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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Mixed washed and unwashed fabrics on: June 16, 2015 07:51:55 PM
For our donations project this year my quilt guild is using fabrics from all our members to make group created scrappy diagonally disappearing 9 patch quilts.  Some of the yardage has been washed and some of it hasn't.  Initially we were going to try and separate these into two groups but it turned out not to be feasible since everybody just plunged into mix-and-matching each others' material.  Now I've got the first top is almost finished, just need to add borders, and am wondering if I should wash that fabric or not.  Which leads to a question I was planning to post when I got to that point: how about the backing?

Whad'ya think, oh quilting gurus?
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Mixed washed and unwashed fabrics on: June 16, 2015 07:51:05 PM
For our donations project this year my quilt guild is using fabrics from all our members to make group created scrappy diagonally disappearing 9 patch quilts.  Some of the yardage has been washed and some of it hasn't.  Initially we were going to try and separate these into two groups but it turned out not to be feasible since everybody just plunged into mix-and-matching each others' material.  Now I've got the first top is almost finished, just need to add borders, and am wondering if I should wash that fabric or not.  Which leads to a question I was planning to post when I got to that point: how about the backing?

Whad'ya think, oh quilting gurus?
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hummingbird Embroidery on: April 02, 2015 10:56:14 PM
No fancy stitches, but I was happy with the way the birds feather coloring turned out; there are four shades of green plus the white belly and red throat:






4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Shepherdess Sock Monkey on: April 02, 2015 10:39:10 PM
Made for one of the sock monkey swaps:



She has a crocheted lamb



a crook made from polymer clay with a painted finish

 

a rose garland for her head



and her bodice is multiple-y reversible (plain, corseted, blue fabric, floral fabric).





5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sock Monkey Astronaut on: April 01, 2014 02:15:44 PM
The first sock monkey I ever made was for the craftster Sock Monkey Swap #2.  After he was put together I realized the socks Id used were perfect for the astronaut theme Id chosen from my partners list.  The color and where the stripes landed let me know this guy had been a navy pilot before joining MASA (the Monkey Aeronautics Space Administration):



And I found the most perfect sparkling blue buttons for his eyes and gave him a crooked flyboy grin:



His flight suit (which also has a sleeve to encase his tail and a Velcro closure at the back) was made using restaurant-quality white cloth napkins and has removable mitts and booties (downsized from baby socks):



To make the patches I used fine tip Sharpies on fusible interfacing, cut them out, drew faux embroidery around the edges, and ironed them in place.  The mission patch design is a banana recumbent on a field of stars with the motto ars astra which means star art.  His double flag patch is because of his dual citizenship thanks to my Canadian partner and my American self:




Figuring out how to make the helmet turned out to be the most difficult part of his wardrobe, but finally, after trying a number of different methods and going on many hunting expeditions, at truly the last minute I found the perfect answer, and here he is suited up and ready for space:



In a dinky mom-and-pop dollar-type store I spotted this lone plastic jar with a hot pink top, slipped it over his head (I was carrying him with me everywhere at that point, in case of just such an opportunity) and TA-DA!  At home I cut out the middle of the pink lid, wrapped fabric around the edge, and sewed on a flat gold button:



It was REALLY hard to send him off (in no small part because I had also had an astronaut theme on my list!), but my partners delighted response upon receiving made it all worthwhile.
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Coffee Quartet on: May 05, 2013 09:39:31 PM
Never know where to put this sort of thing -- is it art? is it craft? -- but since it's all on paper....

The coffee cups and coffee beans images are hand-carved (by me) stamps.  The cups were stamped onto decorative and hand-made papers, the beans onto a coffee filter; the maroon backing is art paper.  The steam coming from the cups is made from wisps of cotton ball cotton.

7  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Fabric question: will this work even if it's not 100% cotton? on: May 01, 2013 05:28:31 PM
At a fabric stores $2-per-pound outlet I recently acquired a nice length of white fabric.  No labeling, of course, not by a tag or printing on the selvedge, but I was allowed to snip a piece and do a burn test, the result of which indicated the fiber content to be of the natural variety, and I figured it was likely cotton, or at least would work with cotton for quilting.  The fabric is 56 inches wide and has the frayed edge type of selvedges.

Last night I started cutting half yard lengths to prep for making half square triangles, and discovered that the fabric is quite stretchy when pulled on selvedge-to-selvedge-wise.  Tugging length-wise (parallel to the selvedge) there is no stretch at all.  Did another burn test which, again, indicated that this is not a manmade material.

