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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-4 brighter the better


First is a big Thank You to Studio Cherie!  She gave every person who participated in the third challenge a free downloadable pattern!  So awesome!  I haven't had a chance to make mine yet but I plan to very soon.  Thank you!

The theme this week for Project Quilting is brighter the better.  What is brighter than Cherrywood Fabrics, right!  I had a few bits left from another project and they seemed perfect to make a bright springtime pillow.  I already had a pattern.  I found it on Maudie's Cottage Design (I think it was through Craftsy, not positive) but here is a link to her webpage.

I added my little spinning triangles by appliqueing them to the pillow front which I think makes me eligible for the challenge.  I didn't actually do any quilting this week!!!  (Hey, I have a nasty cold, cut me some slack) I fused them and stitched around the edges.

Almost every year for my birthday we go hang out in antique shops.  Not everything in the shops is antique but I love browsing through all the memory inducing items.  Usually I end up with a tiny bag of odd scraps of fabric or buttons.  I bought this bag of buttons on one of those trips, no they were not $35.  I think they were maybe $3.  The bright colored button was the reason I bought this bag.  I had no idea what I would use it for but I knew someday it would speak to me.  It was screaming at me for this project.

I had everything I needed for this project except the zipper.  Yes there is a zipper in the back.  I love the rainbow colored rickrack on the edge too.

It is just a small decorative pillow, 12" x 16" but it is brightening up my house and putting me in the mood for spring!
Have a Creative Day
Janet

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-3 Texture

Front of The Quilter's Planner
It was another busy week at my house.  I joined the League of Women Voters yesterday!  I went to a meeting to find out more about it and discovered they do so much more than I knew.  Look into it if you have a chance, they are bipartisan, they are big on educating voters and getting people to vote.  Considering how many people did not vote in our last election I think this is a very important group. 
Back of The Quilter's Planner

Anyway between that and several other activities I didn't start my challenge until late Saturday afternoon.  I have been wanting to make a cover for my planner so I combined two projects in one here.  I bought The Quilter's Planner this year, a couple of weeks late, but better late than never.  I am hoping to keep myself on track with my quilting and other activities.  I do get things done each year but have some older projects I want to finish and somehow keep pushing to the side.
place markers

There is an excellent video and download available on The Quilter's Planner website for how to make this cover, so I won't go into the details.  (It does have three layers, including batting) I was not terribly creative this week with adding texture so be sure and go to the Project Quilting site to see the amazing entries.  Kim Lapacek does a wonderful job creating inspiration for week long challenges.  After noon today (Sunday) you can vote on your favorites.  Well worth the time to get inspired to make your own creation.  These women blow me away with their ability to create such works of beauty in only one week.
inside front cover pockets
inside back cover pockets

I added texture with different trims and by using a variety of fabrics.  I was thinking of adding some big buttons on the front with some hand embroidery too, but decided I like it just the way it is.
buttons I thought about adding

I love all the pockets!
zipper pocket on the front
I really like how this turned out and the pockets will come in very handy for all those odd bits and pieces.  I already put a couple of pens in the zipper pouch.  I create in Minnesota.
Have a creative day
Janet

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I believe Janet Hartje The Fractured States of America

"I believe" is the theme for the group Art Quilts Around the World. (Click the link to go to the Art Quilts blog and see the wonderful entries.) This year has been a rough one for myself personally.  I've missed a couple of art quilts because I had too much going on and had to shift my focus for a little while.  A couple of bouts of therapy and a foot surgery to try to correct a problem I was born with.  I'm not running any races yet, but doing much better. 

I decided to focus on adding mixed media to my quilt this time.  So, I started with a map from an old atlas.

I wanted to use crackle paste so it would have a cracked look when it was finished, much like my country right now.  The book I was using suggested using gesso first.  The gesso made the ink run, which was ok since I knew the crackle paste I have is opaque.  

Next I added the crackle paste

Here it is dried.  It really worked!  It did shrink up a little though so I decided to cut around it because the background was rippled.

Now is the fun part I decided to use alcohol inks because I thought they would fill in the cracks and make them stand out a little more.  I looked at a topographical map while I was coloring.  Not perfect but not to bad.

So I had to audition new background fabrics.



Finally decided on this one.  The blue seemed to make the map pop and it has the names of the states!

The next decision was a saying.  I wanted to use one to encourage all of us to work together to mend our country.  It is difficult for many of us to admit we have trouble seeing different points of view, myself included.  This is what we need to work on to mend the fabric of our country.  I draw the line at anything which will harm another human being, physically, mentally, socially.  Here are a few sayings I found the most appealing.


I settled on the one by Desmond Tutu.  I could only fit a portion on the quilt since we are restricted to 16.5" x 11.5". I like that this saying encourages you to do what you can with what you have and all of us together can make big changes.  I decided to add black fabric behind the words because the background is a little busy for more words.

