Saturday, July 28, 2012

A day of dyeing and having fun...

Spent the day dyeing fabrics and trying out a few new things today.

This is my favorite bleach discharge on black kona fabric. 
My favorite black kona bleach print
My friend Beverly tried a stencil as a bleach discharge and I love the result! I will have to do some of those next time too!
Stencil resist on black kona

And we tried various sun-print type methods with Seta Dyes. Wrapped fabrics:
Tied bundles
to make these: 
Result of tied sun dyes
and while I was wrapping, Beverly was making leaf prints: 
Leaves on sun dye fabric
I thought I was taking lots of photos but I didn't end up with all that many. I will photograph a few more results and show them another time. And next time I will attempt a better documentation process! But it was sure fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Figured out stretch stitch today!

I do not own a Serger.

However I wanted to be able to sew on jersey (t-shirt) type material and make a top but I had never done it, so I found out that I needed to get ballpoint needles and use a different foot (for my Baby Lock it was a G foot) and got some jersey to practice on.

It is actually pretty easy:

stretch zig zag

Now I just need to make something and test out my new skill!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recycled Circles...

I have my Art Quilt class to go to on Thursday and I needed to have something that I was working on to bring so I thought I would try some of the Recycled Circles that artist Jane LaFazio makes.
Here is one example from her Flickr page:
blue and orange

So here is the one I am working on:
First just the circles pieced together (held together with Steam2Seam)...
Recycled Circles 1a

As you can see, my "circles" need some work being rounder!

I have started the stitching, which will take a while. This is what I will bring to class on Thursday:
Recycled Circles 1b
Then once it is all stitched I will connect the four pieces and add any other embellishments. I also have to add it to a backing. I am sure I am not making it in any method she teaches, as I am just winging it from seeing her photos. But I love the idea so I may make a few to just play with them. I think this will just be a wall decoration, although I did see one in Flickr from LaFazio's class that was made into a pillow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Month Mystery Blocks Finished...

Finished the first month of the Mystery Saturday Sampler with 2 weeks to spare! I was so afraid I would never finish but once I started it was easy, just one step at a time and then they were done!
Here are the sawtooth stars:
Month 1 sawtooth stars
And here is what they look like finished per Month 1 instructions:
Month 1 Finished

1. I joined this Monthly Sampler to learn new techniques. That said, I did learn a lot this month: how to make flying geese, how to make a sawtooth star, how to use the Wing Clipper tool (very handy for cutting the flying geese right), how to piece the star so the points are properly showing.

2. I am NOT into Civil War quilt colors so even though the colors are ok, they would not be my choice. I like some of the fabrics individually but not so much in the mixed colors of the stars and side pieces. I will be interested in seeing the rest of the quilt block colors, although she said from the beginning it would be all Civil War quilt colors. Not sure what I will do with the quilt top once it is finished.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Learning Sashiko...

Sashiko is a style of Japanese embroidery using short running stitches as a decorative (or perhaps originally to reinforce old cloth) pattern. Traditionally it is done with white thread on dark blue (indigo) woven fabric. If you Google it, there are a ton of examples and some gorgeous more modern designs.
I took a class at Fabric Garden to learn the basic techniques. After a small practice piece, this is what we made:

Sashiko class sample
The leaves are from batik fabric and are fused on with Misty Fuse. It was a fun class and it felt good to walk away with a finished sample. If I want to make this a wall hanging, I just need to finish the edges. The instructor was going to quilt hers in dark blue sashiko stitches around the blue areas (hers was on batting) and then bind it. I may do that as well for more practice. I like the simplicity of it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Working on Mystery Saturday Sampler

Finally starting out on this first set of stars for the Fabric Garden Mystery Saturday Sampler.

The woman who is leading it said "this first block is an easy one"... well, it has taken me nearly 2 weeks to get started on it because I think it scared me too much! Making 3 blocks of a sawtooth star (that means 12 flying geese among other things) for this beginner was a big "stop in my tracks" thing until I finally sat down and just started it...
Start of block 1
This was just one square and the directions...

