Monday, October 28, 2013

A "Blog-versary" and Hand Dyed Threads

I can hardly believe it... I began this blog 5 years ago.....well, actually....5 years plus a week ( kinda let the "blog-versary" slip by)

In my very first post I said:  "Blogging is a new concept for me. I have absolutely no clue as to what I am doing just yet but I have never let that stop me before. I have found many blogs to be intriguing and inspiring. What will I bring to this forum?....I do not know. I will just have to see where this leads."

Over the past 5 years, I have stitched, stamped, carved, drawn, painted, stenciled, beaded, dyed, printed, discharged, inked, doodled, designed, batiked and papercut, in addition to cotton and wool, I have used leaves, rocks, dryer sheets, paper, metal and other "found" objects. It has been 5 years of experimentation and exploration, I am loving playing with everything I can get my hands on.

This past weekend, I spent time dyeing threads, I decided to see what results could be obtained using just 3 colours of dye.

After creating several skeins with plain, off-white mercerized cotton.....about 15 yards in each, I soaked them in a soda ash solution, then, mixed up a yellow, an orange and a cherry red dye.

I saturated the cotton with dye in a variety of ways, each giving different effects.....I think my favourites came from applying dye to specific areas using an eye dropper. Here is a closer look at a few of them

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pattern Testing for Terri Stegmiller

Paws in the Garden by Terri Stegmiller
I have long been a fan of Terri Stegmiller's work, Terri is a fabulous artist, author, designer, and quilter with a very distinctive style. Recently she put out a call looking for several quilters willing to "test" one of her new patterns. I waved my hand in the air yelling pick me...pick ME!!! and she did.
By having several different people make up her design/pattern, Terri is hoping that quilters will be able to see just how varied these designs can look depending upon the technique(s) used.
The quilt pictured on the right is Terri's version of her design.

I think this is wonderful, you can purchase the file from her Etsy shop, download and print it. There are registration marks on each page so that you know where to trim and how it all fits. Tape the trimmed, printed pages together and you have a full size pattern ready to work with.

Now, this is the fun part....YOU decide how you want to create your quilt. There are no "instructions" are not being told what to do step by is your quilt and you are making all the decisions from this point on.
You can do the marvelous stitch and paint technique that Terri is known for, or anything else you work in the style, method and colours you want. I decided to use a fast fusible applique method in a very graphic combination of blacks, whites, and greys with lime green for a little punch

Most of you are likely aware that I do not generally work with patterns, I don't tend to do another artists designs, but I was thrilled to be a part of this exercise and it was such a fun challenge for myself.  I hope you enjoy seeing these photos of this quilt from start to completion.

The PDF file fresh from my printer  (I did number each page to be sure I wouldn't get mixed up)

here it is all taped together

Since, I planned to use a fused, raw edge applique technique, I needed to work from the reverse side, I simply flipped the pattern over and traced the lines onto the back of the paper

I identified, numbered, and traced each piece onto paperbacked fusible web, selected my fabrics, fused the shapes and cut them out, here, all of the design elements are assembled

Next I laid the background fabric on top of the pattern and began fusing the pieces in place, starting with the pieces that would appear farthest back and moving to the foreground    (recognize that green polka dot fabric?)

everything is fused and I am ready to move on to the next step. I batted and backed this piece and then had fun with the quilting

...oh....and I DID have fun with the quilting.......a kitty with feathers?

Ta da! the finished quilt....Paws in the Garden.....a Terri Stegmiller design,...the "Quilt Rat" version.

what about you? how would you use this design? What technique would you use? what colours?
I am so looking forward to seeing what the others will do with this whimsical design. Be sure to pop over to Terri's blog and see all the amazing things that oh so talented and clever girl has on the go.

Linking up to Nina-Marie's  Off the Wall Fridays......grab a cuppa and join the fun...wonderful things are happening all over  blog-land

Friday, October 11, 2013

Transforming Fabric

Sometimes you know exactly the look of fabric you want....but what if it isn't readily available? I often get what I need by working a little transformation on my fabrics with simple techniques.

For my current project, I took a polka dotted tone on tone (whites) and began by circling each "dot" with a Micron pen.....and there are a lot of dots.

Then I simply brushed on diluted fabric this case, the paint is a transparent Setacolor by Pebeo........heat set with an iron once dried. I love the way the dots act as a resist.

come back next week if you are curious to see what I am using this for.
a quick look at what the fabric looked like when I painted a section without inking

 Linking up to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, October 4, 2013

Creating Illustrations

This week I wanted to make illustrations of the embroidery stitches used on the embellished wool piece I showed recently.
Since I know how to create each stitch with needle and thread, I thought it would be easy enough to draw them........trying to draw them from my mind's "eye" did not really work very well....they just did not look right. 
So, here is what I did, as I made each stitch, I drew what I was seeing, one step at a time.

a bullion stitch in progress

was the visual for my drawing

here, all of the steps for that stitch are rendered in pencil.

I did this for each of the different stitches, then scanned my drawings and added text.....voila! own illustrations fresh from my printer

 I am linking up to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Fridays

Copyright Jill Buckley