Sunday, March 30, 2014

More Fun Piecing

This method of piecing that I recently learned is lots of fun.  I am continuing to use the hand dyed fabrics along with more salvaged shirt fabrics.
I am really happy to save the shirt fabrics.  There are also some buttons piling up since it is difficult to discard perfectly good buttons. (have you priced buttons lately???)

Saturday night, I pulled out a piece of the hand dyed fabric and almost said "I can't cut into this!"  I mean really.  Just look at this piece- it is two pictures but it was one long piece of fabric.

"fire" fabric

 But I was courageous and started cutting.  Then I started piecing it with the shirt pieces. Rather than just a blue pinpoint oxford, I decided to use a very pale yellow with a pattern that is barely there.

 Wow!  It made me so happy to mix up the background pieces. You know that I can't follow any muse but my own. The total solid background on this just wasn't going to work for me.  Ha ha.  Not to mention that I had a limited amount of the blue. I think it really kicked it up a bit

What do you think?  And don't you love the hand dyed "fire" fabric.  I have no idea what Vicki calls that particular coloring but it has a great "wow" factor in person.  *edit note: Vicki says that this is the Sundance Gradient. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Piecing and a Prize

Some people have said that I am one of the luckiest people they know.  Maybe they are right, or maybe I am just always trying.  As the commercial said "You can't win if you don't enter!"
Today in the mail I got a priority envelope that wasn't squishy.  It was rather packed and a bit ragged from the trip.  Not that ragged, but a corner was torn slightly and it had clearly been handled a lot.  Sigh, I didn't take a picture because I was too busy opening it after I saw the return address.

This package was from one of my favorite vendors of hand dyed fabrics.  Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber  had emailed me a couple of days ago that I had won a prize in her Spring Break giveaway.  The prize is a package of her "waste fabrics" from dying gradients.  These are (I think) the end pieces that are left over after the yardage or fat quarters are cut.  Whatever the case, they are wonderful pieces of hand dyed fabric that I know will not bleed on me. (Vicki is very diligent in her process.)

Here is a stack on my sewing table from the package.
Now, I must confess that in the past I have had a hard time cutting into the hand dyed fabrics I have purchased.   But since these are narrow pieces, I am finding it much easier - or maybe I am getting over my "hoarding" tendency.
I took two of the pieces along with a shirt that had a worn collar and a small hole in it and started cutting.   Having watched The Quilt Show last night with a segment where Tula Pink showed a "tubular method" of piecing,  I had a plan.
I used that method and made this piece of a quilt top.   I am not sure where it will go or what it may become but I love it.
I could not get the color to come out correctly but that background is blue pinpoint oxford cloth.  It is essentially "the shirt off my back."   But then it was in my 'discard' pile of shirts to be cut up and repurposed.  I still have some pieces of the shirt left so I can possibly make another one of these pieces.  This one is roughly 17 by 19 inches.   I just realized that I somehow managed to line up two of the pieces exactly. That was not supposed to happen, but the second and third strip from the bottom are aligned perfectly.  I did NOT measure or even try to align it.  And I certainly didn't pin it. I am just shaking my head over this.  If you happened to watch this episode of The Quilt Show, you will understand why.

And in case you missed it - yes I am still sewing and making quilts! ha ha.

And if you are wanting some amazing hand dyed fabrics for you own sewing pleasure - Vicki has them in her Etsy store- Vicki Welsh Hand Dyed Fabrics.   Go ahead and treat yourself to some fun.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Red and Blue Finished

The meditative weaving led to a lovely finished product.  I would certainly say that I found a flow while making it. Watching the warp and weft combine into a pattern is wonderfully calming to me.
This evening, after taking the piece off the loom, joy in the creation filled me.

We are truly blessed to be creative folk.

How could I resist holding and caressing and yes even trying it on.  The variations in color and the little bits of "surprise" yarns woven into it make my eyes happy.  The soft feel makes my hands happy.  Knowing that someone will love this and wear it with joy (I hope) is pure happiness.
Here is a little close up.

Every piece I weave amazes me. Parts of it look like quilt squares to me.
I hope you remember to not put a bridle on your creativity.  It should run wild and free.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Meditation - Ahhhhhh

....................... so peaceful to do, turning off the cares of life ................

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Update and a Prize

Life has been a bit busy or hectic lately with lots of things happening that have slowed down my productivity.  So I just wanted to let you all know that I have not stopped quilting or weaving.  I am just taking some down time.

I do want to share with you a lovely prize that I won from another blogger.  Kathy in Ozarks had a quick giveaway and I won a bar of her handcrafted soap.   Ever so thoughtfully, she offered me my choice of soaps.  I decided on a nice scent-free soap she makes called "Simply Soap."   I asked for color and fragrance free and it is indeed both. The soap has glycerin,  shea butter and goat's milk in it.  I am certain that my skin will love it.

