12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 8 – Velvets, metals and more

13 12 2015

I have some Christmas decorations I am going to show you, but I don’t have the photos ready, so I will post a second post later today.  In the meantime, here is today’s Christmas special bundle.  It is actually one of my favourite.

alysn xmas

Alysn Midgelow Marsden’s book is terrific.  You also get some metal shim, metallic foils, metal wax and a fat quarter of velvet.  Colours of the velvet and wax will vary.  This special is less than half price.  All four items included with the book are great fun to play with.  This link will take you to a post I did some time ago on using metallic foils:

https://uniquestitching.wordpress.com/three-fabulous-ways-to-use-on-fabric/

You can just get the book by itself if you prefer.  Both specials are great value.

Here is where you will find the Book Bundle special:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9121860/12-days-of-christmas—stitch-fibre-metal-and-mixed-media-book-by-alysn-midgelow-marsden.html

 

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 7 – Focus on Surface Design

12 12 2015

Todays special is a simple one.  I have taken $45 off the Jacquard Screen Printing Kits – they are now only $60, while stock lasts.  Here is the link:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9074603/jacquard-screen-printing-kit.html

screen 1 screen 2

I also want let you know that I have opened up bookings on our first online class for a long time. I have upgraded all the technology so it will be full of video, forum, and feedback. You can join at any time, but if you join before 31st December 2015, there is some added bonuses.

Image 5 foiled fabric sml

Dragonfly fabric small

This is your opportunity to do some of the classes I teach in Houston and Birmingham without having to leave your home.  You can click on the flyer to find out more details.  This will be a comprehensive coverage of a broad range of surface design techniques and once you have access to the material it is your forever.  You can keep going back to it at any time.

Stunning Surfaces Art Cloth Online Class 2016

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 6 – Christmas Stitcheries

11 12 2015

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet.  The time between Christmas and New Year is often time to slow down, relax and rejuvenate.  For me it is the time that I do the most planning for the year to come.  December/January usually see me in one place for more than a few weeks at a time and it is when I can get a lot of work done.  This year will be no different and I have a number of things in the works for 2016 that I will be able to share soon.

One of these projects has had me dust off my embroidery skills.  I, like many, made an embroidery sampler when I was quite small, primary school age, and have always done some sort of stitching.  In the last few weeks, I have been taping videos of some of this which has not proven to be all that easy.  Anyway, I am not going to share my videos just yet, but I found a simple and quick one on Youtube that covers off on seven basic stitches.

It is here:

Why have I shared an embroidery video today?  Well, that is because today’s special is on Christmas Stitcheries.

If you buy any of our Stitcheries by Bird Brain Designs in the next two days, I will give you half a metre of gorgeous ‘Snow’ Kona cotton to stitch it on plus a ball of DMC Christmas Red Size 8 Perle thread free.

Here is the link to the website:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4547190/1/embroidery-and-stitching.html.

There is still time to make some nice decorations and these, either as patterns or finished, will make great stocking stuffers.  Here are some of the patterns to give you an idea.

BBD510 BBD236 BBD235 BBD160 BBD146 BBD145 BBD125 BBD123





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 5 – Gelatos are not always Ice Cream

10 12 2015

Well, actually they are never “Ice cream” but we don’t need to split hairs here.  One of my most favourite mixed media products are the full range of Design Memory Craft brand:  Gelatos, Big Brush Pens, Wax Crayons and all the associated supporting products.  Faber Castell have developed the Design Memory Craft brand to seperate out their pure ‘artist’ products from the mixed media range.  The Design Memory Craft stable is fantastic and growing.  Keep an eye out for it.  For the next two days, I have 30% off the full range of products in stock.  Use 12Day5  as your discount code at the checkout.  Here is the link to all the products: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4536033/1/design-memory-craft-by-faber-castell.html.

When I first started seeing Gelatos used overseas, I knew I wanted to get my hands on some to have a play. This was about two and half, three years ago.  I rang around about 20 different art and craft stores and almost universally I got the response:  “you know we are not an ice cream store, right?”  Yes I knew that.  Anyway, I ordered my first set online and fell in love with them.  Now they are everywhere, but I still love them and most people are not demonstrating them very comprehensively so you don’t get to see the full potential of this collection of goodies.  I try to always have the full range available on my website under the Mixed Media category.

