Posts Tagged ‘Thread Magic Garden’

A Summer School Gift for You

Sunday, August 18th, 2013
color outside the wheel.indd_Page_01

Color Outside the Wheel An Ebook for you!

We’ve had a great week. I hope you’ve learned some great new ways to approach color, past picking the colors off the wheel. I need to thank Caryl Bryer Fallert, Kathy Weaver, and Susan Shie for letting me explore colors in their magificent work.

french toast

French Toast, Susan Shie

Robo Sapien Agent 4

Robo Sapien Agent 4 Kathy Weaver

Feather Study 1 by Caryl Bryer Fallert

Feather Study 1 by Caryl Bryer Faller

 I need to thank Monique, Kleinhans, Rebecca Dorian Brown, Lauren Strach, Joan Davis, and Roberta Hoover Ranney for letting me put them in places of honor on the refrigerator gallery.

 

I have the answers to your tests here. Not that that matters. The real test is, does this change how you think? What you choose? And that’s as much a test for me as for you. But here’s your answers.

Color cast is
C. whether colors lean towards the sun or the shade.

2. The color wheel is
C. a map of color relationships.

3. Differences in value
A. help us sort things visually 

4. We all recognize the same color names
B. False

5. Color temperature is about
 C. Both

6. Color theory works the same for mixing colors as picking colors.
B. False
1
7. All blues are the same.
 B. False

8. Everyone sees color the same way
 B. False

9. Differences in hues are
 B. differences in light and dark

10. Contrast
C. Pops out the figure from the ground

11. You should never use a color your hate.
 B. False

12. Color theory is
 B. A theory that works up to a point. C. 

color outside the wheel.indd_Page_01As a gift to my students. I’ve packaged up this class in an ebook you can enjoy and work with at home. Thanks for being such good students. And go color off the wheel. You can download it at issuu.com or click the picture for a link.

Next week I’m exploring the new box of Inn Fuse that Innovative Craft sent me so I can do a demo for them. And, of course, for you

Lessons from My Garden:Color Musings

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

804 Allium and ButterflyMy garden has gone bersonkers. Perhaps it’s all that rain. Or my friends who morris dance in it from time to time. One of the things I enjoy most is the cycle of change measured by my flowers. The garden starts as yellow daffs, goes through a multicolor, but mostly red tulip phase, and then lands in the purple part of May/June

 

peonie 2This is the time of peonies and alliums.

I have regular peonies.  But they take a back seat to the Chinese peonie trees I put in years ago. They stand as a tree and have spectacular 6-8 inch blooms in pinks, purples and reds.


alliumAlliums are a huge purple  garlic bloom. How could you go wrong? Add another  color peonies and the garden starts to sing in purple.

purples chart wWhy is it so exciting? A look at the color wheel makes it plain. We”re playing with complements again. But on top of that we have colors on either side. So we have an analogous color combination  as well. The colors make a split analogous grouping which really is my favorite way to play. You get all the smooth colors from an analogous color arc and the excitement of a complement group.

Remember that  the color wheel is not just about mixing color. It’s not just red and blue make purple. Instead, it’s a mapping of color relationships.  We respond to the relationships of color, who they are next to each other, much more than we respond to one color or another separately. And we can spin the dial to create to reproduce that relationship with another set of colors entirely.

Next time I’ll take you for a spin on the color wheel using Photoshop as our guide.

Wanting to build your own pattern free quilt garden? Check out my book

Thread Magic Garden Until then, make sure you bathe in the colors.

 

 

Once More with Feeling: Abstract by Accident

Friday, February 15th, 2013
815 butterly garden

Butterfly Garden

The best thing about working in series is that it’s fertile ground for all kinds of wonderful accidents. When you’re working on one idea, other ideas pop up. And best of all, there are left overs.
Now left overs for dinner are only as good as dinner itself. If they’re good their gold. If they’re not, it’s likely you’ll find them three weeks later in your fridge covered with light green growth. But when they’re great they lead to great discoveries. And when they’re fabric, they wait patiently for their time, without going moldy.

I’ve struggled for years to abstract my work. It’s not a natural thing for me. But while I was writing Thread Magic Garden, I quilted Butterfly Garden while I was exploring what made a lollipop flower (every child’s first flower) a recognizable flower. It’s either a saucer shape, a group of shapes circling a center or a bowl shape. 

 

817 Grotto gem detail lI had a left over. It reminded me of those great spring drop flowers like trout lilies and checkered fritillaria
817 Grotto GemSo I put it into a green wet background with spring mist. I like this quilt but it’s not abstract. It’s fantasy. 
824 jazzed c stalk tnWhat brought me into abstract, was breaking down into just petals. When I broke things down into their shapes, I was past just the flower. I made a pathway and put the petals on the path. Instead of making a specific flower, I’d made a shape that was past that.
831-daylily-dance So when I went to do Daylilies, I made C shapes that reminded me of dragon claws.
dd2I put them into bunches that made my flowers and nailed the centers with an elegant spiral. Then I placed them along a pathway,

SAQA Journal just printed my story about Daylily Dance. It could never have happened if I weren’t working in a series, and following blindly where it went.

Thread Magic Garden

Thread Magic Garden

You’ll find all kinds of ideas for creating abstract and real fabric flowers in my book Thread Magic Garden. It’s not just my journey. It’s the beginning of yours.

You’ll find more about working in series on my blog at http://www.ellenanneeddy.com/weblog/
Watch for a special offer and a special gift this weekend!

Classes at the National Quilt Museum

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Source: bing.com via Ellen Anne on Pinterest

There’s two really great things about quilt classes at the National Quilt Museum. One is that it’s the National Quilt Museum and the people who come to class here are spectacular. The other is that it’s the National Quilt Museum, which is the epicenter of support, information, and exposure for quilters and especially art quilters. Don’t think you won’t see spectacular traditional quilts. You will. But the art quilts there are of a caliber that makes my heart sing. It’s a bit of quilt heaven in every way.

I taught a three day class here that made my heart sing too. Astonishing students! We worked mostly on flower studies out of my new book Thread Magic Garden. But what they came up with was their very own.

 

Top it off with a lunch at Caryl Bryer Fallert’s Bryer Patch Studio.Caryl is a quilting legend whose work has revolutionized the quilt world for 30 years.  Caryl graciously had us all to lunch and showed off her latest work and her fabulous Paducah studio.

 

Here are some images from class. If you’d like to see more, check my facebook page at Thread Magic Studio.

What a class like this does is really build all kinds of skills. The luxury of three days in class (and a late evening session) means that people get to refine what they’re learning into what they do.

From my point of view, I’m still bending my head around the notion that these people have a quilt of mine in the museum. It’s still a moment standing in front of Dancing in the Light in a museum setting and saying, “Yep. That one’s mine. I’m still looking for the other Ellen Eddy who must have quilted it.

So support the National Quilt Museum either by visiting or by becoming a friend of the museum. Take lovely 3 day classes when you get the chance to really dive into a new technique with a teacher.  And celebrate this brave new world where we have real museums that support, preserve, show and educate quilters as the artists we know that we are.

You’ll find  information about the National Quilt Museum on their web site at http://www.quiltmuseum.org/.

You’ll find more information about Caryl Bryer Fallert on her web site at http://www.bryerpatch.com/

You’ll find the gallery pictures on my face book page at https://www.facebook.com/ellenanneeddy. If you’re from class and you want to tell more about those pictures, log in and you can!

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.

Ilini County Stitchers

Monday, July 30th, 2012

 just had the nicest visit with the Ilini County Stitchers in Champagne/Urbana, Illinois.

This is a guild I’ve visited before. There’s nothing nicer than coming back to a guild you’ve taught at. Firstly, they’ve told you they like you by asking you back. I don’t know a nicer compliment for a teacher. But secondly you get to see the wonderful ways they’ve grown.

This is an arty guild with a lot of passion for new ideas. So you can only imagine. And they didn’t disappoint me. 

 

 They did three classes .Guilding the Lily is a class where we take a great print and embellish it with beautiful straight stitch thread work.

Thread Magic Mastery is where we work with every kind of thread.

 

 

Bobbin Work Flowers is a little class where we make bobbin work applique flowers with lovely thick threads. 

Here’s some of the fabulous things they did!

Heaven’s knows what they’ll do next. I can barely wait to see! 

 If you had a teacher you loved in class, consider more classes or retreats with them down the road. As they say you can’t walk into the same river because the river has changed and so have you.  But the new things you’ve learned and that they’ve learned help you reach a whole different level.   And your new people in the guild will be thrilled with their new skills too. And isn’t that what class is all about?

You’ll find the Ilini County Stitchers  at their web site at http://illinicountrystitchers.com/

The Illini Country Stitchers hold regular meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of each month except in November (second and third Thursday) and December (second Thursday only) at 7 PM at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 905 S. Russell St., Champaign, IL. Visitors and Guests are always welcome. What a fabulous heartland guild!

 

 

 

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: Pop Quiz and Contest

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

 

Me and my altar ego

I had a fabulous teacher in high School English named Ms. Driscoll. She was odd, brilliant and the perhaps the best teacher I ever had. She terrorized generations of students into good grammar, excellent literary criticism and strong writing. I owe her a great deal. When she gave a test, we would ask her if it was hard. She always said,” Do you know the answers? It’s not at all hard if you know the answers.” So today, when I put up this test, if you’ve been reading this blog, you already know the answers. But that’s what a good test does. It doesn’t judge you or place you. It tells you what you know. That’s always useful.

The Quiz is on Goodreads on my author page. Why bother with the quiz? It helps you refine your own knowlege.


And I’m giving away free books.

  • Take your quiz. Post your results on facebook on the Thread Magic Studio Page  Tomorrow I’ll pick three names out of the hat for your choice of these books. Choose between

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 WorkbooISB97809822901-8-7  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.

 

Originally I said we would pick the first three people who posted their correct quiz. But that’s not fair to those of us who aren’t fast. I’ll take all the correct answers and pick three names out of the hat for the book of their choice.

While you’re at Goodreads you can

How fun is that?
We’ll pick winners tomorrow
Check out my list of art source books

Thread Magic Summer School 3: Metallic Threads

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Metallic threads are different from all other kinds. Largely because they are hybrids. Rayons, polys and cottons are all of one piece. It makes them stronger. It makes them more integral. It’s rare to even have a rayon (the most fragile of the three) that won’t work easily and well through the needle.


Not so with metallics.Most people report they have trouble sewing with metallic thread. It’s also always harder free motion. Why?


It’s All in How It’s Made

Metallic threads are usually a combination of lurex, viscose(rayon), polyester, and whatever else was in the test tube. They’re usually wound together in the process. Of course, whatever is wound can be unwound. So it makes sense that under the stress of sewing, these threads are much more likely to break.

There are three basic forms of metallic thread

Flecked Thread

These threads are twisted with the components all together. They have an appearance of flecked sparkles.These tend to be the strongest of the metallic threads. My favorite flecked threads are the Madeira Supertwists.These threads work either in needle or bobbin, zigzag or straight.


Wound thread

This thread has a poly or rayon core with lurex or metal wrapped  around it.These threads vary a lot, depending on what the core is, and whether the wrapping is glued on or not. My favorite wound thread are  Superior Metallic, and Yenmet, which have a poly core and are glued supposedly with rice paste. These threads work either in needle or bobbin, zigzag or straight.


Flat Threads

These threads look like Christmas tinsel. They’re flat and nothing but lurex. They’re notoriously breakable.

But they are lovely. I use them in the bobbin only.


The Three Best Tricks

Here are the three best tricks for making metallic thread work better.

The Bobbin vs the Needle

Every thread that goes through your needle goes through it 50 times. That’s a lot of wear and tear. If it goes through your bobbin it gets picked up just once. So if your thread is breaking, sew with it in the bobbin with a poly or rayon thread that matches it in color on top. Much less breakage.

The Right Needle

The best needle for all free motion embroidery is usually a #90 topstitching needle. The bigger eye and shart point make a huge difference. See my entry, The Needle Knows.

