Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tiny Pictures

Tiny Flower Garden Brooch

Tiny Meadow Wool Brooch

These are my newest brooches. I really love creating them. There are so many different techniques, materials and stitches, all on a tiny little scale. Its like painting with wool.
I begin by needle felting wool roving on a piece of recycled woven wool. I keep adding bits and pieces, colors and shapes until I feel like I have an image I can play with.
Then I add some machine stitching just to give it some interest. The wool is felted down well. The machine stitching brings it down a bit more, so I don't like to add too much. I have so many pretty threads I like to use now again.
I then will see if I need more wool roving to add details. In the first photo, I added a big flower up higher than the rest.

I will add embroidery at this point to bring things into focus. In the flower brooch, I used a few strands of metallic floss, some hand dyed cotton yarn and a few bits of perle cotton.
When I think I have a solid image I begin adding tiny seed beads. This is fun because I love the sparkle the beads add. Its tedious because I can hardly see the clear thread I use and the needle is so fine its hard to thread it. But when all is said and done, I really think its worth the time and energy it takes to create these little landscapes.

I hope you give them a try yourself. I'll try to get a tutorial up soon.
If you would like to purchase one of these little brooches, you can find them in my Etsy shop- Fiberluscious.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Crazy Quilt Pear Adventure

This week my sampler suffered as I dove head first into a cute little crazy quilt project. The reason I began to embroider was so I could create a crazy quilt. About 5 years ago I picked up a book called "The Magic of Crazy Quilting" A Complete Resource for Embellished Quilting" by J. Marsha Michler. Its a wonderful book that shows how to piece a crazy quilt using antique and modern techniques. The bulk of the book covers step by step embroidery stitch lessons. I've linked to her website. Its really lovely.
The Bosc Pear Crazy Quilted Pincushion

My crazy quilting ambitions were awakened by a client I have on Etsy. Robin has a bit of a collection of my pincushions. She picked up my pear pincushion about an hour after I posted it! She is by far, the kind of client every artist adores. She often talks to me about the things she likes in my shop, and the things she's seen that she enjoys. I love that about her! Each idea is a bit of a challenge. She gets me thinking about things I had wanted to do but never found the time for. We have a lovely synergy going. We think very much alike, which makes her ideas even more inviting. I wish a Robin for ever artist. Its hard to get into a rut when there is someone cheering you on.

I think my next, Come Stitch With Me challenge will be another crazy quilting project. Its a fun process. Its been a while since I've played with patchwork. Since my pincushions are normally small, they allow me to dabble in a lot of fiber techniques on a doable scale.
The Crazy Heart Crazy Quilt Pincushion

Let me know what you think!

Some Sampler Progress

Ribbon Embroidery....oooh aaaah. I just got a few colors in from Stitching Bits and Bobs. I had to jump right in and give them a try. I watch Martha's Sewing Room at 5:30am on PBS and they always feature a group of very adept embroidery experts. I've watched them stitch with ribbon and I've seen it done on-line and I guess I couldn't resist ribbon one more day.

I created my sampler title piece...

And here is the sampler as of this weekend. Only a few more patches to go!

Want to know more..Come Stitch With Me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wool Roving--oh my!

I recently purchased some amazing silk and silk/wool blend fibers from an Etsy Shop called WoolieBullie.
Look at these colors!!!
This is a silk blend called Smokin Cymbidium Phat Fiber

This is mulberry silk for spinning called Tatiana and The Changeling

I was immediately compelled to start working with them the minute I pulled them from the package. While silk is challenging to needle felt, it can be done. The fibers are smooth, so they tend to pull a bit on the way down and get buried between fatter fibers. That did not stop me! I did a bit of research on felting silk fiber. It is not recommended for wet or machine felting.
The silk blend was so easy to work with. The colors were deeply saturated from surface to core. This colorway is varied and quite lovely. I'll have a new creation finished soon to show you more.

Here are a few Strawberry Emery Pincushions I just finished. The core is emery, wrapped in woven wool. I then began covering the surface with layers of wool and silk blend wool roving in many bright colors. I needle felted the layers down smoothly and snugly. Then I added embroidery stitches to highlight some of the color passages. I had so much fun, it was hard to stop!

Find this and more of my newest strawberrys in my shop Fiberluscious on Etsy.

Who put the snow on my spring fever?

Well, its Wisconsin where the winters are long and cabin fever burns deep. Its been a really mild and relatively warm winter. Unseasonably warm days have given me a touch of spring fever. Despite my better judgement, I've allowed it to sow it's seeds in my heart. The days are awfully gray around here.
We've had 3 snow falls in the last few weeks. That's just a few more than we've gotten all winter! I love the snow. I really do. I just hate the cold. Even on cold winter days I am drawn to my "penthouse" perch, (balcony) in our apartment. I'll throw on a big sweater and my mittens and enjoy a breath of fresh air now and again. As you can see, the view is lovely. We figured that it extends about 10 miles in one direction. Its a bit gray now, but in summer, well, its breath taking. The last snow was comprised of huge fluffy snowflakes that drifted softly and slowly in every direction. They left piles of white on each branch in site. Photos just don't do justice.

I am a sucker for a snowman. In fact, each snow I go out and make 2. Here are the sad remnants of the last pair I made after a sunny day.

These are the days I'm glad I work at home. Driving in it is a whole different story....

Being stuck inside can be wonderful. Errands can wait another day. Its inside play time and I've had many days to enjoy staying inside, wrapped in a big fuzzy sweater and stitching to my hearts content!

I think I complained about how few snow storms we've had too soon! Its been snowing ever since. This last one was so beautiful. Looked like the world was sugar coated.

Maybe it's time to bring my garden gargoyle in. Although, he seems to be enjoying playing in the snow!

Ribbon Embroidery- ooohhhh aaahhh

I have a new addition to my "Come Stitch With Me". I recently ordered some pretty silk ribbon, a long overdue luxury purchase. I ordered just a few colors, and I wish I had ordered more. There is something so traditional and vintage to silk ribbon embroidery, no matter how modern the artist.

I then hand dyed some vintage seam binding. Its 100 % rayon and took the Sei Tumble Dye well. I use this quick and easy dye to customize many trims, fibers and fabrics. Take a look at how easy it is. This tutorial can be found on my Tutorials page.

I began stitching on some lovely recycled cream colored wool from blazer I found at the Goodwill.
I dove right in and fell in love with how easily the ribbon glides thru fabric. This lovely 4mm ribbon is hand dyed.

I stitched this directly onto my sampler using embroidery cotton and a blanket stitch. Wish I had some tiny vintage trim to slip behind the edges of this patch. It would add the perfect touch.

I used the wider, seam binding to do another form of hand embroidery. Its not so much couching as it is tacking. I created the flower by cutting a 5-6" piece of ribbon. The short ends are sewn together to form a loop of ribbon. I then used the wire in the ribbon, only on one side, to scrunch and gather the middle of the flower closed. I then stitched the flower shape onto one of my sampler patches, tacking it down with french knots and beads. A few long stitches and french knots form the drooping stamen.

I took another piece of ribbon and manipulated it into a bit of a swirl. I tacked it down with french knots and beads.