Posts Tagged ‘free motion’

Gilding in the Lily- Embellishing Novelty Prints

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Gilding the Lily Class Sample detailMost of the time, I don’t use prints for quilting. I love them. But I don’t want to necessarily do what they want me to do. And I don’t want to fight them. This batik makes a fabulous start for embellishment. It’s a large, lovely simple print perfect for embellisment.

 

 

 

print for embellishingBut a great print can be a great springboard for embroidery, and a great way to build free motion skills. Pick an exciting oversized print with clear lines and great design and you can dress it up with your stitching like a dolly.

I took this print and some metallic threads and got stitching.

 

Embellishing

  1. stabilizer sandwich  Make a sandwich: Stabilize your fabric with a layer of felt, and pellon  sandwich underneath. This amount of stitching needs stabilization to keep your piece reasonably flat.

 

 

  1. threads   
  2. Pick some great threads. These are metallic Supertwists from Madiera. They’re 30 weight, and somewhat transparent, so they won’t completely obliterate the print when you stitch over it.

 

  1. stitching feathers2Set your machine for a straight stitch. Use a top stitching 90 needle and a polyester embroidery thread in the bobbin. Use a small darning foot, preferably for straight stitching.

 

stippling

Trace the print with your stitching. Cover as much or as little as feels good.

 

 

 

Pick a contrasting thread to stipple around the print elements. This is a metallic thread called FS 2/20 by Madeira.

thread for stipping

 

 

 

 

 

A little stitching glitter can make a delightful print simply magical. Add some stitching to wearables, to your quilting or to make a small wonderful hanging. It’s worth gilding a lily.

You’ll find great prints everywhere, but I have some for you in my Inspiration Kits at my Etsy Store, Raid My Fabric Stash. You’ll find metallic Madeira threads at  Madeirausa.com. Gilding the Lily is also a class that I offer to students for guilds, stores and groups. It’s a great way to build your stitching skills!
gilted piece

Raid My Fabric Stash: A New Etsy Store

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

 

The resurrected vacuum Cleaner

The resurrected vacuum Cleaner

 

New Etsy Store

New Etsy Store

 

 

 

 

I have just risen triumphant over my vacuum cleaner again.Those who know me know there is a ritual vacuum cleaning in my house once every seven years, if needed. It’s not quite that bad but close. I have to have a task I really don’t want to do do get around to vacuuming first. Say like cleaning out the basement cat pottie. Digging out the 85 rogue dock plants on the side yard.  Finding what really is in the refrigerator.

I got all the dogs into the yard to avoid attack mode on either side. And turned it on.

The noise was astonishing. The response, not so much. The little tornado inside simply didn’t step up. So I turned it on its head and went about a game called “What’s your mechanical perversion?” Usually that’s a one to five minute round  exercise.

Not this time. It didn’t take long to discover the cloth bedroom slipper stuck in the rotor. Pulled that  out. Fired it up. More non-action.

So we attacked with a screw driver to find the busted belt and there is was.  A trip off to the store and back, belt in my pocket. Got the belt on and still no action.

So as a final act, I took the broom handle out for a walk and jammed it up  the hose. All the way.

Out popped an odd and awful thing that I think once was a chunk of wood. It’s now sucking in a much more acceptable way.

ellen webThe point to all of this is that it ought to easier. Sometimes it simply isn’t. It isn’t like there’s a simple fix. There’s the round after round of hits and answers to those hits that in themselves should be small, but as a group, they’re devastating. And one fix alone won’t do it. 

I’ve just had this happen in a medical way as well. Two months ago I ended up briefly in the hospital for what looked like a heart attack. It turns out I have massive high blood pressure which can easily be medically controlled.  But, because of the medical systems in place, my only option to discover this was an emergency room visit and an overnight hospitalization. 

I’m healing and my meds are regularized. But the financial consequences are overwhelming.  I’m in the process of negotiating that, but in that economy it may still be career ending.  As a working person with a small amount of money, there is no chance of medical monetary aid. As a single self employed person there is no way to purchase meaningful insurance. I am uninsured and pretty sure that the hospital will demand what I have, even if it impoverishes me and takes my studio.

eddy class brochure_Page_01webSo, like the vacuum cleaner, I have a few simple tools. I am still able to teach and am delighted to continue that. It’s been my life. I hope it continues to be my life. If your guild, group or store would like me to teach, that would be wonderful. You’ll a find a complete list of classes on my site  and a full class catalog on  on scribd.com

 

 

 

I have a mountain of fabric that I’ve collected over the years. I’m going to begin to destash, and I invite you to Raid My Fabric Stash, a new Etsy store started by my truly desperate self. And remind you that I have the mother of all stash of sheers, hand dyes, and other wonders. I invite you to raid my stash. We’ll have new offerings up every week. We’re starting with some fabric/fiber inspiration kits. More will be coming soon.

If you’ve ever wanted a quilt of mine, this is the time. Check the web site,  see if there’s a piece you would like and contact me directly. I can offer a 30-50% discount depending on the piece. Call me and we’ll make that happen. I’ll also list some pieces on the Etsy site just to see what happens. 

It really should be easier. But it’s not. I don’t like to ask for help. But I’m trying every way I can, to figure my answers out.

Bless you!

Ellen

 

Mushroooooooooming! A new Mushroom Class

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


I’m from a long line of Hobbits.  It’s pretty actual,  actually. My father’s people came from Durham and he topped the clan at a whopping 5’6″ in his loafers. I might have been taller if I hadn’t fallen down staircases as a child for a hobby. I am now officially 4’11.5″ We count it all.

I believe that Tolkein tapped into a basic fact of English history. Very short, very smart, rural  people who were always England’s backbone. Thumbalina was my family’s unofficial theme song. And he was totally right about the need for Shroooms! So every so often, I feel a desperate urge to do mushrooms. Fried. In Pizza. Sauteed with bacon. and in Quilts!

Handdyed cheesecloth makes the most wonderful background for mushrooms. I fuse it on with Steam A Seam 2  and free motion in a painterly way. I had some British friends at church explain to me that these are not mushrooms. They are toadstools. Either way, how can you resist.

Look for  the premier of this great 3 hour class, making mushrooms at Ginger’s Spycewear Sewing Center in Crown Point. Kit  and classroom machines available. You’ll come out of class with a great embroidered mushroom that can seamlessly go on any quilt, jacket, or other project. And some new great thread painting skills.

You’ll find the Hobbit at Amazon.com. If you haven’t read it you’ve missed a marvel. The movie is coming in December.

You’ll find more information about Spyceware Sewing Center on two of my blogs

New Apron Class and

Little Store Miracles

On their face book page

and their web site

 

 

Pat Jones: Mountain Fringe Girl

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

 

 

I met Pat Jones at the Mountain Laurel Guild in Georgia. The whole guild was full of wild gardeners and astonishing fiber artists. Pat fits right in. She lives in a cabin up the mountain where birds sing to her right off her porch, looking down the gorge. It’s another world.

Pat tells me I gave her permission in my first book to try things. And she has. She’s this quiet and very proper southern gal doing wonderfully wild things with her thread and fabric.

She took my flower class, and being a master gardener herself, she build one incredible flower garden.

Here’s what she had to say about it.

“First, THANK YOU for your visit with us in June.  We were ALL blown away by your work!  What inspiration!  As a result, I had to put all the work I was in the middle of aside and try your techniques.  This is my first attempt, and I plan to do MANY more!  I have a long way to go….got to learn to be FREE!  What a joy you are and your work is gorgeous, on top of that, your teaching is so excellent that it makes us feel confident that we can try it. 
The pink flowers in the wall hanging were stitched onto a felt background then stitched on the background fabric sandwich.  That made them raised a little and I really like the effect.  The center of the flowers is all thread stitched onto Ultra Solvy then applied.  The butterfly is, of course, Angelina.  The wisteria is made of tubes of hand painted organza and silk. 
This past Tuesday was guild and it made a splash with the girls!!!”
There’s no way to know where she’ll go next with her work, but she’s unstoppable. I can’t wait to see.

Technologically Egged!

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

 

Have you ever had a perfect teacher? Who never made a mistake? Who was always right no matter what?

Well, that would not be me. I thought that the quizzes would indeed be postable to the facebook page. When I went to look for them, there were none there. When I went to goodreads.com I found 44 people had indeed taken the quizz but there was  no place where I could check for who they were. OOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!

Since this was a disaster from the point of people posting results, we’re going to let everyone win. I’m going to request that everyone who took the test email me with their book choice. I’ll pick three physical book winners at random and send ebooks to everyone else. With my apologies.

