Saturday, March 31, 2012

Design Ideas

Do you have ideas for silk ribbon designs, or seam treatments?
 ...Or just general project that you want to accomplish? Thanks to my head just overflows with them at times.
Usually, when I'm no where near my computer or sewing room! 
And, sometimes...after I have written them down...
I can't locate the paper I wrote them on when I need it!
So, I decided that all the odd scraps of paper, steno pads, and note cards just had to go. I needed to get more organized!
But what would keep everything I wanted to remember in one place? It needed to be large enough to be usable...but small enough to put in my BOHO bag. Then it would need be "at ready" when sitting and waiting for an appointment (or on the bus/train commute? baseball game? ballet class?)
AND, since I can't draw a straight line without a ruler...the pages jut had to be "graph paper" style; BUT not printed so dark that I could not see what I did draw...just barely showing,  a guide to help me draw my "artistic" ideas neatly.
 Plus, an area for notes would be needed! To remind me of what project my sketch goes with; or where I saw this cool seam treatment (so I can give credit for the inspiration, if I ever used the seam)...
 "Could others use this type of sketch book too?" my muse asks.
Well, could they? I think so...
So, viola! The "My Crazy Ideas Sketch Book" was born.
 It is over 120 pages of grid paper w/note sections...and has some pages at the front with instruction on how to start sketching your own ideas.
So, if you are looking for a great little sketch book..that YOU are the author of...and you don't want to spend a lot of money on it...I hope you will consider ordering a Sketch Book from ShawklDesigns. These also make great little gifts...and can be used by folks who don't even do Crazy Quilts...any notes can be included...crazy or not! 
At $8.40 they are priced well enough to get more than one. 
I have one that is only for CQ Seams...and another for Project Ideas and Motifs.
And, if my muse doesn't slow down and take a few naps...I might have an entire "library" of these filled up before long!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Another To-Do Added to My List!! Yikes!

Okay, admittedly...I don't need another TO-DO thing on my list! But, my muse woke me up with an idea...and she would not let me go back to sleep until I got up and wrote it down! What AM I going to do with her! She wants to do a padded journal, with samples of SRE, stitching, and cabochons. You know, to just have as a "coffee table book" of sorts. Well, it would be HUGE! But, she is not, she says "do more than one!". Ha! This will be a long term committment I cry...but, "so what' is her reply! So, I'm off on another journey...creating a padded journel. Apparently, more than one!
Why padded you might ask?...well, to raise up an area around the silk ribbon work, so it doesn't get "smushed" when the journal pages are closed.
Might work this into a class..."Be quiet muse!". That would mean charting designs, writing lessons, taking step-by-step photos. Geez...she never sleeps!
Here is the first SRE work...a long-stem the ones in my back yard.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lace and Pearls - Rita

This Round Robin has been fun from the very beginning. So much so, that I almost forgot to take photos this round to share with you...oops! So, these are partially stitched at various stages.

 First off, I added a couple of pieces of lace trim. Then decided to work around the Silkie area...with cross-hatched quilting (running stitch). The stitches cover the left, right, and bottom patch surrounding the photo...although it's hard to see in the photos.

Then, some feather stitching in ecru, light tan, and gold created the backdrop.

Next silk ribbon roses done in spider-web style; various shades of ecru, champagne, bisque, and tan...with glass leaves added.

Lastly, a Czech Glass Button Cabochon and a bit of lace on the seam.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Free Butterfly Pattern

If you need one, here ya go!

Ding, ding, ding!--Emergency!

My muse is beating me over the head! Just found out that my friend Shari (you know of StitchMAP) had an emergency at her house this week. Little Belle (her 5 year old granddaughter) broke her arm! OUCH! 
Major OUCH!
So, I thought that a card and a little "lifting of her spirits" was in order.
So, I fused this butterfly...and now, I'm going to make it SPARKLE with tons of bling! I'll get a photo to add when complete.
If you want to help me lift Belle's spirits...just send me your butterfly and I'll gather them up (any type, style...but remember it's for a FIVE YEAR OLD) and send them on. Or, if you know Shari's can mail them yourself...with a little "get well" card for Belle.
Hugs to you all.
BTW, the butterfly above is from a stained glass pattern. Search the internet for butterfly patterns...and you will see hundreds of ideas. This one is just fused pieces, which I shall blanket stitch on the machine...and add beads and sequins too. It will be "sandwiched" to another sparkly fabric for the back side...and one bent wire for the antenna sewn on...viola...a beautiful butterfly will be born.
Off to sew....back in a little while with another photo.
Okay, I'm back. Here is Belle's little finished butterfly (well not so "little", it measures about 6 x 6 inches).


