Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giveaway Winner and My New Pouches

I still can hardly believe that in early March when I decided to celebrate my one year of blogging with a challenge of 150 followers, that I actually achieved it.  Thank YOU!  For deciding to follow and for all your lovely comments.  I read each one and as long as there is an email address attached, I try and respond back.  

Without further ado,
The winner for the 5 fat quarters is

Now here are my cute little zippered pouches.   I have 9 of these little guys ready to go.   I used to always stay away from zippers, too hard, too time consuming.  Now I am on etsy ordering more zippers, can't use them enough! 

They just make the bag or pouch that much more versatile, useful and practical.  And honestly, zippers are easy.  

These pouches have the PUL lining, (other than the one shown here). 

PUL is a waterproof material that you find on cloth diapers.   But now that people are finding the different uses of this fabric, it is on so much more.   When I make my reusable snack/lunch bags, it is lined with PUL. 

I have made 8 of these zippered pouches with the PUL lining and am going to make some without.   If you were purchasing one, and the price was the same, would you want one with the PUL lining or some cute fabric lining and why?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beading Tutorial

You were right.  All those followers who posted that they wanted to learn about beading, were justified.   I was taught by a native elder and never had a need to look in a book or try and find information.   I was surprised by the number of you who requested this, until I went and searched the internet for information.   There was no specific lessons or methods on how to learn to bead.   Then I realized why you all asked for it. 

I will teach you what I know.   I am by no means an expert, but I do put beads on almost all my quilts.  As for the actual purchasing of beads.   Well, you can spend close to the mortgage of your house on beads, and they are beautiful.  You won't have any problems finding places to order beads.  In Canada, we have a chain of stores called 'The Dollar Store'.   I think it is self explanatory.  I have no doubt the quality of the other beads is way better.   But I use my beads purely as embellishments on my quilts, and not in a heavy way, so these work perfect for me.

I should also apologize for my photography.  I was having a heck of a time with the lighting when I did this.  If you still need further clarification, email me and I will do a retake=)
Let's get started.  There are thousands of different types of beads out there, all different shapes.  For this tutorial, we will start with the basic seed bead.  If you can understand how to bead this, then you can take this knowledge and apply it to any shaped beads.

5" square of fabric, white or cream fabric
5" same size piece of batting
5" backing
seed beads
slim needle

Let's clarify some stuff.   There are special beading needles, long and thin and a bit flexible.  I have used them and they work fine.  I have no problem with my plain craft needles, you just have to make sure it is thin enough to pass through the holes of the beads.   I have a few of these needles, and have them set aside to use just for beading.  Mostly cause I would misplace them otherwise=)

When I do bead on an actual quilt, I do it at the very end.  After my quilt has been assembled, quilted and bound.   I find this nice, because I will often stitch quilting lines right on my quilt so I know where to put my beads.  

For this tutorial, we will just use a small sample size.   Take your pencil and draw a design on your top fabric.   This is what you are going to bead.   I used a marker, just so you could see it better.  For your first try, don't make tight little circles or curves, but nice long smooth curves. 

Make a quilt sandwich, and hoop it, or pin the edges so it doesn't shift.  I didn't do either as it didn't seem to shift on me. 

As for thread, there is beading thread out there, that is strong.  I have used it, but I just use my normal thread that I use for quilting.   Thread your needle, and make a small knot in the end.

On the backside of your quilt/sample bring the thread through and give a tug till your thread is buried in between the batting and backing. 
The knot has disappeared inside the quilt.
Bring your needle up to where you want your first bead to go.  For the start, lay 2 seed beads on the line of your quilt where you would like to start,  so you see where they should lay.  Usually at a corner or 'end' of a line.

Thread the 2 beads on your needle. 

Push them back to the end of the thread so you can see where they lay on the fabric.   This tells you where you need to push the needle down to the back.   Go right beside the bead, not squeezing it in, or that will cause it to buckle, and not leaving a space or you will have thread showing. 
Bring the needle straight down to the back.

