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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Crow Fly on: May 17, 2015 11:56:52 AM
I have seen so many projects using the bleeding Sharpie technique and I wanted to try it! So I drew a crow with black marker on a chunky canvas. After spritzing with rubbing alcohol, I loved the bleeding effect (purple was a surprise!), but the original drawn line became too faded. So I embroidered back over the lines with black thread to pop the crow back up and into focus. I added some sashiko-inspired stitches to create movement and to highlight the interesting paths of the ink-bleed lines. Kind of a fun experiment!

2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A Bunch of Baby Quilts on: May 17, 2015 11:18:33 AM

We had an abundance of babies in our family/friends circle this spring. I made 10 quilts between Nov and Feb...all the same pattern. I love this pattern because it is quick and easy...basically a four patch and a couple of borders. It allows me to highlight one particular focal print (the big square), but also to use several other fabrics to play around with print/color/pattern mixing. They are all 36" x 36".

3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A Quilt for Dino on: April 01, 2011 10:02:15 AM
I made this for my friend's new baby boy...Dino! His nursery is black, white and red. I found the cartoon-y panel print and then selected the other fabrics accordingly. I love, love, love dots and checks, so Dino got the full range of spotty red and a b&w gingham! The little heart print binding was a last minute addition (which I think is my new favorite baby-quilt-detail). Its machine quilted with X's through the blocks and I outlined each cartoon character too. Lastly, I hand-quilted his name in the little red strip along the bottom border. Welcome to the world, little man!

4  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Dyeing with Silk Ties on: April 01, 2011 09:32:11 AM
This project was inspired by a magazine article...unfortunately, I can no longer find the magazine. But it was probably Fiber Arts. Sorry to not give full credit!

Basically, this project takes advantage of the poor colorfastness of printed silk.

You need printed silk ties or scarves, unprinted silk yardage, undyed cotton yardage, string, water, stock pot and vinegar.

Step one is to cut up the ties. Feels a little wasteful...but remember they can be reused for several printings. And if they're thriftstore ties, this is probably their last chance anyway!

Then you create layers. First, lay down some undyed cotton fabric (like muslin). You're going to layer muslin, then the ties, then the silk. You can also put another layer of muslin on the top, if you have alot of red in your tie colors (red bleeds so much, the extra muslin will soak some of it up and keep it from staining your entire project).

Next, you roll it up. As tightly as possible to keep the ties in place. Tie it with undyed string.

Then fill your pot with cold water, add vinegar (I used 2 tbsp in this pot). And dunk your fabric roll(s) in the water. [You want to weigh down the rolls...so put a heat proof pan, plate, smaller pot cover, etc on top of your rolls to keep them immersed. Otherwise they float and you'll get uneven printing]. Place on the stove top, heating water to a boil. Once boiling, keep on high heat for 20 minutes.

After boiling, drain the pot and rinse the rolls with cold water until the run off water is clear.

Then unroll and see the surprise!

Lastly, hang dry. After dry, press with a hot iron to help set the color (it will never be super colorfast...just like the ties weren't).

Here is the finished silk fabric. As you can see, the transferred print colors are much softer than the original tie colors. But I LOVE the soft, aged, antiqued colors. I'm planning to make a bunch of these and then cut them into quilt squares and make a silk patchwork coverlet for my bed. Watch the Quilting section for that...many months down the road!
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Kissie Quilt and Booties, Too! on: January 20, 2011 01:56:55 PM
Here's a little newborn quilt that I put together for a friend. I had this CUTE kissie fabric as my starting point. I added the baby blue gingham (I just love plaids and checks in quilts) and then I found the red and blue bandana-inspired print which tied it all together. A touch of blue and white stripe was the finishing touch.

Usually, I pre-sketch my quilt layouts and figure out all of the measurements before cutting. This time, I decided to "loosen up" and let the design evolve. I began with the kissie blocks, then just added from there. Once I finished the center area, I decided to add the stripe as a narrow frame and then the sawtooth border. I love the way the triangles create movement around the larger rectangle blocks.

The finished measurement is 36 x 36. I like this size for a newborn gift...its small enough to carry here and there and big enough to be useful for a few years.

