Friday, April 30

A Wonderful Week

I love tools. Having the right ones makes crafting better and easier too. I'd been trying to make some small fabric leaves for a good while. The ones I'd made were sewn together right sides facing and then turned. After I'd turned them they looked like my dog had been chewing with them. I continued to try and they didn't get any better. So finally I asked another sewing friend and she smiled and quickly showed me how to make small turned items in just a few moments. I found out I was doing 2 things wrong - first my stitches were too big when I sewed around the shape and second was how I was turning the fabric. It seemed I needed to use a round end bodkin. Just the word makes me smile. I had to admit at first it seemed like something Data would tell Captain Picard he saw on his scanners, but after seeing it in use I found a wonderful new tool. I had the wire wrapped piece below as the framework (with no beads) and just traced the shape on the fabric, then sewed the outline on the wrong side with 01 stitches. The back of this shape was made of 2 sections of fabric and on that seam I ripped a few stitches loose and opened up the back and turned with a small section of a drinking straw and the bodkin. Wow, it worked perfect. Now I can make that table runner with the fall leaves on it I saw last year. I'm so happy. Another good tool I got this week were my new pliers with 2 different size round tips on them. I found these on line at Wired Up Beads. They are wonderful, and make all the difference in the world in trying to make S hooks and other curves. I'm sure I've only tapped the surface of what I can do with them.

I will be teaching a class at JoAnns soon making poly clay tiles and made my class samples today. I loved the way they turned out. I even made a few smaller items to use with my jewelry.

I just had a birthday and have had a wonderful week. Several days after my birthday Jeanette (the educational director at JoAnns) had a little party for me at the store. She made me a beautiful carrot cake which was very yummy. I love carrot cake and she made it from scratch.
I didn't even mind the reminder of my age. She referred to it as the double nickel.

It only lasted a few days

On Thursday I went over to Stefanie's for our sewing day and got this beautiful table runner as a present from her. I love it. The Civil War fabrics are one of my favorites and this fit perfectly on our hutch in the dinning room.

While I was at Stefanie's I started a new quilt. These are the blocks. I'm not sure how big the quilt will end up but I have I think 30 of the 5" blocks and a whole jelly roll of the strips. I'm going to use them all. I love this fabric. It's Evening Mist by Moda. I looked for more but haven't found it yet. I now have 4 quilts working, more than I'd ever had before. I seem to remember telling myself I'd not do this again, but what can I say. I will stop after this one and start quilting.

Tuesday, April 27

On Line Sales

Well I have several things going on right now, but nothing is finished in my quilting world. I am trying to finish up 4 quilt tops and want to quilt them all in a row. I enjoy the quilting part the best of the whole process. So with some tops in many parts and some ready to cut the binding/backing and others already sandwiched and ready to quilt I have a good little mess around the house.

Then on top of all this quilting I'm working on some new jewelry designs. I've become fixated on wire work here lately and my dinning room table is my work bench and it's a mess too. My husband made me an anvil out of a small rail system. Then I'm also in need this week to get new samples for classes at JoAnn's done for the open house on May 8th. It's times like these I do get a little spastic and have that hamster in the wheel feeling. And on top of all these little things I will be starting a new children's book - hopefully tomorrow. If it weren't for the little calendar on my computer I'd not know which way was up some days. I'm glad I'm busy and have so many interests, but some times I just get too much going on at one time. It must not bother me cause I do it over and over.

I've also done some mark downs in my on line shops at Etsy and 1000 Markets. Links to the right. Drop by and check out the sales if you have a chance. I've lowered the price of my greeting cards to $2.50 each. These cards are photos of my fiber art. They are blank inside and come with envelope.
Well I need to get back to work.

Wednesday, April 21

Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day I made a little art quilt from found objects. My one goal was to find them in my trash cans. The only new item used in this little quilt was the thread. I teach classes at my local JoAnn and when showing a student how to do something in class I end up with a lot of little "bits" of unfinished things. Small parts of wire wrapping or hammered metal, unfinished paintings and bits of clay beads or buttons with no little partners. All these little bits end up tossed on one of the tables in my play room and seem never to get anything done with them. So this morning I went around and gathered selvage, fabric from the trash, part of an envelope, dryer sheets, a lone bead, little bits of fabric, a flower painted on card stock and even a Walmart bag. I'd never done a mixed media collage and after getting over the initial wonder of how do I start it was a lot of fun. I also used fabric paints and walnut dye.

