That Perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroy

That Perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroyOn joining my very first quilting guild all those years ago – my first thought was….. good gawd, you won’t catch me doing any hand stitching. Specially not hand QUILTING. No way.

Just remember – never say never, you will eat your words!

I watched the members create these gorgeous quilts, saw how they enjoyed quilting those tiny, tiny stitches. And thought, mmmm, this looks interesting. Maybe I should give it a try.

For a few months I struggled with different types of needles, a variety of ways to push the needle through the fabric, an assortment of thimbles. Continue reading “That Perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroy”

Color by Accident by Ann Johnston

Color by Accident by Ann JohnstonAt some point in your quilting life you will want to play with dyeing your own fabrics. Either because you keep hearing about how others do it and how easy it is. Or because you really, really want to create your own colours for your stash or a particular quilt.

I did it initially because I was curious about the process then I found I really enjoyed coming up with piles of new colours for my quilts.

For several years the kitchen in our Virginia house would be taken over by a mask wearing fiend who spread ziplock bags filled with swirls of colour and scrunched muslin all over every available surface. It made sense to create great wodges of hand dyed fabric in one session because it is a fairly messy and intrusive process. It takes a couple of days – because you are leaving the cooking fabrics overnight and then washing them out the next morning. While my husband was travelling and didn’t need feeding the kitchen was mine! Continue reading “Color by Accident by Ann Johnston”

Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence

Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence
Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence

Having spent 3 days in June 2013 at Marcia DeCoster’s Masterclass – Playing with Possibilities it would be remiss of me not to review her book Beaded Opulence. This is from the Lark Books beadweaving master class series.

I bought this book a while ago as I understood Marcia was known for her right angle weave designs – and I do love the Lark Masterclass books. Truthfully I haven’t made any of the pieces yet but the book is constantly being pulled from the shelf, there are so many cool ideas.

There are 8 Chapters. The usual Basic Beading Kit and then the Fundamentals which are always necessary. I enjoy reading these chapters as each artist uses different tools. Plus they have useful tips on how they, in particular, work their stitches. Continue reading “Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence”

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnan

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnon
Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnon

After a long gestation period this lovely spiral bound book arrived in my mail box. Along with some sweet ‘extras’ which Kate very kindly included. A tube of candy which I ate absolutely immediately – no hesitation. A tube of delica beads and an eraser in the shape of a small donut! Plus some postcards and a signed book plate to stick in the front of the book.

Actually, there is a very good reason for the donut eraser. The simplest way to crack out a bead is to slip a thumb tack through the bead into the eraser. None of the other beads get damaged, the thread stays intact and the bead pops out easily. Continue reading “Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnan”

Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving

Embellished Beadweaving by Laura McCabe
Embellished Beadweaving by Laura McCabe

This book in the Lark Jewelry Beadweaving Master Class series is the one which sucked me into the art of beadweaving.

After browsing through the book I kept seeing images in my mind of fantastic earrings, pendant’s with eyes, reproductions of flowers, incredible clasps. I realised beadweaving isn’t just bracelets and necklaces. It was a whole area of artistic exploration and will keep me busy for uncountable hours in the future.

Continue reading “Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving”