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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Woodpecker Progress

I posted on the woodpecker project back in September.  You can read about it here.  Well, my woodpecker is now about 90% beaded.  I have areas that I leave 'open' until the time I add it to a quilted background.  I am really excited about finishing this project but have to be patient because now the hard work starts!  I have to make that background. 

Here is the photo I'm working from and need to replicate!

And how far I am now!   I leave some of the fabric on until I attach to the quilted background, then I'll cut the excess away.  I'll finish his tail feathers once 'he' is added to the quilted background. 

And here's where I started!

And here's where I ended up yesterday!

This  is an animation for the process as I was beading.

Now to get working on the background, as well as finish the hand embroidery on my cardinal piece!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Soy Wax - Part 2

This weekend I played with soy wax and screen printing...based on our lessons with Hilary's online MIP class!  What fun!!!  And you can keep the screens for future use.  Wax is easily removed from paper, fabric and the screens!  I've always had a problem working with regular wax so shied away from even trying to use the wax.  But I am hooked now with soy wax!!! 

This is fabric that I applied soy wax with a brush.  After the wax cooled, I scrunched the piece up in a ball.  I laid the piece flat and painted over with lime green dye and some misty gray dye.  Fabric was batched over night.   You can see some of the misty gray dye (easier to see in person). Turned out pretty cool!

All the remaining pieces were done on layout paper.

All of the remaining pieces show the wax screen print on the left and on the right after I applied fiber reactive dye.

I goofed and put the wax on the wrong side of the screen so (which were the little bulbs you see!)  then I added wax in stripes with the paint brush. 

I like both these blue pieces.  I'm sure they'll work well for a background or piecing.  I also kept this screen for future use.  I love the stripes in  the pattern.

These look like the same print but they are two different prints and using a gold/yellow/orange dye on top really brought out the pattern from the wax.  I ended up liking these pieces!

Yes, a boring piece.  But the pic on the left was one I used to 'mop' up with.  I was just trying to blend the dyes on the right side.

I didn't keep this wax screen.  Nothing exciting about it but I'm sure the paper can be used somewhere.

I kept this wax screen.  I really love the print I got with it. 

This paper is really very cool in person.  I'm thinking of using it with my other beaded bird as a patchwork background.
These are papers I used to mop up the check board type prints above!  Didn't they turn out cool!!!  I'm not over dyeing them as I like the little bit of white that shows through. I really had lots of fun playing with soy wax and will use my screens again!!!  Soon!!

Today, we're suppose to head to my daughter's for a BD breakfast!!  We had several inches of snow on Saturday, then high temp (36+), melting, then massive drop in temp so of course the roads will freeze!  Yikes!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Soy Wax - part 1

Yesterday was my birthday so I played in my wet room with soy wax!  This technique is from one of the online lessons from Hilary and our MIP class!  I've worked with wax before but was never happy with the results.  Well, I'm hooked now!  Should have known Hilary would come up with tips/tricks and show us some great ways to use the wax.

The only problem I had was what to use to melt the wax in!  I didn't have an old electric skillet or hot plate BUT I did have a fragrance warmer my daughter gave me years ago as a gift!  Worked perfectly!
I couldn't wait to get started!  So I pulled out some papers that I previously stamped, screen printed and even one with string art on paper I did last summer (which I wasn't happy with  at the time but I sure am now!).   Picture on the left side is the paper before using the wax.  Pictures on the right side show with the wax and over dyed with fiber reactive dyes!

The left side is a stencil I did testing out color for my Stumpwork quilt  from 2017.  The paper was quite thick so it was hard for me to see where I painted the wax ..but it's not that bad after I painted with robin egg blue dye.

This was a really ugly piece...not much better now...I used red wine will be good for piecing...this was actually the first piece I put the wax on.

This paper originally was from wiping off excess dye on fabric from a  screen print.  Again, I didn't think I would do anything with this paper...but...I cut out leaf stencils from freezer paper, painted on the wax; over dyed the entire piece with lime dye!  Now it can be used...somewhere!?!

This was a stencil that I printed last summer.  I used the same leaf freezer paper stencil and applied the wax then over dyed with red wine dye.

This is a screen print (turquoise) on fabric, again done last summer or fall.  After wax dried, which was just painted on, I used both orange and red wine dyes.  I can see this being used in strips or even as a background piece.  It's batching right now so it might not come out as vivid!

This turned out to be one of my favorites!  This paper was screen printed,  which wasn't a bad print.  I could see adding other papers to it but after I applied the wax and then purple dye!!!  I am VERY happy with it! 
 This was one of the string art pieces I did on paper!  I really wasn't happy with them but, once again, I'm quite happy now after adding wax and over dyeing with purple dye!!!

And my most favorite piece is another string art on paper I did!  Again...nothing exciting but look after adding wax and dyes!  This will be a whole paper piece I'll stitch up!!! 

I did a crackle of the wax on a white piece of fabric.  It's now soaking in some robin egg blue dye!  And two other pieces are batching now (after I added soda ash).  Hope they turn out but if not, I'm still happy with my results from today.  And the wax was so easy to remove!!!

 Today, I hope to melt more wax and get out some screens!  Yep..we're putting wax on a screen and screen printing!!  Woohoo!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cardinal Progress

It's been a busy week with non-art work but I'm trying to get on with the hand embroidery for  my beaded cardinal patchwork piece.  It's coming along!

He looks plain now!  So glad I didn't just  put this piece in a frame or add a facing or small border.  Plus,  this is a lot more fun!

The top embroidery may look crooked but I'm adding small branches off each curve on the top and bottom borders.

The side will just have a single embroidery branch.

One of my role model/mentors, Kay S. (Quilts+Color) suggested I add some beads to pull in the beaded  bird!  I didn't even think about adding beads but what a great suggestion!!!   I have some ideas on where I'll be adding them!  Thanks, Kay!!!

We are expected to have a severe ice/snow storm starting at 4 a.m. on Saturday...which is to last until Sunday along with winds, so they are predicting power outages!  Guess I forgot what a Michigan winter is like.  Keeping our fingers crossed it's not as bad as they are predicting.  But if they are, I have my coffee, wine and lots of hand work to keep me busy!

Monday, January 6, 2020


I made progress on my beaded cardinal/patchwork quilt this weekend.  I'm happy with how the addition of the patchwork looks with the bird.  It measures around 19" x 25"  and I still have to finish stitching in the ditch and adding handwork/embroidery.  That's the fun part!!  Not sure how I will finish the edges......facing, binding or inserting a cording/facing using Sarah Ann Smith's method, which I love!  You can see one of the pieces I used her technique on here.

Next I need to create some patchwork for the 2nd beaded bird.   I'm thinking of using browns/blue/turquoise  to brighten up the piece...but may change my mind!

As I was thinking about what to use with this little guy...I found a patchwork piece my daughter made several years ago.  She gifted me most of her fabric and tops, which I've posted about.  For fun, I laid the little bird piece on top of it!  Who knows...I might have to go into some of the other pieces of fabric or tops my daughter gave me!
I'm making progress on my woodpecker..although, at times it seems no progress.

Football wild card time so we had lots of football to watch and I could bead....well, I tried to bead!  Hard to bead with two dogs laying on either side of me!!!  Guess I wouldn't change anything!  Just love those little girls!

Friday, January 3, 2020

And the projects begin..or is it just ongoing!

Worked on my woodpecker this past Sunday while watching the Lions football game.... but haven't touched it since. I really did add several more beads to it on Sunday!  Hard to tell but I did!

Because I like to have more than one 'different' project to work on...I get bored doing the same thing over and over!  Well, that's the only excuse I can think of!  So I'm starting a some sewing again!  Have to try out my new Razon light system, right!
 This coming spring, our little art group will be participating in a quilt show with our exhibit of " Birds, Blooms and Butterfly's".   Mary and I are going to show our woodpecker quilts as well as we each have several  works of 'B,B and B'! to put on display.

 Back in 2011 I showed a few of my beaded birds that I finished for the Bead Journal Project.  Some of those I had framed and  now they are hanging in a few rooms of our house!  HA 

Beaded cardinal on quilted background

Two pieces I did back then are quilted but not  framed or with a sleeve on them.

Closeup of the beaded branch

the 2nd bird beaded on quilted background

So I decided I would do a QAYG (quilt as you go) process and make them into small quilts.  So where do I start! 
Well, back in March 2017, while having a visit with Kay Sorensen (from Quilts + Color) she happen to talk about a technique she uses to get started on a project.  I don't remember copying this technique down, but I had it on my phone (hence, I had also the date on it!) in one of my note apps.  Here is what Kay recommended for starting a project:

1. Get out 10 pieces of the fabrics you love. 2. Get out 10 pieces of the fabric that look good with them. 3. Get out 1 piece of fabric you think is ugly but goes with the first 20.
Now start playing with them and arrange them different ways until they start giving you ideas of what they want to be.

Mar 20 2017

So, that's what I did!  Starting with the cardinal, I knew I wanted some reds/blacks/gold to use as patchwork.  These are just a few of the fabrics I started with.    You can see in the photo below I added several more pieces, based on Kay's tip!

 I started to lay pieces of the fabrics around the cardinal.  I really was having fun!!!


After selecting fabrics,  I cut a large piece of batting to pin my already quilted cardinal on to.  As I mentioned, I wanted to QAYG method, just because the cardinal is already quilted!  Then I cut strips and sewed to the edge of the cardinal quilt; sewing 1/4" seam, pressing out and onto the next's working out great!!! 

I'm still in the process of laying strips around the center cardinal but I'm having fun.   I didn't have much time before we had to leave to run errands.  Today,  I'll be gone with my bud to do some walking at our indoor mall and maybe some sale shopping.  But I hope to get a good ways by the end of this coming weekend.  

 And it's all thanks to Kay!!!!!