Sunday, July 7, 2013


I started out the same way as everyone else on this one.....out with my camera and snapping shots of leaves, seed pods and flowers.  The photos were lovely and some unique, but not inspiring.  Then I decided to go through my library of photographs and see if anything I already had inspired me.  I found this one.  It was taken in Monterey, CA.  I loved this sea lion and his obvious lack of care for what is going on around him.  


Isn't he hilarious???  However, since the theme was magnification, and I was fascinated by the way the photo captured the water, I clipped a section out of the photo to work with. It is taken from the right hand side, just above the railing.  Here it is.  

This clip has not been enhanced or "photo shopped" in any way.  The colors and reflections are exactly as they are in a tiny little section of the photograph.  I loved it instantly and decided this would be my 12 x 12.  Magnified water.  Fabulous idea! To top it off, it would make it harder for everyone to guess what it is because I think it really looks a bit like First Nations art.  Do you agree?  

So, how to execute my fabulous idea.....After much thought I decided that I would trace the light blue water lines onto freezer paper, iron it onto a piece of light blue fabric that I had applied Misty Fuse to the back of,  and then cut it all out and lay it out on a dark blue hand dye fabric.  This worked nicely.  Then I cut some darker blue, some dark rose and some gold & brown and fiddled it in under the light blue so that it duplicated the photo above.  Here is the photo of my project as I approached it for stitching.  

But, in truth, it was a little horrifying when I pressed everything together and then removed the freezer paper. The polyester satin that I chose for this project did not react well.  When the paper was pulled off, and I was very gentle, all the edges frayed a little bit, losing the crisp look I wanted.  I had planned to stitch along all the edges of the light blue, but after it frayed with the removal of paper, I was a little nervous that it would fray further, so I decided to try stitching inside the light areas.  You can see that in the darkest pink pieces.  

But I didn't like that.  It wasn't the look I was going for.  I left it for a week or so while I pondered how to handle this dilemma.  When I went back to it, I tried applying Fray Check to the edges with a toothpick.  Not satisfactory.  Then I thought perhaps if I painted the surface it would stabilize it more.  Here is what that looked like.  I am still not happy. 

So, since the piece was bigger than 12 x 12 and I am experimenting on the edges, I thought I'd try something else.  The next solution was to couch some beautiful pale blue sparkly ribbon along the edge of the light blue, hopefully adding to the watery look and covering the frayed bits.  I tried doing it with a couching foot.  That proved too difficult to see where I was going on all the tight corners.  But I liked the look of it. 

That is, until I took it out of the machine and looked at it.  No matter what I set the stitch as, the ribbon puckered and looked dimpled or gathered and I felt it took away from the slick look I wanted for the water.  Here's a close up of the stitching and you can see a tail of the ribbon hanging off where I started. 

I didn't like it one little bit.  And now, because I've handled it so much, it is fraying more. is the finished project.  


I found this challenge to be interesting and thought provoking.   In my garden in April the ferns were unfurling.  They appealed to me.   Further along seashells were on the rocks.   The circular markings on the shell looked like a great shape to work with.

 The design is made of silk fusion over a cotton fabric.   The feathers are stitched with a rayon thread over a spiral guideline.  Shading was added later.   A fun project.

MAGNIFICATION by Margaret Kelly

There was a comment that we should guess what the subject is, so no further comment from me!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Next Challenge:

The next challenge is........ Drum roll please.....


So think heavenly bodies such as Angels (not Brad Pitt), possibly objects in space or astrology.
Due date 30 September 2013.  

Should be an interesting way to go into the fall!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Looking Up Close

The latest challenge for our 12 x 12 group is 'Magnification'; take our cameras and zoooooom in.  At first, I thought this was just terrific, but as time passed, none of the close-up photos I took inspired me to action. 

Finally, thirty days prior to the challenge's deadline, I knew I needed to jump into action.  Ah-ha!  I just planted flowers that day.  I grabbed my camera and took photos that did inspire me.  Here is the photo that was used for my piece:
After a little rotate and crop, I uploaded the image to to have it printed on fabric.  If you have you have not tried Spoonflower, you should give it a try- it is easy to use, your fabric arrives in about 5-10 days, and the quality is wonderful!  I have printed on fabric with my inkjet printer, but Spoonflower lets you get a larger piece of fabric with much, much better quality.  This is picture of the fat quarter sized fabric printed with my flower:
The next steps went quite quickly...I stitched my heart out. I machine quilted, hand-embroidered , and added hand-dyed velvet for the border and flower center.  AND this is my final piece: