November 17, 2010

Small Scale

I am having success with small scale creativity. It's a relief to feel/write that after starting work and stopping three times on the recent wall hanging (aka the Bane of My Existence).

My new little works will be refrigerator magnets (gifts). To make these, I started with scraps of canvas and primed them with gel medium. Acrylic textile paint was thinned with water and randomly applied with a wide brush. I scrawled color with oil sticks. A few rubber stamp images were pressed on. These didn't impress clearly because the dried gel medium makes an uneven surface on canvas, but I like the way it turned out. With my favorite scribble-writing, I applied textile paint straight from the bottle. I machine stitched in red or black thread, and in straight and decorative stitches. I cut the canvas into rough 1" pieces. Each piece was "framed" using black or gold paint from my paint brush. Bits of fabric or paper were glued to some of the pieces. Nearly every piece will get at least one seed bead stitched to it. Lastly, I'll glue a magnet to the back.

If you try this, be sure to allow all the layers to dry in between!

November 11, 2010

Cloth to Cloth, three

Despite being a little crooked, all the strips have at least one line of running stitches, so now it's only a question of, how much more stitching do I want to add?  Also, how should I finish the edge? I'm almost ready for Jude's class.

Thread Soup

My thread catcher was full to the brim with thread tails, frayed cotton from laundering new fabric, bits of yarn and frayed kimono silk.  There wasn't space to put anymore bits, so I fed the whole blob through the felting machine, surrounded it with cord made with a spool knitter, and this is what came out.  One of these days I'll feel like embroidering it with yarn, ribbon and floss -- that will be fun!

November 10, 2010

Cloth to Cloth, two

A couple of days ago I started handstitching this woven piece.  It's not very big.  I haven't gotten far but it is beginning to take shape.  Ideally, I'll complete stitching before Jude's C2C3 course begins on November 15th.  A few years ago, I shibori-dyed this kimono silk lining.  The floss is vintage with a nice sheen.  I'm learning that I like to take one stitch at at time (instead of two or three), pulling the thread all the way through, before starting the next stitch.  It takes longer, but it's more enjoyable.

November 4, 2010

Megan is My Tulip

During my brother's family's visit to San Diego in 2007 I watched my tiny niece, Megan, asleep in our living room.  I was facing her upside-down and, it occurred to me that her lips looked like a tulip.  Ever since then, I've called her Tulip, and she has repeatedly corrected me, "My name's not Tulip.  My name is Megan."  She's older now and has been asking, "What's a tulip?"  Despite telling her the above story, she still doesn't understand. Photos of tulips are in the mail to her and this wall hanging will be delivered when we see her during the holidays.  I know, it's sort of a grown up piece for a toddler, but if she's anything like her brother and sister, she won't stay little for very long.  One of these days, I'll also explain Two Lips.

I used canvas, gel medium, torn pages from a bulb catalog, tissue paper, acrylic paint, embroidery floss, beads and sequins.  The Robert John Thornton (1768-1837) botanical was printed on prepared canvas, "painted" with sewing machine stitches, colored pencils and acrylic paint.
15" x 19"

This photo is on the back of the wall hanging.

November 3, 2010

Jude Hill's C2C3

C2C3 means Cloth to Cloth workshop, the third time Jude Hill is teaching this online class. I've signed up, and so has my buddy Nancy. The class hasn't started yet, but excitement has hold of me already, so I'm forging ahead to see how my version will differ from what Jude teaches.  This is her technique and, surely, she'll have plenty more to say that I've not thought of.  The idea is to finish this before Jude's class begins.  We shall see!

November 2, 2010


It's nice to finish something!  A couple of years ago my youngest cousin Brian found a quilt on Etsy and asked if I could make it for him.  Since I planned to sew a quilt for his 30th birthday present, his choice made it easy.  It also gave me a two year head start, and I allowed myself lots of starts/stops along the way.  During the process, I also remembered I don't like sewing-to-order anymore.  I fussed and futzed with a pieced border, but only one row of it ended up as part of the quilt (to cover Brian's bed pillows and not visible in photo).  Quilts, like many other things I make, come together more smoothly when I have control of the whole project, but that's okay, Brian!

Punzie on Etsy made the Yoshi character (Mario Brothers' figure) and I pieced the rest.  Ellen Patton quilted on her long-arm machine.  I did the binding.  Phew, FINISHED!