Friday, January 31, 2014

3-D Wall Hanging

My group in Melbourne, SUFA, extends a couple of challenges each year that are included in their yearly exhibit at Boutique 4 Quilters.  The exhibit begins February 1, and runs through the entire month.  I am unable now to exhibit because I have moved away from the region, but I decided to focus on one of the challenges, and boy, was it a challenge!  I picked several pictures I had taken of a Bird of Paradise plant as my inspiration. 

 I began the project with brown fabrics in the background, and quilted them in straight rows about a quarter inch apart on my batting. 

I then began making each leaf separately by fusing two pieces of fabric together and satin stitching around the edge, but I found that I didn't have the dimension in the piece that I envisioned, so I decided to add 24 gauge jewelry wire to each piece under the satin stitching. 

 It took some care so that my machine needle didn't hit the wire, but I was able to guide it easily underneath the stitching using my walking foot.  The wire gave me the ability to form each individual piece the way I wanted to, without making it too stiff.

 I also joined two pieces of fabric in this piece and added the stamen inside it.  The white piece is made by thread painting on a piece of stabilizer and adding the wire around the edge with a small satin stitch. 

 The stems of the leaves were made the same way you would make piping, although I hand stitched the fabric around the cord, rather than making a tube on the machine and turning it.  Many of my tools are still in storage, including my turning tool, and I had lots of time to do the stitching!  Here I am auditioning the pieces on the background before making them permanent.

 This is the finished piece.  I finished it by sewing the backing on three sides before I added the leaf elements, and after the plant was assembled on the background, I inserted a piece of Timtex inside the sleeve to give it stability.  Then I hand stitched the bottom closed.  I like the 3-D effect and may consider doing another project in a similar fashion. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow, Wonderful snow!

We are having the first snowfall of 2014 and the second one for the area this winter.  It is beautiful, but bitter cold outside, so I am staying inside and working on fiber projects.  Here are some pictures of the white stuff, as it was coming down.  Unfortunately, the snow is dry, so you have to have bare hands in order to make a snowball, brrrrrrr!

and double brrrrr.....

Beautiful, right?  And cold, trust me.  Maybe I'll take up cross country skiing!  Can't do THAT in Florida!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Prayer Flag Surprise for Christmas!

I have been missing my fiber art group in Florida since I have moved away, but they are the BEST group of ladies anyone could hope for.  Case in Point:  I received  a package in the mail with hand crafted prayer flags from each of the members of the group!  I was totally BLOWN AWAY.  I had issued a challenge to them after I made my prayer flags, but in my wildest dreams, I never expected to be the recipient of flags made by them.  Here are the flags I received ( I have their permission to share them with you). 

This first one is made by Jill Bunker.  She is a great one for using silk screened designs, so her pieces are always original and one of a kind.  And I love her use of black and white.  She has added some dimension to her piece with small, plastic-like bubbles (not beads) on the circles in the flower head.  Her messages are:  Believe, Patience, Love, Peace, Wisdom, Inspiration, Happiness and Serenity.

The flag above is made by Linda Geiger, a new member to the group and a wonderful doll maker.  Her message is to Follow Your Bliss, and she has fabric beads plus gold beads to embellish her flag, with metallic gold thread stitching down the word, Create.  (I would guess the background has been ice-dyed)?

Gabriele diTota made the flag above, with her message of Peace.  A gold painted candle lights the way.  The background fabric is alive with vibrant colors!  A tiny taste of the talent of this new fiber art quilter, who has recently had works in SAQA exhibits traveling the globe.

This next flag is made by Marlyn Foell, and it calls for Peace on Earth.  Marlyn has used yarn, papers, glitter paint, and palm tree charms on her piece to make it uniquely her style.  I am amazed at the definitive styles evident in each of the flags, which makes them all the more precious to me. 

Ann Lorelle sent this offering which calls for you to Listen and Hear.  Written in smaller letters on the flag are:  Clarity, Value, Healing, Unity, Peace and Understanding.  That about says it all, eh? 

This very colorful flag is made by Lynn Greenberg, and consists of pinked commercial fabrics laid down on a marine-blue background.  The message on the back is:  Florida Memory for you, which is exactly what it evokes.  Beautifully done.

Mindy Marik is another new addition to the group, and she sent along this prayer flag, in vibrant yellows, oranges and reds.  Her message is: Protect Us From Evil.  You can check out some of her imaginative and talented work on her website,

Pam Chamberlain, another wonderful doll maker as well as accomplished art quilter made the above flag which states, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all Women!  (And all fiber artists, no doubt!)  Pam placed her sentiment on the back of a commercial fabric, folding the right side over to the "back" side: very clever. 

I have included two photos of the last, but certainly not least, flag, made by Susan Rienzo, (of,  because it needs to be seen in its entirety.  Susan's signature style is to sew colorful strips of fabric onto a background fabric.  She has recently started doing marvelous landscape scenes of a tropical nature.  Here she has curved the strips onto the background and let them hang over the edge, and has placed all sorts of round objects, including washers and plastic rings tied to the ends.  Her message is: Dance, Dream, Sing, Believe, Peace and Celebrate....

I can't tell you how very much these offerings have meant to me, and I will add them to the prayer flags flying on my property.  Each flag exhibits the talents and imagination of the person who made it, making it an extremely personal and treasured memory for me.  I hope you enjoy seeing them and that perhaps it might spur your creativity to make prayer flags for your space.  Let the wind blow over the flag to carry the sentiment to all corners of the earth.  A small, meaningful gesture to add to the whole of humanities' dreams and hopes in this new year!  Blessings and creativity to all!!