!  

and that is simply... to have fun! i love pulling fabrics and trims, and get alot of enjoyment mixing and matching all the different styles.

sure hope you found my process a little bit helpful!

xo

leslie
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