Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fern Stitch

fernstitch4Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Fern Stitch. The Fern Stitch is a spiky little stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, plant and tree forms, and for creating lots of thready texture.

fernstitch1Add a few Pistil Stitches between the spikes of the Fern Stitch to dress it up.

cactusonsilk12Or place Lazy Daisy Stitches between the spikes to make a soft edge plant sprouting out of the ground.

fernstitch7The directions for my version of the stitch are a little different. You start at the top of the line your want to stitch and work your way down. Here are the directions for the Fern Stitch. Have fun!

Improvisation: The Only Way to Design

improv10Lucky me! I just came across this set of pre-fused fabric scraps and collages for art making. (Note to self: clear my work table more often.) Sure some of the pieces are 10 years old. But like starter dough, these scraps have great art making potential.

improv20But first, a batik background fabric is selected to provide a base for the design work. Working on a background helps you choose the colors for the elements in the design and gives you an idea of what size it will be. This set of odds and ends are pulled from the “fused for your convenience” scrap pile to kick start the design. 

improv21And here’s the design made with some of the fused fabric shapes and other shapes found in my mound of pre-fused scraps. Improvising is the only way to go! Next up? Hand embroidery, of course.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Pistil Stitch

pistilstitch2Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Pistil Stitch. The Pistil Stitch is a close relative of the French Knot but has more flare, more excitement, more thrill. Here it is adding drama (or pistils) to the top of a purple flower.

pistilstitch3But why limit the exuberant Pistil Stitch to flower tops?  This house is much more interesting with a roof top of Pistil Stitches. Who lives there? What do they do for a living? Are there any rooms available for rent?

pistilstitch7Think of Pistil Stitches a punctuation marks that add hits of color to fabric shapes. Stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the  Aquamarine colorway, this fabric is about to pop with texture made by Pistil Stitches.

Here are directions for making the  Pistil Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Dyeing for the Fall

fabricstack5Announcing a major feat! All of my dyeing is done for the Fall! Yes, every colorway of fabric, every skein of thread available on the Artfabrik website is in stock. I shall dye no more. (Or at least I won’t be dyeing any time soon.)

dyeing10Dyeing fabric is akin to a factory job; that is, labor intensive, repetitive work. Sure the colorful results are worth it but try telling that to my feet and hands.


Ironing by Laura Wasilowski

What’s most extraordinary about this event is that ALL of the fabric is ironed. It’s ready to ship, travel as a trunk show to wherever I’m teaching, or ready to display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Now it’s time to make art!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Straight Stitch


Tilty Town #12 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Straight Stitch. The Straight Stitch lives a simple life. It goes from here to there. And sometime from there to here.

straight4The Straight Stitch is plain. It is not glamorous like a French Knot or exotic like the Blanket Stitch. It is just a line of thread on the fabric. But beneath that ho-hum existence beats a stitch of great potential. Here you see it drawing dramatic pink lines. Those directional lines are made with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread stitched on felt in the  Petunias colorway.

Here are directions for making the Straight Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Have You Tried the Pillowcase Binding?


Pretty Planet #13 by Laura Wasilowski

Pretty Planet #13 began as a sample for a past class I taught called (oddly enough) Pretty Planet. Lately, I’ve been finishing my class samples and turning them into completed art work. And I’m using a method of binding the gives them a neat finish.

pillowcasebinding3This version of binding, the Pillowcase Binding, gives you a trim edge and is quick and easy. Please note that these directions are for finishing a small fused quilt. It may not work as easily on large, non fused quilts.