Saturday, July 31, 2010


Fabric Book of Stitching Techniques

As I was making flat feld seams on a garment, it occurred to me that it might be fun to make a soft book of stitching technique examples, some of which my mother taught me when I was just a teenager and some of which I have taught myself along the way. Fabric that others no longer want have a way of making it to my doorstep and often these may not be fabrics that I would choose for garments or for quilting projects. One such piece of fabric was given to my daughter who then gave it to me and it has been sitting in my stash for over 8 years. Ah ha, the fabric might be perfect for a little book. Thus, from my stash and my scrab bag, emerged this little book of 12 pages, 6 of which are finished. Perhaps more pages will be added over time.

As you will surely notice, freemotion cursive writing is not among my talents, but perhaps with practice, this will improve.
Each page was hemmed for stability and a double folded "binding" area was topstitched to the page. I hand sewed a running stitch along the outside fold with twisted craft thread.
When the 12 pages are complete I will "bind" the book by weaving craft thread through the stitches from the top to the bottom so that the book will open flat.

"Sandwiching and Top Stitching"

"Lace Made on Tule Foundation"

"Simple and Corded Pintucking"
(without pintuck foot)

"Freemotion Stitching"

"Flat Feld Seams"


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Free Motion Quilting

On the Textile and Fiber Arts site I found a swell blog with great free motion embroidery tutorials. Check out:
365 Days of FreeMotion Quilting Designs. The videography is crisp and the narrative is clear and understandable.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wildfire - A Tribute to All Wildland Firefighters

As summer heats up in Southern California, the threat of wildfires looms large. A very short time ago wildfires seemed as though they were going to burn Southern California to the ground. This quilt is a tribute to the brave wildland firefighters throughout our nation who put their lives on the line to protect our land and our populations. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

This quilt was made entirely from hand dyed cotton and cotton blend batting. An earlier blog entry shows the dyed batting hanging to dry.

Back of quilt.

Closeup of thread painting, beading, couching and embroidery work.

Closeup of quilting and thread painting.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mia Bloom Designs

I just found Mia Bloom Designs on Etsy and am enamored with the designs and eye popping color. Check out this store at You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dyed Batting

A couple of days ago I tried dying a wayward piece cotton batting with concentrated, liquid Rit dye in the microwave. The color was luscious and led me to needle felting soy fibers and wool roving on it. A design started to develop and this gave way to further embellishment with a few shimmery snippets, cording and embroidery using 2 ply floss. The piece was beginning to have a personality that needed to be showcased into a larger work. This morning I dyed several more remnant strips of batting in the microwave with Rit concentrated liquid dye. Since the strips were rather small, I was able to dye them in small, glass bowls, as follows:

1) Soak the strips in water to make them ready to accept the dye,2) Mix a couple of tablespoons of dye with water in a glass bowl,
3) Submerge the batting in the bowl,
4) Cover the bowl with a plate to prevent splattering in the microwave,
5) Microwave the strips for 2 minutes on the high setting,
6) Remove the bowl with potholders because the bowl was very hot,
7) Rinse until water runs clear,
8) Squeeze out water,
9) Roll strip in towel to remove excess moisture,10 Hang to dry (the process can be hurried along by using a blow dryer).

The colors are so vibrant that I would love to having them hanging around the studio on permanent display, but hopefully today I will be able to merge them with the embellished piece that I created yesterday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Egyptian Figure with Column

Dover Royalty Free Clip Art
Recently my friend loaned me a copy of a Dover publication with royalty free Egyptian images.

Full Figure Fabric Translation of Image.
A couple of days later another friend gave me strips of painter's canvas that were left over from a canvas stretching project. She said she was sure I would do something with the strips. Serendipitously, the rolled canvas strips lay next to the Dover publication on my coffee table. It seemed as if an image wanted to be translated from the book to the canvas. An elongated female figure seemed as if it could be adapted rather easily. I enlarged the figure by sketching it directly on the canvas with pencil and then set about zig zag stitching decorative yarn around the outline of the figure's apparel. I used a rather close satin stitch with heavy duty cotton thread to outline the arms, head and feet, as well as used a straight stitch to define the column. I free motion stitched scallop shapes into the garment and then filled in the face, arms, feet and column with Tsukineko sand colored fabric inks. How the piece will be finished has not yet been determined. I may use batting and backing and quilt it. I may fuse it to a complementary backing and add a hanging sleeve. All that will develop another day--perhaps tomorrow.

Closeup of head, torso, skirt top and part of column.

Closeup of Head

Closeup of Torso

Closeup of Skirt.

Closeup of Feet