Tag Archives: just for fun

Something new–again!

While I really need to stay at the sewing machine and try to put a dent in my fabric stash, I’m always easily distracted! I got a set of cutting blades for stamps today.

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I’ve only tried stamp carving once before, in a class, and I really liked it. I have a ton of stuff for making stamps, like self-adhesive foam, hot glue, corrugated cardboard, foam core, shapes and pieces and bits and bobs, but not the carving stuff.

I took an old eraser, just like I used in my little class, picked up a blade and made some cuts! Didn’t even draw a picture; just wanted to get the feel of the blade.

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When I stamped some fabric with it, I found out that it was not totally flat and it left a void in the center.

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But with this simple carving it was easy to overstamp and fill in the void.

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Feeling braver, I turned the eraser over and drew a little flower.

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Picture of the carving was blurry, but here’s how it worked!

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And then on paper

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I’m sold on carving anything that is carve-able now! I’m going to try not to jump into stamping and neglect my sewing goals for the next week! Stash busting is at the top of the list for the next little while, with only a few little distractions allowed!

 

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Filed under Art Quilts, Learning New Things!, surface design

And next up….

The Knot Even Quilters (AKA Whacky Quilters!) have chosen paper fabric for this month’s experiment. I have read about it but not done it, so that’s what I played with yesterday.

Start with plastic covering your table–for sure! There are many and various blogs and tutorials on the internet, so I just played with what felt right as I went along. Mixed glue and water and went to town.

One of the tips was to water color the tissue paper before you use it. I was planning on using old watercolor paintings for a base…maybe…so I wet a couple of paintings and put some tissue paper on them.

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Picked up the color just fine, but very pale. Fine if you start with a white base, not so much if you start with color. But I had colored tissue paper for playing with, too.

I used three different bases for my experiment: a thin, mesh-y fabric, a regular cotton, dyed dark, and a relatively thin paper watercolor painting.

I added tissue and glue and threads and yarn.

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When wet, you could see everything very well.

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When I came down this morning to the dried pieces on the plastic covered table, here’s what I saw.

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Nothing too exciting when I peeled the pieces off the plastic…I left half of each piece as is and took the other half to play with.

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The dried tissue on the watercolor paper, without glue, actually looked the most interesting!

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The thin, mesh fabric ended up being way too thin to use as is, but it can be layered on something else or more tissue and texture added to it. I did a bit of stitching on the other two pieces. The fabric base had white tissue over the whole thing and dried to a pretty boring piece. The transparency of the pieces when wet vanished when dry so the white tissue made the piece pretty boring and white! That will NOT be the top layer next time!

I tried tearing the tissue in a few places to expose the metallic thread I had inserted, but it didn’t want to tear very well. Verdict: I could use this, but it would need a lot of work before it would be something I liked.

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The watercolor paper base also had a white tissue covering the top, but the yarn I inserted while layering didn’t seal tightly and was easier to tear open for texture. It stitched quite well and gave me a base that I think will make an interesting project, worth further development.

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There will be more experiments, because I have a TON of old watercolor ‘paintings’ to play with…quite a few that are really ugly and now there is hope for new life! I definitely have a whole new area to explore. Hooray!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Learning New Things!, surface design

I made a quilt!

Though it’s certainly not the first quilt I’ve made, it almost feels like it. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a regular quilt, not an art quilt and it feels really good. I need to do it more often.

I could definitely use up a lot of scraps this way, as well as all that yardage sitting on my shelves. I keep telling myself to use it, use it, use it but I am so easily distracted…

Check out the finished top

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No borders…this is the final product. It’s hard to see, but there is a little bit of a focal point with a pathway through the top.

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It’s those few blocks that were made with multi-fabric strips. They are in a trail from top to bottom. I know it’s there, anyway!

No idea what happens next, but I’m sure some lovely bit of fabric will attract me as I clean up the trimmings and yes, scraps, from this quilt. I believe I will be donating them to the lady who uses them for stuffing dog beds!

On to a new adventure…

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Filed under Modern Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilt Design, Use Up the Stash

Barely sewing…

The days around Christmas have always been relaxing, do-nothing times for me and this year was no exception. Jigsaw puzzles are a big part of how I spend my time and sometimes I actually do get a little sewing done. Not so much this week, but I did a little thinking about sewing!

When I put up the scrap fabrics I had stitched together on the design wall, I wasn’t sure where I was going with them.

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Making the triangles is a super easy process, but I also saw a couple pictures with related tutorials about making wonky triangle blocks as I browsed the internet this past week. I have a LOT of fabric that I could put into this piece and having several methods of using up those scraps allows me to use all sizes of scraps and end up with blocks the same size…okay, that’s part of the design decision process.

