Thursday, October 29, 2009


Did you notice something was a little different? I have made a few changes to my blog.........not necessarily better, just different.
Do you like to shop? Shop for clothes that is? Not me!.... so when I find something that fits relatively well and is reasonably priced I buy several, even if they are all the same colour. Of course, the folks at the bank, library, grocery store and the like probably wonder if I ever change my clothes (like Jerry's date on a Seinfeld episode)
Recently a bought a couple of these shirts and decided I would do something to make one different. Starting with an idea I have often seen done to sweatshirts, I began by selecting bits from my black and white stash that I simply cut into various sized rectangles to be stitched onto the shirt. I removed the stitching from the side and underarm seams so that the shirt could be laid flat for easier sewing. I stitched the pieces on leaving raw edges to fray and then restitched the seams putting the shirt back together.
As you can see, I did not put a whole lot on but you could totally get carried away with this sort of thing, maybe some applique, orphan miniature quilt blocks or perhaps using scraps of your favourite fabrics, along with some thread couching to hold it all in place. This could be a great way to rescue a favourite garment that you can no longer wear because of a stain or tear.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Post # 101..............Winners and a Doodle

Thanks to everyone who entered my 100th post/blog anniversary giveaway, I put all comments received during the past month into this draw. My son stopped by, so I asked him to pull 7 comments and numbered them as they came out of the glass pumpkin.

The winner of the painted fabric, dryer sheets, scissor doodle and 1st choice of a postcard is
K. Sperino of Finishing Lines.........her comment left on Oct 11th was picked first.
Congratulations, please send me your address and I'll get this out to you.

The following will each receive one of the postcards shown in the previous post. Here is the order they were selected and the date of the comment received.

Quilt Hollow, Oct. 13th
Quilter Kathy, Sept. 20th
Anne Huskey-Lockard, Oct. 4th
Clare Wassermann, Oct 7th
Brenda, Oct 20th
Sharon, Oct 6th

Please e-mail me with your addresses and let me know your 1st, 2nd & 3rd postcard choice. I'll do my best to make every one happy.

I have been so very fortunate and have won several prizes in the last little while. Recently I won a fabulous prize of Aurifil threads and they arrived this week, all the way from Italy........they are gorgeous!
and the just last week Esther Aliu offered a wonderful giveaway prize on her blog to 25 lucky winners. I was delighted to see my name on the list.
We each received her Workshop at Home: stenciling. I was able to download this 26 page workshop that is wonderfully laid out with great step by step instructions, photos and full size patterns to complete her Tulip Delight Stenciled table runner. I can hardly wait to get started!

My doodle this week?........well as usual, Jaye posted our new word prompt on Friday. Prompt # 38 is Glimmer.............. I was immediately reminded of the words to an old song......Glow little Glo-worm glimmer, glimmer.........shine little Glo-worm glimmer, glimmer.
Not really sure what a Glo-worm looks like but here is mine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome to my 100th post..........and

It is also the 1 year anniversary of this to celebrate I am having a giveaway, more on that shortly.
First I want to say that I began this blog as a way to keep track of my progress, to share my ideas and to give myself a reason to be creative as often as possible.
In return, I have gained new confidence in myself as an artist and made many friends along the way.

So what's up for grabs? well remember the dryer sheets and fabric I was painting a little while ago? The winner will receive this bundle consisting of twelve 9" x 12" pcs of fabric along with 12 matching dryer sheets, first choice of one of the postcards below and this doodle.
Since my blog readers may not all be quilters I tried to think of something to doodle that we all would use, whether we are quilters, beaders, fibre artists, or just crafters in general so I came up with these scissors............notice that I actually signed this one.

I also plan to select several names at random and send out these postcards.
So how will this work? well, leave me a comment on this post to be entered in the draw.
Please be sure I have a way to contact you.
I will select the winners at random on Saturday

Now I believe that loyalty should be rewarded so I have taken all of the comments that I have received in the last month and printed them so that they will also be included in this draw..........looks like some of you have quite a few chances already

1 year & 100 posts, Wow and I think I am just getting started.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Toy, a Doodle & a Magazine photo

While attending the Creative Festival in Toronto, on Friday, I picked up a few new gadgets to try. One item was this Magic Heat tool I purchased at the Jenny Haskins booth. It has multiple uses but I bought it primarily for use in cutting stencils. I tried it yesterday and it works wonderfully. I drew a few leaf shapes onto a piece of Mylar, just traced the lines with the heated tool and there it is ........ my first stencil.

