Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lullaby Lamby!

Piece Name: "Lullaby Lamb" Baby Pillow

Made this baby pillow for my cousin's baby shower. She and her husband are going to have their first child...a boy. This pillow was adapted from a quilt pattern called "Lullaby Lamb". It uses the layered chenille technique, fusible machine applique, and echo quilting. It is 21"x21". I used a safety pin with a pretty blue bow to attach a little "cow" bell to the lamb which adds a nice tinkly bell sound and furthers the 3D effect of the pillow. I know I made this so I am biased, but darn this one is precious!

Completed: January 17, 2009

There Be Flowers on My Quilts!

Piece Name: "My Blue Baltimore" Mini Quilt

This a mini quilt that I made for me...all me! Not giving this one away! No way! I made this just for fun because one day I wanted to do applique. This is what I came up with after flipping through my library. I pieced the background in beige and cream (which you can't see in the photos). It gives very subtle visual interest to the piece. A simple a thing as that and I've never done before...I've always used solid one piece backgrounds. I have to say I like the subtle difference and it was worth the extra work. The block design came from one of Elly Sienkiewicz' Baltimore Beauty books, and the border I designed after being inspired by traditional swagged borders. I decided to stay in all blues because I thought the look would be powerful and clean against the cream/biege background. The quilting is traditional cross hatch and I have to say I am mighty pleased with this little quilt (22"x22"). The applique is fusible machine applique. I love making traditional designs using modern applique methods (modern meaning it gets done in my hectic schedule without fiddly hand work!). This quilt will hang in my guild's quilt show this March 14-15th (Love Apple Quilters of Cherry Hill, NJ). Completed: January 4, 2009

Piece Name: "Elizabethan Gardens of Manteo, NC" Mini Quilt

This mini quilt (24"x24") is entirely machine embroidered with a design pack you can purchase on the Secrets of Embroidery website. It took many hours of work stitching out each block with all those thread changes and then joining all the blocks together like a jigsaw puzzle (that took some skilled easing!). I chose very traditional rose petal colors, and when it was all done it reminded me of the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC. This quilt will be a very belated wedding gift for a cousin. It's been done for awhile but I have procrastinated over putting a label on it (where have you read that before!!!). It is going to be even more belated because it too will hang in my guild's quilt show this March 14-15th. Completed: Jan. 2008

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Present Earrings

Piece Names: Sparkle & Luster Earrings and Irridescent Snowflake Earrings

Every year my husband gives his Aunt Kathy (his Godmother) a Christmas gift. Most years this translates to me selecting and taking care of the gift for him! This year we gave her a purchased silver mesh sterling silver bracelet, but I wanted to add to it, so I created the following two pairs of earrings for her from him. This first pair are what I call the "Sparkle & Luster Earrings" because they are made with two shades of red 4mm Swarovski bicone beads (the sparkle) and 7.5mm freshwater pearls (the luster). The metal is either Argentium Sterling Silver or regular Sterling Silver. These were made with simple bead wire wrapping techniques that I thought looked pleasing together and weren't inspired by any artist in particular.

Remember that fabulous wire artist Corra I mentioned in my previous post? I purchased her Snowflake Earrings tutorial and made these "Irridescent Snowflake Earrings" as the second earring pair in the Christmas gift. What a great and easy to follow tutorial! I used multi-colored irridescent seed beads with Argentium Sterling Silver to make these. They stubbornly resisted being photographed well and look crooked (I didn't feel like getting my light studio out so that's what I get)...but I assure you they came out wonderfully (and straight despite what they look like in my photos) thanks to Corra's wonderful instruction!

Both pieces completed: December 2008

Experimentation Yields Sparklies!

Piece Names: Green Ladybug Pendant and Garnet & Silver Pipa Knot Pendant

After making so many snowflakes adhering losely to a pattern I felt creative and wanted to "play" with wire with nothing set in mind. The two pendants in this entry are the result. The first I call the "Green Ladybug" pendant. It is made with two gauges of Argentium Sterling Silver wire (20 and 28 I think), a 7.5 mm freshwater pearl, and three green shades of 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads. This one was all my design from start to finish. I need to find a dressy enough reason to wear this one!

The second pendant was inspired by the work of Corra an EXTREMELY talented Jewelry Artist whose work I admire and follow closely. I have purchased a couple of her tutorials. This Pipa Tear Drop Knot done in wire is actually a Chinese knotting technique that Corra elevates to new levels in wire. I was able to make this version of the knot by studying her lovely pieces and doing Chinese knotting research online. If you'd like to learn I HIGHLY recommend one of Corra's tutorials as they are FIRST rate! This pendant is made with two gauges of Argentium Sterling Silver wire (20 and 28 I think) and 4mm faceted garnet beads.

Both pieces completed: December 2008

Christmas Craft 2008 - Snowflakes!

Piece Name: Christmas Craft - SS Wire Snowflakes

If you know me you know that each year I do a Christmas Craft project that I give to friends and family members as gifts. I have been doing this for almost 20 years now. I have made things in all sorts of techniques, but like last year (scroll below for 2007's craft) I settled in on wire wrapping again. This year I made snowflakes. They were inspired by a bracelet tutorial by Karen Traeger Rakoski that was published in the Winter 2008 edition of the "Step by Step Wire Jewelry" magazine. I got pretty good at making them and just like real snowflakes each one is a little different!

These snowflakes were made with 20 and 24 gauge Argentium Sterling Silver wire. They either use faceted Blue Lace agate beads or light blue 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads for the center stone. I used narrow light blue satin ribbon as hangers for these ornaments.

Completed: December 2008