Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Fast Fun Hanukkah CardΒ 

Continuing with my silk theme…if you find yourself with scraps of deep blue, gold and white silk dupioni, you have the makings of a vivid holiday card!

I fused a piece of my favorite Peltex II with the blue silk as background…then fused the back of a rectangle of white silk and a piece of gold silk with MistyFuse. Simply slice the white silk into 9 “candles” (I slanted 4 in one direction, 4 in the other, and then trimmed the  “helper” candle top to look almost straight), then cut 9 rectangles of gold and cut into flame-like shapes. 

Fuse the candles and flames in place, and free-motion stitch in place. I love Superior Threads’ metallics (and used Magnifico trilobal for the white candles).

Fuse the back of the postcard with white (or light) silk so that you can write your message…trim to 4″x 6″…and zigzag around the edge to finish.

Of course, our cat Jackson tends to turn up everywhere ;)…🐾🐾

Remember, if you want to fuse pieces of silk dupioni…make sure you MistyFuse all the way to the edges of the fabric! The fuse will control the fray.

Warm wishes for your holidays!

Silk + Plastic = Texture!

Here is a fun way to upcycle silk thread left from fringing pieces of silk dupioni and that red plastic mesh that comes on crates of clementines! Do not throw that mesh away…it melts very nicely into fabric to create cool effects.

  • So, we begin with a piece of my favorite Peltex II (very stiff double-sided fusible) and that pile of green silk thread:

  • Distribute the thread evenly and (making sure to use you Goddess Sheet), fuse the threads to the top of the Peltex
  • Then, you will need some sort of tulle, netting, something to hold the threads together before stitching. Take that red plastic from the clementine box:

  • Place on top of the fused thread and, folding the pressing sheet over, apply lots of heat and pressure.

  • Ready to back with a solid fabric (so that you can write a message) and trim to postcard size…

  • I went with red silk thread for the edges. When zig-zagging around, stitch slowly to make sure the needle catches the meshing.

All done and ready for gifting!

Really Fast Silk StoleΒ 

Ok, so you have to wear that black dress to another party. How to enhance it with a stole/wrap that is a shot of killer color?
Well, if you read yesterday’s post, you know where to go. Hit Butterfly Fabrics for a length of a color that you love…length depending on how long you like your wraps. I went for 1 3/4yds.

Place on hanger for a moment and say, oooh 😍.

Now comes the slightly challenging part…squaring the short sides. The goal is to create a nice amount of fray which becomes the fringe. Run a line of straight stitching down each side, roughly an inch or so from the edge. As you peel off the heavy threads, keep a jar handy…they will be a glorious addition to an future art quilt! 

Hint: this is an excellent thing to do while watching a holiday show…it will tangle if you lose patience and try to rush (ask me how I know this…) Stop fraying when you reach your line of stitching.

Onto the longarm! Fold in half lengthwise and pin the short sides to your leaders as if they were the quilt back. I used my favorite black metallic thread to simply “quilt” the two halves together. You can do more quilting…I was in a tearing hurry so I used a light touch.

And, here, a closeup of the fringe:

Bonus: a double-layer of dupioni helps keep me warm :).

My Source for Silk πŸ˜

Ok, I admit it…I’m hooked on silk dupioni! The color, the fray, and in many cases the two colors woven together. If MistyFused properly, it behaves perfectly well (fuse before cutting!) The joy of a glorious length of fabric, stitched into a stole to tranform a simple black dress…shreds of silk “confetti” stitched onto a pashmina…constructing a vivid holiday gift bag…are posts for later in the month.

My favorite store is the not-overwhelming Butterfly Fabrics, in the garment district. For those of you near the city: 237 W 35th (between 7th and 8th Avenues). For online ordering:

So, during my last visit, I “needed” these…

…well, then I saw this…

then I discovered the remnant box πŸŽ‰

Squeal! The most enormous heap of fragments of all of their silks. The most fun kind of dumpster diving for quilters…and definitely a project for more than one person, bring a friend if you can. (Sue, we’re goin’ in together next time ;)…)

That picture at the top of my post? All found in here and ridiculously cheap ($12)…some of those pieces are half-yardish.  A tangled mess but who among us does not derive an obsessive pleasure from smoothing and folding our new acquisitions πŸ˜‰?

The only downside of store policy is the 1-yard minimum rule. So…band together with some friends, place one order, and cut in FQs yourselves. The website is not the easiest…if you get lost, search for the “Taj Mahal” collection. SO many colors 🎨!

A Meowy Christmas Ornament πŸΎπŸΎ

Soooo tired of the flu…finally felt like stitching something this morning. This little guy is not yet finished because, stuck away from my studio, I have to work with what is on hand and that does NOT include the perfect applicator for the eye highlights. But I thought I would share it in case you feel like stitching up some kitty ornaments this weekend ;).

This project is a terrific way to use scraps of postcard-weight fusible and silk. While still in my studio, I pressed black silk dupioni to one side of a small square of Peltex, and a dark red silk to the back.

Next, I cut out the shape of a kitty’s head.

Then, added his luminous green eyes (I keep small pre-fused scraps of solid colors in jars so that I can find them quickly!), inking in the pupils, and packed him up with 2 shades of green thread and a cone of black metallic. I also grabbed a piece of festive red cording from my favorite NYC notions shop, Daytona Trimmings.

Time to stitch! Note, I would have used my Bernina stitch regulator and done free-motion if I had access to my 570. Sitting here with my beloved old 153QE, I used an open-toe appliquΓ© foot and did a lot of pivoting, which is fine. Beginning with the eyes, I stitch lines radiating from the bottom of the pupil (black triangle):

Changing the thread to the other green (I think it creates a fun effect), I finish this part of the stitching…then switch to the black metallic for his “fur.” (If you have not tried Superior Thread’s metallics, you must!! The black is one of my favorites.)

I always begin at the nose and stitch upward…back down…curve out a little on the next line….and continue my way around the face, using the eyes as my focal points.

After adding enough fur, I switched to a zig zag stitch and anchored the center of that red cord to the top of my little guy’s head so that he can be hung on the tree! Begin at the top of the head, do a few stitches, then push the cording away and edge stitch all around the face until back at the top, secure cording with a few more stitches.

I will post a follow-up pic with corrected eye highlights and nose (for a black silk cat I like a touch of dark silver for the nose).

So…if you are inspired…here are the ingredients:

  • Heavy 2-sided fusible (I like Peltex 2)
  • Scraps of silk dupioni in your cat’s color
  • 2 shades of green high-shine thread (or, of course, blue if that’s appropriate…I prefer Superior Threads’ Magnifico and Twist)
  • Metallic or high-shine fur-colored thread
  • Bobbin full of monofilament 
  • Small (8″) piece of cording
  • White Tsukineko ink AND an applicator πŸ™„
  • Black fabric ink pen

Now to go find a piece of silk that looks like Jesse :). Have a fabulous weekend!!

Are You Planning to Do What You Love?

I wrote about this marvelous tool this time last year…and it is once again time to encourage you to check it out if you haven’t done so already. I love this document for the structure it provides to think about the year that has just passed, and then dream big for the New Year πŸŽ‰.

Here I’ve provided just a couple of screen shots…the table of contents and one of my favorite pages in which you visualize yourself a year from now, having reached those goals. The latter page is pretty powerful! And I swear there is some magic in the guide because I’ve been able to accomplish so much more than I would have imagined a few years ago. (I’ve used it since 2014.) What can you imagine yourself doing next year πŸ˜€?

Here is the link to get started on YOUR dreams:

A Cozy Christmas Read πŸŽ„

If you are not familiar with Clare O’Donohue’s Someday Quilts series, you owe it to yourself to put these books on your Santa list! A terrific combination of murder mystery and quilting- what could be better?

During this busy pre-holiday season, it might be difficult to find the time to read a full-length novel. Clare offers the perfect solution with this novella, which takes place during the Christmas season. 

Here is a brief synopsis of the plot:

Christmas is just around the corner in the Hudson Valley. Nell and her friends at the Someday Quilts shop should be making eggnog and finishing up the stitching on their last homemade gifts, but when an arsonist strikes and a beloved teacher becomes a suspect, the ladies rally behind him to clear his good name. Will they succeed in time for him to spend Christmas among loved ones or will this be a chilly winter for the town of Archers Rest?

Happy reading πŸ“– :).