Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring's First Blush - Part IV

Edge Finishing

For this project, I will be finishing the edges before doing any of the beading. As it is, the edges are raw, and they need to be bound in some way. Of course, this isn't the easiest project to finish easily, with inside and outside curves, plus four corners that are not necessarily 90 degrees. Add to that the piece is only 8"x6" at the widest and longest places and it is a delicate operation to get the binding done.

I also did not want to actually see the binding, so I chose a final width of 3/8" and turned it completely to the wrong side. After cutting and pre-shaping the bias strips, I stitched the strips to the piece, turned them to the wrong side and hand stitched them down. It was also during this phase that I added the ribbon ties. They were basted on to the piece and stitched permanently to the piece with the bias binding strips.

To add a little extra to the finished edges, I did a little picot beading all the way around the edge in a matching colored size 11 seed bead.

Next week, we'll take a look at the beading!

Parting Shot: Scraps. Wellie and my son had a great time playing with some scraps from cutting out the new red top this morning.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring's First Blush - Part III

The Quilting

Since this piece is relatively small, approximately 8" wide by 6" tall, the quilting went rather quickly as I didn't have to fill huge areas. I wanted to do a few different styles of quilting, so I divided up the piece into smaller section and did some smaller scale work.

I started with the gold double lines that separate the left section from the middle section. Once the gold double lines are stitched, then I was able to fill in with an overall circular pattern. This was done with free motion stitching and a Sulky shiny poly thread that matched the fabric. After adding the other gold lines, then I could fill in the diamond quilted area. Once that was done, all I had left was the flowers and filler in the left section. The flower stems and leaves were quilted in a green shiny poly Sulky, while the flowers were quilted in a pink Superior Glitter.

After tying off any extra threads and remarking the outer edges, I stitched close to the acutal stitching line and then trimmed off all the excess fabric except for a narrow seam allowance. This left me with the actual shape of the piece.

Here is a close up of one of the edges:

Next: Beading!

Tomorrow the children and I will be taking a trip to NYC. I should be able to finish the puzzle quilt on the bus and be able to show that all finished this week sometime and a few pictures from our trip.

Parting Shot: Gladiola. Last weekend, the play I've been working on was performed. At the last performance, I was given a few little things, among them was this red gladiola. (It wanted to lean oddly, so you're actually see it better in the mirror!) The play was fun, but as with all major performances, sort of took over my life for the last week. It turned out very well, and I know every one is happy to be on vacation now!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Springs First Blush - Part II

Samples and Set Up For Quilting

Now that the threads have been narrowed down through early comparisons, I still need to do a little more practice with my choices to be comfortable with the threads and to get all the settings on the sewing machine perfect.

The samples also allow me a little more practice for the designs I've chosen:

While I'm working on samples, I've also been working on getting everything ready to quilt. I'm using silk for both the top and back of the quilting, plus Hobb's Tuscany Silk batting as the batting. The outline for the design is traced onto the silk and then the divider lines are drawn in. This silk is light enough in color that I can see the artwork underneath easily enough to trace it.

Once pinned, it is ready to quilt.

Next: Quilting!

Parting Shot: Pretzels! My husband had a craving for large, soft pretzels, so he decided to make some. Here he is, working at shaping the pretzels. They're in the oven now, so we'll see how they turn out in a few minutes!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring's First Blush - Part I


After the initial concept and fabric selection, the next step for me when working on a project is the selection of threads and beads. This is the really fun part as I get to pull out all the threads, beads and whatever else I think could possibly relate to the project from my collections.

First, the threads:

Believe it or not, I really only need three threads for the final project. I only need one pink, one green and one gold. I eliminate threads for several reasons. First, it isn't the right color. I don't always have colors that are perfect, but I won't know until I evaluate the colors under different lighting situations and stitched onto the fabric. Second, the thread doesn't stitch well. If it shreds, snaps, doesn't flow nicely, doesn't stitch curves or loops nicely it is out. Believe me, there is nothing worse than working on a project and fighting with the thread.

Next, the beads and sparkly things:

For the beads, it won't be too hard to choose, as you can see that right away some of this will not work. Those beads up by the organza ribbon are the best so far, and will probably make it into the final project.

Other than that, I needed a ribbon to tie the necklace around neck. I already had a beautiful ivory and gold organza ribbon in the collection that was shown in the bead picture.

Next: sample, sample, sample, sample.

Parting Shot: Nosey! Wellie is the most nosey cat we've owned. He's now checking out the stuff brought over for my IL's cat who will be spending the weekend with us as the IL's are going away for the weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring's First Blush


Since completing Garden Path in October, I haven't worked on any art garment projects. I've decided to start my art projects this year with a smaller project. Instead of working on a whole garment, I've chosen to work on something much, much smaller: a bib necklace.

I've been working on my free motion quilting, and a bib necklace seems to be just the right scale to work on without being too overwhelming. I also am a bit short on time at the moment due to the high school play, but yet I still want to be creative.

For fabric, I've chosen a blush pink silk dupioni to be used for both the front and back. That along with some ivory, gold, and pale green and my color palette is complete.

Here is a little bit of the preliminary artwork, just of you can get an idea of the concept:

There will be several sections, each with a different type of quilting.

Next: bead and thread auditions - the fun part!

Parting Shot: Tulips! My husband gave me tulips for Valentine's Day. They're such a nice reminder that spring will be here soon!