So, if you’ve liked summer school and taken your test email me and tell me which book you would like. Your choices are: 

Dragonfly Sky ISBN978-0-9822901-2-5 Dragonfly Sky This delightful dragonfly project  focuses on bobbin work with thick and thin threads, angelina fiber, on soft edge appliqué. It has an inspirational gallery section, a full set of instructions, patterns, sources and  tips.

Lady Bug’s Garden ISBN 97809822901-3-2Ladybug’s Garden A step by step project book that covers free motion zigzag appliqué, soft edge, hard edge, and  cut away appliqué. Pattern, tips and sources included. 

Dye Day Workbook ISB97809822901-8-7  Ellen Anne Eddy’s Dye Day Workbook: A whirlwind class in color theory, has color charts throughout for both Dharma and Pro Chem, gives Ellen’s particular recipes for her famous light source fabric and step by step instruction for both dyeing fabric and hand-dyed threads.]

Easy Machine Binding Techniques

ISBN 97809822901-1-8 Ellen Anne Eddy’s Quick and Easy Machine Binding Techniques Easy and fun binding techniques without a hand stitch in them. Cut continuous bias with a rotary cutter. Use the quick Flip and Fold bias method to whiz through applying bias. Make beautiful corded edges instantly without stitching by hand. Ellen Anne Eddy, Author of Thread Magic, offers you a collection of simple speedy skills for finishing your masterpieces.

If you just want an ebook and you didn’t take the test or read the blog, there’s not much I can do about that. It doesn’t really hurt me but it does cheat you. 

 If you’re wishing you could kick me around the room for having set up a test situation that did not work, please get in line. You’ll have to wait until I’m finished.

Seriously, I do want to know if you liked this. If you did, we’ll do it again. If you have problems with it, let me know and we’ll see how we can improve it.

Please send your email  with your comments and book choice  to me at ellenanneeddy@gmail.com

Ellen

Thread Magic Summer School: Hand-dyed Threads

Monday, July 16th, 2012

We’ve talked about the commercial thick metallic threads. They’re yummy.As your asking yourself, “What more could you need?”, think of this. They don’t come in very good variegations. 

Variegated thread is sort of a mixed blessing in almost all the commercial threads. There are two basic types. There are threads variagated through rainbow colors. These make great stippling threads. The color changes carry your eye across the surface and they’re very interesting for that. But they’re miserable to shade with. Who, over the age of three, wants a random rainbow colored anything? It’s a serious limit. 

They also come with small variegations, that range around one color. Again, it’s a limited effect. Finally you’ll find pearl cottons that range in value from white to the darkest tone of the color. This works for flowers, but for anything else, it looks like it fades in and out. These threads were never made to shade solid images.

#5 weight pearl cotton

This is why I dye thread. I’ve learned that the best way to color an image is to have a range of colors, light to dark and then to add a shader for weight and a shocker for interest. With thinner threads, you pick your colors one by one. But thicker threads fill up quicker and don’t have enough space to let you do that. So when I dye my own threads, I dye in that range and a shocker or shader( sometimes one color works for both purposes) so that thread will automatically shade as I stitch.

The threads I dye are #5 Pearl cottons. They’re made from mercerized cotton and dye beautifully! And they’re already washed out and needle ready( I wash out all my red threads an extra time, just to insure their color fastness). Slightly larger than the #8 metallics, they are a perfect thread for bobbin weight work.

You could dye smaller or larger threads. It’s a matter of taste. But it helps that #5 comes in a dyers hank( a loop of thread, as apposed to a wound up spool).

It sounds complicated. But the dyeing makes it a simple coloring exercise. And I never stay within the lines, so I don’t see why you should either.

Pearl cotton and metallic mixed

You put these threads in an adjusted  or bypassed bobbin and stitch from the back. The results are spectacular.  I used to believe that you shouldn’t mix pearl cotton with metallics. Boy was I wrong. It’s trickier for shading but incredibly lovely. I often add either black  or iridescent white Candlelight  for details and to outline.

If you wish to dye your own pearl cotton, it’s very easy. There’s a whole how to section in my Dye Day Workbook. You can also order pearl cotton from me. Email or call me and we’ll set up a box where you can pick what you want and send back the rest. 

We’re almost through our summer school sessions. We have two lessons left and then it’s time for the pop quiz. Bone up, review and get ready.

