Monday, February 21, 2011

Current Forever Project: Dress Me Up ... addendum

Dang .. I hate it when I hit "publish" and then I discover that I haven't posted all the pictures that I wanted to!

This time it's the cat.  Again. 

This cat, an old tortoiseshell, likes to keep me company when I'm in my sewing studio.  I have no problem with that.  I have several "tuffets" for her to sit on ... a very lovely, soft cushion in the corner window; Mr. Pirate even broke down and bought her a cat hide-away that has a hammock top; and then I let her sit on the reverse of a placemat .. which I move to different spots on the cutting table to wherever she wants to sit.

All of that is just to let you know that she has LOTS OF PLACES to sit, lie down or otherwise repose.

So, here I am, working on Dress Me Up, dress #8.  It's in the spring embroidery hoop and I get up from the cutting table, where I am working, to go to the adjacent kitchen to get myself a beverage.

This is what I return to.  Please note that the red arrow is pointing to something.

Care to hazard a guess as to WHAT that object is?

Yep.  The embroidery hoop.  The ONLY spot in the ENTIRE room that she wants to occupy.  ::sigh::

It is BARELY big enough to contain her ... fluffiness. :-)

Yes, she *was* disgruntled when I moved her. :-)

Current Forever Project: Dress Me Up, dresses 7 & 8

I've done a few previous posts about what my Forever Project ™ concept is all about.  To recap: it's a hand-work project that I can take with me to keep busy and be productive when I am not in my sewing studio.  My current Forever Project is "Dress Me Up", a series of 12 hand-embroidered dresses, circa 1950s, created by Bobby Sox Studio.

I've talked about the dresses that I've already completed: dresses 1 & 2dress 3, dresses 4 & 5, and dress 6.   Whew ... that should bring us up to snuff.

Well, I have now finally finished dresses 7 & 8, taken appropriate pictures and am now remembering to BLOG about them!

Dress 7 is  a classic 1950 image ... a blouse and the poodle circle skirt, accessorized with a neck scarf and belt.

The neck scarf, skirt outline and "leash" for the poodle were done in a light purple, the blouse is outlined in black. 

The belt has a 'gold' buckle.

I procrastinated finishing this dress ... I stitched the poodle in a single ply of floss.  Oh. My. Goodness.  '

It took *ages* to stitch all the tiny curves to depict the fluffy cut of the poodle.

close-ups of the neck scarf and poodle:

 And then there's Dress 8.  I'm not quite sure what kind of collar this is .. it's kinda like a Bertha, but squared-off.

There's a cute little bow at the center front and the dress "fabric" is an all-over print of daisy flowers.

The mannequin features a very lovely turned, spiral stand.

New to me is DMC's metallic floss.  I discovered it rather late in the game .. I ran out of black and in the course of replenishing my supply, I saw this nifty "new" floss on the shelf.  In purple.  Two shades.  How could I possibly resist it?

So I didn't.  :-)

I should have realized that the metallic part of the floss would result in a rather wirey feel. 

This floss is very stiff to work with and likes to twist, tangle and knot around itself.  You need to talk nicely to it, so it will behave for you.

I put a single French knot in the center of the lazy daisy flowers.  The lazy daisies were done with 2 ply of the metallic; the French knots were done with 1 ply and 1 wrap.

I rather like the look of the turned spiral stand.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Twice as Nice?

EDIT, 2/9/11:  "Meandering Magic" has sold!  Although the rest of you lost out on this fantastic deal, you can find this book elsewhere.  You won't regret buying it.

I'm sure you know that if you practice something over and over, you become more proficient at it.  In quilting, repetition is good ... doing multiple copies of a design builds muscle memory and expertise.

When is a multiple not necessarily a good thing?  When you have TWO copies of the SAME book.  Oh yes, doofus me thought "Meandering Magic" by Suzanne Earley was soooooo good, that I bought two copies.  But not at the same time ... *that* would have been excusable.  Oh no .. *I* bought them at different times because the book is Just That Good.  ::sigh::

From the blurb:
What is Suzanne's technique?  It all starts with a meander -- and then you add all kinds of different "magic."  
Suzanne includes lots of illustrations AND the designs may be used by anyone who can machine quilt.  While the techniques was developed on a longarm, with just a few adjustments any machine quilter will be able to enjoy the rewards of "Meandering Magic".  Feathers are addressed, but it's not just about feathers as Suzanne shares ideas for using hearts, stars, ferns, leaves and more.
49 pages. Laminated color cover; the book is beautifully wire-spiral bound for ease in reading while you are working on your project.  It's clearly written and easy to understand.  Suzanne uses a text font that is larger than most books and very easy to see and follow.  Some color and LOTS of clean and professionally prepared illustrations.

