Monday, December 06, 2010

Stitched Christmas Cards

Saturday was a good day.  I was teaching a class at Serge N Sew in Nanaimo.

The technique was the stitched tree in my book, "Embellishing with Anything." It's the same technique used in the tree on the cover.  On Saturday we were translating it to Christmas cards. 
The most delightful group of 6 ladies were registered and what a great group.  Three left with beautiful cards, one made TWO trees and decided to do a wall hanging with one.  Two had trouble with their machines but coaxed them into working..... with the help of Linda from the store who saved the day. 

It encouraging to see the students I had catch on to what they were doing and then talk about different ideas for the same technique.  To the left we have Tina who has been in one of my classes before.  She's a delight and a creative "power sewer"!  Lots of ideas and unstoppable energy.  She's produced many many postcards since that class and has a travelling kit to do more!  

To the right is Mary, an elegant woman who mastered her machine and the technique.  Her card was completed except for embellishments when she headed home.  Her husband picked her up and he was the best man for being interested in what she had accomplished!

And this is Irene, who also took a class with me previously.  On Saturday she brought her binder of finished projects, all of which she worked through following the instructions in my book after the one class.  She had an amazing variety and quality to her collection.  I was really pleased to think that someone had spent the time she that she did with my book and produced such wonderful treasures, both the patterns and ideas in the book and more of her own design.  Beautiful work Irene!

To the right is Maryanne.  She had a terrible time getting her machine to cooperate, but once it got adjusted, (thanks to Linda, at Serge & Sew)....she was on a roll....look closely at the lovely tree she is working on. 

And here is Judy, the maverick in the class.  She worked quietly and intently and asked great questions.  She is the one who made a wall hanging, and then started on a card and had great ideas to use the technique in other ways.

I love it when that happens.  Such great ideas when they all started with the same project. 

Friday, December 03, 2010

Liquitex Inks from C&T Publishing – Another tutorial of sorts!

On the weekend of November 11, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of quilting friends for our bi-annual retreat.  While there, we work on whatever we want to, and appreciate the input of friends of almost 20 years when pondering our work.  It’s a great time together, lots of fun, food and laughter, wine too!  And believe it or not a LOT gets done!!!

This time one of the projects I took along was the Liquitex Inks provided to me, as one of the “author ambassadors”  by my publisher, C&T.

One of the talented people there has a machine at home, which makes silk screens out of good contrast photographs.  I had sent her a photo of my favorite tree, a Garry Oak,  earlier in the month.  She prepared two silkscreens for me and brought them to the retreat for me.  I set out the inks and medium that had been provided free of charge and promptly 16 very creative and talented minds went to work trying them out on various silk screens.

The ink itself is a little too runny for silk screens and flows too freely, smudging the design.  However, when mixed with the medium, it is perfect.  We tried several different silk screens and this is the one I produced.  Making something of it will be a challenge as it’s so beautiful just as it is! 

Here’s some photos of the project “happening”.  Note the elegant container that the “medium” and ink are mixed in? (I DID say we were at a retreat!) 

Here are the steps we followed:

1. Use a slightly padded surface.
2. Smooth out target fabric, right side up on padded surface.
3. Place silk screen wherever you want the design (this one was done   three times).

4. Lay out a line of the medium/ink “goop” at the top of the silkscreen.

5. Pull it down across the design with a credit card, paint scraper, anything with an smooth edge that will not tear the silk.

6.  Second screening.  No extra ink needed.

7.  Load again for third screening. Scrape as before.

6.  Lift carefully.

7.  If not re-using, wash the silkscreen in cool water immediately and lay on a tea towel to dry.  Be sure to handle it very carefully so that it’s good for the predicted 1,000 copies! 

One detail that we noticed is that the silkscreen, after being thoroughly washed, still has a bit of iridescent flake here and there.  Next use will tell whether that blocks the screen or is just visual!
This design was done with white ink in iridescent medium.  I was thrilled with the results.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  Now to stitch on it!!