Saturday, August 3, 2013

Long overdue catch up!

My daughter and her boyfriend were visiting from North Carolina this past week. Now that my vacation is winding down and their visit has come to an end, it is time to catch up with all my doings over the past few weeks. 

Are you on Pinterest? I really enjoy pinning items to my boards. My biggest board is my craft board and I think it is time to break that down into subcategories. It is fun to look at all the gorgeous things I've found on the internet and use them for inspiration. I also like to pin items from craft shops that I might like to purchase in the future. 

Recently I found some gorgeous beading on Pinterest and it led me to buy Heidi Kummli's book The Spirit of Bead Embroidery. I really enjoy her work combined with her Native American heritage. It has inspired me to try some bead embroidery and the above piece is my first effort. I'm using larger beads than she recommends but this is what I had on hand. My daughter makes polymer clay pieces and she is going to send me a few items that I could use in a beaded piece. The blue is ultrasuede which was quite nice to work with. 

I've done a bit more work on my crazy quilt block.  The flower above is stitched with pink pistil stitch with a stem stitch stem and fishbone stitch leaves. Chevron stitch for the seam detail. The motif in the pink patch was created with stencils I bought from Sharon B. over on Pin Tangle. These clear acrylic stencils make it easy to design all sorts of shapes and patterns. 

Here is one stencil with some pencil doodling underneath. Fun to experiment with and the stencils come with a pdf full of more ideas. 

 Did you go to Maine Quilts? I went to the champagne preview on Thursday night. What a good time to go to the show! Not so many people and it is fun to see all my quilting friends. I bought these crazy quilt "silks" from Thread Express from right here in Maine. They have all kinds of gorgeous threads and goodies. They also had on display the same crazy quilt that we are making in Back Roads!

Last Sunday I took a class at Maine Quilts. Silk ribbon flowers by Faye Labanaris who is from New Hampshire. She sells her books and lovely ribbons on her website. Faye is a former biology teacher and you could tell she had teaching experience as she led us through a fun fast paced afternoon of making ribbon flowers. These are flowers that you can sew onto hats, purses, whatever you want, not silk ribbon embroidered flowers. We used wired ribbon and non-wired ribbon. I was going to say "plain" ribbon, but there was nothing plain about these ribbons! So gorgeous and lovely to touch.

The first thing we did was to make the green leaf which was very easy to do. Then we used the same method to make the five petaled pink flower. Faye showed us how to make a puffy round center for that flower. Mine was less than successful, but it is only a matter of practicing the technique at home to get it right. 

the orange and green pansy on the left was next. It was made in parts using the wired ribbon on the right. We also made the red knot roses in the lower left using silk pique ribbon. These need beads attached at the center. The dark burgundy flower was one of the easiest ones we made. It is made with wired ribbon and the flower is made by gathering the ribbon along one side. Our grand finale was the off white rose at the top. This one has not been sewn together yet so the shape is a little off. The ribbon is 2 inch wide buttery soft silk. 

Here is the book Faye wrote and we used during the class, although she had handouts that covered each flower, too. Lovely clear photos and instructions, highly recommended.

Whew! I hope you enjoyed my review of what I've been up to. Now I see goldfinches at the feeder and some new bird I can't identify has shown up, too. There's always plenty to do here on Quilt Island! Enjoy!

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