Smile with Confidence

As we get older chances are that we get some more dental work done. Some of us end up with crowns and bridges. We all know how difficult they are to clean especially when we eat leafy food and seeds. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being seated around a table, with friends, enjoying spinach dip, salad or delicious sushi and food gets stuck between your teeth without noticing it. You continue your conversations oblivious to the pesky stuff “decorating” your mouth.

“Soft-picks®”, which are little cones that you can carry in your pocket or your purse, are ideal for rescuing you in these kinds of situations. That’s why I had the idea to do a case for them, which is flat, small and funky that I can carry everywhere and, best of all, it is made from recyclable material!

Let me guide you through the process:
Choose a colored piece of newspaper and write on top with a black marker. It doesn’t matter if it is legible or not, nobody is going to read it--what you want are the black marks to be a part of the design. It is a liberating stage.
Once you are happy with the design choose one or two acrylic colors mixed with a little water and paint the whole surface.
Iron interfacing on the back (any kind will do).
Print words from your computer, in this case I chose the word “smile” in four different languages and cut them apart. Cut letters from newspaper and shapes from colored papers with the help of punchers.
Iron on Vinyl on top, which is a sticky plastic that comes on a roll. I used the Therm O Web® brand. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Cut in strips 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.
With the help of a glass, mark and cut a rounded shape on one end and sew a small button on the other; as shown in the picture.
Fold 1 ½ inches up, from the straight end and sew each side with straight stitches. Put a drop of Fray Check® at the ends before cutting the thread tails.
Once sewn, fold again but this time 2 ½ inches up and crease
Congratulations, your funky case is done! Make sure you make more than one since your friends will love them too!
*Hand-Embroidered "Hug" stitch* and *String Painting on Fabric*  are some of my new workshops that will debut at the International Quilt Festival this coming fall 2016 in Houston. You can read more about it HERE and HERE
 



Layered *Paper and Fabric* Quilt

*Layered Paper and Fabric* quilt
 
This work was made from local papers and flyers I collected and, of course, fabric. All the appliqué has been made from two different kind of papers: transparent and opaque.
For the hand-embroidery I used Aurifil Lana thread.  I really enjoy to use the textured strands of these threads. This 50% wool thread runs smoothly up and down the paper and fabric leaving behind strong and colorful marks.
detail showing some beading

*Hand-Embroidered Hug Stitch* WORKSHOP at the International Quilt Festival

*Hand-Embroidered "Hug" stitch* is one of my new workshops that will debut at the International Quilt Festival this coming fall 2016 in Houston.

This workshop will be held on Thursday November 3rd. from 9 to noon.CLASS 447
Each student will create one of the butterflies from the picture shown above. 
You will learn how to do the *Hug Stitch* (besides the running stitch shown in picture)
This is a portable project where you do an embroidery stitch mostly on top of the cloth without the need to pierce through the cloth constantly. It is easy on the hands and delivers great texture.

I hope you will join me. I would love to meet you. Let me know if you have any questions.
You can read HERE the other workshop I'm offering also at the Festival.

*String Painting on Fabric* WORKSHOP at the International Quilt Festival

*String Painting on Fabric* is one of my new workshops that will debut at the International Quilt Festival this coming fall 2016 in Houston.

This workshop will be held on Thursday November 3rd from 2 to 5pm. CLASS 487
Each student will create this simpler version of the first figure shown above. 
After the painting is finished, we will add simple and yet dramatic hand-embroidery stitches.
 
I hope you will join me. I would love to meet you. Let me know if you have any questions.
You can read HERE the other workshop I'm offering also at the Festival.

*My Painted Garden*- My latest article in Simply Moderne Magazine

My latest article is out in the summer issue 2016 of Simply Moderne magazine#5. In it, I show how to work with transparent and opaque paints on fabric.

                                                   My article is published on page 66.
The fabric paints are from Prochemical and Dye I used their PROfab paints.

Once I finished painting, I used Aurifil 50w cotton threads to sew the inside details.

I used 28w cotton thread to sew around the border. Using this thread with a close zig zag stitch creates a  pronounced border while adding stability and also covering the loose threads from the raw edge.

I hope you will do this project and set a festive table to celebrate a nice meal surrounded with friends and family.
 

Working with *Variegated Threads*

Techniques used: Painted, Pieced, *HUG Stitch*
 
When I want a watercolor effect while doing hand-embroidery in my work I choose variegated threads. For this project I chose Lana Aurifil Thread , which is a 12 weight thread made from 50% wool and 50% acrylic fibers.

Oh, how much I love to work with these textured strands. They come in 12 different color combinations. For my samples I used number 8004.

Since I used double strand, and the thread changes color at different intervals I prepared and cut the strands beforehand. I tried to obtain a close color match of the second strand after the loop (where my sewing needle would be) as you can see from the picture above. 
This picture also shows hand embroidery that I called *HUG Stitch* technique. I'll teach this at this year's Houston International Quilt Festival.

More details to come as we approach the festival date.

MQX Quilt Festival New England *New Traditions in Textile*

*PEACE* a paper and fabric quilt
 
I'm honored to have received a teacher's ribbon from Candace West at the MQX Quilt Festival New England 2016 for my quilt "PEACE". I entered a new category called *New Traditions in Textiles*

You can read more about this quilt HERE







Hanging with the quilt was this card, were I explained how I constructed this work of art.

I used Aurifil threads, which are perfect also for working on a mixed media piece.

Thank you Janet-Lee and Mary, founders of MQX Festivals for opening this new category. There are many of us who like to work with unusual materials.
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