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Blog - StellarThreadsJulie StellarThreadsJulie Creative Textile Arts subscribe First nameLast nameEmail Blog Contact me Gallery About Me Mission My Etsy Shop Blog Kyra Handmade Gifts for Christmas October 23, 2015 By: Julie Callahancomment Handmade Gifts for Christmas (or any time) Nothing says “You are important to me” as a handmade gift. For my entire adult life, I have handmade Christmas gifts for every member of my family and a few treasured friends. Yes, it does take some time, time that you may think you really don’t have, but I assure you most of what I’m about to share with you is fast, simple and easy. Let’s start with handmade Ornaments for Christmas. I’ve made a variety of them. Some are just a simple motif that I’d fussy cut, put batting in or stuffed, sewed a backing on and used DMC floss to hang. Easy and simple. But this is much nicer: Handmade ornament gift This was made out of 6 cardboard pieces (I used Shawn’s empty Lucky Charms), 6 squares of fabric and beads. If you don’t want to use beads to cover the seams you can hot glue some trim as I did in the last example. Here are a few more that were beaded along the seams. ornaments ornaments As you can see, I made about 20 of them. The ooo’s and aaaah’s were worth the effort and time. You can embellish these to your hearts content using charms, buttons, ephemera, silk ribbon,lace and other doodads. Next we have easy peasy 4 Patch Mug Rugs or Coasters: mug rug/coaster or ornament I sewed some leftover 2.5″ wide strips of fabric together, cut those into 2.5″ long, then sewed opposite sides together. I used Eleanor Burns’s technique of opening up the seam on the wrong side where the 4 corners meet and made a little 4 patch with my iron so it all lays flat. I added batting and backing, put it right sides together, sewed all around leaving a small opening for turning. I then turned it right side out, hand stitched the opening then I top stitched all around. You can use the same technique to turn this into an ornament. Just add something for hanging. Using another one of Shawn’s unhealthy cereal boxes I made some pins or brooches which are now for sale in my ETSY shop. Again, easy. I grabbed some bits and pieces of Christmas fabrics and in crazy quilt fashion sewed them all together. I then used my fancy stitches on my Bernina and covered the seams adding some beads for embellishments when done. I cut out the desired shapes, added batting then cut the cardboard. This can be glued down or sewn using a gathering stitch to the back of the cardboard. To cover the back I cut a piece of felt and sewed a pin to it. handmade pin/brooch handmade pin/brooch back of pin/brooch Now if you do have some time I recommend a fabric bowl made with Timtex. These were popular a few years ago when I made over 20. What’s still so great about them is they are machine washable so you can use them at the table as a bread bowl. Here are a few of mine: fabric bowl fabric bowl from above They are also reversible. Think of all the different fabrics you can use for all the different holidays. Such fun! One more to share with you. I have so many Jelly Rolls and I didn’t want to make a strip quilt. I decided to make Christmas gifts instead. Now these are not handmade except for the binding but they still are pretty easy. I saw a similar one in the store for an outrageous price so I decided to make my own. It’s a Hexagon Table Topper. hexagon table topper You do need to draft a hexagon (6 sides). I just Googled how and used a school compass. Took 10 mins. All those years of hand drafting quilt blocks on 12″ grid paper came in handy. I took the center hexagon and just kept adding strips till I had the size I wanted. I did quilt in the ditch on most of the seams. Not hard. Again, like the bowls, mug rugs/coasters and pins/brooches, you can use any fabrics for any holiday or season. So there you have just a few of the gifts I’ve made over the years. I hope you find the time and are inclined to make some of your own. You can always ask me for more detailed instructions if needed. I’m here to share. Daily Muse: A gift, with a kind countenance, is a double present. – Thomas Fuller 1732 Question – What handmade gift would you like to receive? Snippet Roll – A Tutorial October 17, 2015 By: Julie Callahancomment My First Snippet Roll of Embellishments While feeding my Pinterest addiction/ obsession I came across a Board called Snippet Rolls. Now I like to think I’m up to date on certain trends but I had never seen these before. Gees, where have I been?? What these are apparently are little bits and pieces of lace, ephemera, charms, beads, ribbons, scraps, doodads and even paper all sewn down on a roll of fabric and wound around a wooden spool. How charming! That’s right up my alley. (A future post of my studio will show you why). I’ve never been a frilly kinda gal, but this shabby chic stuff really pulls on me. Here is my finished snippet roll. Finished Snippet Roll First I gathered up my embellishments of which these are but a tiny fraction. Since I knew I’d be using some heavier charms and a broken pin of Cinderella’s Coach I bought at Disney World, I chose a duck cloth as my foundation fabric. I machine sewed some ombre organza ribbon down each side and then I went to town sewing the rest of the snippet roll embellishments by hand using all colors of thread and DMC floss. even more embellishments more more stach some of my stash of embellishments I decided I would tell a story of a little girl as she grew up. The photos below show how I just kept adding embellishments to tell her story. I’ve been collecting these for over 20 years and love to use them. The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie) only applies to makeup and fashion accessories NOT Textile Art as far as I’m concerned. ?? At some point I realized I was telling some of my story so I stopped and anchored the snippet roll with the Cinderella Coach brooch. ephemera embellishments DONE! I had so much fun I have already started another snippet roll to sell in my ETSY Shop. So, how can you get started on yours if you don’t have all these doodads. Well, try garage sales for vintage jewelry, embroideries, buttons,lace and fabric. Ask friends and family to raid grandma’s attic and see what she no longer wants. Goodwill stores, church thrift shops and the like are also great spots with very reasonable prices. Instead of a scrap book, make one of these for that special occasion. Make a small, flat one to use as a book mark. Create one with memorabilia from a trip, vacation, life event in mind. What a wonderful gift!! Go and have fun. Daily Muse: Bliss in possession will not last/Remembered joys are never past. Question: What are your remembered joys? The PA National Quilt Extravaganza September 22, 2015 By: Julie Callahan25 Comments A Review of the PA Quilt Extravaganza Show I started going to the PA National Quilt Extravaganza show its very first year in 1994. The quilts every year have been outstanding. The quality of the work, creativity, and craftsmanship made me think “gees, can I ever do some of this”. That is still the case. Here are some quilts from the show that I’ve been able to capture. As you can see, the work is stunning and well deserving of the awards. Much more detail will be available in the quilting magazines with much better photos than I can provide. 1st Place Traditional 1st Place Innovative Best use of Color 3rd Place Innovative Best in Show What was disappointing were the missing vendors that, as far as I can remember, have always been there. Now, in all honesty, I did not go these past couple of years due to other out of town events, but still, I really was surprised. The vendors that were there were great. The fabrics were yummy, the new innovations so cool, the booths not too jam packed, and the staff still smiling and happy late Saturday afternoon. What was lacking was all the cool surface design embellishments I lust for like Angelina fibers, beads, buttons, lace, embroidery threads, silk roving, ephemera, ribbons, charms, fabric paints and dyes. Only 1 vendor that I saw had beads and fancy fibers. What happened to Twe Beads, Sky Dyes, Fabulous Fibers, Bernadine’s Needles to mention a few. I may be mixing my shows up. That’s possible. The PA Extravaganza has always been in September. The other show I always go to is in Lancaster, PA at the Host Conference Center around Easter. That show has now moved to downtown Lancaster and been taken over by AQS. Another great show with great vendors. I know every thing has seasons and cycles, and sure, I can find all these old vendors online. I still miss talking to them year after year, touching their goodies, wiping my chin from the drool. Dear me, so nostalgic. I’m grateful to those vendors who did come and I hope it was well worth it. I’ve seen how much work goes into setting up a booth. I believe in supporting these small business owners and trust me, they happily get plenty of my money. The Daily Muse: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1 Question: What changes have you noticed and your thoughts on them. How to Embellish your Textile Art September 16, 2015 By: Julie Callahancomment My favorite ways to embellish my Fiber art. There are so many ways to embellish your textile pieces. Sometimes, after what I think is a finished piece, I’ll stand back and look at it. I can see that there is something missing, that little oomph just is not there. That’s when I turn to my little bag of embellishment tricks, and for me, more is better. Let me show you some of my favorites. If you’ve had a chance to read the ABOUT ME tab you know that my sweetie is an amateur astronomer. We go to several Star Parties a year all over the country, where I get a lot of my inspiration. Most of the astronomers are men, very nice but a tad on the geeky side. ?? What is wonderful about them is their willingness to share their knowledge to inspire folks to be interested in the stars. Even more than that, they are so proud to show off their astro photos. For copyright reasons, I have used the Hubble Telescope photos for my personal inspiration rather than theirs to embellish my artwork. To get the effect of a shimmering galaxy or nebula, I embellish with Angelina fibers which are polyester based. Hubble Inspiration [Read more…] Fall Art Quilt September 11, 