Friday, December 08, 2006

Faux Chenille Interpretation Tutorial----Spontaneous Combustion!! by Arlee Barr


This is not a new technique. Faux Chenille is everywhere and there are a host of sites and projects, and lots of eyecandy to enjoy. This tutorial is merely one interpretation of the technique.

CAVEAT: this technique assumes you know how to use a sewing machine and do basic quilting, couching and stitching.

This "brand" evolved from boredom and needing to use a copper knit that had been sitting around impatiently for awhile! While you don't have to use a knit, i found it an excellent way to get some texture that didn't fray all the way down to a few shreds and threads. :} The piece should be about 8"x11", or two totalling that area. I used a polyester "satin" as the background. You will also need a novelty yarn or cord or ribbon to couch with in one of the final steps.

For the purpose i intended it for, i cut a base fabric about 10"x13". You can use the whole piece when done, or cut it into halves as i did, or whatever size your desired end is. I then cut 2 wonky pieces of the copper knit. They do not have to be "squared" or "regular edged"; one of the beauties of this is that you can use any shape. You can also do this larger if you like or smaller; this is a good size though as it is manageable under the machine needle and useful enough when done.


I then stitched channels, using my presser foot as a guide for the narrowness. You want the lines to be reasonably close, but not so tight that you can't get scissors in to slice! The lines here don't have to be straight either--you can curve, zag, maze, or corner. You can also leave some areas more open and then cut holes in the piece. Now slice the channels open.


You'll note now that the knit is stretching out and distorting the base fabric. Don't sweat it; the whole piece will be trued when we are done. As long as the fabric is reasonably flat, some buckling will just add texture and depth. Things don't have to be symmetrical or "perfect" with this technique. It's an organic, spontaneous composition that happens as you work it.


This is what the back looks like by the way. You can see some of the channels are not open ended; again the effect you want should guide you.


Sorry for the fuzziness but you can see the general look!

Now "brush" open some of the channels. The knit co-operated beautifully.


Take the piece back to your machine and stitch across the open channels ----you can go in any direction; you may need to be brushing open again as you go if they don't stay. Again, if it wonks, don't worry! You can stitch over the open areas too, nobody says you can't! The first run i did this way i used a regular thread, but you could also use a discrete metallic as well if you like.


This is the result:


Now you are going to couch some yarns or other fibrous bits around the edges to "anchor", again this is personal preference, try it without if you like! I used a metallicy knitting yarn here. Stitch around the edges freely with a zigzag over the yarn; i also "outlined" some of the larger holes as well. And again you can stitch right across the piece as well. No hard and fast rules!




See how woogly the whole is now? So what? It's your work. And the back now looks like this:


Now we are going to add some more depth. This step can actually be done at the beginning as well,if you are confident enough of your handling abilities on a sandwich of fabrics! If not, lay the piece on a slightly larger rectangle of some sort of batting. And yes, that is NOT batting: i use whatever i have that will give some quilty depth: this time it was a piece of a horrible melon velour, squishy side up. (Why noT? Apparently i am not the only one to use this sort of thing either--the QA list had a big discussion about it--i thought i had re-invented the wheel, when it was just my "frugality" kicking in :})


I randomly zigged and zagged some quilting lines around the edges and did a bit of outlining of the main piece. The back now:


Now square up as much as possible, the whole piece, trimming the excess off.


Fold in half and cut apart:




I flipped them around, lined and stiffened a wee bit more and this is what they became:


("Spontaneous Combustion" bags)

Purse flaps on a fake swakara lamb messenger style bag! The textures and finishes of all the different fabrics created a lovely lush feeling. Try this also as an insert, a patch, a piece for fabric collage, whatever you like!

If there is anything here that you don't "get", please let me know! It takes longer to write a tutorial than it does to do the steps and photograph them, so please ask questions or tell me what the problem is----it's only a good tutorial if you can use it!!!


Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Arlee Barr of Albedo Design. Arlee is a textile artist, fashion designer, seamstress, published poet, book critic, illustrator, artist and floral designer. According to Arlee: "Texture and shadow and illusion draw me: the more lush and luxurious, the more alluring and seductive. My passion manifests itself in one of a kind and limited edition garments. These pieces are wearable art fashioned using a variety of hand and machine techniques. My designs appeal to the adventurous, the non-conformist and the unique. Design shapes are simple, allowing the fabric and detailing to tell the story. Whether your taste is gothic, flamboyant, outrĂ©, avant-garde or just ready for something different, you can explore your closet dreams."

CQ Origami Pouch By Jo Newsham

Here is my second bag for the Paisley Bauble Bag swap over at CQN. These first two pics are of the pouch, completed, and the draw cords pulled.




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This is the block pieced, embellished, lined and turned. You can see there is only stitching in certain areas of the bag. I will point out here that these little bags are usually made with 2 fat quarters, a patterned and a plain. They are very easy to do. As I said in a previous post , I had pieced the block because I was too impatient to wait for the instuctions to arrive. You will see as I go,which bits end up on the inside. Here is a link to show you how to do these. I will persevere with how I did this, as it was a little different. ( i found this after I had made the block!!)


Turn your block on point, plain side up, fold one side in (note where the embellishment is). It must fold far enough in so that it touches the fold on the other side.


Fold the next side in. At this point you hand sew where the two sides overlap. On this piece it is mostly the black fabric. Just sew the top two layers..mind you dont catch the back! You only have to do it along that outside flap. This forms the pocket. The bit that is face down (apart from the flaps) is the inside of the bag, so you see, I could of saved a fair whack of pretty fabbies if I had waited!!


Fold the bag as in the pic above


You can see now how the pouch will come together. At this point I hand sewed the sleeve, the turned inside out and stitched the sides up. You are supposed to do that corner thing to give a base, which I prefer, but it lost quite a bit of the stitching underneath, so I have left this one flat.


Here is this side completed, with the draw cords added. You can see how if I had machined the sleeve for the draw cord, it would of gone right across the embroidery. I hand stitched this. You can see how it should look in the pic below. That link will show you how to do the cords.




...and here is the other side, with the flap closed, and below, the flap open, with a wee note inside.


The finished size of my pouch is about 10cm x 15cm. I started with an approx 12" block. If you want a bigger bag, start with a bigger block!


Here is the inside of the bag, and that *fantastic* orange fabric. So you end up with a small bag with two pockets. this one would be alright for a night out. You would fit your lippy, phone and money card in it, no problems.

Once I got started on the embellishing it didn't go to bad. All the colour was quite freeing, I didn't really think about what I used, just went for a good contrast. I am quite happy with how this has turned out.

If you have any questions, ask away. You will find Little Mochi's instruction far easier to follow.



Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Jo Newsham on her "No Matter Where I Go... I Always Meet Myself There!" blog. For more crafting tips and techniques visit Jo's "No Matter Where I Go... I Always Meet Myself There!" blog. Jo is an expert crazy quilter who specializes in crazy quilts, ribbon embroidery, and pocketbooks.

Exercise Your Creative Bone! by Arlee Barr

Exercise your creative bone!

Some times ya just got the blahs and yer not sure what ya wanna do, or where to go for a personal "design-power-pick-up". Try this, it works.

You need a photo--or a drawing if you have one that's stumping you--, some tracing paper and a variety of crayons, pens, markers, whatever medium you choose. High end magazines are a good source for unique images, as are quality art mags. Do a tracing first of the main lines of the image; don't worry about fine details: you need the basic shapes that make up the whole. Then from the tracing, start playing. Use the shapes as a guide to fill in textural marks, writing, objects, what's your fancy? You can also blow up the initial tracing and use it as a pattern to cut paper, fabric, rags, plastic in those shapes. Try images from other cutouts cut to the shape. You may astound yourself with a new approach to both design and your own approach to certain images!

