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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shibori Ribbon Easy Tutorial

What is Shibori Ribbon?  It's a strip of silk fabric that is twisted and pleated during the dying process to create a wonderful fabric embellishment that can be used in jewerly making and textile art and in this case, the elegant art of Victorian Crazy Quilting.

Created and manufactured by Shibori Girl, this gorgeous silk ribbon is available in a vast array of colors.

There are several online shops that carry the full line of Shibori Silk Ribbon but for Crazy Quilting, I recommend a scrap bag with a variety of shorter pieces.  These scrap bags are available from Shibori Girl Studios on Etsy.

So what do you do with Shibori Ribbon?  Let's get started.



Step 1:  Because Shibori Ribbon is made of silk and pleated, it's very fluid and reflective.  It can add movement to your crazy quilt block.  It adds texture and light and of course, color!  Determine where you want your ribbon on your block.  In my example, I wanted the ends sewn into the seams.  I started by pinching one end of the ribbon together and sewing the end down so that when I put this piece together, the ribbon will be sewn into the seam.  It's just a matter of tacking it down.  I used a fine silk thread by YLI for hand sewing:

Step 2:  Fan the pleats out a bit and tack the edge down along one side.  You'll want to tuck the raw edge under as you tack it down with tiny stitches.

As you can see in the photo below, I sort of "pinched" it in the center and then fanned it out again near the bottom.  Again, I want both ends sewn into the seam when I put this project together.

So continue to tack your ribbon down along the other edge until you're satisfied that your shibori ribbon is secure.  You don't need to a lot of tack stitches.  Just a few.


Step 3:  I like to use some sort of a focal point embellishment.  In my example, I used a round pink bead and then added "petals" with smaller bicone beads.  You can use buttons, a piece of vintage jewelry or anything else you like.



Step 4: Ya'll know me, I love beads!!!  I used a pink bead mix and trailed beads from the pink flower outward in the "valleys" of the pleats, following the flow of the Shibori ribbon.  You don't want to completely cover up your ribbon.  Make sure you can see the ribbon through your bead trails.


Step 5: For a little added interest, I sewed on a few little hand dyed lace daisies with a bead in the center.  Just a couple scattered here and there.

And that's all there is to it!  It's very simple and adds so much interest to a crazy quilt project. 

Of course, this isn't the one and only way to work with Shibori Ribbon.  As I use it on upcoming projects, I will share more technique tutorials but this one is a simple and good way to get started using it.

I still have some stitching to do on this block so I'll post another update on it over the weekend.  For now, I'm off to sew up a block for my next project.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bird Pillow Update

I have a quick little update today on my current project.  This will be a pillow when I complete it:

The next step on this will be to add the Shibori ribbon and embellish that.  I will take photos as I go along and put together a nice and easy tutorial for you.

In the meantime, one of our very own dear Crazy Quilters is in need of some financial assistance.  Cathy Kizerian was kind enough to set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help Viv with the funeral costs for her dear husband Eddie.  If you're interested in helping Viv, please click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Finished Clutch Purse with Broiderie Perse Applique

I put this Clutch Purse together yesterday.  You might remember this piece as I used it for my Broiderie Perse Tutorial.  And Part 2 is here.





I absolutely love this piece!  I think it's the soft colors, the Broiderie Perse Applique and the Shibori ribbon.  It's so feminine!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crazy Quilt Bird Pillow

My current project, which I started earlier last week, is the very Springy (and who doesn't need some Spring right now?) Crazy Quilt Bird Pillow:

I still have a way to go on this but as you can see, I did some Broiderie Perse applique:


Both motifs are from the same piece of fabric.  If you click on the images, you can see them larger.

I'll be adding the Shibori Silk Ribbon piece soon so I'll write up the tutorial for that as I work it.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

St Patricks Day Tussy Mussy's

Today's offerings are Mom's latest St. Patricks Day Tussy Mussy's:






I just love St. Patrick's Day!  I think it's because it's the beginning of Spring!  And after a day of 6 degrees below 0, I am so done with Winter!  The only thing that made todays cold temps tolerable was the sun has been out all day!  I'm so looking forward to the Robins coming back.  I love their beautiful song!  And believe me, when I see my first Robin of Spring, ya'll be the first to know about it!  LOL!!!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Broiderie Perse Piece Finished

I have been stitching away on this little Broiderie Perse purse!  LOL!!  Yes, this will be a purse.

Here's a little something I wanted to point out:

I thought this piece of lace was a little boring looking.  It just didn't show up on the block.  I didn't want to take it off to hand paint it so, since I had my Rayon threads out, I decided to embroider it:


I satin stitched the little circles and then stem stitched the leaves.  This really defined the lace.  I went on to add some beads to it and them silk ribbon embroidery.

This is the finished stitched piece:

I have the frame to put it on so I'll get this sewn up either over the weekend or the first part of next week and I'll post another photo of it.

