Paint and Bead Your Own Decorative Pillow

Back By Popular Demand

Make your own decorative pillow.  You will paint your own fabric and embellish it with stitching and beads.  The class is on the schedule at Baron’s Sewing Center in Woodland Hills for Tuesdays November 12th and November 19th  
 6 pm until 9 pm 
(6 Hours total – 3 hours each day)

You can create your own design or fashion your pillow along the lines of this one that I made for this class.

P1040166

I started with a piece of white PFD Kona cotton and painted the background with an acrylic wash of color.  Next I painted the flowers and layered the piece with batting and lining.  Then the REAL fun began as I used thread painting to add depth and texture to the design.  Here’s where you can really let yourself experiment with color and various thread weights.  I particularly liked the look of some variegated 30 wt. thread. 

When I declared the thread painting “done” I got out my beads and went to town!  Because this will be used for “show and tell” in class I wanted to be sure to incorporate several basic beading stitches.  I used moss stitch, scatter stitch, seed stitch, bugle pathways, back stitch and stacked stitch.  

My goal was to achieve a vibrant mix of color, texture and bling.

Call Baron’s today to sign up – This is a FUN class.

818-224-2746

Challenge for January: Exhilaration – Haiku and Art

The Haiku Art  prompt word for January was Exhilaration.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Exhilaration” as    “The state of being stimulated, refreshed, or elated.”
Sometimes all it takes to experience these feelings is to step outside on a sunny day.
The Haiku
scent of new mown grass
sunbeam caresses my cheek
living…feeling…aaaaah…
For the art work that I was preparing to go with this haiku – I didn’t want to be too structured.  I wanted to indicate an almost childlike feeling of exhilaration with my composition and color choices.
At the same time, as a developing art quilter, I wanted to incorporate a couple of new techniques and see “what if”?
First off I used a “blah” pastel print in lieu of plain muslin as my base. I didn’t mind that it partly “showed through” – just felt it added some interest.
I felt that color was of first importance in this piece – so before doing anything else I painted my background using acrylic paint.  In order to add some texture to the piece I used some Golden Light Molding Paste to parts of the grassy area.    
I quilted the piece extensively with heavy thread. 

Procrastination – Observations: Visual and Poetic


One of the keys to overcoming any bad habit is to have some understanding of why we do it in the first place. So why don’t we “just do it” a la a Nike commercial and put off some tasks for later? And I’m not just talking about doing the dishes. I’m talking about taking care of tasks that we enjoy as well – could be sewing or gardening or whatever.  

For some it could be some underlying fear of failure or even,  for some others  – fear of success.  Maybe we don’t think that we have the specific skill required or talent needed to complete the task and that we will face ridicule.  Maybe we’re in conflict about the task at hand and aren’t even sure it’s something that we want to do. Maybe we’re overwhelmed by other demands in our lives and can’t give adequate attention to this newer demand. Maybe we don’t have a clear enough image of exactly what it is we want to accomplish.  Maybe the task is boring compared to some other activity that could substitute.  I’m far from qualified to give out any advice here but maybe there’s some food for thought in the above possibilities.
I considered these ideas and wrote the following Haiku:

  Demands, wants, needs, musts
      I want to……….I don’t want to
      Relentless tick – tock

I decided that I would set specific goals for the art work that would accompany this haiku:
1. to complete the work in a set amount of time – time that I alternatively would have spent that evening playing a game online .   I thought that it was not unreasonable to have the main designing and rough assembly done in 45 minutes.  I would do the quilting and finishing the following day.
2.  I have a plastic storage box full of previously fused cotton scraps – some of which are remnants from previous projects.  My challenge was to use ONLY fabrics from that particular box.  Believe me there were plenty to choose from.

The completed piece is approximately 12 inches by 12 inches. 

It demonstrates how focus, definition and time limits overcame procrastination in one dedicated to that art.


I’ve Got Lips – Art Quilt using Extravorganza

I love doing these journal quilts – what a wonderful way to try new techniques. For “I’ve Got Lips” above I first did a pieced background and quilted it. Then I drew and cut out appliques of various “lips” – with a variety of pink and red fabrics. (I had to add paint to get the right color a couple of times) I looked for as many “lip” quotes as I could find and printed them out in various fonts using ExtravOrganza in my inkjet printer. I then cut out the sayings, frayed the edges and painted each one using a fabric marker. I adhered them to the quilt with a clear fabric glue.
Lips Detail

Eat Your Veggies

Most of the art quilts that I’ve been making have been fairly free form.  So I wanted to try my hand at a Still Life. I wanted it to be vibrant with color and simple in design.  The fabrics that I chose would be very important.

