Tag Archives: just for fun

Fabric manipulation–one done!

Short post today…I spent all my time sewing so I don’t have much time left in my day to write before I fall asleep!

My first piece of fabric manipulation is done!

Fab manip 5

This pattern is called Leaves and it sure looks like rows of leaves.

Fab manip 8

Cool looking on the front, and equally cool on the back.

Fab manip 6

If there were a way to do this without the marking and the threads showing…it’s just very nice.

Fab manip 7

I’m going to be saving the rest of the fabric manipulation patterns for handwork to take on vacation with me. I think I need to check the library for other sources of inspiration, too.

This is fun!


Filed under Fabric, Handwork, surface design, Weekly Special

Slow stitches

Fabric manipulation has so many variations that I think I shall never be able to try them all. Some techniques are done by machine, of course, and many are done by hand. I’m going to spend some time examining the hand stitching aspect of what is known as North American or Canadian smocking.

We began a study of fabric manipulation in my small art quilt group. You can see a bit about where we started here and I’ve decided to try several of the basic patterns and probably make some type of sampler.

The first step for any of these patterns is to mark your fabric with a grid, so that’s what I did. With thoughts of my usual 12 x 12 size, as well as the possible sampler, I marked out a square a bit larger than 12 x 12.

Fab manip 1

I figured that if I hated doing this, I could always quit after I did a 6 x 6 size! However, this is actually sewn row by row, not a square at a time, so I guess I’ll have to do at least this first one at that full size.

This is the back of the first row, when I got started stitching.

Fab manip 2

Almost as interesting as the front!

Fab manip 3

Did I mention that this is hand stitching? That equates to slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-w stitching! All I have done after an evening of TV-watching-sewing is three rows.

Fab manip 4

But I sure love the way it’s looking. Looking forward to finishing this piece and starting on the other patterns. I’m also hearing a hint, in the back of my mind, of some over-dyeing after stitching…I’ll be going through my fabric with that in mind when I’m ready to mark the next grid.


Hmmm….it’s also interesting to see how much difference there is in picture colors taken at different times of the day, with early sunlight, later cloudiness, and at night. They were all taken indoors, on a table near a window and the last one with the table lamp on. I don’t know anything about photography beyond point and shoot…not sure if that’s an area I want to study up on, but I’m going to try to pay more attention to lighting!



Filed under Fabric, Handwork, Learning New Things!, surface design, Weekly Special

Annual Ice Sculpture Festival

Went uptown today to see all the ice carvings. Yesterday was the ‘big’ day, when the carvers were actually doing their work, but we couldn’t make that.

There were not as many huge sculptures this year as in previous years, but there seemed to be many more of them. Today’s warmer temps and lovely sunshine have take the sharp edges off many of them and a couple were even hard to decipher what they were.

I only took a few pictures…and I may have offended the person playing Olaf! All the kids were so excited to see Olaf and I walked right by him (her?) to take a picture that I found more interesting!

2015 Ice Fest 2

There were lots of Star Wars characters and minions, trains and hearts and a dragon or two. Lovely, intricate work created with chain saws. Truly amazing!

The American Legion always has a wonderful scupture and this eagle was no exception.

2015 Ice Fest 3

Always things available for the kids. The table hockey was pretty much melted but the penguin putt-putt was in the shade and still going strong.

2015 Ice Fest 1

This depiction of one of our downtown blocks was very striking.

2015 Ice Fest 4

And there were quite a few blocks with advertising–maybe not carved on the spot. I took a picture of this one because it is my nephew’s business. We don’t even drink but we love stopping here because they always have delicious food!

2015 Ice Fest 5

We have heard that their beer is very good, too, but I haven’t yet tasted a beer that doesn’t taste just like…well, beer!

That was today’s little adventure. We got out in the fresh air, walked a tiny bit, enjoyed the sunshine and now we can settle in for naps and a little football.

Love lazy Sundays!


Filed under Life

Bits of work

Just little bits of work going on right now.

