Browsed by
Tag: machine stitching

Nuno Felting Landscapes

Nuno Felting Landscapes

I have started creating some nuno felted landscapes so that when the world returns to “normal”, I will have work that I can take to different galleries to sell. These are created with hand dyed silk (5 mm) and white merino prefelt. Some of the silk I used this time was dyed by my friend Paula Rindal. She gave me her silk when she decided to stop felting. Thanks Paula!

This is one of the pieces of silk from Paula. I see an autumn landscape developing from this piece. I don’t always have a plan in mind until after these are felted. Then I look at the piece from all angles and decide what I “see” in the piece. Then I progress from there. This one I am planning on hand stitching.

This piece was one of my hand dyed pieces of silk. I haven’t quite decided on this one yet but it might be mountains in the distance with Montana wildflowers in the foreground. I might use a combination of machine and hand stitching.

Again, another one of my hand dyed pieces of silk. I think this might be a lake with mountains in the distance, perhaps machine stitched?

This last one I based on a photo I took of the Whitefish river. I laid the pieces out based on the photo and then it will be all machine stitched. You can see I have started by adding background trees. I forgot to take a photo of this one before I started stitching.

So what do you see in these? It’s always interesting to me that people see different things in an abstract background. What would you create out of the top three backgrounds? I will be showing you the progression of each of these as I work through them but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Playing with Fabric Scraps

Playing with Fabric Scraps

Hello again. I know its been a long time since I’ve posted and I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to the blog in my place.  I definitely feel it has enriched our community and broadened our scope.

Because of health issues in our family, I haven’t been doing much creative work.  But managed to do a little fabric manipulation with fabric scraps.  I had bought a book a long time ago by Ann Small, Layered Cloth, The Art of Fabric Manipulation. Anyone who knows me or followed me knows I love texture.  I was intrigued.  Plus it was something I could work on a little at a time.

Like  everyone else, I collect all things fiber and found a stash of five fabric pieces I had bought at a thrift store. Perfect, but I needed one more for six layers. No problem.  I had an old Egyptian cotton sheet laying around I had used several years ago to make small pillowcases.

I wasn’t too concerned with colors, but it worked out fairly well. I cut five inch squares out of each cloth. They are different weights of cotton and or blends.

My first sandwich. Excuse the shadows the light wasn’t very good.








The book gives many examples of patterns.  I was really excited to experiment. I started in the middle and using the width of the presser foot to make the next row.

I assembled a variety of tools, not knowing which would work best going through five layers.








The blue scissors proved to be most useful on most of them. Although my hands were not happy with me.

If you look closely at the pic above on the right, you’ll notice how stringy the one corner is.  This is because it was cut on the grain.

For the next five sandwiches I alternated fabrics and designs.

After stitching and cutting, I roughed up the samples to get them to open up.







After being washed and dried.








The circular design was difficult to cut through the layers.  I had to use the seam ripper to open it up far enough to get the scissors in and hope I’d get through the first five layers and not cut all six. The finished piece is very thready even after washing twice, dried in the dryer.
















On the following one I decided to slash squares. So I used a piece of  stitch and tear  to draw my pattern then stitched it to the sandwich and followed the square pattern. Again I had to use the seam ripper to get started.








After stitching, slashing, washing twice and drying, here is the result. I found it interesting that not all squares opened, but every other row did creating it’s own pattern.

Here are all six of them together after they were washed, dried and trimmed.

I have to say the pink is my least favorite, but it was a fun project to see how different each pattern turned out.  I’m sure using different fabrics and perhaps even using a tie dye type fabric you can get some really fun outcomes. Have you ever tried this?

I’m not sure what I’ll do with them now.  Any suggestions?

Finishing the Panels

Finishing the Panels

Last week I showed you two large panels I made using scraps.  Since then I created three more.

One long panel.

20161116_145808  20161118_122459

20161118_122511Two short ones.

20161116_145815 20161118_122422


20161118_122349 20161118_122404

Here they are laid out on the floor.



Here’s the final project.

