Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Grandma's Lace"

Piece Name: "Grandma's Lace" Postcard

This is a fabric postcard made in the crazy quilt style for the 2007 RCTQ Crazy Quilt Postcard Swap (a group I belong to of online quilters who swap fabric postcards). Went all out on this one for my friend Flossy! I used vibrant green and purple scrap fabrics, fancy stitches in colorful coordinating thread, and lace trims that I received a few years ago from crazy quilters as thanks for running a velvet swap. This one was not difficult to make but was labor intensive. Took somewhere between two and three hours to make. I call it "Grandma's Lace" because it sure looks like it could be things raided from a beloved grandmother's sewing stash!

I can't savor my creation for long...this one is bound for jolly ol' England tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quilt Show Follow up...

Went to the quilt show yesterday with my mom. We had a lovely time and it was as well a put on show as ever! I did not win a ribbon, BUT.... I did improve since previous years. Let me tell you why. The items I put in ranged from being started 2003 (finished 2007), 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Like any craft you work and practice at I have improved and those pieces reflected it. The judge's comments on each piece (which were awesome by the way) were so kind with their praise and the constructive criticism was spot on. One thing that I am still struggling with is to get a very nice binding done by machine (I won't do it by hand). The four earlier pieces had comments (deserved) on the binding. The 2007 piece (red and white) was the first time ever I didn't get a word on the binding from the judges at this show. YAHOO! BUT it still gets better. Three of my five entries never got out of the general pool for ribbon consideration. But two did (you could see extra checkboxes filled out on the form) and had a special "participant" ribbon included with the comments. They didn't ultimately win anything...but I consider it a personal victory that something I made got a little further than the general pool. YAY!!!!

Now if only I could convince my husband to let me be a kept woman so I could quilt and make jewelry all day everyday instead of finding time for it on night and weekends...I would be set!!! Think of all the improvement in my craft being made if I lived and breathed them every moment. Oh least now working pays for the fabric and pretties! It will have to do! ;)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Quilt Show this Weekend...

I have five of my quilted creations entered into the NJ State Quilt Guild's quilt show this upcoming weekend (June 7 - June 9). It is a non-juried (meaning any quilt sent in is accepted) and judged (has official judging and awards) quilt show. It is a large show and if you win an award here it is a top notch accomplishment. The quilting talent displayed ranges from children and beginners up to the masters in the art. It is amazing to see all that talent assembled in one room. That being said I have entered quilts many times and have never won. LOL! Don't worry I don't feel bad and never expected to win. I am just glad to hang the quilts in public once in awhile. And I admit to casually standing near them to eavesdrop on what people are saying about my quilts!! These are the quilts that I am entering in this year's show. The only one that has the tiniest, slimmest chance of possibly ribboning is the jacket.

This one I made in 2005 for my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary.

This one I made for the Love Apple Quilters Guild 2007 Challenge.

This one was a "just because" Christmas gift for my mom in 2006.

This one is shown unfinished (have to find my finished pictures!) and was made in 2007 just because I wanted to do it!

This one I made for the Love Apple Quilters Guild 2004 Challenge.

If for some amazing reason I do actually get some kind of award (I doubt it highly!!!) I'll keep you posted. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Denim Coils...

Piece Name: "Denim Coils" Bracelet

Created with 16 and 22 gauge copper wire and eight 10-13mm polymer clay beads (made by ArtisticJen on Etsy). Design is by Wendy Witchner and is from the Bead and Button Wirework Special issue 2007. Created 05/25/2007.

Boy this one was kind of a bugger. Not a hard technique to understand or do, but hard for a newbie wire jewelry maker whose hands don't feel totally comfortable yet working with wire. I cannot wait until my wire working feels second nature like my quilting does. It's all about growing and learning isn't it!!!

Copper Beaded Ring...

Piece Name: Beaded Copper Ring

Created with 20 gauge copper wire, two 6mm cat's eye beads and two 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals. Design from a member created tutorial on the Beadingaholics Yahoo Group. Created 05/25/2007. NOTE: Sorry about the blurry photo. I really liked that shot of it and just couldn't get it to turn out! I am going to read my camera manual for tips on close up pics. If I can get it to turn out I'll replace this photo.

This was a quick ring but it sure does look elegant on my finger! This will definitely be done again with many wire types and beads.

There be Dragonflies...

Piece Name: Dragonfly Postcard with Copper Wire

Made for a dragonfly themed postcard swap. One of the rules was that I had to use the color green. Not only is the fabric green (and have dragonflies), but the copper will tarnish to a lovely greenish color over time. Created 05/10/2007.

This was fun and it combined my love of quilting with wire work! The dragonfly was my own design and it was freeing to just create something of my own and not follow a tutorial or a book. I am looking forward to when my wire jewelry skills advance enough to the point I can get the designs in my head out and into reality effectively!

Copper Waves...

Piece Name: "Copper Waves" Necklace

Design came from the Spring 2005 edition of "Step by Step Wire Magazine". The design is by Marie L. Carter. I followed the tutorial pretty closely using several gauges of copper wire and 6mm faceted tanzanite colored cat's eye beads. I varied my necklace from Marie's by using larger beads and much much larger jump rings. I like the airy look the larger jump rings give the necklace. Completed 05/14/2007.

I LOVE cat's eye beads. I NEED to get more and more. I really really enjoy wearing this necklace. It has great weight and wears beautifully. I will definitely be using this technique I learned in Argentium wire.

Swirling Copper...

Piece Name: "Swirling Chain" Necklace and Earrings

The second (Necklace) and third (Earrings - left over links) pieces of jewelry I ever made. The design is from "Wire & Bead Celtic Jewelry" by Linda Jones. I added beads to the design. Made with 20 gauge copper wire and glass beads. Made 04/30/2007.

What I learned from this piece and what I would differently is skip the beads, use a larger gauge wire, and hammer it flatter. This would give the necklace a bit more substance. It is a pretty necklace as I made it, but it gets all tangled easily. A little more "heft" and it would be perfect.

And the Wire Jewelry Making Begins...

Piece Name: Ornate Ring

This is the first piece of jewelry I ever made using wire. The design is by Eni Oken, a tutorial I downloaded from her website. This was one labor intensive ring! Made with various gauges of copper wire, glass beads, and a common purple stone cabochon. Made 04/30/2007.

I'll definitely be making this one again, but I want to try it in Argentium and I have a gorgeous stone I picked up at a Bead Fest in mind for the second try.