Thread Magic Summer School, Quiz and Contest.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012


Summer school is a great time to stretch what we know and to add a bit to it. So I’m going to offer you some summer school fun. We’re going to take a couple weeks and review threads. Thick, thin, composition, usage, everything.                                                                                  

I’ll repost some information that has been off the web and write some new. And as always, you need to pay attention. There will be a pop quiz. I’ll post a quiz on the Goodreads Site. The first 3 people who post  the correct answers on my facebook page(you can do this on the quiz site) on July 20th get a signed copy of either choice of Dragonfly Sky, Ladybug’s Garden, Quick and Easy Machine Binding techniques.

Thread Magic Garden

I’ll put up the quiz on Goodreads on July 20th. Be ready. Read up.  Or you can review your copy of Thread Magic and Thread Magic Garden. 

 So Start Reading Up:

Lesson 1: Basic Thread Types 

Thread information is one of the deep dark mysteries of the quilt world. It’s so common we think we should know. Like most things, thread information is more complicated than it looks. And like most things we should know, it’s really unhelpful to should on ourselves.

There are many brands and I have my favorites. I’ll talk about that another time.There are also whole lines of thicker threads, I’ll cover later. But I’d really like to lay the basis of info you need to have about basic thread for machine and free motion embroidery.

Sewing and Embroidery Threads

Sewing threads are three ply threads made for holding pieces of fabric together. They are almost always an unacceptable embroidery thread because they are not made to lie on top of each other.If you sew over them consistently, you can make a surface similar to chain mail. 

Embroidery threads are  usually a two ply thread. They’re finer and they are made to overlap and blend into each other.

Thread Sizes

Threads usually have two numbers on them. One will be a color number. The better quality threads are consistent color-wise and don’t have dye lot issues.So you can buy the same color over and over with confidence.

But the other number is the mystery. We hear about 40 weight thread. What is that?

 Thread sizes are an old measure system. It’s really the thread count per inch. If you laid your threads side by side, how many threads would make an inch?

So a 40 weight thread would be forty threads, side by side. A thirty weight 30 threads. 200 count percale is two hundred threads to the inch.( The same system applies to linens as well). For embroidery purposes, any thread between 12-40 weight can usually work through a top stitching 90 needle( see my early blog on Needle Knows).

These threads can be used either in the bobbin or the needle, zigzag or straight stitch, computerized or free motion. They are the backbone of embroidery.

What’s My Thread Made Of

Threads are made of a number of different fibers.Some are more successful than others. It’s worth knowing how these fibers react when you choose your threads.
Cotton is probably the most basic embroidery thread. It’s strong, comes in many colors and is versatile. It has one flaw that to my mind is unforgivable. It’s not shiny. Magpie that I am, I will confess, I never use it.

Rayon is the most common embroidery thread. It has a lovely sheen and a fine color range. But it’s never strong. Some brands are better than others. I use rayon that’s in my sewing box. But I’ve stopped buying it for myself or for students, unless I simply can’t get the color any other way. It’s never as strong as polyester. In fairness, I do think it blends better than polyester. But the breakage is an annoyance I’m unwilling to offer to students or put up with myself.

Polyester threads are the gold standard of the 40 weight crowd. They’re strong, and the color range is astonishing. They are my go-to, war horse 40 weight thread.

Acrylic threads truly lead me to ask the question, “Why?” These threads are so unstable I don’t even want to see them in someone’s stash. My personal experience with them has been too unpleasant for words. I can’t recommend them. They seem to be set up for computerized embroidery, and perhaps they work better for that.

Garbage in, Garbage out

There are threads I consider a bargain. But when someone tells me about this wonderful thread they found that’s so cheap, I do need to restrain my eye roll.Usually cheap thread is just that. It’s not merely inexpensive. It’s cheap. Save money on something else. You’re time is valuable, and cheap thread usually wastes mountains of time in breakage and bad behavior. Old thread is also a case in point. It will get too old to use, and at that point is no bargain.

Wrapping it up

All that said, the real test of any thread is how it works in your machine. Keep track. You may find that your machine has very different opinions, and in the end, those are the only ones that count for you.

You’ll find my my Goodreads Site here. It has a page of my books and a whole listing of books I’ve either loved reading or shared with people as great source material.

Look for more Thread Magic Summer School coming soon!

