Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Painted T-Shirts

I recently had fun making a shirt to match my granddaughter's fancy leggings.

They were so cute that I bought three more pairs on an after-Christmas sale...and then painted some long-sleeve T-shirts to match.

Here are the ladybug pants and matching shirt.

Here are the strawberry pants and shirt.  I made stencils for the top and the berry, then used pieces of painter's tape to make a resist for the dots on the strawberry.

And here are the rainbow leggings and the shirt.

 It sure is fun to dress up this little princess!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eyeglass Case from Quilting Test Scraps

When I am quilting, I often make a test quilt sandwich to try out my thread tensions.  I happened to have a couple of those when my eyeglass case unfortunately got run over last weekend.  I stitched a lot more decorative stitches into the two small quilted pieces, joined them together, and made a new eyeglass case.

The little red square is a scrap of needlefelted fabric that I sewed on to cover the Velcro square on the cover.

Here is the back side.  I just joined the two pieces together with zigzag stitch.

Pretty easy!

We have had quite a few lovely warm days, interspersed with dreary cold rainy days.  Here are some pictures from the nice days.

This is the pond behind our Raleigh house.

And here is Lake Lynn in Raleigh, which has a nice greenway all around.  Kasey and I walked the whole perimeter yesterday, which is about two miles.

it was sparkly and beautiful!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Watercolor Batik Quilting

I have been having fun with my new discovery that you can quilt a watercolor painting on Ginwashi Oriental paper.  I finished quilting one of the sunflower paintings.

Sunny Bouquet, Jeanne McBrayer, Watercolor on Ginwashi paper, design by Kathie George

I also finished quilting and binding the other Sunflowers painting. I am experimenting with adding beads to this one.  In these photos, the beads are just scattered on the quilt top to audition how they look.

 I changed threads many times on both quilts, using a lot of rayon and variegated colors.

I think I like the gold beads, to add even more of the sun-drenched effect to this quilt.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Woodland Friends Quilt: Finished!

All bound and ready to send!

It was fun to quilt this one.

I used a purple thread, which surprisingly blends in well in the busy fabrics, but shows up nicely in the plainer backgrounds.

I adore the border fabric!

The back is made of eight-inch squares in coordinating colors.

I love a striped binding.  This fabric has diagonal stripes, so I did not have to cut it on the bias.

This was such a fun project!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Toy...A Sewing Machine for the Cabin

When our mountain place consisted of a cozy one-room apartment over a two-car garage, space was at a premium.  I had a tiny Janome Mini sewing machine for my occasional sewing needs up there.  It sewed a perfect stitch and I made several quilt tops with it.  But...it was SLOW SLOW SLOW.  I asked Santa for a machine that was still small, lightweight, and economical, but much more efficient.

He came through for me with this lovely new machine!  It's a Brother CS6000i.

It is a computerized model with 61 stitches.  It also comes with a carrying case, extended table, and quite a few different feet.  They did not include a quarter-inch foot, but I discovered when looking at the manual (gasp!) that there is a built-in stitch that is a quarter-inch when lined up with the regular presser foot.

I did not get to play with it while we were in the mountains for Christmas, but New Year's weekend we went back up.  I not only fired it up and played a little, but got two of my grands involved!

Lily and Caden love to play with my bright fabric scraps.  We started out just sewing some scraps together.

Lily decided she wanted to make a little tote bag for her Disney princess toy.  Very little!

Caden decided for his first project to make a "California King" quilt for one of his "little people" toys.

He generally gets tired of a project after about fifteen minutes, but he learned to use the machine!

I am trying to get a few projects cut out so that I can do some sewing up there the next time we are there with no company.

It has been a gloomy gray week, and this morning there is freezing rain making the roads quite treacherous.  I don't have to go anywhere.  A good day to work on my projects!  But to brighten up the day, here is my other granddaughter, Charlie, at my house on Monday.  Not sure which is brighter...her outfit, my quilt, or her beautiful smile!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Watercolor + Stitching = Art Quilt!

Here is my quilted watercolor batik painting!

