Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Free Online Classes in 2021

 My free online classes will continue in 2021, but I have not decided on a calendar yet.


One problem I'm having is that YAHOO has decided to discontinue their support of "files" on their group sites...which means all of the older and Retired Classes that were positioned there for free downloads are now not accessible to anyone.


So, if I want you to be able to get to any of this information...it will have to be offered again here as an ongoing class.


Which of course means my calendar just got a LOT fuller for next year! I'm mulling all of this over as the new grand-baby (6 mos old now) and my semi-permanent house guests are just taking a lot of my time which cuts into my writing of new lessons and monitoring of existing classes.


So, keep your fingers crossed for me that the kids get into a home of their own before the year is out...and that I can find time to create new classes for you too!


But, at the very least...wanted to answer the questions about the calendar of courses for next year...YES we will still have them...not sure when or how many...but plan on checking back before year end to see the calendar when it does go up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

OPEN REGISTRATION - ICQC-105 (Silk Ribbon Embroidery and More)

Open Registration 15-17 Sepbember (Tuesday -- Thursday)

IMPORTANT: This course REQUIRES that you complete the Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC-1) first, before registering. So, please ensure that you did finish the BCQC-1 before submitting your registration information. While it is also good to have completed the ICQC-103 and 104 courses...they is not required. You can also take this course at the same time as the ICQC-103 or 104 course (if you can make the time for both).

Completion of the BCQC-2 course or any of the other ICQC courses is not necessary to sign up for this Ribbon Embroidery course...only the BCQC-1 has to be finished first.

There will be TEN different tasks to complete in this course, with about twelve different motifs to stitch. All of the designs will be printed on fabric (or optionally you can trace the designs in the handout to your fabric). (The tenth task is a surprise and any ribbon size/color can be used)


The motifs for this module will be stitched directly to fabric rather than to crazy quilt blocks. Most of these designs are very detailed...and tracing them through layers of fabric is just not feasible. So, consider these "technique tasks". After you have learned each of these motifs...you can pick/choose which ones to use again in the future for your existing CQ projects. The finished motifs CAN of course be used in new pieced blocks as well as stitching samples for current blocks. If you want to create these on existing blocks, that is fine...but will require some extra work on your part to create tissue paper or soluble sheet transfers; and the results are not guaranteed to work out (just so you know).

I will be providing all of the designs to you as "printable" designs. Each page of the PDF handout for the first task will be able to print directly to fabric sheets. These will then be hooped and the stitching done on top of the printed design. You do not need to "trace" any of the designs...unless you just don't want to print them on fabric sheets as I recommend.


I created my own printable fabric using freezer paper (check under the TUTORIAL TAB above) for almost all of these motifs. Or, if you prefer...you can order printable sheets for your inkjet or laser copier/printer from Amazon.com or other source for all designs. You will need only one standard 10-page package to print all of the designs provided (Wild Rose Blossoms, Daisies, Berry Vine, Apple Blossoms, Tiny Rose Frames, Birds & Insects, Pomegranate, and Ribbon Lady).
I have tried very hard NOT to repeat the specific lessons in the Crazy Quilting Volume II: Ribbon Embellishments book, even though some stitches are of course the same. The "Ribbon Lady" is the only direct cross-over...and she has been requested so much that I knew you would demand she be in this course. So this course AND the book will give you all of the ribbon experience needed to create just about any motif you may desire to stitch!

You will  of course need silk ribbon in multiple sizes (2mm, 4mm, 7mm, 13mm). You can use white for all tasks...and color then with ink markers (Promarker brand recommended)...or purchase various colors in the needed sizes. Substitution is possible...but not encouraged. The below chart has all of the sizes/colors the stitched models used. You can change the colors to suit your own personal "vision" of the flower/fruit/animal being created (read left side for task topics). (Satin and organza are poor substitutes for silk ribbon...but I know some of you international folks may have no choice but to use these. If so, you will work harder and the results will not be perfect...but it is manageable for most of the tasks.)

Here is the chart for supplies (ribbon/thread): [click to enlarge the photo]. It is fine to change the colors if you prefer flowers of a different color (check the name in the far left side) but the sizes of ribbon should be maintained if possible...although I have listed substitutions in the remarks IF YOU MUST change the requirements.


A package of large chenille and tapestry needles are used for ribbon work. I expect you already have these from the work we did on the BCQC class.


The 3-Day Registration Period will be filled with responses to registrations and getting the class blog up and running; ...so don't expect the course to really get going until after the registration is closed. I will send welcome emails and blog invites throughout the first week to get everyone up and on the blog. For now, after you sign up...watch for the blog invite and welcome email...AND begin to order your silk ribbon.  