I used dye sticks to stencil the leaves then added a little thread painting to create this postcard.

I picked up a number of items I have been wanting to try. I'll show some of them over the next little while.

I also picked up the summer issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine which has photos of 2 of my cool is that?

If you are a regular visitor, you know I like to participate in the Creative Prompt Project. This week's word prompt was/is a tough one, word prompt # 37 is Gracious. I think of graciousness as a quality and could not really think of how to portray that on paper so I cheated ever so slightly and went with this graceful swan.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More attempts at adding colour

In a recent post I showed a way of adding colour to an already quilted piece using colour pencils and crayons and a comment from Rosalind at Down by the River asked if I had ever used ( or heard of) Inktense pencils by Derwent.

Well no, I have not seen those yet but I do have watercolour pencils by Derwent.

I have not used them on fabric much because here is what happens......I pencil on the colour which is a little labour intensive as you really have to work to get lots of colour onto the fabric, then when you use a damp brush the water is supposed to blend the colour as it acts like a watercolour paint.....................well I never have a good result with this because what almost always happens is what you see in this photo. No matter how careful I am the water always spreads a little more and causes the colour to migrate to areas that were not meant to be coloured.

But this got me to thinking "what if"
What if I wet the fabric first and then apply the pencil?

What happens is, that since the water has stopped "moving" before you use the pencil the colour stays where you put it and because the fabric is damp the pencil goes on so much
easier and smoother and it also allows for terrific shading possibilities.

After the quilting was complete, I used a spray bottle to spritz the water on, let it sit for a minute or so because the fabric should only be damp and not wet and then began applying the pencils.

Of course, you will still have to put a thin layer of textile medium on top to "seal" the colour to prevent it from bleeding should come in contact with moisture. ( I did spritz the finished piece with more water and it appears the textile medium did it's the job) not real sure you could wash this though.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Putting back colour.......with Thread

A short while back, I was testing some home made recipes as an alternative to Bubble Jet set. My first attempts did not go so well. I came across one of my (failed) test pieces and decided to try adding colour back in by thread painting.

I used a layer of stabilizer, hooped it and started stitching, adding thread colours trying to replicate the original.
I came close but in the end I just simply do not have a wide enough range of shades for each colour. Here are the threads that were used.

This picture shows what the original print looked like (top), the middle (my failed test piece) is what I began with and the bottom is the finished piece.

Once I completed thread painting the main flower I added a layer of TimTex and then tightly stitched the background which makes the flower pop, although I really don't think you can see that in this close up photo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Doodling with Ink, Thread & Crayons

The #36 prompt word is Feather.

Early on in the going, I doodled the feather shown on the left for the #11 word prompt, in 'light as a feather' so I would need to come up with something a little different.

I have been wanting to try my hand at quilting feathers and of course I will take any opportunity to work on my free motion quilting skills.

So first I doodled the feather in ink.

Next I quilted it using my new Janome 6600p

........and finally I added colour with pencil and crayons.
I prefer to use the crayons over pencil for laying down colour. The colour goes on much easier with less "pulling" on the fabric. I also find that they blend much nicer.

After the colour was added, a paint brush was used to put a layer of textile medium over top. This step prevents the colour from rubbing off and allows for the piece to be safely, albeit, gently laundered.

Jaye at ArtQuiltmaker has set up a flickr page where you can see many of the CPP responses, you can see all of my doodles here

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From Trash to Art......well sort of

I have had the question asked..........okay, so what do you do with those dryer sheets once you've painted them?
Well, I suppose there are a great many things they could be used for and I am just beginning to experiment with them. If you are into collage work I think these would be fantastic. The dryer sheets have a terrific texture and transparency so I hope to find lots of ways to use them.

Here is my first attempt at thread painting with them.

I cut a leaf shape from one colour, then parts of a leaf from others. next these were layered and just minimal stitching was done to hold it all in place.

