Thursday, January 31, 2013

All that remains...

is to tell everyone what the next theme is. 

Hmm…Let me see.  I'd just finished my dinner and desert.  I couldn’t eat it all so this is what was left.

While thinking about our next theme I turned on the TV and started "channel surfing"  There were programs about ancient civilizations;

about the results of war;

about renovating and remodelling;

and a documentary about forest fires.
I was starting to see a theme.  Have you guessed it yet?  If I add one or two more pictures like this?
Does that help?  No….Okay I’ll give you the answer.  The theme this time around is REMNANTS.

Just think, there are remnants of the past, remnants of time, not to mention the remnants pictured above.  So there you have it; our theme for this next round is REMNANTS.  I think because February is such a short month, let’s make our reveal date April 30th.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this theme.  Remember...take pictures of your process to share.  And if you run into a road block come back here to share

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

True Blue...

Well, we all survived our latest challenge 
(thanks Beverly)
despite the many trials and tribulations 
some of us encountered along the way!

Tangled Textiles, challenge #9: blue

But we will go into the wide blue yonder for a bit
until Brigette announces our next challenge!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Aaaaaaand bringing up the rear (literally!)

Just like most of our other Tangled Textilers, I had a really tough time making this theme, "blue", work for me.  Well, truth be told, I did a lot of work on this challenge!

I will leave the gory details about this looooong, draaaawn out process of getting to my final piece to my own blog (but that post isn't written yet!).... suffice to say that there is a story!

After much deliberation, I was inspired by Neil Diamond's song...Forever in Blue Jeans.

And after much embellishment (a rather new technique for me), I was finished....

"Homage to a Clothing Staple or Yes, Neil, Forever in Blue Jeans"

Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue

There are some tags from jeans... both retired and still on bodies!

Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue 

Stenciled, painted, embellished word and more tags...

  Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue 

The said rear pocket - which is actually at the center of the basic
 log cabin configuration of the quilt- 
that's not to say that the rear is always at the center!!!

  Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue 

Some buttons from the fly fronts and 
from the suddenly out-of-commission pair of my overalls (oh that was sad when it happened!)

  Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue

And there is my attempt to honor Neil, himself...

Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9: blue

And the straps from said sadly missed overalls.

Tangled Textiles, Challenge #9

Now I am totally exhausted. Off to rest up before the next challenge is posted!

Monday, January 28, 2013


This challenge was one of the most challenging so far for me.  I went through lots and lots of ideas, but I couldn't decide on one.  Then I did a couple of craftsy courses with Carol Ann Waugh (Stitch and Slash and Stupendous stitching) and this piece came from those classes.  I was very unhappy with it at one stage and remembered that Carol said "More is more" so I just kept embellishing until I liked it.  Hope you do!
And here are a few close ups
As you can see I did a lot of couching and beading.  I hope the fabric keeps fraying as time goes on, because I like the little frayed edges.

A Blue Delft Tragedy

Like so many of the others I had a hard time deciding which direction I should take for this theme.  There were so many options some of which I had listed on a previous post.  After several searches on Google and some more brainstorming, I finally decided.  This little picture helped with the decision.
During my searching I remember coming across a band called Blue Delft.  However there is also Delft pottery.  The blue images adorned tiles as well as various pottery shapes.  All I had to do was select a shape then go to work.  Somehow the "blue" theme also reminded me of the sad faced masks from tragedies.  So I traced one and then enlarged it.

I found this fabric and thought it was perfect.  I could fussy cut it and applique it to the mask shape.

I had to figure out how to get the shadow on the mask and at the same time have the blue flowers on the mask show up.  Well first things first....trace the shadow onto separate sheets of paper to create some templates.

Then there were templates for the other features. I tried several different fabrics but thought I would be able to get the best result by using organza for the shadow. But how do you cut up the organza so that it doesn't fray....
with a wood burning tool.  It works beautifully.  So now I had all the pieces for the mask, but what about the background.  A grid for a sense of tiles for the background would be good.  The grid was created with blue satin ribbon, and some added little details.
After a few additional experiments and some free motion quilting I finally had my piece and....
TA DA!!!  A Blue Delft Tragedy!  I learned some valuable lessons with this one.  You can see those on my blog.

