Friday, January 26, 2007

Fantasy CQ

One of my goals (ha ha!) is to do a fantasy CQ quilt. I've been collecting lots of things (naturally!) and even have a friend in Mass. who has been doing some embroidery of motifs for me (hi Christine). Here's the first two blocks in their "naked" stages.

Both of these I received in a block swap in my CQForNewbies group. I love the little fairy on the bottom block. I've hand painted some lace that will go on her.

The next block was done using things from my birthday box. In the group, we have a birthday swap. You send out a package a month and then when it's YOUR month, you get a huge box just stuffed with all kinds of good things. Everything on this block is from the birthday box, except the purple piece on the far left.

The purple piece is the result of my personal challenge to the list to start using that "special" fabric you bought -- you know what I'm talking about -- all that beautiful fabric you bought because you absolutely loved it but couldn't cut into it. What are you all saving it for? (What am I saving it for?). So I reached up to the top shelf of my fabric closet, where all the special fabric lives, and cut a piece. It's hard to see in the picture, but it has silver stars embossed on it. I'm still not sure about the lace motif on the block, but it was so gorgeous that I wanted to show it off (LOL).

Stay tuned for how the fantasy quilt progresses. I've been working on a wizard block that has a crystal ball (embroidered by my friend Christine) and there's also a dragon that will probably be the center panel portion of the quilt.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fiber Art Squares

There's been several swaps and posts going around about the 1 inch fabric charm squares. Since I do CQ, a 1 inch square is just a little too small for me. I bumped the size up to 3 inches and decided to play with it over the weekend. Here's the results:

The one on the left with the scalloped edge was finished by machine. The two on the bottom -- I added a backing and just turned them. I'm not real pleased with the way they look -- makes them too puffy. The top one is unfinished.

All the embellishment and beading work on the blocks was done by hand.

So that's the dilemma here -- how to finish these little squares. While the machine edging was nice, it makes it smaller then 3 inches. Plus, you would probably want to add an interfacing to the back because it was a little tricky getting that "slinky" fabric and small shape through the sewing machine.

So any suggestions on finishing would be greatly appreciated. I see these little squares as fun, fast projects and a GREAT place to experiment with stitches (not to mention using up small scraps). Some uses that have been suggested: ornaments, the center focal point for a larger block, "fringe" hanging off the edges of a larger CQ piece (maybe tied with ribbons or fancy threads). What would you do with them?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hand Painted Lace

On my day off, I decided to hand paint some lace. I know a lot of you dye your lace, but I have a lot of fabric paint and like using it so decided to give it a try.

The first is a lace collar and I used Deco Art So Soft fabric paints. I use the pearlized colors, blue, pink and purple. First, wet your lace and lay it on a waxy type paper. Then squeeze out a little of the paint on the paper or pallet. Keep a dish of water nearby. I wet my paint brush and then dip into the paint. I water down the paint quite a bit before brushing it on the fabric. Once I brush the paint on the lace, I will dip the brush in water once again and spread it over the painted portion of the lace. This keeps the colors from "glomming" up and getting thick and causes the paint to run a little and spread out evenly. It also helps to soften the look of the colors.

This piece was also painted with the Deco Art fabric paints. This time I used green, blue and pink. I paint a little with one color, adding water to the painted lace until the color spreads out, then I do the same thing adding the second color.

These fabric paints are permanent and dry soft. The lace (and fabric if used on fabric) still have the same feel as before they were painted. There's no stiffness. The Deco Art paints need to dry for 48 hours before they are considered permanent. (As with any product, read the directions on the bottle). I usually heat set my things, just because that's what I'm used to.

The Deco Art fabric paints can be found at Joann's craft stores with the fabric painting things.

This last example here, the motifs, I used the Lumiere paints. I found a sample back of these at my local Joann's craft store. Same technique, wet the lace, and use lots of water on the brush to paint. The Lumiere paints have more of a sparkly color then the pearl Deco Art paints. Again, read the directions for the heat setting -- for Lumiere, you wait 24 hours and then iron the object for 3 minutes to make it permanent. Hope this gives you all some ideas for your lace and fabric projects.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's Monday. . .

and I made it to work. The drive home Friday night only took 50 minutes (for a 20 minute commute). This is a new record for ice and snow driving. Glad that's over! The roads today are still icy and it's cold, cold, cold. Inhumanely cold. I don't know how the homeless (people and animals) can stand it.

