Friday, February 27, 2009

Finally Friday!

YAY! Finally Friday! I'm so happy. Last night I received a gift from one of my cyber-friends, someone whom I've never met but we have emailed for over 10 years now (!). She sent me the new Judith Baker Montano spiral book of crazy quilt stitches -- diagramed for LEFT HANDED people! Guess you know what I will be doing over the weekend.
For some of my newbies in CQForNewbies -- today's pictures are appliqued motifs. In the first picture, you will see a flamingo that I cut out from another piece of fabric and hand stitched to the block. Lots and lots of hand stitches. I did not use anything on the edges of the applique to keep it from fraying, just sewed with floss.
The second picture is the same thing, the sun motif was cut from fabric, only this time I appliqued it on with a machine satin stitch using metallic thread. My sewing machine seems to handle the metallic threads a lot better then the hand embroidery threads and then I beaded the edges. By the way, this is the very first CQ block I ever did and I was playing around with machine stitching vs. hand stitching. And if you're wondering -- hand stitching won (LOL).
So I hope that gives some of you an idea on how to use fabrics as motifs.
I want to take the time to thank all of you for your sweet comments. So many of you come through with "no reply" or no email addresses or names, so I'm going to start responding to comments in the comment section. I know I like to read the comments on the blogs I visit and I hope you do too.
We're supposed to have snow tomorrow -- ugh! It was 70 degrees on Wednesday and now snow on Friday night. Everyone is so tired of winter and anxious for spring that I know we're trying to rush Mother Nature. I wish she'd take the hint (g).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OKAY! I have these first two pics in here so that you can click and make them bigger.
Now let me tell you what they are. This is one of the blocks from my Fantasy CQ. It is a wizard and he is a rubber stamped image, stamped onto fabric and then colored with crayons, colored pencils and now threads and beads. There are so many ways to get an image transferred to fabric. Since I have a rather modest collection of rubber stamps that I love, I've decided to use them in my CQ work.
To stamp on fabric, you need to have a PERMANENT ink. Not dye based, not pigment ink, PERMANENT ink. I used Versa-ink, but there are a couple of other brands. It has to say PERMANENT or you will smear the ink while you're working on the image and that is not good. Also, the dye based and pigment inks will wash away if you get any moisture near the image.
The first picture shows some work done on Mr. Wizard. He is still very much a work in progress. The second picture, you can see how I've worked on his beard. I'm just using a simple back stitch to outline his beard with dark grey thread. I will use a lighter grey thread for highlights and shading inside his whiskers. The floss is just regular DMC embroidery floss. I've also used some Krenik metallic blending filaments (yes, they were a real treat to use and try to keep from fraying) on his robe.
Since I have these pics in here and you can enlarge them, I'm not going to risk adding anymore at this time. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lots of Eye Candy

Remember my last post where Miss Maddie was sitting at the window trying to find Spring? Well, this a.m. it is so dang cold -- seriously folks -- it's only 18 degrees outside. Maddie decided she needed a house within a house to keep warm. This is her little tent, or her "cube" as I call it. This is a fun toy because she can jump around on the walls of it and make it roll over and over and over. But I'm sure you can tell from the expression on her face she's not a happy campber.

In my group, CQForNewbies, we've been talking about how to embellish "patches" -- you know, those great big empty spaces that sometimes creep up in a block. My fellow list owner, JK, is showing how she does patches. She does the most beautiful artwork that she paints and transfers on her blocks. Since I'm not that talented , here's how I tackle patches using needle and thread. Please be advised most of these are still works in progress so these are just to give you some ideas and inspiration.

The green spirals above are a nice curvy shape to break up all the hard lines of a machine pieced CQ block. I've started adding some beads, also in a curvey line.

On this block I'm using the fabric as my inspiration. I've started outlining the flowers and beading the centers. Next I'll probably add some embroidery to the birdhouses to make them stand out a little more also.

On this block, I've enhanced the flowers on the center patch and then added lots of feather stitching to the left of the patch. I've added beading and green leaves to the feather stitching to mimic the flowers on the center patch. While the feather stitching could be considered a seam embellishment, I just wanted to let you know that not all seam embellishments need to stay on the seam line. They can wander all around, make curvy lines, spill over into the next block. It all adds interest to your blocks.

Here's the (almost) completed block. This is for Lynn, a CQForNewbies member who is recovering from a very serious auto accident. She's been in rehab for over a month now (maybe 2 or even 3 months). We do a Hearts and Flowers Shower for any member that has a celebration or needs a pick me up. This month we ended up with two members needing Hearts & Flowers, as one of our members was involved in the Australian fires.

I hope the above pics have helped you all some. If you have any questions, just ask and I'll answer everything in the comments so everyone can read.

p.s. Once again, blogger is not letting my pictures enlarge after you click on them. Seems I only get 1 picture to do that and then the rest of them don't. All pictures have the same settings, etc. If anyone knows how to fix this mystery, please let me know.