It has a nice shape and is just delightful.
If you prefer a fragranced soap -and/or - a prettily decorated soap, Kathy can help you there also. You may want to check out her Etsy shop   and give yourself or someone you love a nice clean treat!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Yes we have a winner.  The Craftsy class giveaway drew a total of 52 entries.  I would have loved to hit a hundred. Maybe next time we will.

So how was your Saint Patrick's day?   Ha ha... I am teasing here, trying to prolong the wait.  The winner of the class from Craftsy is KatieQ.  She sent me an email to say thanks.
Thank for for offering the Craftsy giveaway.  I won a class and chose Continuous Line Quilting Maybe, knowing that I can try quilting my tops with new ideas I learn from the class will motivate me to get them finished. Thanks again, KatieQ

I am sure that KatieQ will enjoy the class, and start getting more of her quilts finished.

I hope you are enjoying your week.

I have been busy with family things and haven't gotten much sewing done.  I did find some precut pieces and sewed these together.

Oh, and in case that pile is confusing - it is a pile of 3 inch tumbler shapes sewn into groups of four. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sewing It Up

You have seen a good bit of my weaving lately, but the sewing posts have been sparse.  Today I have combined the two passions (three if you count artistic creation with color.)
Some of the cloth I have woven is now a piece of art that I can wear.

Two of my woven works were ruthlessly cut and chopped to make a vest.  We did a quick photo shoot to show you the results.

 Don't you love the play of the colors and textures in this?  They certainly make me happy.

As for the back, I used a pair of discarded khaki pants that I cut and pieced.  I also added the fringes from the other two ends of the weavings to add a woven band with fringe across the bottom of the back.

I think it has a delightful bohemian look that goes great with jeans.  But I will be wearing it to church tomorrow with dress pants too.  Ha ha.  Artists are allowed to dress in a weird fashion. Aren't we?
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Endless Creativity!

That's Craftsy you get endless creativity with the classes because you can watch them over and over  forever.

Save Up to 50% on All Craftsy Classes!
Don't miss out on Craftsy's Endless Creativity Sale! Get ALL online classes at up to 50% off for a limited time only. You won't see hundreds of classes with prices this low again soon. Hurry, offer expires March 17 at midnight MT.

Craftsy's Endless Creativity Sale


Try one of the great quilting classes, such as:
Design It, Quilt It - freeform techniques by Cindy Needham
Thread Art with Lola Jenkins (fun with colored pencils on your quilt!)
Or many many others!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

(((If you are looking for the Craftsy Class Giveaway click here! Open until March 16. )))

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Off the Loom

The last piece I was weaving is off the loom. I just kept weaving until the warp ran out.
And of course I have a close up of the  zigzag section using a clasped or interlocked warp.
This makes me think that perhaps a landscape wall hanging would be fun to attempt.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

More Weaving - Always Learning

(((If you are looking for the Craftsy Class Giveaway click here! Open until March 16. )))

I had more warp thread left on the loom - I took a page from the Saori loom and made a longer warp then cut off and tied the warp back onto the beam.  After emailing with Micki, who told me about the Saori loom originally, I mentioned a technique I wanted to learn. In a few short sentences, she explained it to me well enough that I was able to work with it.
The technique is using three threads in the weft. This allows a section of color that doesn't have to join the edges at all. But I decided to start at the edges and then let the color drift into the interior.  Here is the start of the piece I am working on.
As you can see, the purple started as a few rows completely across the width of the fabric. then I added the yellow and the blue on either side.  I kept the purple "inside" for a section and then let it drift to the right side. I then drifted it back to the left side.  I am quite happy with this technique.  I can see that it will allow me to add a far more graphic design into my work.  

Someone asked if the previous piece would be just a hanging or if I would use it as a scarf.  This caused me to remember a couple of pictures I took at HanDen Studios of work Denise, the owner, had made.
She has sewn some of her work into Japanese designed clothing.
These are two blouses that are simple yet exquisite.   She also had another piece that she had semi-hidden. Of course I asked to see it. It is another blouse that is made of more than one piece of woven fabric.
This totally inspires me to think about how I could make something that *I* could wear from my woven fabrics. Of course the most obvious thing is a serapé or a gabán aka poncho.  
I guess I need to think about it for a while longer.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Weaving Art

(((If you are looking for the Craftsy Class Giveaway click here! Open until March 16. )))

Today, Saturday, was a good day to make a couple of videos.  One reader had asked that I show how I use my Lacis Yarn Ball Winder.  So I made a short simple video show that process.  You can watch it if you are interested.

