Sunday, November 20, 2016

Welcome Sew Mama Sew Visitors!

You can find my tutorial here.
I'll try to get an instruction sheet download ready for you this week, but if you follow the instructions on the tutorial, you will find that so much of it is tailored to your vintage doily, so try to roll with it. There are so many lovely little crochet goodies just waiting to be repurposed!

In honor of all of the quilters who follow Sew Mama Sew's lovely tutorials, I was inspired to do some patchwork last week. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop!
I hope you take a trip over to my Etsy shop, Fiberluscious and pick one up for the quilter on your Christmas list.

I just love the Wonky Star block. I finally got the hang of making square squares. I'm not an official quilter but I try soooo very hard to get all my little seams matching and my quilting stitches straight. The wonky star speaks to me because it is just a bit off- just like me.

This one is made from some bright pink prints from Lecien called "Flower Sugar". I adore them!
Since I've moved away from my favorite quilt shop, I've been shopping on-line. I have been ordering from Unique Fabric Palette on Ebay. Vicky is lovely to work with and I like the selection and the prices in her shop. Her service is fast and she is great at answering your questions quickly. I do miss the whole touchy feely way of shopping but this works too.

The dynamic prints in this pincushion really speak to me. Its from a beautiful line of prints called, "Scatter Joy". That's just how they make me feel when I'm designing.

I also love to make simple blocks with brilliant fabrics. This round pincushion has just 2 prints from different lines. As much as I searched and searched to find a friend for the purple print, it came as quite a surprise to just use a different color in a similar deconstructed-like print in navy. This pincushion is quite firm and the size is just right. I think an intricate block would be lost with these prints.

I want to share one more pincushion with you. Its a brilliant version of one of my most popular designs. I use a flip and sew method to piece the top. I love this print series including bright colors and fun geometric shapes.

Once you order one of my pincushions you will know that they are really functional and fun. I add a core of emery to every pincushion. It gives it a nice weight, so your pincushion sits nice and firmly on your work surface. Emery will lightly sharpen the tips of your pins and needles, so they last a bit longer and work a bit better with each use. I also pre-wash all of my fabrics. I find it softens them which allows for your pins to glide in easily. I have a beautiful patchwork pincushion but that darn thing is nearly impossible to poke! I want my sewing tools to inspire and serve you in your sewing studio.

All of my pincushions come with a complimentary gift box until Christmas. When you order, just ask and I'll send it along with your order. I just love giving presents.

Oh.. I nearly forgot to show you a little stocking stuffer to give to someone. My "Stick with Me" beaded pins come in an assortment of 10.
You can purchase all flowers, all millifiori, or a full assortment of pins. They come boxed with a pretty bow for $15.

So stop on by my shop and do a little holiday shopping. Use this coupon code, FiberJoy10 and get 10% off all of your orders until January 1st. Watch my shop for more specials from now until Christmas.

I would also encourage you to make your own gifts. I think we sometimes feel a store bought or web bought gift is somehow better than what we can make on our own. I think the love we embed into our own works elevates the joy we bring into the lives of those we love and those who love us. So go ahead and get crafty! Embrace the handmade movement and say good by to perfection and hello to the pride that comes with making it your self.

Sew Mama Sew has so many amazing tutorials so you can make something special this year.
Find my tutorial for a Frilly Doily Pincushion on Sew Mama Sew. Lisa Hawkes was very kind to include my project on a great list of lacey, romantic, holiday gifts for you to make this year.

Happy Creating!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Kim won my Wool Flower Giveaway!

The winner of my Wool Flower Giveaway is Kim Leavens!

Kim is an avid quilter. Her blog is Quilty Stitches. She calls them warm cuddly hugs and I so agree. She comes from Wisconsin, my home state as well! We normally need lots of warm quilts here, but yesterday is was 65 degrees! Once we chat I hope to add some of her photos to this post.

Kim quilts and I really admire her applique, something I love as well. she likes to knit, crochet and sew. Since she seems to be very versatile, I hope wool felting also becomes one of her favorite new crafts. Stop on by her blog and get to know her and her beautiful quilt projects.

Thank you to all who entered. I will be doing another giveaway before Christmas, so please stop in again soon.