This piece is only going to have the triangles, not the other chunks of scrap pieces. Those are all in a colorway that I also have tons of, enough to make another whole quilt, at least! I also decided that I’m not going to make my triangle blocks different sizes…probably not! I’m going to start out with that plan, but if it gets too boring, I’ll throw in some sections with different size blocks.

The plan here also is to concentrate on the contrast between the light and dark. The blocks will vary with some dark triangles and bright backgrounds and vice-versa. So with all those design decisions made–and not much sewing done–this is where I’m at with the quilt.

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I’m going to keep going until I use up all the scraps in this designated “group” even if it makes enough for more than 1 quilt! It can be back and front or two quilts. I don’t care…I just need to get rid of some of my mountains of scraps and this is a start! I need to stay disciplined enough to avoid the distractions of new projects and pretty fabrics.

Wish me luck!

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Filed under Color, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!

Stack of fabrics

Today was a day with no pressing chores to do, no appointments–a day made for playing with fabric. I’m done, over it, for making more Christmas ornaments, but don’t have the energy to start a “real” creative project. So I did what I always do–grabbed a stack of fabrics from the scrap pile.

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I’ve been wanting to play with triangles like I saw in someone’s post a few days ago. Stack and cut–right up my alley. The thing to remember, though, is to cut right through on one side and cut down a little from the top on the other. That gives you room to trim without cutting off your point.

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Switch the triangles and sew each side…and I hit a “Duh!” moment. I sewed the full cut side (right side in the picture) first and then sewed the shorter cut side.

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It will work, but take a closer look at the top.

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It’s supposed to have the full cut side covering that shorter cut side! I did sew the rest of the them the correct way

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and now I’m trying to decide if I want to combine them with some other blocks that I created on another ‘stack of fabrics play day.’

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I have plenty of additional fabrics from both stacks.

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I can just keep going and make a full size quilt or I can try to make some artsy stuff and keep them separate. I’m leaning towards ‘making’ because I do want to use things up. But those triangles are so cute! Not enough of those brights to make a full quilt…but maybe I have enough hand dyes to fill in when I run out of prints.

Stack of fabrics play days always lead to something even if it’s not at all what I expected!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Fabric, Use Up the Stash

Well behaved snowmen

Continuing on with snowmen…I found that my shortcut doesn’t always work. Some of the roving that I have does NOT want to felt when I put it in the bag. I had two balls that looked like this one.

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Fortunately, despite what it looks like now, this is not a disaster. After it dried out, I simply smoothed it over as best I could and added another layer of roving. The needle felting worked and it ended up looking like this.

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This is the other ball that misbehaved in the wet felting attempt. I turned it into a camouflage effect (I might know someone who would want it!)

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THIS is how they are supposed to look when you take the wet felting shortcut.

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I can’t tell you which type of roving misbehaved, since much of what I have was given to me. For me, it’s just a guessing game, trial and error and part of the process.

My little family of snowmen were very well behaved when it came time to pose for pictures, though. Not a one of them protested!

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And it’s bitterly cold today, so they should be very, very happy!

Now…on to a different style!

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Filed under Handwork, Learning New Things!

Ornament of the Day

Pretty much what I’m doing this week–experimenting with different types of hand made Christmas ornaments.

Today I tried an alternate “felted ball” technique. You are supposed to start with a styrofoam ball, so I picked one up from the store…they only had one size and it seemed rather large. The next step is to needle felt roving right into the styrofoam, until it is covered. Welllll….let me tell you, that is NOT the way I want to spend the next two years of my life. The roving did not want to stick to the styrofoam and even with my multiple needle felter, it was slooooooow.

Short cut! Wrap the roving, felt in a few spots to help it hold together, then throw it in a plastic bag with hot water and a little soap. Manipulate the bag kinda gently over the surface of the roving and it will felt itself small enough to surround and stick to the ball. It only took a few minutes–really! Dried it quickly with a hair dryer and hand felted into a few thin spots. Done in less than half an hour and doing it by hand would have seriously taken hours and hours!

That’s step one. The fun part began with addition of colored roving for a snowman face, hat, scarf and carrot nose! Love this ornament and will be making more, as soon as I find more styrofoam balls.

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Learning curve–I think I will make future snowmen smaller on the balls. This one is so large that you can’t see the hat or scarf without moving the ball around. Ideally, you want to see the whole picture at once.

It’s really been a lot of years since I’ve taken time to make Christmas ornaments. I had forgotten how much fun it is. Looking forward to making lots more!

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Filed under Handwork, Learning New Things!