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211  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Raw Edge Circles Art Quilt on: June 20, 2010 07:02:09 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession...  For the first time in longer than I can remember, I spent two days making something for myself for a change!  I really wanted to try my hand at some sort of small art quilt, since I'm usually so busy making wedding and baby quilts.  This is now adorning the door to our office/craft room.  Since the door is always open, I can enjoy it from my desk.  The circles and 3/4 circles were quilted in spirals, the vines on the black fabric were thread traced, the tan backgrounds were stippled, and the clouds in the borders were outlined with rayon embroidery thread.  The seam between the inner and outer border was outlined with black trim, and the centers of the circles each contain a button or stack of 2 buttons. 
Whole quilt, which measures 22 1/2" x 25 1/2":

Detail of some of the quilting, buttons, and trim:

The blocks I started with were created by the AMAZING craft minded, for the last Quilt Block Swap.  I ended up with lots of lovely blocks in my chosen pattern and color scheme, but some of them just didn't feel like they belonged together, and I thought that if I pulled these out and mixed them up a bit, they'd get to be seen more than if I just made the quilt I was planning, and left it folded over the back of my desk chair.

THANK YOU to craft minded for the beautiful blocks!
212  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Opinions Needed - Trip Around the World Quilt on: June 17, 2010 07:49:42 PM
Evening Ladies and Gentlemen.  I'm in the planning stages of a new quilt for my best friend's wedding, and need some fresh opinions and advice....  Alison and her fiance really love to travel.  (He even spent a few years in Africa in the Peace Corps.)  She's from Salt Lake City and grew up surrounded by desert.  He's a Midwestern boy who grew up surrounded by prairie and corn.  Alison and I went to graduate school together, and she was my maid of honor at my own wedding.  In planning for that, I happened upon this poem, which a friend of mine read at our ceremony:

I want to go everywhere with you.
I want to go to Italy and Israel and down the street.
I want to lie on a raft under the sun in the South Pacific with you and float and float and float.
I want to go the tallest building on the highest mountain in the biggest city.  And I want to up on the roof with you and look around.
I want us to pool our talents and pool our resources and create together, that which we have not been able to create independently, alone.
And I want you in smaller ways, too, right here, with me, holding my hand and kissing me.

That poem, and their love of travel inspired me in the design of their quilt.  I knew I wanted to use the classic "Trip Around the World" pattern, and for the fabrics, I wanted to use fabrics that represented the world's various environments and design aesthetics.  I know I won't be able to include something for EVERYTHING, but I'm trying for a somewhat balanced feel to it. 

I used the Quilt Wall feature on eQuilter.com today to plan the quilt out twice, once with 9 fabrics, and once with 10 fabrics.  I think I've decided which one I want to go with, but I'm always excited to hear what you all have to say.

This is the version with 9 fabrics:

Here is a detail shot of the 9 fabrics:

(Left to right: Asian flying cranes, snow-capped mountains, calm turquoise ocean waters, deep forest, grasslands, African golden zebra, autumn ferns, cracked red clay, garnet wood-grain)

This is the version with 10 fabrics:

Detail shot of the 10 fabrics:

(Left to right: Asian flying cranes, snow-capped mountains, calm turquoise ocean waters, deep forest, grasslands, golden zebra, autumn ferns, cracked red clay, red violet ginkgo leaves, garnet wood-grain)

Aside from wondering which version you all prefer, I am also stumped about what color thread to use to quilt such a bright quilt, and what to go with for a backing.  I'll be free-motion quilting.  I've toyed with the idea of incorporating the poem somewhere on the back, but I don't want it to be too cheesy, or to be too reminiscent of my wedding, when the focus should be hers.  I've also toyed with the idea of writing the poem out and framing it, and giving them the two together.  (Something I did for my cousin's wedding quilt, which was inspired by Frost's, Stopping By The Woods On a Snowy Evening.)

Thoughts?  Ideas? 
213  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Quilted Skillet-Handle Sleeve (Potholder for Cast Iron Skillet Handle) on: June 17, 2010 07:25:30 PM
So, ever since I did the Recipe Swap, and received a recipe for Jambalaya from HippieKender, my husband has developed an interest in Cajun/Creole food.  He's been reading up an various dishes, and wanted to make Etouffee tomorrow night, but realized that we don't have a cast iron skillet.  (Which clearly I should have registered for when we got married.  I did register for, and received a cast iron dutch oven, but apparently Jim really needs a skillet.)  So we headed over to Target to pick one up today, and while we were there, Jim started looking around for one of the covers you put on the handle, since the whole pan heats up so much.  I offered to make him one, but he just said, "Honey, your crafty dance card is too full to make me one."  Well, that settled it.  I clearly needed to drop what I was doing, which happened to be making quilted potholders for the Potholder Swap, and make him a handle sleeve.  I had him pick out some fabric from my scrap bins, and made this for him, while he was busy seasoning his new pan.   

The fabrics are 100% cotton, and it has a layer of cotton batting, as well as a layer of Insul-Brite in it.

Thankfully it fit well over the handle, and Jim really seemed to like it.  He even made home fries and schnitzel for me in his new pan tonight.

