Friday, August 30, 2013

Hand sewing in Tampa

I spent this entire week in Tampa for work. It was a long week that felt even longer because I had to fly down on Sunday. Flying for work on the weekends always seems to make the week seem so much longer!

I decided to bring along my little Art quilt from the Jane LaFazio class I took last week at Create Chicago. I was at a place in the project that required a lot of hand sewing, the joining of all the smaller quilt blocks. I suppose this could be done by machine and I have plenty of other ideas I would incorporate. However, I just felt that for this project I should follow Janes suggestions/directions to get a full feel of what she was teaching.

So, I brought my pieces, some pins, some hand needles and a spool of variegated cotton quilting thread with me to work on in the evenings after dinner. It turns out that this is a perfect little hand project to bring along with me, I worked each evening on sewing the pieces together and by last night I had the entire top pieced together. YAY! It was so nice to have a great little project to take my mind off the stress of work and being away from home.

The trip was not a bad one by any means! We were a small group of 5 and we are all friends so it made things easy. We even celebrated one friends birthday! We stayed at the Marriott Waterside in Downtown Tampa, it was in a great location for getting out and getting some outdoor exercise and seeing some of the sites. There is a great RiverWalk and a very nice Bayshore Trail that is very conducive to outdoor exercise. Many people were out running, walking, biking, rollerblading and enjoying the sun. I went out a couple of times for nice long afternoon walks. One afternoon I walked a good 5 miles and enjoyed watching the row team practice and the pelicans diving for fish. There were also tons of great restaurants in the area, yummmm.

Do other people bring sewing projects along on work trips? I know I have brought patterns to be cut out or traced, hand sewing and now even some quilting.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:30000 feet over the Eastern Seaboard, USA

Sunday, August 25, 2013

CREATE Chicago Day 3

On Friday I attended another all day workshop at Create Chicago. Still going to say it.... SO MUCH FUN!!!

I wish I would have been able to attend workshops all weekend but alas I was unable. Probably a good thing because I was starting to feel mental overload and was quite tired Friday night.

This workshop was a non-sewing workshop called House Full of Grace taught by Kristen Robinson and was full of techniques that were used to alter 3 little wooden houses. Some techniques that were new to me was using silicone putty to create molds that we then used to cast clay and resin with. We also poured some resin bezels and played with hot beeswax, this was on top of the normal paper, painting, collating stuff. This class format was also one of independent work interspersed with demonstrations of techniques. I really enjoy that more informal format.

photos of Kristen's demonstrations.

It was interesting to see how everyone's in the class was so completely different. I did a trio of houses that were liked themed but some did very different houses and very different palettes of colors than I would ever use! That's the fun thing about making art you can do what you want :)

above are some of my FAVORITE vintage buttons being molded and below you can see my very full cookie sheet of molds and plaster casts. I used several of my vintage oil cans, buttons and a key.

Somewhere around the middle of the day the fire alarms went off and we had fire men in our classroom. That was an interesting distraction. Our instructor felt so bad about the interruption that she gave us all some free resin to take home and play with. Yay, free product is always fun!

This was a fun class to take to learn a bunch of techniques that I have never done before.

we started with plain poplar wooden houses, a plaster heart on fire and an empty bezel. Below is about what I left the class with. The house on the right is completed, the other 2 are in various stages.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

Thursday, August 22, 2013

CREATE Chicago Day 2

The fun continued today! This mixed media retreat has been very liberating for me. It has been more than I have expected!

Today's class was another 6-7 hour class called Free Motion: Free Spirit by Jane LaFazio. It was slightly similar to my class yesterday in that we used the sewing machines for free motion sewing. Other than that it was COMPLETELY different. For one thing, no paint today.

Examples of one of Jane's mini quilts

The class format was for Jane to show a technique and then give us time to play with it on mini- quilt sandwiches of various sizes and at the end the idea is to put it all together and add additional embellishment such as colored pencil, paints, hand stitching, etc...

my workspace and my work in progress half way through the class

Several things we played with was stitching on paper, stitching from a picture on the reverse side of the fabric (like tracing with thread), using organza, tulle, cheesecloth, lace, vintage doilies, etc...

Examples of my work and me playing with composition, these were taken with the iPad and the colors really look kind of funky!!

To finish the project I need to square up my pieces and then play a little game of eye pleasing Tetris and make it all work. Then add hand work and then put it all together!

It was nice to work in a medium that I am comfortable in and really push the boundaries outside of my box. I loved the effect!

This last picture I just HAD to share!!! We just got this back from the photographer.... LOOK there are dinosaurs still inhabiting Idaho!! (And yes, that is me in the blue dress running with my champagne!)

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Lisle, IL

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CREATE Chicago Day 1

Ohhhhhhhh!!!!!! I had sooooooo much FUN!!!!!

