These three moose, a cow and two calves, have been hanging around our yard a lot this winter, usually scavenging in the garden. We also have a neighborhood red fox that we see fairly regularly. It's been a cold winter so far, 35 days between -20 and -48. It's amazing to see the birds and animals surviving out in that weather! The moose are enjoying a balmy 5 above today:-)
Once they settle in for a nap, they often stay for hours. It's so much fun, although we don't have a lot of daylight to enjoy them:-)
I have only begun to scratch the surface of this technique, but I can see that it will be lots of fun! These samples are all done with Rit dyes, which are readily available and easy to use. Since I'm not an expert, I'm not going to put directions here, just look up 'low water immersion dyeing'. I'm hoping to experiment with the fiber reactive dyes in the coming year, as those often have even better results on cotton fabric.
I hope my "12 Days of Art Quilting Techniques" have inspired you to do something creative in the coming year!
Hand embroidery has a little more dimension than machine stitching, so it adds a nice touch. It's also portable, so even though it takes a little longer, you can use time that might otherwise be wasted, like sitting in a waiting room or in front of the tv...:-) Crazy quilts are a great way to use hand embroidery stitches. I know I've done cards with the center motif embroidered too, but couldn't find
Rubber stamps are a great way to get a design onto fabric. You can use paint, ink, or thickened dye. Since my cards aren't going to be washed, I don't have to worry about whether they are washable or not.
Let the fabric do the work!
Today's technique is an easy one...take advantage of some of the great fabrics out there. The raven and polar bear cards are pretty much one piece of fabric with stitching and embellishments added. The chickadee fabric is the focal point, and it's easy to add a few coordinating fabrics to that.
Utilizing other fabric types
Quilted cards are a good place to use fabrics and materials that are not normally used in quilting, because you don't have to worry about them being washed. :-) The mitten is wool, the moose is birch bark, and the raven card has a swirl of satin behind the raven. Sewing on birch bark is pretty easy, but it does have to be freshly peeled off of a log, so I only use it when we are cutting trees for firewood.
Oil paint sticks
I have not spent too much time playing with oil paint sticks yet, but they are lots of fun. The trees and moon are painted, then after they dry (24 hours) I do some stitching on top of the paint. For the flower, I stitched the outline first, then filled in the petals with paint, let dry, then added more stitching and beads.
It seems a little crazy to think about sunprinting at this time of year, we're down to about 3 1/2 hours of daylight, and it's been around -30 degrees for a week! I've heard you can do it with lights, I might have to try that...In the summer, (or someplace much warmer than here!) it's very easy to do. Just paint fabric with Setacolor fabric paints, lay an object on top of the fabric, and put in the sun to dry. The paint fades under the object, leaving a print. My chickadee is made with a light switch cover, the moose is a copper Christmas ornament. It's fun to experiment with different things...leaves, a wire cooling rack, the options are endless. Add some free motion stitching and you have a quick little project.
Piecing fabric is the foundation of tradtional quilting, but it can also be used in artistic ways. The crane tracks card is inspired by Jean Wells' artwork, a randomly pieced section inserted into the background piece. Combining piecing with other techniques such as applique or decorative stitching can make them more artistic as well.
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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