Saturday, December 24, 2011

Felted Wool Purse

I have spent some time playing with felting recently and came up with this purse which incorporates both needle felting and wet felting.

The background of the purse is black wool melton to which I needle felted some luscious plum and grey wool and silk roving ... leaving it trailing off into soft wisps. Next I used my sewing machine and black thread to free motion stitch a design over the felted fibres as well as the background. I added a few lines of iridescent thread drifting across the bag as well. In the next step I needle felted some pieces of hand dyed, hand spun yarn that I had been given by a spinning friend ... I love the thick and thin areas of the yarn as well as the little knobs that form where some of the thin areas twist on themselves. I didn't want to flatten the yarn too much so it is lightly felted and then I included a few judicious hand stitches (and a sprinkling of beads)to make sure that it holds in place. The back side of the bag has been created in the same way.

I wanted to make a jazzy flower for the lower corner of the bag so I set to work and made some wet felted balls from plum wool and from the wool/silk fibre ... I also made a few worm-y shaped pieces which I curled up a bit before letting them dry. These pieces were assembled to create the gorgeous flower, adorned with beads that graces the front of the bag.

This purse is lined with hand dyed fabric in plum and blue/grey tones and it has a zipper closure across the top with a wool tassel. The strap is cotton webbing that has been securely stitched to each side of the bag. The bag measures approximately 8.5" x 10" with a 17" drop from shoulder to bag.

This bag will be inspiration for a class that I will teach this spring, but in the meantime, this one might end up in my Etsy shop.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Clergy Stole

This is a custom stole that I made recently for someone who will be ordained to the priesthood soon . . . It was created with the theme of the Shuswap (the lake, mountains, trees) but also with predominately green colours as it will be used during "green" liturgical seasons.

After much hunting for the "right" green background fabric, I was delighted to locate the one I used which has an underlying brown thread in the green ... it works really well with the landscape theme that I was using. The landscape itself has been created from pieces of cotton fabric ... both hand painted and commercial ... and, although the two sides of the front of the stole are similar, they are not identical.

At the back of the neck there is an appliqued cross with an arch on each side, reminiscent of St. Francis' Chapel, the outdoor chapel at Sorrento Centre.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Jazzy Purse for the Holidays

Although it is only early November, it is the time for online shoppers to be selecting their must have items for the Christmas season. I decided to create a couple of holiday themed purses this year and although I only listed the first one in my Etsy shop yesterday, it has had many more views and hearts (people who mark it as a favourite item on Etsy) than I would have expected in twenty-four hours.

So, here is a look at the one that has been listed already and the second one that will be listed tomorrow. . .I made it thinking that I would wear it during the festive season as a bit of a walking business card . . . but maybe I'll list it for a week or so just to see if someone else wants it for their holiday attire:)

The first bag (above) is a pouch style with the foldover top (like the Shuswap Lake bag in my previous post) and it has sections of Laurel Burch fabric appliqued onto it and then it is further enhanced with primitive embroidery stitching and beading . . . it really makes me smile and I know that it will be a terrific purse for someone who likes to make a bit of a statement. This bag is approximately 11.5" square.

The second bag (at left) looks the same size from these photos but it is much smaller (approx. 7.5" square). It has been created from the same Laurel Burch fabric on a background of black linen blend. It has a long strap so that it can be worn across your body or from your shoulder and would hold your cards, money, keys and cell phone. It has some of the primitive embroidery stitches and beading, too, and is a great size for the times when you don't want to carry a large purse.

There are additional photos of more views of the bags in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shuswap Purse for Sorrento Centre

This pouch style messenger bag has been donated to Sorrento Centre for an online auction that they will be holding starting October 24th. It has been created with an abstract scene of Shuswap Lake on the flap that is constructed of hand-painted and hand-dyed fabrics that a pieced in softly curving lines, quilted by machine and then hand stitched to add even more dimension and texture to the piece. A few individual wisps of lake or sky drift across the back of the purse with additional stitching. The black reverse side of the purse is free motion stitched in a Sorrento landscape design to give it added definition.

