Saturday, February 27

Sewing Rooms

Today we went out to visit our friends to see the work being done in there kitchen remodel. But as always Paula and I ended up in her sewing room. She has one of the prettiest sewing rooms I've been in and I wanted you to see some of her oh so sweet little ways of storage. The deep frame below holds a good selection of thread and the shelf above many little goodies. Paula has a wonderful eye for displaying her work and the vintage quilts she owns. She also has a wonderful collection of sewing machines, all which work. I think she has 2 (or more) of the little Featherweights. One in the treasured white.

The little green shelf was a find at a local craft show and she got
two of them and spools fit perfectly.
She also put her smaller bundles of fabric out where
she can see them in vintage containers. Such lovely colors.

Another sewing room that isn't quite ready to be seen yet is my friend Jeannette's. She is doing a major remodel to her room, but I'll save that for later. One tid bit I will share is the painting I did on one of her walls. This is almost 5' tall. It ties in with her inspiration piece a little box with dress mannequins on it.

Now back to my house

I finished my new ironing board and it's ready for work. I covered it with the same 30's flavor fabric I used on the laundry room window - that's where I iron most of the time. The new top is 58 x 21. I put 2 layers of low loft batting then the cute fabric. Now that annoying point is gone and ironing large sections of fabric will be a breeze.

Monday, February 22

Tools of the Trade & A Talented Friend

Someone in our Art Quilt group on Quilt With Us mentioned Annemieke Mein so I googled her and sat in front of my computer, mouth hanging open in awe. If you have not see her work, please go check it out. I just can't describe it and won't even try. I've never seen anything like it. I ordered her book that day! When it got here I looked at it over and over. I've just started reading it thou yesterday. So I was inspired to once again try to pain on fabric. It's turned into a mess in the past and I was determined to keep going till I got it right. This was my study from yesterday. I wanted these leaves to be a background for a wall hanging and was determined to use this fabric. It's very loose woven. The leaf on the top has watered down paint, no good. Then the more I did I started to figure out the thickness of paint I needed to keep it from bleeding all over the fabric and getting outside my drawing lines. By the last leaf I was pretty close to what I wanted. So I'm going to keep up this study and try to get control over the spreading paint. Oh and I discovered a nice new blog while looking for Ms Mein's work, Running With Scissors.

Today we had errands to run and one of them was to pick up the new top to my ironing board. We use a large section of UHMW. My husband knew what it was, it was new to me. I figured we would use MDF but after he looked it up on line and found out it had formaldehyde in it, I said no pretty quick. That's all I need. So now this plastic is bolted to the old ironing board and ready to be covered with batting, then fabric. I'm going to make the cover and attach it with velcro for when it needs cleaning or I just get tired of it. I covered my little ironing board with cotton in a nice leaf print. I keep that one on my cutting table. You can see I no longer have the annoying point on the end of the board. When ironing large sections of fabric this made me nuts. Poof, gone. I'd seen this ironing board in a catalog, but the price was an eye roller and there was just no way. I'll cover it the next day I'm not working.

Now on to some fun stuff. I'd like to share the work of a very talented quilted I met on the Quilt With Us Site. Here name is Diana Bracy and her mosaics are just to die for. I just don't know how she does it. As complex as these works are she also makes wonderful little treasures as tiny as ATC's and postcards which are in her gallery on her site. Diana's work is inspiring so flip over and check it out. Diana has quilting in her history with her grandmother making quilts and her mother was also a talented seamstress who made anything she chose.

Diana at the 2008 Boulder City Arts Festival

Her Ghandi quilt block (one of her most recent works) was made of 1/4 inch strips. This is a 18 x 20 block which will go into a quilt on Racism being put together by Maria Shell of Alaska. Just beautiful.

Another beautiful mosaic of the lovely Marilyn Monroe.
Would you believe that she has only been quilting for 15 years?
I'm so very glad that a friend of Diana's talked her into going
to a quilt guild meeting all those years ago. Diana is hungry in her quest for
new techniques in her fiber art and it shows.
I love your work Diana and it always inspires me.

Tuesday, February 16

Barbara's Thread Painting

As I mentioned yesterday I was inspired by another quilters thread painting on the Quilt With Us Site. I wanted to share a few samples of her work with you. This pretty much amazed me and got me to try it for myself. I'm not seeing these as possible accents blocks in my quilting and who knows what else. It was almost like therapy doing the one I've done too. Very relaxing. I love to quilt my quilts, it's my favorite part. The only bad thing is when it's larger than a wall hanging sometimes I get the old shoulder pain from moving the quilt around after about 30 min. With these small sections like the little dragon which is only 6" wide there was no discomfort due to it's small size. Another plus. Now about Barbara Blackwell's work.

Barbara is from Melbourn Australia and works from home sewing dog training harnesses & collars. This is quite the contrast to her beautiful thread painting.
From her site, "I've always tended to sew things fairly fast in my impatience to get things done. My mum used to say I sewed with a "hot thread and burning needle" which I'm sure was not intened as a compliment! But thread painting and free motion embroidery really lend them selves to my way of doing things, so perhaps this technique was just waiting for me to discover it."

Check out Barbara's site and if you haven't been over to Quilt With Us yet you should drop by. There are some wonderful groups there and I've learned so much.

Monday, February 15

Snowy Days & Time For Sewing

Had plans today, but with a little snow on the ground I figured I'd just stay indoors. This morning I was on the Quilt With Us Site and I'm in the Love of Art Quilts group and was very impressed with one of the members, thread painting and thought I'd give it a try. I've not really done much of this type of stitching. So I found a simple drawing in one of my books and traced it on white cloth and started stitching away. I was having such a good time I didn't stop till it was finished. I haven't done any free motion practice in a good while and needed the practice anyway. So this little dragon was a good practice and good fun.

