Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beading in a Series

A few years ago I made this piece.  A friend had given me the polymer face as a gift and one night I decided to do some beading and this lady of Spring was born. 

 Since then I have received another polymer face (the same kind from a friend who didn't use hers) so I had the idea to create another butterfly but this one could be Fall.  So she will be made out of leaves.
 I had lots of fun gathering fall colored beads of all sizes and shapes. (Never know what you might need right?)
 I cut up an old blouse that was embossed velvet, I fused the piece over the bronze moda (using mistyfuse for it's lovely transparency and light hand- MUCH easier to bead thru)
The cut out areas were completely random but as her body started forming they became fortuitous!

In the spring butterfly her 'hair' was made of pre-made fringe, for this one I had no such luck so had to create the fringe myself.  
 As of last night here is where we are thus far.  You can see on the left that the outline of her wing is taking shape, and so it will be on the right

In trying emulate a moths' wing
Those gold leaves have holes all around the edge, it made it convenient to take size .15 seed beads and wrap the leaves down with them. That was my favorite part so far.
You can partiall see the lampwork glass leaf that is the center of the body.  I am attempting to pick up the various colors in that leaf throughout. 
metal open work leaves with size .15 seed beads creating depth of field.

That's it for now, will share when it's all finished. Then I am moving onto Winter which will be in all black and white!  I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


 When my dad died I wanted to make something for my step-mom; his bride of nearly 50 years.  She gave me a bag of some of his shirts.   Since they weren't the kind that would have made a good
T-shirt quilt  I decided to honor his memory in a different way.
size: 24"W x 30" L. 
 I never knew my dad when I was small, my parents divorced when I was four and I didn't see him (or my brothers either) until I was in my teens.  I was 18 or so when I went to live with them for a short time.   
I remember in their house a picture that was there always with that saying
on it. 
 A bit darker photo but you can see the radiating lines.  I created the cross by cutting 1/2 strips from his shirts and then couching them.  Since we are part Irish I chose the Celtic nimbus circle to hand embroider around the cross.

My mom has this hanging in her entry way, there is a small alcove with a fountain there.  It's nice to stand and hear the water and see the quilt.  I am glad she liked it.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Unfinished Business

Over the weekend I was cleaning out my work space given that I had finished the Sea Dragon and need the table space.   I decided there was a WIP somewhere that I wanted to revisit so I opened the DLP. 
'Drawer of Lost Projects'. 

While it's always fun to see completed works and hear about their construction, where they can be see, what techniques were used; having unfinished items is like the 'dark side' of quilting.  I am certain we all have those and am always interested to see others' works when published on blogs.  Makes me feel less inadequate and more human. LOL 

I was surprised that as I took them out and did a review, several I am still drawn to finish.  Yay! So in no particular order here they are.

I enjoyed putting the pink leaves in metallic stitching on the black.
 I had learned this technique about beading around the rope to give a coiled effect.  It's very cool, but very time consuming (and bead eating!)  If you have a container of 'bead soup' it would be a great way to use it up!

This I found and it melted my heart! She worked so hard on it.  I envision her young hands all dirty holding the hoop & all the pencil drawings of the words and hearts.  She was 11. 

 I have finished it this weekend and will post the photo shortly.  :) 

 Here's me trying to learn the Terry Waldron method of needle turn applique.  Yup, this is as far as I got in the class and someday when I simply run out of things to do I may have the patience to do this again. I used the technique in the Koi project for the silk leaves. 

I have no words.  (besides, WTF) 

oh look, the rose is bleeding.  I must have been listening to too much Evanescence. LOL
(in truth it was to be about the Oscar Wilde story The Nightingale and The Rose)

these are rather sad.  They are 12" blocks.  There's 11 of them.  Those are all hand created bias tape fused & stitched down in the Celtic patterns I first had to draw.  I like the green background, I like the triangle borders.  Some of the bias strip colors work, most don't.  The goldenrod is hideous.  So all that work and I have all these giant squares in a plastic bag since what, like 2005.  I did use a couple to cover the front and back of a book so they may yet come in handy. 

I still adore these colors, love the pumpkins, love the kitty.  The pick -up- sticks, not so much. LOL 

By the time you un-sew several ties to get all this silk, then paper piece them for a 'crazy quilt-ish' idea then you realize none of your ties went together it's really too late. urg. 

Here's an idea I am still in love with.  Though admittedly cutting out all those little rectangles was rather daunting the whole thing is only 8 1/2"  x 11"
But the fish gleams and it was great use of old prefused scraps.

