Archive for the ‘Applique’ Category

Making Art in Layers

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

 

Hi Peeps!

 

435 Swimming Upstream

 

So much of my art is done in layers. Sheer applique is layer after layer of color and texture. I create a layer of hand dye, then add a layer of stitching, add another layer of sheers, add a solid image and then add more stitching and sheers. I don’t so much design a quilt as I build one in layers.

 

So its a good thing to try those layers on a whole other platform. I’ve begun some while back to study Photoshop on Lynda.com, which is a software classroom web site. I don’t know  anyone knows Photoshop. But I’ve learned some tricks and it’s interesting it, too, works in layer.

 

I started with a great abbey hall and soften the image.

 

 

abby window

 

 

 

granville 3_0003_abby window

 

 

 

 

 

I added in two Granville drawings. Grandville was Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard  generally known by the pseudonym of J. J. Grandville, who did fabulous character drawings in the 1900s in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put in a painted layer underneath to add color

 

granville 3_0001_Layer 1granville 3_0000_Layer 2granville 3_0002_Layer 3

 

 

 

And added white swirls for energy and pattern.

 

Then I slid the color panel to the right.

 

What did I learn?

 

What I’ve always known. All art is art is art. Playing with layers in one form is no different than playing with another form. And I learned I like white swirls, a lot!

 

 

granville 3So get out the paint, the computer, or the organza, or the very wierd lace. Layers make a rich tapestry to delight the eye. The building of patterns and textures make the rich and fabulous world in which we celebrate our art!

 

You’ll more information on Grandville granville 3aat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Ignace_Isidore_G%C3%A9rard_Grandville

 

grandville bookDover has a great digital design source book on his work.

 

Lynda.com has classes on almost anything and everything. It’s a fabulous way to learn new software.

 

Go play hard at something new! It’s amazing what happens when you bring that skill back to your own art.

 

Ellen

 

 

Barking up the Right Tree: Making Tree Bark

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

 

747 all time is spiral in a garden

There’s a reason to hug trees. The texture of tree bark is an incredible experience. Here’s a great way to recreate that texture using an applique technique and some simple machine couching.

applique scissorsI started with a special pair of scissors. Applique scissors have a special bend that makes it possible to cut straight to the edge of your stitching.  I free motion stitched two layers of brown hand dyed cotton. .I stitched my tree shapand stitched inside the  bark in chevrons. Then I cut into those chevrons  through the top layer through the channel. Then I clipped through the edges  up and down the stitching

 

 

tree bark stitched and cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

restitched slashing Once the top surface has been slashed, I go back with my darning foot and irregularly  fold back and stitch the edges to make them textural.restitched slashing 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the bark is formed there are all kinds of chanels through the surface.

couching yarnscouching footI took all kind  of yummy heavy yarnd  and couched them in place using my couching foot.The couching foot has a special thread escape for larger yarns and cords.

 

 

 

 

couching

 

With the feed dogs up, couch the yarn through the chanels of raw bark. 

I love to use this trick when I’m working with wood or trees and I want something more than just brown hand dye.

Nifty Notions and Ginger both make applique scissors. Sadly I don’t know of someone who makes them for left handed people. 

 

 

747 all time is spiral in a garden detail672 Willow detail3

885 turtle in the lady slippers

Making Dragonflies Fly Part three: Differing Paths

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

wind over water 8

Here’s the final installment of Making Dragonflies Fly! You’ll find it here and on youtube. I hope it sends you skittering into your sewin room wanting to stitch. It features Inn Fuse, Innovative Craft’s new Fusible film.

It’s one of my favorite techniques. But it’s certainly not the only one.

There’s a phrase I use in class that I know drives people nuts. They’ll ask me if this is how I always do something. And I’ll say”Yes, except when I don’t.” Idt sounds flip. It’s never meant that way. It is what I do except when I don’t. The world is a complicated place and my studio is too. And for reasons of effect and energy, I don’t feel tied to one way of doing anything.

What we’ve showed in these three videos is free motion applique. It’s a great way to make a bold statement with fragile fabric. It’s a way to use really beautiful textures in a piece.

Is it the only way? Why in heaven’s name should there be only one only way?

I also feel that way about people’s life decisions, child rearing, dog taming and general weight control. The world is wide. Try different things.

But most especially about art.. Art has two componenets. There’s the making of art, the skills involved. And then there’s what happens while you’re working. If you don’t develope the skills, you limit yourself. That’s ok.. Tomorrow is another day and you have days after that to stretch and grow.

If you don’t go in and just make art, you have no reason for those skills. It’s like having a very powerful engine that’s not connected to anything. Of course the point is balance. You know the edges I’m dancing on here. The person who makes the same quilt forever in the same way over and over. The person who takes class after class and everything looks like the last class. These are points in process. They’ll get there. So will you. So will I.

So I thought I’d walk you around the ways technique changes me. I have a number of dragonflies (they’re myself traveling, so I can’t help but do them) done in different technique.

Free motion applique is fused and then stitched with a free motion zigzag. It gives lots of impact, lots of presence. It’s a great way to use amazing fabric.

Dragonfly in Bloom
Dragonfly in Bloom

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s dragonflies made strictly of thick thread in the bobbin. If they’re stitched directly into the cloth they’re more subtle and more part of their environment.

blue moon896 Moonrise SwampThen there are dragonflies made as separate embroidered appliques of pure stitching. They’re done with thick thread in the bobbin.These are bold and electric images.

Moonstruck
Moonstruckectric thread compositions.
895 Wind over Water 7
wind over Water 7

Could I choose? Would I choose? Like most things, everything has it’s season and time. And I will do them all.

What we bring as quilt teachers to you and your guilds is options. Choices. Information about what is available and how to use it. Can you gather that information on your own? Of course you can. With world enough and time.

But isn’t it nice to learn from people who can help you know?

eddy class brochure_Page_01webThere still are spots in my schedule for 2014. If you’d like to have me come to your guild with a suitcase full of choices and skills, check out my class catalog at Issuu, Or check out my classes page at http://www.ellenanneeddy.com/classes.php

 

Making Dragonflies Fly Tutuorial Part 2 Patternless Applique

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

853 dragonfly in bloom

 

 I have very little patience with patterns, recepis, instructions and general directions. My mother had a phrase for it. She called it a being a pig on ice. What it  meant was that you were being a large and confused creature who needed help and refused it in all forms. Of all people, she should have known. She had her own moments of skidding across slick surfaces.

It’s not that I can’t take direction. It’s that I want to know enough about something that the directions can be veryloose. And I want what I do to be unique.

This is why I teach patternless applique. This is why I do it. I want that freedom. I want you to have that freedom.

So for this video I show you how to form a dragonfly of sheer and brocade fabric just by cutting. 

inn fuse-4.part2 2

 Why? 

Because it’s so simple and fun that even a pig on ice such as myself can’t help but make a great dragonfly every time!

 

 

 

 

infuseAgain, we’re testing out Inn Fuse the new fusible craft film from Innovative Craft. And we tested it here on

  • brocade
  • glitter organza
  • tissue brocade
  • lame

You know, the fabrics you wanted to use but you were scared. Well slide over her, over onto
the ice and join us. It’s a lot of fun.

Thread Magic Garden

Thread Magic Garden

Thread Magic Garden also has more information on patternless applique and

making dragonflies fly! You can find it on my web site,on Amazon or at C&T

Next week we’ll show you the third part of the tutorial, stitching soft and hard edge applique!

10799_SP_Part2 (1)_Page_12

Making Dragonflies Fly/: A New Tutorial on Fusing with Sheers and Inn Fuse

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

You’ll also find this tutorial on You tube

471 Waterlily Waltz

 

infuse This week I have my first of three tutorials up for you on using Inn Fuse, Innovative Craft’s new fusible film. Iwas particularly excited to hear we have a new fusible film. I’ve been a Steam a Seam fan for some while, but since there’s been trouble getting Steam a Seam I’ve had to rethink how I workThere are several things that really mattered to me. Like release paper and the ablity to reposition my pieces. So when Inn Fuse came out, I was estatic to find a product with both those properties. I talked about this in an erlier post called A Box full of Rocks. Inn Fuse has  those  properties and some very fine virtues all it’s own. 

But whenever we have new products, they change how we work, how we think and what is possible. And there are some differences.

Inn Fuse is a lot stickier. It’s based on a nail polish remover solvent instead of  an alchohol base solvent. It can be run through an ink jet printer. And it’s amazing for all kinds of sheers as well as for cottons. Of course, it takes a little special handling.

So in the interest of not giving you a recipe for a cake that won’t rise, I’ve put three tutorials up. This one we’ll build a background on hand dyed cotton using all kinds of sheers and Inn Fuse. 

Here’s some of suggestions for using Inn Fuse:

  • Use teflon scissors:
  • Back your fabric with the release paper to make your cutting easier.
  • Use a pin to separate the glue from the paper
  • Use a discardable piece of cotton as your pressing cloth.
  • Iron thoroughly at a medium heat.
  • Don’t be afraid to be sheer! I used lace, tulle, organza, glitter organza, cheesecloth and oriental brocade. It worked on them all.

I’ll put up the next two segments over the next couple weeks. Look for them there.

You’ll find more information about Inn Fuse at Innovative Crafts.

teflon scissorsYou’ll find teflon Scissors at Havel. 

You’ll find me in studio cutting a whole bunch of dragonflies to be fused.

 

 

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Ann Arbor and then Thread Magic Summer School

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Tomorrow I’m heading up for Ann Arbor the their Quilting Unlimited Festival, where I’ll be teaching this weekend. I’ve got my usual pile of  thread, books, kits, toys and quilts and I’m ready to go. I’ll be teaching the Stitch Mastery Book, Applique Master, Bobbin work Flowers and Button hole Binding. If you’re anywhere near, come and join us. You’ll find more information on their web site at http://www.gaaqg.com/qu2013/.

QU_2013_flyer898 Dragonfly in the Clearing

When I get back I’m going to start up Thread Magic Summer School Session. If you joined us last year, you know it’s an intense week of blog classes, this time on color theory outside the box.We’re going to talk about how and why color works the way it does. It’s kind of like class camp for grownups, where we focus on quilting, color, art, expression and fiber. The first lesson will start August 12. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s a great way to stretch your knowledge. 

Join me both places! This is going to be fun.

Ellen

A Box of Rocks: The Kiss Principle in Practice Made Better with a New Fusible

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

634 Wind over Water 2If you do nature quilts, at some point you’ll want to do rocks.  Rocks do a lot of a quilt. They give a hard edge to a quilt. They give weight to the bottom of the piece. They make an uneven edge that makes for a more natural work. Over the years I’ve embroidered rocks, painted rocks, crumpled fabric to make rocks, used dyed cheesecloth, organza and sheers. Rocks are a case of the kiss principle. They seem to be best if you keep it simple, Sweetie.

hand dyed fabricThe best rocks I’ve ever made have been simple hand dyed fabric. The shading and variation of hand dye is perfect. And it’s the perfect task when you have the brains left of a somewhat tired out ardvark. I can cut rocks when I’ve got no brains at all left.Of course if you stitch around a rock with a solid color it looks like it came from OZ. I use a soft edge applique technique, minimal zigzag stitching around the rock with monofilament nylon, for the best effect.

But, it does help to have a good way to apply them.

Lately we’ve had some problems with available fusibles. So a new product on the market is a special rare treat. I have several things I ask of my fusibles.

 

  • They need to be paper backed. I’m not accurate enough to cut an unbacked fusible and not make an unholy mess. They gush glue out the edges when you iron them.
  • They need to tack on. I hate ironing on anything twice. 
  • They need to fuse cleanly and thoroughly. No popping up like a jack in a box.

infuse

I was over the moon to hear about Inn Fuse, the new tacking fusible from Innovative Crafts. Even more so  after I tested it out. And there’s no better test for that than cutting a box of rocks. It exceeded my expectations. I was working with the 9″ x 12″  sheets.

First off, the film has no texture of it’s own. It’s a slick simple film. That means it doesn’t show through sheers as a texture. The film sticks thoroughly to the fabric before you iron it. It fuses cleanly and quite tightly. I’m thinking I have a brand new favorite fusible. And a good size box of rocks.

fabric rocks

I’ll be very excited to work more with this and will report on it. But I’m bringing it into class next week at the Ann Arbor Quilt in, and I am confident to bring it to students.

You’ll find Inn Fuse on their web site at Innovative Crafts. They’ve got a number of other stabilizer/batt products that are just that, innovative. You’ll also find it at most Bernina stores, and wholesale at Brewer Sewing. And in my studio where I intend to make a whole lot more than rocks.

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