August 4, 2007 at 7:47 am (Applique, Batiks, Beads, Embellishing, Fabric Manipulation, Fabrications, Fiber Art, Free Motion, Sewing, Techniques)
Batiks serve as the perfect fabrics for making these little flowers since they are tightly woven and quite colorful.
Once you have completed the free motion stitching on each of the circles, remove the Solvy from you hoop. Clip around each flower, leaving all the loose extended threads in place.
Circles Clipped from Solvy
Place each flower circle on a terry towel and spray with water to remove the Solvy. Spraying rather than soaking works well here because some of the melted Solvy remains in the fabric, adding a little stiffness to the bubbly texture.
When you circles are semidry, center the small circles on top of the large circles. If you have used an assortment of colors, you may like to mix and match until you are pleased with the results.
Apply beads or buttons to embellish the flower centers. I used “tye dye” glass beads.
Tye Dye Beads
Take each flower and scrunch it into a little ball. Gently open the ball and shape it back into a flower.
Allow to dry completely, and your flowers will be ready to add colorful embellishment wherever you place them.
N. Rene West
August 1, 2007 at 7:18 am (Applique, Batiks, Beads, Embellishing, Fabric Manipulation, Fabrications, Fiber Art, Free Motion, Techniques)
Batiks always make me think of summer vacations at the beach. If you’re like me, you probably have lots of batik scraps from past projects. Here’s a great way to transform them into beautifully embellished flowers.
For this project you will need some regular Solvy, a heavy variegated cotton thread (I used Valdani #35 “Autumn”), colorful beads, an embroidery hoop, circular templates, and assorted batik fabrics.
First, mark large and small circles on your batiks. I used a mechanical pencil, which makes a very thin cutting line. For templates, I used metal eyelet charms that I found in the scrap booking department of my local craft store. These charms are quite thin, making them very useful around the studio. My large circle measured 1 3/4″ and my small circle measured 1 1/4″.
Cut the circles out and press to flatten if necessary.
Cut Batik Circles
Hoop you Solvy and lightly spray the back of the individual large circles. Position them in the hoop.
Set up your sewing machine for free motion work. Use a coordinating color and similar weight of thread in the bobbin. Drop the feed dogs and attach a closed free motion foot. Free motion stitch each of the circles, using meandering and circular motions. Allow the thread work to extend beyond the edges of your circles. Fill each circle with stitching, creating a bubbled texture.
Free Motion Stitched Large Circles
Repeat this process for the small circles.
Free Motion Stitched Small Circles
Your completed stitching should look something like this. Notice that the thread work extends well beyond each circle.
Free Motion Thread Work
We’ll finish these little batik blooms in part two.
N. Rene West
June 20, 2007 at 9:58 am (Applique, Beads, Embellishing, Embroidery, Fabric Manipulation, Fabrications, Fiber Art, Perle (Pearl) Cottons, Quilts, Rayon)
To prepare my background fabric for the reverse appliqués, I stabilized it with a fusible interfacing. I then penciled a free form design onto some freezer paper, cut out the shape, and ironed it to the front of the fabric. Using sharp craft scissors, I carefully cut around the freezer paper pattern.
I repeated the process for the second cut.
Since these were reverse appliqués, I placed the gathered red rayon pieces under the cut out areas. Owing to the gathers and folds in the appliqués, I didn’t perform traditional reverse appliqué where the top fabric gets cut out after the appliqués are stitched to the main fabric. (I didn’t want to risk accidentally cutting into the gathers.)
Reverse Gathered Appliques
To keep the appliqués in place, I dabbed a tiny bit of Glue Pins around the inner edges. I then set my sewing machine on a narrow buttonhole stitch and worked around the raw edges.
Narrow Blanket Stitch Edging
After adding some embroidery stitches with perle cotton, I further embellished the areas surrounding the appliqués with pearl, bugle, and glass beads, along with sequins and buttons.
Note: I’ve uploaded another colorform file (fjfan.dst) to the Fem-Gratis box in the sidebar (for your personal use).
N. Rene West
June 18, 2007 at 11:17 am (Applique, Beads, Embellishing, Embroidery, Fabric Manipulation, Fabrications, Fiber Art, Quilting, Techniques)
One way to add texture to a project is by manipulating fabric. I recently purchased a supply of rayon yardage in various colors and used some of it to make the reverse appliqués in this piece. If you’ve ever worked with rayon, you know that it’s a shape-shifter. That very quality makes it perfect for this project.
First, I cut a few pieces of red rayon about 8″ x 8″. I set up my sewing machine with a gathering foot and a straight stitch at 3.5 mm. The gathering foot is a great accessory to have. For one thing, it’s easy to use and always works well. Additionally, it provides normal gathers rather than the little pleats created by the ruffler attachment.
Next, I began stitching the rayon in a very random pattern, holding my left index finger behind the foot to gently add some resistance as the fabric fed under the foot. This helps the gathers to form more densely. As the gathers build, it helps to slow down and adjust the fabric so that you don’t sew over any pleats, although it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you did.
When the piece was complete, it looked nice and puckered all over the surface.
To flatten the piece, I set my iron at the wool setting and turned on the steam. I then pressed it from the wrong side for a few seconds. Since the shape-shifting quality was no longer desired, I pressed a light fusible interfacing to the back side.
I thought it might be nice to cover the stitch lines with a decorative stitch, so I chose a star stitch and simply followed the lines of the previous stitching.
Since I planned on doing further embellishments to the piece as a whole, I didn’t want to over work this area. If the appliqués were the main focal point, such as in a quilt square, I would have used decorative threads, couching, and/or beads as further embellishments.
I’ll complete this little piece in part two.
Note: I’ve uploaded another colorform shape file (fjdiamond.dst) for those of you with embroidery machines.
N. Rene West