New In Shop :: You Are My Sunshine

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You are my Sunshine is one of my favorite songs! Long, long ago my husband gave the nickname Sunshine to my mom and so it’s significant for that, but it was also a favorite song we’d sing when my children were very young. For Star Trek fans, there was that scene where Seven-of-Nine sang it to the Doctor. It was quite lovely.

When I was making those block printed ornaments a couple of weeks ago, I also made these You Are My Sunshine patches from my hand carved block. They are created with white textile ink on hand dyed indigo linen patches (6.5 inches square). Each one is unique with varying values of indigo and patterns of dye. These would be fantastic for quilt block centers, quilt labels, ornaments, patches on garments, etc. The textile ink is supposed to be washable, though I haven’t tested it.

I have stitched on some of the patches and will be using them in future projects that will likely be for sale. I think I’ll make some into zipper bags.

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I also made one into an ornament. This is black ink on natural linen and is available in the shop. Thanks for looking!

New In Shop :: Block Printed Ornaments

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A couple of weeks ago I played around with block printing on fabric with textile ink. I ended up making a bunch of these fabric ornaments from my hand carved stamp. There are several versions of the red one as I was decided on what colors I liked best for stitching. In the end I prefer the simple white thread. However, there are many unstitched ones as well for those who prefer just the ink.

Most of the green ones are unstitched, though if you really wanted them stitched, you can let me know and I’ll do a special listing.

Also, you can do the stitching yourself if you want to. The unstitched ones cost 1/2 as much, so it’s a cost saver and not hard to do because there’s batting in the middle. You’d just need to hide your knots as in hand quilting.

 light green thread

light green thread

 multi colored threads

multi colored threads

Do you recognize this pattern from my Christmas cards? There are still some of these in the shop. You might make a nice little hostess gift with a hand printed card and ornament to go with it.

New In Shop :: Original Art

 Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

This summer was quite productive for original art too. I have listed many new pieces in the shop. There are lots of critters, flowers, and some woman portraits. I also did some mixed media collage, including the pieces above and below. Thank you for taking a look!

 Mixed Media Collage & Watercolor Blue Bird

Mixed Media Collage & Watercolor Blue Bird

 Cat on a Bicycle

Cat on a Bicycle

 Cat in a Wagon

Cat in a Wagon

 Mother Earth

Mother Earth

 Woman with Flowers

Woman with Flowers

 Purple Cat

Purple Cat

 Halloween Cat

Halloween Cat

 Swan’s Flowers #1

Swan’s Flowers #1

 Swan’s Flowers #2

Swan’s Flowers #2

Faces in Fabric Part 1- A Selfie

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So what does a fabric face phobic person do when someone in their group suggests everyone make a fabric face?  In my case, she goes a little overboard learning about and getting comfortable with fabric faces.  I ended up spending most of the month of April working on various faces with a little help from this book by Melissa Averinos.  I requested that my library get her new book, Making Faces in Fabric, and within a few weeks they had actually gotten in 2 copies.  I went to town as soon as it came in.  Today I'm starting a new blog series about the various faces I made over a monthlong period.  

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So, it was someone in my Undercover Quilters group who suggested that we all make a self portrait in a 12" square size.  At first, I was thinking I'd just do a bird and call it good, but then everyone argued that it had to be an actual human face.  Photographic likeness wasn't necessary, but it should have a good approximation of skin color, hair color, eye color and hair style.  On this one I didn't actually try to make it look like me except for those 4 features. 

I forgot to take photos earlier in the process, but after doing several of these I have a process that I follow and it always starts with the eyes.  Once the eyes are staring at me, it's so exciting I can't wait to continue.  The most fun to me is making the hair. It's the perfect opportunity to play with great prints.  I happen to have several good possibilities in the stash, so I know I'll keep making faces for a while.

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The other thing I noticed with these faces is that the slightest adjustment of features or hair can make a huge difference, so I take a ton of cell phone photos as I go.  

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Once the features all fused to the face fabric I started looking for a background.  The one below is a bit busy even though I liked the colors.  Also, you'll notice that on this one I fused the hair down to the face fabric.  On all the others after this I trimmed around the face before deciding on a background fabric and then added the hair at that time.  I learned a lot making this first one and refined the process in later faces.  

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I finally decided on the turquoise linen below and fused it all down.  It was at this point I realized that if I wanted to keep the hair shape (and I really, really liked the hair shape), I would have a piece that measures out at 13.5" square.  It's a little bigger than it was supposed to be, so I think I may end up doing a second selfie at some point anyway.

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Building the facial features and hair is so much fun that I was really feeling kind of nervous about the machine quilting.  Machine quilting is really a necessary evil in the best of times.  In the case of a face I started to feel that if it went wrong I'd mess it up and make weird lines in the face.  However, once I started I was so into it I didn't even realize where I was going.  I didn't intend to make the cheeks in two different patterns.  I had finished the second one before I realized what happened, but you know what- it doesn't matter!  I really love how this piece came out.  In subsequent faces I have refined the face shape and size and figure out how to make a face that fits within my design parameters.  I'll be sharing all that in the next few posts.  

If you've been curious about making fabric faces I hope you'll check out Melissa's book and give it a try.  I found her book to be an excellent way to take the fear out of making faces.  There's a whole chapter on drawing a face for those who've never done that. There are also many, many wonderful examples to refer to for ideas.  I enjoyed the book so much that I ended up buying it at one of my local quilt shops.  Now, I have the perfect reference to keep around for future faces and I guarantee there will be more!  Stay tuned for more posts about this first bunch of faces.

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2017 Holiday Tails Art Fair

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Hello Friends! 

I am working like crazy to get ready for the Holiday Tails Art Fair this weekend.  I finished up these ornaments above and below.  Some of them will be for sale at the fair. I want to keep a few, but it's hard to decide which ones to keep!   The Folk Art Friends ornaments above were an alternate colorway I put together to show the variety of colors and stitch you can use.  These were printed with brown ink on ivory linen.  The ornaments below were created with free hand embroidery on wool.  The free form embroidery is tricky and I kept wishing I had lines for guidance, but I like how they turned out.  I now admire even more the work by some of the embroiderers I follow on Instagram (especially Adam Pritchett).

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In other news, I have been learning some new bookbinding stitches over the past month or so.  These are really fun to make.  The first two photos show some of the postcards books I made. I used modern art and quilt postcards from my stash.  

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The newest type of stitch I've learned is called the buttonhole stitch.  This stitch is created with a delightful little cutout in the spine of the book.  These are truly lovely, special journals.  All of my journals have been created with acid free artist's paper.  Some have drawing paper, some have heavier paper suitable for wet media.  Some have a variety of paper for those who might want to experiment.  All of the journals come with a handwritten label indicating which paper is which in case you find something you want to get more of.  These are all for sale in the shop for the next few days.  I'll close the shop starting on Friday for the weekend when I do the art fair and unsold items will be re-listed on Monday December 11.

PS- I managed to finish the quilt from the previous post and submitted it along with two others for QuiltCon.  I'll post about them when I get a chance after the art fair.

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