One of the projects I'm working on right now is the Pieces of Friendship swap hosted by Pat Winter. I wanted to participate in the project to stretch myself a bit. I have never used a sewing machine (I didn't start with this project) and I don't quilt - so this posed a bit of a welcomed challenge for me.
Once I really dug into this I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself in to. Pat provided a pattern to use for the puzzle pieces - I knew I'd be beading my pieces, but hadn't given much thought to all the twists and turns that came with creating the pieces. I cut a template to be used in creating all the various pieces - it took a bit of effort to formulate in my mind how to accomplish putting the pieces together that would be stable and have a finished backside. Using my template I cut out 4 pieces of heavy duty Pellon to use as my stabilizer. Then found 4 different fabrics I liked and used the template to cut the fabric pieces into the puzzle shape.
I sewed the fabric to the Pellon using a whip stitch around the edges in the hopes it would limit the fraying. Once that was all done (YIKES that took a long time), I moved back into my comfort zone and began to add beads. Since this swap is about friendship I wanted to add a heart to each piece and go from there.
My first piece is pink - I started with the vintage tear drop shaped glass cabs, I don't know if you can see the subtle difference, but they are two slightly different colors. I ended up adding these and peyote stitching a bezel on each until I had a flower shape. I added a Swarovski crystal in the middle and finished off the flower with an outline of lined pink beads. Next added was the metal heart - you can't see it, but there are openings running top to bottom on the one side where I added the beads to hold the heart in place. There is a line of vintage sequins, a little cherub sew on and 3 dragonfly beads to complete it.
After the beading was complete, I measured and then cut out pieces of poster board - a bit smaller than the puzzle piece, I wanted to add a bit more stability to the finished piece. And a piece of Ultrasuede for the backing.
At that time I also added Fray check to the stitching on the back.
I added a little glue to the poster board and attached it to the back of the puzzle piece, once that was dry - I added a bit more glue to the front side of the poster board (just enough to hold it in place) and added the Ultrasuede. Then added another round of whip stitch to the outside edge.
Next piece - blues and some yellow. On this one I started with a big yellow glass heart bead, there are fire polished beads around the outside of the heart and 'rays' made of tiny bugle beads and itty bitty glass hearts. A metal happy face bead with sequins to frame it. A silver butterfly bead, a couple of metal dragonfly beads and a cute little metal bird bead to finish it.
Blue Ultrasuede completes it - now I'm on a roll! I should have the other 2 finished in the next week or so.
Note to Pat, even though I have pushed outside of my comfort zone on these pieces, I'm having a BLAST!
Each photo is 'clickable' for a larger view.
Next up - I'm out of town for a few days enjoying the outdoors and maybe even learning a little! I'm attending the BOW (Becoming an Outdoorswoman) program for the weekend. My classes include ATV Use and Safety; Backyard Wildlife, Canoeing and Orient Yourself Outdoors. And I'm hoping to camp out in my tent while I'm there. I'll be taking my camera and hope to capture at least some of it on film.
I've attended these programs in both Northern and Southern California. It is a WONDERFUL way to spend a weekend and learn a bit about the outdoors. The weekend is for women only and most programs offer classes in fishing, shooting, camping, survival, photography, outdoor cooking, archery and lots of other neat stuff. It's also a great way to meet new friends. If it's something that might interest you, I highly recommend that you learn more about it and maybe even check out the program in your state.
Even if you don't have someone to go with... go on your own! You'll have new friends by the time you leave.
Leaves of Grass
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman