Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Halloween Costume

OK, I admit.  I may have gotten carried away.  But why have 1 paper doll costume when it's possible to have 3 that are interchangeable.  And yes, these are shoes I wear all the time, not just purchased for the occasion.
We all know that the secret to a great outfit is the proper support underneath it all.  This is a recycled breastfeeding poster that was mounted on core-board. (How could I resist???)  The under-boards have "hookie end" tabs that coordinate to the "loopie end" tabs on all the outfits and hair.

I'm planning to wear a black t-shirt and pedal-pushers underneath it all.  Obviously, I'm working somewhere tomorrow that dressing up is encouraged.  The fun thing is that I'll be working with pregnant women and small children.
Now I'm off to the copy shop to make some paper dolls to share.

And a special thanks to Bailey who put the whole paper-doll idea into my head to start with.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival- BA Cat

For Blogger's Quilt Festival this year, I thought I'd share my favorite quilt I made this year and one of the few quilts I ever made for myself.  It was for a challenge by Ethne at Flaming Stitches to make something inspired by the artwork of Charley Harper.   The original was called "Limp on a Limb" but because the finished quilt is 60"x62", it is generally referred to at my house as "The Big Ass Cat".

This helps explain the scale of the quilt. 

Taken in better light but before whiskers.

The cat was hand quilted.
The background and branches are free motion quilting.

The leaves were made as mini-quilts using a walking foot, then attached using FMQ. (Each leaf is 12 inches long and 7 wide)

This was a fun project!  I love how it turned out and it was a great experiment in quilting texture.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Virtual Intervention

A month ago, I signed a contract to do some consulting on an education project on Second Life.  I logged on today to see what was new.  This is where I ended up.  I may need a virtual intervention.

Potential New Addiction

Wednesday I blogged about the Batik class that Skater Girl and I took at Cindy Peterson's Studio through the Boise School District Community Education Classes.

DD2 and I did 2 pieces collaboratively.  This lion is a Cosmetology School Graduation gift for Big Sis/DD1-aka-Guitar Girl who just happens to be a Leo.  White is the initial outline (with a  painted eye and nose).  Then dipped in tan for 40 min.  Then the next week, the face was waxed off then dipped in red for 15 min.  All the lion was waxed then dipped in black overnight.  

This is the giant lion that appeared as a tattoo on on DD1's back when she turned 18.  You can see why we thought this was a good plan.

Cindy issued a challenge that was supposed to be a green color-transition project.  But with the short time of the class, the outline and hand painting that Skater Girl did, only underwent a black dip.  The black dye ended up a cool splotchy purple.  This morning I bought some black Rit Dye and after waxing off the background, dipped the bird body in black dye ( 1/2 bottle dye, 1/2 c salt, 2 gal water) and let it soak for 2 hrs.  If I would have left it longer, the background would have had more crackle.
And, know me.

Since there was black dye available, I decided to make a wax stamp out of a hanger.  I was really trying to take advantage to the normal curves of the hangar, but I think it looks like a nose.

I stamped the nose randomly in the hopes it would look less nose-like, on some dark pink fabric.

Clearly, I need a new camera.  The real color of this is a dark purple that is nearly black in natural light.  The base color is a dark pink.

So, obviously, not only do I love batik fabric, but I really love making batik fabric and paintings.  Does this have the potential of getting out of hand?  Yea. Duh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP on Wed Oct 19

Last night was my last of 4 batik classes.  It was a Parent / Child class through the local Community Education program and taught by local artist Cindy Peterson.  If you go to her online gallery, you can see that she uses batik as an art medium instead of just a fabric design element.

The first assignment was to paint the dye on and blend 2 complimentary colors.  The second week, the dragonfly was waxed off and dipped in yellow.  Week 3 was a teal dip to get the green.
This fabric is cherry red in real life and was the result of my playing with some of her stamping tools while I was waiting for my daughter to finish her project.

We have 2 collaborative pieces that Skater Girl and I did together - a lion in tan & red, and a toucan.  They both spent the night in the black dye and I have to go back to pick them up tonight.

My TV time for the past couple weeks has been spent trying to finish up this Crazy Quilt from the UFO bin.  The blue fabric is leftovers from the Hawaiian Quilt Samplers that I made for the girls in 2003.   It has probably been in the UFO basket that long.  I had decided to do all hand embroidery on every seam in a variety of stitches (click on photo to enlarge).  Like traditional Crazies, it will not include a batting.  There is fuseable interfacing on the back of the piecing for more stability.  I have to finish the outer frame stitching (pink & blue) on 7 more blocks.  Then it will be tacked at intervals to a blue Minkee back and bound in hot pink.

Last, but not least, ever distracted by bright shiny objects....  When I read Leah Day's Pea Gravel Path post, I immediately ran to the machine to try it. Yes, I read and immediately ignored the "Advanced" level warning.  And I did really try it on paper first.  Aside from my swirls looking "Seussian" rather than "Smoothly Swirly" I'm quite pleased.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Progress

I pulled out the state block project this week and made progress on this block for Georgia.  Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the block as I forgot to write it on either the pattern or the master list.  I also seem to have used a bunch of the fabric for another project and had to make some substitutions.

But I did write down the name of this one - Algonquin Charm, which is for Rhode Island.  Not sure where the fabric came from though.  So much for my meticulous notes from last summer.

I helped Guitar Girl make some flannel blankets for some pregnant friends.

And this morning as I was catching up on reading blogs, I saw Leah's Hearts & Spirals fill which looks amazingly like one of the fabrics in an improv baby quilt that was in my "to be quilted" pile.

I found a bin full of poly batting in the garage that I didn't realize I had and used it for this project.  I forgot what it's like to quilt on something with some loft.

I whimped out and stitched pink on pink.

But it does look pretty cool on the back.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP on Wed - Oct 12

Over the weekend I finished this quilt.  It was my first attempt at doing free motion quilting on my machine on a full-sized quilt, rather than individual squares.

I decided to try something more traditional and followed Renae Allen's suggestion for this pattern from the Skillbuilder series and try feathers.
I am NOT a natural at feathers.  For those of you itching to comment that it'll get better with practice, I need to point out that they don't look any better than this when I make them with paper and pencil.

Note to self: no more feathers.

My quilting time this week has been eaten up by work and mom obligations.  I actually made some progress on putting these hand-pieced HST together thanks to Guitar Girl's oral surgery.

Not much to share this week.  Maybe more progress over the weekend.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September In Review

Fresh Sewing Day
Most of September, I spent time working on this quilt.  It started as some scraps that I won from Nadine at Quilted Bliss.  I was in a handwork phase and pieced all of these by hand.

But I finished it in my "multiple quilting techniques"  stage so it really is a quilting sampler.  I need to bind and wash it then will write up a post on the techniques that I used and the relative merits of each. 

At long last, I finally got the whiskers on the big-ass cat.  This 60x62 inch kitty was made for the Charley Harper Challenge that Ethne at Flaming Stitches had a while ago.  This was a lot of fun and used multiple techniques which gives wonderful texture when viewed up close.  The cat is hand-quilted, the branches and background FMQ on the machine, and the leaves are 3-D with each quilted individually using a walking foot, then stitched into place on the quilt.  I made this quilt for me! :)

I also got distracted by a challenge from Leah Day to applique some flowers that would show off Leah's amazing Free Motion Quilting. 

In October, I hope to get some UFO's crossed off the list. My plan is to make progress on 4 quilt tops that need quilting and 3 piecing projects.