To register, please email me your NAME, State/Country, Email Address you wish to use for this course to shaw.kathy@yahoo.com

Remember: PLEASE do not register if you have not completed the BCQC-1 as it is a pre-registration requirement. 

After sending your registration, I will respond with a "Welcome" email. If you don't receive this by the first day after registration closes...then assume that I did not receive your information and resend the original email note. Note that I don't accept late registrations because these classes fill so fast; so FORWARD your original email note to me so I can clarify the date it was sent.

This course (and all courses) will be held at an assigned Blog for this specific class. You will need access to a working computer to take this online course. If you are especially "tech saavy" perhaps you can manage with an Ipad or other tablet...but you will need to be able to print from it and take/upload photographs to the private class blog. In the past, laptops and desktops perform great...but tablets did not usually work out as well...so be advised.

Looking forward to this new course!

 Hugs!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Stitch Relationships

I've shared this little tutorial with the Patreon Ladies recently...and though all of my blog followers might also like to think about stitch relationships. The question being..."If stitches were a family, would would be cousins? or even siblings perhaps?" That might seem like a strange conversation to have with yourself...but consider the similarities of just these few embroidery stitches.


While some folks like to create the Detached Chain Stitch by needling up/down in the same hole...it is often best to give yourself a thread or two between these positions for stability and ease of stitching.
Needle up at A and down at B; leaving the thread temporarily loose. A loop is formed as you pull the thread after having needled up at C. The loose thread is captured by the needle since it is passing under the needle, being therefore restrained. Needle down at D to create a short tacking stitch to hold the loop into place.
If you use the "scoop method" of stitching...then needling down at B and up at C would be done in one motion. The A and D motions would be "stab method" because they don't need to scoop.



Next, consider the Fly Stitch. Really, it's the same as the Detached Chain Stitch but we've moved A and B further apart. So, if you can stitch a Detached Chain Stitch there is no reason why a Fly Stitch is not in your library of stitched either.



Logically, the same reasoning holds true for the Fishbone Stitch. The only real difference between the Fly Stitch and it is the length of the tacking stitch (distance between C & D needle positions). Fishbone Stitches are most often created in a vertical line...resembling then the backbone of a fish; hence the name.


Changing the angle of a portion of a stitch...like this vertical tacking stitch on the Fly Stitch alters the look of the stitch...and opens up more options. Feather Stitches are similar to Fly Stitches or Fishbone Stitches...they only need the direction of the C/D needle positions shifted to the left or to the right.

The above diagram is busy...but let's break it down to the basics. We begin with an open Chain Stitch...needling up at A, back down at B...and scooping up at C. Instead of needling down directly below...we move out needle to angle to the right. If we consider the angle and space being consistent...then the result would appear as the diagram above. Our "C" becomes a new A...in this manner; and we continue along until we have stitched the amount of these needed...then we tack the last one down. Moving left and right creates variations of the Feather Stitch.



Note how changing the angle between A and B shortens one side of this diagramed stitch. Doing this can create variety in your Feather Stitching and is very helpful when trying to fill in an odd shaped space with stitching.



Loops can even be incorporated into stitches by twisting the fiber before tacking it down. This is easily done if you "scoop" between B and C as the thread can then be passed OVER the UNDER the needle before tacking. This causes it to "cross over" itself creating the loop.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial and might consider how some stitches are related to each other...if just in their manner of creation. For beginners...IF you can learn the Detached Chain Stitch...then so many others (as noted above) are certainly within your grasp as well.

Hoping your stitching is enjoyable. Hugs!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Faux Strawberry Jam - Super Quick!

Mom and I put up some "fake" strawberry jam yesterday because a friend gave my sister about a gallon of figs. In total we had about 8 cups of figs...and ended up with 6 1/2 pints of beautiful jam! I went home also with a little sandwich baggie half full of figs just to snack on. But, this morning...I decided that strawberry jam on my toast would be great. As I didn't have any of yesterday's jam in the house (still at Mom's)...I just decided to whip a bit up!

Here's how easy it was. First I de-stemmed, washed and cup up the figs. There was about a cup of them. Added same amount of sugar (1 cup)...and 1 pkg of strawberry jello. Turned the heat on medium and just kept stirring and mashing the figs.

This is how it looks as it begins to boil. For such a tiny amount...just boil long enough for the sugar to get completely dissolved (about 3 minutes). Yesterday, that 8 cups made a larger pot...and it took longer to come to a boil. Then, we cooked it for about 7 minutes to make sure it was good and hot.


