Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Life keeps getting in the way of making art. It's a beautiful day, so I took some photos of my yard for inspiration, to get me moving again. When I am stitching, clock time goes away and I go to a place where I am in my own time. I stay in the present moment -- the past and future lose their power over me. I am taking babysteps toward learning to get back to the present moment when I am not making art by focusing on my breathing, by being mindful of what I am doing, and by reminding myself that I am not my thoughts or feelings. As I grow older, the peace that comes from being present no longer feels like a luxury but a necessity.
I bet that most of you did not come here to read about my inner self, so on to a stitching topic. I am spatially impaired. Can't crochet, can't knit. The cast on stitch gives me fits. Every time I do it I have to relearn it. I love Sharon' B's stitch dictionary, and refer to it frequently. Sometimes, however, I am just mystified when it comes to looking at the photos and making my hands do it. The other day I ran across the Video Library of Hand Embroidery Stitches and found help. Little 2 - 4 minute videos of many embroidery stitches show clearly, with narration, how to do even those stitches that confuse me. Great resource for beginners.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Some of the motifs in the photo are complete, and some have not been embellished. My favorites are the one with the purple-haired lady bead and the one just above it. Click the photo to see a much larger view.
As a beginning needle felter, I have really enjoyed making these because I get a sense of accomplishment from having a finished product that I like. These small pieces are a great way to improve my skills with the needle felting machine.
Friday, March 28, 2008
My crazy quilting habit outgrew our spare bedroom so I moved to a small (10'x24') building that is about 50 steps from my front door. I have my sewing things and an office there. I have music, the internet, and crazy quilting. It just does not get any better than that.
Joining lace is easy to do with the right presser foot for your sewing machine. The foot is called an edge joiner or a stitch-in-the-ditch foot and has a vertical metal guide between its "toes". By lining up the edges of the lace (or fabric or ribbon) on each side of the metal guide, you can zigzag stitch, catching each side as you go. Of course, this could be used for any stitchable item with a straight side -- fabric, trim, ribbon.
The image above shows two pieces of lace joined in the middle, the edge joining foot, and a single piece of lace like the two that I joined. This is the first one I stitched and I can tell I need a bit of practice. The foot that came with my Janome machine is labeled "G".
Thursday, March 27, 2008
You can see it on the left side of the photo.
I love my new Janome and I am even making a sane quilt, quite a stretch for someone whose idea of a straight seam might vary as much as 1/4".
Needle Felting Machine
A couple of weeks ago I found out about needle felting machines, so I headed right out to destroy my budget by buying a Baby Lock Embellisher. It is the most fun thing I have done in a long time.
This is a 4x5" (approximately) crazy quilt 'interpretation' that I made the first day I got the embellisher.
There is something so satisfying about making a little needle felted piece, or an atc, or a cq postcard because it goes so quickly and then you have something beautiful. Making larger cq projects takes time and sometimes goes on for longer than I want.
I have been making some pins with the embellisher. More on those later.
Monday, March 24, 2008
For today, here's a photo of the block I am making for my sister's birthday, which is April 1, so I'd better get a move on. I have had so much fun making this block. It's hard to see in this photo but I used my needle felting machine to make the orange flower in the top right, and I used invisible thread and my sewing machine to stitch down the vines. Up until now I have done everything by hand. There is something sort of naughty about cheating like this! But I need to save my hands for embroidery and a little machine stitching never hurt anything.
"After all, the goal is not to make art, but to be in that wonderful state that makes art inevitable."
~ Robert Henri / The Art Spirit