Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tracy, Nici (of ArtShapedWorld) and I made faux-quilted holiday ornaments from scrap fabric & styrofoam balls...
As Nici demonstrates here, the first step is to use a sharpie to divide your ball into 8 wedges... then you use an exacto knife to make deep cuts on those lines...
Then you take your leaf-shaped piece of fabric and using the back of your knife, press it into the cuts you've made...
Tracy is showing us that here on her gorgeous ornament... I just loved this one, so retro-modern! The fabric she's using are all Chez Moi by Moda... and they match her shirt pretty well too!
When you're crafting, even a mess can look beautiful & inspiring!
Here are two of the ornaments that I made...
And the very talented Nici's collection! She's so great with embellishments!
Sarah was working on some crocheted Christmas gifts...
Some very lucky recipients if you ask me... can you believe she only picked up her first hook this past summer?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sure, they’re delicious. They’re soft and moist and oh-so-chocolately. But that’s not why they make me so very thankful.
These cookies are a (secret) family recipe- specifically my boyfriend’s mother’s recipe. And I’m thankful because my wonderful boyfriend (of just over two years) has come into my life, cookie recipe in hand, and made it better. In fact, he’s made it amazing, wonderful & perfect.
And so these cookies, once served only at his own family’s holidays, have now started making appearances at my family celebrations. My father, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother- they all enjoy these delicious treats, and as they do, our families are brought together. My family becomes his, and his becomes mine. We all become connected.
Just another way my life is sweeter since he came along.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Nonetheless- I went ahead tonight and sewed those blocks together and now it is looking just gorgeous!!
So thank you all for your support, opinions and comments. I appreciate them all so much!
Oh, and when is blogger going to come up with a fix and make it easier to actually reply personally to all the great comments I get?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Unfortunately, I never get to see it through the eyes of someone who isn't me... which is where you come in... I need an honest opinion before I commit these squares to my quilt. Its meant as a gift- so I want it to be a nice as possible. The thing I'm having trouble with tonight is the light pink blocks I have around the main "Apples & Pears" fabric. Is it the wrong shade of pink? Do I need to go darker? Pinker? As long as the comments are constructive, I'm happy to accept some criticism.
Please share your thoughts!! Thank you!!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The lesson started with about an hour of cleaning the machine, threading the machine, and setting up the three layers of my quilt. I know it was all necessary- but imagine the anticipation, by the time we turned it on, I was really chomping at the bit!!
Its different then normal machines in that you lay your quilt material out, and then move the actual sewing machine around it, instead of vice versa. Its steered using two handles (an upper or lower set, depending on what kind of design you're doing). The whole thing just sort of floats along, and its kind of disconcerting at first- but I got it after a short while. You can set up a laser-pointer on top of the machine and use it to trace out designs, or you can use a special set of plates and a kind of stylus that moves within grooves in the plates. I also know the computer part mounted on top of the machine can do a number of automatic things- but they weren't covered in my lesson.
I was concerned at first that all the real "hands on" things I love about sewing would be too automated with this machine. For that reason- I sort of really dislike the plate & computer methods. I like to work directly on my quilt- not on plates, or worse, let the computer do everything for me. So unsurprisingly, I really took to the free motion quilting. It was very similar to quilting on my home machine. Just much, much easier.
My first attempts at free motion quilting were all about getting a feel for the weight and movement of the machine.
My doodling skills were put to great use here...
I couldn't get over how much freedom of movement I had!!
I took to meandering (or stippling) really quickly... and it was my favorite thing to do, both in practice and results. It was sort of zen, just doodling around and around, making loops and lines... and I think it really looks great! I can't wait to try it on a real quilt.
This was some more random practice- trying to make some really tiny designs using the lower handles on the machine.
And here is my full finished practice quilt (five hours of work!). I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, I may even give this monstrosity a binding and hang it up on my wall for the sake of posterity. Besides, it sort of makes me giggle!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
I never really thought about how crafting overcomes language barriers... but I've seen enough gorgous fabrics from across the world to know that whether its schön, όμορφος, bello, 美しい, bonito, hermoso or beau... this stuff is beautiful in any language.
I know that "Elemental" has some pretty dedicated fans in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, Oman, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Malaysia, Greece, Singapore, Bulgaria, Argentina, Turkey, Isreal, Finland & Mexico... and I just wanted to give a big "Hello!" to everyone out there that is visiting, linking and commenting. I'm so glad to have you as my guests!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I really need to learn to read instructions more carefully before I begin- I wasted a couple hours cutting 12 of each square, when I only needed 6. Oh well, maybe I'll make a second quilt with them someday!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
It is a 33-page pdf tutorial that includes full color, step-by-step instructions for simple patchwork quilts with luxurious chenille or microfiber fleece backs and adorable animal appliqués. Finished quilts are approximately 40” square – the perfect size to take along in a car seat or stroller!
Would it be terribly rude for me to cancel all of my plans this weekend in order to lock myself into my studio and try out this pattern?!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It's a tie-quilt... I'm still working on my free motion quilting technique, and I wasn't ready to take on a full quilt.
It's got a pretty high loft- she wanted it to be "really fluffy & thick". The binding gave me some trouble- but ultimately, I think it ended up pretty cozy!!
They really loved it, and have already commissioned a second one!!