Anatomy of a Quilt: Building Elements

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Butterfly Components

I’m currently working on a commissioned quilt for a new family that’s just had a baby. The dad has asked me to do a butterfly quilt, partially for the mom but for his baby daughter as well. Commissions are a privilege. It’s an act of trust, that I am always a bit nervous about.

So I make several approaches possible and go from here. The premise was pink and purple butterflies. So I’ve started the quilt with those. I’m using an applique process where I cut my shapes out on sheer fabric backed with Steam A Seam 2, fuse them into a form, embroider them and then cut them out to use as appliques on the quilt. You’ll find full information on this in my new book Thread Magic Garden.

 

 

Fabric for butterflies

These are my butterfly fabrics. They’re great sheers and an oriental brocade. I buy these wherever I see them, because you never know if you’ll see them again.

 

 

 

butterfly bits on a pressing cloth

Here they are cut out as butterflies. Each butterfly has two teardrop wings, a body and eyes. They’re on a non-stick pressing cloth so I can arrange them.

 

 

 

 

fusing onto the sandwich.

 

Once their formed, I fuse them on to a stabilizer sandwich. This sandwich is made from hand dyed fabric, poly felt, and Decor Bond. This makes a firm embroidery surface that controls some of the distortion that happens with intense embroidery.

 

 

 

I embroider the  butterflies from inside out. First the bodies, then the veins of the wings, then the shadings and finally the outlines. They’re embroidered with a freemotion zigzag stitch and metallic Supertwist threads from Madiera. Finally I added in my bleeding heart blooms as well.

 

in place with the stem

The image at the top is what they look like cut out.
Here’s the rough placement with the stem I have planned.

Next time we’ll talk about backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread Magic Garden

You’ll find information about freemotion applique in my book Thread Magic Garden, available on my site, on Amazon, and at your local quilt store.

Busted Needles and Other Disasters

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Beetles in Blossom

I don’t ever  have a class where someone asks the question, “What happens if I break a needle?” Or the much more useful question, “Why did my needle break?” What is the trick for that?

If you ever saw this scene from Lawrence of Arabia, you know the trick already. The trick is not minding that your needle broke.

What makes your needle break is the fact that it is, by it’s nature, fragile. Metal fatigue is usually the cause. It’s the most fragile part of your machine and it has to work the hardest. That is why your needle broke. So every day, ” New Day, New Needle. New Project, New Needle.” It was never meant to last forever. And a needle about to break is a world of sewing misery. Broken thread, skipped stitches, and in my case, inevitable balding from pulling out my hair in hanks.

But there are some good sewing machine hygiene practices that make the world a better place.

  • Use the right needle for the right job. There’s a whole other post to talk about needles. I’ll do that soon, promise. What I use for almost all free motion embroidery is a 90 topstitching. That’s a sharp needle with a really big eye.
  • Make sure your thread is feeding smoothly. A cone holder can help with older machines. Most new machines can feed either vertically or horizontally. In theory you use a vertical pin for straight wound spools and a horizontal pin for cross wound spools. But if one isn’t working try the other.
  • Make sure nothing is catching the thread. I know it sounds dumb but it will break thread and needles every time. Check to see it isn’t catching on the spool or on something else on your sewing table.
  • Stop whenever you hear a bad sewing noise. Trust me on this. It won’t get better until you fix it.
  • Make sure you have your foot up to thread your machine and your foot down to sew. Putting the foot down closes the tension mechanism. If it’s down you can’t thread the machine properly. If it’s up you can’t sew without making a bird’s nest underneath. Once that  happens, again, nothing good will happen until you intervene.
  • If you break a needle, clean your sewing machine. You want to make sure there isn’t a bit of broken needle in there, scratching your hook.

Do I break needles? Bless your heart! I plan on breaking at least 5 needles on a six hour sewing day. I purchase them in that kind of quantity. Do I mind? No. That’s the trick

Schamburg Expo

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Introducing people to bobbin work on the H Q Sweet Sixteen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at the Schamburg Show at Quilters’ Haven’s booth on Friday Showing off the Sweet Sixteen. I sat most of the day doing bobbin work. There is nothing like watching people try something new. It occurred to me afterwards that that is exactly what expos are for.

