Thank you for visiting artful embellishments. This is the third year for this blog and I am so happy to keep publishing. I started in 2011 and began with a quilt of the week, this lead to the leaf of the week for my newly designed paper tree that is located on the wall of my garage in 2012.......2013 is going to bring a lot of excitement and positive change. As a personal challenge for 2013, I plan on designing a artist trading card each week to be featured on the blog.
With so many interests, there will be quilting, art quilting, leaves (and more leaves), as well as experiments in thermofax screen printing, fabric dying, and tons of DIY recycle projects. I may even enter that altered fashion scene. To a happy and healthy 2013, may we all find happiness in those things we create....thank you for stoping by artful embellishments.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 43 Trick or Treat

Journal Quilt 43 was done with a little bling bling in mind. The pumpkin was actually a wall decoration. The trick or treat was a scrap book paper die cut. It was embellished with individual Tulip gems. This was a simple quilt square, but so much fun to look at. I hope you had a Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 42 The Black Cat

The Week 42 journal quilt is a true three dimensional quilt square. The background is iridescent orange. A black cat was appliqued onto the quilt square. Black ticking was used to bind the edges. The word "spooky" is chip board and was attached with fabric glue. The glow in the dark bats are rubber. They were hand sewn onto the quilt square. The small purple and silver bats were confetti. They were individually placed around the edges with fabric glue. Happy Haunting!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Silk Tie Dying -Dye your own fabric.

So you can't find that original fabric at a quilt store? Why not make your own? Quilting Arts magazine has a Fabric Swap challenge. You can use any fabric and any technique for altering the fabric. You can dye, paint, discharge, stamp, stencil to alter the fabric. After submitting 4 fat quarters, Quilting Arts will send you back fabric from other contributors. I participated in this for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and was thrilled with the fabric that I received. I was so happy that Quilting Arts is hosting the same challenge. This is a piece of silk dupioni silk that has been dyed using old silk ties. For the complete instructions see Quilting Arts magazine, Issue 47, Oct/Nov 2010 by Kathy Barinholtz. This is being entered in the Quilting Arts Challenge due November 7, 2011.

Eccentric Gift Cards

Well Tis the season! We all know that the next two months are going to go by so quickly. I was looking for an avenue to make small art. It is always fun to complete a project. Sometimes I start a large or complicated project and I get discouraged because I never seem to finish. Hence, the gift card, small, functional, and just in time for the holidays. I will be featuring gift tags that I have made in the upcoming months. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fabric Postcard #2 Leaves are Falling....

This fabric post card was made with upholstery fabric. The blue background was selected and cut with pinking shears. The tree was cut using the vagabond and a Tim Holtz tree die. The leaves were all yellow and came in a package that I had picked up at a yard sale. I painted some of the leaves yellow and red. They were adhered with glue. The picture is from State Street in Harbor Springs, which is in Norther Michigan. The perfect fall postcard!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Tree and Leaf Project -The Owl

This project is starting out with a bang. I didn't plan on starting the leaves for the tree until 2012. However, I felt the tree could use a few friends. The first was this owl. I made this owl from a sketch. I traced the pieces of the sketch like a pattern onto wonder under and ironed them onto scraps of fabric. I was able to iron them onto the base fabric and free motion stitch them into place. The eyes were buttons that were connected with wire. The fringe on the bottom was attached with push pins. After he was stuffed the owl was placed on his favorite branch! Now the tough part, what to name him?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 41 Pumpkin Patch

The week 41 journal quilt is all about fall. I love pumpkins and I find piles of them so fun to look at. The picture that is included with this journal quilt is taken at Pond Hill Farm which is in Northern Michigan in Harbor Springs. It is such a fun and happy place. The journal quilt was made using upholstery fabric scraps. The Tim Holtz vagabond was used with the pumpkin die cut for two of the pumpkins. The rounder pumpkin was done by an applique method. Free motion stitching was used to adhere the pumpkins to the festive fabric. May everyone have a fun fall!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fabric Postcard #1 Halloween Witch

Stitched postcards have taken off as a technique for mixed media. The book called Stitched Postcards is edited by Christa Rolf and is a great resource. It is published by Search Press. I have decided to add a fabric postcard a week to this blog as they are quick mini mixed media projects that lend themselves to scraps. They are fun to make and are easy to fit into a busy schedule. This first postcard is constructed from an upholstery fabric remnant. The witch, bat and fence are cut with a sizzix die cut by Tim Holtz. The witch and bat are simply black paper. The fence is muslin that has been distressed with Ranger Distress ink, Vintage photo. I have used free motion stitching to attach the pieces to the background. Happy Haunting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 40 Sew

The week 40 journal quilt was an experiment in stamping on muslin. Using Ranger Distress inks and multiple stamps the background was constructed. I used fusible web to cut out the sewing vintage sewing machine. Buttons and a vintage number from Tim Holtz were added as embellishments. This was a true mixed media project and so much fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 39 Leaves All Around