Action shot of DH cooking dinner!
214  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Fabric Bookmarks - HP, Twilight, and Nature Themed on: June 14, 2010 09:53:26 PM
In the last few months I've been making lots of fabric bookmarks.  Many of which were sent in the Bookmark Swap, Round 2.  They were all made the same way; bagged out, flipped, and then top stitched.  The holes for the tassels were made as button holes, and the tassels were bits of yarn, ribbon, and trim that I looped through the button holes.  Some of them have charms, coins, and buttons tied into the tassels.  Enjoy!

Dumbledore Bookmark (It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.)

Marauder's Map Bookmark:

Twilight Bookmark:

Ocean Themed Bookmark ("Live in the sunshine, swim the sea; breathe the wild air." - Emerson)

Asian prints Bookmark:
215  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / The Marauder's Map Crochet Hook Roll on: June 14, 2010 11:41:59 AM
This hook roll was made for the awesome pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  The inspiration came directly from papilionette Marauder's Crochet Map seen here.  I changed the ink color to a maroon-ish purple, and added in some personal touches, like including the names of pinkleo's family members in the castle.  Enjoy!

Closed up:



Detail of Hagrid's:

Detail of the Forbidden Forest & Quidditch Pitch:

216  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Build Your Own Craft Book! on: June 14, 2010 11:24:41 AM
So, I have a confession.  A confession of an addiction really....  I'm addicted to craft books.  I just love them.  So shiny and full of happy crafty ideas.  I want to buy them every time I find them places, be it in the craft store, or old used ones in a junk shop.  I also love picking up those craft idea sheets you find in the aisles in Michaels, Joann's, & Hobby Lobby.  My addiction covers quilting magazines too, which I try to not buy, or else I'm afraid the habit will spiral out of control, and I will soon lack all shelf space for regular books.  I do break down and buy them sometimes though, and more often than that, I end up pulling pages out of magazines I find in waiting rooms. 

A few years ago I started a craft binder for myself, broken up into categories of craft types like jewelry, home dec, paper crafting, etc. (with a separate binder for quilts, divided again into categories like baby, masculine, contemporary, classic), all put into shiny page protectors.  When working on my gifts for pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap, I thought she might like one too.  It's the kind of thing most of us think we SHOULD do, but never get around to, since it's for ourselves, and we're so often crafting for others.  Mine, while divided into sections, isn't pretty or fancy, but I decided pinkleo's definitely needed to be adorable.

Front cover, done as a crafty crossword:

Table of contents, in which I tried to anticipate all the kinds of crafts pinkleo could easily find her way into.  (And even made her a bonus crafty crossword puzzle):

Project sheets from craft stores.  I found that I could usually place 2 per side of the page, in a single sheet protector (a total of 4).  Most of the time I just want to thumb through and see an image to inspire me, so I decided just having the front visible was fine with me.  But since most of the projects had information on the back of their sheets, I taped the project sheet only at the very top, along one side of the paper.  That way, when you want to read the back of something, you just have to pull the page out of the protector, and flip the project sheet up.

Tutorials from magazines like ReadyMade, this one is for a shirt recon:

Reference Guides to various things, like Adhesives, Needles, Scissors:

I thought this would be like a one or two hour long project, but I was SO wrong.  I spent about 2 months just collecting sheets every time I went somewhere.  Eventually I had to give in and build the book, even though I knew I'd find more projects later.  I just slid the extras into the pocket of the binder so Pinkleo could go through them at her leisure and add in the ones she liked.  I hope this inspires some of you to make your own craft book too!

217  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Bacon & Eggs Apron on: June 14, 2010 10:42:31 AM
I love doing applique, especially since I discovered the JOY that is Heat & Bond.  This apron was made for pinkleo, in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap, way back in December.  Most of the fabrics are vintage, and were given to my shop as a donation.  I did have to wash them a few times with Oxyclean to remove the old smell, but after that, they were great fun to use.

Detail on the bacon & eggs.  The fat in the bacon was done with contrast thread and a zig-zag stitch.

The apron was inspired by one on pinkleo's wist, made by SnappyShop]http://www.etsy.com/shop/snappyshop]SnappyShop on Etsy.
Thanks for looking!
218  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Half-Blood Prince/Advandced Potion Making Inspired Journal on: June 14, 2010 10:35:18 AM
I made this journal for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap for pinkleo, way back in December.  It isn't actually a copy of "Advanced Potion Making", but was inspired by the Half-Blood Prince's copy of the book.  I need to make more cute journals...

Front cover:


Back cover:
219  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Travel Drawing Case on: June 14, 2010 10:23:46 AM
It seems I have several projects that I have never gotten around to posting, so here goes one of them!  This is a Travel Drawing Case that I made for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  It was based off an item on her Wist, which can be seen here:  Airplane Art Binder

The fabric on mine came from a dress I draped and built for a production of the musical Violet.  It was originally white, but was dyed for the show.  The buttons on the front are vintage, and came from one of my Bead Soup Swaps.



Thanks for looking!
220  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Iridescent Beetle Earrings on: June 11, 2010 09:35:24 PM
My friend Ex_Gratia is working away this summer, and I thought I'd send her a little care package to let her know she's loved.  A new bead store opened in our town, and I was waiting for a few weeks to get to check it out with her, but then she had to leave before we got around to going together.  I finally broke down and went in on Tuesday, and came out with these pretty little beetle beads.  I whipped these up tonight.  Hope she likes them!

The second picture is to show how they change color in the light:
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