It’s Easy to Change Things Up

house2You may recognize this house from my Craftsy Class, Hand-Stitched Collage Quilts. When filming the class I made several stages or step-outs of the House in the Valley project. There must be 6 of them floating around my studio!

house3To change up this version of the House in the Valley project, I add different elements. This is the miracle of fusing. You can always add more.

houseinthevalley4

House in the Valley #4 by Laura Wasilowski

The shape of this quilt is different too. I’ve cut the top into an arched shape. The quilt has Timtex behind the batting so it holds this shape. See the orange flowers from yesterday’s blog? Not sure if they are about to attack the house or just pay a visit.

Evolution of a Flower

flower5This simple little flower turned up on my quilt top recently. Not sure what it’s called but seems to be in the orange family.

flower6Stitching begins with a favorite color combination: orange and turquoise. a few Lazy Daisies and Straight Stitches using a Size 8 Aquamarine thread and the orange flower quickly changes personality.

flower7A row of French Knots across the flower top look like jewels in a crown. Or at least thready beads. Or maybe hair rollers.

flower8The versatile Straight Stitch adds spikes to the flower tips and more definition to the body of the flower. Size 12 thread makes the spikes look delicate yet fetching.

flower10A final set of really long Straight Stitches applied to the base of the flower add more texture and finish to our lovely bud. Stay tuned tomorrow when I introduce you to the quilt sharing these delightful flowers.

When to Call It Quits

feltflowerCan you add too many hand embroidery stitches to your design? Do you think I have gone too far when stitching the felt dots above? Sometimes the thread overwhelms the fabric shapes and blurs the edges. It may be the size of the threads or colors or the stitch chosen. This time I think I over did it.

Next time I’ll keep in mind that embroidery is there to help define and enhance the design not to overwhelm it.

Unusual Sightings

eggsThese eggs are from my friend’s farm. Aren’t they delightful? The soft colors and spots make for an unusual sight for us city folk. Is that a green egg on top?

tabletopHere’s another unusual sight. It is the top of my canvas-covered dyeing and print table. It is cleared off for a week of fabric dyeing. Note the brown rectangle of fabric smack in the middle. That’s a fusing accident. (Yes, even the Dean of Corrections at the Chicago School of Fusing makes a mistake once in a while.)

Fusing by the Yard

fusingfabricSoon I travel to the UK to teach for the Guild of the British Isles. In preparation, I’m fusing fabric by the yard. It’s like running a marathon with an iron in your right hand.

housingdept17detail

Housing Department #17 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

My half-day class, Tiny Homes, has a kit of pre-fused fabrics and a sampler of hand-dyed fabric. With pre-fused fabrics, students go right to the art making and have fun. Fusing 40 yards of fabric is not much fun but it does build character and forearms.

Is It Worth It?

flower1Stitching these flowers is like torture with a needle and thread! You may recognize them from one of the projects in my Craftsy Class, Vase on the Table. This quilt was made with left over flowers from that project.

flower2There are 8 flowers in the design. Each petalĀ  has the Chain Stitch around it using a Size 8 Oranges perle cotton thread. Orange maybe not the safest color choice, but I live dangerously! See the Straight Stitches on the tips of each petal along with French Knots?

flower4The center dots have Back Stitches, the Blanket Stitch, and a French Knot as well. It seems to take forever to finish 1 flower. There is not enough tea and cookies in Northern Illinois to keep me interested. Sure hope all this stitching is worth it.