First, not knowing which veggies would make the final cut, I went to the refrigerator to see what was available.  I arranged various combinations on a cutting board and ended up with something that looked pleasing.  I photographed them as I went along to get various perspectives.  When I was satisfied I made a print in the size that I wanted to sew and prepared templates.  I adhered a clear piece of laminating film to the printed design and cut the shapes that I wanted to use.

For the first time I went to my little stash of hand dyes and selected the veggie fabrics.  Believe me when I say this was a really big deal.  This is my holy grail of fabric.
I found pieces amongst my commercial stash that would work for the background and the cutting board.

Eat Your Veggies

Once I had the composition in place I decided that some highlights were needed on the veggies.  I added these with Tsukineko Inks, chosen because of the ability to readily control the amount and depth of the color to be added.
I machine quilted to add texture and interest.

As I said earlier it’s quite different from what I usually do – do you like it?

In Her Element

This was such a fun quilt to make. It contains so many different techniques and required so many design decisions that I thought it would be a good one to blog on.

I started this quilt in a workshop about using Lutradur. We did several kinds of painting on Lutradur and incorporated some stamping. I had a piece that I painted in shades of blue Lumiere – thinking ahead to using the finished product in an art quilt with an underwater theme.

I was in MY element being able to conjure up a variety of embellishments to use on this piece.

My favorite is the kelp. I used a pipe cleaner (aka fuzzy wuzzy wire) as the base and wound some yarn from my knitting leftover bag around it. Then I was able to bend the piece the way I wanted it and couched it to the background.

The dark purple fish was made ‘offline’ with some underfabric, netting and a lot of thread painting, then attached to give a slightly 3D look.

The coral was a lot of fun to make. First I painted some lutradur and created the coral shapes with a heat tool. I just burned away to get the shapes that I wanted then stitched them down.

A variety of threads were used in the quilting including my favorite bling thread – #30 Madeira .

 

 

 

 

All the beading was done by hand.

I finished the quilt with a traditional hand stitched binding.

Balance – July Haiku Art

Balance – what comes into your mind when hearing this prompt word?  I thought of my 10 year old granddaughter Abigail balancing on her unicycle and of the determined look on her face as she struggles to maintain her balance on the low wire.  I thought of commonly used expressions such as “balance your checkbook” or “eat a balanced diet”.
Ultimately – what balance means to me these days is the attempt to put the mind and body into a balanced or integrated state as we do through Yoga practice.
This is the 2nd of a series about Yoga practice.  It incorporates the words: “Shanti” which means peace and “so hum” .  This is a mantra that we use for focus while doing deep breathing.
The Haiku
close your eyes breathe in
jasmine scented air swirling
find your center – stay
Shanti 2

On My Design Wall

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Just took a fresh look at my “design wall” and decided what to finish up this weekend. I’ll have the house to myself  – no excuses not to finish at least one of these projects.
This is Beach Buddies.
Almost finished the quilting – just the sky and details of the clothing.  Then I will bind it and attach a hanging sleeve.
This is an original design based on some photography that I did a few years ago.

I’ve got mostly handwork left on this watery, fishy piece so it’ll be a good one to work on too.

And if I need a break from the stitching I’ll pull out my paints and get back to work on KR.  He really needs to be finished.

Hardy Rosebuds Thrive – January Haiku Art

My goal was to illustrate nature’s propensity to new beginnings in the face of adversity.

A secondary goal was to try some new creative techniques or materials.

Lutradur – burned edges, stamped and painted with pearl-ex
Angelina fibers – stamped
Rosebud photos printed on cotton, appliqued and thread painted.
Purchased leafy vine appliqued
Haiku printed on Extravorganza – edges fringed and painted
Scattered beads
Sheer tulle layered over the piece
Layered and quilted
Edges finished with  zigzag stitch

Spring Has Sprung

Spring Has Sprung?
I know – Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks – so why I am titling this entry Spring Has Sprung?
A little while back I made a little quilt with that title.  Do you remember the little ditty….
Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz.
I wonder where the birdies is…?
So, naturally I had to make a “The Grass Has Riz” piece.  I just finished the beading  last week and got it done!
Spring Has Sprung

The center background is randomly pieced and the design elements are fused.  The technique is very improvisational and FUN! I was first introduced to it a couple of years ago at a class taught by Deana Hartman.  (http://chameleonquilts.com)   One of the best classes I’ve taken.

I hurried through all the basic construction so that I
could get to the BEADING!
The writing on the quilt is done with a free motion
zigzag stitch.

The Grass Has Riz!

.
And here is………….
The Grass Has Riz!
The pieced green background part looks
vaguely like an egg, don’t you think?
I guess the idea of Spring was working
on me subliminally

I’m thinking that I should have done the writing in a more contrasting color.  On the other hand, center stage belongs to the grass – and all the BEADS!!!!

I’m thinking that there are some birdies in my near quilting future……