My feature with Sew Mama Sew Homemade Holidays begins on Sunday. My tutorial will be among many tutorials featured on this great resource site. Not only are they running a daily gift tutorial, they list over 700 tutorials on their site every day!!! So if you love to create loving, original gifts for those on your list, you are certain to find a project with instructions to make Christmas easy this year.

Have fun and keep on creating!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Easy and Fun Wool Flower Tutorial and Wool Giveaway!

I have such a fun tutorial for you to try. As you can see, these fun flowers can be used to top your next pincushion, pinned on your favorite jacket as a brooch or used to adorn your own creation.

I swear, once you get all of your materials together, it will take you 15 minutes of play time to create your own flower. Don't stop at one- make bunches! I think you will find the process addicting!

You say that you don't have the materials? I will be giving away enough wool to make many adorable flowers to the lucky winner! I will also provide the names of my favorite shops so the rest of you can find these luscious wools, great felting materials and inspiration galore!
(Kits include felted wool fabric, beautiful wool batt samples along with instructions. Felting tool and mat are not included.)
To win just comment below. I will chose the winner on November 18th!
Don't forget to leave contact information so I can find out where to send your kit!

Here is what you will receive!

I included a wonderful variety of wool roving, wool batts, textured batts with firestar and silk, and 4 pieces of lovely woven wool for your flower base in cream, fuschia, bubble gum pink and red wine.

You can find downloadable instructions here.

Lets begin!

You will need these tools-
Sharp Scissors
A Wool Felting Tool with multiple needles to speed things up. You may also use a felting needle but it may take much longer to fully felt your wool fabric.
A Wool Felting Mat
Felting Tool and Felting Mat can be found at New England Felting Supply on Etsy

You'll also need these materials-
Felted wool fabric
Wool batts or wool roving
Mild soap found at New England Felting Supply
Optional Materials-
Perle cotton or Embroidery thread
Pin Back
Wool Yarn
Felt Ball

Begin by making your pattern for your circle shape. You will need 2. One should be larger than the other. The patterns shown are 2 1/2 inches and 3 inches. You don't need to be exact. Any size will do!

To make it easy, I used the cardboard spool ribbons come on. They make finding the center easy! A jar lid, compass or any small circle form will do.

Cut your wool fabric to the size of your pattern. You don't need to trace the lines. They are just there to give you an idea of where to cut your petals later. Cut 2 circles or more if you like. Each one should be progressively larger. Do not cut the petals just yet. That comes after the felting.

Add 2-3 layers of wool batt and wool roving.

If you are not sure what the difference is between wool roving and a wool batt, look at the picture below.

Wool roving has longer, smoother fibers. They often come in braids when hand painted. They are beautiful! I like Merino but check with your supplier to see what they recommend.
I ordered the roving shown from Edgewood Garden Studio on Etsy. I also order solid colors from Purple Moose Felting also on Etsy. Caryn is a sweetie! I've ordered felting needles from her as well. Most wool shops carry both the needles and the mats.
Wool batts are kinky and sometimes chunky. They felt up quickly and are fun to use. They are easy to pull apart and work into your wool projects easily. You will find little nubs and bits of other colors which makes your project fun and easy.

I recently purchased my batts from Grey Fox Felting. Erin was great to work with! She has many colors to choose from. You will find some of the flowers use this amazing purple! I used this color for the tutorial. Water Lily Pink

She has lovely ornaments and wool felted creations

Okay, Back to the Tutorial-

Felt the layers down thoroughly. Each time you add more wool you must felt it completely to the wool fabric base. Take your time here.
Be careful! Those felting needles are sharp! Ask me how I know- Ouch!
The following photos show the progression.

Once the top is fully felted, turn the circle over. Fold the excess wool over the edge and felt. The next photo shows how fluffy the bottom of the circle will be. That just won't do. Felt the bottom until it lays flat. Then turn the circle back to the front and give it one more round of felting.
Repeat this process for both layers.
This is the hardest part. Not too difficult is it?

Option One
You can make your wool flower a bit more wild by adding wool yarn to the process. I just cut lengths of yarn the width of the flower. From the back, felt the yarn onto the top layer. The felting tool is all you need. I don't have this step pictured, but you can see the affect on the largest flower which sits on top of the pincushion.