I found the perfect thread for adding some stitching to my turquoise beaded heart–and I already had it in my stash!

Embroidery thread turq heart

The stitching was a simple outline stitch echoing the heart shape and I certainly don’t think it needs anything more.

Turq bead heart

The colors don’t show exactly correctly in this picture, but some black beads added to this heart gave it a little needed sparkle.

Black green bead heart

The only other thing I got to do this week was a fun meeting with my Whacky Group (the Knot Even Quilters). We are starting to  study fabric manipulation in a little greater detail.

We looked at a DVD by Cheryl Sleboda and The Art of Fabric Manipulation by Collette Wolff. There is sooooo much material available and we didn’t even hit the internet for tutorials! We did a little furrowed circle and all agreed that we are having lots of fun with this.

KEQ fabric manip

For our next meeting, we selected a lattice pattern and we’ll all be working on that.

KEQ lattice smock

But I know myself well enough to know that I’ll be doing more than one little technique sample between now and then! This is fascinating to study and learning new things excites me!

Fun and learning ahead…can’t get much better than that!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Fabric, Handwork, Learning New Things!, surface design

Workshops are fun!

One of the best things about our guild is the workshops we offer. Every other month, two workshops and a lecture by professionals! You can find out all about it here–Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. Anyhow, I took Freida Anderson’s Whispering Pines class and it was like a mini-vacation for me.

No sewing, so no heavy machine to haul. Made from a kit, so no wondering whether or not I was bringing the correct fabrics. Working from a pattern, but lots of improv within the design, so that was very appealing to me.

Freida workshop 3 KAS

This is what I have so far. I want to add some little details here and there. My trees are not like Freida’s. Hers are all nicely lined up, with soft, rounded edges, perfectly color gradation matched and look great. Mine are square-edged, uneven, don’t all match and look pretty good, too, if I do say so myself!

However, I was not the only one who went all “rebel” in the tree area. I only got a couple of pictures, but there were tulips and wild trees and I think a few things never seen in real life!

Freida workshop 2

Freida workshop 1 bacjz

Of course there were those who made beautiful trees, much more like Freida’s, but we all just had such a good, relaxing day that the project was almost an afterthought.

Love having good times with fabric!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Contemporary, Learning New Things!

Reverse hearts

This little heart will get some additional embellishment, when I get around to it! This is how I plan to display it, after it gets gussied up a bit.

Heart large outline

The fabric that I cut this out of called out to me, though. This is what I had but it was so close to the edge I wasn’t sure I’d be able to use it.

Beaded heart ideas 4

Oh, what the heck…it’s going to be fused. What does it matter if it’s a teeny, tiny shred of fabric!

It needed to be brightened up a bit more than the first one, so I used a very bright fabric that was one of those “I can’t believe I ever bought that” fabrics.

Heart reverse option

Surprise! I like it! It will get some toning down, rather than brightening up, though! My old standby, black cording, will surely be added to this one.

Here they are, side by side. Shows that if you cut carefully, you get a two-for-one design.

Heart side by side

And they really do not look much alike, do they?


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, surface design

Art fun time!

Adult coloring books are all the rage now. There are tons available and most of them have absolutely beautiful designs in them. I have been resisting them because I’m sure I would get hooked on them and my time would get sucked away while I played.

However, I have been able to indulge just a little bit. This is what I do while you color flowers or zen-doodle things.

Coloring page

Yep…Star Wars pages with my grandson! Totally fun. Actually way more fun than fancy flowers done by myself!

But yesterday was also a happy mail day. You know how you like a business page on Facebook and sometimes they say to leave a comment and have a chance at a prize? Well, I’ve had Strathmore as one of my likes for a long, long time and that’s exactly what I did on their page. I never really believed that people really won…until I DID!

Look at all this stuff that came in the mail!

Strathmore prize

Isn’t it cool? Can’t wait to start using it. Oh…I think that will happen as soon as I’m done writing this post!

And I will probably make more comments on those “win a prize” posts on Facebook, too!


Filed under Color, Handwork, Life