Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last Pieces in a Random Series

If you look carefully at my last blog entry, and notice the border fabric on my landscape quilt, you will find the inspiration for the two pieces I have just completed.

The first thing I wanted to work on was a little purse.  While at the NJ Quilt Festival I purchased a silver frame for a purse.  I stopped at buying only one because sometimes I get carried away at these events.  Rats!  because it so fun making this bag that I was hoping to make another one soon.  Thankfully, I can go to the store sometime as it is in New Jersey or I can hold off and buy another one next year when I go to the festival.  Either way is fine since there are so many other projects to make.

I only bought the top frame and no chain to go with it, so I added a piece of imitation leather and kept it simple.  If I decide to get a chain, I can do so when I get another purse top.

So I added Wonder Under to the snow dyed fabric from Dippity Dyes and then I cut it into 1 inch squares.  I fused it to black cotton and quilted it by machine in a simple alternating lines pattern.  I tried to use a rayon thread that would blend more than detract from the hand dyed fabric.  I just wanted some texture.
Of course I wanted to add a little bling, so I stitched these metallic beads onto the top using a sturdy beading monofilament thread.  It gives the purse a nice little touch and the frame has convenient little holes at the top so it was relatively simple to do.

Here's a closer view and a view of the back of the bag.  It is one of those things that will go with everything, including a little black dress. (If I had one.)

So with making the purse, I made a little extra of the grid quilted fabric and I didn't want that to go to waste.  Besides it looked pretty cool and was essentially running with this random series of work anyway.  So what the heck, I made it into a small art quilt.

It is 12 X 12 inches and I mounted it on a canvas that I painted on the sides.  It has the leftover piece from the purse, some bent and hammered wire and a charm I picked up in a super cool town called Tubac, Arizona.  I framed it in a Kona cotton and then added a silk dupioni border that is a crossweave of silver and magenta.  It gives the piece a nice sheen and highlights the silver metals in the center.

The charm is a heart with a dove flying across it and little leaves or something in the corners.  I hand stitched the pieces together using some hand dyed fiber that came in an Oliver Twist pack.  I just love those.  I machine quilted it so that the lines on the outside would draw the viewers eye into the center.  The thread was a light silver grey.

Here is a closer look at the center of the piece.  It is 6 1/2 inches on each edge.

Finally, I painted a canvas in a medium magenta and then lightly brushed it with metallic silver paint.  It really was a pretty close match to the border fabric.

So thanks for checking out these projects.  I have already decided that my next piece will be made from two bags of scraps that I bought in Sedona, Arizona (same trip as the charm).  I paid $1.50 for each bag - so I'm going to see what I can do with $3 worth of fabric.  So far it is looking pretty interesting.  It's amazing what limiting yourself can do for your creativity.

Monday, April 2, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

For any of you with children or grandchildren, there is a very amusing book about giving a mouse a cookie.  Then he wants a glass of milk to go with it, and a napkin, which he makes a puppet out of and then something else and so on.  Our kids are married and in college so I don't exactly recall the whole story but essentially one silly thing let to another silly thing, and so goes this latest collection of my work.

It all started with the New Year and a determined effort to try yoga.  It turns out I love yoga and so I got a really nice mat to go to class with.  Well with money spent on a really nice mat, you need a really nice mat bag.  And with all those hand dyes I made last summer just sitting there, it just made sense.  So here is my yoga mat bag.

It holds my mat, towel, water bottle and other small items that I take to class.  It is unique and I love carrying it to a place I have come to enjoy very much.  It is basic strips pieced together in no particular order and then cut and resewn and so on and so on.  I added a sturdy webbed nylon handle and tada!

A bit of random line stitching with a walking foot to quilt it together breaks up the straight lines.

Of course, I left some of the collect hand dyes lying around on my work table for a while and decided to make something out of those leftovers.

With a Timtex base, I fused some hand dyed fabric and then thread sketched on the top.  I then fused the back on and edge stitched the petals to make them into a bowl shape.  I like them, they are fun and functional and I think perhaps will come in handy on Mother's Day.

Here is a close up of the thread sketching.  I think I used 5 different colors on the petals and yellow, pale orange and purple circles in the center.

It was so easy that I decided to make another.

Then I decided to make a bigger one with more colors of thread and even some metallic thread to give it some shine.

Here is the back and where I missed a bit with stitching, I just used a little paint to match the fabric.  Super Easy.

Okay, so now the hand dyes are getting smaller but I still like the colors so I decided to make a little art quilt with them.  I had to add a couple of colors but that was okay I was still playing with my hand dyes and mentally making excuses that soon I would run out of hand dyes altogether (highly unlikely) so I should order more PFD fabric.

Anyway, here is the next project.

I used a snow dye that I bought from Lisa Reber and Dippity Dyes as the sky and the rest are my own hand dyed fabrics.  I machine quilted it and added some beads and sequins.

There are various size seed beads, twisted bugle beads and pressed glass flowers backed with sequins.

Notice the border.  It is another snow dye from Dippity Dyes.  It just seemed to go with it.  In fact I liked it so much that my next two projects were made using it as inspiration.

Also, I mounted this on an 11 X 14 canvas that I painted with periwinkle, a mixture of magenta and purple and then washed in metallic indigo blue.  It looks iridescent in person.  I wish I knew how to photograph that better.  Anyway, it highlights the beads just the way I wanted it to.

Now, for the rest of the border fabric, which was a fat quarter I found in a bin on the floor at Lisa's booth, I have two projects underway.  Stay tuned so see how it ends up.  So far I am liking both pieces and will post them as soon as I complete them.  Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave any comments about my series of random work.