School's In, Jeanne Turner McBrayer, drawing by Kathie George

I used variegated rayon threads, more or less outlining the shapes in the fish, and adding swirls in the water.

I am excited about combining two of my favorite hobbies!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stitching Rice Paper Batik Watercolors!

Back in November I took a class with artist Kathie George at Art of the Carolinas in Raleigh, NC.  I came home with this very cool painting of a school of fish done in watercolor on Ginwashi rice paper.      The process involves layering wax and watercolor, working from lightest to darkest values.  At the end you iron off the wax.  The resulting product is a very fragile, almost translucent painting.

I immediately began to ponder the implications for quilting using this process.  I knew that the rice paper would shred if you stitched it without some sort of stabilizer.  

I wondered if you could replicate the process on various fabrics.

Time to experiment!

I chose one of the fish from Kathie's illustration, and made some small samples. 

Upper Left:  Cotton and Setacolor paint
Upper Right:  Cotton and watercolor paint
Lower Left: Silk and watercolor paint
Lower Right:  Ginwashi rice paper and watercolor paint

I was surprised that all of them worked out just fine for creating the batik painting.  I did not think you could use watercolor paints on dry untreated cotton, but you can!  I think the Setacolor had more intense colors than the watercolors.

I also took one flower from Kathie's Sunflowers kit that I purchased, and used the regular process of wax and watercolor on Ginwashi.

 I backed the flower with Pellon Ek 130 Easy-Knit Fusible Interfacing and Underlining.  I ironed it on per the Pellon instructions to the back of the painting.

Then I did some outline stitching with black thread on just the Ginwashi with interfacing.  Great results- no tearing!

Then I made a quilt sandwich and heavily quilted the whole piece.  Again, great results!

Next, I stabilized the Ginwashi fish with the same interfacing, and quilted it.  No problem!

I tried applying matte medium to another Ginwashi fish to see if you could stitch through it without any other stabilizer.  

I found that the matte medium dulled the intensity of the colors and made the surface feel less soft.  It was difficult to use shiny, sparkly threads through it, but I had good luck with this variegated rayon.  That piece is now quilted without using any additional interfacing.

I think the matte medium would be a good choice for using these Ginwashi paintings in collage, mixed media, or perhaps as journal covers when you would want to add a layer of protection.

So...yes, you can stitch through rice paper if you stabilize it with interfacing or apply an acrylic medium to make it stronger.

I have already interfaced the large school of fish painting, and started machine-quilting it on my Janome!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adding Ruffles to a Girl's Shirt

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!  We enjoyed a lovely Christmas in our new cabin.  One of our sons and his family were able to join us.  Having a little one around makes Christmas really special!

This year I bought some really cute knit leggings for our almost-two-year-old granddaughter.  They have a butterfly on the butt!  I had to have a cute top to go with them and show them off.  I purchased a plain shirt and decided to add ruffles to the bottom.


I was going to start pulling fabrics from the stash when I noticed that the fabrics left over from a recent baby quilt would be perfect!  I had stitched a patchwork backing, and had long strips of it left over from trimming.  That, along with the border fabric from the quilt, were perfect.

I decided to add some rickrack in variegated pastel colors to each row of ruffles.  

I positioned the rickrack so that it was halfway over the edge of the ruffle.

 I made two layers of ruffles, one of patchwork and one of the wild border fabric, and pinned them together to treat them as one.

Then I sewed two rows of basting stitches at about a quarter inch and a half inch from the plain edge.

After that, you draw up the stitches to produce the ruffles.  I started out by pulling the thread ends, but also had to pull up some of the stitches with a needle or a skewer.

Keep arranging the fullness of the ruffles until they are evenly arranged.

Then you sew them onto the shirt.  Use a lot of pins to keep the ruffles in place.

This shirt had a nice clean-finished edge, so I just pinned the ruffles underneath the hem and sewed them down, adding another layer of rick-rack as I went.

That little ruffle in the back is playing peek-a-boo with the butterfly on the leggings!

I was very pleased with this quick sewing project.  I think Charlotte was, too!