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Dragonflys and Dandelions

MaryinColorado's picture

photo attempt again! I had so much fun starting with McKenna Ryan's Dragonfly pattern.  My Muse took me on a journey discovering applique with fun fibers and fabric, machine embroidery on netting and water soluble stabilizer, fabric painting with inks, threadpainting, Angelina Sheets with scraps of Peacock feathers embedded, Angelina Fibers, and thanks to Threadkoe and others here on Gatherings I learned machine beading.  As you can see I dance to my own drummer and just can't simply follow the rules even though it has obvious flaws I loved creating this.  Mary

Edited 9/4/2009 11:22 pm by MaryinColorado

Edited 9/5/2009 5:54 pm by MaryinColorado

regatta's picture

(post #31222, reply #1 of 55)

You must be so proud - it is very lovely - especially love your choice of colour.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #3 of 55)

Thank You. 

Cityoflostsouls's picture

(post #31222, reply #2 of 55)

What a talented person you are!  I really have no artistic ability but its so neat to see what lovely things you have done.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #4 of 55)

Thank You so much!  You underestimate yourself though, you sew, therefore you are an artist with needle and thread.  Mary

jjgg's picture

(post #31222, reply #5 of 55)

This is beautiful! I love the dandelion blowing in the wind. What fun this must have been to make.

I want to work on something fun! I am so bogged down on the tents though.


MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #6 of 55)

Thank You!  This piece has taught me so many things beyond the techniques.  It felt like "stopping to smell the roses".  

It was a journey and I had to keep telling myself not to worry about wether it was ever "finished".  I think it took me about a year and I still want to change the center "someday".

I kept it hung on a cafe rod where I could see it every time I came into the sewing room and worked on other things. 

 I was embroidering a Tshirt with the dandelion and put the word "wish" in silver metallic thread behind it.  I looked up and there was the wallhanging waiting for that very design.  Another day I saw the blowing dandelion on the wallhanging and remembered I have a dandelion faery but didn't know how to incorporate it into the whole piece.  Eventually I noticed there was a big empty space at the top just waiting for him.  

 I was sorting out yarns and fibers, happened to look up at the wallhanging and noticed the scrap of raspberry fiber I was going to throw out would make a nice flower head.  And there was a snip of varigated green ribbon that looked like it would make a good flower stem.  I'd toss these "potentials" into a little baggie or I'd suddenly drop whatever I was doing and "play".

Then I couldn't manage the applique for the Queen Annes' Lace and it struck me, gee I have those Fabrico markers I rarely get around to using.  It was really a simple basic flower to draw. Before I knew it, I was adding detail to the little pink flowers too.  Had to go to a bead store to get the beads and it probably took me several weeks to get around to putting them on.  It was my first beading attempt and I ended up having to remove half of them because I had really overdone it.  Looked more like snow than flowers. 

Back to cleaning and sorting, I ran across a UFO vest I'd cut out years ago (way too small now) and realised the green velvet upholstery fabric would make nice textured leaves.

I was accidentally recycling, using up scraps instead of throwing them out.  From now on I'll be holding onto smaller scraps than I ever had before. 

There's a new wallhanging on the cafe rod now, just waiting to take me back to fantasy land, whenever.  Mary




Palady's picture

(post #31222, reply #7 of 55)

An absolutely delightful read, in your reply to jigg, as to your creative streak taking form. 

Much very deserved applause on your wall hanging.  Color combination, textures, and design came together very well. 

Do hope you dated & signed the piece.  Perhaps you can work this in as did Al Hirschfeld with his daughter's name, Nina.

If he's new to you, & time permits, you can scroll through to see a couple of his pieces.  Though these are uch to small to look for his daughter's name.


jjgg's picture

(post #31222, reply #11 of 55)

I used to LOVE the Hirschfeld cartoons. I would search out all the 'NINA's'

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #13 of 55)

Too cool!  Thanks for sharing the website and I didn't know he put "Nina" in his art, what a great tribute to his love for her. 

I was thinking about using a tiny dragonfly or faerie in all of my work.  Being blessed with two children and three grandchildren I don't now how I would incorporate them into every creation.  Now you've got me thinking...5 interlocking circles?  hearts?  hmmm....their first initials?  Mary

jjgg's picture

(post #31222, reply #10 of 55)

Beading can get very addictive!!! (DON'T ask me how I know! LOL)

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #12 of 55)

I believe it!  I've already taught a friend, my daughter in law, and my grand daughter about it.  I have a feeling it will be in the majority of my wallhangings, if not all of them now!  I've decided it's time to clean my closet mainly so I can find some clothing calling out for beading!  What fun! 

I'm so happy to have this site and everyone here to learn from.  Thanks to everyone who helped me figure out the techniques for the wallhanging!  It took me so long to do it or I'd be thanking each and every one of you personally!  Now it's hard to remember who taught me what aspects of it all.  But thanks!  Mary

Ceeayche's picture

(post #31222, reply #8 of 55)


Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #9 of 55)

Thanks so much, glad you enjoy it!  Mary

SAAM's picture

(post #31222, reply #14 of 55)

So beautiful! I, too, love your color choices and the dandelion blowing in the wind. What an inspiring piece to have hanging in your sewing studio. You've created a magical work of art.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #15 of 55)

Thank You, I'm glad you feel the magic in it too.  I feel more conncected to this than anything I've ever created.  Mary

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #16 of 55)

Oh, Mary, it's beautiful!  Thanks so much for sharing.  You did an excellent job - the dandelion blowing it's seeds looks so realistic & I love your colour selection.  The appliques & embroidery are lovely.  Your muse was definitely leading you.  :)

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #18 of 55)

Thank You so much for your kind words and encouragement.  It felt so good to work on this and just let Muse lead me along the garden path so to speak.  Muse locked my inner perfectionist in the closet and insisted I leave the "mistakes" as they are.  The dandelion is my favorite part. 

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #22 of 55)

I saw absolutely NO mistakes in it & I won't get out my magnifying glass to check, either! :)  As Cathy said, & I agree, it's the spiriti, & it raised my spirits to look at it.  Is your orb in centre a moon or sun?  As for softening the orb, you could sew in some beams in metallic thread, but I can certainly understand your hesitation.  Live with it for awhile - you may be happy with it just as it is & call it finished.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #23 of 55)

Thank you for your suggestions and kind words.  I am letting it rest awhile.  I'm glad it is spreading a little light of happiness to those who see it.  Oh, don't you dare get out the magnifying glass, lol!  ha ha  I can't even look at it up close or I start noticing things.  (Now I know how to make the beads lay on their sides instead of with the holes sticking up but that's part of the "spirit" of it now too.) 

  I didn't like where the fabrics crossed each other in the center, the center also was too plain, and the dragonflys wanted something to be flying around in a circle...this is my first time working with the Angelina sheets rather than the fibers.  They are almost like plastic.  It looks like there are tiny little dragonflys inside an orb up close because I inserted snips of Peacock feathers inside there.  So now it could be an orb, the sun, the moon, or water, or even an opening into another dimension where the faeries fit the viewers perception.  A little mystery is good.  Mary

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #28 of 55)

A little mystery is great!  You covered all the bases, & our imaginations can go along with it. 

What is your trick for making the beads lay on their sides?  I've had that exact same problem.  Mine all want to stand up with their holes upright.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #29 of 55)

So glad your imagination went with it.  Thanks for your compliments.  This piece turned out to be like a sampler with so many attempts at learning new techniques and products.  Every step I felt like I might ruin the whole thing but had to push those thoughts back.  I'm happy to know you enjoy the machine beading too. 

I do a few stitches, then slip the bead onto the needle with the needle stop down, stitch a few times, then instead of exiting forward from the bead, I switch it to needle up position, I go out to the side and do a few more stitches.  This seems to work better for me than going straight ahead.  Otherwise, I have to use the hemostat to lay them on their side which is awkward for me.  Hope this works for you too!

Please share some photos of your creations!  I'm so glad that I did, the feedback has helped me have more confidence to keep trying new things.  Mary

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #32 of 55)

Thanks for the tips, Mary - I printed them off.  I keep forgetting to take pics of things I've made before I give them away!  I did remember last Christmas, when I made the Krismoose ornament (I made 5) &, if it's still on the computer (I just finished them before Christmas & it was too late, I thought, to post them then), I'll post it when we get a thread going on Christmas gifts we're making.  This year I'll have to make something different, eh?

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #33 of 55)

I love moose!  There is a herd of them in my livingroom.  I can't wait to see your Chistmooses.  Sounds like a fun whimsical project.  Any idea what you will make this year?  At my snails pace, I better start my holiday sewing soon. 

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #34 of 55)

I was just telling Cathy that I'll have to start the sewing & baking SOON!  I haven't decided what I'll be making, for sure, but will try boxers this year.  I probably won't make any ornaments, though, but I just couldn't resist the moose last year & it was really quick to do & turned out just like the pattern.  Everyone who received one loved them, so that was a relief.   If you want the pattern, go to , 'crafts', & click on 'moose'.  I make one as an angel, with lace wings, & I added  'hands' & legs to them all with the felt left over from the antlers & painted hooves on them with a marker.  I'll have to find them & post the pic.  I did change the order of the directions, though, to speed things up.

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #35 of 55)

It wouldn't let me access the patterns unless I join.  Does that mean free or do I have to agree to buy something?  I'm always afraid I am going to get in over my head and not know it till it's too late.  Do they share your information or send alot of stuff to your email?  I know I sound paranoid but have had some negative experiences with junk mail.  Mary 

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #37 of 55)

Country Woman Magazine doesn't send e-mails or junk mail that I know of.  They may be like other sites that want your e-mail address before you gain entry to their information, but I'm like you, I usually don't sign up to them, unless I know who they are.   I've never had a problem with this one, although I don't know what they do with your info.  It must be a new feature, as I've not had to sign on, but then, I've subscribed to the magazine for years.  I'll try it again & see what happens, although I was looking at their patterns last week.


MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #39 of 55)

Thanks, I will check again today too.  Mary

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #36 of 55)

The boxers would be fun to make!  So many fun fabrics out there that you could really have fun with!  Mary

Gloriasews's picture

(post #31222, reply #38 of 55)

That's encouraging!  I'll see what I can find for the boxers.


MaryinColorado's picture

(post #31222, reply #40 of 55)

I used to make Hawaiian shirts, it would be fun to make boxers out of that fabric too.  I'll have to check my stash and see if there is enough left over fabric for boxers.