Friday, July 29, 2011

Instant gratification - Beaded Fringes

Beaded fringes
Need some instant gratification? Try sewing a purchased beaded fringe to something. The something can be a blouse, lampshade, curtains or drapes or in my case a purse. About 6” of fringe finished off this purchased purse in a snap.

The only down side to this process that I can see is the fact that beaded trims are not washable or dry cleanable because of their delicate nature. But when was the last time you washed your purse?

Beaded fringes are available in many sizes, styles, colors and price ranges. They come with straight fringe, bell shaped, swaged, and with patterns.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stitching with Flat Film Polyester Thread

You can fool the eye and make your stenciling look like organza fabric if you outline quilt with a flat film polyester thread.

When stitching with any of the flat film polyester threads (Glitter by Superior Threads or Sliver by Sulkey), use a Metallic or Topstitch needle, size #90/14. I like The Bottom Line by Superior Threads in the bobbin. This bobbin thread is smooth. It allows the top thread to flow smoothly through the needle.

Loosen the upper tension all the way down to a '1'. Position the spool on the vertical spool holder so the thread unwinds straight off from the side (like the paper comes off the toilet paper roll). These threads add sparkle and dimension to embroidery and quilting. Most of them are washer, dryer, and iron safe (medium heat).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Painting with Paint Sticks

Lavish Leaf: As fast, fun and easy as coloring with crayons, Paint Sticks add extra pizzazz. To up the excitement another notch, machine quilt around the leaf shapes with shiny thread.

If instant gratification appeals to you, there are a huge variety of pre-cut stencils available at your local quilt shop. Just tape one to your fabric and get started!

My favorite paints for stenciling are Shiva brand Paint Sticks. Easy to use, they are shaped like over-sized crayons and have about the same consistency. Amazingly, they can replicate the look of air brushing without your having to invest in or bother with special equipment. Paint sticks applied to silk or cotton are easy, permanent and leave a very soft hand.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece" Auction

My quilt " Fade to Gray" was part of the "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece," a nationally touring exhibit about Alzheimer's sponsored by the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). It traveled for 5 years and more than 300,000 people had an opportunity to see it. After the exhibit retired I donated the quilt to the AAQI and they are offering it at an online auction August 1-10.
Please make a bid on my quilt. I am a huge supporter of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. They are an all-volunteer national charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. They spend no money on fundraising and all their profits fund Alzheimer's research. They have raised more than $550,000 for quilt at a time. Help me help them. See all the quilt here.
Please pass this information on to quilters and quilt-lovers everywhere.
Thank you


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fun with Thread

Let's face it I love to play with my thread. I like just about as much as my fabric. This is a small sample that I painted and stitched. Note that I filled in the centers of some of the flowers with a little hand embroidery to imitate the look of real flower centers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eye Candy Quilts - Show and Tell

It’s a busy world. So busy, that quilters and crafters ask me for one type of project more often than any other: You want something that is fast and fun! The result, though, has to be absolutely beautiful.
I developed Eye Candy Quilts with this need for instant beauty in mind. These gorgeous mini-quilts so much fun to make, they should be declared illegal! Many of them, like the quilt opposite, measure just 2-1/2” x 3”. Since they are small, you can finish one in practically no time. The wonderful variety of embellishments, from beads, buttons, and bows, to silk flowers, trims and countless other little fancies will win your work instant admiration. Their size makes them a snap to display to, making them quick, easy gifts anyone will treasure.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Kind of Thread To Use?

What kind of thread should you use? Any thread that you can, one way or another, get through the machine. If it doesn’t go through the needle, then you can always put it in the bobbin and stitch from the back side instead!

As you know, threads now come in a huge variety of sizes and fiber content. The first consideration in deciding what thread to use is to remember the thread rule. If you have mended a tear in a pair of pants and the thread you used was weaker than the fabric, if they rip again only your thread is broken and you can easily re-sew the seam. If the thread you used was stronger than the pant fabric, you know that if they rip again the fabric itself will have disintegrated and what you have left is a candidate for the rag bag. This rule applies when piecing your quilts, too. Machine quilting doesn’t add stress to your quilt; the stress points remain in the pieced seams, so I piece with cotton thread only in order to use a slightly weaker thread at the quilt’s stress points so the fabric isn’t accidentally damaged later.

Somehow the notion seems to have evolved that the bobbin thread should match the fabric on the back of your quilt. Not true! Quilting is a very important element of the overall design, so feel free to use a contrasting thread. And you might also want to keep in mind that machine quilting is much more fun when you don’t have to worry about the bobbin thread peeking through to the top. This just won’t be an issue if you choose to use the same color thread through both the needle and the bobbin.

Friday, July 8, 2011

American Art Company

I am pleased to be included in The American Art Company's 11th Contemporary Quilt Invitational. The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, August 13th.
The artist reception will be on Saturday, August 13th from 1-4 PM. See you there!

Metropolis 64"h x 44”W $2500
American Art Company
1126 Broadway Plaza
Tacoma, WA 98402

Tel. 253-272-4327
Tel. 800-753-2278
Fax 253-272-4907

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Forks WA, An Old Fashioned Fourth of July

Forks, Washington Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Wet winters, warm, dry summers make this Olympic region a wonderland of water, lush-forests and recreation.
The Forks area is renowned on the Olympic Peninsula for its abundant winter rainfall (162.14 inches in 1997), warm and sunny summers, logging heritage and myriad places to hunt, fish and hike. Within a short distance of Forks are sparkling, lakes, pristine ocean beaches, ancient temperate rain forests, mountain glaciers and rushing rivers with the Peninsula's best steelhead and salmon runs. What a great place to visit!
Stated the day with a Pancake Breakfast, then on to the Art Show, a Parade, followed by a Salmon Lunch in the park.

Ended the day with a great Demolition Derby! Went home, too tired for the Fireworks!

I am NOT compulsive!

I finally sold my old sewing table, I'm sorry to see it go, but the new machine just doesn't fit. I know it is going to a good home but still...

When I opened the drawer I realized just how compulsive I am. I tie a lot of knots when I quilt so there are always lots of 3-4" pieces left over. I started keeping them. I know I will do something with them, I just know it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Island Batik Donates $25,000 to AAQI

Moira and Adam Dewar

Hold on to your hats!

Moira and Adam Dewar of Island Batik, Inc. have donated $25,386.00 to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative!

This is our largest donation to date. As in EVER!

Moira and Adam have been proud supporters of the AAQI through the Rose of Sharon project and have donated fabric for “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.” But this! OH MY GOODNESS!!!

Adam said, “We are very happy to give this money to the AAQI. We think they are doing fantastic work.”

We are ecstatic! Jump-up-and-down happy! Over the moon! THANK YOU!

There are an estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. One in eight people age 65 has the disease. Right now. If you are a Baby Boomer, your age cohort is turning 65 at the rate of between 7,000 and 10,000 people a day. Chances are high that you will spend your retirement years either struggling with this vile disease yourself or taking care of someone who is.

Let Island Batik’s commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s be a challenge to every quilting industry leader to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. We fund research directly. 100% of the money that funds “our” research goes to budget, nothing to overhead. Our organization is run by volunteers and we spend zero money on fundraising. We are quilters doing what we love to do and making a difference. HELP US!