Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Stitches

Do you recall this little "sampler" quilt that I designed  earlier this year?  You can read posts about it here.

If you would like to create your own version you can access a PDF of the pattern here

please note that the diagrams and illustrations are for visual purpose only...please read the instructions and use the actual cutting measurements given. Since the quilt is made in "sections"  you can do it in any order you prefer, then assemble them according to the numbered layout.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Papercuts for the season

A Partridge in a Pear Tree........2 versions

This one is a little more complex

And a much simpler one

Do you see the hearts for "true love", the Partridges  perched in the pear trees? 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dryer sheet stitching & giveaway winner

Over the last little while I have been playing with a single feather motif. In this case, a dryer sheet that I prepared with paper backed, fusible web, was cut in the feather shape and simply fused onto cotton. I love the transparency of this.

Stitching finishes it nicely

I hope you were able to come by earlier this week and check out the blog-hop, wasn't it interesting to to see how we all did the same design in such different ways?

Thank you to all who left a comment, the winner of her choice of the two featured Terri Stegmiller patterns is Penny who said:  "great patterns and a lovely give away, Love them both, they made me smile. Especially the butterfly one"

But don't forget each participating blog is naming a winner so check them all.

If you would like to make your own version of these whimsical designs, Terri's patterns are available in her Etsy shop.

Linking to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blog Hop & Giveaway

You may recall, that a short time ago, I "tested" a pattern for Terri Stegmiller.

In addition to myself, there were several other "testers" who took Terri's patterns and created fabulous pieces in their own unique and creative way.  Mine looked like this, you can see the process here

Terri has generously organized a blog hop and giveaway that we could all participate in,....the prize? a copy of one of Terri's patterns.  You get to choose which pattern you'd like, either Paws in the Garden or Butterfly Moments. 

Please leave a comment in this post for your chance to win....but...wait...you have have even more chances , read on to learn how.

The pattern will be provided to you in PDF document format, which you download and print yourself.  It will be delivered to your email address.  Please be sure you provide contact information when you comment.

A winner will be randomly drawn the morning of Friday, December 13.

Please visit all of the following blogs for more chances to win (each blog will have a winner) 

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


It's that time of year...do you still send Christmas cards through the post?  Store bought or hand made?
In the current (Winter 2013) issue of the Canadian Quilter, I invite quilters to make a few hand made ones for friends and family, okay, if you have a very long list, that is not practical, but you may have a quilting friend or two that you would like to surprise with one.

These cards are seen in the article and now will be making their way to a few mailboxes out there

I made this batch of cards yesterday

The snowflakes (cut from coffee filters) are sandwiched between tulle and cotton, batted, quilted, trimmed and then stitched on top of a purchased blank card.  While they may look similar, no two are exactly the same. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stencil with Thread......kinda

Actually, this post probably should have been titled "Appreciation",  I often think the best way to know if someone appreciates a gift, is to see them making use of it.

In my last post, I wrote about a wonderful gift of stencils and book that I received from Margaret Applin,  I thought you might like to see what I did with one of those stencils this weekend.

I stenciled with thread...well......not exactly, I traced the stencil outline onto black cotton and then proceeded to fill the spaces (spaces you might normally fill with paint) with a simple seed or "kantha" stitch. Another gift I won, some time ago, is a whole box full of fabulous Aurifil thread. (12 large spools of 12wt variegated lusciousness)......Yes...every bit of the gorgeous colour you see came from that one spool........heck.....even those adorable little "rabbit"scissors were a gift, they came to me from Mary over at Quilt Hollow

Aurifil Mako 12/2  Colour #4657  this one flows from white to yellow to orange to fushia....Beautiful!

We all have been given gifts in life.........use and appreciate them

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fabulous Mail!

Recently, I was the lucky, really LUCKY winner of a giveaway on Margaret Applin's blog. Not only did I win this book, Stencil Girl by Mary Beth Shaw but I also got to choose 3 of Margaret's stencils....yup, any 3 I liked. (it was a tough choice) The package arrived in the mail today and WOW! this is absolutely the BEST kind of mail!

These stencils are terrific and I can hardly wait to try some of the many fabulous techniques, this is not your average book about stenciling....not by a long shot. It is a full sized, gorgeous publication, beautifully laid out with outstanding photos, instructions and GREAT inspiration.

There are 20 contributing artists covering such an array of ways to use stencils in your art....it is making my head spin. We are talking stencils and paint....sure, but also wax, bleach, wood, fabric, metal, glitter, paper...even cake decorating......I say it is time to PLAY!!!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Give and Take

I am currently playing with a single motif. Using it in many different ways, I will talk more about that in the future. I thought I would show you my results, using a couple of simple techniques.

I started by drawing a feather......I cut a stencil from freezer paper

Used discharge paste (DeColourant)

 Below, is how it appeared once dry and activated with the heat of my iron

and this is what it looks like once it has been rinsed out.....Black fabrics are not truly black, You can never be sure what underlying colours may be lurking there...in this case, it was a very beautiful purple tone.

I cut another stencil, again from freezer paper. This time I used a brush and dye sticks to place colour. I used a combination of blue, black and yellow

 ......got this lovely greyed green. To get a few distinct lines, I used a piece of freezer paper to shield some areas while applying colour along it's edge.

There is LOTS of creative stuff happening, I am linking up to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays, come see what others are up to....you just may find another favourite blogger

Friday, November 8, 2013

Doodles in Thread

My regular readers will know that several of my designs (doodles) were picked up by Janome and digitized for their MC9900. I talked about that here.

Well, I am so excited to tell you that those designs along with an additional (not previously shown one) have been included among the many fabulous built in designs of the newest of the Janome machines, the Horizon MC15000

This is the design I did for Janome (in ink)

and here is how it looks when stitched out....how cool is that?!!!!!

Here are the other designs of mine (in stitches) that are included on the Janome Horizon MC 15000

Linking to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Birthday Card

I wanted to make a special card for a friend who is going to be celebrating her 83rd birthday this week, an avid sewer and quilter, I thought she might like a card using one of my doodle/embroidery designs.

I simply took the embroidered design, backed it with thick, stiff interfacing and did some free motion quilting all around. (it really made the design "pop")

Regular card stock was used as the card "base". I trimmed the quilted embroidery design and then with a zig-zag stitch, I sewed it to the front of the folded cardstock.

A message for the inside of the card was printed on a pretty parchment looking paper and attached  by stitching along the fold on the inside.

This is such a fun and easy way to make cards for family & friends.

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"....you are not being told what to do step by step...it 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 prefer.....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

Copyright Jill Buckley