Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thinking of You...

How does one react when one hears that a friend is battling cancer?  My first thought is to do something...not certain what I should be doing though.

So I made a card.  I sought some help with the layout and dropped in at Mojo Monday as I'm finding it difficult to focus with all the memories running rampant in my mind. The paper is from, you guessed it, Graphic45. I hand wrote the sentiment.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Study in Green

As I'm on the topic of changing gears, I thought I would experiment a bit with thread painting.
Thread painting as defined by the Queen of thread painting, Nancy Prince is "free-motion machine embroidery, a unique way of embellishing your quilts by "painting" the image on your quilt top...The  quilt is your canvas and the thread is your paint."
In a previous post dated June 7, 2011, titled Layer Upon Layer Upon...I stated that the more layers you have, the more dimension and depth your piece will have."  So, I thought why not create the first layer with paint.  I then painted PFD (prepared for dyeing) a tightly woven, white fabric with Pebeo, Setacolor Transparent paints.
Once dried, it was heat set with a hot iron and I pulled a few of the threads I intend to use in this exercise.  I'm thinking the piece is going to be both free motion machine embroidered and hand embroidered.

While pulling the threads for the piece, I thought it would be a good idea if I practiced a little before attempting the main act...

and so now I present my Study in Green, not the main act. In this trial run I used Superior Thread, Nature Colors, Trilobal Polyester and King Tut, also by Superior.
After hooping the fabric, threading the machine with the darkest green first, lowered the feed dogs, adjusted the tension, forgot to change the bobbin case, I placed the hoop under the open-toe darning foot of my Janome 6260 and off I went.  It takes concentration and a light touch on the hoop to move it at just the right speed.  There were lots of thread changes as I needed to see how the colors worked together...or not. The tension is not quite right but that is probably due to the fact that I did not change the bobbin case, which in my Janome, can be removed.
Here's my separate bobbin case just for thread painting. I'm allowed to play with the tiny screw (Phillips head screw) in the designated thread painting bobbin case! By turning the screw, one quarter turn at a time, I can adjust the bobbin thread tension.
I'm glad I did the trial run. I will have to do another with the adjusted bobbin case and see if there is any improvement.

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Study in Green and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Changing Gears A Bit...

I needed to change gears in my brain a little, so I created this large, vintage tag.  I used paper from my favorite paper crafting company Graphic45 and fun findings from Tim Holtz.  

I don't remember where I got the ornate cylinder but I inserted a used,vintage, postage stamp into it. Come to think of it, I don't remember where I got the postage stamp.  Love the film strip and the Imagine metal tag!
The key I believe is also from Tim Holtz. I made the paper rosettes using scraps left over from other paper crafting projects.  There are two pull-out tags for journaling.

It's lovely to change gears...

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Changing Gears A Bit and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dragon in April

In planning my blocks for April I chose this dragon print for the center of the light colored block. This block incorporates some of the fabric used in the prior light block (see Post titled, Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014-March Block). I'm hoping to achieve a sense of unity and a smooth flow from one block to another.

As I work my way through the design process, I would often lay my threads, ribbons, lace, trim on the chosen fabrics to see how well they play together. Sometimes it works well, at other times, they shout "don't you even go there, lady!" At that point, I remove the offending detail and try another until I'm satisfied and/or happy that it might work. 

I pin like my life depended on it. The different weights of the fabrics used in piecing crazy quilt blocks tend to slip, slid, pull and twist as they move under the machine's needle.  Pinning helps to stabilize the fabrics. I just have to remember to get the pin out before the needle hits it.
The block is now ready to be embroidered but before I do so, I like to have an idea of where I'm going and perhaps the stitches I might use.  
An exact layout is drawn with possible stitch ideas.
If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Dragon in April and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - March's Block

This was a busy week for me. I got all our tax paperwork organized, copied and dropped the entire package in the mail to the accountant. I was on a roll... so I closed all the old files (2011, 2012 and 2013) boxed, labeled and stored those. Then proceeded to open new files, cleaned out the filing cabinet and shredded what needed to be shredded. Glad that's over with!
Then, I finished my March block for CQJP2014. I did have to make some changes to the original design, nothing major, but the evolution of ideas is quite interesting to follow. I know that not every idea will make it's way onto a particular block and so keeping a sketch pad nearby is a good way for me to record my thoughts and ideas. Bless the person who invented the eraser!
Each block is a third of the envisioned tumbling block which I believe traditionally, is made up of a dark colored, a light colored and a medium colored block. I've pinned the blocks together (see below) to see what it will look like and I like what I see.
Well, one done, twelve to go! In other words, I've thirty-three of these suckers, oops, blocks, to finish so unto the dragon of April. Stay tuned...

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - March's Block and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Friday, March 7, 2014

So I Changed My Mind!

So... I had a plan! It was not etched in stone but sketched on paper.  Erasers are wonderful things but I decided not to use them, as I would like to keep a record of alternative ideas that come along while I work the block.

This is a close up of the changes made to the original design.
So the block, which is not yet completed, looks like this. Note the two heart instead of the three along the center right seam as oppose to the middle seam as in the original drawing.  And what with the pink, I haven't used it anywhere in the block...yet!
Stay tuned... I'm sure there will be more changes to come.

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...So I Changed My Mind! and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pencil & Paper

March block for the CQJP2014 in the planning stages.  I thought that this time round I will employ the assistance of pencil & paper to get my thoughts together before I start to stitch.

Stay tuned to see how the block progresses.