2015 By: Julie Callahan2 Comments Daily Muse: When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way. (Wayne Dyer) Well even thought it’s in the 90’s today here in Philly, Fall is on the way. It’s the humidity that gets to me so I’ve been staying indoors a lot lately which means either working in my sewing room or cleaning house. Guess who won? A few years ago I made a small Fall Art Quilt using silk roving and angelina fibers. I thought I’d kick it up a notch this time and added some hand and machine embroidery. I found some lovely Fall colored fibers and couched them down using contrasting thread on the machine. Here is the result: I added some hand embroidery and the green and red velvet leaves, then the batting, stiff interfacing, and a backing fabric. Using a tight zig-zag stitch I closed it up. The stiff interfacing keeps it from flopping around. velvet leaves It measures 11 x 6.5″ Just the right size for a small decoration for Fall. I’m still working on learning how to take and edit better photos. If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears. There is so much info the the web it’s overwhelming. hand embroidery There will be a tutorial on this soon since it’s one of my favorite things to explore and have fun with. I’m going to add foiling as the next step. I hope I’ve inspired you to try something new to add to your repertoire. So tell me. What steps do you take to make your art? How I got into Textile Arts September 6, 2015 By: Julie Callahan2 Comments Daily Muse: As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. (Mahatma Gandhi) Well, a story always has a beginning and here is mine. As a child growing up in Manhattan, we lived in the Eastern European area called Yorkville, on the corner of E. 72nd st. and York Ave. to be exact. My mom’s parents being from Slovakia just naturally gravitated there upon immigration. Once a year there would be a parade in the neighborhood and the people would march in their native costumes. Even as a five year old I was fascinated by the embroidery and ribbons of the Slovak, Czech and Hungarian dress. Slovak folk costume About six years later I was walking by a needlepoint shop and again was just enthralled by the colors of the threads and canvases, so I took my baby sitting money and bought a kit. My first downfall!! If you’ve read the about me section, you’ll remember that I am a retired opera singer. I have a B.Mus. and M.Mus in vocal performance. As a student, I sang with the professional opera companies in the area. The costumes continued to feed my lust for fabric, embroidery, beading etc. Later, as I started to sing with other companies and travel the world, I would bring little projects with me during the rehearsals down time. Trust me. You need something to do while the tenor keeps screwing up his music :-). Jump ahead ten years. I’m a new mom and guess what happened? I walked by a quilt shop! The downward spiral continues. I could not get enough of the luscious fabrics. I took my first class and was hooked. That was in 1985 and I’m still a fiber and textile junkie. I’ve taught quilting, embroidery During that time I was a wife and mother. That marriage ended in 2009. My daughter is a policy analyst in D.C. Momma’s very proud. In 2011 I met Shawn, my amateur astronomer. When able, we travel around in our 5th wheel RV going to Star Parties (a nice term for astronomy geeks to get together, camp and star gaze) quilt shops and shows. I will be reviewing those in future posts. So there you have it, my story, the reason I love textile arts. My question to you: What has inspired you to be a textile artist? Fiber Art Thread Bowl August 29, 2015 By: Julie Callahan1 Comment The Daily Muse – We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. (Winston Churchill) Why a Fiber Art Thread Bowl is a good creative outlet. You know all those bit of threads and fibers you have left over from other projects? Let’s not waste them. Turn them into decorative bowls you can embellish and decorate. Cheap and easy. All you might need to buy is the dissolvable film. I will be making a multi colored one but you can stick to any color scheme the floats your boat. Fall, Christmas, school colors etc. [Read more…] Icons     Archives October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 Pages About Me Blog Contact me Gallery Kyra Mission My Etsy Shop About Me I am a mixed media textile artist creating unique art quilts, embroideries, and collages for the home along with wearable art. Read More… August 2016 M T W T F S S ? Oct 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Tags angelina fibers aquafilm art quilt astronomy beads bowl buttons charms church confetti couching creative outlet decor doodads embellish embellishments embroidery ephemera etsy fabric dyes fabric paint fiber fiber arts free motion hand embroidery lace opera pennsylvania pinterest quilts quilt show quilt vendors RV silk ribbons silk roving Slovak snippits solvy table topper textile textile arts thread thrift shops velvet leaves vintage Categories inspiration review Tutorials Copyright ? 2016 · Modern Blogger Pro Theme By, Pretty Darn Cute Design

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