Friday, April 30, 2010

Dryer Sheets

Have you tried using dryer sheets in your art work? I washed out a full pack of the so called unscented ones and then put them in the dryer. I then stuffed them in a large glass jar until I was ready to use them. My husband has asthma so it's important to store anything that may contain a scent in air tight containers. I make small icebergs for art cards from these dryer sheets. The background is painted interfacing. The iceberg is a piece of dryer sheet that has been painted and stitched. Check out an earlier post for more information about my iceberg art cards.

If you are interested in using dryer sheets, have a look at the following sites:
How to paint dryer sheets at Creative textile & Quilting Arts

How to use dryer sheets in your textile art
Dryer sheets from Fiber arts and Quilting

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sewing Portfolio

A couple of years ago, I designed and created a Sewing Portfolio (scroll down) which was exhibited at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Member's Exhibit, Devon House. That particular piece was sold at the gallery opening. The piece featured here is one I made for myself.

The flap has two magnetic purse closures to keep it closed. I put a full size pocket with flap on the back for note paper/patterns.

The pockets for the inside are made from vinyl window screen bought from the local hardware store. This product sews up very nicely. In fact, I've embroidered the edges of several pockets. This piece was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to have places for a small cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter, scissors, thread, glue, pin cushion, needles, note pads etc. I'm pleased with the design however, after using it, I realized that I should have put flaps on all the pockets as things do occasionally fall out of them.

Here are some free sewing project patterns that I found while surfing the web:
Here's a needle book from the Crazy Quilt Studio
Sew, Mama, Sew has a nice pincushion organizer for your sewing room
Sewing Organizer tutorial from Tipnut
Sewing machine cover from About .com
Small sewing caddy from All People Quilt

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I was checking on my stock of pins the other day and realized I didn't have any starfish pins left. Here's some of the new ones I just finished. I love the bright colours as they really stand out on clothing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden Sewing Box

In 2005, I was contacted by Carla A. Cantonica, publisher of A Needle Pulling Thread, a new Magazine promoting Canadian needlework. Carla asked if I would design and create a piece for the spring 2006 Volume 1 Issue 2 of her magazine. Apparently she had seen one of my fantasy fish pins that a friend had and liked it. I agreed to do something and the result is my Garden Sewing Box. This piece started as a sketch showing various parts of my own garden and evolved into the piece you see here. When I start sewing, things change as I go along and the drawings are sometimes ignored, modified and/or adapted to suit the evolving idea. But that is part of the creative process. This is a functional piece with an inside box that comes out for easy accessibility of my sewing tools. Included in the box is a small embroidered needle case to match the outside, pockets for various things and a pincushion. I found a jewelery magnetic clasp at Michael's that was perfect to stitch onto the inside of the box to hold my needle. The closure for the top is large hooks & eye that go together perfectly. The feet are made from thin cording knotted to form balls and stitched in place.The full pattern for the box are published in the magazine.
Since its publication, this piece has won a couple of awards:
  • Award for Excellence in Craft for Technical Mastery from the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2006
  • A National Award for Original Design from the Embroidery Association of Canada, 2007

As a result of designing this piece, my mini pics series, Flower Pots, was born. These are a combination of machine and hand embroidery. The containers are stitched and appliqued onto the background.

 Since the topic is flowers, here's some freebies to get you started on your own project:
This is just a small sampling of what's available. Have fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Edible Sewing Machines

Edible Sewing Machines!  I couldn't resist posting this link. I used to dabble in cake decorating when my daughter was young, so needless to say, these cakes are a delight to see.
In case this makes you yearn for something sweet, decorate a few cupcakes using these cake decorating ideas.

Canada's Music Awards, The Juno's

It seems that winter is back again! We are having a bit of snow here in St. John's. Not the kind of weather we hoped to have for the Juno,Canada's Music Awards, which are been held here this weekend. For your enjoyment, I have found some interesting quilted pieces with a musical theme.

Feast your eyes on these:
Music For The Soul and Imagine by textile artist, Lura Schwartz Smith.
Making Music by Julie Hirota
Patch Magic Music Quilt (pattern for sale)
Let There Be Music Everywhere  (fabric) scroll down the page
Let's Make Music Together (scroll way down the page) by Leah Statman
Music For My Ears   
Life Is Music  
Music For The Ages by Janet Hammond
Prairie Music

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tote Bags & Purses

At the April meeting of the Eastern Edge Quilters, two of the ladies brought their new tote bags for Show and Tell. What a superb job they did. Of course, I had  to find out more about them! The pattern is called the Professional Tote Bag by The Creative Thimble.You will also find three free patterns on this site: Drawstring Bag, Grocery Bag and Accessory Bags.

My search also brought me to Henrietta's Handbags & Purse Patterns. This one is well worth visiting! I found a link at this site for free bag patterns called Purse Patterns. Now, who can refuse clicking on something that says FREE!!! Now all I need is to have the time to look at them and then maybe make some.

More free patterns:
I think this will keep you busy especially on those nights when you simply can't get to sleep!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Deep

This piece of art is called The Deep. It was on exhibit in Halifax, Nova Scotia a few years ago but not here at home. When it came back, my husband claimed it. It now resides in our living room. If you have visited my web site , you will see this one on the front page. Each fish was individually stitched using free motion stitching and hand stitched to the background. There is quite a bit of depth to this picture. This is created by using layers of wool roving and tulle. See more of my art here.

Mother's Day Ideas

My mother is 88 years old. At her stage in life, she is trying to get rid of things. For presents, she wants only 'stuff' she can wear or eat!. Well, a number of years ago, I was at my wits end as to what to get her. I had been making small fabric fish for my art work and it suddenly dawned on me that she has collected small pins to wear on her clothes for years. That sudden inspiration lead to a line of wearable art pins(scroll down).  I make some images by stitching them by free motion on my sewing machine. Others have been designed and converted to stitch for my embroidery machine. Needless to say, my mother usually gets # 1 of each new design. Here's a few samples of my pins:

Here's some other ideas for gifts to make for mom (or yourself):