Saturday, July 30, 2011

Welcome a new Free Spirit baby

Today took a break from sewing on the king size quilt for the kids and finished a new spirit baby. This one is for Kathryn (Beads and Baubles in Deland). I wanted to send a little love her way; she is so kind and caring toward others. I always enjoy my trips to her shop. Of course, she had to be purple for Kathryn.
Amazingly enough, I had just the perfect fabric and beads in my stash so the designing went quickly. My best find was the tiny Swarovski crystal butterflies used in the dangles from her arm; they were the perfect accent. I have had the larger purple beads in my collection for a while and they were just the perfect color. I like using the look from using two colors of beads in the picot edging (thanks for the inspiration Elaine). I only had to take out and redo one set of beads that just didn't work.

To my surprise, the hardest decision was in designing the head/hair. This is usually the first decision that I make. It was Anita's idea to repeat the use of flower beads on the head. I even had one more small crystal butterfly that I could use; I really like how this turned out.

Check the Bead page for pictures of more spirit dolls. We are working on our next spirit baby swap. I have finished mine, but won't post it until after the exchange and she is adopted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seahorse Beaded Mini Quilt

This is the batik fabric that I found on our last cult road trip. I was pleasantly surprised to find the perfect seahorse bead -- from my stash! I know I bought it to make something for Cait (my daughter who briefly ventured into the realm of breeding seahorses).

I think I am done; I need to just put down my needle and walk away because I keep adding more stitching and more beads. These quilts are so addictive. I will put close up pics on the quilt page as soon as I get the back done. (I am waiting until after I teach this class so they can see the mess.)

I used some yarn as cording around this one. (Anita's suggestion)  No dangling fringe--unless I can't resist and pick up my needle again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July ATC for the KY group

Finally finished my trade for the "Seashell" theme. I think the problem was that I had too many ideas and choices. I also did not want to mail any real shells; they just don't travel well.

The girls were over last night and helped me make decisions; thanks ladies. I used heavy acrylic in the embossing folder for the overlay; I really like the look.  I have already finished the August trade for masking so now I am ahead. I want to get the next two themes done early because I am so busy (and tired) from the beginning of school. Then of course, it's cruise time with Tim! I can't wait.

New Quilting Classes

I finished the directions for the bead embellished mini art quilt that I am teaching at the Sew and Quilt Shoppe in Bunnell. This is the quilt that I posted earlier. I also designed a beginner's hand-applique class. I am excited about teaching this technique class in September. I used eight methods of applique on the block. I am still in the process of writing up the directions-it's turning into a book on hand applique.

Now I have an idea for teaching a dimensional applique block.... It may be a good thing that summer is about over and it's almost time to think about school work; I spent time yesterday working out some scheduling issues.

Playtime is ticking away; what should I work on next?

Another cruise ATC done!

Finished up my second ATC to swap on the cruise. This is the one I created (in my head) when floating in my pool while trying to keep cool. I really like how it turned out. I sanded distress color core'dination paper that had been embosed in Holtz's brick wall folder. The center oval was cut with a sizzix die. The challenge was covering up the small hole on the right side. I used the masking film cut out with the Holtz butterfly die and I sprayed over it with a glimmer I made with distress reinkers and perfect pearls powder. The saying is a Holtz stamp from the Urban Chic collection. The flower (from Holtz ribbon package) was dyed with distress inks. (I will post directions on how I dyed them). The greenery are cut from various parts of a Holtz die with the heart, wings and crown.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Elaine

We celebrated Elaine's birthday last night. I hope she enjoys the present as much as I enjoyed making the desk. I purchased the pattern from Lorri. I used the matchbox die to make the desk. The small items were part of the pattern.

We each put a trinket in a drawer. I changed the pattern slightly. I folded the desk top to create a pocket for gift cards. It also makes the desk more stable.

I spent today working on a new quilting course: it's going to be a hand applique technique class. I finished designing the pattern for a small Baltimore Album style block that teaches a variety (seven) of applique techniques. The class will meet one hour a week for three weeks.  Stay tuned to see the sample.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beaded Ornaments

Judy, Jan and Lupe came down for the morning and we made netted Christmas ornaments. They all came out so pretty. Judy found the perfect color glass ball; they are a dark cream. Everyone's bead color looked great on them. They are going on my shopping list so I can start making Christmas presents now.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tim Holtz Cruise ATC

I got inky today and started the first of my first ATC swaps for the Tim Holtz cruise that Anita and I are going on at the end of September. I decided to make 20; about my attention span limit for one design. I have some ideas that I want to play with for more.

I am going to come up with an ideas for making charms to swap using Holtz's word sticks--I must like them a lot; I found two packages that I have purchased.

Finishing the Beaded MiniQuilt

When you have finished embroidering and embellishing the front of the quilt, it is time to make the beaded fringe. I made 7 dangles that hang about 1 1/4" apart. Use fireline and be sure to knot each dangle individually before moving to the next. On this one I did a loop that connects each dangle.

Next, it's time to make the back look just as nice. You need to make a label for your quilt. I used wonder under with a light colored solid and ran it through my die cut machine. I stamped using a permanent ink (VersaFine).  I also used colored pencils to add some color. Since it's not going to be washed it doesn't matter if it's not permanent. Iron your label on a piece of felt.

I stitch the felt over the back to cover all the loose stitches. Any stitch is fine (I used a blanketstitch here, but a simple running stitch works too) but just stitch through the backing fabric and felt and not through to the front.

I like using the "Monthly Mini" wire quilt hangers from Ackfeld Wire . To make a casing for hanging the quilt, add a piece of 5/8" wide ribbon across the top of the quilt back. First neatly attach (blind stitch or whip stitch) the top edge. To add space for the wire hanger, use a knitting needle or pencil under the ribbon before stitching the bottom edge of the ribbon. Jump over to the quilting page to see pictures of this quilt finished.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Raiding your stash.

Sorry to be so long getting this next step up; I have been cleaning out closets, organizing, painting and decorating. 

Once you have made your quilt top it's time to play; visit your stash, or go shopping (from the store or your BFFs).

 Lay focal items on your top and take pictures. The camera gives you a better perspective and an easy way to see different options. Walk away. Look at the pictures that you took and make a decision (at least for now).

Now start stitching. I added the embellishments with a beading needle and 6 pound fireline. The embroidery was done with a #20 or 22 chenille needle and DMC perle cotton #8 and YLI Perle Crown Rayon.