Saturday, February 26, 2022

The 100 Day Project 2022: Stitched scroll with found objects

I committed to doing The 100 Day Project creating patterns and textures with hand-carved stamps, but at the last minute I decided to also do 100 Days of Slow Stitching with fallen pieces and found objects... and "Open up my World" to a daily creative stitching practice.

Day 5 of The 100 Day Project 2022.      #100daysofstitchingfallenpieces

100 Days of slow stitching

A few weeks ago at the Front Porch Quilt Shoppe, I was talking with Melanie and Frances about this year's 100 Day Project. They were both so encouraging to me during last year's 100 Day Hexie Project.

After brainstorming with them, and trying to fine-tune a stitch process for 2022, I purchased a yard of a lovely yarn-dyed woven [Nikko® Topstitch from Diamond Textiles] at the shop for my fabric base and left with the general idea of doing a stitched scroll. It's turning out to be a fun challenge.

Fallen pieces and found objects

I'm incorporating leftover bits and "fallen pieces" into a daily stitch journal/scroll. I found lots of fodder in a box of ATC bits, cleaned out the serger trimming container and picked through the fallen pieces in the fabric waste can. I'm also incorporating found objects that I pick up during my travels, such as the "Open up your world" quote that was from the key card folder from a Holiday Inn Express stay.

Miscellaneous fabric, thread and paper scraps from making ATCs [Artist Trading Cards].

Incorporating found objects makes the project serendipitous and less stressful. I also lucked up on a 1963 Needlework Stitches stitch dictionary by Barbara Snook at a used bookstore, The Book Exchange, in Foley, AL. With this little treasure, I'm learning a few new hand embroidery stitches while working on my stitched scroll.

Needlework Stitches by Barbara Snook, published in 1963. 

I'm experimenting with various threads—embroidery floss, sashiko thread, perle cotton—for the hand embroidery and stitching.

Appliqué and couching with hand embroidery stitches. 

Learning decorative stitches from the stitch dictionary.

The 3/4" hexie is from last year's 100 Day Hexie Project and the "Soap Saves Lives" is from the soap wrapper at a hotel.

Found object (soap wrapper) stitched to the fabric scroll.

Couching, the blanket stitch, French knots, a tatted flower.

A padded lattice stitch from the 1963 stitch dictionary.

Padded lattice stitch and a woven running stitch.

Blanket stitch in-the-round.

Today I rummaged through my basket of knitting swatches. Anything goes!

Appliquéing a knit swatch to the scroll.

The Fabric Scroll

My fabric scroll is a flattened fabric tube that is 3" wide by the width of fabric (44"). I'll have to see how many days I can get on one width of fabric. 

14 days of the 100 Day Project—Hand Stitching with Fallen Pieces and Found Objects.
The background fabric is Nikko® Topstitch, a yarn-dyed woven from Diamond Textiles
 that I got at the Front Porch Quilt Shoppe.

The 100 Day Project is set up to be flexible enough that I can change the format if needed—making one long scroll, or making several shorter lengths. I've toyed with the idea of a small book format, with daily stitched "pages." Time and stitches will determine what works best.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

2nd Make Nine finish: Scraps and Crumbs prompt

Two for nine! The Make Nine Scraps and Crumbs project is finished. 

Machine binding on four scrappy kitty quilts.

Using Scraps and Crumbs

It's no secret I enjoy:

  • using up scraps (points for upcycling and reducing fabric waste)
  • improv patchwork (it's liberating, stress-free and anything goes!)
  • making functional art (kitty quilts keep the kitties warm and comfortable)
  • practicing free-motion quilting (trying new designs, brushing up on my FMQ skills)
  • learning to master machine binding (experimenting with decorative stitches and machine feet)

These kitty quilts check all the boxes.

Units for the blue kitty quilt were from an online Improv Patchwork workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood. The pre-work scrap sorting exercise was a good learning experience.

Blue improv kitty quilt.

The star test block made with M&S Textiles Australia fabrics was the nucleus of this quilt. I experimented with piped binding and a new ditch walking foot for my machine on this quilt.

Star block improv kitty quilt.

There were just enough flannel fabric swatches from a holiday fabric line to make this quilt top.

Coordinating scraps from a flannel holiday fabric line make up this quilt top.

Below is my favorite from the group as it's going to a friend for his rescued kitty, Misho. When it's cold, Misho retreats to an old styrofoam cooler with a door cut into it. I hope she likes a quilt of her own, and I think her owner will like the bold color palette and the improv patchwork.

Purple and orange improv kitty quilt for Misho.

Using up batting scraps

All of my kitty quilts use batting scraps and pieces too small for larger quilts. 

Franken-batting uses up scraps and trimmings.

Three of these recent kitty quilts have two layers of poly batting trimmings which will make them more lofty and warm.

Two layers of batting in a kitty quilt.

All the kitty quilts are backed with a naturescape flannel.

