Saturday, November 26, 2016

Illumination for Sewing Machine

The last couple of weeks seem to have been occupied with handy gadgets that make any sewing project a bit easier.  This tip relates to illuminating the needle plae of a sewing machine.  I have tried a number of lights but not one seems to cast a light from the left of the needle.  So far each has cast shadows which sometimes complicates a clear view of where the needle will enter fabric. Here is a link where I recently found this one on Amazon,  

The description reads, as follows:  "Bonlux LED Sewing Machine Light Working Gooseneck Lamp 30 Leds, with Magnetic Mounting Base for Home or Sewing Machine (30 LEDs)".

I received it today and here it is laid out on my work table.
The small columnar piece is a strong magnet so that the light can be attached to a machine that has a metal housing.  My machine has a plastic housing so I could not attach it magnetically.  I used sticky backed Velcro to attach the light to the back of my machine.
Light Attached with Sticky Backed Velcro
Here is a photo of the front of my machine with the light directed onto the needle plate.
In dark light with no background lighting
With background lighting and project light turned off
and finally...
Needle Illuminated at Night with No Other Lighting
If you, also, experience a need for more directed light than the machine light can produce, you might want to give this a try.  For the price of $12.66, I don't think it can be beat.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great Tool Discovery for Sewing Machine Plate

My son-in-law showed me this little screwdriver a few days ago as he was installing a motion detector light.  I thought, "Wow, I could use that on my sewing machines' plates."  Even though machines usually come with a short screwdriver to help remove the plate, I invariably burn my knuckles on the sewing machine light bulb.  This little tool is just what the doctor ordered. 

Harbor Freight carries this tool for a mere $2.99   Here is a picture of it in Harbor Freight's catalogue.
If you happen to buy one of these little gems, you may be joyously surprised.  It comes with 5 different sized heads.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"Infinite Connections", A Video Overview

The "Infinite Connections" collection of quilted fiber art works by members of Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists has been exhibited at the Pacific International Quilt Festival  in Santa Clara, California from October 13 through today, October 16, 2016.  The superb duo of Laura and Luke Bisagna has created a tremendous video that features these works.  I'm honored to have my work, "A World Changed Forever" among the exhibited works. 

Click on this link to enjoy the video:

As you peruse the video, here is my interpretation of the Infinite Connections theme.
"A World Changed Forever," ©Linda Friedman 2016
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Between Heaven and Earth" to make a showing

I was totally thrilled to find out this morning that my work, "Between Heaven and Earth," has been accepted into the upcoming "Plant Life" show at the Linus Art Galleries in Long Beach/Signal Hill, California.
"Between Heaven and Earth" ©Linda Friedman 2012

This 38" (W) x 48" (L) quilted work contains elements of hand painting, stamping with flora from my garden, machine and hand applique, and free motion quilting.  It first debuted with the Quilts on the Wall, "Bridges" exhibit and traveled throughout the United States for two years.  Again, it appeared with Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists in the "Fiber Perceptions" exhibit at the Cerritos Public Library in Cerritos, California .  Now, this fiber friend of mine comes back to take another stroll with me, this time into an outstanding art gallery.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoy greeting each new day.  Surprises always await the rising sun.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"A Forever Changed World" in Palm Springs, CA

I'm thrilled to announce that my quilt, "A Forever Changed World" will be on exhibit with the Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists exhibit at Mancuso's Quiltfest Oasis from October 6 - October 8, 2016.

Our group of invited fiber artists has created an exhibit of works based upon a theme of "Infinite Connections".  It reflects each artist's translation of that theme with fabric and a variety of techniques.  My 30" x 50" quilt reflects the infinite connections that became possible with the advent of radio waves. We often take communication for granted but without it, societies would stand still.  May our information portals never be hacked and closed.

Hope you can set aside a day between October 6th and 8th to visit Quiltfest Oasis which promises to be an outstanding show.

Quiltfest Oasis – October 6 – 8, 2016
Palm Springs Convention Center

277 North Avenida Caballeros
Palm Springs, CA
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Friday, July 29, 2016

Flight Feathers #1 - Mounted Fiber Art

Flight Feathers #1 - 8"x8" - Mounted Art Quilt
Recently I completed a 40" x 40" work that featured a crow on a telephone wire.*  The theme had emotional significance for me because the call of crow on a wire was in the background as my father and I hugged and said for the last time, "I love you", before an accident took his life the next day.  Every time I see or hear a crow, I am reminded of my father and that he loved me very much.

