Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Out of the Box Show and Tell

I'll share my french stories with you tomorrow! But what fun to be back in the swing of two languages. I loved that when I lived here years ago and I still love it now. I really think it would serve me well to return to Montreal to live. It's one of my favorite cities in Canada. Isn't that crazy? The English farm girl from out west? 

Cycling is better here, languages are more fun, well --- I'll think about it. I doubt DH would be too crazy since he knows not a single word of French. A place to retire!

But enough of that, let's have a look at the show and tell from our Out of the Box challenge this month. OH -- I just called it a challenge - I hope no one goes crazy with that, but each assignment is essentially a challenge! People tend to freeze up when you say the word "challenge!"

I asked the group to make things using blue and yellow and at least ONE accessory foot for their sewing machine. Oh my --- I was so thrilled to see how much work they put into the project. Feet they have never used before got pulled out, and techniques in the machine were researched. It brings so much happiness to me to see that. I was very excited!!!! 

Let's have a look. OH -- I should mention that people have all different brands and types of sewing machines and their skill levels are all different as well. It didn't matter -- each person found a way to create something that was a great learning tool. 

Cathy started by learning how to make buttonholes and used some decorative stitches to finish off the edges of her applique. That is very challenging to do and she braved it with a highly contrasting thread. I love it!!!


Dana had never done applique before, so she took on that challenge and created a zen garden in fabric. This is such a simple piece, but it's very effective, and look how straight those lines of quilting are? This was the theme from February -- black and white and one extra color. 


This is Dana's piece from January where the theme was the log cabin block and favorite colors. She used a curved ruler that we learned in a class last year to make roses! What a neat way to finish off the log cabins. 


Diane made a piece representing the people and the war in Ukraine. It represents a torn flag and the broken lives of the people. She couched (I think that was the foot she used) to add some lace to the edges of the flag. 


I used bits of blue to make a crazy pieced background in various shades of blue. This is one of my favorite techniques to use. Then I quilted it with the IDT (built-in walking foot on the PFAFF) in a circular motion. And lastly, I couched cotton yarn using the three-hole yarn foot and a contrasting thread. I still need to trim the yarn off and bind it. 

Elaine (me)

Gillian used the overcast stitch on her sewing machine along with two T-shirts she picked up at the thrift store and made herself a scarf. WOW -- that was creative!



She also completed her black and white with one other color from February. It started off totally abstract and resulted in this piece. WOW!!


Heather experimented with the four-way stitches on her machine. You don't turn the fabric, the stitch will change direction and stitches left to right, then top to bottom, then right to left, then bottom to top. It takes a lot of skill to be successful with this. She did a great job with MANY lines of stitching. 


Helen Anne used the Curve Master foot to sew a perfect curved seam with NO pins. That's very impressive. 

Helen Anne

Jackie used bits of a zipper and her zipper foot to artfully insert zippers into her scrappy background. A great way to add texture to a piece with bits of zipper!!


Katheleen used her beading foot and added beads (pearls on a string) to the center of this piece. WOW --- it looks awesome and is such an easy way to add beads. She also tried the tricky Tims Caveman style of curved piecing for the curved seams. 


Kathi used a couple of rulers from another class to get those crazy angles used in the block. Those units are NOT easy. And then she used her open toe foot to create the circle of decorative stitching in the center. 


Linda used her couching foot and tried various lines of couching with one, two, and three strands of DMC floss. She turned her piece into a journal cover.


Lucy had lots to show but wasn't able to attend, so I'm saving her pictures for next month after I hear her story of how she used two different techniques. And I LOVE the fact that those manuals are coming out so people can really learn how to use their tools!!!! Way to go Lucy!!!!

Lynn went rogue! Well, not really, but like Linda, she wanted to make something she could use. Recycled denim became the cover of her stitch book. She sketched out the hummingbird and used applique stitches to decorate it and core the edges. 


Inside she started a stitch book with stitches from her machine. Oh --- this is such a great idea and gives you an idea of what stitches you have available to you!!

Inside the stitch book

Margaret used various couching feet for her machine and a flower maker accessory to make this piece. Wow - that flower maker is pretty cool. I believe it turns a regular sewing machine into somewhat of an embroidery style. 


She also made a coaster on the embroidery machine. 


Maria made an abstract piece with various angles. She is moving towards something specific and using these pieces to learn. I'm not sure if she used a specific foot on her machine. I've forgotten. 


Mary used her buttonhole maker to create a small pocket to put money in. She made two small mug rugs. What a neat gift. 


Monica pieced a block with regular piecing techniques, then added some decorative stitches. I love the look as it looks very much like lace has been added to the piece. This is such a great idea and a super way to decorate solid fabrics without really adding lace!


Morgan also had something to share but wasn't on the call, so we didn't hear her story. We'll save that for next month. 

Sharon created this cute little "dress" with her overcast foot. She used decorative stitches on the bodice of the dress and used the overcast stitch to add the lace on the bottom. It's adorable!


And Wendy used her button sew-on foot to sew on the buttons that hold the yo-hos in place on this piece in honor of Ukraine. It's gorgeous and I love the sunflower fabric she used in the yo-yos. 


And there you have it -- the Out of the Box show and tell this month. All I can say is that the group blew me away with their creativity and their level of commitment to learning a new technique. But even more important to work with something that they're not familiar with. Maybe blue and yellow isn't their thing or learning a new foot isn't, but they embraced it. 

The object of this class is to work out of your comfort zone. That's why the pieces do NOT need to be finished, they are experiments and they don't need to be large. Just try something new and see what happens. That is how we grow as artists!!!

I'm so impressed and I can't wait to see what they dream up this month. Oh yes -- they have a "fun" color to work with this month. Actually, all colors are fun -- it just means you have to become creative to make them work. There are NO mistakes in this class. How can an artist make a mistake? 

I have to go -- this internet here is very slow and it is making it very challenging to write. 

Before I go, don't forget that this weekend is the Virtual Retreat. So if you're looking for some company while you sew, be sure to stop by. We'll be sewing on Saturday evening and all day Sunday. I have so much to catch up on, I don't know where to start. 

Here are the links:

Saturday, April 30 --- 6 PM -- 9 PM (more or less) 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, May 1 -- 10 AM - 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

On that note, I'm out of here. It's going to be a long day as I have a plane to catch tonight.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao! et Bonne journee!!!

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