The journal quilt for week 39 was a mixed media project. The tree and leaves are actually made from scrap booking paper. The leaves are made using a small Fiskers die cut. The paper were tiny scraps of old scrapbooking paper in a variety of fall colors. The tree was a die cut that was made from my favorite paper store, The scrapbook peddler. The background was remnant fabric. The leaves were adhered using fabric glue and the tree was sewn on using variegated thread. The colors were spectacular this year in Northern Michigan.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tree and Leaf Project

As this year is winding down, I was trying to think of some new creative ideas for this blog. I have managed to keep up with my 10" X10" weekly journal quilt. It has been such a great experience. I have learned so many new techniques and have found it so much fun to fill my spare time creating. While reading Studios Magazine, I saw a great studio by Annabel Wrigley. Her business Little Pincushion is so awesome. Her studio has a tree on the wall that has hooks to hold bags and other items. I loved that tree. I decided to make a tree for a bare wall in my studio. I thought that I could construct a tree out of foam core. The 2012 blog will be called Leave me to my quilting! Each week I will construct a fabric leaf. The leaf idea came from Jennifer Solon who is featured in the Quilting Arts Gift Magazine. She collages fabric scraps into art leaves. At the end of 2012 I should have 52 decorative and mixed media leaves on this tree. It should be quite a journey.

To make the tree, I took a die cut tree and used an overhead project to trace this tree onto butcher paper that comes on a roll. I then cut the tree out. I used three large pieces of white foam core and traced the tree. I used an exacto knife to cut out the tree. I adhered the pieces together using tape on the backside. I used spray paint to give the tree it's color. I started with brown primer and then used a hammer metal brown to give the tree some dimension. I plan on adding embellishments in addition to the leaves to make a full outdoor scene. The first of which was to make a squirrel hole in the front of the tree. This was done using burlap and black fabric. I am looking so forward to continuing this blog in 2012. There will be small entries with additions to this tree as we head towards 2012. I will continue to finish the last 13 journal quilt entires too. May you enjoy the remainder of 2011 and look forward to an artful 2012.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Quilt and Rocking Chair

This quilt was done using a Moda charm pack. What is so amazing about these charm packs is that you get to see different fabrics together. These are often colors and patterns that you might not choose on your own. This quilt was pieced by me, and then quilted by Judy Becker of Quilted Cottage. The rocking chair and quilt are donated to With a Little Help From My Friends pet crisis center in Bellaire Michigan. This is an amazing organization that helps dogs and cats in their time of need. http://www.walhfmf.org/

Monday, October 10, 2011

Doodle Bug Quilt

The doodle bug quilt is a quilt pattern by Annette Ornelas. This quilt pattern is very easy to do once you read her clever instructions. I have always loved the "slug bugs" and find them so fun to look at on the road. This whimsical pattern allows you to make them in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can order her pattern from south winds designs. You can read her biography at http://www.furnacetown.com/ornelasbio.html. This quilt was made and donated to the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society for their Howl at the Moon 2012 auction!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 38 Change of Season

The journal quilt for week 38 highlights one of my favorite tools. In previous blog posts I have mentioned that I have the Tim Holtz Vagabond die cut machine. This entire quilt was made using the Sizzix dies. With the colors changing and reaching peak here in Michigan, I thought it only appropriate to do a quilt highlighting this beautiful season. The bird, wings, and birdhouse were done using upholstery fabric scraps. The leaves were made from the pages old books. The edges were distressed with Ranger's distress inks. The branch along the bottom was made from regular scrapbooking paper. The embossing was done using the tree branch embossing folder with the vagabond. All of the embellishments were sewn on using a free motion stitch. Enjoy the change of season!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 37 Leave an Impression

Week 37 was so much fun and such a pleasant surprise. This art quilt started out with canvas that was painted with inexpensive acrylic paint. The background was a light blue. You can see this peaking through in the lower right corner. I then used tulip fabric paint in green to cover the base leaving a little of the blue showing through. Using a leaf stencil I then used various colors of tulip fabric spray pain in orange and yellow. I also added Glimmer Mist in orange, yellow and red. The colors were so bright, with a hint of shimmer. I didn't stitch on this journal quilt as I really liked it just the way it is. The colors are really beginning to turn in Michigan this week!
Take a dive and fall into color.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Week 36 Play

Week 36 is a journal quilt that is a reminder of summer. Today it is cold in the 50's and I was thinking back to those wonderful summer sunsets. I was watching the sun set and in my direct view these two little girls were playing in the sand. They had no toys and just each other. They entertained themselves for over an hour. I captured them with my camera. I altered the photographs using photoshop. They were stitched onto fabric squares recycled from an old upholstery book. The muslin was dyed with coffee grounds. Scrap book letters were used to give make the word play whimsical. I finished it with an awesome quote by J. M. Laurence "It's not what we have i our life, but who we have in our life that counts."
With fond memories of summer, embrace those who count!