Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hello All! I told you I'd be back!

Here is a new pincushion from this year. Its made from a lovely butterfly print from a wonderful shop on Ebay. I normally love to see fabrics in person but I haven't been disappointed in the price or quality of the fabrics I get from Vicky4780. This fabric from Hoffman is called Crystalia Full Spectrum. Its so pretty. I hope to get more before its gone. You know how fast fabric goes when you fussy cut.

Here is another version.

To make this easy pincushion I cut out a circle of fabric which features one of those pretty butterflies. I created an applique by simply hand stitching a basting stitch around the circle. I then attached it to a wider circle in a coordinating fabric, (easy to do, these colors go with so many!). I then used glass seed beads, bugle beads and crystals to the design and then created a frame with even more beads. The circles can be any size you like. I think anything bigger than 5 or 6 inches across is just too big for a pincushion.

I then made a bottom circle in the coordinating fabric and put right sides together, (the top and bottom sections). I add an emery pocket using muslin. I put the pocket in and then stuff the remaining pincushion with polyester fiberfill. Turn it right sides out and close the opening with a mattress stitch. You can find the tutorial from my classic pincushion and the emery pocket on my tutorials page here.

Well, here are some of my other pincushions from this year.

I designed a few new flowers for my Summer Garden Pincushion. These new pincushions traveled all the way to Japan! I have such a lovely new client. We chat often as I think the translator program messes up a bit of our ideas. Its so worth it. She is wonderful and I'm so lucky to have gotten to know her!

I added clematis, yarrow, yellow coneflower, spidermums, cherry blossoms and bluebells.

Working with beautiful fabrics can be so inspiring. I found this pretty bird print and I had to feature it. I added lots of tiny straight stitches to the body of the bird. Anyone can do this with a bit of patience and lots of colors of floss. Take the print to your favorite craft store and match up the colors you will need. It will stitch itself!

Well, I have a few more new fabrics to show you and a few things I've made with them. I added more houses to my shop. The others went so quickly. I hope you find these available when you check out my Etsy shop Fiberluscious.

I told you I have a fabric addiction! I have a feeling I'm not alone. My best advice. Just cut right into it and have some fun!

I'm not big on kits and directions but I may add a pattern to my house pincushion to my shop. Its just so fun and easier than you think.

I'll try to get more posts in on a regular basis. My oldest grand daughter started full day kindergarten. Oh my, I'm going thru cutie pie withdrawl! The youngest is a hand full but she is napping, so perhaps this will be my new posting time.

Talk soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hello Friends!

Oh my, its been so long and I've missed you terribly. I have been so fortunate to have some play time and you know how long I've been dreaming of that! So, the creative bug has bitten me and I'm deliriously happy with some of the things I've been working on.

I've also been having a great time with my grand daughters. Brooke is now 5 and starting kindergarten next week. Little Maddie is now walking and keeping grandma on her toes. I think I just might have found a happy balance of loving and spoiling my family while creating daily. How lucky can one woman be?

I have some new fabrics to share with you as well. I don't have a lot of time today but I hope to add them to my fabric choices page very soon. At the very least, I'll post them here along with some new things I'm working on.

Here is a fun fabric series I found at Joanne Fabrics. I fell completely in love with how fresh and bright they are. I know I will regret only buying some pieces because they are going fast, but alas, there are just so many! They inspired a re-styling of one of my favorite pincushions, the big round patchwork which can be found in my shop here.

You can find the blue dot in the little house pincushion at the top of this post. I have 3 houses available at the time of this post at my shop here. I have this bright little blue beauty shown above, a shabby rose print and also a 1930's version. Pop on over and take a look!

I wanted to give a biscornu pattern a try. I used one of these fabrics to make a black and white flower version, a pretty batik and an adorable princess and a fox print. you can find a few of them in my shop, but the black and white flower prints was one of my favorites.

I have to go for now. I'll show you a few more fabrics and I'll be back soon. I promise!

If you find yourself inspired by these and want me to try something just for you, contact me through my Etsy Shop- Fiberluscious. I'd love the challenge!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to Care for your Original Pincushions and Needle Cases

Hello you all creative divas!

Wisconsin is one of those crazy weather states. Yesterday I was outside washing our cars. We broke a few records for the warmest day in February. I loved it!
Today it is blowing snow and sleet and the wind chill is about 10 degrees. Oh my.

The best part about cold days is staying inside and being creative. Don't you agree!

While I am posting, I want to share some new color ways for my 1930's Tomato Pincushion. You can find them in my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious.

I found some yummy new fabrics at Two Bees Fabric and also at own of my favorite West Bend, WI quilt shops, Royce Quilting. We moved about 50 miles from it, and each time I am in the area, I just have to stop in and pick up some of their 1930's fabrics. They have such a great selection.

I thought I would take a few minutes to give you some tips on how to keep your handmade sewing supplies looking bright and fresh. If you are like me, I have many pincushions around the house and many in my studio. Each has it's own function. Some sit for a while and accumulate dust. Shame on me. I know better. So, let me share a few of my cleaning and care tips with you.