Where else can you talk to dozens of different shopkeepers in one place? Or try out new paint sticks? Or buy all kinds of new notions. Wade through the thread booth. Or see all the new fabric. Or drool quite so over all the quilts ( albeit at a distance). It’s easy at this point in my career to be a bit jaded. I felt that way until  I stumbled into Laura Murray’s booth and walked out with an indecent amount of paint sticks which she’d graceously showed me how to use correctly. (Don’t ask. Trust me. I was doing it wrong.)

There’s a miracle that happens when you see new things. Your mind grows to take them in. Just a little. There’s also a miracle that happens when you show people new things. You remember just how cool at that is.

Now who wants to pass up a miracle?

You’ll find Quilters’ Haven at

Quilters Haven
4616 E. STATE ST.
ROCKFORD, IL 61108
(815) 227-1659
qulthaven@aol.com

They’re an awsome store committed to helping you find the best new cool way to make you able to make  what you want to happen with your quilting, happen.

You’ll find Sweet Sixteens

there too, and you may well fall in love. I have.

You’ll find Laura Murray’s very cool stuff at her site, www.lauramurraydesigns.com.

And you’ll need to wait for another expo to luck out and find them all neatly in one room.

 

The Quilt and Sewing Expo

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I’ll be at the Quilters Haven/ Handi Quilters booth (Booth 722) in Schamburg, IL on Friday. at the Schamburg Quilting and Sewing Expo. I’ll be playing with the HQ Sweet Sixteen and signing copies of my new book, Thread Magic Garden.

I’ll be working with some special thick threads and showing how you can do bobbin work on long/mid arm machines.  This zentangle inspired flower is part of a sampler series I’ve been working on.

I’ll also have copies of Thread Magic Garden, Thread Magic, and other smaller Thread Magic press books available for sale. Come and play with us. I promise to let you touch the quilts.

The Expo is open from 10:00am – 6:00pm, same hours tomorrow and Saturday: 10:00am – 5:30pm. Schaumburg Convention Center1551 North Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg, IL 60173.

Roses White and Red: The Coloring of Roses

Monday, March 19th, 2012

We all grew up with this lovely bit of Alice in Wonderland! How fun! And sort of edgy. The Red queen demands her roses red. But we all know that roses come in all kinds of colors. We don’t quite have a true black or blue rose yet, unless you count the silk offerings, but the rose world is not confined.

 

Roses red and white

But even if we are talking about red and white roses, reality demands more than just red and white coloring. Why?

 

 

A rose in a blue background is full of blue reflectio

ALL COLOR IS LIGHT!

I’m sure that’s not a revelation. But it’s true. You’re white rose in moon or sunlight looks very different. Silver edges. Blue and purple shadows. Green streaks. Call the rose doctor? No. it’s the magic of shade and shadowIt’s true of red roses in the sun as well. Streaks of orange, pink, purple and green give us dimension. Without that we have a flat blob of color, not a lovey rose.

But here is the heart of the mystery. The color of everything in your quilt is shaded and formed by the color of your background. Is it blue? Then everything is in that blue light.

 

 

This rose needs its oranges, purples and greens against the copper/grey background.Is it an odd sunlit grey? Again, it’s all colored by that.

 

 

 

 

 

This is all true unless you go into something abstract, at which you get to choose your heart’s delight. But do know, when you choose wildly, that itself abstracts your rose.

 

 

What colors should you choose? Only you can tell. But here’s some tips

  • A wide range of colors gives you much more dimension. Red or white, pick colors that give you lots of darks and lights within that shade.
  • White is white, but just white is a blob again. Use pastels, and dark shaded purples and greens for drama. Or use iridescent thread or gold or silver. Strangely enough, they often register as white.
  • Thread is a tiny element. You can use a lot of very bright thread and still have a subtle effect. So go wild!
  • Almost all flowers have streaks of green. Why not? Another excuse for lime!
  • Ignore color names. You’re talking about something non-verbal. So think with your eyes only.
  • Choose your colors next to each other, and if possible in the same light they’re be seen in.
  • Use complementary colors for deep shading. Very dramatic.

Most of all, don’t permit the color police in your head. Color outside the lines and be as wild as your heart.

You’ll find a whole chapter about coloring flowers in my book Thread Magic Garden on my web page at www.ellenanneeddy.com. You’ll find   many of these rose quilts, ready to bloom on your walls, in the gallery section. I hope your garden is blooming too!

 

New Article in Quilt Magazine

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

 

I have an interview on thread in the new April/ May Quilt Magazine! Cynthia Van Hazinga interviewed me for a great article called the Art of Thread in the new issue. She also interviewed Linda Mathews and Susan Brisco. Talk about three very different approaches and three very different kinds of work.  It’s amazing and wonderful to see how endless the possibilities are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My part starts on page 65 if your looking!

Thanks Cynthia for doing such a good article! It was fun.

You’ll find Quilt Magazine at http://www.quiltmag.com/or on newstands everywhere.

Linda Mathews web page is at http://www.linda-matthews.com/

Susan Brisco is at http://www.susanbriscoe.co.uk/

Check it out! And try a really different thread today!

 

 

Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Theater

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
 I was wandering around on the web  today and found this great segment that AQS taped for me at the Des Moines Show this Fall.




This is a very nice tutorial for making flowers out of simple shapes. They taped this the last day of the show. I ran in and babbled like a brook.


But I found it and listened to it today. I didn’t ummm. And it felt as good to listen to it as to do it.


Build some cool flowers. For heaven’s sake leave the patterns out.  Build something wild, while you’re under the gun. It is, after all, time honored.

Thread Magic Garden Is Ready for Pre-order!

Friday, December 30th, 2011
Thread Magic Garden will be arriving for shipment around January 20th. You can pre-order your copy today!
You never really know what a project will take until you see it done. Perhaps that’s good. A good dream well done should take your whole heart’s effort and give you your heart back in return.

When I started this book, I had no idea it would take 2 years to finish. Part of that is that I had to learn so much to do this book.  Part of that is the meticulous process C&T puts into every book.  I got my premier copy a week ago.I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling. It’s past my expectations. I’m hoping you’ll feel that way too.

When I started this book, I wanted to continue what I’d accomplished with Thread Magic. I wanted to show folk ways of adding wild free motion to quilts that set things hearts and imaginations on fire. I wanted to set up instructions that would take you through your own process with this. You’ll have to let me know how I’ve  done when you read the book.
But for those of you who’ve known me in class or in print, you know I don’t give recipes for cakes that don’t rise. I tell you everything I know. I also don’t do anything really hard. I just do things that are time consuming and compulsive.
So here is what we have.
  • Fifty eye popping new quilts in the gallery
  • A patternless approach to design
  • Intuitive applique that makes creating flowers  easy and fun


Tutorials in

  • Color theory for flowers
  • Corded buttonhole  binding
  • Angelina Fiber
  • 6 Free motion zigzag stitches
  • Machine Beading
  • Globbing
  • Sandwich stabilizing

I’m hoping I’ve done a good job of opening doors, traveling a new path, leaving good bread crumbs for anyone who wants to follow, and breaking the best rules I could find to break. See you on the trail.


You can  pre-order your copy of Thread Magic Garden at 
www.ellenanneeddy.com


Lauren Strach: A Botanical Lunatic with a Plan

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Lauren doesn’t look like a lunatic. She looks like a pink cheeked soccer mom. Look out! Stand back! 

She’s an emerging art quilter who attacks new approaches and techniques with gleeful ferocity. And masters them with passion. Every time she visits me, I find myself flying to my machine, inspired by her intensity.

Lauren says,

“My inspiration, like so many other quilters, comes from nature. 



As a life-long biologist and Master Gardener, I thought I saw nature, but it wasn’t until I embraced my artful journey that I began to really see.  My inspiration is found in the whorls of snail shells, the miniature worlds of mosses and lichens, the rugged nooks and crannies of the bark of the fallen tree, and the intricate shading and nuances in the early spring wildflowers. And, the more I see, the more I see.

The act of translating that vision in line, pattern and color into textile recreations introduces the next level of AHA!  It is an ever fascinating challenge to take the experience of seeing with eyes wide open, to shape it into form. From the fantastical realism of exaggerated insects, to the abstracted likeness of the quintessential flower bud, I seek to uncover the universal codes, to bring them to life with fabric and thread.  Tactile, textile translations of the mysteries of nature, celebrating the wonders of life, that is where I find my inspiration.

Lauren’s work has been showed at both Paducah and Houston. She was a finalist in the $100,000 Quilt Challenge. Where will she show next? It could be anywhere. If she doesn’t send it in, it’s likely 
to fly in on it’s own.



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