So .. I'm selling my extra copy.  This is a *pristine* book .. like new.   You will never, ever look at a simple meander and be satisfied again.  So simple that even a caveman a beginner could do it and look fantastic in the process!  :-)    sold, sold, sold!  :-)

Interested?  email me with your snailmail and we can do business. :-)

[Also listed on the Little Shoppe of Goodies page.]

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Swiss Cheese Memory ™

I swear, if my head wasn't permanently connected to my body, I'd probably forget that too.  ::sigh::

I had meant to add this to my previous post but when I realized I had omitted it, I figured that I just might as well make a new mini-entry.  ::sigh::

It's certainly not earth-shattering news, but I did want to announce it ...  two more books have been entered in my Pirate's Little Shoppe of Goodies page.  You can also get to that page via the tab at the top of this page. 

The books are shown on that page under the "Added on 1/30/11" heading and are:

sold Weekend Log Cabin Quilts

Seminole Patchwork with Glenda Frost.  A Lothian Australian Craft Series.  Create Spectacular clothes and home decorations.  If nothing else, the photography in this book is phenomenal. Very inspirational!
Condition: used - like new.  Price: $8.00

Please see the Little Shoppe of Goodies page for transaction details, if you are interested.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What's Been Going On

Ya know what's annoying?  I can't figure out how to quilt and blog at the same time.  I love quilting and crafting and creating; I love sharing what I've been doing via this blog.  BUT, they are mutually exclusive activities!  If I'm quilting, I'm not blogging.  If I'm blogging, I'm not quilting.  Each is labor intensive and the more time I spend on one, the less I do of the other.  It's annoying.

In any case, I've not been a slacker .. I *have* been busy.

A pillow contest!
Blogger's Pillow Party
Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color is hosting a "Bloggers Pillow Party"!
Per her blog,
"Spruce up your nest with the pillow of your dreams.  Then share it here!  Each month you can enter one pillow to win Fabric and the Honor of our judges.  Your pillow can be sewn, knit, crocheted - so long as you made it." (within the past 3 months)

So ... I'm kinda proud of the felt flower pillow that I made in early January and am entering it in her February contest.  This verbage qualifies as my "new post" (since I had already talked about it earlier and didn't want to repeat it).  But if you haven't read the former blog post, please do so ... it has all the details about how I came about to make this pillow!

Underground Railroad quilt
First up .. a completed quilt!  It's name is "Underground Railroad" and was inspired by the Elm Creek Quilt books by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I had quite a few hand-pieced 4-patches leftover from a previous project and this quilt used up a good amount of them.  I love how the light and dark columns are created by use of the color of the setting triangles.  I don't have a picture of the entire quilt just yet (I always seem to finish my quilts at o-dark-thirty, which isn't a good time to take pictures) but here's a photo of the quilt on my sewing table, just about to be squared up.

This is a detail of the quilting I did in the dark columns.

Diamond Pillows
I also continued to work on the throw pillow covers with Sizzix die cuts that I talked about in a previous entry .  I made 4 covers .. 3 with dark borders and later, one with a light border.  I knew that I was going to machine applique the Sizzix die cuts to the diamond background but thought, for a change, I would quilt the cover *first*, then do the applique.  In so doing, I would have a more substantial foundation for the machine applique.  Since the 3 dark border covers were like mini-quilts, I decided to quilt them on Lizzie.  I used a single backing fabric for all three and was able to use up smaller pieces of batting.  Because they were so small, quilting was a snap!  It was finished almost before I started.  :-)

I like the look of continuous curve quilting, so that is what I did on all three of the dark border pillow covers. 

Because I made the light border cover afterwards, it wasn't available to be quilted with the other three.  For this cover, I did the "normal" sequence of construction ... the machine applique has been done on the unquilted background fabric.  The quilting will come later on.

I'm not entirely pleased with the arrangements of Sizzix die cuts on any of them.  Some people have a flair for that sort of artistic arrangement ... I don't.  To me, what I've done is kinda .... blah.  I think I will eventually put some hand-embroidered elements on them.  Maybe that will make them look better.

As you can see, I only have pictures of 2 of the dark border pillows ... that's because I haven't done the third one yet.  :-)

Jane Austin mock-up
I'm probably the last person in the quilting world to find out that author Jane Austen (along with her sister and mother) made a quilt.  Dear Daughter #2, who is an English major and adores Jane Austen, fell in love with the Jane Austen quilt.  Because I'm Such A Good Mom, I said I would make her one ... in purple (as that is her favorite color and, in her opinion, the Only Color :-)  )

There isn't a pattern, per se, for it, so I made a baby-sized mock-up just to see how it would go together.  Jane's quilt doesn't have the slab-o-borders, as I have done here, but I was unwilling to do the small pieced border of her quilt for this baby one.  I still need to put an applique "something" in the center diamond and quilt it.

And *that's* what I've been up to lately.