Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Flaunt - Boy Toys and Coloring

Since returning home last Friday evening, unpacking, meeting with friends, reading mail, making phone calls, sending packages, keeping appointments, and keeping up with day-to-day activities, I finally made it to my sewing machine by Wednesday. Whew!

Boy Toys
Once there, it didn't take long to make these "Take-Me-Along Tabbies." I found the tutorial on Lettie's blog, Polka Dot Pineapple. Thank you, Lettie!
I made these Tabbies smaller than Lettie suggests, finishing mine to 10" X 10". But they'll suit the purpose, and that's as a touch-y carry-around that keeps a baby's attention with its bright colors and textures. Both of these Tabbies are for boys.
The top one is made with a sport cotton print and backed with Minkee.
The bottom Tabbie is a monster print cotton fabric backed with blue flannel.

Both of them have colorful fabric tabs, a satin ribbon tab, and one that's chunky rick-rack. I would have added more variety in the way of ribbons and rick-rack, but that's all I had in my stash.
Coloring Stitchery
In addition to making Tabbies, I've had great play time with stitcheries. I began by watching Helen Stubbings' DVD included with the current issue of Australian Quilters Companion magazine. The 45 minute DVD clearly explains the process for coloring stitchery designs - a faux-applique technique. Helen covers everything from transferring the design, pencil-coloring, setting with textile medium, and backstitching. Helen has dubbed the technique Colourque(R) - pronounced Color-kay.

The only question Helen didn't answer in the DVD was, "Is it okay to color a piece after having already completed the stitchery?" If you've been following my blog, you know I've been embroidering Noah's Arks blocks. Thus far I've stitched ten small pairs of animals,
and recently began to stitch the larger ark design.
You can imagine I was extremely pleased when Helen took the time to answer my question via email. She said:
Yes you can still colour. Depending on what you have used behind your stitcheries you may get a texture to your colouring. For example if you used iron on pellon with the little glue dots on the back you will get dots on your colouring but it will still work. Sometimes it is actually easier to seal after stitching as you have an outline to put the sealer in between.

So with Helen's blessing, and a new 24-color set of Derwent Coloursoft Pencils, I began coloring. Boy did I have fun! I love coloring and shading, just like when I was in school. I have finished all ten of the small embroideries, including sealing them with Folk Art textile medium. I'm so please with how they're looking now, compared to the plain stitchery outlines before.
Now I'm on the right track! Since I haven't completed stitching the large, ark design, I will stop where I am and color! When the coloring is finished and set with textile medium, I'll complete the stitchery. Then I'll have tried Colourque both ways and can decide for myself which works best. In any case, I'm tickled with the vastly improved appearance of the critters. I expect I'll be Colourque-ing other stitchery designs too. I hope you'll give it a go. It's quite fun!

Each Friday, bloggers who belong to Quilting Down Under chat group post a flaunt of their productivity. Visit Cinzia's blog to find links to all 19 Friday Flaunt-ers.

9 comments:

  1. Linda, can you explain me what take along tabbies are? I have no idea for what use it is. The emroidery you colored are looking great.
    Edith

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  2. Your animals are looking superb. Makes we want to try it so off to buy the pencils now.

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  3. I've been a Derwents enthusiast for years, but must admit that the idea of colouring on fabric has had no appeal for me - until now! Those little animals have really come to life with your colour treatment! I think it's the faux applique that didn't appeal, but I could easily be tempted to try colouring in some stitcheries. Lovely work!

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  4. To answer SwissQuiter's question: "What's a Take-Along Tabbie?" It's a take-off on Taggies(R), a popular US brand name of children's toys. These items - blankets, books, rattles - have ribbons attached so baby has something colorful to look at and a texture to feel. This Tabbie is similar without the hefty price tag. For more information about Taggies(R), read this:
    http://www.taggies.com/press_saying.html

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  5. Linda, those animals look fabulous!
    Can you explain how you use the Folk Art Medium and how it is supposed to work?

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  6. linda, they look fantastic,,,, i hope I have you hooked on colourque now!hugs Helen

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  7. To answer Carrie P's question: "How do you use Folk Art medium, and how is it supposed to work?" The Folk Art (brand name, by Plaid) textile medium meant to seal the pencil color on the fabric. It's a milky-colored liquid that you paint onto only the finished pencil-colored areas. I found it at Joann's. Bottle directions say to add water, but Helen painted with it as is. She poured some into a small cup and used a round brush to begin painting in the center of a penciled area, working the textile medium out toward the edge. Give it 24 hours to dry. Then your fabric will be washable. Helen explains you don't want to wash the quilt frequently, but if you wish to wash it a couple times a year you can because the textile medium seals the color.

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  8. fabulous.
    I have done half the blocks of Fairy Kisses, and now wish Ihad coloured. so maybe I will give them a go.
    lovely post.

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  9. I love these colorful tabbies! The prints are so cute.
    I have been admiring your beautiful embroideries and the coloring that you've done on them. I tried it before but the coloring didn't look even and I was left with dark and light spots. I know, I need more practice!
    Aloha!

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