Welcome to my journey

I design art quilts, table runners, table toppers, mug rugs, place mats, wall hangings, and quilts and sell them on Etsy. I sew from chosen patterns and well as create unique patterns for custom and commission work.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thread Painting Flowers

I had so much fun doing the first mug rug that I decided to do two more.  What I really wanted were more opportunities to thread paint and I might as well make something useful at the same time.  So I'll show you a picture of the next one I made, but won't take you through the process.



Then I started working on a fabric with purple and pink orchids. Fun!

First, I started the negative space, the area between the flowers.  I practiced doing miniature free motion designs with black piecing thread.

 
It made this fun spider web look on the back.  Something I'm going to think about in a future design.
 
 
Then I began to paint the flowers.  I wanted to take advantage of the shading that already existed in the fabric. I used thread that was similar in color but would help make the shading pop. 
 
I also wanted to take advantage of the change in texture created by the threads through the batting  (80/20 cotton polyester). 

 
And here is the finished project.
 

 
 


Continuing to Deconstruct then Reconstruct

A few nights ago I had a dream.  I dreamed of this fabric
 
 
But in this color
 
 
So what to do?  How do I make my dream come true and put them together to make one fabric?
 
This way?
 
 
 
No! It's totally boring and way too busy, especially with today's colors going towards solids.  And it isn't true to my dream which was to see one fabric flower in the other color.
 
So I did this

and then this.
 
 
 
After rewatching some of Nancy Prince's videos about thread painting, I dug out my BSR, put away the walking foot and started to doodle. My goal was to make a mug rug.
 
First the little circles in the center.  Then I began to draw into the zinnia with a variegated purple
thread.
 
 
 
I wanted the center zinnia of the fabric to stand out from the others so I switched to navy blue thread and outlined the rest of the zinnias on the cloth.  Then I took out a solid purple thread and filled in the rays on the flower petals.
 
But now what should I do to finish the piece?  I went to my stash of batiks and found a very pretty deep purple.  I used some as backing and the rest as a binding.  I decided that the size was perfect for a mug rug and all the stitching will keep the mug rug laying flat.
 
 
 I like it.  It may not be one of those amazing pieces of artwork that leaves you gasping for breath, but it's pretty in its simplicity.  It's my first foray into thread painting after a long hiatus.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Modern Day Deconstruction Reconstruction

My husband was raised in a home in which everything was used, fixed, recycled, or upcycled until it could no longer be used. My taking a piece of cloth and cutting it into smaller pieces, then sewing the pieces together until they were once again the same size as the first piece of cloth makes little sense to him. Cloth was never purchased for making a quilt.  Quilts were made with pants, jeans, and shirts.

So what did I do today?  I took a fabric from my stash.  It has various Christmas/winter scenes of birds, plants, stars, and bells. This fabric was designed by Anita Phillips, called Random Thoughts and printed by Wilmington Prints.

 
I cut the individual pictures out and separated them into piles. 
 


I then raw edge appliqued the little pieces onto a 12" x 18" piece of cream fabric with pinecones. 

 
I added the 80 20 batting and a green plaid on cream backing fabric.  I then did a random square/rectangle meander with a variegated polyester thread and here is the result.
 
 
Each placemat is different.  I also had pieces that were not perfectly straight on the mat and thus added a folk art charm to it.

 
I made matching napkins that can be folded to show either the pinecones or the plaid.



Thus is my take on the practice of using something designed one way, deconstructing it, then reconstructing it to make something new.  All but the binding was from my stash. 

What can you deconstruct - reconstruct this week?  Feel free to post a picture.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Well, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

I have been working on a really fun project and haven't taken a single picture or mentioned a word of it.  I have also been staring at a quilt for over a month and still don't have a clue how I want to quilt it.  I hope to make it over to my friend Linda of a maiden hair fern to get some inspiration from her.  She has done some wonderful projects on her HQ 16.

9 Aug 2013

My visit with Linda proved fruitful.  We visited awhile about shapes and ideas and she pointed out a few of my ideas that wouldn't work with the quilt.  She lead me to her Free Motion Quilting Pinterest Board and from there I began to piece together my ideas.

I have a domestic machine the Bernina 440QE.  I am timid about quilting and often resort to my walking foot to finish a project.  That's fine in the modern quilt era of straight line quilting or if you want to spend a lot of time moving the quilt around. 

I did FMQ a table topper last week.  Now I am letting my right shoulder rest from the last table topper I did.  My tendons hurt in a particular position.  I have leaves in the white spaces and a narrow swirl meander in the print fabric.  I washed it once so that the puckers are visible.  It irons very smoothly so whoever buys it has the option of smooth or puckered.


But I have been watching Leah Day's FMQ project and I am determined to become better at it.  I have been brave on small projects and baby quilts.  You can see them for sale (or sold) at my Etsy page called GrammiesInspirations.

Tomorrow I will add some pictures to this post.

Here let me at least show you a few mug rugs I made and quilted with my walking foot.