Banish the Blues

Like some of the rest of you, I had a heck of a time settling on a single idea to turn into my theme piece.  Blue has so many wonderful ways it could be taken - everything from the bluebird of happiness, once in a blue moon, talking a blue stream, blue jeans, blue eyes, the wild blue yonder to blues music and even feeling blue, to name just a few.  I think that last one settled in on me - the January Blues hit and I just could not get motivated.  I pulled some fabric a while back and you saw this:

That wasn't working for me, but then I pulled out some of my indigo pieces from last summer and thought that would be the trick.  I started working away on this one:

But I bit off far too much - deciding to do it all by hand, and while I like it and think it will get finished, it will be a slow hand working project, with no deadlines.

That left me at Friday night with nothing to show.  Back to my blue stash.  So far, I'd been looking at more true blue types of colours.

I needed to charge things up a bit, so I started pulling my brighter blues - the turquoises.  They brighten my spirits.  Add some white, and I'm happy!  Some simple piecing with the thought that I would add some fun and funky embellishments.

Then disaster. see my blog for the details, but lets just say I'm without a machine capable of doing freemotion at this point in time.  :(

Another change of plans ensued, but finally, I got it done!  Luckily, the walking foot worked, and I got to play with that - I've not used a walking foot on a project before to do the quilting.
Banish the Winter Blues
Banish the Blues

blue button
add some self covered buttons with a bit of glitz

mix up the quilting

piped binding
a self piped binding to finish it off
Nice and bright, and hopefully, those January Blues will be gone for good!

Random Recycled Blue

I toyed with the idea of using denim at one point, briefly abandoned it and then when I saw Nicolett's  post about boro, I was really intrigued by this method of recycling garments.

After further contemplation I decided to use denim which brought to mind a picnic quilt I had made for my daughter's family years ago. At my artist husband's insistence, we have been saving worn blue jeans for years, so having enough denim in my stash was no problem. Over  the years I have made handbags and tote bags from denim and my daughter even made a jacket from the leftovers. So using denim was decided.

Now for the design. I started with a photo of the picnic quilt and began manipulating it with Photoshop.

Picnic quilt
Manipulated design
Most of the ensuing designs would have been very labor intensive but I finally created a design which seemed achievable. The picnic quilt was huge in comparison to our 16" x 16" format, so I cropped a section of the design and used it as a point of departure.

When I realized that even the pared down design would require piecing very small bits of fabric, it seemed that if I was to finish on time, I could not meticulously follow the colors and patterns in the cropped design.
So the finished quilt is randomly pieced 2 ½" squares set together in a mostly random pattern.

A few more construction details can be viewed on my  blog.

Random Recycled Blue

Once in a Blue Moon

I decided to do a riff from a common phrase related to the word blue- and found the perfect fabrics in my stash of hand dyes.  I wanted the sense of a soft, moon-lit  night sky.

The moon and skinny strips are inset.  Compared to some of my other work, there isn't a lot of quilting, just some easy horizontal curves, in keeping with the soft look I was going for.


To convey the idea of misty clouds in front of the moon, I did some denser stitching with metallic silver thread, then went over the stitching with a pearlescent white Shiva paintstik.

The left side border is quilted in a square pattern- I was thinking of an urban landscape, to contrast with the sky.

So there you have it- Once in a Blue Moon! 

Woven Blues

I ended up taking the literal approach to 'blue' and dug out all the blue fabrics I could find, sorted them into various piles.....
I chose a few that I liked together and added a couple of accents pieces.
I decided I wanted to so some fabric weaving so played with my tablet sketchbook feature doing various 'cuts' and finally cut a simple pattern from paper and cut my pieces for weaving....
Pieces woven together....
I liked that they created pot-like images but they also created fish-like images ..... hmm, which way to go?
Final direction could come later, for now on with the quilting. I used machine patterns for the edge stitching along the 'seams' and then free motion quilting for the squares. I'm enjoying the much needed practice I get with these challenges!
Now for the embellishments.... so many decisions, but I decided that I would add some clay pieces ... but which ones and where?
 A fish? At the bottom or the top?
 Pots with embellishments?
The pot direction won and I decided to put the buttons in the lower area where I felt the center of interest was. After sewing them in place I'm not sure I made the right decision. Perhaps I should leave it without embellishment....
But for now here is my finished Woven Blues..... 
Thanks Beverly for another fun challenge!