I added the broken heart for us to stitch together.  This has been a little bit therapeutic for me.  I bought a small piece of leather, cut out the two halves and used a paper punch to make the holes. Finally I loosely laced it with a leather strip and put the needle on their to show we still have work to do. (The photo is a little dark, Once again I was working to late to get a photo in the daylight!)
 I kept the quilting fairly simple, mostly straight lines although I did add a statue of liberty on the side of the map.  Hard to photograph so you could see it.  but here goes.

Have a creative day and do one good thing each day, we've got this. I believe we can all work together to mend the heart of America.
Janet

Friday, January 20, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-2 Carolina Lily


Update:  I forgot to include a link to the project quilting site so you could go and see all of the amazing entries and vote for your favorites.  Voting begins Sunday afternoon.  Scroll to the bottom of her page to see all the entries.

I started out with fabric to create dimensional petals.  Several people were already doing that in different ways so I needed to come up with something I don't normally use.  I have recently begun to use my Babylock Embellisher more.  It is fun, to see what I can make.  The tree in this unfinished piece is made with the same technique I used to make my lily.  
I was loosely using this photo for inspiration.
I like how the background is not in focus, so I went with that for my piece as well.  I used some hand dyed silk hankies to felt into the background.  A piece of yarn creates the stem of the flower.
Next I made my petals. I used a fabrico marker for the brown dots.

I pinned them to the background to see how it would look.  I have never tried this before so wasn't sure if it would work.
I decided it was ok so I had to remove it again so I could quilt the background.  I wanted to give the impression of more flowers with my quilting, so I played with that a little.  I used a variegated thread since the background has so many colors.
Next step I did was to sew on the flower but I think it would have been easier to do the binding first.  Dimension on a quilt always adds extra challenges that I sometimes forget.
I did remember to sew on the binding and add corner pockets for a small hanging stick before adding the center to the flower.  This photo was taken before the binding is sewn, it is only lightly glued at this point.
I had some flower stamens made of metal, leftover from a previous project.  I think they worked perfectly with this.  I found a small bug button in one of my button jars.

 I still haven't decided on a name for this one.  Any thoughts?
Have a creative day
Janet


Friday, January 6, 2017

Holey Eight Project Quilting Season 8

Project Quilting has begun.  This is the eighth season for this challenge. In honor of this the first challenge is "Eight is great".  You can go to Persimon Dreams to read more about the challenge.  There are lot's of wonderful prizes to be given away.

I have had a couple of things going on in my life lately so haven't been doing quite as much sewing.  Recovering well from foot surgery, although I may need some therapy yet.  Also getting used to my new flexitouch therapy for Lymphedema which takes an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.  I was excited about participating in something creative again.  So, I decided I could do it, just keep it small.

I started with some tiny pieced squares I had left over from another project.

I wanted to use eight squares.  Having a hole in the center seemed like the easiest way, besides I am kind of fascinated by quilts with cut outs.

I added eight different embroidery stitches from The Embroidery Stitch Bible.  I need a little more practice on a few of them.  I also used eight different colors of floss.  The final touch was eight seed beads added to each different bit of embroidery.  Enjoy the step by step process.
First stitch added is the blanket stitch.  "Uses: straight and gently curved edgings, couching, laid work, cut work, straight and curved outlines." *Note* all uses are from the Embroidery Stitch Bible.
Second stitch added is the running stitch. "Uses:  straight and curved lines, outlines, as a quilting stitch, as a gathering stitch for smocking, as a foundation for other stitches."
Third is the chain stitch.  "Uses:  straight and curved lines."
Fourth is the coral stitch, although if you are familiar with this stitch you may not recognize mine.  I kind of stretched it out a little here.  "Uses: straight and curved lines with a beaded effect, closely worked rows make a textured filling."
The fifth is the rosette chain stitch and I will fully admit I need practice with this one.  "Uses: borders and edgings, flower motifs."
Sixth is a loop stitch.  "Uses: a broad, decorative line, straight or curved; several lines may be worked with interlocking 'arms,' as a filling stitch; couching, laid work, cut work, straight and curved outlines."
Seventh is the seeding stitch.  I kind of like this one, simple and quick.  "Uses:  a simple filling stitch; it may be worked as an even scatter, to give texture to an area, or clustered to shade an area from one side to the other."
And the eighth stitch is french knots.  One of my favorites!  "Uses:  a bold, raised dot, used singly (e.g. as an eye) or in groups (e.g. as a flower center); may be worked closely packed or evenly scattered as a textured filling, or clustered for a shaded filling.  May also be worked with a short tail for a more organic effect."

And here it is with the eight beads added to each of the eight embroidery stitches, in eight colors of embroidery floss, on eight squares.

And just so you realize I did go small...
Only 4.5" square!
Have a creative day
Janet