Would you like to have a class with Ellen?

Ellen would be delighted to have a class with you or your group! You can check out her classes at www.ellenanneeddy.com. She also offers independent studio time in her studio in Indiana. Talk to Ellen about classes at 219-921-0885, or contact her scheduler Sarah at 616-485-5646 to set a date

About Me

My Photo
Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
View my complete profile
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bobbin Work: On the Loose-Dealing with Distortion


If you've been following this thread,  we've covered almost all the information about doing bobbin work.


As you've seen, the possibilities are endless entertainment. Bobbin work is easy, fast and fun.


I hope you got out your machine, played around, looked through your thread box and started to explore this great new world.


But there is a dark side. Any time you've put that much thread through a fabric surface you can be  looking at some serious distortion.  It depends largely on how much you fill in. If you're just outlining things or stippling, it's probably not a problem. If, like myself, you got a bit crazed and did a four foot cricket, it's probably ruffling up like a child's party dress.


I don't believe in giving recipes for cakes that don't rise. I might forget to tell someone an important ingredient but I'd never deliberately leave it out. I hate games where you can't win, and I won't ever do it to a student, a friend, a stranger or stone cold adversary.


So here's the extra ingredient. If we're working on a dense piece of embroidery, we can always cure it by cutting. 


Any larger image (over 3 square inches) I'll do on a separate sandwich of felt, fabric, and stabilizer and treat it like an appliqué. When I'm done, I cut right on the edge ( don't cut through the stitching) and zigzag free motion around the edges with black thread to make it all pop. We cut of the distortion and life is so much better. What problem?


You'll find the information for preparing your felt and fabric sandwich on a previous blog Fabulous Felt: Unthinking Interfacing




 
Your  sandwich, top to bottom is
          Surface fabric
          Steam-A-Seam 2
          Polyester felt
          Totally Stable



Steam iron it well so that your Steam-A-Seam 2 is melted, sticking things in place and won't gum your needle.

My hoop is Sharon Shamber's Halo Hoop.You'll find more information on it in a previous post Hoop-Dee Do.

Wrapping it up:
Really dense bobbin work may ruffle and distort your surface. Do it on a separate stabilizer sandwich and cut the appliqué out. Use the free motion zigzag stitch to apply  it to your quilt.

Bobbin Work: On the Loose-Dealing with Distortion


If you've been following this thread,  we've covered almost all the information about doing bobbin work.


As you've seen, the possibilities are endless entertainment. Bobbin work is easy, fast and fun.


I hope you got out your machine, played around, looked through your thread box and started to explore this great new world.


But there is a dark side. Any time you've put that much thread through a fabric surface you can be  looking at some serious distortion.  It depends largely on how much you fill in. If you're just outlining things or stippling, it's probably not a problem. If, like myself, you got a bit crazed and did a four foot cricket, it's probably ruffling up like a child's party dress.


I don't believe in giving recipes for cakes that don't rise. I might forget to tell someone an important ingredient but I'd never deliberately leave it out. I hate games where you can't win, and I won't ever do it to a student, a friend, a stranger or stone cold adversary.


So here's the extra ingredient. If we're working on a dense piece of embroidery, we can always cure it by cutting. 


Any larger image (over 3 square inches) I'll do on a separate sandwich of felt, fabric, and stabilizer and treat it like an appliqué. When I'm done, I cut right on the edge ( don't cut through the stitching) and zigzag free motion around the edges with black thread to make it all pop. We cut of the distortion and life is so much better. What problem?


You'll find the information for preparing your felt and fabric sandwich on a previous blog Fabulous Felt: Unthinking Interfacing




 
Your  sandwich, top to bottom is
          Surface fabric
          Steam-A-Seam 2
          Polyester felt
          Totally Stable



Steam iron it well so that your Steam-A-Seam 2 is melted, sticking things in place and won't gum your needle.

My hoop is Sharon Shamber's Halo Hoop.You'll find more information on it in a previous post Hoop-Dee Do.