To strengthen and get your needle ready for the next beads, bring the needle back up between the first and second bead and run the needle through the first bead again.  By the first bead, I mean the bead that is going to be beside the next set of beads you string on.   The one that is leading the way on your drawn line. 
Now I will put on 3-4 beads at a time.  I lay the beads down on the fabric so I know where the needle needs to go into the fabric.

Bring the needle straight down again to the back, and come up again between the first and second bead and send the needle through the first bead again.   Then put another 3-4 beads on.

  Basically you are always coming up to so you can rethread the first bead of your string of beads.  You just want to pull the thread so it is snug... not too tight and not loose.

Continue on in this manner.   When you are coming to a corner, just put on enough beads to get you to the corner, so you can alter directions easily.  

Finishing off beading... put on your last bead, run the needle and thread through again, so the needle is now at the back.  Then bury the thread in the backing and you are done.

To make a loop/flower petal, I put on 10-15 beads.  Make a loop with the beads so you can see how big the loop will be and bring the needle back down at the starting point.  This is where you came up the first time.

This causes a loop to raise off the fabric, therefore it needs to be tacked down.  Bring your needle up on the insde of the loop, in the centre of it.

Then going over the beaded petal, bring the needle down on the outside of the loop.  This will grab the string of bead and anchor that thread down.  I will often tack it down in other spots along the loop too if I am afraid it will shift or move.

You are going to make a small stitch between two middle beads and bring the needle back down, grabbing the thread holding the beads together.  This will hold your loop down.
Congratulate yourself!  You have just created a lovely beaded design.

This quilt has 13  leaves in the background all outlined in seed beads.  I can't show you a better picture as it sold last year.

I will do better with the photography next time!
Let me know what you think of this tutorial.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, you have till March 31st.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday!

How is that for total self promotion?  It is my birthday today and I am going to tell you all the fun I had in celebrating it. 

I entered a fitness competition and did my first 'test' today.  And did way better than I expected, so was thrilled about that.  

Then off to inlaws for a birthday cake.  Had supper made for me... then parents over for another cake.   Lots of goodies and fun today.  

Onto quilting, I have a wonderful list of tutorials I am soon going to get started with, thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment.  Beading and crayon use on fabric were the two big favourites.

In the meantime, I have been doing a bit of quilting on some items I put in a little store here in my town.  
So occasionally if I don't have an art piece to show you, I will pop in one of these little numbers.

Now you may ask why  I just couldn't go with the lovely traditional pinwheel block for this cute table runner?  After all the fabrics are delicious.  But I couldn't stop there, I just had to drop in a few circles.  I am on a real circle kick these days.   It is crazy, but I love them. 

What do you think?   Did I go over the top?  Should I have stopped with the pinwheel block?  Or are you loving the circles?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Tutorial

The very awesome Johanna has posted her tutorial on her Sweet Diamond quilt over at The Quilted Fish.  Head over and check it out.

Just wanted to also say that several of you have left comments on wanting to learn to bead and use crayons on fabric.   Both are easy and fun to do.   I will be working on some tutorials for both of these as well as using Shiva Paintstiks, thread painting and tips and tricks for fusing.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giveaway and Mini Quilt Art

Thank you all!   I reached my goal of 150 followers before March 31st.   To celebrate I am going to have another giveaway because you guys are just the best!  

First let me tell you a little bit about my mini pieces of art below.  I had small bits and scraps of fabric left over, after sewing up several items from the Sweet Divinity fabric.  I couldn't bear to part with it, so I decided to use a neat technique designed specifically for these little pieces.  

To start, I ironed on some fusing to one side of the Timtex.  I chose this as it is quite firm and I wanted the piece to be sturdy.  Then I cut up all my bits of fabric into even smaller pieces.  Once this was done, I placed them on the Timtex in a fun pattern.   The first quilt I let the timtex show through, and the second one I overlapped all the pieces.  

Apply heat to fuse them and you can be done.   I wanted to add a little extra so I got out my shiva paintstiks and stencils and played.   After curing for 24 hours I heat set it.   I fused on a backing, did some stitching and my little quilts are complete.