I use the gelatos as my principle love and all the others as the support network.  I use them on every surface I can lay my hands on from paper and card to leather and all things inbetween.  I really love them on canvas, fabric and other slightly absorbent surfaces.  Gelatos are a water soluble wax crayons.  So you can use them as a wax, as a water colour, added to anything water based to change the colour such as gel medium or gesso, and dilute with water directly or indirectly such as into a mister.  Once set, they don’t shift so you can paint or embellish over the top of the first layer.  If you are using Gelatos on fabric and think it will need to be washable, you need to use some Textile medium in the mix somewhere.

There are a huge number of video tutorials available for all of these products.  I will share a couple.

This one is super basic, but covers a lot of introductory techniques:

Faber Castell has a page of tutorial videos here:  http://www.fabercastell.com/design-memory-craft-us/video-gallery

I particularly like the ones done by Donna Downey, so check some of those out.  They are all short and sharp and full of content.  Here is one to get started with.

Briefly on the other products in the range, my second favourite are the Big Brush Pens.  They are India Ink and are permanent on pretty much anything.  They are great to stamp with or draw or colour and then use a gelato wash or spray over the top.  The wax crayons are really cool too.  I use them as an encaustic more than anything else.  You all know how much I like to melt things.  This wax is great for melting as an encaustic or a resist.  The mediums are okay too, but the Texture Luxe and Texture Gems are awesome.  Check them out.  I am sure you will enjoy using them all.

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 4 – Solid Quilts don’t have to be Solid

9 12 2015

When you spend a lot of time out at big Quilt and Craft events or even in a patchwork shop, you need lots of samples on the walls to attract people, demonstrate your products and sell.  Having samples can be a really mixed blessing though because although they draw people in once there is a sample on the wall, everyone wants to make it EXACTLY the same.  This can be very difficult for the patchwork shop owner as all fabrics have a use by date and in most cases in Australia, you get it once and have no chance of getting it again.

Think about it from the perspective of the patchwork shop.  Reps show a range of fabric and the shop owner orders it.  There are standard bolt sizes and a fairly common one is 13.7 metres (15 yards).  Amongst great excitement the fabric arrives and a pattern is conceived to demonstrate it.  The patchwork shop owner whips up a fabulous quilt using the new fabric taking, lets say for the purposes of this story, half a metre off each bolt.  Immediately the shop is down about 4% of the fabric; 4% of the potential profit, gone to what is effectively a marketing budget.  He or She will spend 6, 10, 20 hours making the quilt, all of which has an opportunity cost if not a direct cost and if the top is made into a quilt, there is the cost of backing, batting and thread.  Assuming again that the fabric can not be replaced and the quilt top evenly used half a metre off each bolt and no one bought any as meterage or fat quarters, the shop owner has the capacity to make a maximum of 26 kits for said quilt.  That is a lot of expense in time and money for 20 to 30 saleable items.  Madness really.

If the quilt is great and original the shop owner may develop their pattern and sell it seperately.  Creating patterns is far more economical as you can make one sample and sell thousands of patterns.  Often, a shop owner will design a pattern or buy in commercial ones and order fabric to support the pattern.  In any of these scenarios the shop owner is dependant on getting fabric that is identical to or close enough to those used in a pattern unless consumers can imagine the quilt in different fabrics.  Speaking for myself and all my colleagues in the industry I can say with absolute certainty, it does our head in.

So the purpose of that very long introductory tale was to show you some examples of achieving an effect without using an identical fabric.  For the purposes of this demonstration, I am using Jaybird Quilts’ Northern Lights pattern.

Originally constructed in Kona Solids, this quilt is a play on colour transition and can be done in so many different ways effectively.  This is the original pattern with the original sample.

NorthernLights-Pattern_Cover_Web

Jaybird Quilts patterns usually have instructions for up to five different sizes. This is the second smallest, the lap quilt size, and as such uses 8 different colours. The baby quilt size uses just 6 and the King size will use 16.  Obviously if you move into the bigger sizes you are going to have to use some imagination to work out what fabrics to use because only 8 are demonstrated in the sample.  And there really is not one answer to that.  It comes down to what you like.

So, using completely different fabrics, ones that read as solids, but are not solid I made this example:

northern lights final       northern lights 9 (same quilt,a bit more detail)

Now, I could have started with any one of these colours and built a run from there.  For example, the two greens could have sat next to the blues on the right.  I could equally have started with the red on the outer left and run through the rainbow in that more traditional order of the rainbow or I could have done a hundred other things with it.