I took 2 classes today. I can't wait to see what kind of fun I have tomorrow.

The first was Free Motion Painted Tapestry a 7 hour class (I say 7 because we had the option to work through lunch if we wanted:) this was taught by Joanne Sharp and was a super fun class! I definitely went outside my box in this class and had fun with painting and sewing. Plus side, we had a great group of ladies.

The first set of mini quilts were painted first with silks acrylic paints and free motion stitched second. I only got a couple of these stitched up but I am quite comfortable with the sewing part of things at home!

The second set were free motion stitched first and then painted with Jaquard dyno flo dye second. These were very interesting because the threads took the color of the dye and looked quite cool from the reverse side.

I definitely concentrated more of my time on the painting portion. This is something I really just don't do. I had so much fun with it and just let loose and did what came to me.

The second was Ready, Set, Resinate! A 3 hour evening class that my husband and I took together. A super fun date night :)
This class was taught by Jen Cushman and she was an excellent teacher. Very vibrant and easy going and all about making art, there was no wrong way.

The first step was to collage in the bezels with little papers, pictures, beads, stuff, etc...

The second step was to actually fill the bezels with ICE Resin. This step was pretty cool, some of the 'stuff' in the bezels changed appearances when the resin was poured in. Some papers turned transparent, some of the beads looked different. I can't wait to see them when they are all dry.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs.

Location:Lisle, IL

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kitty quilt/play mat progress

This post is coming to you from just outside Hartford, CT. I'm out on a work trip and waiting to catch a flight home :)

Good as time as any to catch up!

Last week I spent working from home. It was busy on the work front but I was able to take some time every day to work on the kitty quilt/play mat that I am making for my niece arriving this fall.

This has been a fun experiment for me to play with on my embroidery machine. It certainly does not take the place of real quilting for me but rather another tool to play with in my toolbox!

The Anita Goodesigns Mix and Match quilting designs I used were from the Dog and Cats collection and from the Premium Quilting Collection. The entire process is quite different. I have the top complete but all I need left to do is add another layer of batting, backing, stitch in the ditch and bind. All the quilting stitching design is done on the embroidery unit in a quilt as you go method.

The plus side to this project was that I could work on other projects as this one was stitching out. The other project I'm working on is a surprise gift so no peaking until I give it away. :)

The rest of this week I am off from work and attending 3 classes at the CREATE Chicago Retreat. These are all mixed media type hands on classes and I am super excited about playing outside of my box! Should be fun!

Check out this delicate and beautiful flower that is blooming from our mini-pond in the wishing well!

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Windsor Locks airport, CT

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Veil... The part I made!

I finally have enough pictures to show off the veil. I originally really wanted to make my daughters wedding dress. However, when we went to try on dresses to get an idea of styles and fit she fell in love with her dress. (In retrospect, it was probably a good thing and a lot less stress!)

The veil: self drafted using info from googling veil lengths and looking at a variety of styles on the web and trying on different lengths of tulle on my daughters head. We had some fun with this!

In the end we decided on a double fingertip length veil with the bottom layer being simple and the upper layer embellished. And then a separate blusher veil on its own small comb.

I started with a length of tulle that was double the length I needed. I folded this in half lengthwise so that the fold would be the part that was gathered up and attached to the comb. I then folded the entire thing in half crosswise and rounded the corners using a large dinner plate as my guide.

Next step was to use my serger to roll the edge of the entire length using rayon embroidery thread in the loopers for a nice shine. I also serged over a strip of water soluble stabilizer so that I did not have to fight with the tulle going through the serger. I played with the differential feed to get a nice wave to the stitch.

For the comb I started with a piece of rose ribbon from JoAnns and gathered it together and hand sewed on pearls and swavorski crystals to make it fancy. I gathered the veil along the fold to the length of the comb and hand sewed the veil to the comb. After that I hand sewed the embellished ribbon to the comb. I did NOT use any glue anywhere in this veil.

That was the easy part! Next up was embellishing the outer layer of the veil. After some trying on and pinning we decided to use a small rose trim and have it come to just below the chin. With it all the way to the comb she looked a bit like a nun.... I picked up this trim at a trim shop in Boston while there for work last fall. I hand sewed the trim to the out layer of the veil and then I spent a GAZZILION hours sewing on pearls and swavorski crystals onto the center of every single rose. In the end it turned out beautiful and I hand sewed on a little over 200 pearls and crystals!!

She wore the veil for the wedding ceremony in Idaho and then again for the Chicago reception. She decided that since she was not wearing her wedding dress to the Chicago reception that she would wear her veil so she would stand out as the bride! It looked beautiful with the Red dress I made for her.

All in all the veil was not hard to make just time consuming to make it beautiful. I'm glad she loved it!

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Lisle, IL