Category Archives: Art

Hearts and Giveaway

My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary this month. We didn’t get married on the 14th and so we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, instead we celebrate later, the date that is special to us. The joke around here is that we can buy flowers and chocolates for each other on clearance!

I’m not a cutesy heart kind of person usually, but still I found several hearts in my work so I’m sharing some of them here.

Our first initials and a tiny heart. Hand embroidered.

The little ring around the neck on the altered jar below, was a piece of tatting one of my grandmothers made. This was a gift for my cousin who loves hearts.

I recently finished Three (grungy) Hearts below, but I’m still going to mount it onto a painted canvas for hanging. It’s just a little larger than a 8″ x 10″ canvas.

Quilled fabric
Free motion puffy hearts on silk
Kiss and Hugs Heart. Free motion and painted fabric.
The wrinkled fabric is painted shibori. Hand embroidered.
Starry Hearts, art quilt (61″ x 61″)

If you like to color or know someone who does the below hearts “frame” can be printed out. Go to my website menu, click on “Pattern freebies” and find the PDF link. The designs would be fun to embroider too!

I make and sell MeAnndered fabric panels that can be finished in many ways. They are MeAnndered first on paper, then I laser print them on fabric.

Sometimes I print them on painted fabric…

Now the giveaway/sweepstakes…

These five little fabric hearts, all the same design, were the examples for some of the ways the fabric panel pieces (above) could be finished. After using them in a sales booth display I cut them apart and satin stitched around them. I’m sure there are many ways these little hearts could be used but I’ll leave that up to the one who ends up with them. See all three images below and the rules for entering.

They are top row – colored with marker, hand embroidered, and painted. lower row – Hand quilted and free motion quilted/thread play.

February 2 – 16 Giveaway/sweepstakes – Five little fabric hearts.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. Sweepstakes/giveaway begins February 2, 2022 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time) February 14, 2022.

Leave a comment/reply on this blog post that you would like to be entered for a chance to win the five little fabric hearts and include your first and last name (or last initial).

On February 14, 2022 I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winner on my next blog post.

Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the five little fabric hearts ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!

Altered Book Landscape

If you have any interest in assemblage and mixed media art or just want to enjoy something a bit different from fabric and quilt making, I recommend Ina’s Art Room on YouTube. She makes wonderful works of art, usually using surprising elements (sometimes fabric). Ina also invites subscribers and visitors to participate in her 4 Core Challenges. I’ve participated in the past and it’s fun! Ina posts her videos on Fridays.

Ina’s January 2022 #4core challenge was to use a book as the substrate and include texture, metal, and give the piece a “winter vibe.” After the deadline she posts a video showing everyone’s finished projects. The January challenge video should be posted on her channel in early February.

I decided to participate again and here is my piece; a candle backdrop featuring a fabric landscape.

I have made the inside of the book the new “front.” The votive is covered in fabric coils and has a flameless tealight.
The cover is now the “back.”

I bought the used book at the local library. The original hardcover was red and had some globs of glue under the paper part of the cover… so I scraped and tried to cover it with snowflakes. I tried a few different things to add texture to the snowflakes but in the end just painted them with a pearl white acrylic paint.

Here are few photos of the process.

First painted gesso over the red book cover and then acrylic.
Added splatters for flying snow.

I had the painted sky fabric in my stash, the white/gray fabrics are commercial, and the foreground snow is thin white batting. The fence is cut-up (used) craft sticks (tongue depressor size) that I painted, and the wire is just coated wire. I added a few little frays of silk fabric for the grass. The “snow” on the fence and wire is sawdust (for texture) mixed with gesso and some acrylic paint.

It was fun to quickly stitch up a very simple, little fabric landscape for this project.

Auditioning before the fabrics were fuse and quilted.

The fluffy border is a beautiful soft yarn and I think it worked perfectly!

The things I love about Ina’s challenges – She encourages artists to really make it their own, she offers loads of ideas, and there’s no pressure (though there is a finish-by date). I enjoyed every minute of making this project… well, all but the waiting time for materials to dry!

Winner! Thank you to those of you who entered the appliqued miniature landscape top sweepstakes/giveaway. Congratulations to the winner – Deborah F (Please email your mailing information to me at fiberdesignsbyann@gmail.com).