So I just started cutting and sewing and pretty soon: Block 1 with directions

Making block 1 geese
Finally I had one set of the flying geese...
Geese with directions
So I put together the first star pieces... Star 1 before sewing together
And sewed together the first star pieces...

Middle Star 1

And now I have 2 more sets to make and the last side pieces to sew on and then I will have the 3 blocks for the month!
The way the monthly sampler idea works is this: If we finish the month and bring the blocks to the next class then the next month set of supplies (cut fabrics and directions) are no charge, otherwise it is $5. So there is a little incentive, aside from just wanting to learn the techniques and make the sampler.
I will post the rest as I get them made this weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finished Evie's Table Runner...

Another finished project! Made for my friend Evie:
Evie's Table Runner
Here is the full front:
Table Runner front
and the full back:
Table Runner back
It's basically reversible if she wants. I love the new (for me) batik fabrics that are out in stores and while they aren't for everything, I love them in things like this. I know the batiks have been out a long time but since it had been around 20 years since I had been in a fabric (or quilt) store, they were new to me when I first saw them last December.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quilt Blocks #1 and #2...

Ok I admit, I am doing it backwards! I started with block #5 to catch up to the current week (which is already last week) and now am going back to do the first 4. Here are blocks 1 and 2... and now that I have done these I am rethinking my color choices...
Here were my original color choices:
Fabric Selection for Quilt Along

Quilt Block #1: (ignore the background fabric, it was just to show contrast) 
Quilt Block 1

Quilt Block #2: (ignore the background fabric, it was just to show contrast) 
Quilt Block 2

and here is #5 again just to see the colors: 
Quilt Block 5 trimmed

What I am thinking is that even though the colors "go together" as fabrics I think the blocks are more conducive to different kinds of colors. Here are some of the photos from the group so far: Flickr Group Photos for Quilt Along.
I am going to think on it and decide this weekend. It is really good practice for me to make these blocks and since I haven't made too many yet I can always redo if I decide to change the color grouping. Meanwhile Block #6 came out yesterday, better take a look at that too!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A few projects finished...

Zipper bag to go with my sister's tote bag:
Liz zip bag
My Embroidery Class Homework from Week 1:
Emb Class HW 1
Block #5 for the online Quilt Along: Quilt Block 5 trimmed

Working on: Finishing up the table runner for Evie:
Working on Evies tablerunner

Monday, July 9, 2012

Refocused and getting back to the blog...

I had to take a little time off from this blog to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I decided to focus on my renewed interest in sewing and quilting here for a couple of reasons:
  1. It gives me one place to log and comment on the sewing, quilting and embroidery projects I am working on.
  2. It gives me a place to add buttons for other blogs and get involved in the quilting/sewing blogger community and have a place to link back to. 

I made pages (the tabs above) for the various projects I am doing so I have a place for all my "to do" and "to finish" lists. And I will post photos here and add other info as it comes to me. Since I am still climbing that steep learning curve for a lot of my projects I will also be linking to a lot of the You Tube videos and other web pages that are helping me (re)learn these arts/crafts. Basically I am using it for ME, to catalog and note things I am doing with current hobbies. As much as I do like Evernote, I think this is a better way to integrate the web, everything around me involving quilting and sewing and my own stuff. Of course, you (out there) are welcome to join me on this creative journey as well!

Which brings me to the change in title... Full Circle. I started out my creative interests in fabric arts, with embroidery, sewing, then into fiber arts like dyeing, spinning, and weaving. Then over time my interests went to the Paper Arts and Mixed Media (bookbinding, paper making, collage, rubber stamping, etc). And while I still occasionally so paper art work, these days I am drawn back into sewing and into my new interest of quilting.  

Thus (I have come) Full Circle. I had made a small quilt way back when (40 years ago or so) but never really got into the whole quilt thing then. Of course that was before rotary cutters, self-healing mats, and all the cool fabrics and tools that are out today! So I consider quilting a new interest since there is so much to learn!