Onto my giveaway.  I have 5 fat quarters to give to one lucky fabric lover.   Here is what you have to do:

1.  Leave me a comment telling me what type of embellishing you want to learn about.
2.  Blog about this and it counts for 2, so leave me two comments.
3.  If you get a new follower to join, tell me their name and leave 3 comments. 

I will make the draw on March 31st.   Good luck!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CQA Trend Tex Quilt and Giveaway Winner

As I am typing this, I see that I have 149 followers, just 1 shy of my goal of 150 by March 31st.   So close, I think I need another giveaway in a few days to get over the hump.

I have had several of you email asking where to buy the Citra Solv in the post below.   You can buy it in North America at just about any big grocery store.  It can also be ordered online almost anywhere.   I have enclosed the link to the site.  Be sure to check out the gallery they have there too.

This little art quilt shown below is donated to CQA/ACC for their silent auction that takes place at Quilt London this May.  This is CQA's big fundraiser.   The fabric is donated by Trend Tex, and members buy the specified package of 5 fat quarters and have to make a small art quilt based on the given theme. 

This year's theme was 'Quilting in the Forest'.   I have titled my quilt, 'Branching Out'.  It is 3D, the tree was sewn and then stuffed.  The leaves were made fusing 2 different colours together then cutting and stitching.   I did a bit of discharge dyeing on the background, and both the tree and background had Shiva paintstiks applied.  I found some big beads that looked like leaves so added them as well. 

I certainly don't like the colour combination chosen for us, but maybe that was part of the challenge. 

I will package it up and the next time I will see it is when I am in London to see my other art quilts in the National Juried Show.

Without further ado, the winner of the giveaway is:

Mariliz said...

I'm a new follower and the fabric is just lovely!

I will be hosting one more giveaway near the end of the week. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Citra Solv and National Geographic Tutorial

 Do you wonder what I would be doing with Citra Solv cleaner and the National Geographic magazine on my quilt art blog?  

I have been making wonderful embellishments and soon to be original fabric.

You won't believe how easy this is and how beautiful the results are.

National Geographic magazine, not older than 10 years ago
Citra Solv, in the bottle, but not the spray
old paint brush, I used one of my kids brushes
small container to be thrown out after
old newspapers
transfer paper to transfer image to fabric, or whatever method you prefer

Gather your citra solv, small container, magazine and brush.   Pour  a small amount of the citra solv into the bottom of the container.

Opening the magazine, skip past the beginning pages, end pages and any pages with text.  They don't work.   You are only going to want to paint the pictures that take up either the whole page or a good chunk of it. 

When you find some photos, simply dip your brush in the citra solv and paint the picture.  Continue through the magazine painting pictures as you go.

Once you have finished painting the book, close it up and leave for 20-30 minutes.  Check every 10 minutes to ensure things are working.  You should start to see the pictures looking similar to mine below.

When you get to the point that you are really loving the pages, simply rip them out and let them dry on old newspapers.

Once your gorgeous creations have dried, they will be ready to use.   I plan to get some of that photo transfer paper and scan my pages in and print them onto the paper and iron them on fabric.  I will also try and run the fabric sheets through the printer too.  
I plan to make a few small art quilts and stitch right onto the paper.  

Here are some samples of my work.

I have not forgotten about doing a post on how I attach the lego to my art quilts either.  

Is anyone going to give this citra solv tutorial a try, or is anyone interested in winning some of these art sheets?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sensational Sweet Divinity Scarf

It is finally here.  I am so nervous and excited.  

For those new followers, I am on a design team for Amanda, an amazing fabric designer.   She sends us her newest lines of fabric and we have to create something out of it.  We then make a tutorial and it is posted on her blog, The Quilted Fish.   Okay, I know, I have the best job in the world!  Don't worry, I pinch myself lots.  I won't even get into how fantastic the girls on the design team are. 

Today is my turn to post the tutorial on Amanda's blog The Quilted Fish.  Please go and check out my fun scarf to  make.   Be sure to let me know what you think.  

Lastly, for all my new and old followers, thank you so much for joining me.  I really am  looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Giveaway

How could I not post another giveaway in light of my great news (see post below)?

