Using your Heirloom Smocking Template to Draw Quilts or Blocks!

Hey everyone!  I’m back with another use for your Heirloom Smocking Template!

StoreImage_SmTmp_LandingI don’t know about you but I can NEVER find my pad of graph paper when I want it.  I have a great idea for a quilt design and layout and need to get it out on paper QUICK.  So I realized I could use my Heirloom Smocking Template to make a quick grid, and it was perfect!
IMG_4514You can draw a grid in under 30 seconds, and voila! you have the perfect grid to draw your quilt out!
Give it a try!  Also check out these other two uses for the Template HERE and HERE!

Also, check out my videos on the Template HERE!!!

Technique of the Week – Week 3 – Painted Fusible Web

artquiltsatplayToday’s technique comes from my friends’ Jane Davila and Elin Waterston’s FABULOUS book Art Quilts at Play. This book is a treasure trove of surface design techniques for you to try, and they are all really accessible and easy to understand.

That said, this technique is ALL OVER THE WEB in various forms from painting pictures like mine or getting very abstract and creating textured cloth.  Check out these Google results to see what I mean.

Here’s this week’s video!

Week 3
Skill Level: Confident Beginner
Time Commitment: Weekend
Cost: Under $5

yr4week3Like I said in the video, it’s a fairly simple process to do.  I personally like Heat N Bond Lite for my fusible, so that’s what I used.  If you have an open weave fusible, like MistyFuse, you can use that too, but it will be more difficult to get shapes like I do above with the fish quilt.

I also used Setacolor fabric paints on the fusible for this project.  Once I let this dry, I cut out my design and fused it down.

One thing to keep in mind is that your painting will be reversed!   I forgot about this as I drew the fish to point the other direction.  It didn’t matter for this design, but it will matter for words or other directional shapes.   And don’t forget about NOT IRONING THE SURFACE AFTER YOU FUSE!  You will iron off your design and not only will it be messy on your iron, it will ruin your project. Give this one a try, it’s easy and fun!

Technique of the Week – Week 2 – Bleach Pen Discharging

Who would have thought that the lowly Bleach Pen would be so much fun?  Here’s this week’s video!

Week 2
Skill Level: Confident Beginner
Time Commitment: Afternoon
Cost: Under $5


As I said in the previous video, I designed these mini quilts with lots of underwater themes so I didn’t have to worry about design. I just wanted to play and learn something new! Playing with a Bleach Pen is lots of fun, but be sure to follow all the directions and wear old clothes you don’t mind getting any bleach on! (Ask me how I know.)

Here are some examples of how different the bleach is on different kinds of fabrics. Here are the BEFORE pictures (I have protected my work surface with some scrap cardboard):



And here’s the AFTER….  Pretty neat!



Note how the one black fabric didn’t bleach out completely?  You never know how they will react!

One major factor in this technique is to stop the bleaching reaction. You need to wash out the fabric well, and then apply an agent to stop the processing.  I used vinegar.  (PLEASE NOTE: Wash the bleach out of the fabric before applying vinegar to the fabric!!!  Bleach and Vinegar make very toxic chemicals you should never breathe! WASH first, then vinegar.) Another product I have seen recommended is anti-Clor (made for swimming pools).

So, I hope you try this one out and have some fun.


Technique of the Week – Week 1 – LED “Soft Circuit” + GIVEAWAY

I’m so excited to launch a new project with all of you called the Technique of the Week. You may remember that waaaaay back in 2010 I spent the year trying a new technique every week so that I could hone my skills as a fiber artist.  Well, I’m bringing those techniques BACK so that you can follow along and have some fun too!


Each week, I’ll be posting a short video on my YouTube Channel, giving some highlights and brief thoughts about the project, with a follow-up post here on the blog that will have some more awesome details and fun.  It’s a great chance to follow along and try something new! Check out the first video below:

Now that you’ve seen the video, here’s more info about this week’s project:

Week 1
Skill Level: Confident Beginner
Time Committment: Afternoon
Cost: Under $10

My video didn’t really explain HOW to do this, so let’s cover that here.  One of the basics of eTextiles is that your LED has a positive leg and a negative leg (the positive is the long leg).  Mark the longer leg with a permanent marker so that you can tell them apart. You will curl up the legs of the LED with a pair of needle nose pliers and then bend them slightly outward.

LED legNext, you cut a hole in your project and push the LED through so the legs are on the back side. Then it’s a matter of sewing your conductive thread from the positive LED leg to the battery holder and using a separate piece of conductive thread to do the same for the negative side.

It’s that easy! Here’s a diagram to help you out.


To celebrate the kickoff for the Technique of the Week Project, I’m going to give away a Deluxe LED kit from my webstore to one lucky commenter!

RDxComment and let me know what you thought of the video to be entered to win!  I’ll pick the winner on August 19 when Week 2′s video and blog post go up. You will get to pick the colors of the LED kit you win!  It’s going to be a great year for us all to have some fun together so, comment below and let me know what you think of the video and what would you like to see!

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED.  The winner will be announced August 20th!