I really wanted to do a face out of leaves and see her blend into the tree bark.  Obviously I had issues. Still like the idea though.  I think it is exceedingly difficult to create a persons image as it would appear in camouflage without losing it in the background image you are camouflaging with.  Does that even make sense?

 ummmm.  *shrugs*

This still may work out.  Some dear friends treated me to the San Diego Wild Animal Park where we got to see the big cats (in particular the Cheetah) up close.  That's us standing in front of him on the platform.  You aren't allowed to touch but it's as close as you can be without contact.  Simply gorgeous!  We were all in heaven.  
Not sure what I will do with the strips sewn together but was trying to get a feel for it.  Then...

I got another idea and sorta got carried away.  I wanted to have an all black background, then have the outline in white of a tiger.  These blocks would be placed strategically inside and possibly overlapping the outline.     I like the idea of the literal blended with the abstract.  I just haven't been able to make it work. I need more brain cells on this one.

Still in Africa, visiting the Weaver Birds now.  The challenge was to have a small quilt that is your house.
So I chose a nest (no literal minds here...*eyeroll*) but decided to build the nest with all the phrases my daughter and I toss back and forth.  It was fun to read them again.  Many phrases we still use.  Alas, the quilt won't be. 

This is what I wanted to finish.  I made this with the leftovers of a quilt I made for a dear friend's daughter.  (It was a pinwheel quilt) To this day it remains my favorite.   I was playing with making these flying geese.  Not a perfect job by any means but it is all I have left of the beloved fabrics I made her quilt with. This will fit nicely over a long decorative pillow.  I plan on putting Ellen's Mother's Day piece on the back, along with a her note that I have scanned & printed on cotton fabric. A very homey feeling. 
I am making it a point of quilting it by hand. 

Another Terry Waldron class.  I never could get this technique.  Good thing this was only 8" x 10". 

I traced and cut two separate Celtic blocks, then matched them so they would appear as one block.  That was it.

The rainbow wave was a beotch to make.  Then I fused it onto the blue.  Added the wee black & white fish (that i still love) and there it sat. I am thinking on machine quilting this in a really fun pattern, I think it would make a child's room very fun!  It is meant to hang vertically.

What I learned:  I love the way the lighter leaves of this 'Butterfly Bush' pop out of the darker border.  I love the way the long tubular flowers can be made out of one solid piece of material if it has the right shading.  My favorite flower is the one on the bottom.  I won't be finishing this one though.  The pukey light green fabric in the center is just, well, pukey... And the flowers are placed to symmetrically.  ick.
So, that's really it.  Hope you had some laughs and enjoyed the 'behind the scenes' from the


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Latest Commissions, Sea Dragon Finished!

First up is the 'Sea Dragon' completed. 
it's 17" x 25" approx.

The Sea Dragon is hand painted on on sheer organza, then fused onto chartruese silk, then stitched onto the quilt.
He has lime green size .015 seed beeds. 

 I love how the little elongated beads resemble schools of fish shimmering in the kelp.

below some ruched velvet ribbon gives the impresson of a sea slug. Fun fur and fancy yarns created the different colored kelp rising from the depths.
Some larger shell beads that I attached 'eyes' too.

 These were some fun beads that I found while looking for something else in my stash.  Even though there are no 'fins' simply the way the light shines on them and adding the air bubbles creates the illusion of larger fish.

 I wish the camera would show these pink fish better.  When they are viewed in the light they glow.  The dark pink is clear so the light catching them illuminates them right off the material.

some fun jellies!

French knots are my favorite embroidery motif. Those are made with hand dyed varigated thread.   Here some fun fur yarn, small stones, and a large glass cabachon (the kind you buy to put in the bottom of vases for flowers or candles) and cube beads further embellish the bottom areas.

The giant cabachon was secured with threads criss crossing the top to capture the bead then I put a dot of E6000 underneath it just to be sure. 

All beads are stitched down one at a time (or in groups of three or four).  I only used the glue to secure the larger pink fish at the top so they would stay flat and this giant, heavy bead.

Next is a simple block memory quilt.
  Ellen's Aunt commissoned a quilt for her mom in celebration of her 75th birthday.  Since they were having a surprise 50's themed party for Lorretta, I felt it would be real fun to do some photos of the party along with the theme's colors.  Since Ellen was commissioned by her Aunt to be the party photographer  it worked out nicely.  
 I love the look on her husbands face here^  after having kept her Surprise 75th Birthday a secret!
 I had pre-cut the white squares and drawn the word bubbles (using a scrapbooking stencil) and people at the party were encouraged to write personal messages to her.   The photo on the bottom is her grandson dressed as Elvis.  (The poodle was appliqued on- she was carrying a black bag so the ribbon blended nicely)

It was really fun to make.  The quilt was given to her on Mother's Day.  (just two weeks after the party)

Thanks for looking!