Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: Hand Embroidery for Fused Art Quilts

Laura Wasilowski has published a new book: Hand Embroidery for Fused Art Quilts.  

I absolutely love hand embroidery and I did a lot of it as a youth.  As I grew older I developed carpel tunnel syndrome making my hand stitching sessions shorter and shorter, until I gave up completely.  During the last few years I have wanted to go back to stitching, short sessions and all, but I have forgotten how to make many stitches.  Laura has great tutorials on her blog which I have referenced in the past while working on my own simple projects.  
I was excited to see Laura's new book because now I can have all of her instructions with me in one place.  In the book, Laura gives advice about needles and thread and more importantly which sized needles to use with each type of embroidery thread.  There are instructions on how to prepare your fused quilt for stitching, and many great tips for embellishing an art quilt. There are instructions on how to create 20 different stitches.
Each stitch is explained in detail and photographed to make even the most difficult stitch easy to understand.
I think it is a great reference book for anyone who wants to add stitching to their art quilts.  The only thing I would change about this book is the binding.  I wish it were spiral bound with a hard cover.  I know I will have it open on my table often as I relearn stitches, and I have a tendency to mess up a book pretty easily.  Heehee  The good news is the book has great big margins that make it easy for me to take it to the copy shop and have a spiral binding put on!  Those big margins are also great for making lots of notes.
You can purchase a copy of the book from Laura on her website.

I received this book as a gift from Laura with no expectation of a review but I felt I needed to share the book with all of you because I enjoyed it so much!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop

The Fruit Trees are blooming so that must mean. . . 

It's time to Clean!

I posted a photo of my very dirty 9'x10' studio on social media and Cheryl Sleboda over at Muppin.com immediately invited me to be a part of her Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2016.  It's so nice to have supportive friends that encourage you to get your rear in gear and start cleaning!
I could have ignored her request and kept making messes, after all I could still see most of the floor, but when all the table and ironing board surfaces get covered I start itching to clean.

Of course cleaning creates all kinds of new messes.
Items must be moved, cleaned (the fan was full of cat fur!), or tossed, before finally making their way back home.  
(Some day I'll have a naming contest for my mannequin.  
It seems a shame that she is nameless.)

Anyway - one of the studio assistants decided I cleared this spot out just for him.
Of course that stalled progress for a minute or two.  Thankfully he soon became bored and left me to do my thing.  
(Some day I will finish patching the wall and repaint the room, but in the meantime there are other creative endeavors to accomplish.)

And just when I thought I'd never finish - Ta Da!!!!  Clean surfaces! The bottom might look messy to the untrained eye, but I know what each basket and bag contains so I find it perfectly organized.  Not to mention, I have short legs so I don't need a lot of leg space down there.

My favorite change in this year's Spring Studio Clean Up 
is the corner that Mister tried to claim for himself.

I purchased a mini microwave oven to use for quick dyeing, added some quilts to the wall and then pinned up a wire shelf I found at the thrift store for a buck fifty.  It is the perfect size to hold all my ribbons.  I can now see all the pretty colors and this all together just makes my heart sing.  

My friend and I often joke about when the cleaning fairies are going to arrive, 
but experience has taught me that those fairies are sneaky!  

They never do the cleaning themselves.  They just hit me with their wand and make ME do it all by myself!  I hope this blog post may have sent the fairies your way and helped to inspire you to clean a little something.  If you need further inspiration, pop on over to these other great blogs for some fabulous cleaning and storage ideas:

April 21st - Sam Hunter - https://huntersdesignstudio.com/
April 22nd - Tracey Mooney - http://www.sewsupportive.com/
April 23rd - Pepper Cory - http://peppercory.blogspot.com/
April 24th - Lisa Chin - YOU ARE HERE
April 25th - Andrea Davis - http://www.sewtofit.com/
April 26th - Misty Cole - http://www.mistycole.com/blog/
April 27th - Amalia Morusiewicz - http://funfromatoz.com/
April 28th - Jenelle Montilone - http://trashn2tees.blogspot.com/
April 29th - Cheryl Sleboda - http://blog.muppin.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quilter's Holladay

Another month of great inspiration at my local quilt guild meeting.
Florence completed another great UFO.

Anne shared that her daughter is pregnant with her first grandchild!

This is a quilt Anne made with hand dyed fabric and fabric discharged after a layer of potato dextrine.

Helen's beautiful cathedral windows quilt.

Ann made a fabulous coat for a middle school production of Joseph and The Technicolor Dream coat. 

This is the logo of the city of Holladay.

Nanette does beautiful faux chenille.
Butterfly Garden is on it's way to France to be in a show!

This is Alice.
She is 99 years old and she quilts everyday.

I want to be Alice when I grow up.
Look at all the beautiful quilts she makes and gives away.
She inspires me.

Our program for the evening was a trunk show from Cindy Hutchinson.
She makes beautiful, and very LARGE quilts.

She had many beautiful quilts but one of my favorites was this house quilt.  
I like house quilts a lot lately.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Scarf Dyeing Samples

I'm making samples for my Shibori Scarf Dyeing class coming up this fall at Art Access.
This first scarf was created with folding and tying (Itajime and Miura).
The dyes were mixed last July.  
They still worked but were no where near as saturated as freshly mixed dyes.

The other scarf sample was created using Maki-nui - oversewn stitching.

The stitch creates a resist that resembles little chevrons.

I used a combination of Indigo Blue and Orange Sherbet dye, which mixed to create lots of lovely browns and greens in addition to the blue and orange.  I think it is a perfect fall color combination.
The stitching of the entire scarf took a lot longer than we will have in class but it will be a nice option for future reference.

The class will be held on October 15th from 1 to 4 p.m.
Call 801-328-0703 to sign up.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Making a Bow Tie with Hand Dyed Silk

My husband LOVES to wear bowties.
I've been thinking about making him a tie from my hand dyed fabrics for over a year.  I worried and fretted, but finally took the plunge and ordered raw silk from Dharma Trading.  It is a sturdy fabric that will hold up well. I dyed a third of a yard with indigo blue (pr-168) procion mx dye.  Click here for instructions on dyeing silk.  Use the instructions for Immersion dyeing for protein fibers on page 5.

I found this post online and used it for inspiration and direction.  
I used an old tie to create a pattern.

After folding the dyed fabric in half I placed the pattern along the fabric's bias (at a 45 degree angle) and traced it twice.  The tie will lay nicer when tied by being cut on the bias.  I also traced the pattern twice on to a double layer of lightweight interfacing.

After cutting out all four pieces, I ironed the interfacing to the wrong side of the silk.  
Which side is the wrong side, you ask?  
It was the side I didn't like as much!

I clipped all the points and curves (not pictured) and then turned it inside out.
It's a little rough getting all that fabric through such a narrow piece 
but I managed without anything breaking!  Next came poking out all the corners and giving it all a good ironing and stitching the opening closed.

I was very pleased with how it turned out.
I tied it and placed it on his nightstand so he could see it as soon as he woke up.  He liked it and even wore it to work where he was given many compliments.  He has requested several more in various colors and designs!