So, working on a rainbow, starting with a baby quilt size and adding colours to the King, your fabrics could look like this:  Baby quilt – 6 fabrics; Lap quilt – 8 fabrics; Twin (single) – 10 fabrics; Queen – 14 fabrics; and King – 16 fabrics.

Baby - 6 fabrics   Lap - 8 fabrics    fabric 10 rainbow

fabric 14 rainbow   fabric 16 rainbow

Or, alternatively do this in something more muted like Neutrals.  Here are three examples one of 6 fabrics and 2 of 8.

fabric 6 neutrals     fabric 8a neutrals     fabric 8 neutrals

Imagine doing something like this in a monochromatic scheme, from light through to dark.

Hopefully this helps you reimagine patterns a bit more broadly.  Support your local patchwork shop.  They are the experts and will help you make something spectacular, tailored to your preferences.

For todays special.  I have kits of all these colourways shown if you would like to make the quilt.  The kits are priced at around $13 to $14 per metre for the fabric and include the pattern.

 Head here to purchase:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096759/12-days-of-christmas-2015—day-4—jaybird-quilts-northern-lights-kits.html

 

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 3 – Ice Resin Jewellery or Ornaments

8 12 2015

On the third day of Christmas we add some bling.  There is always room for bling.  Ice resin is a fabulous, jewellery quality cold resin that is easy to use.  You can get it in syringe or in larger bottles. The syringe is a perfect way to start and see if you like this as it measures out the two parts of the resin perfectly without you worrying.  Once measured out, you simply stir gently and then use it in hundreds of different ways:  to fill bezels, seal paper, glaze objects or even as a strong, clear glue.  There hundreds of uses and if you go to You tube, dozens of tutorials and projects.  Today I am going to keep it a bit simple and stick to the basics.

This is todays 12 Days bundle:

12 Days resin

You get some resin, a packet of Mica Tiles (trust me you are going to want those) and three to five bezels.  The bezels will vary from bundle to bundle.  Lets see how to use it and get some ideas.

This video introduces the creator of the ice resin and shows you how quick and easy it is to use.

Here is a video showing you some simple steps in adding media to the bezel.  Take the ideas and add your own bits, found objects, paper, fabric, glitter, beads, anything and seal it with the resin.

I have made numerous embellishments with bezels and ice resin.  At this time of year, this is a great way to personalise Christmas ornaments.  Here are a couple of samples I have made:

bezel tags

 

bezel 1         bezel 3a       bezel 2

If you would like to have a play with this fabulous product, follow this link from now until December 10 2015.

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096450/12-day-3—ice-resin-bundle-.html

 

 

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day Two – Fancy Forest Quilt Kit

7 12 2015

We are running a number of great Blocks of the Month for 2016. You can see the details of all of them by following this link: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/195258/1/clubs-subs-and-boms.html

As a result of already having two new BOMs lined up, I resisted falling in love with any more. Sometimes, resistance is futile. This became especially so when I saw Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest Quilt.

FancyForest BOM

I don’t normally do cute. I don’t normally do projects that are dominantly Northern Hemisphere, but there was something about this quilt that I could not walk past, so I have ordered some (well, maybe more than ‘some’) and they are due to arrive in February 2016.

I struggled with the concept of this as a potential Block of the Month though. There is fundamentally only 6 or 7 different blocks in the whole piece, repeated. To me a BOM should be quite different every month and ideally stretch your skill level as you complete it, gaining in complexity as you go. Fancy Forest wont do that. You can do this as one big quilt, one little quilt or four panels that can be built into anything. So I was not going to run the programme as a BOM. I have kits coming. However, as it is nearly Christmas, I am also going to offer this as a BOM over twelve months, not because I think it is a traditional BOM. I am offering this over 12 months so that you effectively have a ‘layby’ option and can spread the cost.

Numbers of the BOM will be strictly limited.

For a Christmas special, I am offering the full kit at 30% off for two days. To go straight to the kit, follow this link: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096332/fancy-forest-full-kit-by-elizabeth-hartman—pre-order-for-february-2016-delivery.html

Please bare in mind that this offer is a pre order. Kits will not be released until February 2016. By ordering now, you are guaranteeing your kit at a fabulous price. (And I know precisely how many I need)








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