I then began thread painting.
Using a small amount of thread allows lots of the dryer sheet to show through. I continued adding more thread because I wanted to see just how much "puckering"I would get with this process.

Even with the use of stabilizer and a hoop the more thread used the more pulling or puckering will happen.....ah but look how it disappears once you have added batting and quilted it. By quilting closely all around the leaf the puckering is eliminated and the leaf itself appears to "float" on the surface.

Add a mat and frame and Viola! you have art.........well sort of

Friday, October 9, 2009

Painting Fabric and a 1st Place

I really enjoy painting fabric and managed to get a little time to devote to it this week. The first photo is of fabric I purposely painted.

The second is of painted dryer sheets

Look how cool they look when you start overlapping them, I just love the texture and transparency that this provides.

Don't the fabrics and dryer sheets look great together?

The final photo is the result of clean up. The darkest muddy one is from cleaning up right after my painting session the others are the result of wetting the surface and cleaning up all the bits of dried paint on it. I like to do this at the end of a paint session just to see what I might end up with.

I do not really "paint"my fabrics (not with a brush anyway) I pour paint onto my vinyl covered table and then proceed to lay or drag the fabrics though the paint until I get the desired look. I almost always, then throw generous amounts of Pickling salt onto the pieces that are then left to dry. The salt will start to "pull" the paint which gives some really terrific effects.

Last week the Quilting Gallery hosted Nature's Best on-line quilt show. I entered pieces in both categories and am so delighted to be able to say that in the Large category my quilt Earthbound placed first. I was given 1st choice of the prizes so I chose the Aurifil threads, I think I might like to try to create a whole cloth quilt with them. Thank you to everyone who chose to cast their vote for my work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Responses for the Creative Prompt Project

That Jaye at ArtQuiltmaker is getting tricky, she surprised us with an extra prompt this week. So I will surprise her by posting one quickly. Last week's prompt#34 (on Friday as usual) was Summer. My response had to be the sun............I absolutely love to be out on a bright HOT sunny day. I'll bet you can guess I don't much like our Canadians winters, but I do adore our Canadian summers! That ring of flying geese was inspired by a challenge piece Kathy did, in what else but gorgeous warm sunny colours.
I normally only post doodles for these prompt words but I recently purchased a very cute print with which I made a few postcards for our guild's postcard exchange...........this print is totally summer.....don't you just love the tattoo?

The surprise word prompt #35 is Purple, I decided to work on a thistle, they may be nasty to find and have to pull from your garden but I do think those purple tufts are quite pretty.

Have you checked out the Creative Prompt Project yet? It is a wonderful way to get your creative juices don't have to go all the way back to the beginning, just jump on in and join the fun.
Click on Clara the Cow on my side bar to learn more.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Showing off my Back Side

Belinda of Brown Dirt Cottage is asking if you'd like to
"Show Off Your Back Sides"....the back side of your quilts of course.....what did you think I meant?
Post it on your blog - then visit Brown Dirt Cottage where you can add your blog URL to "Mister Linky".
Here is the back side of "Earthbound"....the front is actually shown on my last post, along with a link to read more about this quilt.
Since this quilt's design had an environmental message I decided to take all of my left over scraps of fabric and paper..........yes, paper too.....anything that would have otherwise been thrown away.
I chopped them into little bits and scattered them across the back of the quilt, covered the back with a layer of drapery sheer, then basted and quilted as usual.
So there it back side

Oh wait...... I have another one with a back that is a little different. When I was learning to do top stitch curved piecing, I thought I'd practice the technique by creating this border for the back of a quilt that I called, Learning Curves.

Friday, October 2, 2009

On-Line Quilt show/contest

Quilting Gallery always has some great virtual events going on and currently they are having a "Nature's Best" quilt contest, it is actually 2 contests in one with two separate categories.

In the large category I entered Earthbound, I hope my regular blog readers are not becoming tired of seeing this one.
In the small category I chose to enter Reality Show, although this is not one of my favourites, it certainly fits the theme.

I love the fact that the quilts entered are so different, they are traditional to contemporary and everything in between. They are all impressive. You can take in the show here or click the Nature's Best button on my side bar. There is still a day or two to place a vote in each category for your favourite.........who knows you just may find a few new blogs/quilters whose work you'd like to see more of.
Copyright Jill Buckley