Saturday, February 27, 2010

Canada Wins Gold!!! Congratulations to all

To celebrate Canada's gold medals at the Olympics in Vancouver, here's gold worth stitching! According to Wikipedia, 'goldwork is the art of embroidery using metal threads'. This is a very specialized type of embroidery requiring a certain level of expertise. Using the proper materials is important.

The gold and blue sampler piece was stitched as part of a hand embroidery (level 5 ) course I took. It is worked on silk.

Inspirational pieces! Have a look at this sampler and this piece.

Check out these books on Goldwork:   
Beginner's Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberlin provides a good introduction to Goldwork embroidery. This book explains the historical development of the style and includes a complete introduction to supplies and techniques used. The photos are excellent!

Goldwork by Valerie Campbell-Harding, Jane Lemon and Kit Pyman
New Ideas in Goldwork by Tracy A. Franklin
Metal Thread Embroidery by Jane Lemon

These are excellent books for Goldwork but I find them to be inspirational as well. You never know what will lead to a new piece of work!

Tanja Berlin has a free Goldwork Heart Design on her site. She has excellent instructions for anyone wishing to try out this particular technique. I've been fortunate to have taken a course with Tanja (not in this technique) and I hightly recommend her as a teacher.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Appliqué Patterns

Here's one of my machine appliqué Fantasy Fish. I love using batiks as the colours are so bright.

As promised in the previous post, I've made a list of a few sites that have free patterns for Appliqué. Have fun checking them out.
Make Baby Stuff is just that, stuff for baby!
The Stitching Cow has a simple house to do.
Lots of applique patterns at the Sacred Spiral.
Bella Online has some wonderful applique patterns that Judie Bellingham found on her web travels. Something like I'm doing.
A simple butterfly at DIY Fashion
Wee Folk Art has applique done in felt but that doesn't mean you can't use cotton. In fact, check out the whole web site as there are lots of other patterns too.
Have fun with these!
If you like cats, there is a pattern on Craftown.
Block Crazy has free patchwork and applique patterns.
Teddlywinks has a couple of bear patterns to put on a small wall hanging or mini-quilt.
Applique pitchers in a log cabin quilt.
Welcome spring with this flower applique. More flowers here!
Using geometric shape templates in applique.
Stain Glass Spring Tulip

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Art of Appliqué

Appliqué is the art of sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger surface. To find out more about appliqué and how it is done, visit TAS - The Appliqué Society. The Art of Applique on the TAS site, has several interesting articles to get you started.
There are several different appliqué methods:
This should get you thinking about experimenting with this particular technique. I will follow up in a later post with sites that have free appliqué patterns.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I'm not much into quilted or stitched heart stuff and as a result didn't post any free patterns from any of the sites I visit. However, I just came across something on twitter that is useful. It's an altered heart shaped candy box tutorial. Recycle that candy box that you received today and turn it into a pincushion or storage box for applique . . . This tutorial is a great way to practice free motion stitching too.
 Alice Burke also has a bunch of tutorials using new & recycled materials.

Here's a pattern for a heart tote bag.
Lots of Hearts quilt
Valentine Heart Block
Cross Stitch Heart
Heart Quilt Block
Valentine's Day Cross Stitch Patterns
Tri-Rec Heart Block
Heart Blocks

Now just think what I would find if I was really looking for this stuff!!
Happy quilting and stitching.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Table Toppers

The Eastern Edge Quilters are making table toppers for Quilt Canada 2010 in Calgary. As a result, I searched for some free patterns for quilters to use.

Fat Cat Patterns
Hexagon Table Topper or Wall Hanging
Wool Flower Table Topper
Hot Cross Buns Table Topper
Free has lots of table topper patterns

As a rule, I don't do piecing. My hexagonal table topper consisted of a basic quilt sandwich. The back fabric was about 3 - 4 inches larger than the front because it is brought to the front and used as a binding. I did free motion stitching over the hexagon shape using a variegated thread. The binding was machine stitched. This particular type of topper is reversible. I thought for sure I had taken a picture of it but I can't find one!

Several quilters used leftover blocks from quilts they had made.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hand Embroidery

A couple of years ago, I completed a three year (5 level) hand embroidery course. Here's a piece of Crewel Embroidery that I designed and embroidered. It's done on linen.

If you are interested in hand embroidery, check out the Winter Wonderland online embroidery exhibition. This show is part of the Hand Embroidery Network (HEN)!

Then of course, there is the exquisite hand embroidery of Helen Stevens. I inherited several of her books a few years ago from a dear old friend who passed away at age 80.

Closer to my home, is the hand embroidery of Susan Furneaux. View her work in the online gallery at the Craft Council of NL. Susan uses natural dyes in her work.

Fibreworks is a celebration of South African fiber and textile artists. You will find some very interesting work here. I was fortunate to take some courses from Rosalie Dace, Sue Akerman and Annette McMaster.

The Embroiderers' Guild , UK, has an online gallery that is fantastic! Make sure you check each year for the competitions. I've had a subscription to their magazine, Stitch, for years. It is full of inspiration for hand and machine embroiderers.

Check out the new commissions by the Royal School of Needlework. Also in the UK, is the Artist's Web. This page shows 17 artists in the embroidery category .

There is also interesting work by Julie Southworth, especially her Peruvian and Gaudi work.
If you are into bugs and birds, check out Sarah Whittle.

That's just a small taste of some hand embroidery sites that are worth a look! At the moment, I'm working on a sashiko tablecloth for my kitchen table. A work in progress!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fabric Designs

Finding interesting fabric designs for a special project isn't always easy! Many textile artists will usually take a piece of fabric and change it in some way using such products as dyes, paint sticks, fabric paints and crayons, resist, stamping . . . the list is a long one! I have also printed directly onto cotton and silk from my computer.

In my search for things, I came across Spoonflower where you can design and print your own fabric. I was also fascinated with the blog for this site. Check out the many fabric designs. They are fabulous!

This site also has a list of interesting blogs and links to check out.

Sewing Stuff

It's a snow day here and what better way to spend some time than to surf the net! Actually I was looking for something in particular (for a future post), when I came across Sewing Stuff . This site has soooo many free patterns for all kinds of things, that I just had to post it immediately. Have fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Needle Felting

Last night at the Eastern Edge Quilt Guild, we had a talk and demonstration on needle felting. Quilters got a chance to try this technique.
  • Mielke's Fiber Arts shows how to needle felt a lady bug. Learn about the kind of needles used in needle felting. 
  • Some free patterns at Living Felt. Living Felt also shows how to felt a pattern that is drawn on a base fabric. 
  • More ideas at Felting Crafts
  • Learn to make a felted apple at the Felted Ewe. This looks like a nice project to try. 
  • Needle felting without wool at Threads.
So experiment with a new technique and have fun!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fat Cat Patterns

In an earlier post I wrote about a monthly pattern by Fat Cat Patterns called Christmas Row by Row. The second row of the pattern was just posted today. If you want to get a head start on Christmas, 2010, this is the one to do! In fact, I can also see making mini quilts by using bits and pieces from the various templates. 

This site offers a wealth of lovely free patterns for machine and hand applique! Many of the ideas can be incorporated in quilts/wall hangings of your own design. Don't always settle on doing what someone else has done. Spread your wings and do it your way. This may take a bit of planning but in the end you have the satisfaction of saying it's your own design.