I had also put a warp on my Kromski Rigid Heddle loom to experiment with art weaving. This was inspired by my visit to HanDen Studios for a class on Saori weaving.
We also did a rather lengthy video showing the weaving process with a clasped weft and adding inclusions for interest in the weaving.  You can watch it also, although, I confess it is more than nine minutes long.

I did finish weaving the piece and here is how it looks at this point.
And a few close-ups.

This was a  fun way to play with weaving, although it is MUCH faster on the Saori loom.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Craftsy - WIN a Class!

Yes, that is correct.  You can win a class from Craftsy.  You need to start right here on my blog. I can't give any extra entries for sending a friend over, but I hope you will. The more entries we get from this one, the better the chances that I will have this wonderful opportunity again!
You may know that I am a great lover of Craftsy classes. I have 34 classes that I am registered for.  Some of them are free classes, some were paid for - and at least one was a prize that I won.  Now I get to give you the opportunity to win.  So click the link and register.  If you don't already have a Craftsy account, create one and maybe find a free class to try out.  Enter to win a Craftsy class!
I enjoyed the free classes "Creative Quilt Backs" "Sewing Machine 911" and "Sewing Machine Feet" as well as some cooking classes - although I watched them and didn't cook. Ha ha. I truly enjoy seeing how things are done - like "The Handpainted Cake."

Below are some projects that I made after taking the classes to learn how on Craftsy.

Class- Stupendous Stitching

Class- Free Motion Fillers Volume 1

Class: Hand stitched Collage Quilts
Class- Stupendous Stitching
So go ahead, get some inspiration!   Enter to win a Craftsy class!  This giveaway will be accepting entries through Midnight Central Time on March 16th.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Classy, Very Classy

A friend I met by blogging sent me an email obviously to tempt me greatly. She told me about a manner of weaving with a Japanese beginning and a Japanese name. The process is called Saori.  The looms developed for this and used to do this weaving is a Saori loom.
I "borrowed" a statement about Saori to share with you.
SAORI teaches weavers not to fret over attempting to live up to someone else's standard of perfection.  We do strive to avoid mistakes, or to copy a pattern exactly as someone else envisioned it.  If there are loose threads, missed warps, or irregular threads, that's ok.  If a color or technique is used once and never repeated, that's ok.  Those things are all a part of our humanness. And make each and every weaving unique.

I was intrigued, so I did some searching on the internet.  I discovered HanDen Studios which is located in Peachtree City Georgia.   I saw that Handen has classes so I contacted the owner/instructor, Denise, and proceeded to sign up for a class.

So on Tuesday, I had scheduled a day off work to take the class.  After a long drive that was made longer by the route my GPS decided was "better" (not) I arrived.  I was greeted and taken into the studio - but along the way I had to look at the woven wall hangings.

Once there I was offered/assigned a loom to use that was already warped.  I could have opted to use a different loom, but I didn't.  We talked for a bit first as I was the first student to arrive. However, we didn't wait and started immediately.
I sat at this loom and was ready to start.  But first, the wall of fibers was shown to me. (I had already seen it and thought "ooh pretty!"_
Wow...a rainbow to choose from.  And of course to photograph and dream about.
I was told that I could use anything on this wall for my weaving time.  There were also some prewound bobbins and a couple of containers of other fun weaving stuff I could use.
So with some instruction, I started to weave.
This was my first time to use a boat shuttle (that is it laying on top of my warp threads.)
And here is a close up of the weaving .
I learned to insert bits of yarn or wool roving (or whatever the creative mind envisions) into the weaving.  It was very freeing and exciting to work this way.

The day was very enjoyable.  I am sure I will be incorporating some of these ideas into my weaving - and if I can see myself clear to do so, I may purchase one of these looms.  Here are some pictures of various looms that were in the studio.
Child sized "Piccolo" Loom

A loom similar to the one I used, but folded up

A four shaft version of the loom.
So when I finished for the day, I had no expectations of having anything other than knowledge to carry home with me.  But we cut my weaving from the loom so I could take it with me.  Denise offered the option of leaving it so I could make a return visit and weave on it again. If I lived closer, I most certainly would have taken that option.
As it is, I have a great wall hanging started.  I have not yet tied off the warp threads because I am still deciding on my "finish."

If you could see this in person you would see much more richness of color and more intricacies in the details.  I know that I had some weaving experience going in, but I had never used a loom where I needed my feet to move the shafts.  So it was a great learning experience.
I am showing it from both directions because I have not decided which will be the top.

If you are interested, besides HanDen Studios,  there is a list of other Saori weaving instructors/studios at the Saori Global site.  I know a couple of my readers also weave - one on a frame loom and one on a rigid heddle loom. If there is a studio close, it is a fun experience and an easy way to "try it out."

Now if you made it this far, I will tell you that tomorrow March 6th, I will be posting a giveaway!  A very Classy giveaway.  So be sure you come back - and bring(send) a friend over too!.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.