Ripping and Reworking

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In preparation for a new class in July at Quilters’ Affair, I’m making multiple garden stitcheries using felt shapes and size 8 pearl cotton threads. This one was going along great until I got a little carried away.

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See all those yellow Lazy Daisy stitches filling in across the bottom section? Don’t you think it’s a little too cluttered? The reason I like working with the felt is that it has a clean, simple look that is easily enhanced by embroidery. But those yellow Lazy Daisies are messy looking. They really bug me!

So I’ll spend a little time ripping them out and come up with plan B. What ever that is!

Felt Like Gardening #1

feltgarden2Once the major elements on my little felt embroidery project are tacked to a background fabric, it’s time to add decorative stitches. The wiggly bits (the “grass”) are stitched first. These delicate strips are secured to the background with an embroidery stitch usually associated with flowers: the Pistil Stitch. Pistil Stitches not only travel across the strips to trap them into place but, add a little bead of thread to edge. It’s a twofer!

Incidentally, I’m teaching a class called Felt Like Gardening at Quilters’ Affair in Sister OR this coming July. This piece will be an example for the students.

Random Acts of Dyeing

dyedthread3It’s back to school time! And that means dyeing thread for all my fall classes. The threads you see above are destined for my students as part of their class kits. Whether taking a quilting class or hand embroidery class, everybody gets some colorful thread. Ooooooh! Aren’t they pretty!

dyebottlesThese threads are dyed using the “random acts of dyeing” method. I don’t following the repeatable color formulas for Artfabrik threads. Instead, I use up all my left over dye stock to dye threads in random colorways. It’s a great way to discover new color combinations and prepare for my classes at the same time. See you in the classroom!

 

What I’ve Learned from Teaching

ironcleaning1One of the things I most enjoy about teaching is what I learn from my students. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years from teaching intrepid quilt makers from around the world. 

  • Irons are hot, filthy things. Use a dryer sheet to clean your iron. Here’s how.
  • Do NOT use a dryer sheet when standing beneath a smoke detector as they can trigger a smoke alarm. The fire department will come to your classroom and you are never asked back to that venue again.
  • Use size 4 embroidery needles with a size 8 embroidery thread.
  • The best place to hide your fabric stash from your husband is at a friend’s house.
  • Always bring Band-Aids to class.
  • When an iron starts an ironing board on fire, throw it out the door onto an asphalt driveway. Or wait for the fire department to arrive and never be asked back to that venue again. 

A big thank you to all my students for these helpful tips!

Give-Away and Wool Stitchery

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Stitching on wool by Paula.

Your needle and thread glide through wool fabric with a satisfying ease. Hand embroidery on wool makes for rich texture and pattern like Paula’s inventive design above. Her free-form flower, a sampler of colorful stitch combinations, has even attracted a honey bee!

NHworldquilt2Are you attracted to wool stitchery too?

Soon I’ll be teaching my Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool class at the World Quilt New England, in Manchester, NH. Students like Paula, will design their own artwork, transfer it to wool, and stitch with a selection of hand dyed threads.

I hope you can join me!

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Unable to visit with me in New Hampshire?

Then please leave a comment on today’s blog and you may be the lucky winner of a bag of small wool scraps plus a skein of  hand-dyed floss to start your  own wool project.