Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's new at the Loft - Episode 90

Truth be told I got very behind in this class.  I loved the class, and really enjoyed the techniques I've learned, but it was very labor intensive, and I had way too much going on to keep up.  My own fault of course, but I am glad that I have a year to watch all the videos and finish all the projects.  Julie's class was amazing and she really gave a lot of information and was definitely worth the money.

Here are more projects that I had to do for the class.  The first is a mixed media clutch purse.  The project called for us to first paint up some canvas.  Luckily I had several large sheets of painted canvas leftover from Alisa Burke's Graffiti Chic class.  I had been saving them, hoping to one day find a project for them.  Julie's class was the perfect project to put these painted canvas pieces to good use.

Here's how my purse turned out.

Here is the front

Here is the back

We also had to make a mixed media strip pillow

So I took a lot of scrap fabric, a lot of paint, and a fresh Sharpie marker and here is the result.

 Another project we had to create was fabric ATC's using a transferred image.  Most who know me will tell you how much I love ATC's, after all why would I make one a day for an entire year, right.  In a weird coincidence it also required us to do an image transfer which is one of my favorite techniques to use when I art journal.  So this project was right up my alley.  I used white muslin that I glimmer misted with sunflower yellow and vintage pink.  After it dried I cut these two butterflies out and used gel medium to do the transfer.  The preferred method to do a transfer on fabric is to use a transparency, but I didn't have any so I did a direct image transfer, which makes the fabric a little stiff where the transfer was done.  I then made a mini quilt sandwich with batting and another piece of muslin for the back, then took it all over to my machine and free motion stitched the scrolls and outlined the butterflies.  Lastly I used a zig zag stitch around the edges.  And here is how it came out.

Speaking of Art Journaling

It has taken me a while but I finally got around to finishing the Art Journaling page I started when I posted about it way back on March 30th.  I had only finished one side of the page so here is where I left off.

and here is where I ended up

Well that's all I have for today.  Comments are always welcome so feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's new at The Loft - Episode 89

My First Ever Art Quilt

I am having so much fun in this class and am loving what I have learned so far.  However I have a confession, in that I am a little behind in the class.  Unfortunately my busy life often gets in the way of my creative pursuits, so I have to say a big THANK YOU to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer for allowing access to her class for a year.  It's really taken some of the pressure off.  I also have to confess that I have skipped a few projects (I'm going to try to catch up on the missing ones this weekend) so that I could get to the week on free motion quilting.

In a strange coincidence I started making a quilt just before this class started.  My good friend Teri has been so kind and patient as she has walked me through all the steps involved.  And although it is not completed yet, I am hoping to finish quilting it very soon. 

I am by no means new to sewing, as I have a B.S. degree in Fashion and Textile Technology, but I literally hadn't done any sewing in almost 20 years ago until early 2010 when I purchased an inexpensive
Brother machine for light sewing and repairs.  About 6 months ago I made a few aprons and I have been a sort of sewing maniac since.

With this renewed love of sewing however I found that the machine I had was very limited.  For example my sewing machine had a free motion foot but didn't allow you to drop the feed dogs, and when you try to do any free motion with a darning plate, the bobbin thread gets all mangled.  And although the machine has been a good workhorse machine for the money I paid, I have outgrown it.  So I bit the bullet and recently purchased a new Brother machine one that can do free motion with ease.

How does this relate to It's Sew Easy you might ask, well one of the assignments was to make an art quilt using free motion stitching.

I started with bleached muslin and cut 2 pieces the same size.  On one I traced the dress image, provided for by our teacher and the other I put to the side for now.  Next using some Koi watercolors I painted in the dress. 

I drew some circles into the fabric with a resist crayon and then using tube watercolors I mixed up some blue and painted around the dress (I used the resist crayon around the dress as well to keep the blue from bleeding).

I had some blue paint left over so I added lots of water and used it as a dye bath for the backing piece.

Next I added some visual interest to the skirt by using a dauber and stamped polka dots on it with VersaCraft ink which can be used on fabrics.

The then used a stencil and fabric marker to draw the flowers on the dress top.

To add more interested I painted radial stripes on with more concentrated green watercolor paint.

Once the top was dry I carefully ironed the front and back piece and then made my quilt sandwich by placing the backing fabric down first, then batting on top, and then added the quilt top over this right side up, and pinned with quilt pins.  I have never free motioned sewed in my life and need a lot more practice at it but I jumped in with both feet and tried not to become too intimidated by it or obsessed with perfection.  I started by stitching around the dress, and then stitched the radial stripes.  I then stitched the polka dots and finally the flowers.

I then free motion stitched some circles on top of the radials where some of the resist crayon was.

I haven't yet learned how to do proper quilt binding yet, so I sewed on some store bought garment binding to finish off the edges. 

And here is my finished project. 

This was a fun project, but the first thing I learned was to never use watercolor again.  By the time I was done, the surface of my new machine was green, and I had to do a lot of scrubbing to get it off.  Second was to practice more with free motion.  I definitely need to work on feeding the fabric through to get more even stitches. 

Well, that's all I have for today.  I hope you liked it. Comments are always welcome so feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.