The base fabric is a black linen blend and the wide shoulder strap holds the bag at a nice length so that it fits securely beneath your arm. The bag is lined with a light blue/grey cotton and has two large pockets. An interlining of quilt batting gives added structure to the purse.

The purse is accessed from the top of the open pouch and then the top half folds over where the strap is attached to the bag to create the flap. There is no hardware closure.

This bag measures approximately 10" when the flap is folded over and
will comfortably hold your necessities and more . . . The drop of the handle is approximately 16".

The middle photo shows the back of the bag.

Click on the photos to zoom in...

To bid on this purse visit
Sorrento Centre
after October 24th

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness - October

It is October which is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I am offering these delightful pink card case/wallets in my Etsy shop. All of the profit from these little card cases will be donated for breast cancer research. They are just $12 and there will be a variety of styles offered. . . some of them have snap closure ... others have Velcro closure ... some have a wristlet strap ... others have a key ring ... others have nothing attached ... some have beading or embroidery ... others are plainer. You will be sure to find one to suit yourself or people on your gift list.

If you would like to purchase a larger quantity of them, please send me an email and I will make that happen for you. I will continue to list them throughout the month.

Thanks to my friend Ellen for suggesting this project for October. She didn't know when she suggested it, how important it would be for me to do this in memory of my Mom who had breast cancer, and in support of friends who have battled the disease.

Are you diligent about screening for breast cancer?!

Here's the link to my Etsy shop if you would like to browse a bit Kathy's Etsy shop.

This last little bag is one
of my small bag design,
also in pinks but with a
stylish artsy look.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Delightful Dove Purse

This purse was a custom design which was a delight to make . . . my customer asked for a purse of specific dimensions and design and that it have a dove on it ... and warm colours. Those were great parameters for me and, after more emails we decided that the base fabric for the purse would be navy blue. The purse you see in the photo was created on a base of navy blue linen and the orange and rust hand-dyed cottons are stitched to the linen in softly undulating curves. The dove was created separately, being quilted onto cotton quilt batting, it was then cut out and appliqued to the warm curves. The extra layer of batting behind the dove, gives it just a little additional texture.

The bag is about 10" square as you see it in the photo above, but the flap is also an extension of the purse (it is a large pouch) so there is lots of room for various things that you like to carry with you. The "back" side of the purse has a few drifts of orange fabric as well as the free motion stitching (in both navy and orange threads) which covers the entire bag.

There is hand stitching on the front of the bag and there are additional accessories which go with the bag: a wallet, card case, and eyeglass case.

Here is a photo of the back side of the bag

and the complete set.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fun Felted Needle Cases

One of the most useful items in my sewing studio is my needle case ... in fact, I have two of them that I use all the time! They are a good place to store needles that are not used very often (think: curved leather needles, big fat embroidery needles, and long thin beading needles) and others that are used frequently but interchangeably.

These little needle cases have been created from pieces of felting that were left over from other projects and they make delightful covers for the little needle books. The interior "pages" are wool Melton which holds the needles very well and helps to keep them polished and smooth from the natural oils that are in the sturdy wool. A little bit of additional hand stitching and beading makes them worthy of gifting to your favourite sewing friend :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

New purses for August

I have been busy making some new purses to replenish the stock in my Etsy shop . . . here are photos of a few of them that I have finished and photo-graphed.

I am particularly pleased with the black linen bags with the raggedy silk flowers and stems . . . they really speak to me:) Once the first one was done I just had to create a second one in different colours . . . and I don't do that very often.

Likewise, the sunflower bag has been made in the same fashion as one I created a few months ago. The first one was a dark sunflower on a putty coloured background . . . this one is the lighter coloured sunflower that is on a faded green and rusty-red background . . . it makes me think of the colours we see as they fade in the fall.