20161204_142831 20161204_143117 20161204_143049 20161204_143029 20161204_143002 20161204_142938 20161204_142841


So, whats underneath?

My Simplicity Needle Felting Machine naked.  Sorry about the lighting, this was our first snow and kind of cloudy.

Now you see it.

20161204_142455Now you don’t.


I was amazed that I got the sizes right.  I purposely left the edges organic.  Its a little lopsided but the top of the machine is narrower than the bottom.  Now I can change it around for a different look when the mood strikes.

Did you see that coming?

We have three spots left for sponsorship to keep our forum ad free, if you’re interested, please visit the forum and leave a response under 2017 Sponsorhips.  Thanks!

Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

I just finished Ruth Lane’s online class.  Since I am also papermaker, I was excited to combine the two passions and see the results.

It was a fun experiment using a variety of papers, dyes, paints and fabrics.  Some worked, some didn’t, but that’s how we learn.

This first one is a paper napkin from one of my Grandson’s birthday party earlier this year on organza.  Since I was experimenting, I used some batts with unknown fibers in two colors, blue and green.


I decided not to further embellish it since the “characters” were nicely defined.  I suppose I could add some greenery and clouds.  But I wanted to show the results this far.

The next one is also “finished.”  I used a tree stencil on organza with unryu paper which is very fibery.  Again it is on a batt of unknown fiber.


I embellished around the stencil with silver silk hankies.  It felted very nicely.


Since these were experiments, I wasn’t concerned about perfect edges and left them organic.

Here’s a closeup of the center.  You can see how those fiber areas look like branches and connect the trees.


I got great texture as you can see from this side view.


The one project I completed was a stenciled bird pic.


I used a couple of paper and fabric types with this stencil, but chose this one to finish even though the colors faded.  It was a dyed paper towel on cotton voile.  You can’t see it in the pics, but the bumps from the towel can be seen in spots. I used it on a merino batt.


I forgot to cover the edges of the voile, so I used machine stitching to cover the edges.

I decided to hand stitch the rest. There is a lot of dimension in the paper, although it’s not too obvious in these pics.


I wanted to keep it simple.  I used double rayon thread with threaded backstitches and some satin stitches to embellish it. The green is a variegated thread. I purposely just outlined because I wanted the birds to be the center of attention. Forgive my poor stitching. Here are some closeups.

20160609_122027 20160609_121810 20160609_121800

Now I have to decide whether to frame it or leave it organic.

Thanks Ruth!  It was a unique class. I need more practice. I’m still working on the final projects.

2nd Quarter Challenge Part 2

2nd Quarter Challenge Part 2

It seems as if everyone is anxious to reduce their UFO stash.  While I haven’t put a dent in mine, it does feel good to create something new out of scraps.

Sifting thru my scraps, I was having a hard time coming up with ideas.  But then one evening while watching the local news it hit me.  I grew up in Chicago and now live about 50 miles west of it in the middle of corn country.  I always loved seeing the city scape either driving in or flying over.

I didn’t want to copy a picture, but compile my own city scape made up of buildings I thought were unique.

My first attempt I used a purple for a sky color. And a teal for the water.  It was too dark and didn’t let the buildings pop.


Not having enough blue scraps for the sky I felted a piece of prefelt.  Then added some fluffy wool clouds for dimension.

20160515_16514020160523_142336 20160523_142313

Of course a lot of buildings are gray or black, but as you can see I chose to use more of my wallet material for my centerpiece building — The Willis Tower (formerly known ans will always be The Sears Tower to me.) In reality it is black.

The red building on the right was a left over piece of a business card.  I thought it was just right for a real red CNA (Continental National America) building on the lake shore.

On the left is the Crain Communications building also known as the Diamond  building.

Once the pieces were pinned, I used a combination of hand stitching to keep everything in place, machine stitching for the windows and antennas  on the Willis building and details on the Crain building.

The Willis Tower is not leaning in real life, but we do live in the Windy City and buildings do sway. Actually, the sewing must have shifted it.  I debated pulling it out, but decided against it.

