Monday, January 14, 2013

FMQ December Bonus Challenge


For the final Free Motion Quilting Challenge from SewCalGal, Teri Lucas gave us a bonus tutorial on using Kaleidoscope Kreator software to create beautiful patterns on inkjet printed fabric.  I decided not to invest in the software at this time, though some of the patterns that people created were quite gorgeous.  Instead, I used that sample pattern that was given to us for this tutorial.
(the fabric copy is on the left, and a paper copy is on the right)  
After printing my fabric, I stitched it up and did a row of echo quilting.
The white (and blue) lines are for placing a background pattern - which was next.  I sketched several ideas on a tracing of the star, and chose my favorite.
At this point, I decided to go a little wild and try a novelty thread (Glitter Hologram by Superior).  A few notes for you if you want to use this thread:
1.  Set up so the thread will pull off the side of the spool (instead of off the top)
2.  When threading your machine, skip that last little guide hook right next to the needle
OK, it's probably hard to see that I skipped that last hook, but trust me on this - if you don't, then thread breakage is in your future.

Thanks to Cindy Needham for the hints on using this thread - I took her "Open Thread Bar" class at MQX back in October - fun class, lovely teacher, great handouts, lots of info on threads (OK, the focus is on Superior Threads, but a lot of the info is applicable to other brands), and plenty of time to try out lots of different threads and use some really sweet machines (Janome) in the lab.
(this is my class sample - I tried to make some patterns really small like Cindy does)

Back to the tutorial - once I made those thread set-up adjustments, it sewed up easily.
(this is before I washed out the guide lines)
It doesn't show in the photo, but this thread sparkles like tinsel and changes color with a different viewing angle.  It's very flash and fun!

Stitching Tech:
I used Dritz Sew-On Printed Treasures for this - a washable (washed twice in cold water with no bleeding and no change in quality), Inkjet printable, 200 thread count Pima Cotton.  The pattern printed excellently, and was fine to sew on, but the fabric does have a bit of a stiff "hand".  I think it's worth trying out some other brands for comparison before I use inkjet fabric in a project.

90/14 topstitch needle
Feathered Star outlined with Superior Magnifico, 40 wt. 4-ply high sheen trilobal poly, color 2096 "Zesty Lime"
Background feathers are Superior Glitter Hologram, metallized poly, color 108 "Atlantis"
Bobbin thread is Superior The Bottom Line 60wt. poly, color 650 "Champagne"
What a great year of FMQ this has been!  And I've still got 1 lesson and 2 bonus lessons to try out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Abundance of UFOs

Like you, I have UFOs.  (that's unfinished objects - this is not a sci-fi post, though the UFOs do seem to propagate in a mysterious way).  It's OK, really, and nothing to be embarrassed about.  It is, in fact, the sign of a healthy, questing brain combining with rampant creativity.  And that's a good thing!

That said, there comes a time when it may actually be too much of a good thing.  

Last year, I set myself a goal of finishing one UFO before I started anything new.  This wouldn't reduce my UFO load, but it would stop its growth.  It didn't work.  Oh, I did finish a few things, which was good, but I started, well, more than a few.

In fact, when I started this post, I went back to a list  lists I made last year to document the extent of my problem, 
and I thought, no, it's too much, let me summarize.  So while doing my morning walk, I thought through what that summarizing blog post would look like and I thought, no, it's still too much.  

Let's just say that the long list includes many projects of knitting, multi-shaft weaving, rigid heddle weaving, quilting - piecing and applique, free-motion quilting, sewing, and spinning in the following categories:

UFOs - (unfinished objects) - projects that have not been touched for 6 months to 6 years
WIPs - (works in progress) - projects that have seen some action in the last 6 months
NWs - (new works - sometimes optimistically referred to as NewFOs) - projects for which I have most of the yarn/fabric/fiber, the instructions/design/pattern, and the enthusiasm to start now, right now.
ITBs (in the brain/in the book) - projects that I have been thinking about, designing in my head or in my design book, and want to start, though I don't have a finished plan or all the supplies needed.
Classes signed up for already (including Craftsy) - and classes, as you know, always create more UFOs/WIPs/ITBs/Stash!
SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy) - fiber, fabric, yarn - and it's all beautiful and high quality and needs my attention.

On my sidebar, you will find buttons with links to several blogs that are hosting UFO finishing challenges this year.  I like a good challenge, so will participate in these to the best of my ability, and hopefully, will finish some of the really great projects I've started!

You may note that I also posted one that challenges you to start at least one new project each month without having to finish any first.  There's nothing wrong with that (waves hand in a Jedi manner, "these are not the contradictions you seek") and will hopefully free my mind to not feel too locked in to old projects.

That said, I also posted the "blogging without obligation" button.  To me, this means that if life gets in the way/I'd rather create than blog about creating/blogging starts to feel like a chore, then there may be a blogless gap, for which I will not apologize.  I'd rather wait and give you a post when I'm excited about something and have some useful info to share!

So here are my year of the finished project goals for this month:
1.  UFO - The 7 yard color gamp warp on my new Baby Wolf that has languished since I warped the loom and wove off the first of 8 towels back in June.
*Needs 7 towels woven, each with a different tie-up or color sequence in the weft.


2.  WIP - The FMQ December Bonus challenge from Teri Lucas - have already printed off the Kaleidoscope pattern (paper copy on right) onto the Inkjet printable fabric (fabric copy on left).
*Needs to be layered into a quilt sandwich and free motion quilted!


3.  WIP - Dress for 2 year old granddaughter - dress is actually finished, as per the published pattern.
*Needs to be revised and have a tie or button and loop put on at the back of neck - she's a wee little thing, but she has a big active brain and needs a neckline that is small enough for her little shoulders, but big enough for her head to go through comfortably.

4.  WIP - Pinwheel Scarf on Rigid Heddle loom - abandoned in November, though weaving is finished (this is an older photo).
*Needs to be hemstitched, taken off the loom, and fringe twisted.

5.  NW - fingerless mitts for an American Girls doll, to match the fingerless mitts I made for my 11 year old granddaughter (the owner of the doll).
(sorry, no photo - forget to take one when I gave the mitts to her!)
*Needs me to find the right little beads, estimate a stitch count, cast on, and knit (that seems like a lot, but they're going to be really small).

That's enough for now.

Never Too Hot to Stitch!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rigid Heddle Resources

Well, my blog traffic seems to have skyrocketed, thanks to a lovely link from The Yarn Harlot (thanks Stephanie, you're very kind), and since most of you are here for info about the Rigid Heddle, I thought I'd just put up a quick links page of the posts I've done on RH weaving.   Some of these posts include photos to show the process, some are just show-and-tell.  Many list resources for further study.

1. Simple plain weave projects that let the yarn do the work - probably the best use of this loom for a beginner (or anyone, really, it's always fun).
Feb. 4, 2010 first scarf ever
Feb. 16, 2010 after Madrona class
March 2010

2. Color and Weave Effects - Log Cabin - also plain weave, but with 2 colors in a pattern
Sept. 2010

3. Spaced Out Felted Weave - plain weave again, but with spacers (and felting)
Feb. 5, 2010 and Feb. 6, 2010 and Feb. 10, 2010

4. Woven Shibori - plain weave with a supplemental weft (or warp) thread, and over-dyeing (August is Indigo Dye Day)
Feb. 19, 2010
Aug. 2011
Aug. 2012

5. Pick-up Lace and Float patterns - plain weave with hand manipulated and pick up stick textures and patterns
March 2, 2010

6. Waffle Weave - plain weave with weft floats (pick up stick)
May 2010

7. Double Heddle/Pick Up Stick Weave Structures
June 2010 Double Weave - plain weave, but kind of not simple plain weave (needs a pick up stick!)
April 2012 Summer and Winter - well, it's got some plain weave in it . . .

And since I taught beginning and intermediate Rigid Heddle Weaving last year, I just happen to have a bibliography handy:


Bibliography

Books (print and e-books) and Magazines:
  • Davenport, Betty Linn, Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving, Interweave Press, 1987 - good variety of projects including pick-up lace and band weaving + excellent basic weaving info, but beware - the warping shown uses a warping board and much more complicated process (like the multi-shaft looms use).
  • Davenport, Betty Linn, Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom, Revised Edition, 2008 - no basic weaving info, but lots of info on using pick up sticks for floats and textures (includes an excellent section on double weave) - note: all illustrations are black and white.
  • Hart, Rowena, The Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving, Ashford Handicrafts Limited, 2008 - new edition with some really interesting and creative projects (color and weave, tapestry, lace, shibori, rya) + excellent basic weaving info and direct peg warping with lots of photo illustrations (double heddle threading info is great, but there are easier ways to do summer/winter).
  • Gipson, Liz, Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom, Interweave Press, 2008 - good simple projects (including some laces) + excellent basic weaving info and materials/sett selection, but beware - the warping shown uses a warping board and much more complicated process (like the multi-shaft looms use).
  • Lamb, Sara, Woven Treasures: One-of-a-Kind Bags with Folk Weaving Techniques, Interweave Press, 2009 - great variety of techniques + excellent basic weaving info including direct peg warping for single and double heddle, and warping for band weaving (project note - only the first bag is single heddle, for the rest you need 2 heddles).
  • Menz, Deb, Color Works: The Crafter’s Guide to Color, Interweave Press, 2004 - no weaving, but lots of great info about color and color combinations.
  • Patrick, Jane, The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid-Heddle Loom, Interweave Press, 2010 - The big book of endless (and interesting) ideas and variations with full color illustrations + basic weaving info, direct peg warping, materials/sett selection, double heddle techniques, glossary of weaving terms.
  • Best of Handwoven: New Technique Series: Rigid Heddle Pattern Book 1 PDF (e-book) http://www.interweavestore.com/Weaving/Books/Rigid-Heddle-Weaving.html
  • Hand Woven Magazine, Interweave Press (only has Rigid Heddle sometimes, but also look for 2-shaft projects).
DVDs
  • Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom, with Jane Patrick, Interweave DVD, 2011.
  • Slots and Holes: Three Ways to Warp a Rigid Heddle Loom, Liz Gipson, Interweave DVD, 2012.
  • A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color, with Laura Bryant, Interweave DVD, 2011.
 Social Media
  • Ravelry - https://www.ravelry.com/account/login has several weaving groups that share info - “The Cricket Club” for Cricket loom weavers, and “Rigid Heddle Looms” for all RH weavers (currently having a Weavers Idea Book study group).  It’s free, but you have to join.
  • Facebook also has a few Rigid Heddle Weavers groups
Online resources:
Project Planning

Lace Weaving
Color and Weave Effects
Double Heddle Weaving
Woven Shibori
Summer/Winter Weave
Waffle Weave
Supplies