Thursday, January 31, 2013

DDF - One Month

It's been a month since I started the Daily Dose of Fiber challenge and besides the cut finger, it went very well. I've managed to post every day and get at least 5 minutes of something creative every day. I'm going to continue but I don't think I'm going to keep track of the days for the full three months. Today, I finished the felt applique couching. I really like the result. I am sure that there will be more of these especially for decorating the inside of the yurt.

 Here's the finished applique with the green yarn couched all the way around.
 And a closer photo.

 Then I did a little research on art in the late Bronze age. I am not very inspired by this era.
 Here's a little more work in my sketchbook about the different symbols in the Kyrgyz rugs. These would all work for other felt applique pieces.
 Here's more about the Bronze age. We have our local meeting next week so I needed to do my "art history" homework.
 Over at the Felting and Fiber studio, I wrote a post several weeks ago about drawing. I decided to try a little of the goofy animal drawing on to a previously painted piece of paper. You are supposed to find the shapes from the paint and then draw into them to make an animal. So here is my little snail Stanley.
He was fun to draw and just took a few minutes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DDF - Day 30

I stopped this morning before work and bought some crochet yarn to couch around my felt applique. The only color that would work was dark green. Gold would have been nice but the store didn't have any.

 I couched the yarn down with matching embroidery floss, using one strand.
I am almost 3/4 done. I think it would look really nice if I couched a thin gold cord next to the green but I'm not sure I'll do that. It might be finished with just the green.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DDF - Day 29

I finished stitching my applique piece except for the cording I will couch around the applique. I don't have any cording yet. I also finished beading my tassel for my bead book.

 Here's the applique all stitched down. What color cording do you think I should use? Usually another color is used in the traditional Kyrzyg appliques. I was thinking maybe green?
Here's the beaded tassel. The photo didn't turn out too clearly. But you get the idea. I used a tubular brick stitch around the neck and then a horizontal netting below that followed by a standard fringe. Then I randomly stitched a few beads on the head of the tassel. This was very fiddly, took me 3 hours to finish and it's only 4 inches long. If you don't have much patience, I wouldn't recommend making beaded tassels.

Monday, January 28, 2013

DDF- Day 28

I managed to get some stitching done despite my injury. It is actually easier to stitch than it is to type.

 I almost got it all stitched.
 You can see the stitching if you click on the photo.
I just have this motif left and I'm more than half way around.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DDF- Day 27

This is one of those days when life gets in the way. I cut myself while slicing veggies. Now I have 6 stitches.

So I guess my fiber dosage today is to read FELT magazine that Karen sent me. I've been ordered to take it easy the rest of the day.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daily Dose of Fiber - Day 26

Today I cut out my felt applique and got it ready to stitch and painted some acrylic felt.

 First, here are hubby's slippers with their bottoms of spray-on Plasti Dip.
 This was much easier than trying to brush it on and the edges look professional. They are now water proof and I think will last much longer than without it. I highly recommend this product for slippers. No affiliation, I just like how it works.
 Here is the blue felt with fusible ironed to the back. I traced the pattern on to the fusible backing paper.
 You can see it a little better here. I cut it out carefully so I could use the positive and negative images.
 Here's the negative image. I put it on a piece of orange prefelt to show you how it will look. Unfortunately, the prefelt isn't big enough. I'll have to make another piece of felt to go with this one.
 Here's the one I'm going to stitch. It is fused down on to the red felt. After stitching it down, I will couch a cord around the applique. I have to find some and decide what color to use.
 Then I painted some acrylic felt with Dye-na-Flow paint.
 You have to get these really wet and use a lot of paint otherwise the paint just sits on top of the felt.
I need the felt for my next session of Level 2 Stitch class. We will be making books using the sewing machine with these. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

DDF - Day 25

I actually did some felt making today. It was just a couple of flat pieces of felt to make an applique but it was great to get my hands in the wool again. Then I worked on finishing up some projects and started on my beaded tassel.

 Here is one  of the piece's of felt. I did quite a bit of dry rolling before I ever started to wet the felt down. It really speeded up the processs. Do you dry roll your felt?

Here's the back of my shadow applique. I fused the edges of the silk organza to the back and then stitched them down.

This corner got cut a bit too close.

 Here's the finished sample. This photo is closer to the true colors.
 Here's a more straight on view. I used a dark brown thread for the edge so it wouldn't show.
Here is my tassel made from #3 perle cotton. Now to add beads.

 The other project I worked on  was my husband's slippers. I made them a long time ago but had promised to put plastic on the bottoms.
So I finally found spray on Plasti Dip. It worked much better than trying to brush it on as I've done in the past. I used 4 coats. Now to let them dry.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DDF - Day 24

This is one of those days where I didn't get much done. I was busy at work unpacking a big order of ceramics, tutoring someone on Quickbooks and then of course a few customers. So I started to work on a tassel for my bead book but I didn't get very far. I made a twisted cord and wrapped the thread around the tassel template. That was it.