Now back to the world of graphic design and getting a freelance job finished. Not as much fun as sewing, but has to be done. After that then I need to work on some class samples for my advanced jewelry class at JoAnn. I really enjoy teaching there. We had open house this past Saturday where the customers can meet the teachers and see what new projects will be taught. That is always a fun day too.

Wednesday, February 10

Free Fabric Is Good, Finding A Place For It...

I was lucky to have 3 friends pass on fabric to me. The first bunch was in a plastic bin and was about 1/2 full, so I just sat it in the sewing room and slipped into my best Scarlet Ohara and figured I'd worry about it tomorrow. Then about a week later the second batch showed up. I was busy with other things, so I just sat it on top of the plastic bin. The 3rd bunch was pretty big and was in one of the larger Ikia bags. My sister had hit the mother load at a yard sale. So now the pile is up to my waist. Then I came back from my scrap booking weekend and all that stuff lives in the same room too. Well it looked like a storm had hit. So today I was determined to get it all cleared and organized. I put away all the paper craft stuff pretty quickly and had a good feeling the fabric would go as quickly. No way. I was thinking I'd just put the fabric on the shelf but it just wouldn't fit. So I took everything off the bookshelf except for my oriental fabrics (shelf with the basket) and refolded/re-stacked and reorganized it all.

Then there is the storage of small collections I have in little bins over my cutting table. I try very hard to put fabric away when I'm done with it, but it just seems to never go back just the right way. These little bins were over flowing. With such a small space to keep all my fabric I have to be orderly. I have tags hanging on the bins and fabric stacks letting me know what they are. This helps to not dig threw as much and end up making an even bigger mess.

One of the surprises in the free fabric was a pretty burgundy cape that is almost finished. There is no pattern but I think with a sewing friends help I should be able to get it completed.

I have my D9P top completed and it's ready to quilt. I didn't think I'd had the edge fabric that long but could no longer find it at JoAnn's and can't remember where I got it. Should I write these things down? I never think I'll need more of anything so I don't think to keep track with where the fabric came from. This little lap quilt will be the first thing I'll quilt with my Sashiko. Not sure at this point what I'll use for the back, but at least it's orderly so I can see everything I've got at a glance.

Thursday, February 4

Packed For the Weekend

Well tomorrow is the long awaited start for the scrap booking weekend. I just don't seem to have time to do this except for this one weekend. Seems like when I'm home I just sew and do a little poly clay, but don't get around to paper crafts. I'm ready thou and excited about going. My friend Stefanie of Stationery with Style, is hosting this and it's just great fun. There are about 40 ladies with nothing on their minds but scrap booking. I also plan on making cards one day. Last year I did this and the blank interior cards lasted almost a year. They come in so handy. Well this is the "little bit" of stuff I'm taking with me... My sister said if she forgot anything she felt I've have it. Almost forgot one of my most important items. The pillow I made last year to make my folding chair comfy. That chair is very hard on you without a pillow after about 8 hours of sitting. You'd think with my "padding" it wouldn't be - :0

I'm taking 4 albums to work on. One of them is my fiber book which I have photos of all the things I've made. This is the first page in that book. My journaling is about my inspirations and where the finished item ended up.

This is my jewelry page. That is my sweet mom and I with our matching necklaces on. She was never that huge of a fan of jewelry till I started making it and then she had to have all kinds of stuff.
Well off to pack the smallest of the bags, my clothes.

Monday, February 1

Snowy Days & Time For Sewing

4 days ago it snowed all afternoon and we ended up with 4" in our part of Nashville. That's not much by some folks standards but around here it might as well have been a foot. Southern'rs don't do snow well. Hubby got out Saturday afternoon and shoveled off the drive so he could go to work. That is the street the other side of the fence in the photo below. Our side street didn't get cleared/salted so it sticks around a little longer. It's finally turned to slush today and should be gone off the roads by tomorrow if the sun stays out. It might even get up to 40 tomorrow! That is one great thing about Nashville weather, if you don't like it just wait and it will change. The dogs however loved the snow and want to go out and play in it more often than I would have thought. It was frozen so hard in the photo below that she didn't even sink into it. This was the day after it snowed and got down to 7 that night.

Well the yearly scrap booking weekend is upon me once again and since last year I've gotten more into digital scrap booking and decided to create some of my pages in Photoshop. Last year I had some digital elements in my layouts but mostly still working traditionally. I have one book of all my hobbies and this is one of the two pages on jewelry and clay. That's me and my sweet mom.

Well as you know the Sashiko is here and after unpacking and reading (glanced over) the manual I was ready to see what she could do. I just grabbed several sections of cloth and the thin bamboo batting I love and did some playing. This is free form stitching to see how easy it is to make curves. I adjusted the stitch length and space between the stitches as I was going along to experiment with that too. I'm not sure if the wavy look is due to me possibly holding the fabric slightly stretched or if I had something set wrong. I didn't adjust the tension as it came from the factory so I'll look into that. I have to admit I became mesmerized by the little dance the needle thread and wiper do. The needle has a slit in it rather than the traditional hole. Another thing is the needle only has the thread captured about every other stitch! Yes it's amazing and I could hardly steer the fabric from watching the mini dance it was doing.

I'm getting ready to sit down and play a little more and see what we come up with today. Good thing to do while the snow melts.