Here are 2 samples i've just started. I'm not sure what final techniques i'll use, but it intrigues me.



textural study


Update on Tue, June 6, 2006 at 10:49AM by arleebarr

This is the actual article that went into the Canadian Quilter Summer 2006 issue:

CQ page tutorialAnd here is the text as it may be hard to read from a jpg! :}

"I thought i would try something new this time. You know the story of Tom Sawyer where he is supposed to whitewash Aunt Becky's fence? Well, i have used his example and invited a quilt artist to write about a technique for this column! Arlee Barr is a self described quilt artist living somewhere in the huge Vancouver area; she has a wonderfully interesting web journal and that is how i discovered her unique and innovative ideas. You can check out her web journal at http://arleebarr.squarespace.com. Click on the menu on the right side of the page: she offers insight into some of her artistic endeavours and there is even a section that she writes about a number of techniques she uses.

I asked Arlee if she might like to pass along some pointers to my readers so she gave us some ideas and even sent along some photos to illustrate this technique.

Excercise your Creative Bone!!!

Some times you just have the "blahs" and you're not sure what you want to do, or where to go for a personal "design-power-pick-up". Try this, it works.

You need a photo or a drawing, some tracing paper and a variety of crayons, pens, markers, whatever medium you choose. High end magazines are a good source for unique images, as are quality art mags. Look through your sketchbooks and "doodle" lists for original images. Do a tracing first of the main lines of the image; don't worry about fine details: you need the basic shapes that make up the whole. Then from the tracing, start playing. Use the shapes as a guide to fill in textural marks, writing, objects, what's your fancy? You can also blow up the initial tracing and use it as a pattern to cut paper, fabric, rags, plastic in those shapes. Try images from other cutouts cut to the shape. You may astound yourself with a new approach to both design and your own approach to certain images! If you're feeling brave, you can jump right in and use fabrics.

This is often a good way to integrate fabrics that you can't quite find a use for, that are 'ugly', or that you normally wouldn't use. Don't be afraid to try new techniques on these as well: a bit of beading, some free motion, some hand stitching, a bit of paint (acrylics can be used here if it's not a piece to be washed), or any technique you've been wanting to try but have been a bit leery of! Start small: do fabric postcards, journal size pieces, even add magnetized strips to the backs and display on your fridge---great little gift idea too! Several images can also be combined to create collage elements in your work---try theming them, or combining oddities for a personal statement.

These design excercises can be as realistic, abstract, traditional, representative or contemporary as you please. Save them in a journal or scrapbook and refer to them later for other works--you never know where the design path will lead!

Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Arlee Barr of Albedo Design. Arlee is a textile artist, fashion designer, seamstress, published poet, book critic, illustrator, artist and floral designer. According to Arlee: "Texture and shadow and illusion draw me: the more lush and luxurious, the more alluring and seductive. My passion manifests itself in one of a kind and limited edition garments. These pieces are wearable art fashioned using a variety of hand and machine techniques. My designs appeal to the adventurous, the non-conformist and the unique. Design shapes are simple, allowing the fabric and detailing to tell the story. Whether your taste is gothic, flamboyant, outrĂ©, avant-garde or just ready for something different, you can explore your closet dreams."

Fargo Rose Tutorial For Susan by Jo Newsham


Bring the needle thru to the front of the fabric. I measure where I will place my knot by the length of the needle, but you can make it as long or as short as you like, but I do think they need 4 to 5 petals (wraps) to look good....read on.


wrap the ribbon once around the needle, the same as a french knot. The tail of the ribbon , that is under my thumb (just the way I like it LOL) stays there for the whole process. It keeps the knot secure.


Take the needle thru the ribbon about 1 cm approx ( just under 1/2 inch). You can make the distance as much as you like, it will give you larger, loopier petals. I recommend that you try to keep the distance consistant, whatever you decide. Starting smaller and getting bigger didn't really work for me. Unless you are doing about a foot of wraps, the rose looks a little lopsided. (my other hand would be holding the bottom of the ribbon taut, but I had to let go to take pic! Sorry to state the obvious, but you might mistake me for some freaky one handed fargo rose genius)


Your needle is now at the 'back' of the ribbon. I like to wrap the ribbon under, bringing the needle back to the front, then take it back thru to the back. I like the wrapped look, but you can do them with just a running stitch down the ribbon toward the fabric. Again, try to keep the distance even.


This is the start of the third wrap. I take the needle thru the middle of the ribbon, but play around and see what effects you get if you put it closer to one side than the other.


Here the needle is going back down thru the fabric. I have taken the needle back thru the ribbon one last time , close to the fabric, if I don't do this, I find one petal is always much longer than the rest, so that works for me. My thumb is still holding that tail......all thats about to change....


Here I have changed the thumb I secure the tail with... so I have my hand available to go under the fabric. Don't pull the knot too tight yet. Once your needle is thru all the ribbon and fabric, but before you pull it tight, give a little tug on that tail, that will tighten up the knot and give you a nice centre


Here I have tugged the tail and am securing it again, and am pulling the needle thru tight....it's all about to happen.....


WOOHOO, you have a fargo rose. It does take practise, so get off the computer and go do twenty in a row. I must say that this one turned out even better than usually, which is always preferable when trying to teach something. You may have to twist the rose a little to place the petals evenly, and I will sometimes secure with a hidden stitch (thread not ribbon) to stop it untwisting.

I hope this is helpful, if you have any questions, please comment, any suggested improvements, please comment, heck just comment, cos that makes me feel good.


Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Jo Newsham on her "No Matter Where I Go... I Always Meet Myself There!" blog. For more crafting tips and techniques visit Jo's "No Matter Where I Go... I Always Meet Myself There!" blog. Jo is an expert crazy quilter who specializes in crazy quilts, ribbon embroidery, and pocketbooks.

Knitting E-Patterns by Mary-Louise Quick

Mary-Louise Quick of MLQKnits.com offers several wonderful FREE Knitting E-Patterns, FREE knitting How-To's, and FREE knitting instructions in .PDF format that you can download yourself.

Just CLICK on the name of the E-Pattern or picture below to view and print the .PDF E-Pattern file:



Emily's Pointy Beret
Copyright © 2004 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick


Lacy Curly Whirly Scarf (Crochet)
Copyright © 2005 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick


How-To Knit A Moebius Scarf
Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick

How To Design A Simple Jacket
Copyright © 2005 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick
How To Estimate Yarn Requirements

Copyright © 2005 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick



Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved — Written By Mary-Louise Quick of MLQKnits.com and "Odd Ball Knitting" blog. Mary-Louise is an expert knitter and the owner of MLQKnits.com where she sells stitch markers and her own knitting designs.

Cone Fetish by Robin Bartoletti

I love those little Christmas Cones that were used to hold candy and small gifts. They were quite popular in Victorian England. I am making a crop of cones for Christmas:



Materials needed:

Purse template from Draggin' Ink 1-2 pieces of cardstock or prepared foil paper (see instructions below)24" of cording, ribbon, raffia or twisted paper tissue paperdouble stick tape or glue (tacky glue is great!)scissorspencil (for tracing)

Optional

holiday stickers or paper punches, brass fasteners aluminum foil, Mylar, sticky back paper, miniature ornament

Prepare the foil paper as follows: use enough aluminum foil or Mylar to cover the sticky back paper. Apply the sticky back paper carefully to foil or Mylar. Using a brayer or your thumb start at one edge and work your way to the other edge of the paper smoothing the paper along the way.

Single cone: marking notches, trace and cut out the basic pattern. DO NOT score the piece. Line up the edge with the tab to the first marked notch. Secure with double stick tape or tacky glue (hold in place with paper clips if necessary). Decorate if desired. With equal spacing, make four small holes 2" from the top. Run the cording, ribbon, etc., thru the holes, tying the ends together on the inside. Use tissue paper to line the inside of the cone, bringing the corners together and tying with ribbon.

Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved - Written By Robin on her "Urban Debris" Blog. Robin is a mixed media and digital artist.

Robin's Bio - My name: Robin Bartoletti. Pronounced "bar-to-let-tee". I live in Oklahoma,though I will always be a Texan at heart. I work in the education and technology field as a faculty member, but prefer working with my hands on things I can touch and feel. Pixels are great, but crafts are better. My artlog is a visual journal of crafts, zakka, altered art, embellished art, collage, mixed media and assemblage. I have Things to Do, handmades and patterns, neat-o creative things to buy, and of course free fun images to download for use in your own artwork.

Easy Cookie Bouquets by Rachel Paxton

Easy Cookie Bouquets
By Rachel Paxton

Surprise a friend (or your mom) with an easy-to-make cookie bouquet. Use your imagination to create a gift that special someone will really enjoy.

All you need to get started is a basic sugar cookie recipe like this one from our recipe database:

Best Sugar Cookies

2 cups sugar
2 cups margarine or butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
6 cups flour

Cream together first 4 ingredients. Mix remaining dry ingredients together and mix in with the creamed mixture. Add enough flour to handle dough. Roll cookies out on floured board and cut with your favorite cookie cutters. Bake 350 or 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on the outside edges.

For a flower bouquet, use flower-shaped cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Roll cookie dough 1/2 inch thick to accommodate popsicle or lollipop sticks. Gently insert stick into cookies before baking. You may need to bake an extra minute or two because of the thicker dough. Watch closely while baking.

After cookies cool, frost with your favorite frosting and/or outline cookies with decorator icing.

Wrap cookies in saran wrap or small cellophane gift bags. Tie a ribbon bow around each cookie. Arrange cookie pops in a terra cotta pot with styrofoam in the bottom to hold cookies.

Cookie bouquets can be made from any kind of refrigerated cookie dough, and are great for any occasion. Experiment with your favorite recipes!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rachel_Paxton

Keepsake Christmas Album by Rachel Paxton

Keepsake Christmas Album
By: Rachel Paxton

Do you hate throwing your Christmas cards away every year as much as I do? This year I decided to try to come up with some way to preserve our Christmas cards, as well as find a way to organize all the Christmas letters I've been faithfully filing away for the past six years. I decided to make an album for our Christmas letters using decoupage to decorate the covers with this year's Christmas cards.

I love decoupage. It's so easy to do and so versatile. It's really hard to get it wrong. I started by finding something to paste the Christmas cards on. I had some dark red card stock (next to the paper at the office supply store) that seemed heavy enough to withstand all the gluing. Next I cut our Christmas cards into all different shapes and sizes. I cut out little characters, scenes, holiday greetings, and even signatures of loved ones who had sent the cards. I next arranged the cutouts, overlapping one another, on the card stock, and started applying them one by one with the decoupage finish.

There are several kinds of decoupage finish available. You can find a variety at your local craft store. I have two different kinds: Plaid Royal Coat Antique Decoupage Finish, and Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre. The first one gives an antique-like appearance. The paste yellows when it dries, making your collage look aged. The more you apply, the yellower it gets. The Mod Podge dries clear. I used the antique finish and was quite happy with the result. You use the finish to actually glue the individual pieces on with a paintbrush, and then when you're finished (adding scraps here and there to fill in the blank spots), you brush a coat over the entire page. After it dries for about 10 minutes, you can apply another coat. I found that adding several coats made the pages sturdier–more like a album cover, like I wanted. I had just enough Christmas card cutouts to cover two pages, one for the front cover, and one for the back cover.

After the pages were dry, I used a three-hole punch to punch holes in the covers. I decided I would use wide fabric holiday ribbon to tie the covers together. That way every year I could untie the bows and add new letters to my album. I used 2 1/2 -inch-wide wire satin ribbon (dark red). I liked the wire ribbon. It was easier to adjust the bows and looked really nice. It was also leftover from my holiday gift making this year, so I didn't have to buy any extra.

When the covers were ready, I arranged our Christmas letters from oldest to most recent, and punched holes in all of them. I then placed them between the covers and inserted the ribbon through the holes and tied big red bows to hold them together. I chose not to string ribbon through all three holes–just the top and the bottom.

I was really happy with how my keepsake Christmas album turned out. It was easy, took only about two hours to make, and I didn't have to buy anything extra to make it. After you buy the decoupage finish (about $5 a bottle), the uses for it are almost limitless. You can apply it to almost any surface, giving you the opportunity to create timeless keepsakes in a variety of ways.
Article by:

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com/.

Article Source: www.ladypens.com

Making Firestarters..by Paula Oakes

Making Firestarters..

Well girls..there's a chill in the air..and the billowing of smoke is on the horizon from the wood stoves and fireplaces. Nothing is better then a warm fire to sit by....so...
Let's have some fun today!! We will be making my version of fire starters. These are very easy and they make great gifts as well.

Here's what you'll need:
Medium sized and small pine cones - I find mine in the woods..but I do believe you can buy these at Walmart and at some of the home centers
Wax - I use old candles..but you can buy wax at Hobby Lobby.
Old Crayons - Better get digging in your child's toy box for these. Be careful..you don't know what you'll find in there.
Large tin coffee Can or wax pot- you can buy the wax burner at hobby Lobby
Tongs - to grab your cones with
Wax coated wicks - You may buy these at hobby Lobby
Cardboard egg cartons - beg these off your neighbors and friends
Cinnamon oil - used to scent your fire starters
Crushed bits of potpourri - I always use up the old stuff laying around. Make sure you crush it up pretty small.

Steps:

1. Melt your wax in your coffee can in a pot of boiling water on the stove.
2. Add your crayons for color (I love red for mine) and your cinnamon oil.
3. Lower the heat..you don't want this really hot!!(too hot of wax will seep through the egg cartons)
4. Cut your wick in 4" sections. Lay a wick in the bottom of each egg carton.
5. Pour your wax about 1/4 of the way up in your egg cartons.
6. Sprinkle just a bit of your crushed potpourri into the wax.
7. Carefully push your pine cone into the wax, making sure your wick is sticking out. This is what you'll light the fire starter with.
8. If you need to, carefully pour a bit more wax over the pine cones till the wax covers the bottoms of the pine cones.
9. Let these cool.
10. After they have cooled, cut each egg carton apart. Toss them into a big cello bag tie a bit of raffia the top, and you have a nice gift.
11. To use, lay one under your kindling that your use to start your fire with, light the wick and add your wood. The starter should burn for about 8 min. long enough to get a good burn going.

I do hope you enjoy making these. Have fun making different colors and scents. PLEASE be very careful using the wax. It is very hot and you can get burned.

Till next time....do something fun!!

Copyright © 2006—All Rights Reserved — Written By Paula Oakes on her "What's Happening At Rusty Pins and Old Lace" Blog. For more crafting tips and techniques visit Paula's "What's happening at Rusty Pins and Old Lace " blog. Paula is a doll artist and priomitive crafter who specializes in "extreme primitives." She is the owner of "Rusty Pins and Old Lace" where she sells her handmade dolls, handmade primitives, and antiques. According to Paula: "I try very hard to have a store like no other, and to carry items that you won't see elsewhere."

Birdland by Andrea Pratt

Here are the two paintings I just finished at various stages of their development. In the first photo I have laid down the underpainting and added the stencilled images (repeated images that I make using hand-cut acetate stencils).


The second phase is the part where all the painted images, patterns and details are added.


I know I'm in trouble when I want to stop at this stage and not add the 'fill in' painting. The early stages were a breeze but I ran into trouble with the last panels in each painting -- like I just couldn't find the final piece to the puzzle. At the end of the day I have to just quit and be satisfied with what I've got.






Copyright © 2006-All Rights Reserved - Andrea Pratt. Andrea Pratt is an award-winning artist whose work is exhibited internationally. Check out her "Andrea Pratt" website for more info. http://andreapratt.com/