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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Rooster Quilt on: January 23, 2012 06:21:02 PM


Since starting school I really haven't made much but over the holidays I managed to kick out this quilt for a friend who raises chickens. Smiley It's her rooster. It's pretty simple--there's a little painting but most of the work was the machine embroidery. It's quilted in rayon in a freeform version of the traditional feather stitch.

I really like the way it turned out so I'm sharing. A close up:

12  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: name this technique, please? on: August 04, 2011 02:01:35 AM
It isn't really like Kantha either, other than the use of the running stitch (or insofar as one considers Kantha just the Indian word for quilting-but then just call it quilting). Stylistically kantha uses running stitches to make patterns-in it's fanciest forms it is considered embroidery. The background stitches can be large, but usually really close together and tight to create ripples.

Kind of funny but I thought to myself "next someone is going to say it's Kantha" when I first read the thread.

Thing is, there are many crafts whose basic technique is the running stitch (or the button hole stitch, or the darning stitch, or...etc). We could throw them all in here for comparison, and we'll find there's usually something about each that makes them unique and identifiable-the style they're done in. So using a running stitch is the same technique, but does not have to be the same style. We can draw on those styles for inspiration without our work actually being those things. We really don't need to find another label for what is just plain quilting with a heavy thread. Just enjoy doing it.
13  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Any Tatters? on: August 03, 2011 01:41:29 PM
I think shuttle tatting is harder to learn but easier to do than needle tatting. Like a lot of things, it takes a little more skill, but once you've acquired that skill is actually easier.

The best advice I can give in regards to shuttle tatting is to watch tension. It's imperative that when you're flipping the knot, your shuttle thread tension is loose while ring thread tension is consistently tight-tension is how the knot flips so you can close the rings. And the tension has to remain tight until that knot is nestled where it belongs.


Most instructions will advise controlling the ring tension with your middle finger. I find this is unnecessarily difficult. I use my middle finger to control the tension of the first knot only-then I switch to my index and hold the knots between thumb and middle finger. It's way easier to maintain the tight tension required for flipping quickly with the index finger.

ETA: forgot the most important detail: dip ring finger slightly at the flip and tighten shuttle tension from the flip on. duh. Embarrassed (what can I say it was late at night) Still the point remains-tension!
14  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Anyone Else Use Thread Heaven? on: August 03, 2011 03:58:44 AM
This sounds interesting. Does anyone know what it's made out of? Do you think it would effect the embroidery in the long term, like say 5 years down the road is the fabric going to discolour because of some chemical?

Thread Heaven is categorized as a "synthetic silastic polymer". Silicone elastomers are considered bio inert and are used for many things, including catheters. So if it's going there, it's probably okay for thread. Tongue

Check the chart and FAQs on the website-they contend that the product actually extends the lifetime of the thread by protecting it. It doesn't appear to stain either thread or fabric in my experience.
15  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Any Tatters? on: August 03, 2011 03:27:02 AM
I think shuttle tatting is harder to learn but easier to do than needle tatting. Like a lot of things, it takes a little more skill, but once you've acquired that skill is actually easier.

The best advice I can give in regards to shuttle tatting is to watch tension. It's imperative that when you're flipping the knot, your shuttle thread tension is loose while ring thread tension is consistently tight-tension is how the knot flips so you can close the rings. And the ring tension has to remain tight until that knot is nestled where it belongs.

Most instructions will advise controlling the ring tension with your middle finger. I find this is unnecessarily difficult. I use my middle finger to control the tension of the first knot only-then I switch to my index and hold the knots between thumb and middle finger. It's way easier to maintain the tight tension required for flipping quickly with the index finger.
16  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Distressing fabric on: August 03, 2011 12:33:31 AM
Yeah the paint sticks are one of my favorite investments. And it doesn't change the hand of the fabric unless you're putting it on ultra thick. That particular brand is marketed to textile artists because it's a little safer for fabric (it can actually claim the title "archival") but I've used other stuff too. Just let the fabric sit for about a day after painting until it's dry and heat set with the iron and it's good to go. If the thickness of a direct application is a little more colour than you want, you can also apply it with stiff brushes (stiff, like stencil or fan brushes, work best in my experience).

For reference here is one of the pieces I did almost totally with the sticks (the halo has added gold leaf), including metallic gold. The background is a rubbing that I had piped in gesso. So you can see it works really well for that kind of application.
17  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Distressing fabric on: August 02, 2011 02:54:25 AM
What you're looking for is the realm of what is usually known as "surface design". I would leave the rust and compost dyeing unless you're somewhat knowledgeable about how that stuff works (for now). But surface design is a big field with lots of cool things-you have a lot of options.

First, you can actually use metal. metal sheets or wire mesh are sold all over the place, and are frequently used in textile projects.

You can also paint tyvek to look metallic and melt the crap out of it. You can add wire mesh and melt the tyvek around it to make layered effects. Dryer sheets might work in that kind of a sandwich also.

Synthetic sheers are another option. Metallic ones can be layered on top of each other, embroidered from the back with cotton or silk thread and melted with soldering irons. Backing has to be a natural fabric however or it will also melt. That might actually be a better form of applique depending on what your design is.

You can foil or apply metal leaf to the fabric in a distressed pattern.

If you want to use cotton quilt fabric (because you want to actually be able to like wash the thing) there are other options for that as well.

You can simply paint it with fabric paints, especially lumiere (great metallics), or shiva sticks which you can do rubbing impressions with as they are oil sticks-like large crayons-and come in metallic colours. You can paint over mesh or something else in a dry technique to create unevenness. You can also buy gray fabric or start with low immersion dyeing with fibre reactive dyes to get a mottled effect, then add metallic colour.  

You can also alter the fabric colour by discharging in a tie-dye like pattern with a bleach water solution, or spraying over it. This requires a dip in some anti-clor (the stuff they sell for fish water), and keep in mind that many colours will discharge to something unexpected. Black usually turns brown, green turns orange, blue can turn pink (and some colours won't discharge at all).

You can apply any or all of these processes (among others) to get the look you want. The possibilities are endless. You might want to see if your library has one of Jane Dunnewold's books for information and inspiration on some of them. I think she might also have some info on her website. Also poke around in the Surface Design Association's image library.
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: name this technique, please? on: August 02, 2011 01:39:25 AM
Sashiko is way finer and more intricate than that-the lines are to be as close to unbroken as possible.
The technique doesn't differ from quilting at all. It's just quilting done with large stitches. Kind of like basting, but not because it's more heavy and its purpose is different.
19  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Have I quilted enough? on: May 22, 2011 08:36:47 AM
There is a difference between how much you have to quilt and how much you should quilt. The latter is usually more than the former and has to do with aesthetics as well as function. Quilts look better with more quilting because of the texture it adds. They also hold together nicer and the layers are more of a unit. At 3 inch lines you've probably quilted as much as you need to, but I would add some sort of vertical lines-not because you have to, but because it would probably look better texturally. You can always think about it and add them later if you're tired of doing it.

That said, under-quilted quilts are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, because it's like they aren't finished the way they could be. Long live Welsh quilts...
20  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Crown Royal bags- wash and care? on: April 20, 2011 01:06:52 PM
Yeah totally do wash them before cutting in hot water with synthrapol. Treat them exactly the way you expect the person is going to treat the finished quilt, so no surprises occur after the fact.
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