2022 – Many unfinished pieces have been weighing on me for far too long, so I’m going to work on actually finishing as many pieces as I can this year. I hope you’ll come by to see what I’ve done, maybe get more ideas and be inspired. There will probably be a few giveaways along the way.

Stay safe and make art that makes you happy.

Mini Landscape Giveaway

Little announcement – I no longer have a shop or pieces for sale on my website. I’m thinking about life and business and trying to work things out. I still have a lot of art that I would happily sell but for now my website isn’t the place.

Some if not all of you know making and teaching miniature fabric landscapes was how my business really began. My landscapes were featured on Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel, long ago. In many ways I have wandered far from miniature landscapes but they are still a passion for me. If we were in a different (safer) time I would happily teach mini landscapes again. I loved seeing how the students would make my pattern their own little scape just by the fabrics they selected. For example – the two below are the same pattern but have totally different look and feel.

I recently rediscovered this poppy foreground fabric landscape and thought it would make a nice giveaway item. See rules below. It is a top only ( 11 1/4″ x 9″) but could be finished as a quilt or faced and framed, maybe added to a tote bag or larger project.

It is an older piece and it must have had a border attached that I removed (no memory of that!), because there are stitching holes along the outside edge. These photos are from my phone and photoshopped, so that’s why they may look slightly distorted.

One reason I know it is older is because the sky isn’t as good as it should be. Also, I wasn’t using silk thread and I tied knots instead of back-stitching.

Landscape back…

Some fabric landscape making tips – Whenever possible press the landscape on the back/face down because the iron can leave shiny marks and I think, the edges of each piece just look better not hard pressed from the front. Also, check for shadow through as each piece is appliqued and BEFORE adding borders, binding, or facing.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. Sweepstakes/giveaway begins January 19, 2022 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time) January 24, 2022.

Leave a comment/reply on this blog post that you would like to be entered for a chance to win the Miniature Landscape (top only) and include your first and last name (or last initial).

On January 25, 2022 I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winner on my next blog post.

Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Miniature Landscape (top only) ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!

Working Small

Today I’m sharing four little pieces; you may have seen a couple if you follow me on Instagram. three may still be works in progress (wip). I have really enjoyed working on these tiny pieces. They are made from scraps of other projects and some on pieces of fabric I have had for ages but could never find a way to use until now.

This free motion palm tree on painted sky fabric was from my Needlevember a while back. Now it’s matted and framed.

Mixed media – Stained and painted cheesecloth, dyed silk, stamped dragonfly on silk organza, felt cups, grape wreath vine, and some embroidery.

Below is a piece of fabric I stamped, painted, and printed real and faux leaves, and I’ve have had it for years. Now I will be able to get more than one little piece from it. The one below (wip) has a paper clay leaves (rubbed painted) and beads are from gifted (for altered art) jewelry, silk, and embroidery floss stitching.

You may recognize the painted burlap in this last piece from a previous post and the metallic paper too. I’ve also added fabric coils held on by French knots, and more floss stitches, all on black cotton.

Besides Quilts

On my continued search through old photos I found several photos of projects that are quilt and fabric related. Again, I apologize for the photos, some of these are projects from twenty or more years ago… or long before the Internet as we now know it!

I didn’t worry about the projects being original back then, many were made before I had a fiber art business (or computer) and were only gifted to family. So I did use other designs and/or traditional patterns. If any of you have been crafting for ages, like me, you may remember making items like these. I know hot pads are an item being made by many traditional and beginner quilters these days still.

Raggedy Ann from a pattern.

The photo albums below were made over forty years ago. I’d forgotten I once knew how to crochet!

Machine satin stitched, appliqued sweatshirts – before I knew what applique was.
Table runner (hand quilted)
Little quilt name tags (These were for sale).
I made this to go on a gift tote bag. There may be a pattern but at the time I just made it up.
This was an original design quilt in a hoop (a gift for a principal).

While my kids were in elementary school the joke was that I should have my own parking space because I was there so much, as a volunteer. Every year I made some type of “thank you,” end of year quilt for both of my kid’s teachers. At that time being there offered me the opportunity to place items for sale in the faculty workroom. I made a lot of tiny quilt pins, many from fussy-cut commercial fabrics but the ones I share here were all hand painted originals on fabric. I really loved making these little pins (I may have shown some on my blog in the past).

