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Archive for November 2008

Wow, what a class!

I think I mentioned in my previous post about having the Shiva Art Paint sticks, and not using them. Well, Saturday’s class has alleviated any unease I may have had.

We started with the book “Skinny Quilts & Table Runners” from That Patchwork Place. The Instructor chose the Sherbet With Every Meal, which was purchased as part of the class. We all have our own books.

We set-up our stations, freezer paper, pencil, ruler, X-acto knifeand scissors. We copied the stencil template, and started with the centre, and taped it to the table. Found the centre of the freezer paper (which was pre-cut to the size needed). Lined up the marking lines, and started to trace. Then the next stencil was placed, lining up the marking (guide) lines. Rotated the freezer paper, traced the other end. Then it was tracing the border. In this particular project, that included the edges, which are scalloped. My heart did a flop, as I had never ever done a scalloped border, and was unsure of the binding. The instructor told us, that it was “pillow-cased”, so no binding! Phew! Was glad to hear that, although I think trying a scalloped border would be neat.

It took us about 1.5 hours to completely trace the stencil, which was 15″ x 45″. Then it was on to cutting it out. This took a little longer about 2 hours. Lots of little pieces. The class was small, and the instructor spent a little time with each of us, chatting, and helping cutting out the pieces. Then the real fun began! The painting. We used stencil brushes to apply the colour. My hardest decision was deciding what colours to use. I went with white fabric… boring, now that I know what we were doing, but it gave me the opportunity to use the red and green I had. Then I bought the metallics – gold, silver and copper. And guess what I made! A Christmas coloured table-runner. Once you let your mind open up, and be free, it is amazing what you can create! Each of the participants finished painting our fabric pieces. The timing was just right. This class was all about technique, so no lugging the machines around, but we get to finish it up ourselves.

Now for the warning! If you are going to be moving a painted piece, like I did… be sure to protect it with parchment paper, before you fold/roll it up. I ended up with paint transfer, and of course it is very noticeable on the white fabric. As my fabric piece is a little bigger than the finished project, and I had been a little overzealous when applying paint to the border, some of the paint extended outside the area of the project. A great place to experiment with something to remove the paint. You may have heard of the “Tide-To-Go” Pens or Instant Stain Removers. Well I have a Tide one, as well as one that was a promotional item. I used the “Promo” pen on the outer edges. Wouldn’t you know… where we traced the scallop edge, it took that out! And it did remove the paint. My concern is the yellowing of the fabric, I had heard that using the pens on white fabric could be a problem. I don’t know if it is or not, but the directions on the “promo” pen, state (after the rubbing gently portion) to rinse with water and wipe with dry cloth. So far, I have not seen any discolouration. I’ll leave it for a few more days, to see what happens. I had applied my paint quite heavily in some areas, so I have to leave it for about 7 days, to completely dry, before I heat set it. I was also considering using a mild soap, and rubbing with a cloth with the soap on it. May be a problem to rinse out though. The paint transfer is much lighter than the edge paint, so I am hoping it will work well. The pen also states for stubborn stains to repeat the procedure. I’ll give that a go as well.

Okay… I suppose you are tired of reading, and would like to see the “eye candy”, at this point. I have 3 pieces for you. The first is the project under going the painting, only two colours at this point.

painting-process1

The second piece of candy, is the “reveal”, where the stencil is being removed. The instructor and another participant couldn’t wait for me to come back to help.

alices-reveal

SIDEBAR: If you have not used freezer paper before, it’s great. You can reuse it about 4 or 5 times, and then after that, if you are careful with removal, use the 505 or 404 spray to make it sticky again, and re-use. Back to the topic! The third piece of candy is the finished painted piece.

painting-completed

After cleaning up the transfer, I will stitch around the scalloped edges, makes it easier to see, once its sandwiched and then turned inside out. I’m going to be using a product from Hobbs called Thermore Polyester Batting… it is a very lightweight batting, with a nice hand to it.

If you find an appliqué quilt you would like to do, but don’t have the time, patience, or where-with-all to make it… try the Shiva Art Paint Sticks and Stencils.

You can use stencils, rubbings, or paint free-hand. You can use paint brushes, the paint-sticks, or something else.

I am looking forward to using the paint-sticks for all sorts of things! Remember my shopping bags… you guessed it, my brain is all ready thinking of all kinds of ideas.

On a different note… I now have all my quilting, sewing, crocheting, cross-stitching stuff at home, I now need to sort and organize, so my room is in quite the disarray. I’m also looking at things that can be rubbed with the paint-sticks. I read somewhere about even using things like yarn, and other embellishment items underneath the fabric, and rubbing over top.

What would you do with the Paintsticks?

-Alice

I am just a twittering with excitement. I don’t know if I can get to the job of telling you, what I’m all excited about.

Oh, where do I start. The beginning you say? Which beginning.. because there were several “events” that have me all a buzz.

Hmm.. maybe if I back-up…. nope… I think I’ll start at the beginning beginning, and then hopefully lead you to where I am today… or better yet… where I will be tomorrow (Saturday).

Last year sometime.. no, I don’t remember exactly when, but more than likely the summer, when I was on Vancouver Island, I stopped in one of the quilt shops there, to browse and see what they had. At the time fabric choices still overwhelmed me. (Sidebar: Okay they still do, but not so much anymore, now when I go to fabric stores I go with a “goal” in mind… typically 3 pieces of a colour in light, dark, medium. But of course if something catches my eye, then there is a piece of that too, okay, now back to our the point of this blog). I was looking over all the notions and such, when I came across a kit. This kit included six Shiva Art Paintsticks, a package of rubbing plates, and a book on using the Art Paintsticks on fabric. The idea of painting on fabric intrigued me, I had seen quilts done. But I wasn’t ready to go down that path, embellishing was still in my future. I bought the kit, as it was on sale… and for that maybe day. The kit was packed up and kept in storage, and then found its way home again, only to sit in a drawer, waiting for that someday!

Fast forward to Wednesday this week. It just so happens I am on the email list for the fabric shop I bought the paintsticks from… okay, that doesn’t really have relevance, but it does. The email mentioned a class this Saturday “Paint Stencil Class”. Now this was intriguing. Using the Shiva Paintsticks. I was planning on heading to Vancouver Island on Saturday anyway, to visit and do a little shopping with a friend. I called the shop, and asked about the class, and request the class supply list, to see if I needed a lot of things. If I was going to be spending $50 on supplies, it was going to be too expensive for me right now (Ferry Fare, Class Fee, Supplies Cost etc etc). As it was I had most of what I needed. So I called back, and said I’d be interested, and would someone be able to pick me up at the ferry. The ferry is only 5 minutes away from the fabric shop. I have transportation covered, and will be taking the class. I am so excited about it. I’ll be sure to update with photos when I am home… I’ll be home Saturday night, I have a 3 hour wait after the class before the ferry home, which will give me time to spend with my friend.

For those of you who know me… I’m sure you can guess what I did all Wednesday afternoon. Yup, that’s right, I scoured the internet looking for information on fabric painting using the Shiva paintsticks. One of the websites I browsed, was Cedar Canyon Textiles (the kit included the rubbing plates and book from this company). Wow… the ideas are brewing…. embellishing the Upcycled Shopping Bags, embellishing christmas projects, and so much more!

I even found a couple of videos on Youtube! And boy… are the ideas just percolating over! I thought of using the paintsticks as embellishment. But after a comment from Ann – A good yarn to me on AllPeopleQuilt a quilting community we belong to. I never ever ever considered making my own fabric via the paint. Well, one of the Youtube videos’ kind of shows how you can do it.

And of course the stencilling part of the class sounds like fun too! We spend most of our time on the stencils, but I’m good with that too!

Have you ever been excited about learning/trying a new technique? Tell me about it!

-Alice

I mentioned in my blog yesterday (two blogs in a week, unbelievable isn’t it?  *grin*), that I’ve been working on my Second Bargello Quilt – Bargello #2 as it is called for the time being.   It hasn’t been named yet.

Have you ever felt that a quilt was way over your abilities? I have… and the Bargello quilt was one of them. Like me, you have probably seen all the “big” bed size quilts, and thought, there is no way at my skill level that I could accomplish anything like that. Something like this one? http://www.lockwoodquilts.com/store/bargello_quilts/lovers_knot.html

I’m sure the patterns are good, but just the thought…

Cori and Myra of Blue Meadow Designs designed a small Bargello for McCall’s Quilting Magazine. I saw it, and thought I could do that. The instructions were easy to follow, and I made my first Bargello quilt –West Coast Sunset (which is displayed in my header). With the making of this Bargello quilt, and looking for information on Bargello quilts, I have learned lots. If you are looking for resources, check out my Bargello Resource Page.

I have just finished piecing the Bargello portion of my second Bargello Quilt. This one I did completely on my own, including planning the design.

This is the Bargello #2 quilt… with borders pinned around it.

bargello-quilt-2-with-borders-small

I was asked by the Guild to teach an Introductory Bargello class… can you imagine, I’ve made one Bargello quilt, and now I’m teaching it? I did the class in May, and it went well. My DD#1 wanted a Bargello for her front foyer, and I decided the class sample, would be hers. She chose pink, purple and lime green. At first my initial reaction… was, not favourable, to say the least… but after I started buying fabric… of course I didn’t have any soft pinks… or not much pink fabric at all. And it has grown on me.

I saw the Paisley pattern at a quilt shop, and liked it, and bought a FQ. The fabric grew on me, and the next time, I was in the shop, I noticed they had a bolt… and I bought some yardage… it was the same pinks as the Bargello… wasn’t sure about the brown… but seeing it altogether, it works for me. I’m hoping to get the borders on tonight, and then I’ll need to find some batting, and get it sandwiched… then the task of deciding how to quilt it. I was considering using a meander, using the paisley pattern, as the inspiration… we’ll see. I’ll let it “grow” on me.

With this quilt, I started thinking of writing a tutorial for it. I took pictures as I went along, although I am missing photos from the beginning, I’ll deconstruct my tube, and take photos at each stage, and just reverse engineer it. Sounds grand, doesn’t it?

After I get some of the other projects I want to do, I want to design a “twist”, or a mirror image Bargello, to see what I can come up with, one of these days.

-Alice

Tags:

To see time fly… and boy, has time just flown by. I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I have written in my blog.

The binding class went very well. I received several phone calls, emails and a few personal discussions on how well the participants enjoyed the class. They have suggested that it be done next time on a Saturday, instead of an evening… just a little more time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am glad they did too.

Life has been a roller-coaster… when is it not, eh? But I think I am on a bit of a smooth patch right now.

I’ve been busy making “microwave potato bags”, and they are the bees knees. I was sceptical at first, you know… items cooked in the microwave are just not quite the same as the oven or stove. Well, I can tell you, I am no longer a sceptic. Okay, yes, they are not quite “my” perfect potato, but they do look and feel as if they have just come out of the oven. (I like mine a bit over done so the peel is nice and crispy… mmm, smothered in gravy… mmm… okay, back on track).

potato-bags-small

The first four potato bags - 3 small, and 1 large.

My potato bags are made with 100% cotton fabric, batting and thread. The velcro closure is not a problem in the microwave. They are machine quilted, I thought it added a nice touch, and the binding is bias binding. I had considered using the pre-made stuff you can buy, but it is 55% polyester, and I didn’t want to take a chance with that in the microwave. Polyester is probably better than nylon, but… why take the chance right?

Potato already to be cooked.

Potato already to be cooked.

I have seen several microwave potato bags in different venues on the internet, and most of them say “cook potato as per manufacturer’s instructions”. Well, what if you are like me, and you don’t know where your microwave instruction manual/booklet is? Or… what if you have a different wattage microwave? Did you know the “standard” microwave oven is 700 watts? Good grief, mine is 1200 watts! How long will a potato cook in mine? Well, I was fortunate, I have a preset program, so i tested my bag with that. OH what a wonderful potato. Ummm… the next bag of potatoes we bought… were huge… they are probably the size of 3 fists… where a typical potato is 1 fist. Now, how am I going to figure out how long to cook them.

To answer some of those questions, I did a little sleuthing on the internet. If you look, you can find just about anything on the internet, and I did. I found a website that offers conversions, for example 700 watt to 1200 watts cooking times. The site has microwave cooking tips, and much more. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really go much past the Conversion page.

I have found that working on the microwave potato bags has rejuvenated me… or perhaps it was something small I could do while in the roller coaster of life, and now that things are a bit normal, I can work on the “bigger” projects. Well, whatever it is, I have gotten back to work on a few projects. I am embellishing my first Bargello – West Coast Sunset, and I’ve been working on the second, which is for DD#1… I haven’t named it yet, will have to get it all pieced together, and see what it looks like.

And my butterfly quilt is calling me, to have some more quilting done on it too.

I hope that all your quilting needs are fulfilled, and I suggest you stop, and pick up a small project, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed with life, or larger projects, it may be the little boost you need.

-Alice


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