Wrapping it up:
Really dense bobbin work may ruffle and distort your surface. Do it on a separate stabilizer sandwich and cut the appliqué out. Use the free motion zigzag stitch to apply  it to your quilt.
Monday, September 20, 2010

Art Outside the Box: Hunger is a Sauce


Like most red blooded American women of my age, I'm not used to hunger.I learned my clothes making from the Amir the tentmaker design school. My mother described me as a pork chop in my baby pictures. If somehow I became miraculously thin, I would be in a massive identity crisis.


This is not to say I haven't tried from time to time. But after 15 years of therapy, I've learned there's little that can't be soothed by a half gallon of Breyers in solitary splendor.
So hunger is basically a stranger. I'm very careful not to be hungry, and really only get in that spot when I'm traveling in the back of the beyond. It's just as well. I tend to faint and bite people's heads off. Since neither of those things get you where you're going, they're best to be avoided.


Right?


It's interesting when you're put nose to nose with your fears. I had a health scare where my acupuncturist put me on an eleven day cleanse that had 4 fast days in it.


I haven't fasted since I fainted for my first four communions at church. The last time I woke up with the priest standing over me saying, "Don't even try."
But I love my acupuncturist. I even trust her. So I did it.
It's interesting to find that hunger isn't all about food. 


I found myself desperately hungry for companionship.
I found myself hungry for color and sound, stimulation.
I found myself desperately hungry for parts of my art on hold while I work out necessary practicalities.
I found myself desperately hungry for people I haven't seen.
I found myself hungry for love I can't quite give.
I found myself terrified to be hungry for what is holy in my life.

    Isn't it interesting how much of your real self you can hide in an ice cream container?


    So, if I'm hungry enough to feel those other hungers, maybe that hunger is the sauce, the luscious topping that launches me out of myself and out of hiding, in search of what I really need. 
    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Musings:Art Outside the Box: The Joy of Dyslexia

    "Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    I've been writing a blog thread on Practical Thread Magic about doing bobbin work. While I've been discussing bobbin tension and machine makes and all kinds of practical mechanical issues, there's always a fear issue that needs to be addressed. Yup! It's upside down.
    I've taught this for over twenty years. There's very little new about bobbin work except for the threads available and the fact that it's much more accepted.In over twenty years in a classroom, I've heard almost everything anyone is going to say about it. One woman always says, with fear in her eyes,"It's upside down. How can I know where I'm going? What I'm doing? "
    It's always a bad classroom moment. There's a fervent urge to put your hand over her mouth and/or offer her chocolate. Hysteria is as contagious as pink eye.But everyone is thinking it. It must be addressed.
    Actually the answer is quite simple. A lock stitch leaves a line of thread on both sides of the work. You can see where you're going from either side. And all you're doing is filling it in backward.
    The word backward takes us to that wonderful gift, dyslexia. I'm not being sarcastic.
    I'm quite dyslexic. No one knew until I studied it as a teaching student. They knew I couldn't spell or write well. They thought I was lazy.
    Well, they were somewhat right about that, but the truth is that d's,b's,p's and q's are identical for me. I learned to read through context and configuration.It helped that my school teacher mother made me study and read an extra 4 hours every night after school. She wasn't trying to fix my dyslexia. She had no clue. It's simply what she thought you did with kids.
    I still can't really read a map or a calendar. They move on me, and I can't hold numbers in my head. How do I deal with this? I hire someone who can do those things, and I do what I do well myself.
    But here's the upside. I can read stories in any configuration, beginning, middle and end, in any order, and it makes sense to me. And I can read and write backwards and upside down, cursive and printed.
    Dyslexia is simply an ability to see the world differently. If you can make the translation to the rest of the world, (read and write, speak and hear), it gives you the ability to show a world something they've not seen before. It's a gift.
    So when I'm looking at my drawing, I'm simply looking at it as I would look at a backwards slide. I know it's facing the other way on the other side. That doesn't matter. Instead, I fill it in with gentle shapes and change my color on top when I change it on the bobbin. There's no mystery. Simply a different point of view.
    Fear is a dragon. Perhaps a princess dressed up as a dragon who's really waiting to see us be brave. Besides, everything worth doing is worth doing badly. If you want to do anything well, you need to be willing to go past the worst fear we have as adults: that we might not be instantly perfect at something. If you want to do it badly enough, you can do it. I know. I'm dyslexic.
    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Musings:Art Outside the Box:Embroidery, Art and Truth