The burgundy bag is made of Dupioni silk and has been free-motion stitched with a variegated thread in the shape of leaves and swirls . . . check out the cute beading on the flap of this one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Discharged Fabric - Peace Symbol

This was a fun project to work on this week . . . one of my Etsy customers requested a purse that included a peace symbol and the colour purple. I pondered it for a while and searched for fabric printed with peace symbols and didn't come up with any that appealed to me . . . so I decided to create my own fabric!

This is a piece of purple batik that I then discharged with dishwasher gel to obtain a beautiful greyish-blue shade. You can never be sure just what colour a particular fabric will discharge to, so this was a delightful surprise. If you are unfamiliar with the discharge process, it is employing bleach to remove dye from fabric, which reveals the underlying colour ... if you stop the process at just the right time:) Dishwasher gel contains bleach (ask me how I discovered that one!) and the consistency makes it great for rolling onto a stamp for this purpose. The stamp I made for this commission was cut from a piece of craft foam and then glued to the lid of an old medicine bottle, which made a great stamp holder.

After the purse was constructed, I did some free motion stitching around some of the symbols and then created a drift of circles in a band on the purse . . . and then painted that band roughly with irridescent aquamarine textile paint and a brighter turquoise paint. The painted band has been outlined with a row of aquamarine stitches and a row of amethyst stitches. There is a cluster of beads on the lower edge of the flap to help weigh it closed . . . and a matching card case and wristlet key fob complete the set.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Artsy Little Mug Rug

This past week I was flying back and forth across the country and decided I needed to take along a little stitching project to pass the time on the airplane . . . and these little mug rugs are the result.

If you don't know what a mug rug is, it is an over-sized coaster that is big enough to hold a coffee mug or a glass as well as a spoon to stir with and maybe even a little snack. They vary in size but these three are about six to seven inches square (or almost square) and they have a layer of batting to help protect your table from heat and moisture.

I love to combine machine quilting and hand quilting in my work but, being on a plane meant that I had lots of time to do hand work and no access to a machine, so these are actually hand-quilted as well as having the decorative stitching. It's all done is a primitive style on a fabric that has a real ethnic feel to it and I love the result. I have listed one of them for sale in my Etsy shop to see what the reaction is to them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Fiery Incline" - A Three-Dimensional Art Quilt

I have been playing with the idea of creating a 3-D art quilt for some time and this fabric called out to me to try it!

The fiery oranges and rusts are set off by the black silk and fibre that have come to remind me of a forest fire on a steep slope ... can you find the charred fir needles?

This is a three-sided vessel that is 13-1/2" tall and has a 6" base. The foundation fabric was created as a strip-pieced quilt which was then cut up and stitched together again as pieces that would eventually form a vessel.

The bottom is weighted with plastic pellets so that it doesn't tip over and there are numerous embellishment techniques that have been used on the surface. It is a delightful piece that has much potential.

This entry won a Juror's Choice award at the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts July 15th.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Silk Fusion "Turmoil"

This is a piece of silk fusion that I made from gorgeous silk fibres in orange and fuschia. The fibres are used to create a "paper" that can be stitched and embellished just like fabric . . . and in this case I have quilted it onto a base of black cotton so that the free motion stitching creates added texture. It has been further embellished by hand embroidery in some of the sections of the stitching and a drift of clear tangerine beads drifting across the surface.

It is mounted on a 16" x 20" canvas with the edges wrapped with the black cotton so that it will hang like a painting on your wall.

This piece will be entered in the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts next month.

Be sure to click on the photos to see more of the details.  SOLD

Monday, April 25, 2011

"The Threads of St. Mary's"

This is a banner that I designed and constructed in honour of the 100th Anniversary of St. Mary's Church, Sorrento, BC. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 2011.

Prior to the construction of this banner, parishioners and former parishioners were invited to donate a "thread" to be incorporated into the banner . . . some of these threads were as fine as a piece of sewing thread or fishing line, others were heavier pieces of rope and leather, while still other pieces were yarns or ribbons remaining from significant projects. Some threads were utilitarian while others were decorative. Pieces of each thread were incorporated into the cross on the banner, with some of the threads being clipped into pieces to form the foundation under the longer ripples of thread on the surface. In some cases, several threads were twisted together and then stitched with yet another thread to create a heavier cord to use on the surface. The cross itself has an aspect of the tree of life, with roots in many parts of the community. There are a few beads on the banner that accentuate the sky, hills and the cross itself. The banner measures 31" x 44".

The background of the banner has been pieced from a selection of hand-dyed fabrics and has been designed to represent the Sorrento area . . . the beautiful hills, mountains, lake, forests and fields. It has been quilted in free-motion designs to accent each component and many of the sections have been hand-embroidered with textural stitches that enhance the overall design. Light seems to filter down onto the hills and the lake from the cross. (I have included a smaller photo of the banner here that is darker in colour (perhaps closer to the true colours in the banner...all these photos still need work -- what else is new!)

The reverse side of the banner has the lettering for St. Mary's, Sorrento, so that when used as a processional banner, the name of the church will be visible after the banner passes the observer. The lettering is created from fabric that I hand-painted in a strong turquoise blue. A swag of additional threads can be looped onto the reverse side when it is used as a processional banner. . . I forgot to take a photo of the reverse of the banner with the swag of threads, so I'll add one later.

St. Mary's is a beautiful small church located right on the Trans Canada Highway and close to Shuswap Lake. The church started life as a log structure in 1911, built by the Anglican community; it has been a shared ministry between the Anglican and United Church community for the past forty years.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Fallen Oak Leaves to Art Quilts

Last fall I spent some time picking up fallen oak leaves and acorns in Salmon Arm and I had a great time experimenting with the various ways these could be incorporated into art quilts.

I love working with hand-dyed fabrics and this beautiful light sage green piece is one that I'd saved for quite a while before the right project came along for it. I love the way that I was able to create a circle of oak leaves by rubbing the real leaves with dye sticks and then creating organza leaves from the same shapes and layering them in the centre of the quilt.

The stitching is a combination of hand embroidered seed stitches, with varying combinations of brown and green in the threads, and free motion machine quilting. The finishing touch is some beautiful hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn from a friend . . . with some of the acorns threaded onto the yarn. There are just a few clear beads stitched onto the quilt. Approximately 18" square.

Click on the images to enlarge them to see more detail.

The photo of the second quilt made in this manner is actually done on a piece of commercial batik and the leaves are arranged in such a way that the stitching around them created a bit of a heart shape . . . the pale gold colours have just a touch of rust and they swirl with a bit of bluish-grey to create a beautiful backdrop for the leaves. Approximately 16" x 20".

I will be teaching this as a workshop at Sun Peaks Resort in July 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two new silk bags and a special sunflower purse

I have been replenishing my stock of fibre art purses this week as I sold a good number of them over the past month or two. Two of the purses that I am showing today are constructed of silk and each has an area with free-motion quilting. The first purse is made of dupioni silk that is chartreuse in colour with just a little hint of magenta. The area that was quilted in black thread was then lightly brushed with charcoal textile paint to highlight the stitching. They are delightfully simple and elegant and will be appealing to someone who is going on a cruise or needs a bag to accent a special outfit.

I think that one of the delightful features of the yellow silk noile bag is that it could also be worn with casual attire as the soft nubbly silk will lend itself to being paired with denims as well. The stitching on this bag has been done in a beautiful variegated thread and the beads weigh the deep flaps closed for security.

The third purse is constructed of linen blend fabric that is a light putty colour. The big sunflower gives it a playful feel but it is still a purse that could be used in dressy situations as well. The lining fabric matches the sunflower on the flap.

There are further photos of these purses in my Etsy shop ...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thoughts of Valentine's Day

It is ages since I've posted anything here and it's certainly not that I haven't been busy . . . so here are a few of the Valentines that I have created this week. These ones are listed in my Etsy shop and I will also use them as samples for the card-making class I will be teaching in February.

The first card is red silk hearts on silver dupioni silk ... with free motion stitched hearts on the background . . . the hearts on the other two cards are made from fabric that I "created" from various fibres and then stitched to the background fabric.