April 26, 2010

Bryley's Art Quilt - Artist in Training!

My YOUNGEST daughter, Bryley - who is now only 8 years old, made an art quilt with me yesterday!!
(I'm just telling everyone out there - ANYBODY can create this type of art quilt!!)
She had so much fun - she LOVED this project and wants to do another one soon.
I had her pick out a photograph as an inspiration/something to work from as we created this quilt, and from there she completely took off on her own - I only had to help with setting up the machine and getting the free-motion work started, otherwise this little quilt is all hers!

Here is the photograph she chose:

Here she is working on her quilt - we chose a very small size as a beginner project for little hands, which worked out very well:

Then I asked her to please look at me and "SMILE!!" and I got a teeth-gritted smile, as she said "hurry up and take this picture- I'm trying to sew here!!" (LOL! She totally gets that from me!! ; )

And.....VOILA!! Her finished piece - her very first art quilt!!
(I did help a little with applying the border - Silk Sari Ribbon)

Beautiful!! She did such an awesome job!!! : )

It's amazing to me what kids can do if you just give them a little instruction, the supplies, and a little encouragement - this would be a *perfect* introductory sewing project for kids of any age.

She is so happy with this little art quilt - she is planning on giving it to her great-grandmother for her 80th Birthday in June : )

My Birthday Present - Inspiration!!

My oldest daughter, Brittaney, made me the most BEAUTIFUL picture for my birthday - it is a garden scene, with lots and lots of flowers and an archway, on a path by a lake with a sunny sky. She painted/colored it herself using Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle Artists' Crayons - that I gave to her, as sort of a bribe to finish my gift!! She had been begging me to borrow mine, and loved them so much that finally I bought her a set all for herself. Obviously, she NEEDED them ; ) (She gets that from me!!)
I'm so very very pleased with her gift to me - although I received it in April and my birthday was in February, I completely understand that great works of art take time! (AND the right art supplies!! ; )

This is pure inspiration for my next art quilt - which might be something she will someday receive!

AMAZING, isn't it??! I especially love her signature at the bottom right-hand corner (she *does* practice that!!) The colors are amazing - I can't wait to post my version of this piece as an art quilt.

(Thank you, Baby Girl!!!) *hugggggs*

Art Quilt with Mom

This past weekend I had a lot of fun making art quilts with both my mom, and then later with one of my daughters, using the "Impressionistic Style Art Quilt" method I've been working on lately.
It was so fun! I got to bring all my stashes of special fabric, combine them with my mom's, and put our two creative minds to work as I taught her how to make this type of art quilt.
We made an entire quilt in one afternoon!
Here is the photo she selected as the "inspiration photograph" for making the quilt, which was taken from an old gardening magazine (GREAT source for this!):

Now, here is the photo of the COMPLETED quilt!! : ) (YAY MOM!!!!!!)

BEAUTIFUL, isn't it??!

For the wooden arch, my mom had pre-prepared some pieces of fabric using one of Pokey's techniques, involving painting fusible web and applying to fabric - which made a very nice "weathered wood" structure in this quilt when cut into little strips. We distressed the pieces a little bit (just by scratching them with our fingernails, which was quite fun) to give more weathering - I'm thinking this would probably work out very well for a tree in a future piece as well.

I really love my mom's idea of using Silk Sari Ribbon for the border/faux binding on these quilts - they really frame and add to the overall feel of the quilts - plus I just love the ribbon itself!!

April 24, 2010

Cupcake pans aren't for CUPCAKES?!!

A whole BUNCH of cupcake pans, filled with chopped bits of fabric in all my favorite colors - just wanted to post something that makes me very happy! Forget the sweets - I'll take pretty fabrics instead any day!! (Ok, maybe I'll have both. But since I don't actually BAKE - this was the perfect use for these pans!)
This is a great way to store and display (even if only for myself, in my own studio) chopped up fabrics for the "Impressionistic Style Art Quilts" - and helps me to use the fabric as if it is "paint" - my version of a painter's tray for making these quilts.

Pretty colors, see??! : )

And now that all the "chopping" is done, I can "paint" quilts more freely.

~ Things that make me happy! ~

April 11, 2010

Wearable Art ~ Little "Cuff" Fiber Art Bracelets

I have been admiring the work on "Bonheur" on etsy for a long time - fabulous, vintage bits of lace and beads and textiles all gathered into little wearable bundles of art - who couldn't resist such a treat??
So I decided to try it out - a SUPER fun, easy project!! With gorgeous results...

This particular bracelet is nice because it is adjustable, with eyelet and ribbon closure, which also adds another feminine detail - the bow! You can make this as "blingy" as you'd like, or opt for a simpler effect with less beads and/or vintage jewelry pieces. Adjust the size and number of focal flowers, adjust the width of the bracelet to make more of a "glove" effect, or change the color scheme to something more playful - a great way to use up little precious scraps into something wearable! : )

All you need is:
  • Satin or Silk, 2 pieces measuring about 2" x 7" (adjust for the width of bracelet you'd like or length for your own wrist)
  • Vintage bits of lace (in this case, I made it super simple and used lace that was already embroidered and beaded!)
  • If your lace isn't beaded and embellished already, you might want to add little beads and some embroidery thread, even silk ribbon embroidery would work beautifully - whatever embellishing you are comfortable with!
  • For the focal flower - Several circles of fabric that get smaller and smaller in size, largest measuring 2" in diameter, suggested fabrics: tulle, organza, silk, or satin
  • Vintage Jewelry Piece, for adorning the center of the focal flower (or even just some pretty beads would work here)
  • Eyelets and eyelet setting tool (I used 3/16" flower eyelets)
  • Thread (I used ultra strong "Silamide" thread)
  • Needle
  1. Make your "base" bracelet. Simply sew the long sides of your fabric, right sides together, and then sew one short end. Turn inside out, then tuck in the raw edges of the other short end, and whipstitch closed for a finished edge. Following directions on eyelet package, add eyelets to each end.
  2. Embellish the base of your bracelet - get creative! Use bits of lace, beading, hand-embroidery, ribbon embroidery, small appliques, or go for a "tattered" look and apply all sorts of fabric scraps in an artful arrangement onto your base. I like to use silamide thread, because I know it won't ever fall apart once I'm wearing the bracelet.
  3. Create focal flowers - starting with the largest of your circles, start stacking them on top of each other, from largest size down to smallest size, until you have the desired "poofiness" in your flower. A *great* way to seal the edges and create curl and texture on the edges of your petals is to lightly "kiss" a candle flame with the very edges of the fabric - ***Please be extremely careful while doing this - please have adult supervision if you are not an adult*** - this works especially well with polyester tulle and organza layers. It singes and sears the edges closed for a no-fray flower, and adds texture, almost like a real flower!
  4. Tack your layers of fabrics together with a few anchoring stitches at the center of the stacked circles.
  5. Sew your focal flower(s) onto the bracelet, adding extra stitches around the edge of the bottom most layer, so it stays flat against the bracelet while the bracelet is curved around your wrist.
  6. Add some "bling" to the centers of your flowers, adorn them! They need to be "crowned!" Use antique jewelry parts and pieces, or a cluster of hand-sewn beads.
  7. Finish your bracelet off with some satin or organza ribbon through the eyelets, and tie it on, and be admired!! : )

Back of the bracelet, with ribbon tied:

A better view of the eyelets:

I will be posting more variations on this bracelet soon - there are all sorts of ways to create these, for all sorts of different effects - enjoy!! : )