Monday, July 28, 2014

Thread University

I'm finally able to get to the project envelopes I've received from Superior threads.  They have set up a "university" in which various "courses" give you the opportunity to try out the various threads that they have to offer.  I love their sense of humour.  They've named their courses "Course 101, Course 102", etc. just like the listings in some university course calendars.  I've completed the first three and have been left with these envelopes to work through.

Course 101 gave me a chance to work with their Razzle Dazzle brand.  A bit of bobbin work and I ended up with these cute little coasters.
Course 102 involved a bit of thread painting with Superior's line of Rainbow thread.  The project this time, in addition to the thread, provided card stock to produce a fabric inspired greeting card.  Using some of my own fabric, I was able to create this card.
Here are a couple detail shots.

The next one, Course 103, sent along a spool of King Tut thread along with instructions and pattern for creating a pincushion.  The thread was used for decorative stitching; the suede for the ears was also supplied by Superior.  So what do you think of the little hedgehog?
Now I'm working on completing the next course which includes Fusible Thread and Monopoly filament.  I'll post the resulting project when it's done.  In the meantime, why not check out Superior University, and give it a try.  You have nothing to loose and spools of thread to gain.

Till the next time, if I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ice Can Paint

I recently attended a presentation/workshop by Aaron Lish at the Caetani Cultural Centre here in town.  Aaron is an artist from Bend, Oregon who was invited to be Artist in Residence at the Centre.  Aaron suggests that items from nature such as water, trees, waterfalls, wind, can produce self-portraits.  His suggestion created the impetus to see what self-portrait ice could actually produce.

So how is that possible you ask.  With a bit of help from me, here’s how.

Old cotton handkerchiefs were soaked in soda ash, scrunched and placed on a rack suspended above a pan.  I covered them entirely with ice cubes and then sprinkled a quarter teaspoon each of blue and red dye powder over top of the ice.  Now it was a matter of waiting for the ice to melt to see what would happen.

The ice melted overnight, soaking the handkerchiefs with dye and leaving a patterning that in some instances melded the two colours, creating another colour.  Here are pictures of the finished "painting" by ice.

On one handkerchief you will notice a “blemish” unrelated to the dye powder colours.  You could speculate that there was either an imperfection in the ice, dye powder, or the fabric itself.

Aaron was invited to exhibit at Allan Brooks Nature Centrethe works of those who had attended his workshop.  So these are currently on display at the Nature Centre for a short while.

I enjoyed the process so much, I decided to try this again.  This time, I chose to simply fold PFD cotton scraps before covering them with ice cubes and dye.  I chose different colours too.  Here is what happened this time.

You can see where the fabric had been folded and this time the imprint of the rack supporting the fabric is also visible.  I wonder what would happen if I started with dry fabric.  Would the "wicking" effect create different patterning? should I use less ice and would this create a more "organized" patterning?  Would the result be different if paper or felt had been used?

Hmmm.... some thought for further "what if" play.

Till the next time, "dance" like no one is watching!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hawaiian Applique

A while back I had started working on a Hawaiian applique quilt.  It began as a class project from a mini workshop I took from Pippa Moore.  By chance, I purchased additional kits to complete a full quilt rather than just one block.  The kit that we were given contained  a pattern and two pieces of fabric (background and applique).  This block called "Breadfruit" was the one done in the workshop.

I decided to try some different block patterns and used the additional kits I had purchased to create those. This block "Torch Ginger" was the next block that I tried.

Setting the blocks on point, I realized that I did not have sufficient blocks to make a queen-sized quilt.  I needed more kits or the fabric that came in those kits.  It had been some time, but I took a chance and wrote to Pippa asking if she had any kits left over.  Whew!  I was in luck!  I could now add additional blocks to get the size I needed. This block "Angel's Trumpet"  was the next block I finished.

This is the stage I'm at now.
Each pattern was done twice and the blocks are 20" unfinished.  "Plumeria" is the next pattern I'll complete and that should give me the size that I want.   There will be plenty of time to do the hand quilting on this one when the snows of winter blow.

I'll set this one aside for now and work on some little projects that are from Superior threads in their University, affectionately called "Academia Supernus".

Till the next time,