This giveaway has 4 very spring like fat quarters, that all match in lovely bright greens and oranges and a dash of pink.   
As I write this, I am sitting at 124 wonderful followers.   My goal is to reach 150 by March 31st.   This is my 1 year blogiversary.  
There will be one more giveaway after this one... hopefully to celebrate that I achieved my goal.  I am trying to make it enticing for you to try and help me get more followers.   

Here is the lowdown on how to enter the giveaway:
1.  If you are a follower, then leave a comment telling me what you would like to see on this blog, what interests you etc.  

2.  Sign up to follow and you get a chance, just leave a comment telling me so.

3.  If you post about it on your blog, you get 2 more chances to win!  Don't worry, I do check... just leave a comment 2 times saying it was posted.  

I will make a draw for the winner on Tuesday March 22nd.  Good Luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fabulous News

Life took a really really exciting turn today.   You will notice in my sidebar that one of my goals was to get into the National Juried Show here in Canada.  

I entered, and got the letter today.   What I told no one was that I put in more than one entry.  In fact I put in four.   I have never done that before.  But I had four quilts that I loved  and I couldn't decide what to put in.  So far in Canada there is no limit, so I bit the bullet and entered all four.  

You can imagine my nerves as I opened the envelope, praying that just one would get accepted.   You see, this is the first time I am able to attend the show.   It travels across Canada and for the second time it is in Ontario since I have been entering.   My kids were always too young for me to make the trip, but now that they are a bit older and it is back in my province, I had decided to go.   And I really wanted to see one of my quilts hanging there.

Okay, so back to my entries... the letter stated this, 'Please be advised that 'Whimsical Wonder', 'Let The Vines Shine Through', 'Serenity', and 'Bye Gram, I Love You' were accepted into the National Juried Show.  
Here is where you can insert me reading the letter 6 times over, and finally crying and laughing all at the same time.   Yes, all 4 quilts were accepted.   I still can hardly believe it.  

Three of them are art quilts, and one is a wearable art.  

I now present my four quilts that were accepted into the National Juried Show in Canada.

This is Serenity.   It is all curved pieced and sewn together, then free motioned quilted.   At that point I cut out the pattern pieces and sewed the jacket together.  It is  fully lined and then buttons are made of polymer clay by me.

Let The Vines Shine Through is my second quilt.   I created this quilt because I love the border fabric.  It is a vintage polyester!   The flowers are 3D of course and the  quilt uses hand dyed fabric, stamping, stencilling and is free motion quilted with no stippling.

Whimsical Wonder hangs in my bedroom.  I adore this quilt so much.  Unless you see it, the colours can't be duplicated with the camera.  It is 3D and jumps out at you. 

Bye Gram, I Love You is the title of the quilt I hold dearest to my heart.   Here is the story that goes with this quilt.
It was made in memory of my grandmother who died in May 2009.

Every week for 10 years I would go over to their farm and see them, to do some housework, or just to visit. I did this by myself, and then as I had my two sons, they would come with me. And every single time, just as I was leaving, I would kiss her cheek and say, 'Bye Gram, I love you'.

She was the most remarkable woman I have ever known. A farmer's wife to my grandfather, a fabulous cook, a loving grandmother, and of course a quilter. Her grandchildren and then great grandchildren were her greatest joy. She was always so excited to see us. Everything about her was fun, whether you were in her kitchen doing dishes or peeling apples, or playing euchre, you were smiling.

This quilt was made from her blouse and a sleeper that both boys wore when she held them. The clothing is stuffed to give it more of a 3D appearance. The yarns couched into the background were from a sweater that she was unravelling near the end of her life. She was so thrifty and environmentally friendly. Decades beyond her time.

And the buttons.... there is a story. The yellow buttons, quite a few of them, represent how sunny and happy life was when she was alive. The orange ones, not so many, show the time of her dying and how painful that was for us all. And the red, all the red buttons, that is to represent all the love she left behind for us.

She witnessed my birth, watched me grow up, celebrated my marriage, cherished my children, and I held her hand when she died.

These are the four quilts that will be travelling to the National Juried Show.  
Tomorrow I will post a super giveaway to celebrate my success.  For now, I just have to walk around smiling the biggest smile ever!