Because many of my works have implicit undertones, I wanted to have a white feather in the bird's beak that would, to me, signify my father leaving this plane of existence.  This led to my experimenting with thread to create the perfect feather.  Unfortunately, white was "lost" on a silver lame field.  Still, I liked the feathers and knew that if I put them away for future use, they would surely become one with a growing drawer of "someday to use" items.

Thus, I set about making a sandwich of black fabric and batting and free motion quilted a background for the thread feathers.  I then stitched the leaves onto the mini quilt.  In my stash was an 8"x8" stretched canvas.  It was perfect for mounting this mini art quilt.

Close-up of First Feather
Close-up of Second Feather
Close-up of Third Feather
Once the quilt was mounted to the stretched canvas, I used a stenciling brush to lightly apply acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium to the four corners.

Last I backed the work with black mat board and attached D-rings to make the piece ready for hanging.
Back of Mounted Mini Quilt
*Once the large, 40"x40" quilt begins to travel, I will provide a picture and write-up of that, but I will post a "teaser" here.  The crow is constructed with dark blue and black satin and is heavily thread painted on the head and the breast.
Beginning of the Crow
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Speaking Out" in Fuller Lodge Art Center, "Pulse" exhibit

"Speaking Out" © Linda Friedman 2016
I'm tickled pink to report that my quilted art work, "Speaking Out," has been juried into the Los Alamos, New Mexico, Fuller Lodge Art Center exhibit, "Pulse".    Here is an invitation to the opening reception that is scheduled for this evening.
Invitation to Opening Receiption
If any followers happen to be in New Mexico during the remainder of June through July 30th, I hope you will visit the Fuller Lodge Art Center to take in the exhibit.  The address of the center is:
2131 Central Avenue
Los Alamos, NM  37544
The call for art outlined what the jurors were looking for, as follows:
"Examine the concept of rhythm and take time 
to tune into the cadence of the world around you..."
My work, "Speaking Out" was inspired by Pharrell Williams' song, "Freedom" that was released in 2015.  This quilted work was composed upon white and red cotton and cotton blend fabrics, screen printed and stenciled using my original designs with acrylic paints mixed with fabric medium, and free motion quilted.

Sure wish that my schedule would allow traveling to the reception.  The variety of art promises to be stimulating.
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Dimenional Art Expressed in Fiber #1

 So many aspects of fiber captivate my interest that between quilted art , I enjoy creating dimensional fiber works.  Here are just a few that have come from my sewing machine.

 Two soft sculptured forms, thread stitched bowl and felted fruit forms.
Open Box Form
 Threads stitched onto water soluble stabilizer and formed into a box shape.
Opening Night
Thread stitched fluted open vessel, thread painted mask, and 
manipulable felt stitched over wire leaf forms 
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2016.  All rights reserved

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How to Stitch a Free Motion Straight Line

Making and Using a Free Motion Straight Edge Guide for Free Motion Stitching

No matter how much I try and how much I practice I cannot stitch a consistently straight line when using a free motion sewing foot.  As a result, I devised a "tool" to assist  with free motion straight lines.  What follows is how I made a virtually free guide made from cardboard or mat board that literally changed my quilting life--at least when it comes to straight lines.

1.  Because my machine take a bouncing free motion foot, I needed to cut twin pieces of mat board with straight edges and glued them together.  I used two pieces of mat board so that the foot would not bounce over the edge of the cardboard when stitching.  If you use a foot that does not bounce, one layer of cardboard might be high enough.

2.  Make sure the edges of the mat board are flush before gluing them together.  Here is a picture of what the top of the mat board guide looks like...

3.  After the two pieces of mat board are dry, turn the unit over and put strips of carpet tape on the backside.  
Carpet Tape Affixed to Under Side of Guide
4.  Peel the protective strip off of the double sided carpet tape.  
5.  To reduce some of the extreme tackiness, repeatedly place a strip of scrap fabric on top of the tape and peel it off.  This will reduce the extreme sticking power but leave enought to keep the guide from slipping on the fabric to be stitched.

6.  Place fabric to be stitched under the free motion pressure foot.  Drop the need where you wish to start stitching a straight line.  In the picture below, I wanted to stitch along the black line so the needle went into the fabric on that black line.  The guide was the abutted against the free motion foot.
Place Guide against the Free Motion Pressure foot.
7.  Check to see that the guide is running parallel to the line to be stitched.

8.  Start Stitching at the beginning of the line to be stitched.  When the end of the guide is reached, remove the guide and move it down the fabric until the full line of stitching is complete.
9.  If multiple lines are desired, repeat this process where the next line of stitching will occur.

10. Below is a picture of the guide take from the back side of the machine as it is moved along the line to be stitched.