You can download this sheet here and keep it on hand. Just click here.

I think my tips may be applied to just about any handmade item. If you have an item from another maker, I encourage you to contact them for any special instructions.

As long as we are talking fabrics, I am curious as to whether you pre-wash your fabrics before you start sewing. I do. Because I make pincushions, I want the fabric to be soft, so your pins and needles just glide in like a hot knife thru butter. I bought a lovely patchwork pincushion and there are times I think I need a hammer to drive the embroidery needles in.

If you do patchwork and you like the finish new fabrics have, I suggest that you pre-wash them to avoid any shrinkage, especially when making quilts or other washable items. To make patchwork easy, use starch or a starch substitute such as Mary Ellen's Best Press. I've used a few others as well as using starch and I find they gum up my iron badly. As with any fabric finishes, test them first on your fabric and keep an eye on your iron. If it looks dirty, take time to clean it.

I often use a textured cotton fabric to clean my iron often. I just set it for steam and rub the iron back and forth until any dirt is removed. There is nothing worse than getting an iron stain on a finished project.

Here is a sweet tomoto using the old gathered tube technique. Its easy and fun and I love how squishy it is. You can find it in my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious. Enjoy and I hope you are creating some treasures too!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Oh What A Year!

Happy Holidays to All!

I'm back! I'm so sorry for such a long absence but its been busy around here!
Fiberluscious is my baby but now that she is a bit grown and on her own, she has stepped aside while my wonderful husband and I start a brand new chapter in our lives... A New Home! Simultaneously, we were blessed with a new grand daughter, who is now just past the 8 month old mark. Together with her 4 year old sister, I am enjoying full time grandma duty. Oh yes, my days are full and often I feel as if I could add at least another 20 hours to each day. I fall asleep every night very tired and satisfied. My life is full and happy and jam packed with love. Its as if all my dreams are coming true. A lovely family, a supportive, loving husband and a home to hold all the love I have to share, all right here at my fingertips. Life is very good indeed.

I rarely show my dear little one's on-line but here is a recent picture. You can see why they are top on my list of priorities! They made this years Christmas!

My husband Paul and I celebrated our 4th anniversary this year and after many many years of apartment living we took the exciting plunge and bought our first home together. We love it!

Despite our home's lovely bones, it has not been renovated in many years, about 40! Oh yes, lots of rustic brass hardware, funky built ins and a kitchen that is well, in much need of a full over haul. Oh yes, thank you 1970! It was so well cared for and has such potential we just couldn't resist. After a long and frustrating purchase process, we moved in this fall and have been working since.

Every day begins with a very long "To-Do" list. Depending on when the kids arrive, we try to pack as much in each day as possible. From sewing curtains to painting walls, it never ends. But, it is fun work.

I think the hardest part of decorating is defining your family's style. My husband can be very traditional, but also open minded. After living here for a bit, the home must also have it's say. In the end, I am going with a transitional, modern, mid-century, french country look. You know- the look that comes when real people really live in the home they love!

My husband and I are quite handy and willing to tackle just about any project from furniture to lighting. I'm the painter in the family and he is the builder. He works with metal all day and has a knack of creating furniture that is simple yet sturdy. An elephant could sit on things he makes! He is amazing! Together we are creating a home that is all ours.

Well, that is my post for this year. I wish I had more to share. Now that I have my studio unpacked I hope to have some new items soon. I can't wait to get sewing again!

I wish you all a very happy holiday. Merry Christmas to all and a very happy, creative and loving New Year!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Who Inspires You? My Collection of Creative Makers and Bloggers

Hello All,
I am so very grateful to everyone who takes time to visit my blog. I so enjoy your comments and as I watch my views grow I am always amazed to see that this world we live on is very small when we all come together for a common purpose. Sharing our love of fiber, color, design is a true celebration of the beauty of life and our uniqueness. I am often so busy and find myself nose down in a bit of needlework. So I thought I'd take a bit of time to introduce you to each other and to the makers and creators who have been inspirational to me. There are too many to list, but I so want you to meet these amazing artists and bloggers. I think you will be inspired too.

When I take the time to get to know the people who come to see my work it is like sitting down to a cup of hot tea with friends. I simply need to do it much more often.
If you are like me and forget to stop and smell the Internet roses once in a while, let me offer you a cup of warm inspiration. You will have to pour your own tea. Lets get to know eachother lots better!

Amanda left a comment on my stitch tutorial page. So I clicked on her blog Amanda's Crochet Blanket Adventures and I nearly started to drool! She is a master of color and design in the world of crochet. Oh my! Here are a few of her works. Oh if I only had more time!

I recently discovered Jackie, an amazing pinterest pinner.I was so surprised to see my works among so many lovely works of fiber art. If you would like to see some very amazing pincushions, give her boards a look. I warn you...you'll be there for quite a while! https://www.pinterest.com/jcfelix/primarily-pincushions/

I recently met a amazing fiber artist and blogger, Kim from Sarah Lizzies, who also lives a world of beauty. She introduced herself to me and when I went to her site I was floored! She found me through Cynthia Crane, one of my favorite blogging friends.
Kim and Cynthia have both mastered an artful way of life, from their lovely gardens to their prolific studios, their blogs are like living postcards of what most of us imagine for ourselves. I would be afraid to show you the mess my studio has become. These artists open their beautiful worlds wide open for us to come and dream. Take a look at both sites and you won't want to leave!
Here is a bit of Cynthia's ceramic works. I have a sweet little house of hers that sat at my mom's bedside table. It gave her much comfort and joy while she was with us. Thanks Cynthia! I am showing you one of her beautiful yarn bowls as a lead in to one of Kim's knitting masterpieces. Enjoy!!!
Cynthia's Yarn Bowl

Kim's Knitting Project

Let me not forget Vicki from 2 Bags Full who kind of put us all together. She is another creative living artists. Move over Martha Stewart! If you need a little pick me up just check out her latest post on her Winter Nests. She offers some beautiful poetry on winter and snow along with amazing photos of her Snow Birds Nest. Living in icy Wisconsin, I certainly needed a reminder of how beautiful it can be.

I have only been doing serious embroidery for about 7 years. I loved working with fabric but I needed something to add to it. I wanted use fibers the same way I used paint.
When I discovered Sue Spargo, I was so inspired. I love her use of wool, beads and embroidery. I loved how she added layer upon layer of wool, printed and dyed fabrics and then embroider and beading.
But her primitive, folk art approach to fiber art is what truly appealed to me. I loved that she added detail without fuss. She has a modern look while using traditional techniques.
Here area few of her pieces that I love.

Old to New
You will find that the artists who bring a new look to traditional technique is a reoccurring theme in my list of influential and inspiring artists.
The second most important element found in my collection of favorite artists is their willingness to explore their unique vision. You can see a bits of who they are and how different they are from the artists around them. I think that is something we all need to strive to add to own own works. While imitation is a great exercise while you are learning, you need to celebrate what makes you YOU and let that shine in all you do.

Mandy Pattullo is one of my all time favorite fiber artists. I love her modern-primitive esthetic! It speaks to my love of antiques and my desire to stay young and relevant as I move forward in my fiber art education. Yes, we never stop learning. Take some time on her blog and enjoy her unique and rich vision of the art of fiber. Find her Etsy Shop,
MandyPattullo here. Find her blog at Thread and Thrift and her many works are on her website here- Mandy Pattullo.Com.
Here are some of my favorite series from her talented hands-

These are just a few of my favorites. Mandy is from Northumberland in the UK. I find inspiration from around the world, but I think I will have to visit the UK, as so many of my favorite artists are from across the pond, way across! If nothing else I am going to plan the shopping trip of a lifetime. When you see the work of Viv, aka Hensteeth, (Etsy shop here) you see what I mean. I wish I could find treasures like they find here in Wisconsin.

These artists are very technical in their approach to fiber art, yet, their work is modern.
They are experts at their craft without being stuffy or stiff. I wish I knew how they did it.
First, the amazing Salley Mavor. She is a fiber artist who creates amazing illustrations using embroidery and stumpwork to the max! I love, love love her birds. I have struggled to create the affect she is so adept at. It feels like she is magical with a needle and embroidery thread.

Inna Bird is a ribbon embroiderer who I recently discovered via her Etsy Shop, Silk Ribbon Creative. Oh, her work is so lush and lovely it makes me dream! The next edition of the Summer Garden I make will include some ribbon embroidery. Inna dyes her own ribbon! No wonder it is so amazing.
While she rebuilds her website, you can find her Facebook Page here. I'm going to include some of amazing soaps she creates. Don't they just make your mouth water?

I can't leave out Carla Madrigal from MadrigalEmbroidery on Etsy. Her work taught me to draw on "me" when working. She has a unique vision. She works on lovely materials, which are often recycled. Her stitches are humbly amazing. I hope you find her work as inspiring as I did.

Sara Lechner from The Fabric of Meditation, (Etsy Shop here), led me to wool. I am grateful for her inspiration. I love wool. I love to embroider it, felt it, sew it and now spin it. I urge you to click on the provided links. Her works remind me of Marc Chagall. She comes from Argentina but her years in Austria are evident in her extraordinary esthetic.

I could go on forever. There are painters and illustrators who have inspired my work. There are fine artists from the past, such as VanGogh, and contemporary artists on Etsy, such as BalletArt that also give me so many things to think about as I design new works. Here is a link to one of his butterfly prints. It reminds me of fiber art in pen and ink.

There are quilters such as Jeni Baker from In Color Order She got me hooked on Vintage Sheets. Wish she still had her color classes online. They were amazing. Click on the link to find some of her tutorials. She designs fabrics now with that same fun color sense. Try her Mini New York Beauty Tutorial here.

Well Blogspot is giving me fits. I don't know if I can load any more images on this post.
Ohhh there are so many more to show you!!!
I hope to feature more of your art and your blog here in the future. When you leave a comment, please don't hesitate to invite me to take a look at your art. We need to share. I think its an essential part of the creative process.

I hope you enjoyed this post, as much as I enjoyed putting it together!