Because the fat quarters I'm going to be using for the other halves of the HSTs have already been washed, I went ahead and washed the pieces of white that I'd cut.  They dried easily and are very wrinkly, but they dont appear to have shrunk.

Im thinking that even if its not 100% cotton, this material looks and feels and handles like a nice cotton, and since the FQs have been washed and gotten their shrinking out of the way, it should be OK to combine the two.  Would love to hear any thoughts from our quilting gurus on likely compatibility before I start using this with my cotton fat quarters....
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Octopus earrings on: April 13, 2012 11:58:59 AM
Image transfer onto cut-to-size brass squares (using a product called Image Transfer Solution purchased at a local craft store, which is also available online), with glass beads:



9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 46 ENTRIES / One of a Kind on: January 05, 2010 08:51:31 PM
This entry is very much a group effort, that evolved from thinking I'd provide some pre-made kits for my guests, to the idea that they could each design a component for a sort of modern structure, to surprising me with a complete design by our youngest member, from which we created this unique gingerbread building:



The night before the festivities, I made a batch-and-a-half of dough.  After explaining my "everyone design a piece" idea and providing paper, pens, and cardboard, I went into the kitchen to see about warming up the gingerbread so it could be rolled out.  When I went back to the living room, Marisa and Gabe had conferred and Marisa had drawn a picture of what they thought we should build...



...and Gabe was starting to make pattern pieces out of the cardboard.  The structure was to have a garage, main house, attached guest cottage, and a tower with a globe at the top, inspired by Jack Skellington's place in "Nightmare Before Christmas."  We ended up making everything but the garage (only because we ran out of time).

Here are some action shots:

Gingerbread walls, fresh from the oven.  For the windows we cut openings in the dough to fit these cool window-looking pretzels and placed them into the openings before baking, which allowed them to be sealed into the dough as it cooked.  Nancy did the lion's share of the rolling, relieved periodically by Janet.


Marisa (architect) and Gabe (primary contractor) at work on construction


Main house and guest cottage walls are up


The tower and especially the globe provided the biggest challenges in trying to figure out how to make them, and more importantly how to make them sturdy.  After rejecting three or four ideas for making the globe, I hit upon one that worked: wrapping foil around two small Pyrex popover cups, draping the dough over, baking, and then sealing the two halves together (after removing the cups, of course).


Installing the "stained glass" (i.e., melted colored sugar crystals) in the main house


Construction is almost complete, the tower is in place, and you can see some of the stained glass pieces in the foreground; the tower was made by cutting a sheet of dough, wrapping it around a foil-wrapped paper towel tube, and then wrapping that in parchment paper, and although the seam didn't meld on baking it was easy to "glue" together with our powdered sugar cement


And at last, all the trim and details are in place, including shutters to match the windows, awnings (halves of Fruit Loops), design elements on the tower and upper walls, a walkway (halved Hot Tamale bricks and chocolate candy corn stones) to the front door past the matured landscaping, vines cover the walls, and the pond is ready for swimming







Lit from within, with light shining through the stained glass windows


And the back of the building


Many, many thanks to Janet, Nancy, Marisa, and Gabe for design and construction, and to Kathie, Phil, and Joy for cheering us all on.  I am SO looking forward to doing this again next year...if not sooner!
10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer clay antiquities on: August 21, 2008 12:06:27 PM
Some modest adventures in polymer clay.

Covered tin Black polymer clay, rubber stamp-incised with ancient Aztec writing/glyphs, finished with mica powders (the bottom of the tin is painted):

 

Covered matchboxes For the lighter one the clay was rolled flat stamped, adhered to the box (the image wraps around the sides), a bottom added, and then baked; for the darker one, the clay was put on the box box first, manipulated to give it wear and tear marks, stamped on all sides, baked, and antiqued with brown paint:



Aztec/Maya medallion pieces The one on the left was deeply rubber stamped, baked, and finished with gold rub-on paste, while the one on the right used moderate pressure with an inked rubber stamp; they adorn journals covered with paper painted and manipulated to resembled old leather:



Shards The first set is terra cotta colored clay, stamped with Aztec symbols, baked, and aged with green paint; the second is black clay, textured, stamped with Aztec writing, baked, and finished with mica powders.

 

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