Sunday, August 19, 2012

Delightfully Wonderful

When I asked you, my followers, to help feed my addiction to making and mailing fabric postcards, you were more than willing to be enablers!  I chuckled then feeling so happy to have new recipients for my cards.  And I chuckle now from the sheer joy it brings me to create these cards for you.  So, to you, I say ...

The first two cards I offered to share brought back some wonderful responses in regard to why you would have liked to receive that particular card.  One response triggered some thoughts for me that I wanted to design a card specifically for her based on what she had said in her comment and afterwards in our short correspondence.

This postcard was made for Marlene of stitchinbythelake. I so enjoyed creating this one and I miss having this card around to look at.

There are a couple of other responders requiring special cards that I haven't gotten to yet.  Some provoke an idea a lot quicker than others.

And a couple of followers have consented to swap/trade with me.  One being Leah of quilteddelights .  I got trapped in a bluebird stage and this bluebird flew to Leah's house.

The postcard Leah made for me is this beautifully designed and stitched scene that I call By the Sea.  I just want to unfold my beach chair and umbrella and sit a while here.  Thanks so much, Leah!

I found Penny of Zuni Mountains Quilter on flickr admiring my Always Look Your Blooming Best postcard.  After a bit of correspondence with Penny, this is the postcard I made specifically for her. 

The immediate meaning was how short on time so many of us live with.  But as I was creating the card, the amount of "time" involved within our lives began to play into the design more and more.  I titled it, "Have Time?"  But now I think it should have been "The Time of Our Life".  I'm pretty sure Penny will connect with every meaning this card presents...and then some.

I'm working on a quilt that is taking some time and I really want to get back totally involved with it, but postcards keep invading my mind making my fingers itch to bring them to life.  I just can't help but stitch them up.  I maybe need a 12-Step Program here!

In a few days my sweet cousin is having a birthday. 

I'm really having fun with my swirls!

And now, here's one that came to mind without a specific recipient in mind.  Which means that it's up for grabs by you.  Does this one appeal to you?

Names that I've come up with for this one are rather, My Days Are Numbered and Life Is Short.  Pretty sad, and I'm really stumped, so what name would you give it?  (You don't have to name it to be chosen to receive it)

I so love you all, my enablers.  (smiles from me!)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doorknob Quilts

When the birthday girl doesn't need or want anything, that's when a handmade gift is most appreciated.  Well, that's what I think anyway.  But I had no clue what to make.

As I have previously mentioned, I recently discovered a wonderful artist blogging as bohemiannie! art .  Annie is also on flickr .  I find Annie's work is immensely inspiring to me.  In a recent blog post Annie talked about her "doorknob quilts".  Well, I had lots of questions about those.  Although I had an idea what they were, I wanted to be sure.

I also knew right away that's what the birthday gift would be. 

 So while I worked on my doorknob quilt, I was taken back a couple few years when I was making these small wall art pieces that could have been considered doorknob (or any knob) art.  However, they were constructed similar to my fabric postcards.  They were always intended for specific recipients too. 

This one has always been my favorite.  Made for a friend who is 100% capable of saying this to anyone who provokes her.
(I found this saying on a piece of art in a magazine ad somewhere)
(Photo by Natasha Reed .  I have her permission to use her photo)

This one next was for another friend (that's her in the photo).  She was willing to look silly and pose with Charlie for me.  She had no clue what I was going to do with her photo.

This one next is so me.  But I made it for someone who is just like me.
(The child image is from Lisa's Altered Art )

But I think now I'm ready for small soft hanging doorknob (or any knob) quilts.  And the birthday gift is now finished.  I hung it on a chair (they can hang anywhere) for photos.

(My design is inspired by Roben-MarieSmith's art work)

I haven't done free motion quilting in years (because I seriously don't like doing fmq).  But I wanted a bit of a sloppy sketchy over watercolor look with the thread and figured I was enough out of practice to get that look.

I think the sloppy look came pretty easily!  But I was actually trying not to be too sloppy.  Although I hate fmq, I'm having fun with this I hope I don't get too good at the fmq that I loose the "sloppy" look.  Good grief, who says that!

I wanted a very dainty "sketchy" sort of bow to tie the hanger to the quilt, so I used four strands of thread through stacked buttons.  I like that!

Sadly, this style of work is not really the birthday girl's style.  I still hope she likes it anyway.  She's been liking some of the strange stuff I've been doing lately, so we'll see.

That Tweeter is my fave little birdie.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Clean and Clear Images 
with Rubber Stamps on Fabric

I've seen several pretty adorable projects that include some pretty messy rubber stamping of words.  I think it can really down-grade the quality of an otherwise beautifully stitched project.

Therefore, I feel compelled to provide a tutorial to hopefully help the less experienced fabric rubber stampers to retain the quality of their sewing skills by enhancing a project with clean and clear rubber stamping.  Whether it be with lettering or just an image or both.

It's really a very simple process.

So, get out your stamps and pads.

Be sure to stamp on a firm surface.  I use a cutting mat.  Also stamp the project before layering and quilting.
"Messy" is easy to accomplish.....look familiar?
Ok, my 'messy' is a bit over kill. It's harder to 'messy' on purpose than by accident.
'Messy' is caused by pressing your stamp into the ink pad too far or at an angle which gets ink on the rubber edges.

'Messy' is also caused by then pressing the stamp onto the fabric with too much pressure or at an angle or by rocking the stamp, transferring the ink on the rubber edges onto the fabric.

The secret cure is too carefully ink only the raised rubber image evenly.  While inking the stamp, should ink get on the edges, have a small rag handy and just wipe off the edge before stamping the fabric. 

When pressing the stamp to the fabric, don't use an over amount of pressure, and be sure to distribute the pressure over the entire image to be sure to imprint the entire image.

that's it!


Store ink pads positioned upside down.  This keeps the ink at the top of the pad where you want it and it's much easier to ink a stamp.

Happy clean stamping!

...and this Scrappy Swirl was mailed to Carol of Just Let Me Quilt