Sunday, October 4, 2015

I Just Had To

I always seem to have visions of making myself some "art-to-wear" clothing. I have fabric on hand to do this, and it's been there for some time....but I never seem to get around to doing it.

About a year or two ago I purchased three books by Natalie Chanin on how to create garments like they do at Alabama Chanin. I just love the Alabama Chanin look and if you Google or Pinterest search the name, you will see that many other sewers do too.

I even took an online class with Natalie and at the time just sort of touched the surface with making a garment. I didn't really dive into one as I am doing now.

So about a week or two ago, I decided to JUST DO IT! I just had to get started on creating a garment with these techniques even though I really did not need a new project to work on.  I found two shades of purple cotton jersey fabric in my stash but there was not really enough yardage of the medium purple shade for a garment for myself. So I decided to make a garment that would fit my granddaughter, Rylee...and she loves purple anyway. I also thought that a child-sized garment would be a good beginner project so I could become comfortable with the techniques.

I created my own stencil and cut it with my Silhouette Cameo. I stenciled the design onto the medium purple with a light purple textile paint. I used a foam roller to apply the paint. The Alabama Chanin technique says to cut your fabric pieces first and then stencil the design, but I stenciled the design onto the yardage before cutting. Cotton jersey likes to curl at the edges and I thought all those cut and curling edges would be a big headache.

I cut all my fabric pieces (five pieces in each color) and then layered the dark purple as the bottom layer.

Here is the pattern I used. I am making the shirt that is shown on the packet cover in lime green with the heart on the chest. I won't be putting a heart on this shirt though.

I am almost done with the embroidery on four of the pieces. I have saved the largest of the pattern pieces for last. So far I have only cut (reverse applique) the top layer on one of the pieces. I love how it looks with the three shades of purple.

I chose a turquoise blue embroidery floss to do the backstitching. I contemplated using orange, but decided to go with the blue as Rylee likes blue and purple a lot.

The project uses a lot of embroidery floss. So far I think I've gone through about five skeins of floss. I will need to remember that when I do an adult-sized garment that I will need to buy a lot of floss.

Rylee has become a little fashion diva lately and knows exactly what she likes to wear and what she doesn't like to wear. I don't know if she will like this garment in the end, but I'm okay with that. I am doing it more for the experience and enjoyment and if she does decide she wants to wear it, well, that would be icing on the cake.

And speaking of my little fashion diva, here she is about a week ago when she came over. She is at a stage where she won't smile when I pull the camera out. Here she is coloring with grandma's makers. Why is it that grandma's markers are more fun than her Crayola washable markers?

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Thermofax Designs

In the previous post, did you notice the owl, flowers, and dog images on the notebook covers? Well those are three of several new Thermofax screen designs that I added to my Etsy shop. You can see all of my Thermofax designs here: CLICK NOW

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Stencil Designs

I'm happy to share that I have developed eight new stencils and they are now available through StencilGirl Products.

They all are 6" x 6" stencils.

Below are several composition notebook covers I made using the stencils.

And here are three journal spreads I created using the stencils.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are having a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I spent some time this summer making handbags. Here are all the ones I made. Three of these are made from snow dyed fabrics I created last winter. I'm hoping to make more of that fabric this coming winter.

All of these bags are now living with their new owners (or are on their way). Thanks everyone for your continued interest in my handbags. I will be making more bags soon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weaving Updates

During the summer months, I wasn't weaving quite as much. I did get a couple of rounds of towels woven up though. Here are the latest ones off the loom. 

I love how these turned out. The center stripe in each towel is a hand dyed yarn I did myself and it changes color along the length every 10 to 12 inches. These will be added to my etsy shop soon.

The next photo shows a new warp I'm winding for some future towels. I have wanted to try a random warp with many colors like this and now is the time. I am using up partially filled bobbins and yarn cones to wind this warp.

This next set of towels I wove earlier this summer. They were made as my entry in a towel exchange that I was participating in. We were to choose our yarn colors based on some photos that were posted in the group. Once the towels were done, I shipped four to the exchange coordinator. 