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beaded Bookmark and Ball

I love Spring...I hate Spring...I love Spring...I hate head is so full of crud that I can't keep a straight thought in it for long it seams. It has taken me days to finish up a Round Robin Block...that should have only taken me a few hours. 
 And, when I can't think straight...I really let my mind wander...and THAT gets me into trouble! Like procrastinating!
So, I've been playing around with beads my medicated state of mind!
 This is a bookmark I finished up.
The beaded part could also be a stand-a-lone item...a bit longer...and it could be a bracelet...just needs a clasp.
And, I did a tassel with a beaded ball on the top (photos below/above)! 
Then, my muse says...why can't the ball surround the top of the tassel...instead of sitting up there like that? Well, I'm back to the drawing board...and will show you what I come up with...perhaps by this weekend.
When I get it all worked out...I'll do a tute or a mini-class...if I can remember to take photos of the "how" part that is! Geez!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dresden Plate Tutorial

Got the pattern/instructions completed for the Dresden Plate; the pdf file in in the Files Section of Shawkl_Blog_Files site. Look in the folder: Quilting Patterns.
Or, copy the image above and enlarge it to fit an 8.5 x 10 printed page.
ETA: PDF File is HERE (Takes a minute to upload, so please wait.)
Instructions are easy.

 Cut wedges, you can get 3 out of a 5" square of fabric. (Note: I first started by folding my square in half, and got two wedges. 

 Then, I realized that if I placed them differently, I could get 3 from a square.
 Also, I use my rotary cutter to cut my pieces. You can see from the photo above that I cut multiple pieces at a time. This stack is actually one of the sets of 10 wedges in each stack. You determine your own cutting preferences.

  Hint: I roll up a piece of masking tape, sticky tape out, and put that on the back of the pattern piece...that keeps it from sliding around as I move my ruler to get the cut. See it above?

Determine if you want "points" or "curves". Curves are turned under and appliqued down. Points are sewn in by matching the flat seam at center and stitching across. They will will be appliqued down eventually, but the edge is already nice and neatly folded under.

  Do a lot of these wedges at once to save time, and thread. 

 Clip them apart. Pinch the sewn seam point flat and press open the seam allowance with your fingers. 

 Turn right side out and match the new seam to the center of the wedge. I just "eye ball it". 

 Here's the finished single wedge...with a point that is turned under and ready for applique when the plate is done.
Sew three wedge patches together to create a unit. Repeat until you have 4 units for each Dresden Plate.
 Sew two units together to form a half-circle.

 Sew two half-circles together, matching center seam, to form the Dresden Plate.
 Note: If the wedges outside edges don't match exactly, as in this photo above, then...

 Open the seam on the two end wedges of one half-circle. 
 Sew the circles together, then sew the two open wedge seams back together.

 (Note: I trimmed the "V" in the pattern for you. IF you want to meet all seams in the center and NOT have a hole, then extend the pattern piece all the way back out to a POINT.
Iron, starch, iron until the dresden is good and flat.

 Cut a background square of fabric that is 9.5" square, and applique the Dresden Plate to it. 
Note: Fold the Square into quarters and crease. Use these creased lines "+" to match your plate to. It should rest the same distance from edge of the background fabric square at all four points on the "+".

 Create a circle of fabric and applique it into place, or use a button in the center as in the last photo.
If you want larger Dresden Plates...enlarge the pattern piece. The angles will still be the same, but test one block before you cut a lot!
Don't be afraid of Dresden Plate blocks. They are flexible if you mess up. Increase/decrease a couple of seams, un-sew the ends. Re-sew...until the plate lays flat. You don't want "bowls" and you don't want "mountains".
A personal note:  I believe that quilting should be fun. And fabric is flexible...that means that mistakes will happen. They just do; even when you try your best. Accept that as a FACT...and learn how to "fix things" when they don't work out the first time. Don't give up! I'll show you the good, bad, and maybe...the ugly! Almost everything can be FIXED in quilting...except cutting where you should not have. I've been quilting for 30 years...and stuff just happens; No One is perfect...and if they tell you they are...stop listening to them; you'll just get yourself in trouble. Hugs!

Butterflies and Dragonflies - Arlene

My part of Arlene's block is now finished. Here are the other components, close up. 


Ready to mail to the next person in line.