 The photo of the cord didn't come out. Here is the tassel beginnings. Not too exciting, huh?
While I was unpacking the ceramics, I found these Styrofoam twisty bits in the peanuts. I've never seen these before. They were really cool looking. I'm not sure what you could do with them but at least they make a great design. So I got in 5 minutes of fiber. Tomorrow I'll have the entire day so that will be more productive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DDF - Day 23

I finished my shadow applique piece today that I started yesterday except for the edges/finishing. I need an iron for that and I don't have one handy here at work for some reason. I also continued to work on the design for my folk design inspired applique. I am basing this design on Kyrgyzstan carpets or shyrdak.

Here is the finished applique. You can just barely see the silk organza sticking out around the edges. I need to fold that over and fuse it to the back and then stitch around the edge. I think I will stitch the edge in a reddish brown so that it doesn't show much. I don't think I want to stitch it in green.
 Here's a close up. I drew the stitching lines on with pencil so I had something to follow.
 Here is one of the designs that I am considering for my next applique piece. I am going to make this from hand made felt so actual felt making is going to occur amazingly enough. I laid out some blue wool today. Perhaps I'll get it felted tonight. I already have a piece of red prefelt so I'll use that as well.
 Here are four other design possibilities. These are all based on "ram's horns" and from photos I found online of various shyrdak. I cut the patterns out from paper and glued them down in my journal. There are endless variations. I think I might just do one of the emblems instead of four connecting ones on a four inch square of felt. But perhaps I'll go for it and do all four squares.
 The Kyrgyz use a lot of negative and positive space/shapes in their work. They usually cut out the pattern in two different colors and use both the positive shapes and the backgrounds to create intricate designs. Which design do you like? I haven't decided but I know it won't be the bottom left one as it is way too intricate to try and cut out of hand made felt. It will most likely be one of the simpler shapes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DDF - Day 22

Today I am back to stitching my applique homework, specifically a shadow applique sample from cotton fabric and an overlay of silk organza.

 Here is my sample piece that I tried out a variety of colors of threads to see which I liked the best. I did not used to do this but I find it really does help in choosing the right color of thread. I tried a dark reddish brown, burnt orange, pink and green. I never even considered the green but after I tried the first three and none of them did much for me, I decided to try green. And I really liked it. It makes the stitching stand out against the background. (click on the photo to see the different thread choices more closely)
 Here is the entire design and I've got about a quarter of it stitched. It is really hard to show the true colors because the silk organza disappears under the camera. The piece is actually darker and the green "pod" shapes are not as bright.
Here is the stitching design that I'm using. I made 8 different designs and chose the one I liked best.

Monday, January 21, 2013

DDF - Day 21

This makes three weeks of A Daily Dose of Fiber and I've managed to post every day about my fiber activities. So how long does it take to form a habit? I think it's longer than 21 days but I'm moving in the right direction. The exciting news today is that I finished the binding on the bead book!

Here's the binding. I added a bead between each knot. This made this edge more like all the other beaded edges and it also helped to give space between each page.

 I like how it turned out but I think I should have done one more row on each end that was 1/8 inch in from the edge. The other stitches are 1/4" apart. The edges are really heavy and put strain on the binding. But it will have to do.
 Now comes the bad news. As I was doing the binding, beads started falling off. Oh Nooooooo..... One of the fringes on the last page came undone. You can see the pink end of the thread so that means the knot came undone and the fusing of the backing didn't hold it either. Shoot.
I love how this binding lets the pages lay completely flat when the book is opened. It is well worth the effort to do because the pages turn so nicely.
And more shoddy workmanship! Another knot came untied and beads fell off of this fringe page. This is the original thread that I started with that I didn't like. I had to replace some of it already and I guess I should have gone back and redone all the white thread. Where is quality control inspection when you need it??

Sunday, January 20, 2013

DDF - Day 20

I'm still here stitching away. I finished another applique sample, got my applique book bound and started the binding on the bead book.

Here is the applique book bound with a stab and wrap binding. I really don't like this method of binding. It was supposed to be easier than the other method that you'll see at the bottom of this post. It might not have as much stitching but it just doesn't look as nice, the book doesn't open as well and it was difficult to get the tension right.
 Here you can see that the pages don't open up all the way.
 The chain band stitch binding on the bead book allows the pages to lie flat. You can see that this binding is tighter. Perhaps because I didn't get the tension right.

 But the book is together and finished. Another item off my list.
 This is the next applique sample. Turned edge applique done with a piece of fusible interfacing.
 Here is is completed. I was able to get this one to lie much flatter than the last technique I used with needleturn applique.
 Here you can see that the applique is much more flat against the background fabric.
 The only problem was I cut too close to the edge and get little frayed bits sticking out. Oh well. It's finished!
Here I've started on the bead book binding. Three rows in the center are finished. I'm adding beads between each stitch. Since the pages are so "thick" with beads, I thought having a bead spacer would help in the binding to give more space. Plus it adds to the whole "over beaded" aspect of this book.