And below, are the towels I received in return. It was so much fun to participate in the exchange. I love seeing (and touching) what other weavers create. I will definitely consider joining another exchange in the future.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

StencilClub Stencils

Last summer I was thrilled to have the opportunity to design stencils for StencilGirl's StencilClub. So when StencilGirl asked me again if I would like to design for the club, I said YES!

I am the designer for this month's StencilClub. The three stencils are basically round or circular in shape and I've called the collection Round About.

If you click the image above, it will take you to the StencilClub web page where you can learn all about StencilClub, in case you have any questions about how it works.

Below is a video clip I made to introduce these stencils. 

Click here to go directly to YouTube to watch the video:

If you watch the StencilGirl Talk blog this month, you will see how other artists have used these stencils in their art.

I hope these three stencil designs intrigue you.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Fall Teaching Schedule

This fall, I'll be teaching at two events. The first event, Quilt Kamp, will be held October 2-4 in Washburn, North Dakota. I will be teaching Paint a Tote on Saturday, Oct 3. Here are two examples of what students will be making.

Here is a link with more information about Quilt Kamp.

The second event where I'm teaching two classes is the Badlands Quilters Guild Retreat. This annual retreat will be held October 9-11 in Medora, North Dakota.

I'll be teaching Stamped & Stenciled on Friday evening and Colorful Story Quilts on Saturday. 

In Stamped & Stenciled, students will create several pieces of fabric to take home and use in their projects. 

The next photo shows examples of 12" x 12" quilts that students will be making in the Colorful Story Quilts class.

For more information about the Badlands Quilters Guild retreat, click here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Discharge Printing

Remember the other day when I showed you the compressed sponge shapes I had cut?  Well, here is what I did with them.  So. far.

One day this past week I got together with friends and we had a discharge party. It was so much fun that I did some more the next day by myself at home.

This was the first time I had really gotten into discharging fabric to this extent. I had tried a piece here or there over the years. Lately, though, I had really been wanting to do more with it. I have quite a stash of hand dyed fabrics that I wanted to play with, some dyed a single color and some overdyed.

I found there to be a slight learning curve with the discharge printing. We used bleach mixed with monagum thickener. I found a thicker mixture worked best for the sponge applications. This first piece shown was my first attempt and my mixture was too thin. The thinner the mixture, the more moisture spread on the fabric and then you sort of lose the details of your design.

The fabrics shown are not all the ones that I did, but I think these are the ones that turned out best. Another thing that affects the outcome of this process is how long you leave the bleach mixture on the fabric. The longer it is on the lighter/whiter the designs become. So it is sort of a guessing game as to when to dunk the fabric into the rinsing buckets. For the most part I was able to stop the bleaching action at a point where I wanted, but sometimes not.

Another factor that is fun in this process is you don't know for sure what colors will show when the bleaching action starts. At least that is how it is for me, since I don't keep track of what colors I originally dyed the fabric with and some colors discharge differently than others.

I will be doing some more of this in the near future. This will be a summer activity for me because I don't like to use the bleach in the house. I don't want the smell in the house and my curious cats don't need to get into it.

One other thing that I want to try the compressed sponge shapes for is dyeing fabric with Color Magnet. Ohhhhhhh, can't wait!!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

New In My Etsy Shop

I now have available in my Etsy shop, some of the handwoven items I've been making over the past few months. Towels and placemats are what I've added today and I hope to get a few other items in there soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Compressed Sponge

I was inspired, by a video by Lisa Walton, to purchase some compressed sponge material. To view Lisa's video, click here.  I just loved Lisa's results and since I love to create surface patterns on fabric, I figured I would enjoy this technique. And guess what? I did enjoy it.....very much.

I cut some sponge shapes and here they are. I still have more compressed sponge left over and I think I will go cut some more shapes as soon as I post this.

I will share with you, soon, what I did with my sponge shapes.