My mother taught me to cherish the earth. She loved wildlife, plants and being outside. She helped me get over my very bad fear of bees and to enjoy just sitting and looking at trees and the wonder of nature. I can't see a bird or flower without thinking of her. Then too with Mother's day around the corner my mind flows to her too. My eyes will mist up and I get a tightness in my chest from missing her so much. But she left me so much. My outlooks towards nature just one of them.

I'm a big fan of reusing things and this copper necklace was made of wire from old car parts (electric motors). It's nice copper wire about 16 ga. It hammers nicely and since it's free it's great for my experimenting. The round sections are washers.

This has no reused items in it, but I just wanted to share.

Thursday, April 15

Playing with new fibers

A few weeks ago while out fabric shopping with Stefanie I ran across some beautiful green wool. I was looking for an ivy leaf color and at first when I went up to the shelf with wools I was so sad cause all I saw was the bright Christmas style green/red/yellow and while. Then down at the end of the row on a smaller bolt was this pretty green. It is made of several colors of green, thou that may not show up in the photo.

As I'd mentioned on an earlier post I'm a huge fan of Annemieke Mein and I was influenced by her work. Thou this is a far cry from her beautiful art, she has inspired me with her layered textiles that are filled with such life and depth. This little post card is for a swap over on The Connecting Threads group, Quilt With Us.

I also had some little scraps and made this little pin cushion today.
It's for a quilting buddy.
Yesterday's quilting with my Sashiko didn't go as well as I'd hoped but the quilt is almost done. When I've worked on smaller sections with the Sashiko there has been no problems and it sews like a dream, but the larger quilt yesterday seemed to either cause problems or they just decided to happen. The thread breaking was maddening. So I'll drop by my dealer in a few days and ask what I need to do. Your tension adjustment on this machine is on the bobbin case only. So I may need to experiment with some adjustments. Not going to mess with it till I get a little advice thou. I'm sure it's something simple. It's a one stitch machine how complex can it be?

Tuesday, April 13

A Crafty Day

We started the day off with a yummy stack of Cracker Barrel pancakes, mine had pecans. I love their pancakes. Then off to run some errands and then back home for some craft projects. I'm almost done with my newest quilt top. I only have a one more row and it will be done. I don't have a back fabric for it yet. I will have to hunt one down. I got all this fabric several years ago while up in KY at the quilt show.

I'm filling in for a friend this Saturday doing a few demos at JoAnn. One is for the scrap bookers best friend the Cricut. I love my Cricut, but it only gets played with when I go off for Stefanie's weekend long crop. My sister and I wear it out that weekend. I've not tried the Cricut for cutting fabric yet, but with using the go cutter, I don't think I'll bother with it now.

The other demo is for a product to spray paint onto a t-shirts or fabric. I did 2 quick t-shirts to see what the little spray cans would do. They were easy to handle and I liked playing with them, much neater than tie dying, and a lot faster. Still got the same funky look. It won't need curing and is ready to wear in 24 hrs and ready to wash in 72. I think I might need to try this on fabric.

My friend Stefanie who is really getting into quilting finished her first table runner yesterday, it's so pretty. Her quilting has effected her art in a very cute way as you can see by her new note cards. I just love these little fabric inspired flower petals.

Monday, April 5

Spring is in the air

I've got a new quilting buddy...well not really. I've know Stefanie for years, but she just started quilting about a month ago. She has really taken to it and with years of sewing experience in making home dec and garments she was a natural with her added graphic design ability. This was her first project. I think it's made from Moda fabrics. I just love the bright colors/patterns and I'm sure this would cheer up anyone's time at there ironing board.

This is a top I finished up this morning. I now have 2 tops ready to quilt. I normally do the quilting right after I get the top finished, but since I have the Sashiko I am going to quilt several in a row to get used to the new machine. As you can see my advisor is there once again directing this photo shoot. It was so odd he didn't lay right in the middle of the top.

I am teaching jewelry classes at my local JoAnn and wanted to have a few different classes from the normal and have been practicing up on my hammered wire jewelry. I'd not done this in a while and like everything else if you don't stay in practice you can loose your edge. So after about 5 pair of earrings and a hammered copper ring I think I'm back in the swing. I'd forgotten how much fun this is.

Even thou I'm no spring chicken anymore my little sister and I still give each other an Easter basket each year. It has little treats and candy of course. My BIG treat was this Jim Shore Santa. It's signed too! I love Jim Shore and was so happy to get this.