Now its time to cut the petals. I usually make one cut then make another cut on the opposite side. Note that I am not cutting all the way to the center. Follow the lines on the pattern above. You can cut your petals as wide or as thin as you like. Try not to be perfect here. This should look like nature had a hand in it's creation. Try not to cut them too thin where they near the center. If you have to make a cut or two more shallow than the rest, its not a big deal. Repeat this for the second layer.

Once you get both layers of wool felted and cut, you can felt them together. Just put the smaller circle on top. Then use your felting tool to join them. You shouldn't have to add more roving but you can if you like.

Option Two

I added one more step to the large flower on top of the pincushion. I added a felt ball to the center! Well, half of a ball. Just cut a felt ball in half so you have 2 pieces. I wrapped the ball in some wool batt and felted it down.
Then I placed the ball half on center of the top flower layer. From the back of the wool fabric, use your felting tool to bind them firmly together. Add the larger circle to the small from the back by felting. To give it even more realism, I felted the petals up along the base of the felt ball near the base. This draws the petals around the center which looks much like the zinnias in my garden.

This next step just brings the petals to life. You can skip it if you like, but I totally recommend that you wet felt your flowers to make them more durable and more beautiful!
Add a bit of mild soap to a dish with water. Soak the flowers well until they are completely wet. Then massage the petals until the wool begins to felt further. Start off gently. Once you get your petals nice and soapy you can get a little more rough with your flower. I roll it around in my hands a bit so the petals begin to felt together at the base a bit more. Notice how the petals have changed. The tips are a bit rounded and not so fluffy.

Rinse the soap out completely. To even further the felting process, alternate between the hottest water you can handle. Then make the water very cold and rinse again. Go back and forth between hot and color water a number of times till all of the soap is rinsed out.

There are 3 ways to felt wool.
1. Needle Felting
2. Hot water- ever wash your favorite wool sweater in the washer? - its like that. If you change the temperature of the water it speeds up the process.
3. Soap to break down the wools natural fibers and friction to to bind the fibers together.

After your flower is rinsed, squeeze it between layers of dry toweling until it is simply damp.
You can allow your flower to dry naturally or if you are impatient like I am, just toss it into the dryer. This will bring back some of the fluff. Don't add anything else to the dryer. Allow it to bounce around gently.

Once you are finished with your flower, you can embellish it as you like, or leave it just as is.
I added some pretty glass beads to the red flower.
I added a fun vintage button to my pink flower.
I embroidered a few french knots and running stitches to the small purple flower using perle cotton.
I added the largest flower to a wool pincushion.

The possibilities are up to you!

Here are a few more of my creations using wool fabric, wool roving and batts and wool yarn. You can find them and more at my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious!

To enter to win a free flower kit, leave a comment along with contact information below.
The winner will be notified on November 18th.

Here is a list of my favorite Etsy shops. I hope you visit them and see the beautiful materials they have to offer. I recommend them highly for their fast and friendly service.

Lovely Hand Dyed Wool Fabrics-
Quilting Acres Beautiful Hand-dyed wool fabrics!
Ruby Mountain Dye Works on Etsy (this is a new shop for me. She is dyeing my wool as we speak.)

Wool Batts, Wool Roving and Wool Felting Tools.
Grey Fox Felting Stunning Batts
Purple Moose Felting So many colors of roving!
Edgewood Garden Studio
Woolie Bullie A crazy selection of intense dyed wool.
Wildethyme Beautiful Batts with sparkles, silk and other exotic materials and inclusions!

Wool Balls and Wool Felt
Crafty Wool Felt This shop is just too fun!

Wool felting tools
New England Felting Supply Everything you need is here from needles, soap, carding tools and so much more!

WildeThyme is running a sale right now. I have this batt called Radioactive. So lovely and the sparkles and inclusions make for fun felting!
Make sure to drop on by!

Watch for my Frilly Pincushion Tutorial link on Sew Mama Sew coming this month. I am so honored to be featured on this amazing site!

You may purchase the pincushion shown above at my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious. I'll have it listed soon.

Thanks for stopping by!
Good luck on my giveaway!

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!