Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Weaving Fabric

I think that probably anyone who likes patchwork quilting is interested in how fabrics can be cut apart and put back together, forming something new.  Since sewing the Autumn Leaf Table Runner, I've been looking at more ways fabric can be deconstructed/reconstructed to form backgrounds. 

A couple of tutorials demonstrate fabric weaving techniques that look intriguing!  Joan Hawley describes how to make a fabric using fusible bias tape - the same technique could be used with strips of cut fabric attached to a fusible interfacing or web.

And this tutorial on Sulky's website shows how to make a random, curved weaving and has photos of several suggested projects you can make with your new fabric.

Dogwood Leaves No. 6, Judy Lundberg

To see some stunning quilts made using fabric weaving techniques, be sure to take a look at the gallery on Judy Lundberg's website!  I love the way she also blends her colors and creates wonderful motion.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tumbling Pumpkin Table Runner

It doesn't seem like it should be October already, but it is!  Here's a Halloween themed table runner that went together pretty quickly.  There's only one catch - I'm am currently where I don't have access to a scanner .... so this means I can't upload the pumpkin and pumpkin stem shapes.  I did however Google "pumpkin shapes" and found a lot of images that had very nice shapes!  And if they don't turn out to be the right size, they can be enlarged or shrunk on a copier.

*1 3/4 yards Halloween themed fabric - I found this sparkly, bat one at JoAnn's
*1/2 yard fabric in an orange shade
*small amount of fabric for the stems
*4 yards single fold bias tape - I used black for this 
*fusible felt
*2 shades of rust sewing thread
*Lite Steam a Seam 2

1.  Cut two pieces of 54 x 14 inch Halloween themed fabric - this will be the front and the backing.  Cut four pumpkins and four stems.  I made the stems longer than needed so they could be attached behind the pumpkin.  Attach to the top with Lite Steam a Seam 2.

2.  Cut a 54 x 14 inch piece of fusible felt and fuse to the wrong side of the backing fabric.  Pin the top fabric piece on top of the felt.

3.  Use a tight zig zag stitch to finish the edges of the pumpkins and stems.  Thread sketch curved lines in the pumpkins to give it a rounded look - go over each line with each color of thread.  Trim, finish the edges with seam binding and you're done!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Halloween Projects

If you're fast with your needlework, you just might have time to whip up one of these fun Halloween projects!  Otherwise, you can be like me and put it in the "do for next year" pile ...

These skeleton motifs actually look like I could get some finished for this year - I'm thinking of a yarn size that will make them big enough to be coasters.  The free pattern is available on Kristin's Krazy Knits.

I'm working on knitting my first sweater - so far so good, but it's still early in the game!  If all goes well, this darling skeleton sweater will definitely be on my needles for next Halloween.  It's knit with Bernat yarns and the pattern is free on the Yarnspirations website (sizes 2 through 8).

And I love Monica Gausen's bathat!  I definitely need one.  She's made the pdf available free on Ravelry here.  

This crocheted white pumpkin has a spooky chic elegance to it - like something that would be in the Addams family's home!  And it's cleverly stuffed with black tulle.  This would be great as part of a Victorian Halloween decor.  The free instructions are at Kits Crafts here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Leaf Table Runner

I've wanted to make an autumn leaf table runner for a few weeks now - I knew I wanted to make the leaves from some ice dyed fabric in autumn colors that I made awhile ago, but I just couldn't come up with a background I liked.  Until I was inspired by Kirsten Chursinoff's gorgeous pieced fabric backgrounds!  For this one I used neutral and light blue fabric scraps and did a little bit of fading one color into another.  When I got the longer table runner finished, I like it so much I made a second square one!  So you have two choices in the instructions.

*cotton muslin
*scraps of white, light tan, tan, light gray, and light blue fabrics
*fabric with colors of autumn leaves - I used ice dyed fabric (see instructions here)
*Lite Steam a Seam II
*two shades of rust sewing thread
*backing fabric
*single fold bias tape (see here for making your own) - 4 yards for the long table runner and 2 1/2 yards for the square one)
*pattern for maple leaf (I just free hand drew the ovoid leaf)

1.  Cut a piece of cotton muslin the size you want the table runner to be - 54 x 14 inches for the long table runner and 18 inches square for the square one.

2.  Cut squares from the background scrap fabric - cut them 3 5/8 inches square (you need a bit more than the 3 1/2 inches to allow for overlap).  For the long runner, you'll need 12 white, 16 light tan, 12 tan, 12 light gray, and 8 light blue squares.  For the square runner, 10 white, 4 light tan, 6 tan, 2 light gray, and 3 light blue squares.

3.  To attach squares to the cotton muslin, pin the first row down with squares slightly overlapping the square next to it.  Sew along the edges with a decorative stitch.

To add the next rows, pin the second row in the same way as the first, plus overlap it slightly over the first row.  Sew along the edges with a decorative stitch, sewing across all squares first (width of the fabric) and then sewing along the short edges (lengthwise).  Repeat for all rows.

For the long runner:
Row 1 - 4 white
Row 2 - white, lt. tan, white, lt. tan
Row 3 - 4 lt. tan
Row 4 - lt. tan, tan, lt. tan, tan
Row 5 - 4 tan
Row 6 - 4 lt. gray
Row 7 - lt. blue, lt. gray, lt. blue, lt. gray
Row 8 - 4 lt. blue
Row 9 - reverse row 7
Row 10 - reverse row 6
Row 11 - reverse row 5
Row 12 - reverse row 4
Row 13 - reverse row 3
Row 14 - reverse row 2
Row 15 - reverse row 1

For the square runner:
Row 1 - 5 white
Row 2 - lt. tan, 3 tan, lt. tan
Row 3 - lt. gray, 3 lt. blue, lt. gray
Row 4 - reverse row 2
Row 5 - reverse row 1

4.  Cut maple and ovoid leaves - 4 maple and 8 ovoid for the long runner, 2 maple and 4 ovoid for the square one.  I attached these to the fabric with Lite Steam a Seam II - you can also baste them on.  When you have them arranged to your liking, sew around the edge of each leaf with a tight zigzag stitch.  I used the darker rust thread on the maple and darker ovoid leaves and the lighter rust thread on the remaining ovoid leaves.

5.  Layer your piece of fabric with a piece of batting and the backing fabric.  Pin in place.  Thread sketch around the outline of each leaf and then sew veins.  Repeat this with both colors of rust thread (I used regular weight sewing thread).

6.  Trim edges of the runner even and bind with bias tape.  For the square runner, I rounded the corners a bit and for the longer one I used square corners.

Happy Creating!  Deborah