While we put the jelly into jars yesterday...there isn't enough this morning to do that. So, I am just keeping it in the fridge. Believe me, it will not last long at my house; so no worry about it taking up room in my fridge. Ha!

It spreads nicely! Goes great on toast with a cup of tea. :)

Yummy! Ha, that didn't take long to make or dispose of. :)
Here's the basic recipe:

Equal parts figs and sugar. Cut up figs at least into 8 pieces...mash even smaller if you like. Add 1 small pkg strawberry jello for every 2 cups of figs. (I used the entire pkg for a single cup, so it's not bad to add a wee bit more if you have an odd amount of figs). Stir constantly while heating...when it begins to boil...keep stirring. Let the mixture get really hot...for at least 3-4 minutes. If you make a pot full (6 cups or more...then cook longer). No need to cook more than about 7 minutes in total. Put immediately into hot jars if canning...seal and you're done. If keeping a small amount in the fridge...just let cool down and place in airtight container. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Basic CQ Course - Open for Registration - 5-7 August 2020



Please read the ENTIRE post before you email your registration information. Thank you :)

 
Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC-1) is open for REGISTRATION until midnight on 7 August 2020 (Central Standard Time) 
  
NOTE: I do not accept late registrations for classes...you need to register within the dates of the open registration period. I'm sorry, but I just have too much going on to keep up with early or deal with late registrations.
 
This is a FREE online class. It is self-paced, and expected to take 4-8 weeks, depending on the time you have available to complete the 12 assigned Tasks.
 
Above is an artist illustration of the block we'll be working on in this course. 
 
These 12-Tasks include:
 
1 - How to Use the Class Blog
2 - Selecting Supplies
3- Design Principles of CQ
4 - Sewing the Block
5 - Surface Beading Techniques
6 - Template Seams
7 - Shape Seams
8 - 11 Various Silk Ribbon Flowers
12 - Finishing (lace, charms, etc.)
 
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions. You will need to obtain your own supplies as I do not sale kits.
 
Link to the Basic Supply List 
 
Basic CQ supplies include silk ribbon, pearl cotton threads, tiny beads, etc. as the photo above indicates. None of these are in large quantity for a single block that measures about the size of a sheet of print paper.
 
You will be required to use a quilting hoop (Q-snap is fine).
You WILL be required to access the private class blog (upon an invitation sent to you) and post photos of your work as you progress through the class. This is an ON-LINE course, so basic computer skills are needed (printing documents, uploading photos, etc.).

  If you are interested in taking this course, please email me at shaw.kathy@yahoo.com and provide me this information:
Your first name
Your last name
You country of residence
Your state of residence IF you live in the USA
The email address you wish me to send class instructional handouts to.
 
After you register, I will send you a Welcome Email AND Google/Blogger will send you (at my request) an Invitation to join the Class Blog where the class will be held. Watch for BOTH of these emails, check your spam folder.
 
Because this is an ON-LINE internet class:
You will need to follow some simple instructions to register and gain access to the private class blog. Your name and email will need to be entered; but NO social security or credit card information is required. Just basic information to "recognize" you as a class participant.
 
You will need to be able to take a photo of your work, and upload it to the class blog. You will get instructions on "blogging" so don't worry if you don't currently do that now; you will learn.
But, you DO NEED to have an operating camera and be able to take photos.
You do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture files. IF you use an IPad to take photos...you will need to email them to yourself, download them to your computer, and then upload to the class blog. If you use a phone or camera...follow the instructions for that specific camera to upload photos to your computer.
 
NOTE: You will be given class handouts/instruction in the form of emails and pdf documents.
 The pdf files can be opened with Adobe Reader (free software on the Adobe.com site)

 You need to be able to open these handouts/instructions and save them.
You can also print as you desire. In total, the course contains dozens of pages of information...so paper/printer will be required if you want to retain a hard copy of this information.
 
Hugs, and I hope to see you in the class! 
 
This Basic CQ Class (BCQC-1) is a REQUIRED course...before you can sign up to any of the other crazy quilt courses offered through this blog. You begin with this course...
 
After you register...expect an invitation to the course site before the morning of the 8th.
 
HUGS!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

ICQC-108 Garden Clusters (new course) is Open for Registration 15-17 July 2020

ICQC-108 Garden Clusters 
This course is for all those individuals that have completed the ICQC-105 silk ribbon course.

The finished motifs are intended to mimic realistic flowers. The placement of certain flowers will create clusters like a garden bed. 