I also used free motion stitching in the foilage area at the lake front.  There was still something missing. What is a lake without boats?  If you look closely, the sails are blowing in the wind, again adding dimension.





I tried a couple of mats, but decided on the black and white one.  I don’t have a frame yet, but probably basic black.


Or I could use a 5 x 7″ frame by itself.  Sorry about the black background. It’s a metallic slate gray frame.


What do you think?

Don’t forget to post your 2nd Quarter Challenge on the forum.




Free Contemporary Designs for Fiber Art

Free Contemporary Designs for Fiber Art

My friend Deb Stika and I are working up a book proposal using Deb’s designs. These are contemporary designs that Deb has drawn and that we both thought would work really well as designs for various types of fiber art including hand stitching, machine stitching, wet felting, needle felting, screen printing, surface design, silk painting, mixed media and more. The designs are in 5 categories including psychedelic, circles, nature, tapestry and graphic. The plan is to have 5-10 designs in each category and to have examples that have been completed in each design in a variety of media. You could also use these designs to print out and color with colored pencils or pens. There does seem to be a new fad of “adult coloring” books and these designs would be fun to color.

When you are writing a book proposal, you as an author need to be able to show to the publisher that there is interest in that type of book and that there will be an audience for the book. So Deb and I thought we would give away a few of the designs here to our readers and see what the response is. We would love your feedback and for you to spread the word on social media about the proposed book and the free designs. We would also love to see whatever you make using any of the designs. Perhaps, if the book proposal is accepted, your piece might even be included in the book.

The links to the PDF version of these designs will be included below. Please feel free to use the design in your own work. Please make sure to attribute the design to Deb Stika when showing your work. If you would like to sell items with these designs, please contact us before doing so.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika, copyright Deb Stika

This is the first design in the graphic category. The nice thing about these designs is that they could be used in so many ways. For example, you could enlarge the design if you wanted to use it in wet felting to make a wall hanging. Or if you wanted to use it in hand stitching, you could keep it at a smaller size.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the design in hand stitching and then coloring in the background.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika

Here is my interpretation done with free motion machine stitching on dyed felt. How would you interpret this design? I could see this design being used for 2 dimensional needle felting in natural wool colors. Or even using a variety of hand stitches to fill in the colors once the outline was completed. I also think this would be cool if enlarged a bit and used as a design for a silk painting. I’m sure you can come up with other ideas on how to use the design.

Graphic 1

Just click on the link above to get the PDF version of this design.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika, copyright Deb Stika

This design is part of the nature series. Again, I can see many possibilities with this design. Applique, cut back applique, wet felting with prefelt pieces, screen printed on a t-shirt, or wet felted and machine stitched.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika

Here is Deb’s hand stitched interpretation. The background was actually printed by me during several of our local surface design sessions. I don’t actually remember what all I did to this piece of fabric. But it was sitting unloved in my stash and Deb liked it, so I gave it to her. I just love the end result! Deb has hand stitched hand dyed felt as well as including other hand stitches. Don’t forget that you can enlarge any of these photos by clicking on them.

Contemporary Designs by Deb Stika

And here is my machine stitched creation from Deb’s nature design. This is fused, hand dyed fabric applique pieces that I covered with sheer silk organza and then machine stitched. I really like how even though we used the same design, our pieces are very different. Have we got your mind whirling with ideas on how to use this design in your own way?

Nature 1

And again, here’s the free PDF at the link above for you to try your own piece with the nature design. So I will make this a mini challenge for everyone. Use one or both of these designs to make something in your own methods and media. Then let us know what you created either by showing it on the forum or sending it to me by e-mail at laneruthe at gmail.

Please let me know in the comments if this type of book would be something you would consider buying. Are you looking for fun designs to use in your work? Would you prefer to have just the examples and designs or would you prefer specific how to projects with the designs? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!


