Friday, August 19, 2011

Screenprinting using watercolor crayons and acrylic medium

Whenever I get a request from one of my kiddos I get excited.  Alexis has been watching and playing around with me and screenprinting.  She asked me to make her a picture for her room.  Lately, we have been using watercolor crayons and coloring directly onto the screen which has been fun and forgiving.  You can get more than one pull out of the screen but every one is different and unique. 
For this little picture, we used a stencil made from contact paper which we placed onto the screen.  Then we took a few different colors and drew directly onto the open area of the stencil.  Then we laid the screen onto our fabric and pulled the print with acrylic medium.  This first picture is what it looked like after it was dry.
Then I added some free motion quilting and dye ink to bring out the stitching.  The little flower top was made using a ruffler foot and then twisting it up to look like a flower.  It ended up pretty cute for a little girl's room.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Finished Bookcover

I am a day behind getting this posted.  We had company this weekend and in a frenzy to get ready for school which starts tomorrow.  The summer has gone by so fast.  I think as the kids get older, time seems to go faster.

I want to go over the last steps that I did for my bookcover. First I couched two fibers together. The first fiber was a plain black cotton and the second was a more decorative multicolor fiber. I used a brown thread to couch them together. I was nervous about doing this process but found it to be quite easy. I had to put my feed dogs down, set the machine to a wide zig zag stitch and leave my foot in the up position. Then I had to hold the fibers from the front and the back to pull it through. Here is a pic of the two fibers together and then couched together.
This cord will be glued to the inside book pocket and then wrapped around the book to create a closure.
Next, I was so wanting to try one of the techniques that was in the book  ( Edges and Finishes in Machine Embroidery - this is the book I was using for this challenge ) for tassels.  The author explains how to take distorted embroidery designs to create interesting tassel tops.  I thought this would be a great experiment because I have both an embroidery machine and software.  I chose a damask design that was about 4 by 4 inches.  I took a pic of it on the computer so you can see it.

Next, I tried to distort it and mess with the stitch count and while I wish I would have been more brave about distorting it, I am happy with my outcome.  My machine is very tempermental about stitching through very dense designs and, I was nervous about this.  So Iwent safe this time.  I will be playing around with this a little more in the future.  Here is the finished designed stitched.  Like I said, not very much different than the original but still a little different.  It is also only about an inch and a half in size.

In making a tassel I scrounged up this tassel maker.  I am sure it would be easy to make your own.  I really only wrapped the fibers around until I was happy with the density, tied it at the top and then cut the bottom.  Then I glued my embroidered design and a piece of felt to the back to finish it off.  Oh, and I stuck the end of the couched cord into the tassel before I glued it together.  I also added a little brass piece to the tassel for decoration. 
So, here is my finished bookcover.  I am happy with the way it turned out and will definitely be incorporating some of these techniques in the future.  I have greatly enjoyed going through this book. 

Mom has finished her bookcover as well.  You can view it at her blog Glenda Bailey's blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Personalized Nook cover

I know that I am supposed to be working on my bookcover challenge but, I could not resist making a personalized cover for my very new toy.  I was so excited to see this come in the mail today and could not resist making it "mine".  It was pretty easy to make the flourish and name out of vinyl which I can change or take off at any time.  I love doing these fun little projects and in the process using some of the tool that I have.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Finishing up my bookcover background

I am having a lot of fun making this bookcover and all of the techniques that are in the book that we are working out of.  I think that when I get a book I dig through it too fast and don't catch all the goodies that can be found inside.  I think that is why this challenge is so great because it is encouraging me to go through the book slower. 
Here is my progress so far...
I have decided to lay ribbon and cording over the top of my bookcover to bring all of the colors together.  I am stitching over the top using some metallic copper thread in a zig-zag stitch.
So, here is my zig-zag work.  I know, my stitches are not very straight which is highly annoying but, I have decided to leave it because my next step will cover some of this.  I have a couching foot which I will DEFINITELY use next time I use this technique. 
Here is my next technique which I have fallen in absolute love...
I have used acrylic, black felt purchased from my local craft store.  In my embroidery software, I have created a border using one of the decorative buttonhole stitches on a repeat design.  I had never thought of doing this until I saw it in this book.  Love it.  Oh, and I stitched it in that same metallic copper thread that I used earlier.  Then I used my heat gun and melted some of the felt down to create this lacy looking border.  Then stitched it onto my bookcover.

My next goal is to make some cording to wrap around and create some kinda closure.  Maybe add a tassel.  Don't know yet. 

You can head on over to mom's blog at Glenda Bailey's Blog to check out her progress.  She is about as far along as I am which is funny because I have a tendency to work a lot faster than her.  She is making a beautiful lacy bookcover.  It will be awesome to see how different ours are in the end.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Step 1- Making my background

So here is the start of my journal cover.  I have having a really fun time with this challenge.  I have adhered acrylic black felt to duck cloth for a really sturdy, stiff background.  Then I dug through my stash of monoprinted papers, decorative fabrics, monoprinted fabrics, dyed scrim and cheesecloth and layed it all down on my base.  I then layed a piece of gold tulle over the top and pinned it down and sewed the lines over the top using black thread.  Over the top of this I have used a washed down gesso and painted over the top. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

It is time for a Challenge!

So for a while now, mom and I have been talking about doing little challenges with each other. We thought that with all the books and magazines that we both have, it would be fun to pick a resource and make a project in it. It would be motivation to try new things and to see what directions we both seem to go.
We decided to choose this book about edges and finishes in machine embroidery. It is a really fantastic book with lots of eye candy. I am excited to get started. I am going to post pics of my progress and hope to finish within the two weeks that we have set as a deadline.
Mom is going to do the same so if you are interested in checking out her progress, you can visit her blog at Glenda Bailey's Blog