    I love this 5 minutes of truth and what is true. Truth and what is true are not the same things. They are often foreigners to each other. We are too used the the courtroom in Law and Order, Perry Mason, and the who, what, why approach to the news. We are obsessed by the actual numbers, the correct dates and the whole truth and nothing but the truth.What is true, is that they perpetrated a fraud. But the truth is that they created a view of the world as we would like it to be.


     There is a  wonderful  truth to be hoped for here, in a world of people dancing together. Real or not, it's something that may not be true, but it offers that which should be. Somewhere there could be a world of people dancing badly together, in harmony and joy. And why not? Truth is so much more strong than what is strictly true.


    I was raised with an Irish American view of all of this.My mother's maiden name was Mulligan. She was a brilliant story teller. She never sewed if she could help it but she could embroider a story to perfection. The facts were often suspect. She told a story about herself as Margaret the African Violet Killer ( seven in one blow) that I really doubt actually involved her punch line about giants. What she did was take the truth, spin it slightly and show it to you through her eyes. And gild the edges, just a bit.


    Was it true? It was way too silly a story to be true. But she was truly awkward and bad with plants. Her not so true story had a  heart based in truth.


    Perhaps all affirmations are a bit like that. I've sat with bad children and told them that they were good. They weren't getting any better believing they were bad. If I told them I saw them as good, then there was at least a reason to try.


    Most recently, I find myself in a room with women trying to do free motion for the first time. I always tell them that they're brave. Are they? Well, bravery is not how we feel. It's how we act. If she's scared and she's not under the table, she's as brave as a tiger. And it helps to tell her so.


    Years ago I was visiting Glacier National Park and someone took me up a ski lift.  It was summer. As long as I could see the ground I was grounded. But when we were hanging just in the air I noticed I had a touch of agoraphobia. I was terrified. I had my hands over my eyes. My friend leaned over and said" So brave!" This was something I'd said to students the whole week I'd been there. It's amazing no one had hit me.


    But it made me feel braver.I managed to look through my fingers to see the mountain below me and an eagle circling above. Was it looking for lunch? We'll never know.Was I truly brave? I didn't fall off the lift.


    I quilted this quilt of the mountain below me and the shadow of the eagle above.
    While we report what is true, I think we create our truths. We declare them, prop them in place, and help them happen, declare them  as we put them in process. That in itself is an act of creation. It's an artistic process as fine as a painting or an tapestry. It's an affirmation. It's a story told well. And it's the recreation of the world as it should be, shown through our own eyes.
    There was an error in this gadget

    Ellen Anne Eddy's Flowers on Youtube.com

    Review of Thread Magic Garden

    Review of Thread Magic Garden
    From the Subversive Stitch

    Review of Thread Magic Garden

    Review of Thread Magic Garden
    Book Review from Golden Dog Quilting

    C&T Blog

    C&T Blog
    My Studio Garden: A blog at C&T Publishing

    Like us on Facebook

    Like us on Facebook

    Quiltposium, Fall2011

    Quiltposium, Fall2011
    Ellen's New Article, Dance of Design

    Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques.

    Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques.
    Get this free book from Quilting Arts. It has a series of articles I wrote called Defining the Line.

    The Butterfly Effect

    The Butterfly Effect

    Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!

    Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!
    The Stories Tell Me

    Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery

    Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery
    http://quiltinggallery.com/2010/08/12/dancing-in-the-light/

    Books by Ellen Anne Eddy

    Loading...

    Followers

    National Quilters Ring

    Quilt Teacher Blog Ring

    Home/Join | List | Next | Previous | Random

    alt-webring.com