Sewers Aid

This silicon thread treatment makes threads infinitely stronger. You can use it on threads that need some help. Just drool it along the spool.

And as always

Garbage in, Garbage out

Nothing fixes either cheap or old thread. If it won’t sew you can always glob with it. I’ll show you that trick another time.

Wrapping it up

Metallic threads are a beautiful addition to your thread pallet. With special care and tricks they add all the glitz a girl can use.

 

Keep reading for more Thread Magic Summer School. And remember the test an contest are on July 20th. More information

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!

Books in Action

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

It’s lovely when you get to see a book you’ve written  go into  action. Books are made to be working tools. 

Morna McEver Golletz just wrote a review of Thread Magic Garden on her blog for the
International Association of  Professional Quilters.

She says “At first glance, it’s clear that Ellen is a teacher. Using simple step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn basic skills that build upon each other, for example, special stitch techniques, building edge-to-edge color and progressive shading. Then she offers more than 20 floral studies to understand the shapes of the flowers. She notes that you cannot create a flower through fabric without first seeing and studying a real one, so she includes close-up photographs for this purpose. She also includes a good discussion on color theory. If you are interested in learning or expanding your skills at machine embroidery, you’ll enjoy this book and appreciate Ellen’s attention to detail.” Thanks, Morna!

I just taught a class at Mountain Laurel Quilters in Clarkesville, GA based on  the book. We did the abstracted florals class. These women are master gardeners. They took me up and down the mountain to see their gardens, which were spectacular.  I’ll post on that later. What a dynamic group of women!

I ended up demoing on hostas and lady slippers, in honor of their forest and clearing gardens, that absolutely make my heart sing. What a lovely trip!

You’ll find the International of Professional Quilters on their web site at http://www.professionalquilter.com/index.php. They put together a very useful publication called Professional Quilter that serves the needs of the quilt community that sells, shows, teaches, writes and quilts professionally.

Want to Make a Water Lily Bloom?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Every year I go through water lily lust. We have a fabulous garden center in Chesterton that has a magnificent fish pond. It’s full of water lilies. Do I want one? Don’t be silly. I want three dozen.

But I live in a neighborhood with small children, and they do sometimes get into your yard. Small children upside down in your pond, in trouble one way or another are not part of good neighbor relationships. Not even with a solid fence. I also don’t fancy finding a greyhound floating in one either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I have a fake half barrel planter that I fill with water every year. Last year it had tadpoles too. Can I grow a waterlily? God knows, I tried. I could grow great leaves. Somewhere around late August I’d get a bud. That doesn’t always mean you get a flower. It never happened. I finally bought a floating silk water lily. Then I went to water hyacinth.

 

 

 

 

 

But I can make a great water lily in the studio. Simple”C” and “S”shapes make this waterlily. No patterns needed. No direct sunlight either. Cut the shapes, place them, iron them down and embroider. I use all kinds of sheers, hand dyes, slinky fabrics, Angelina, and laces to make a translucent flower that glows.You’ll find the pond this lily picture was taken at at Chesterton Feed and Garden, in Chesterton Indiana. It’s a marvelous place.There’s one caveat.  You can’t take the whole store home. I tried.

 

If you’d like the full instructions for these lilies, they’re in and article in the new July issue of American Quilter called Pattern Free Blossoms. And more information in ThreadMagicGarden. It’s gardening without digging or dirt.

Thread Magic Garden

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.

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!

 

 

New Reviews

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Thread Magic Garden is getting some neat new reviews!

People are starting to talk about Thread Magic Garden. Here’s what they’ve had to say.

 

 

 

Ann Fahl, Author of Coloring With Thread Says “Whether you are interested in thread work or not, this book is a visual delight. C & T ‘s book designer did a great job of including large detail shots through the book. It makes me drool!”  Check out the rest of her review at her blog at annfahl.blogspot.com

 

 

Tina Rathbone at Artelicious  said”Just when I thought I could take a break from holidays I’ve found a new cause for celebration: C&T Publishing has just published a brand-new book by Ellen Anne Eddy: Thread Magic Garden. She’s got some really kind things to say about the book and you’ll find them on her blog.

Both Tina and Ann have known me for a long time. I love both of their work and  they’ve always been supportive of mine. I don’t think they’d say anything they didn’t feel.  But when your friends tell you they like your book, it’s hard to sort out how much of that is kindness and how much of that is real.

But I don’t know Maggie Szafranski at all. Her review is at Maggiemayquilts.blogspot.com.    She said “The best thing is that she breaks down how to create different kinds of flowers, and shows not only the finished product, but also what it would look like before you add the stitching.”

This is the lovely zinnia she did working from the book! Isn’t it great?

Thanks Ann, Tina and Maggie! I’m so glad you liked the book.

So what’s your Thread Magic Garden look like? With all this snow coming in, it’s great to have a garden in the studio

My First Report Card: Thread Magic Garden Reviews

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Comes a day in every proud parent’s life when you get your first report card. Your kid comes in the door, runs into your arms and says, “Mom, my teacher said to give you this.” And you hold your breath. At that age they don’t know to hide it from you if  it isn’t going to meet expectations.

I’ve always argued that art is not your child. A book isn’t either. They don’t ever hug you and they rarely are a reason for you to visit the police station at 3 AM. So that’s the good and the bad of it. They are, however, your creation, and they have a life of their own. They will go places you can’t and do things you can’t. They will, with luck and grace, live past you. And they do get report cards. They’re called reviews

So I’ve been watching the reviews come in in fear and trepidation. Does my child speak when spoken to? Run with Scissors? Follow Directions? Tie her shoes?

Maybe not.

But this is what people have been saying on Amazon.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, January 23, 2012
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

An astonishing book for we learners from this extravagantly talented artist, Ellen Eddy. She is as down-to-earth as can be, and her directions are clear to quilters everywhere. This is an incredible follow-through to Thread Magic. I admire the quality of this book. The pictures are good and instructions superb from this witty and brilliant woman. I am taking this to my quilting club so we can invite Ellen to come to town to give us her famous lessons.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent how-to-book, January 20, 2012
By
Margaret L West (Tinley Park, IL United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

One look at Ellen’s artistry with thread and fabric and the first thought is–I could never do that! Ellen’s book fixes that! The directions are clear and concise, a unique art form made simple. The photography is wonderful, the pictures of Ellen’s work inspire all from the novice to the expert. Do not pass up this book if you yearn to do more with a sewing machine than just sew straight stitches. Ellen makes this an achievable art form!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars What a picnic!, January 18, 2012
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

Take a picnic basket full of threads and fun fabric, and let Ellen lead you into her garden. Meet all the flowers and creatures that live there and take them home with the fantastic directions that Ellen has shared. What wonderful talents and simple tricks she gives to help us on our journey.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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Do I know these people? Some yes, some no. Did I tell them what to say? I wouldn’t dare. It’s my report card.

The  second batch of Thread Magic Garden books arrived yesterday and are back in stock. You can order yours today!

Practical Thread Magic: Building Beautiful Color

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Most of the time when we think of mixing colors, we think of two colors becoming one.
Working with thread is so different. The machine work lays one line of thread next to each other. Our eyes mix the colors together, but they stay separate, clean, clear and beautiful.

This tulip has ten colors in it.
Why so many? Because real tulips  have multiple streaks of red, orange and yellow. That large range of colors lets me shade from side to side, giving my flower real depth and detail.
Here are some of the process shots.

One layer of zigzag stitching after another builds us to a flower with dimension and full color range.

Want learn more about building flower colors in thread?

Thread Magic Garden has a whole chapter on color theory for flowers. Why?
Flowers ARE color. It’s what it’s all about.


Thread Magic Garden is available for sale now on Ellen’s web page at www.ellenanneeddy.com

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


Blog at C&T Publishing

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

I’m the Guest Blogger today at the 
C&T Blog.
I’ve posted a blog called My Studio Garden.


See it at http://www.ctpubblog.com/

Thanks, C&T!

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