Monday, March 21, 2016

Little Things Mean a Lot...

And sometimes little things mean a lot of work! Often it's hard to appreciate all of the work we stitchers and crafters put into our tiny bits of art. This small brooch is an example. I did the stitching and assembling, but even before that, author Cheryl Lynch did the shrink art nest and crow. She packaged it all up and I won the kit on her blog some time ago. Finally, I finished it between other projects. The brooch was one of several featured in her book "Sew Embellished" which I also won. The book is full of information and ideas for unique embellishments for small projects.

Next are some vintage lace, paper, and trims combined into small "scrap cards" as described by Ruth Rae in her Somerset Sew Winter 2011 article. They are oddly satisfying little morsels of all the trims and embellishments we stitchers accumulate over time. These will go into a vintage-style journal that, so far, exists only in my mind's eye. But I'm getting closer!

Speaking of small things, I recently presented a quilt guild program on Journal Quilts. Our local Fiber Art Bee (FAB) is full of talented members who make these small works of art and generously loaned me their work to illustrate the points about journal quilts. Jodi Colvard's is shown above and includes everything metal- from the mesh and wire flowers to the metal beading.

And Miss Smarty is keeping secrets in her cardboard box. She's the whimsical creation of FAB leader Celeste Beck. Celeste and her sister Merri McKenzie also taught the prayer flag and banner class noted in the previous post.

They had samples galore, and inspired students to make banners in a variety of shapes and styles. One student developed her series of banners around an insect theme.

Some of the sample banners were creatively crafted from paper. This one had a very appealing crepe paper flower adorning it.

We were given pattern templates in the shapes above and encouraged to try painting, stamping, stencilng, or crafting a vintage look in our banners. My biggest challenge was to focus on one style because I wanted to dive into everything! Going small can sure be a lot of fun.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tra La... It's Spring!

It's time to freshen up the garden with flags and banners! At a recent Fiber Art Bee meeting we brought old dresser scarves and other vintage linens and added to them with doodled and inked flowers. Sharpie pens and other fabric markers gave some spark to the pretty but rather dingy linens. I added a sleeve to the back and this is now ready to flutter in the spring breeze and sunshine. The garden needs a clean up first though.

Adding to the fun, I took a class on making banners at our guild's Quilt Camp. The teachers were Celeste and Merri, two sisters from Goatfeathers Studio. They generously shared stacks and bags full of vintage feedsacks and other linens from their family treasures. I was smitten with this pink/brown print feedsack and decided to incorporate it in the pennants for my project. I tried out their giant yo-yo maker for this one.

I call the project "Tribute to Big Mother." That was the name everyone called Celeste's and Merri's grandmother, whose fabric collection we used. She loved to sew, so I added the image of a vintage machine to another feedsack print. It's trimmed in pink glass leaves and seam binding along with a doily piece.

There wasn't enough time to complete the project in class so when I brought it home, I was able to look through my own supplies to find some go-with items like this heart cut from an old quilt piece and the coffee-dyed lace. Ruffles were my other repeating theme, so there's that feedsack again.

We were encouraged to try a woven background for one of our pennants. I added lace, pearls, and more ruffles.

A piece of vintage napkin plus the quilted heart, lace and ruffle combine in this pennant. I stamped some beige denim for one of the pieces. It was interesting to see how some of the students went in an arty direction with painting, stenciling, and stamping bright colors, while others dove into the shabby vintage style.

Here's the pennant displayed on a wall. It will go outside eventually, but must visit our show-and-tell session first. I'll show some of the class samples in my next post.

And one evening we visited downtown Ocala to see the Budweiser Clydesdales parade through the square. This driver handles an 8-horse hitch, and those massive horses were ready to go, feeling quite frisky in the cool air. It's quite a production, and we watched as the ride-along Dalmatian was handed up using his special harness. An impressive sight!