For spring
Valentines Day
Commissioned hummingbirds

As I went through the photos I started to remember many more projects I made but never took a photos of. I’m so glad photographing projects is easier now.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me, and if it has given you any crafty ideas, all the better!

Five Techniques for Painting Fabric

I learned a lot while painting these fabrics so there are plenty of things I may do differently even though I really like the results. A couple of the techniques I will absolutely make again, probably for use behind embroidery work.

Here again are the painted fabrics in the giveaway and the video is below.

And here are the 6.5 inch squares (96 of them), also in the giveaway.

I hope you’ll share this post with anyone you know who may be interested in a chance to win either of these fabric bundles.

Reminder – The giveaway/sweepstakes ends on December 27, 2021, and I’ll post the two winner’s names on this blog December 29th, so if you’ve entered, please check to see if you are a fabric winner.

Here is my How-to video…

Happy Winter Solstice!

Changing Ways

I laugh when I think back to the days when I would only work on one project at a time, start to finish, and they were usually pretty big size (quilt) projects. Now I’m usually working on at least three projects at a time. Maybe it’s because I’m older and there are so many things I still want to try.

I was hoping to have this one finished but some days just don’t go as planned, I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about.

This is the mini landscape in a leaf that I designed a while ago. The sky and water are my hand painted fabric, the other pieces are commercial fabrics. Below are some of the process steps. As I worked on this I thought about how I would be so much more comfortable doing all of it by hand – the applique, even the quilting. I have always felt happier, more in control, doing hand applique and quilting. All of my early miniature landscape were made by hand, and ti’s the way I have taught mini fabric landscapes to students. But now that changes day to day and I’ve had to change my ways; raw edge fusing, machine quilting and sewing have allow me a better chance of getting projects done in my lifetime!

To begin – The little landscape pieces were positioned on Wonder Under, pressed and the leaf cut out. Usually I would remove the paper and then cut it out but in this case it was easier for me to cut it out with the backing paper still on the back.

I measured and cut freezer paper about the size of the finished quilt and pressed it onto the black background fabric. Next I positioned and held a cardstock leaf pattern on the freezer paper and drew around it, then I extended the landscape lines out from the edge of the leaf. I numbered them from furthest back to the most foreground piece.

I cut them apart and removed the pattern and freezer paper. Next I pressed/fused the leaf in place on the the background fabric. and ironed the freezer paper pieces in order, back in place (like a puzzle), leaving a little gap; a bit of trimming was required so there would be a gap. BTW – This could be the makings for “stained glass” style quilt too.

Then I used a Chaco liner and drew in the gaps. I drew quilting lines for the sky, and then wiped them away, and tried a few more times until I found a design I liked.

Here the leaf, sky, and landscape extension lines have all been quilted – blue thread for the sky and a gray for the landscape. I started to close quilt using color thread within the extension sections, out from the landscape elements and sky, but it was not a good day for that…

Early on I knew it wasn’t a good day for me to be quilting. But instead of quitting for the day like I should have, I ripped out colored thread quilting and grabbed black thread. I’m thinking about dry brush painting some of the outside edges of the black quilting. I’ll have to think on that after I finish all of the black quilting… we’ll see!

Reminder – Next post I’ll be announcing the Leaf Decorated Box winner.

As winter and the holiday seasons approach I hope you will be safe and find some time just for you.

A Fix and Giveaway

This little piece has been on my design wall unfinished for a while. It was a cut of a larger piece of hand painted fabric that I free motion quilted just for fun. I can’t even remember if I filmed while I was quilting it. I couldn’t figure out how to finish it, to fix it until a few days ago.

I’m happy to say I fixed it and you can see what I did here…

The November giveaway, sweepstakes item is this little leaf decorated box. It’s hard pressed paper and only the top is decorated. I used painted (mop-up) fabric leaves, a couple papers, burned matches, grave vine, and gold paint spatters. It measures 6 1/2″ x 4″ x 2 5/8″ tall. It could be used as is or it could be painted, papered, or embellished in a multitude of other ways. But there’s more… I’ll be putting a little something extra inside the box.

If you are interested in a chance to win the leaf box with surprise inside just follow the rules below. The winner’s name will be announced on my December 1, 2021 blog post.

Sweepstakes/giveaway begins November 10, 2021 and ends at 9pm (Pacific Time) November 28, 2021.

To enter: You must live in the US only (no international entries). One entry per person. Leave a comment that you would like to win the leaf box with surprise, and include your first and last name (or last initial).

I’ll use a random drawer and announce the winner on my Dec 1 blog post. Winner will email me their mailing information and I will mail the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­leaf box with surprise ASAP. If I don’t hear from the winner within five days of drawing date, I will run another random draw. Good luck!

Looking Up, Birds, and Winners

Things are looking up around here, for one reason, we are finally having our ancient furnace, it’s in the attic, replaced. We haven’t used it in several years and though we don’t have horribly cold winters, I’m cold if it’s below 75° and the hands don’t work well with they’re chilly. Space heaters have helped but our old kitty and I are ready for the warmth!

You may remember the cut collage bird I made a while ago using my daughter’s (dry) wet palette papers (mostly). The green wing needed help so I used some of my painted papers. I like it better now and it will probably end up on a notecard.

I started celebrating my birthday early; my (adult) kids surprised me with this box of Aurifil thread. It’s so pretty I haven’t even opened the plastic wrap yet!

I’m working on a project for a private class I’ve been asked to teach. I’m planning on including a stamp in the project so I’ve cut more rubber stamps and one is a little hummingbird. I decided to use this stamp in another project made especially for this giveaway announcement post.

I filmed some of the free-motion quilting for this hummingbird project but haven’t had time to edit it yet. Here are some images of the process and the almost finished piece. I haven’t decided exactly how I’ll finish it for hanging.

The photos are taken with my phone so sorry they’re not the best.

I started with a piece of Timtex cut to about 6″ x 7″ and “mop-up” painted paper towels I’ve been saving.

I placed a whole piece (one ply) of paper towel over the Timtex and tore other paper towel up then arranged it in an abstract floral design.

I set that aside and used black textile paint for the hummingbird on a piece of silk organza. Stamping outline stamps on silk organza is a hit or miss… without stabilizer organza wiggles! I knew I’d be quilting over it so it was no big deal that it didn’t turn out the best.

So that the hummer would be about where I wanted it, I center and laid the organza on top of the paper towel pieces and placed silk pins at the tip of the wing, tail, and the beak. Then I removed the Timtex/paper towel piece and dabbed paint on the stamp, lined up the silk pins with the stamp and laid the organza on top, and sort of burnished it with a little piece of parchment. Hindsight – press organza to freezer paper and then stamp down onto the fabric as usual. Sorry if that is difficult to understand, I think I’ll have to video it if I do it again.

I let the paint dry for a few minutes, then clipped the organza to the Timtex so I could free-motion quilt, starting with the hummingbird. Below is the free-motion quilting finished.

I put black felt behind it and didn’t like it at all so changed to blue (it’s actually more turquoise than it looks in photo). I tried to straighten and trim up the organza but since I’m still not sure where this is going I left it longer on the side. This felt didn’t look good without the organza over it (too bright).

I added a little embroidery around the edge of the Timtex with French knots at each corner. I think I want to add more. I’ll take better photos when it is finished.

Now the sweepstakes/`giveaway – I’d like to thank all who commented and because only two of you entered the hummingbird notecard set giveaway, I have decided to give Joy and Karen each a set of Hummingbird notecards. Whether you keep them or give them away, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them. Please email your mailing address to me (even if you have in the past).

Pumpkin Two Ways

First, in case you didn’t catch it, I had the date wrong for the Oct hummingbird notecard set giveaway. It will be announced next post, Oct. 27, rather than the 25th. I’ll still close entry on the 23rd.

In an early post about printing fabric on brown paper bags I shared a painted and embroidered pumpkin done on one of the background fabrics. Here is the demonstration video. It was a fun project, maybe it’s just this time of year, but I really enjoyed sitting and stitching by hand. Do you do hand needlework and if you do, is there a time of day, month, and/or year you are most in the mood for it?

After embroidering one big leaf I wasn’t happy with it so I ripped it out. I finished everything and left the leaves in an outline. It wasn’t working for me, so I had to decide outline, or embroider, or paint them. After a little consultation with my artist daughter, we decided painted leaves would go best with the painted pumpkins. I think we were right!