Monday, November 29, 2010

Process and Progress

I have been working on the coral piece, and managed to make a little progress before the holiday weekend.

coral piece november 29 one

I had beaded the corals or anemones in the foreground (I am not sure which, I guess I could just say “sea life”) earlier this fall when I was giving some one on one instruction to a friend.  The ones in the back are embellished with Kreinik braid which I couched as well as used in the bobbin. 

coral piece november 29 four

You can see the detail of the gold braid in this picture.

coral piece november 29 three

coral piece november 29 two

And you may have noticed that I decided to put the yellow angel fish lower in the composition.

coral piece november 29 five

I tried making another angel fish for the upper left corner of the image.

coral piece november 29 seven

But he’s a little too pale for the rest of the piece.

coral piece november 29 eight

I used some of my friend Diane Eyerman’s hand-dyed fabric for the blue stripes, and couched the outlines with Kreinik #16 braid.

coral piece november 29 nine

You can see how well the sparkling braid complements the blue stripes.  I guess this little fellow will end up getting his own quilt after I’ve finished this one :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Puttin’ on the Glitz

I have been in the studio having amazing fun with the box of Kreinik threads that arrived last month.  After my first foray into trying the copper on my shoe quilt, I decided to start jazzing up the coral piece I had found in my UFO pile earlier this fall.

octopus and quilting

Here you can see a detail of the quilting I did using the Fashion Twist thread in color “Heather”.   The variegated metallic finish of this thread pops out with highlights and really adds sparkle to the piece.  It also sewed very well.

octopus and quilting too

Here’s another detail, showing the octopus and coral.  I used Fine Twist iris in “Golden Brown” to highlight the lines on the octopus’ tentacles as well as to circle quilt on the coral.  I currently am sewing the suckers with Fine Twist Iris “Yellow”.

octopus and quilting three

Detail of how I am planning on attaching the finished octopus to the bottom of the quilt.  First I have to finish quilting the tentacles and then edge beading the whole applique.  There is a thin layer of batting and the backing fabric is some of my hand-dyed twill, for even more stability.

quilting with gold thread

Here you can see the circle quilting in the Kreinik Silver Gimp Thread in “Gold”.  I initially quilted both corals with Madeira thread in a shade of orange, and I really like how going over the quilting with the metallic thread added depth to the piece.

quilting with golden brown thread

Circle quilting in “Golden” Brown” and you can see how plain the background was before quilting.

angel fish closeup

And what is a coral reef without some fish?  This applique was drawn onto a sheet of heavy duty (50 weight) Pellon interfacing, then sewn to the yellow fabric before being machine embroidered with Sulky and Kreinik threads.

clown fish in process

Here is what an applique looks like in process.  You can see the bobbin threads outlining the form and showing me where to stitch.  This is on my hand-dyed fabric and supplemented with silk dupioni.


Here you can see how fine the metallic works, even in a free motion zigzag stitch

coral fish too

The finished clown fish, pinned in place.  I am not sure where the fish will end up yet, as I still have to make a few more. 

coral in process two

I also realized both fish are facing in the same direction, so the next fish will be facing the other way. 

coral in process

The piece so far, on the design wall.  You can see some other work in process behind it, as well as the piece I did for the Lark book “The Artful Storybook” .  Sometimes it would be nice to have a larger design wall, but sometimes it is really cool to see the layers of quilts on the wall taking shape.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas in a Box

I have loved Kreinik threads for years, using them as outlines on my smaller animal pieces and recommending them in classes to use with beads on embroidered pieces.  Recently I was approached by a representative for the company and asked if I was interested in playing with some of their product.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity and said yes. :)

Last week this wonderful goody box of threads arrived at my door:

kreinik box one

You can see several spools of the newer thread designed for machine embroidery as well as samples of the embroidery braids and blending filaments.kreinik box two

And a color card of everything that is available.  I am also excited to try those iron on threads you can see in the middle there.  I can see using them to outline forms like I did with the bias tape on Safe Harbor.

kreinik box three

They included some smaller samples of their trims, including some colors in the facets and chenille thread.  I can see using them to make some Christmas ornaments or cards, and maybe another elephant or two.  Won’t they make a gorgeous blanket on them?

kreinik four

I noticed a little bundle of what appeared to be threads inside each cone of the machine thread.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were the net thread bras.  How convenient!

Too Coy one

Then, because I already had a piece in process, I decided to give it a try on this piece.  “Too Coy”, based on the painting I did for the Shoe Show at Ten Women Gallery. 

Too Coy detail one

I used the ZTCO Fine Twist Copper thread to grid quilt.  Here you can see how sparkly it is.  I was really pleased with how well the thread worked with my Pfaff 2054.  I made sure to put in a new Metallica needle size 80, and adjusted the tension to 1.5.  I set the stitch length to 3.0 to maximize the glimmer of the thread line and sewed.  Smooth as buttah! 

Next up, freemotion quilting with the metallized gimp thread and the fashion twist thread.