Saturday, January 23, 2010

scribbling


I have imported all posts from little green chicken over here. I'll be posting a new painted and embroidered piece some time later this weekend and possibly a tutorial for making a lightweight cotton scarf also.

I found a neat little toy while stumbling around the net a couple days ago. You can find it here. Basically you doodle a little item and select the scribbler settings you wish and start it up. You can pause it whenever you like and change the qualities as well, either while it is going or while it is paused. I made the drawings included in this post using it. What do you think? When I look at them I see the possibilities for thread scribbles. Doodle a little thing on some cloth, put it in a hoop or frame and proceed to freehand doodle with various thread colors, fibers and thicknesses. I think I like the possibilities there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

name change

I am going to be changing my blog name. Little Green Chicken would be perfect if this were a blog about my life with the birds. But it is not a blog about my life with the birds and I do not want to make it that. My internet identity has been mangomerle for years and when I first started the whole blog thing I thought I wanted to keep it separate from everything else. I have since come to the conclusion that this is silly and I should just keep my name, especially since I share parts of me here in my crafts.

I will soon be changing the blog name to mangomerle and you will be able to access it at http://mangomerle.blogspot.com/ (it doesn't work yet so don't be upset please when you click through and it takes you nowhere)

Unknown bird; likely osprey or gull. Taken from the end of the pier at the house in Maryland. I recently picked up the free photo editing/organizing/etc program Picasa. It really is fun to play with the capabilities of the program (though I don't even pretend to know anything about what I'm doing with it yet) and get some pretty things like this.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

wedding quilt update (9) Final.

A few of the parts I didn't document that can be seen here include a patch of the seal of the Cherokee Nation (far top far right), Girl Scout patches, a crewel embroidered mini artwork, and a name patch saying Stu (far top far left)I found at a thrift store the last day before I put the binding on. I had not included anything relating to our brother Dustin (who was killed in a car accident in 2005) and was not intending to do such, but when we found it Mom and I agreed it must be added.

It's done! At least, for now it is. I put the binding on early afternoon the first of the calendar year. Whenever I visit my sister I will probably add little bits and bobs of embroidery and buttons and such. It's just the nature of something like this to continue to grow and have more and more story added to it.

I really did not do a good job at all documenting many aspects of this quilt that make it so special. There are dozens of applied items and mini creations added that I just did not take photos of. From keys and buttons to a small crewel embroidered artwork made by Mom, they all relate to various aspects of my relationship with my sister and our family and our lives growing up so far.

Close-up during the tying process.

I left the quilt at our parents' home in Michigan for my sister to pick up after the holidays as I did not have it completed until after she and husband had to go back home. I explained to her how to wash and dry it so the colors would stay brighter longer and the various applied items would not be damaged. I adamantly explained that the quilt was to be used and not just looked at even though caring for it may seem intimidating. I told her that there can be no stain removers used on it because of the extensive use of hand dyed and naturally dyed cloth. This prompted a response similar to "Well, what do I do if something gets spilled on it?" I told her to wash it carefully but any stains would have to just be additions to the storyline. I'm not sure either she or Mom understood what I meant then, but I know she will over time.

Creating and documenting the creation of this quilt has been a terrific and emotional experience for me and I hope you have enjoyed the posts through the process. I have a few ideas of what I want to take on for my next big project, but I'll go over those in another post. I learned so much over the last year making this quilt. Stamping, dying, distressing, bleaching, stitching, machine embroidery, using various feet on my sewing machine, what makes different types of fabrics what they are and how to use them, even a little about family history and its impact on our lives. Below are several photos taken the last couple of days of working on the quilt and I have included descriptions below each.

Family members help with the folding and layering required to center all parts of the quilt together and pin them in place. Several undocumented additions can be seen here.

Ribbon from my bridesmaid bouquet from the wedding ceremony December 2008; secured with antique button from maternal great-grandmother's collection. Also shown are a bleach sprayed folding pocket knife patch and crocheted red wool flower secured in place with another antique button. The flower will felt over time as the quilt is used and loved.

Crayon tinted, cotton parrot print, appliqued. We always had pets growing up and a lot of them were birds. We even fostered several large parrots, including a young scarlet macaw named Captain, so they could be socialized and rehabilitated after rescue.

Stamped versus embroidered flowers.

The striped piece was stamped on the back side of the cloth and then over-dyed with turmeric. Appliqued Girl Scout First Aider patch can be seen at extreme top. Girl Scouts were a big part of our childhood.

These appliqued flowers were cut from an old handpainted tablecloth (painted by my maternal grandmother) and freemotion machine stitched in place. The edges of the applique are unfinished so they can fray and soften as they age.

Heat set crayon illustrated bird with embroidered outline and exclamations. I thought the bird really wanted to be saying something, but words didn't seem fitting. The woven and embroidered items seemed more appropriate; things we say do not always have to be in words.


Family helping hold up the quilt so all parts can be seen. Click through to the larger image of this one and you can see the upholstery fabric used for the bias binding. I forgot to take a photo of the binding by itself before I left everything in Michigan. Again, the edges are left unsecured and unfinished so they can fray and soften.
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