Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have been making little felted motifs to make into pins or pendants, or to sew on quilts or purses. I am working on an instructional article for but wanted to show them off on my blog. If the article is accepted for publication I will post a link to it. If it is not accepted, I'll publish it myself, right here.

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

Inspiration from Nature

My sewing space is small, but has windows looking into the woods, which I find so inspirational. These photos are not the best but you get the idea. I have huge gratitude to be able to work in such a peaceful setting.

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

I just found out that I can join two pieces of lace together for a new look. I gave it a try and here is what I learned.

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".

I think I will make this into a leaf by shortening it and cutting a V into each end. I can stitch the edge each V to the other edge, giving it some dimension. Paint it green, add beads etc. and it might be quite cute.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Big Girl Toys

For several years I pieced crazy quilts with a 1937 Singer Featherweight. Then I decided to modernize with a Janome Jem Gold picked up at a Crazy Quilt Retreat several years ago. About a month ago, I bought a Janome Memory Craft 6600P because I wanted the quilting features and the decorative stitches. (Do not go in a sewing machine store and ask for a sewing machine that does embroidery stitches. That means something completely different to them.)

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

I am giddy with power

Yes, posting on my own blog has me in a dither. Should I just talk about making crazy quilt stuff? Should I share my vast wisdom about life. Or maybe a few photos of my dog? I'll have to give this some more thought.

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