Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Eel update

The applique part is done.  This is going to be a large throw pillow (22") so the quilting should be fun.  Will be adding lots of texture to the eel and following the swirlies on the background.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sea Applique

I was admiring the amazing photography of Brooke Peterson
You really must go to Waterdog Photograpy and give it a look.
She is our niece, and she graciously gave me permission to reproduce some of her photographs as applique.  This link takes you to a variation of the photo that I chose. 
 I had a hard time getting the cleaner shrimp's face right and had to ask for extra pictures from different angles to figure it out. 
 Making it from the stash.  Which means my eel will end up chartreuse instead of it's real color.
I had a "perfect" background color, but it wasn't big enough.  Settling on this. 
 Back-basting needle turn is the best technique for these tiny pieces in my opinion.  But nearly impossible (or at least highly frustrating) on dark fabric.  I decided to do this on some thin cotton.  This allowed me to easily position fabrics to "fussy cut" details.  
 I was careful to stitch only to the other batiks and not the backing.  The outer edges are needle turned, but only basted with big, purple stitches.  I will press and starch the heck out of this, then remove the basting and stitch it down with silk thread to the dark background. 
This cleaner shrimp is roughly 9”. 31 pieces. 13 fabrics. 8 hours

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Rug Hooking

 I spent my crafty time in November, December and January working on this hooked rug.  It was a class by my friend Kim at Nampa Farm Girl Creates.  She also does custom dyed wool.  These are all her hand-dyed fabrics with the exceptions of the pinks.
 There are also other fibers and techniques which are somewhat easier to see before the background was added.  The dark blue buds are a fuzzy acrylic yarn.  The dark stems are either nubby hand spun wool, or some upcycled wool from second-hand wool jackets.  The lower stem has crochet cotton over strips of wool. And the pink centers of the blue proddy flowers is a multi-color yarn.
 My original plan for the background was the upcycled dark green.  Then I was going to do black.  In the end, I went with a custom-dyed very dark purple with some variation in color to give the background more movement.  It was the right decision.  I also borrowed a page from my quilting experience and alternated widths on the background to add some interest.

My plan is to add a dark purple batik for the back and make this a large pillow.

And just when I swore I was going to quit being a hooker, I decided to re-visit this rug that I started 10-15 years ago to use up some cheap blue cotton that I didn't like anymore but couldn't bear to throw away.  I can't say that I really love this technique, but have enough time invested to justify a finish.

But I did pull out an old quilt project last night.  I've been following the temperature quilt-along at Twittletails and decided to finish mine from 2016.  I was done through week 30 and cut out 6 more weeks last night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Little Finishes

 Earlier this fall, I was trying to use up scraps and found that I didn't like the color combinations.  My friend Bailey is an NICU nurse and suggested finishing up the project as a mini quilt to donate.  The bassinet mattresses are 12.5" x 26".  So these 2 were my first attempt.  After using them at work, she found the 22x34" (flimsy size) was a bit too short on the sides to be convenient.
 So I started another round to use up some gifted fabric that I never liked.  This one is 26x36 before quilting.

Addendum 12/14: Here's the other one.  Using 2 orphan blocks from a larger quilt and scraps from several different red quilts.  It was a great way to practice some FMQ.  But the light contrasting back really shows off wobbles in my quilting as well as the fact that my machine needs a tune up since it is randomly adding weird loops on the back side of the stitching.

 This piece Was a Round Robin from 1995.  It's been my hand quilting piece for the last month.
Love the movement in the hand quilting. 
I may turn this into a big couch pillow. 
The problem with these "little" finishes is that there is actually a finite number of pillows one can use.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

More Distractions. Scrubbies

 I've been collecting the mesh bags from onions and mandarin oranges thinking that they should make amazing, free scrubbies.  Today, I finally found a tutorial.  https://makeanddocrew.com/crochet-pot-scrubbers-produce-bags/
 I started with the orange bags.  Combined the mesh "yarn" with some cotton yarn I had on hand. It was far thinner than what was in the tutorial.  To be fair, there were 3 other tests of yarn with the plastic mesh before I came up with something that was OK. I tried both nubby stuff and standard acrylic yarn, but ended up going with with a thin cotton yarn for the best texture.

The instructions for the scrubbies are at Make and Do Crew  I ended up using the bags noted as NOPE in the tutorial.  Cut them wide enough to include at least 2 full diamonds so they didn't fall apart.  Then a tug to make them behave.  This also means that I needed twice as many produce bags as recommended. I also ended up just tying bits together with square knots, not the fancy fisherman's not suggested.  It also turns out to take 4-6 bags to make 1 scrubbie with this style.

As you can see from this final picture, adding some yarn really helps the final shape of the scrubbies.  The Right one is the mesh only.  The upper one includes a crochet cotton with the mesh.  And the bottom one is a light weight cotton yarn.

So excited to use up all my saved bits.  But a little discouraged that it takes so many to make a functional piece.  (Since what I thought might be 10 Christmas gifts is actually 2).

Friday, November 30, 2018


While I have been doing some quilting, the past couple weeks I've been distracted by this project. 
My friend Kim is a Hooker.
She is working on a teaching certificate for rug hooking and needed students for her class.
 I started with some little leaves and learned that it turns out best for me if I outline, then fill the leaf after the stem is done.
 Her class, and the challenge of the project, is to use multiple types of stitches in wool.  This is woven strips. 
 The blues are ruching.  This I was familiar with from applique.  The upper stem is a chain stitch.  And the bottom leaf swirls are quilling, then stitched down. The stems on the left are traditionally hooked strips from upcycled wool and the ones on the right are a nubby hand spun wool.
These adorable flowers use a technique called proddy, which makes them 3-D.  The center and stems are done with yarn. 

The dotted design is made using the "beading" technique. 
I am working away at the leaves, and waiting for some custom died fuschia & pink wool to finish the flowers.  Planning on a purple/black background to make the flowers pop!

The pattern (purchased drawn on the linen) is from Honey Bee Hive.
The wool and the class I took is from Nampa Farmgirl Creates .

Sunday, October 14, 2018

UFO Finish

I have been back to finishing up UFOs.  This one started back in 2012. 
 The quilt group I belonged to at the time, had a tradition of people making blocks for the hostess' project.  I provided packets of the pink fabrics with instructions to combine it with black and return a 16.5" block using HST.  This was what I found that had been returned to me. 
 I kept adding bits until I had a quilt about 75" square.
 And I quilted it with a million feathers.
 Since it was for my BFF, I used some of my favorite stash fabrics, including this paisley that was supposed to a skirt for me. 
And now this is Cassandra's quilt.