Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Big Bee Progress

Its almost time for the Canadian Quilters Association's annual conference and the Big Quilt Bee. I talked about this initiative in an earlier post. Quilters across Canada (and beyond) have really stepped up to make this happen. (in case you did not know...the goal is to make and donate 1,000 quilts for kids at Ronald MacDonald house)
The Big Quilt Bee will be held June 14-17, 2017 at Quilt Canada 2017 in Toronto, ON., there will be sewing machines, long arms, mid arms and an LOTS of volunteers ready to work on the quilt tops and blocks sent in by hundreds of Canadian quilters and judging by the number of finished quilts already received, it does appear that goal is sure to be achieved. You may have seen the graphics popping up on social media over the past few months.
I had the distinct pleasure of creating the "hive" being used as the count down (count "up")

I was initially asked for a thermometer type graphic to show the progress as the count of finished quilts climbed....since it is the Big Quilt Bee, this is what I came up with......this little black and white doodle.
Then colour and numbers were added to allow the graphic to change as the numbers go up (all done digitally on my iPad using Concepts app)

The most recent count has reached 800
What will the final count Bee?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Slow Stitching

Just look at this cover......doesn't that make you WANT to get inside  and explore what lies within?

In a nutshell...The Hand Stitched Surface Slow Stitching and Mixed-Media Techniques for Fabric and Paper by Lynn Krawczyk is all about stitching, stitching by hand, with a variety of threads on a variety of surfaces.
If you are looking for pre-planned designs, florals or wildlife....this is not the book for you. This book is all about having fun with your stitching....about thinking differently, being free and creative, its not about serious, perfect stitches, it is about releasing your creative, quirky, playful side.

You will begin with great info on the basic tools you need, the needles, their differences, types of threads, fabrics, paper (yes paper) and card that work well to get the best results with your projects. 
In addition to clear instructions for many stitches.....you are shown ways to further use each basic stitch to create even more interest with them, and what can be acquired by combining them.

Lynn provides examples exploring colour/ colour combinations and its impact in stitched compositions.

The book contains beautifully photographed instruction and templates for all 15 projects. (8 fabric, 7 paper) .......some I found VERY interesting and others.....hmmm, not so much, but I am aware that not everything appeals to everyone.

Note : The full sized templates can be scanned from the book or downloaded for printing.

You will also be guided through a few Mixed-media techniques, like glue resist/ dyeing, stamp carving/stamping, and making a paper stencil help you add more even interest to the surfaces you'll stitch. 

The projects involve improvisational stitching....basically, once you have followed the instructions to get the base of your project ready (what you will actually stitch through) you will make the decisions as to what stitches or combinations you want to use....it's kind of doodling with thread....you make it up as you go along.  you can find at Quarto Knows....here  or Amazon ......here

Those who know me, know that I am a bit of a perfectionist, I must have order.....improvisational, free form or wonky anything is tough for me, so I decided to test myself a little and try something from the book. This project is way out of my comfort zone but as I work along I am finding it quite interesting.....I started with this composition 

began some stitching and continued to make slight changes.

I have to admit.....it is becoming a little addictive.....playing with shape, colour and stitch
Currently still a work in progress...... What will it be and where it will end????? stay tuned LOL! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Design your own clothing....Interested?

Occasionally, the opportunity to review books comes my way. Sometimes they interest me, and at other times....not so much. But as a former dressmaker/designer, I was keen to have a good look at a new, soon to be released, book called Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method Customize Fitting Shells to Create Garments in Any Style.

The 176 pages of this book is filled with the information needed to get you started on the path to designing patterns for creating your own unique garments.  It all begins with a basic commercial pattern ....(something similar to this)
Basic pattern example
From here, you will learn how to create the Master patterns (also known as "blocks" or "slopers") necessary to begin each of your new designs.

The author explains the importance of building a master pattern "library" from which to work. With properly fitting master patterns, (bodice, sleeve, skirt, and pants), you are ready to begin your adventure in bringing to life the look and style of clothing you want to wear. 

Sara takes you through the process with clear, detailed, step by step instruction. Along side these explanations, you will find an abundance of reference photos and many valuable tips to help you understand the process as you work through the exercises.
You will learn about dart manipulation, ease adjustments, lengthening and or shortening, as well as creating design details such as flare, pleats, gathers, yokes, pockets, necklines, collars, plackets, facings and more. Design applications that can be used to create a vast number of different styles, of course, some are more complicated than others and so the author encourages you to start with a few easier design details to help you understand the process and build your skills.

While, the instruction is beautifully presented.....containing a lot of in depth information, I would suggest that you do need to have at least some knowledge of garment construction and terminology.

As someone who has worked in this industry, I want to point out that having the ability to design your own clothing is not something that happens overnight, there is a great deal to be learned, so you do need to be patient, and to understand that you will need to build your skills, starting with some basic changes to style lines, dart manipulation, learning and understanding the importance of ease, and most importantly fit. 
If a well fitting basic garment pattern is not what you are starting with, you can not expect the designs you create to fit, move, and look the way you desire. 
I might suggest that if you are not confident in your fitting abilities, you may wish to enlist the help of a friend or perhaps even seek out a competent dressmaker who may be willing to adjust your fitting shells for you as these will be the base for your master patterns, giving you the confidence of knowing that your master patterns are going to work for you as you dive into the world of fashion design and save you a lot of time and frustration.

Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method,
Customize Fitting Shells to Create Garments in Any Style. 
By  Sara Alm ( author, pattern maker, designer, and sewing instructor )

Release date May 15 2017
8.5"  x 11" 
176 pages

you can find it  at Quarto here or on Amazon  here   or Indigo   here

Copyright Jill Buckley