Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blank Space on Blocks #2

Hello everyone.  Here's Part 2 of how to fill up those blank spaces on your blocks.  Of course, the best way to not have big blank spots is to keep your pieces small. That means lots of trimming as you are piecing your block.  But sometimes that doesn't always work, and besides, it can be fun to showcase your embroidery skills or a special bit of lace or tatting.  So today's examples feature silk ribbon embroidery.

Two silk ribbon spiderweb roses, complete with leaves and pearl buttons.  This is a nice treatment for a smallish patch.  There are several tutorials on the web for the spiderweb silk ribbon rose and this is very easy to do.

The next example is a flowing vine.  The vine is made with regular floss, leaves are silk ribbon.  Lots of little beads to add some sparkle.  This is a good treatment for a long, skinny type area.  Lightly sketch the vine with a chalk pencil or disappearing marker.  Remember not to use an iron when you have used one of these markers, as heat can sometimes set the ink and it will not come out.  Again, if some of your patches are made of fabrics other then cotton, be sure and test the markers on the seam allowance.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blank Space on Blocks

The next few series of posts will be to help members of my group, CQForNewbies, work on their Red Color Study Round Robin blocks.

The question I get asked the most is how to fill up the bigger spaces (or patches) on a block.  I'm going to post a few examples here for the newbies.  I'm going to try and show as many different techniques as I can, but please remember,  I'm limited to my own blocks or the few blocks I have from Round Robin's I've been in myself.

This example is done with metallic threads in a swirl design and metal embellishments (from jewelry) added.  On my block, this is a vertical treatment, but would also be good for a horizontal one also.  You can lightly mark your block with chalk or a disappearing pen.  Just be sure to NEVER iron over the disappearing pen while it is still visible on the block (this will set the ink and it will not go away).  Also, always check to make sure the ink will actually disappear (use it in the seam allowance).  On some of the fancy fabrics, it can take a long time to disappear and on others, it will not disappear.

The second example is a lace motif covering a patch.  The lace has feather stitching for accent and is also beaded.  The lace is part of a doily that has been tea dyed and sewn into place.

Hope this helps some of you -- there will be more examples later.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Come into the garden, Maud

For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden,  Maud,
I am here at the gate alone

(Lord  Alfred Tennyson)

My first finish for 2010 -- Maud's Garden. The beginning lines of this poem have always "spoke" to me.   I started on this last Fall.  Thanks to a blizzard, the holiday days off from work and lots of determination (in between bouts of shoveling snow), Maud is finished, and is now hanging in my living room.

This piece is all collaged fabrics on top of a black batting base.  (Note to self: do not sew on top of batting again -- it's messy and will drive you crazy).  A variety of fabrics were used, everything from cotton to velvet.  The fairy, the moon with the owl, and the little fairy house were made by using rubber stamps on fabric and adding fabric paint and colored pencils. The rest of the images are appliqued from my huge stash of novelty fabrics.  This is all raw edge applique.  Hundreds of beads and charms complete the piece.  Lots of stitchery -- even my first attemps at bouillion knots.

It is backed and bound in black.  Most importantly, IT IS FINISHED!