Fabric Bird Journal

This past week was spent with one of my son’s and his family. I also got to spend a day with a friend and her grandson. Needless to say, it was a busy, fun, happy, non-stop action week.
When I returned home, I decided to unwind a few days before I got back to the projects I left in progress. I like to relax by hand stitching while I watch classic movies. It just so happened that it was Irene Dunne Day on Turner Classics, so this was perfect. 👵
My Process

  • I have a bin with muslin and batting already cut in different sizes for making small-to-medium sized signatures for journals.
  • My threads, beads, scissors, and all necessary items for a small hand stitching project are in a pink box, that was formerly a jewelry box. This box was a gift my youngest son gave me back in the ’80’s, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
  • I began the fabric collage process by looking through the scraps trying to find particular designs that I could shape into a bird body or wing
  • I free-cut the bird shape and wings by following the designs on the fabric.
  • Then, I use an Elmer’s Glue Stick to secure the bird to the fabric.
  • This makes it easier to hand stitch the birds.

Fabric Journal

  • The muslin signatures for this project are about 8″x 12″. The measurements are not exact, since I prefer the unfinished, uneven look. The bird fabric journal I made is very simple compared to the beautiful, elaborate fabric journals on Pinterest.
  • I used the sewing machine to zig-zag the edges of the signatures.
  • The wrap cover was made with strips sewn onto canvas.

This journal project was a great way to relax and unwind. The unfinished projects are calling me, so I will get to them this week.

Playing With Fabric

Ever since I completed the 100 Day Project, I have been trying to find another form of small art to start my mornings. I like playing with fabric scraps, so I thought a few fabric collages might be fun. I found some practice quilt blocks that I made when I first started piecing quilts. I pulled one out to use as a background for a bird collage. First, I stitched-in-the ditch. Then I drew a bird outline on muslin. I used fabric glue to add six different fabric scraps to form the bird.  I used my Karen Kay Buckley scissors to cut the bird. These are the best scissors ever. I purchased them with a gift certificate my granddaughter gave me for my birthday. I used Aurofil variegated thread to thread sketch the bird.

Something New

This morning, I was able to complete The Tannebaum strip tube quilt top. I delivered the top to my friend, Jeana, for long-arming. After cleaning up my work space, I revisited a small project I started yesterday.
One of my goals is to make a collage quilt. I have been interested in doing this ever since I saw some art pieces by Shannon Brinkley. I discovered another fabric collage artist, Laura Heine, on one of my visits to the Mesquite Bean. The quilt shop is having collage classes taught by Vicky, who is certified to teach the Laura Heine method. Unfortunately, I can only make the introduction class, and not the class where the actual quilt is to be made. Vicky is the person who helped me make my first quilt.
In the meantime, since I cannot make the classes, I viewed some videos and thought I would give it a try on a very small scale. I fussy cut pieces from 5 different fabrics for the hummingbird. Then, I fussy cut some Kaffe Fassette flowers. I used fabric glue instead of backing the fabric with Steam-a-Seam 2 double sided fusible web. If I were to make a larger project, I would use the fusible web.
I am still having difficulty with free motion quilting. I can never seem to get the right tension. I have more control when I am FMQ, but I still do not know what I am doing. I thread-sketched the fabric I used for the bird and the flowers. I thought I had enough flowers tucked into the corner, but apparently not. The flowers look like they are suspended in the air along with the bird. Maybe I can add some more flowers tomorrow. The bee was fussy cut from a remnant.
The inspiration for the hummingbird came from the time I spent at my friend’s house. Marti’s backyard is bird heaven. There were blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, doves, and hummingbirds happily visiting and co-exiting in her yard. This was a fun learning piece.

Botanical Gardens

This morning, I took a morning walk at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I do not have a green thumb, so I need to go to the gardens to see beautiful flowers. The weather is still spring-like, with a lot of humidity. The summer heat has not hit yet.  Birds were every where. A Blue Jay posed for me ; and I captured a photo of a cardinal just before he took off.
I made a short video with the photos I took with my phone.

The color, design, and textures in the garden were inspirational. I think these flowers are named Brown-eyed Susan.

I used fabric paint and crayons on canvas for the background. Then I cut fabric to form the stems, leaves, and flowers. I thread sketched a bit to give it texture. Then I machine stitched a black outline.

Nadine

I thought I had finished for the day, and I started to clean up the mess on my work table. I had scraps everywhere. When I picked up a grey polka-dot- on- grey scrap, I got a visual of some fluffy, layered hair.
Then I pulled out some white scraps and created a face to go along with this coiffure. More polka dots and Kaffe Fassett floral scraps, and voila! Nadine came to life. I sent a picture of Nadine to my sister, Emma. Of course, she immediately responded with a biography of Nadine.

Introducing: Nadine
Biography by Emma J. Virjan
Nadine
Bra-burner
Has three dogs
Loves Thich Nhat Hanh 
Makes Kick-ass cherry cobbler   
Zumbas on Wednesdays
Never turns down a glass of wine 
Bought Intel at a penny stock and is independently wealthy 

Texas Hill Country

Yesterday was a beautiful day to be out in the Texas Hill Country. Absolutely gorgeous landscape. I tried to capture it in this small quilt collage. I was delighted to find small scraps of floral fabric that I had bought in a bag of scraps from a thrift shop in Georgetown, Texas last year. Not only do I hoard scraps that remain from my projects, I also buy other people’s scraps. 😀

Fabric Collage

Today, I tried what I think one would call fabric collage. First, I ironed on medium interfacing to the back of some canvas. Then I laid strips of fabric on the canvas. After I tried a few arrangements, I settled on what I wanted and used a glue stick to help secure the pieces just a bit. I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the collage. The tree trunk was cut from the slashed block I made yesterday. I chose to hand stitch the trunk onto the block. I added some light batting under the cloud. The tree leaves were ironed onto some interfacing. I then sewed them with the zig-zag stitch. I then attached the leave section onto the block. The piece is not yet quilted. This is just another practice piece for me to learn how to make textured and dimensional blocks.

Summer Day

Note to self: Shape the strips or use smaller strips

Update

One of the fabrics I used for Gelli-plate printing is a 100% cotton, thin dish cloth.
It’s the one in the middle of the bottom row.

This piece started out a pretty turquoise and ended up a mess. I didn’t like the texture of the cloth…at first.
As I studied the piece, I thought the texture would make a good tree bark applique. I started cutting the tree shape; and then used small pieces to collage a tree. This is still a trial and error, work in progress.