My next piece, which I'll start stitching on this afternoon is this:

As you can see, there will be a little bit of Broiderie Perse applique on this.  I was asked about the pink Shibori ribbon on the purse so I will be writing up a tutorial about working with Shibori ribbon when get to that point on this block.

If you want to see closeups of these photos, just click on them.

I'm going to leave you today with a YouTube video.  This is Marie Osmond singing Nessun Dorma from the opera Madam Butterfly.  My grandmother loved Madam Butterfly so it makes me think of her.  And I don't know about anyone else, but I think Marie Osmond does a beautiful rendition.


Correction Edit:  This piece is from Puccini's opera Turandot.  My grandmother always said it was Madam Butterfly.  Thank you to Catherine for correcting my error.  I'm well versed in Classical music but not opera.  I should have double checked it.  Still, it reminds me of my grandma who loved this piece!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Broiderie Perse Tutorial For Crazy Quilting Part 2

This is Part 2 of the tutorial for Broiderie Perse Applique on Crazy Quilting.  You can find Part 1 of the Broiderie Perse tutorial here.

Once you have your applique ironed onto your crazy quilt block, you're going to want to add some decorative stitches.

Traditionally, the Blanket Stitch is used to hold fabric appliques in place.  Personally, that's fine for shapes, but for Broiderie Perse, I don't care for the way it looks.

There's no right or wrong way so I opted for the chain stitch:

Start by stitching around the outside of the fabric applique.  I used 1 strand of Kreinik #4 Braid in gold but you can use whatever thread you like.  Keep your chain stitches small and try to pierce the edge of your fabric applique to hold the edges in place.

Once you're applique is "outlined", you can stop stitching if you want to.  But who wants to stop stitching!  I continued to outline the petals on my flowers using the chain stitch.

 I also added some straight stitches to the centers of the flowers.

Again, if you want to stop stitching here, you can.  If you want to keep going, you'll need 3 shades of thread that match the coloring in your applique.  I choose 3 shades of rose in DMC Rayon Floss.  I'm not sure they make that thread any more.  I think they make a satin floss which is similar but I have a ton of their Rayon so I used 2 strands of it.  Again, you can use embroidery floss.  I recommend 2 or 3 strands, depending on how much you want your stitches to pop.

Start with the darkest shade first which should be closest to the center of your flowers.  Now much of this will depend on the print that you used.  Begin by making straight stitches out from the center of the flower following the shading on your fabric print:

You probably won't need to use a lot of the darkest color.  Move on to your medium shade following the colors in your applique and making long straight stitches.


And finally, as you can see in the above photo, the lightest shade of your thread color.

If you have leaves in your applique, do those too!  The more stitching, the prettier your applique becomes.  But you don't want to cover all the fabric.  You do want to leave some unstitched areas to show through.

I added a few gold beads to the flower centers.

And this is the block:

This is really a piece of cake.  It's nothing more than a chain stitch and long straight stitches.  Keep in mind, the rayon floss that I used is very shiny!  You can use whatever thread you like.  Even simple cotton embroidery floss will give a painted look to your flowers.

Click on the photos to see them up close.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.  The link to my email address is in the sidebar near the top of my blog.

I hope that you will try this technique.  If you do, please send photos to me and I will include them in the Autumn issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine!










Stitching Fix

Yesterday, I shared a link to Mary Anne's blog.  She posted a fix to a "stitching gone wrong" problem.



I think her solution is absolutely brilliant!


Mary Anne did not care for the cross stitched long stem rose in the first photo.  She felt that it over-powered the other elements on her block.  I agree with her.  It's too much going in the same direction and it's too heavy.  The eye doesn't know what to look at first.

Mary Anne's fix was to cover the area with a pretty eyelet doily.  She added some small cross stitch roses and a pretty light pink rosebud trim along the edge. 

So much softer looking and now, nothing competes with the broiderie perse applique.

Speaking of Broiderie Perse, I will be post Part 2 of my tutorial this afternoon so be sure to stop back for that!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sharing A Few Links For Today

I've been working away on Part 2 of my tutorial for Broiderie Perse on Crazy Quilting. I expect to have that posted here tomorrow. 

I thought for today, I would send you off to visit a few other blogs.

*First, Mary Anne at Magpie's Mumblings had some "cross stitch gone wrong" on one of her Crazy Quilt blocks.  I thought her "fix" was brilliant!  This process can be applied to anything stitched on a crazy quilt block that just doesn't work out as planned!

*If you have been wanting to learn the elegant art of crazy quilting, do visit Kathy Shaw's blog.  Kathy just posted her 2015 Registration dates for both her Beginner's Class and her Intermediate Class.  Kathy graciously offers her classes with no charge so please hop over and sign up now.

*Mary Corbet of Needle 'N Thread has posted a nice list of Needlework News Snippets for today.  Mary offers all sorts of wonderful and inspirational links in her news brief for today!

