Saturday, September 6, 2014

For a Guild Boutique

Blue Mountain Quilters Guild's show will soon be underway in October and along with it a boutique offering articles produced by its members.  Hmmm....I had to think about what I could make to donate to the cause.  How about a small pouch that will hold tools for hand work or other small items?  Ahhh!  Yes these will work.

They are just the right size for holding all those little things you use when doing hand work.  Here is a better view.

Just a few flying geese, some stuffed yo-yos, matching buttons and voila!

What do you think?  I'm also going to add some quilted "pot pads" with these.  No, not pot holders, but the pads that sit between nested pans so that any coating does not get scratched or damaged.

Till the next time I leave you with this quote:

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ― Maya Angelou  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Have you ever done any wet felting?  I had a chance to do some with a group from my local Guild.  We spent a day in a small town's hall with Ellie Wilson.  She supplied everything we needed to produce samples that illustrated various techniques.  Here is what I managed to create.
This first one was layer upon layer of wool roving.  To those layers were added contrasting pieces of wool and then the whole mass was dampened and rubbed until it formed this layer of felt.  I wish you could feel this.  It is very pliable and soft.

Next exercise we layered wool roving and silk .  This was a bit harder to do because we had to get the wool fibers to migrate through the silk.  

Our next attempt used wool and silk "slubs".  That's not what the silk is called, but I have forgotten already the correct name.  This is what happens when you don't take time to make complete notes.

Notice that tail-like piece on the right?  That was an exercise in creating felted tassels or rope.  Our final exercise was to create some dimension.  It is surprising what you can create with a bit of water, wool and bubble wrap.

Looks like a honeycomb.  Here is a side view.

Until this workshop I had not attempted any felting, wet or otherwise.  I enjoyed it, but will have to try needle felting to make a fair comparison.

Till the next time, create like no one is watching.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Charms, Feathers and Mardi Gras

Lisa, my friend over at Tangled Textiles, mailed us an envelope that had hand dyed fabric, charms and fiber and challenged us to create something.  Her words were " use some (or all, if you choose) of the fabric, and at least one of the charms.  If you find some fibers in your packet, please use it/them in some way..."  Okay this was somewhat daunting for me.  I've been accustomed to working from a "theme" as in "music", "architecture".  Get the picture?  I had to really think about what to do with these materials.
 Here is a close up of the charms,
and the fibers.

I thought about what to do, sketched ideas, thought some more, and came up empty.  As months went by I was running out of time.  I pinned the items to the design wall and about three weeks ago, it came to me. The colours were bright, joyful, and vibrant.  Ahhh!  An epiphany!!  These materials conjured up an image of Mardi Gras for me.  I had to get that image down on paper before it disappeared.  Now to get the piece done in time.

I needed to find some background fabric to act as a canvas for my idea.  I chose a neutral piece that would allow me to add some stenciling.  I had the perfect stencil to use and chose to use blue and green Shiva paint sticks.

You can see the stencil in the backgound, or here or on the Tangled Textiles site.  Next I pressed the fabric to Misty Fuse and after some fussy cutting and a template I had this.

I slashed the blue and green portions of the fabric to give me strips.  It ended up looking like this.

It was time to layer the pieces together on the background and do some free motion stitching to hold things in place.

But before I could completely fuse everything embellishing was the next order of business.  I added some feathers and then fused the remaining piece in place.

Additional feathers were added and then the charms and fibers.  Some hand embroidery and machine stitchery completed the picture. There was sufficient fabric left over to create the binding.  

Voila! The final result!

As for what was left, here is a picture of the remnants.