Around the Web

Around the Web

felting around the web 4

stitching around the web I had a hard time deciding where to put this it is great felt but the stitching is such a big part of it.

weaving around the web 300 she does card weaving on her loom as part of a loom woven piece.

mixed media around the web

spinning around the web

surface design around the web

More Fingerless Mitts

More Fingerless Mitts

Can you tell I am on a roll with these. I did this pair a little differently. Instead of doing it around a resist I made a flat piece of black felt and then sewed on some sari waste ribbon.

flat fingerless mitts start

I want them to be sort off raggy looking in the end.

I wanted to put big black buttons to fasten it but I didn’t have enough so I used all different ones. I think it turned out better with the different coloured buttons.flat fingerless mitts finished

And here is what they look like on.

flat fingerless mitts on maegan

I really like the way they turned out and will probably make more this way.






First Quarter Challenge Drawing to a Close

First Quarter Challenge Drawing to a Close

A Daily Dose of Fiber challenge is coming to an end. I challenged everyone to take at least five minutes a day and do something creative. I personally had been doing this for a while but I wanted to add increased blogging on my personal blog. So I blogged every day during the challenge and I do have to say it was a challenge especially when I was traveling. I don’t own a “smart” phone and I don’t seem to be very mobile when it comes to online stuff. But I got a lot of creative stuff done and creating every day has been fun. Many times when I didn’t really feel like doing anything, I made myself get started because I had to do my 5 minutes a day. Once I got started, I ended up spending much more than 5 minutes because I quickly became involved in what I was doing.

Beaded Book
Beaded Book

So what did I accomplish with at least 5 minutes a day? In January, I spent the first half of the month completing my beaded book and making a beaded tassel for it. I also made three felt appliques, two turned edge appliques, two shadow appliques and a felt applique book. I researched broderie perse, the Bronze age, Kyrgyz design and reverse applique. I made a couple of pieces of flat felt, painted some commercial felt and finished the slipper bottoms for my husband’s slippers.

Applique Felt Book with Hand Stitching
Applique Felt Book with Hand Stitching

February was my travel month so I wasn’t quite as productive since I had to go to the Buyers Market for the store and attend my last stitch class. But I did manage to frame some of my work for a mini exhibition, do a little machine applique, learn some new types of bindings for books including hand stitching and machine stitching, make a machine stitched book page, felt some cat toys, work in my sketchbook/studio journal, do a little Kantha stitching while traveling, finish up the last of the felt appliques, make a shadow applique card for hubbie for Valentine’s Day, try out a new painting technique, carve some linoleum stamps and make some stitched greeting cards.

Felt Applique with Couched Cording
Felt Applique with Couched Cording

In March I have been finishing up the last of my stitch class homework. I have almost completed two machine stitched cut back applique pieces, I practiced some new hand stitches, I completed my 5 page machine stitched book, I went and picked up 200# of wool and took it to the processing mill, I started reading up on yurt building, I did very tiny blanket stitch around one of the book pages mentioned above, had a painting party at my house, learned new insertion stitches for small book bindings, laced my Kantha bird in preparation for mounting, matted several of my print to stitch pieces and made some grey scale croppers.


Whew… I think I need to take a nap!

A Little Stich Practice

A Little Stich Practice

I finally put the free motion embroidery foot on my Sewing Machine.  I did a small sample to see what different movements did.  I used contrasting thread so I could see what I had done better. As you can see I did a few things. I tried to sew down some loopy yarn. this was hard. The yarn moves and you can’t really pin it very well. Its to easy to run the machine over the pins.

machine stitch sample

The solid red, with lots of stitching is a piece of silk  carrier rod. I tried moving the felt at different speeds and having the machine sew at different speeds.  Fast machine and slow hands seemed to work best so far. You can see near the end I was getting better at controlling what I was doing and managed to write my name. I like the way the stitching looks on the tree best, well the green part anyway.

Here is a shot at the back side.

machine stitch sample back

The machine stitching looks so different than hand stitching. I think the combination of the two will be great. But for now I need to practice my machine stitching. Anyone have any tips or suggestions about machine stitching?

%d bloggers like this: