Monday, October 12, 2015

Flamingo Love

I skipped 2 motorcycle rides this weekend in order to make this bird.   Totally worth it.  I finished the FMQ late Sunday afternoon.  The fabric is actually a creamy-beige batik.  There is a fire to our East so my world is an odd shade of orange today.  
I would be done except I decided that it would really benefit from the texture of a hand-quilted background.  This will really stand out after it's washed as it is a cotton batting which will crinkle beautifully as it shrinks.  
And from the back.  (Medium grey fabric.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Flamingo FMQ

Here's the progress at the end of bobbin #5.

Those lines are nowhere close to straight.  And I'm OK with that.  It looks amazing from 3 feet or more away.
I never imagined oval pebbling would be harder that trying to make little circles.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Flamingo 2

Drawing finished.  Not an exact copy of the original, but close enough to give it the same feel.
Transferred it to the fabric using a large window and a pencil.  Time to find a backing and thread the machine.  This is going to be fun!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015


Taking a little break from my fun and hilarious life to get back to something creative. Two weeks ago, while on a mini-reunion trip with 2 of my childhood friends, I ended up at Powell's books in Portland.  While the "Super Smutty Sign Language" book was probably the most entertaining book purchased, I came home with several "Adult Coloring Books".  Contrary to what you might think, it did not include any nude body parts.  My non-quilting friends thought I had blown a gasket when I kept saying "This would be an AWESOME quilt!"

 Last weekend I bought 1.5 yards of a pale, beige batik while on a motorcycle ride to Halfway, OR.  Tonight I started sketching out one of my favorites from the Millie Marotta "Animal Kingdom, Color Me, Draw Me" book.  The body outline of my  bird is about 31" x 46".   What I love about her drawings is how easily they adapt to FMQ.  While her plan for the head/neck feathers are pointed and scale-like, I think that the photo confirms that it'll work with oval pebbling.  While she uses dashed lines for variation, I think I'll primarily use distance between stitching.  Once again, the proof is in the photo that this will work:  The lower beak looks darker, but is the same pen as the upper beak.  (I plan to fix the random directionality in the final beak).

I am SO excited about this, that I am turning down a ride with some of my absolutely favorite people in the world, on what is predicted to be a most gorgeous fall day in Idaho to get this party started.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


That awkward moment when it's been so long since you've posted on the blog, that a regular reader sends you an email to see if you are alive.  (Thanks Amy)

This photo summarizes my summer.   I always wanted a "Pool Boy", but the Bike Boy thing is working out pretty well.

I've ridden nearly 14,000 miles since I bought the bike 1 year ago.  95% on lovely curving mountain roads.  I've killed A LOT of bugs. (Thus the Bike Boy photo)

Made many fun discoveries.

How can you NOT buy a beer called "Quilter's Irish Death".   Iron Horse Brewery is in Ellensberg WA, but I bought this at a convenience store in Enterprise OR!

Keeping the saddlebags full of wine.

I fell victim to a few quilt shops.  1/3 yard cuts of batiks I did not yet own.  I thought I had been really well behaved until I started cutting these into friendship squares and had a shockingly good sized stack to share with friends.

I have still been trying to sew and incorporate what appears to be my Steam Punk vibe into sewing clothing.... but I get sidetracked by amusing things that don't really fit (literally or figuratively).

Still working away at the big stitch project, but started a new applique project last week.

Weather is cooling down.

More posts to come.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Body Parts

After having spent weeks thinking as much about nipples as a man (or a lactation consultant) I've  moved on to crotches and butts.I was going to cut out and sew a bunch of t-shirts today.  Then I decided I really needed to address what I'm going to do with the scraps.  Particularly while the machines are threaded with the right color to get the job done.

I thought that a bikini pattern might be a good place to start to make some cotton panties with the bits of fabric.

I had purchased some fold-over elastic and ball point needles for this part of the project a couple weeks ago.

After looking at a few tutorials on line, I jumped in....and the outcome of this pattern was terrible.  The bottoms were so big they wouldn't stay on. Details below.

Plan B was to take some of my favorite underwear and trace a pattern from them.

The top version worked out pretty well (photos below).

The lower one,  Oh My!  I will try re-drafting it with an extra 1" in the crotch and another 1" in the front panel.  I have no idea how that one managed to be so off from the original but it was bad enough for the prototype to land in the trash.

On the other hand, it's worth re-working as the fashion fabric is 4 pieces (center seam) which allows for using smaller scraps.

The result was 2 wearable prototypes. I like the finish of the fold-over elastic attached with a zig-zag. Unfortunately, it seems a little "heavy" for an edge of lightweight fabric.  I faced the entire front section rather than just the crotch of this upper version.

The lower version was the bikini disaster.  I removed about 1" on each side of the side seam.  The bum still has extra fabric.  In retrospect, this pattern was probably designed for a lining which would have sucked up 3/8-5/8 of the outer seam allowance.

This elastic doesn't stretch as much as the store version does, so I'll be adding some length to that connecting bit of elastic for the final versions.  I'm thinking about an extra inch of width on the front panel too.

So I'm back to the drawing board.  And moving on to t-shirt knit cardigans.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tshirt finish

I finally fixed the neckline on my tshirt trial. I pinned it into place then trimmed off the extra. I was surpised to find that was over an inch. One more small adjustment to the back neckline to avoid some gaping( that is only noticable to me) and I will have a perfectly fitted t shirt. I am staying off the motorcycle this weekend so maybe I will have progress to share.