Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Weird Small Gems

Last February at the NEORQC ( Getaway I took Judy Kessler-Smith's "Small Gems" class. The idea was to create small embellished projects using a variety of techniques. We played with paint sticks and textured rubbing pads. We painted on used dryer sheets - they have a very interesting texture. We experimented with Angelina fibers, various trims, tulle and decorative stitches on our machines. Judy is very talented and very artistic, and I learned some good techniques. I can be creative at times, but I just wasn't feeling it that weekend, so not many of the new techniques made it into my finished projects.

I finished this postcard while we were there, which was fun. The background is a piece of blue fabric. I layered on some Anglina fibers, a piece of watercolored satin ribbon, some cotton yarns and trims, then cut out a few roses from a piece of fabric. There's a layer of blue or black tulle on top of that. Then I stitched on top with pink metallic thread. The result was cut down to postcard size, backed with Timtex and muslin and satin stitched along the edges.

My second project is the weird one. I took my scrap boxes with me and had a bunch of "autumn" scraps from a pumpkin table runner I'd made a few years back and a chenille scarf I gave my mom. Also, there was some orange and green baby ric-rac that I got in a grab bag ages ago that was dying to with it. Since the scraps were in odd sizes, a crazy quilt arrangement seemed to fit the bill. This is what I ended up with.

It's okay but a little on the blah side. I'd talked it over with Judy in the class, and she suggested adding a red fabric flower to add some punch. I tried to cut out petals and fuse them to make a flower, but that looked flat, literally and figuratively. I tried making a yo-yo flower using the clover yo-yo maker (, and that was better, but the flower was too small. I was going to make a ribbon flower using Nancy Zieman's Easy Ribbon Accents (, but I couldn't find ribbon I liked to go with it. I considered doing some kind of dimensional machine embroidery, but decided I didn't want to spend that much time on it, since I'm not crazy about it in the first place. I just wanted it Done.

I had taken a class at a local sewing shop that used silk flowers as embellishments,and thought that might be a good compromise. So I dug through my extensive collection of crafty stuff and found some scrapbooking flowers that blended well:

But it still needed something.... Button jar to the rescue! I found this nice gold button with a red jewel in the center. Perfect!

I actually almost kind of like it now, but I have no place to use it at my house. It's the perfect size for Ami Simms' Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (, so I might send it there. The only problem is that all the embellishments are supposed to be sturdy enough to withstand potentially being run over by a mail truck. I'm not sure the button would survive, since it's plastic. I wonder if a small red yo-yo would look okay? Maybe made out of organza or lame'? Something that pops. Hmmm.... If I go with that, I'll post another picture.

Now I'm off to the sewing room. I think I'll work on baby quilts today. The tops will go together quickly, then I can work on DJ tomorrow. More pictures then.

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