As some of you may know, I am the List Owner of CQForNewbies. One of our members, May Britt ( has a GREAT tutorial on her blog about how to do applique. Since I'm a very visual person, this tutorial certainly helped me with my bunny blocks. These blocks are my WISP (works in slow progress). This is a block of the month deal (and I have bought the last one so I now have the full set). I am determined to actually do these as a block of the month and quit procrastinating.

Well, now that May Britt was so kind to share this technique, I am scooting right along with my bunnies. Her freezer paper method makes it so much easier to get all those curves nice and smooth. I've had a terrible time with my applique using all sorts of methods. Sometimes I would work days on just getting the pieces ready and they still didn't look as nice as I wanted them to. In just a couple of hours (depending on the block), I can get the pieces all done and they look so nice and smooth. After that, the applique part is a cinch and goes much faster.

In the two blocks, can you tell which one does not use May Britt's method? Boy, I sure can. I redid the chicken in one block because it looked so bad so that's a clue for ya -- look at the bunnies.

And this is just part of what I did during my iced-in weekend. It was so nice to actually have to stay home and do nothing but sew (g). I'll have several other things to share with you during the week, but work is calling right now.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I'm sitting here in Kansas where it was 65 degrees yesterday. Less then 12 hours later it's 12 degrees. That's actual temperature folks -- we won't even talk about the wind chill. And there's an ice storm going on. And the storm's going to go on all weekend and into Monday. Don't you wish you lived here? (NOT!) Of course I'm at work since I have a boss that doesn't "understand why people have to stay home from work due to weather." There's no talking to that man.

This is something I made last year. It's a little recycled bit of wood I found in a thrift store with a really ugly orangey-type stain on it. I doctored it up pretty good (I think), added lots of different vintage pictures, old postcards, wallpaper, and other fun things. As much as I love my quilting and crazy quilting, my first love was altered things and papercrafts. In fact, several years ago I had 3 or 4 things published in a magazine, RubberStampMadness. I thought I had really "arrived" to have something published in a national magazine (LOL).

With a nice long weekend of being trapped in the house with Crazy Madeline, I think I'll play some with my paper/recycled/altered stuff. I'm all set to "weather the storm." Madeline and I are armed with 3 dozen cookies (the good kind from the bakery, not the hard commercial kind from the grocery store), 10 liters of Diet Coke and about 9 bags of microwave popcorn. Oh yeah, baby, bring that weather on! We can take it (as long as the power stays on).

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kimono Fabric for Sale

I just listed two packages of vintage kimono fabric for sale in the Etsy shop. There are 12 different pieces of silk and/or rayon fabrics cut from vintage kimonos. Perfect for crazy quilting, oriental projects or anything else you have in mind. If you're interested, buzz on over and look. I only have two packs of these available at this time.

I'll be adding some paper collage packs later this week. Can you tell it's New Year's and time to clean things out? (LOL). Believe me, I've got a lot of cleaning out to do.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

CQforNewbies Round Robin

Happy New Year everyone. Yeah, I know it's late, but I haven't felt like really acknowledging the new year until now.

Thought I'd start the year off right with some pretty pictures for you.

As some of you may know, I am one of the List Owners of CQForNewbies. One of our first projects was a Round Robin with a choice of themes. For the past 4 or 5 months, I've been working on different blocks from the various people in my group, all different themes. This particular block is from Lisa with an "i" and it's a Mardi Gras block (same theme as mine).

This gorgeous peacock is by Nancy (out in Western Kansas, near Denver, the land of eternal snow). I love the way she used the sequins for the "eyes" of the feathers. And that seam embellishment to the left of the peacock is not too shabby either (g).

Of course, this is all much more sparkly and dazzling to the eye in person then in a photograph.

I had this neat idea to do a saxophone for the Mardi Gras block. Sounded good in theory, and came out reasonably well, but not as jaw-dropping as the peacock. I also added the little sequin music notes to mimic the music notes printed in the fabric on the other side of the block.

As you can see, I barely fit the sax in the space marked by the basting stitches. This block has had a lot of work done on it already, so there weren't many big patches left for a big design.