*I was over at Lorraine's Colour Compliments blog and in honor of Valentine's Day, she posted some pink stitching!  See her example of an interwoven cross stitch worked in pink!  My signature color!  This example is for needlepoint but it can easily be adapted to crazy quilting!  Especially if you use my waste canvas technique!

*Finally for today, pay a visit to Brenda Sandusky's blog and see her gorgeous Crazy Quilt Valentine Heart!



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hanging Heart By Mom

I've been playing around a little bit with the banner for my blog.  It'll probably change again because I don't care for the lettering that I used but I'll look at it for a day or two before I play around with it some more.

For today, I just added a new Hanging Heart by Mom to my Etsy shop:

 Even though Mom doesn't really do much crazy quilting, I can see where she's picked up some embellishing habits from me!

Also, a little birdie told me that Mom is working on some St Patrick's Day Tussy Mussy's!  I usually hang out over at Mom's on Friday's so I may have them to list next week sometime.

If you like using these sweet little vintage images on your crazy quilting and other crafts, you might enjoy visiting my Vintage Images Pinterest board.  You'll find a nice selection of vintage photographs, vintage greeting cards and vintage illustrations.  Pour yourself a cup of tea and allow a good amount of time because there are over 10,000 images on that board!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hoops, Frames or Stitching In-Hand

I thought for today, I would talk a little bit about supporting your blocks while you stitch.  Over the years, I've had some stitcher's email me to ask why their blocks pucker.  The first thing I ask them is if they use a hoop or frame or if they stitch in-hand.  I'm never surprised when I hear that the puckered blocks were stitched in-hand.

The term "in-hand" means, that no hoop, frame or other supporting object was used to hold the block while the stitching was being done. 

Quite a few years ago, I made my one and only, whole cloth crazy quilt.

A whole cloth crazy quilt means it was pieced as one large block rather than individual blocks that were then pieced together once completed.  This piece had to be stitched in-hand.  It's approx. 22 inches square. A hoop would have left marks on the fancy velvets, brocades and silks and it would have made adding beads and other embellishments almost impossible.  Of course large quilting frames are available but I don't have the space in my house for a frame of that size to be sitting around so I stitched it in-hand.

When it came time to actually finish it into a quilt, my mother and I spent hours trying to get rid of the puckering and get it straight enough to bind it.  I do so love the look of a whole cloth crazy quilt but for me, I have no patience for the finishing to begin with and dealing with a quilt that puckers just makes me, well...crazy!

When I piece my blocks, I always leave enough extra foundation fabric to fit them into a hoop or attach them to a frame.  I have hoops in every size available and then I have some custom sized frames.  I'm very fortunate to have a father and a husband who can work with wood!

You can see my hoop on this piece.  It's a 12 inch quilting hoop.  It's old.  I bought it a flea market a few years back.  The quality back in the day was better than it is now.  A 9 inch square block will fit perfectly in a 12 inch hoop.

These are custom sized frames that my dad made for me to work this project on:







To attach the blocks to the frames, I just use old fashioned thumbtacks.  A lot of them!  With each tack, I stretch the block and by the time I have it attached the frame, it's tight as a drum.

I have not put this quilt together yet.  I made the side panels a few years ago but I've been dragging my feet on assembling it.  Why you ask?

Look very closely at the embroidered peacock.  I stitched this back in the early 1980's.  It was a pre-stamped design on black satin.  I did not use a hoop because I didn't want hoop rings and yes, the embroidered piece is puckered because of it.

I know what to do, I just haven't wanted to deal with it.  But it's on my list for this year and when I get to putting it all together, I'll write up a "how to deal with it" post.

But back to hoops and frames; I strongly suggest using one of those options to support your crazy quilt blocks.  It will save you so many headaches when you go to do the finishing on your projects.  You'll find that your blocks are pretty much straight with next to nothing for puckering.

If you need a custom sized frame and you don't have a father or husband who can make one for you out of wood, Kathy Shaw offers a great tutorial on making your own frame using pvc pipe.

Look for the link to the PDF file.











Monday, February 09, 2015

A Box Of Old Lace

My husband and I are already climbing the walls with cabin fever.  Spring fever actually.  This has not been a terribly cold or snowy Winter but every year, by mid-February, we need to get out!  So, we went a flea market yesterday.  It's an indoor flea market and not one of our favorites but it was something fun to do. 

I never find much at this flea market but this time, I hit the jackpot!  Look at this box of old crocheted and tatted lace:


There are a few pieces of manufactured lace in here but most of it is handmade.

I washed it yesterday when I got home and now it's ready for pressing. 

I don't know why, but I just can't leave a box of lace like this sitting around a dirty old flea market.  I already have more than I will ever use but this is just such a treasure to me.

If you're lucky enough to find some beautiful vintage and antique lace in a flea market, garage sale or thrift store, here are the directions for washing old lace.

In this article, I recommend a product called Orvus.  I do not know if it's still available or not.  I don't have any here and have actually been using Dawn dish washing detergent.  My thoughts on that are, if it's safe to use on precious wild life, caught in oil spills, then it's safe for textiles. 

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