We will be using acrylic paints, color pencils, etc. to add depth and dimension to the background fabric before we stitch the clusters. There will be some fiber embroidery work in these clusters and some beading as well.

A great deal of the tasks will be experimenting with different art supplies you have. It is fine to substitute items for the ones used in the examples; the idea is to just be free to try things that you have not tried before and push your creative boundaries.

There will not be a specific block to create, but rather different fabric patches that could be used in projects (or just patchwork blocks) in the future.

To register...please indicate ICQC-108 in your email to me as there are two courses open at the same time this month.

I need name, email, and state/country emailed to shaw.kathy@yahoo.com to register. Registration is open 15-17th of this month...and class will begin on the 20th.

HUGS!


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Curl Center Rose

Way back in 2014 there was a post shared about a couple of stemmed roses that I had stitched in Silk Ribbon and perle cotton. Here is the Link.

Well I've been playing with that rose idea again, and thought you might like a little tutorial as I progressed through the stitching. This little variety is only about 2-inches tall from ground to tip; a perfect little motif size for any block. But, to enlarge just use 13mm ribbon and longer straight stitches and/or add more "rounds" of petals.

Kathy's Curl Center Rose

First off, I should explain the background as it is a bit "fuzzy". If you saw the prior post than you already understand; but if not...this fabric is a shrunk sweater that I'm using to create pin cushions. This little rose is the first to be stitched.

To begin this rose thread some 7mm ribbon on your chenille needle. Take a tiny bite of your background without anchoring the ribbon to the back (per the usual). I've enlarged these photos and cropped them close...so this bite might look large. But, notice the width of the ribbon which is 7mm...and you can surmise that the bite is actually about 1/16th (or about half of the 7mm size). Pull the ribbon through until you have about 1 to 2-inches remaining.

This little ribbon tail (right side) is going to become the center of the rose. To hold it in place, we'll need some standard needle/thread so go ahead and get that prepared.
Take a couple of anchoring stitches in the center area, it's not important if you pierce the ribbon or not as you're only just anchoring the thread so it doesn't pull out of the background fabric.
Use a small round tool (stilleto, toothpick, or painters brush as shown here) and roll the ribbon from tip to fabric around this tool. If you catch the sewing thread, no problem. Now ease the tool out and hold these curls down with fingers from the hand you don't sew with.
The hand you use is important because you need to tack these curls in place with needle thread, go through all layers. (Confession: I didn't do a good job and my curls came partially loose during this rose creation...and I had to work to re-curl them and poke them into the center outside curl again. So, learn from my error and tack through so that you catch all layers of this curl. The left side of the curl is the ribbon that has been sitting there patiently in the needle waiting for the next step. Clip your sewing thread after you have secured it on the back side of your fabric. You are finished with the needle/thread...so back to the silk ribbon.
The needle position is presently at 9-o'clock if this rose were a clock face. Needle down at 12-o'clock (12-OC) making a straight stitch. Keep it a bit loose rather than letting it flatten against the fabric.
This is a good time to point out a critical "technique" element in silk ribbon embroidery. ALWAYS manipulate the ribbon rather than just pulling through like you might with thread embroidery. I like to needle down and then stop...as I pull the ribbon with my left hand (non dominant hand) I use my right hand and the needle to apply tension against the ribbon. Just insert the needle under the loop that you are pulling through and keep the needle in place so that the ribbon remains flat close to the fabric...as it feeds through the fabric the last wee bit will be flat then rather than twisting and turning. These straight stitches don't include twists/turns...but some SRE work does; so just remember to add the appropriate number of these as you guide the ribbon into the fabric WHEN they are called fore. Not in this rose however...

Note that the photo above is the stitching of the SECOND petal. We had needled down at 12-OC. So, this petal requires us to needle up at 11-OC, slightly behind the first petal (as shown above). Needle down at 1-OC and guide the ribbon through the fabric keeping it straight. Remember to keep if a bit "poofy" and not let it lay flat against the fabric.

Make a THIRD petal in the same manner; needle up at 12-OC and down at 3-OC (this little petal is at the upper right in the photo below.

Now, we need to make a supporting stitch to help hold the center CURL in place. This stitch will be hidden but it is important to get a pretty rose. Needle up at 9-OC and down at 3-OC (this petal is at the bottom of this photo). BTW, don't stitch into the "same hole" on these...so if you have more than one instance of 3-OC for example...make sure that these are a couple of threads apart rather than going back into a hole already used at that clock face position (words of wisdom).


Now we'll work on some bottom petals. Needle back up at 9-OC and needle down at 6-OC. Keep the petal straight and puffy.

Needle up at 7-OC and down at 5-OC. Then needle up at 6-OC (as shown in the photo above)...


...and down at 3-OC. This completes the head of this little rose. IF you want a larger rose you can add another round of petals in the same manner. Using wider ribbon will also increase the size a bit because the curled center will be taller...and therefore the clock face is a bit larger. But, the difference is not as much as when you add a second grouping of petals. This little rose head has some possibilities for sure. Change the center, change the color of center/petals, and just play around with the petal placement to get a variety of roses using this general idea.

Next...the stem. Your choice of stem could include a standard Chain Stitch, a Wrapped Chain Stitch, a Stem Stitch, or some other stitch of your choice. For this tutorial I'm going to work a combination of Chain Stitches and Single Feather Stitches...with a twist.

I'm going to begin with a Detached Chain Stitch. Granted, it's hard to actually see this here in this photo...but that's because the "loop" is tight so looks more like two Straight Stitches from this angle. But, trust me...it is a Detached Chain Stitch. I began about 1/8th inch (2mm) below the rose head and the loop tucks under the head and is tacked down with a wee little straight tacking stitch. Then, I needled up about 1/8 inch from the base and on the left side (you can do the right side first if you prefer, that really doesn't matter).

It might be best if I remind you exactly what a Single Feather Stitch looks like:
This drawing has the stitches slightly offset from each other...but you can follow a drawn line (this would align #3 and #5 vertically...placing the #5 needle position directly under the #3 position rather than slightly to the right. That's what we'll be doing to keep the stem straight. We'll also be adding a "twist" to the stitch. So, this can't be accomplished with the SCOOP method of stitching...rather, we'll STAB up and down and manipulate our thread using both hands as we create the line of stitching.
We began by our needle up slightly to the left of the Single Detached Chain. So, now we needle down at the base of the Single Detached Chain to continue our Twisted Single Feather Stitch. Needle up about 1/4th inch (4mm) vertically below the Single Detached Chain...to keep a straight stem. Ordinarily we'd just loop the perle under the needle to do the Single Feather Stitch.
Instead we are going to pass the thread on TOP of the needle before going under it. This causes the thread to cross-over (or twist) as we make the stitch. Pull Through...


This is what the stitch looks like...kinda neat! We will continue to create the same stitch but begin each at opposite sides. So, needle down slightly to the right of center...and come up vertically along the center line (imaginary, but you can draw one to keep you on track) about 1/4 inch down from the where the perle is right now. Do as many of these stitches as you want the rose length where "leaves" might be. So, stop before you get all the way to the bottom.
You can see that I've done five of the Twisted Single Feather Stitches (3 on the left and 2 on the right). Next we'll add some length to the stem with some standard Detach Chain Stitches. Go into the "loop" of the last Twisted Single Feather Stitch and needle up about 1/4 inch away vertically in line still with the center of the stem.
Do as many of these Detached Chain Stitches as needed to make the rose as tall as you want it to be. I've included TWO of the stitches as you can see at the bottom area of this photo. End the last Chain Stitch by anchoring the loop with a little tacking stitch.
I wanted my stem to be a bit more "solid" so I'm wrapping all of these prior stitches. Needle up at the base of the stem (right or left side) and pass your needle under the loop portion of each stitch (use the EYE so you don't stab the work). Do this for every stitch and the result will WRAP the perle around the stem from bottom to top.
The end result looks pretty solid with little "stems" on each side. These could be interpreted as thorns if you wanted to add large leaves in silk ribbon. But, I'm going to consider them as little leaf stems...and add silk ribbon leaves in 2mm ribbon. These will be tiny because I want to create at least 3 for each stem. Roses often have 3, 5, or even 7 leaves...but never an even number on their little stems.
Create the leaves with simple Straight Stitches in ribbon. The length of each leaf in the set (trio) is about the width of the ribbon. Stitch the two leaves at the base first, from tip to base...then stitch the top center leaf as shown in the photo above. Viola, the rose is finished!





















Wee Little Sweater...

You might (like me) think that because the sweater was ONLY 47% wool and has a lot of other fibers it would be fine to wash. And well, maybe it would have been....but I forgot to pull it from the washer and threw it into the dryer with everything else. Since I didn't check it, I'm not sure if it was changed in the washer or dryer or both. But, it went from a 1X size to an XSmall size...so I cut it up along the seams and am making pin cushions with it. Hence...the fuzzy background for this rose which will be the first pincushion created. Now...back to the photos of the actual stitching tutorial.