Kitty quilts have a flannel backing.

Tested and approved

Spot has kitty-tested the blue quilt.

Spot kitty on the blue quilt.

Stan Leigh obviously approves.

Stan Leigh sleeping in the cat bed.

Progress continues on the my Make Nine 2022 Challenge.

Make Nine 2022 worksheet.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Slow stitching with fabric panels

What stitcher or quilter doesn't love all the wonderful colors and weights of threads available for both machine and hand sewing? I certainly do! Recently, I decided to take these threads and incorporate slow stitching into a beautiful bird fabric panel from Songbird Serenade by Robin Mead Designs for P&B Textiles.

Songbird Serenade by Robin Mead Designs for P&B Textiles.

Pull out an embroidery stitch dictionary 

It's time to pull out an embroidery stitch dictionary—in paper or digital format—and learn a new stitch or two. This 1963 edition of Needlework Stitches by Barbara Snook was a recent find at the Book Exchange of Foley.

Needlework Stitches by Barbara Snook, published in 1963.

Songbird Serenade has a 3-block panel, with each bird image approximately 13.5" x 17.5" (including the border). This bird's wing is a prime canvas for a sampler of hand embroidery stitches—seed stitch, blanket stitch, back stitches and others. Have a stitching embellishment party with your bird!

Various embroidery stitches embellish the wing of the bird.

Needles, threads and tools for hand stitching

As long as you have a hand sewing, crewel, sashiko or embroidery needle that accommodates the thread weight (thickness) and has a sharp point that will go easily through the cotton fabric panel, your thread choice is wide open. I'm also using an embroidery hoop for this project.

A sampling of threads and tools for slow stitching and hand embroidery.

As I have been an avid "collector" of machine and hand sewing and quilting threads for a number of years, I have a healthy thread supply from which to choose. A few favorites that I've used on my bird:

  • 5 wt. and 8 wt. perle cotton [Eleganza from WonderFil Specialty Threads]
  • 12 wt. cotton [Spagetti and Fruitti by WonderFil Specialty Threads]
  • 6-ply embroidery floss—using 3, 4 or 6 strands
Other options are cotton sashiko threads [Cosmo from Lecien], Ellana 12 wt. Merino wool/acrylic blend [WonderFil Threads], cotton floche, silk and silk blend threads or anything that catches your eye for enhancing your bird. 

Songbird Serenade projects

The Songbird Serenade collection will be available at your local quilt shop [YLQS] in April 2022. The 3-bird panel is accompanied by 11 colorful coordinating prints and an exclusive 108" wide backing designed specifically for this collection. 

Songbird Serenade panel from P&B Textiles.

What can you make with this fabric collection? Quilts, wall hangings, pillows, a tote bag, zipper pouch, a cover for your sketchbook, appliqué it to a jeans jacket, mount your embellished bird on foam core or wooden frame for wall art... are all creative possibilities. A quilt pattern will be available in April under the Songbird Serenade collection name at P&B Textiles.

Contact YLQS for needles, threads and Songbird Serenade fabrics from P&B Textiles. 

Songbird Serenade by Robin Mead for P&B Textiles.
Embellished with hand embroidery.

Keep stitching and serenade a fabric panel with colorful embroidery stitches!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The 100 Day Project for 2022

Are ya gonna do it? Who's in? The 100 Day Project starts on February 13 this year.

The 100 Day Project 2022
#the100dayproject   @dothe100dayproject

I did two 100 Day Projects last year and it was so worth it! One involved selective cutting fabrics for 3/4" hexagons. The other one was drawing and mindful mark making.

My 100 Day Project: Printmaking with mixed media

After much contemplation, I'll be focusing on printmaking this year. I've left the door open for the possibility of incorporating other drawing and painting mediums—watercolors, colored pencils, Micron pens—should the mood strike. The work will be abstract. Making marks and creating textures. 

Here are the main supplies I've chosen to work with: rubber stamp blocks, carving tools, ink pads, watercolor paints, Aqua water brushes.

Supplies for The 100 Day Project: rubber stamp blocks, carving tools, ink pads,
watercolor paints and Aqua brushes.

The type or size of sketchbook for this mixed media project hasn't been determined yet. It might be that I use a few different sizes (a smaller one when traveling) with different types of paper. 

Sketchbooks for mixed media.

By the end of the 100 days (May 24), I should be better adept at carving stamps and making prints. I'll also have a stash of textures, prints and drawings to use in other things—bookmaking, cards, collage, art journaling, etc.

Commit to doing something creative for 100 days

This is the 9th year of this global art project. Anyone can do it and it's free! For inspiration and suggestions for choosing a topic/project, visit this website. Or read Michael Bierut's perspective on the original assignment (the impetus of today's The 100 Day Project) he presented to his graduate graphic design students. 

It's about PROCESS and showing up every day.

"Assignments can be too complicated but never too simple." —Gordon Salchow.

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