Monday, August 25, 2008

Decorating walls and more...

Tape. I hate taping when I paint a wall. Over the years and dozens of rooms I have developed great skill at cutting in, partially in an effort to avoid taping. Why then you might ask would I undertake a panel effect that requires miles of tape per wall. Maybe insanity or perhaps laziness... Sounds illogical? Not when you consider painting a rectangle around a wall is simpler than painting the wall! And the look is dramatic... What do you think? Perhaps I should finish hanging the art and ask again!

Portraiture -- that is a topic I am passionate about. And somehow I have not felt the freedom to create one. I guess I have been waiting for the magic 'feeling' that I was ready. So I looked at some source material and started one of a friend. Of course I chose to execute it in embroidered back stitch, a slow process I seem to not be motivated to work with... I may finish this sometime before the end of this millennium.

This weekend I went to a friends house and next to her garden, full of beautiful Zinnia's was a calf. The little guy was born with his feet turned under, thus his proximity to the house. (He is doing fine.) He was so cute. I have never seen such eyelashes (that didn't come in a package), so long and thick! The joys of living in the country.

What experiances have you had with animals, either wild or livestock?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lacey FUN!

Machine Lace, or fabric made from bits of yarn, thread and fabric trapped between two layers of water soluble stabilizer sewn into a fabric. It is loads of fun and simple.

I created this piece (about 8 x 11) in under an hour. Not bad if you consider that I can create what I want, combinations of color, a specific texture or pattern, basically from scratch.

Here is how: lay a piece of Water Soluble Stabilizer on a work surface. Spray with 505 (temporary adhesive) and sprinkle shards of fabric, yarn, threads onto surface laden stabilizer. These shards are easily cut by laying down small pieces of fabric (You know those bits you cut off of everything; squaring up a block, bits left from fussy cut projects, even botched blocks...) and cutting with rotary cutter. Just roll blade forward over fabric and back again, angling at each pass to create smaller and smaller piece.

Spray a light coat of 505 over the top of fabric and threads. A second layer of stabilizer goes on top. Press lightly. Transfer to sewing machine and stitch. I start with one line of stitching down the center and then going around the circumference. From there you can do whatever. If you don't feel comfortable with free motion the is great practice just drop those feed dogs and go for it! Just remember that you need lots of crossing lines of stitching and it will all distort in the end.

Drop the completely stitched piece into hot tap water and swish about for a minute or so. I usually drain and add more water and then rinse (not the manufacturer's directions, just what I do, you should start with the manufacturer's directions.). I dry like fine knit wear, roll in a bath towel and then kneed. This will leave it damp. You can let it air dry -- I use an iron an medium (watch your fabric and thread content here) and finish drying.

Now you have a beautiful element for to use however your heart desires.

Here is another. I added the machine lace to two quilted pieces layered atop each other and beads.