While I was making this quilt, my mom came to visit for a month. I enlisted her help to knit a pair of coordinated booties...they are soft, fuzzy, angora beauties. Everyone at the baby shower asked for a pair in adult sizes!  Cheesy

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Grandma's Buttons Memorial Shadowbox on: August 03, 2010 07:25:47 PM
My grandmother was a dressmaker who collected beautiful buttons. She would buy garments at garage sales and bring them home...only to cut the buttons off and throw away the clothing!
When she became too frail to live alone and moved out of her house, she made sure that her collection of buttons went to me. I had cherished them since childhood, spending hours digging through them, selecting my favorites and stringing them on yarn to make fancy necklaces for dress-up.
For nearly 10 years, those buttons moved around the country and the world with me. I would occasionally use a few for a project, but for the most part, I felt they were too precious to 'waste'.
At age 96, Gram passed away and I grieved, avoiding her button buckets in my sewing room. One day, I finally opened them and burst into tears, sifting through them while remembering dresses she wore, coats she made for me and cardigan sweaters that she would wrap me in on cold Minnesota days. And I decided that I should share the buttons with my mom and her sisters.
I made five of these button wreaths, framing them in deep shadowbox frames. I attached the buttons to classic black silk moire taffeta (Gram LOVED moire taffeta!) with glue and then stitched through the buttonholes. On the back, I copied a portion of an Irish poem that reminded me of my Gram's giving spirit.
I made 5 wreaths; I gave one to my mother and each of my four aunts. We all cried together and then they shared stories of the buttons they recognized from the many, many, many dresses, coats and suits that Gram made for them during her long, giving life.

7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Birthday Present Quilt for Mom on: August 03, 2010 06:57:45 PM
The pattern of this lap quilt is Birthday Present and I gave it to my wonderful Mom for ... her birthday!

I took a class for this pattern at The Cozy Quilter in River Edge, NJ and had a great day cutting and stitching with the women there.

I selected orange and green colors to work back to Mom's living room. And the prints were paired by combining floral/earthy patterns with more linear/geometric patterns. I like the contrast of the colors and the patterns, but I think some of the prints are a little too busy together. If I ever do this pattern again, I'll definately improve the scale of the prints.

After finishing the top at home, I realized that I would not have time to do the quilting myself in time for Mom's B-day, so I took it back to the shop for machine quilting. I selected a leafy pattern, which didn't turn out as distinct as I had expected.

But it's okay...it was done on time and Mom LOVED it! Doesn't she look happy?

8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Heart Bubbles on: March 23, 2010 05:16:37 AM
While waiting for my next Quilts for Kids kit to arrive, I thought I'd make a simple stacked coins quilt, using white strapping. I was inspired by another quilt that I'd viewed here on Craftster. But I used stash fabrics...none of which I was madly in love with. After assembling the top, I realized that I didn't really like it. Because I didn't love my prints, and because the layout was so simple...the whole focus was on the fabrics. Bad idea. So I stewed a day and came up with the idea to applique on top of it all. I used a pink voile, so that the piecing beneath the hearts would show through. After I put the first heart on it, I knew I was going to love it...the floating hearts remind me of bubbles, or balloons. I'm really happy with this quilt now and will definately try this sheer applique idea again...hopefully not just to rescue an ugly quilt!

9  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Stacked Cats on: March 11, 2010 07:10:04 PM

So this was a two part challenge to myself.
I found these three fabrics that I LOVED. But I was afraid that no matter what I did, the red/white/blue combo would look Americana (challenge #1). So I thought I needed to selected a very geometic layout, so I came up with the idea of a Stacked Coins pattern, mixed with a basic 4 patch.
While cutting and piecing, I thought about my quilting pattern. I had never done a quilting pattern that didn't follow the piecing design (challenge #2). The swirly, curving motifs of all three prints inspired the coiled quilting pattern, which I think is a very interesting contrast to the Stacked Coins layout.
Anyway, here it is...Stacked Cats.  
Your comments and critiques are greatly appreciated!
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Hip Hop Hippity Hop on: March 10, 2010 06:16:12 PM
Our neighbors recently adopted a 1 year old boy, so I made a quilt for them. I had never tried a 'fussy cut' quilt before, so I looked for a print that would work and found this cute froggy fabric.
I cut the frogs for the center of each square and then also cut out the bugs and cattails for the outer corners of each square.
I used 2 different plaids and solids in alternating placements to accent the frogs. I also found a cute modern dot print that reminded me of bubbles (mimics some of the frog's bodies which are dotted). I finished it off with plaid sashing plus solid blue squares to kind of calm it all down and make it a little bit masculine.
I quilted with a combination of tying and handquilting. I outlined each frog to give them some dimension and then quilted "in the ditch" along all of the main vertical and horizontal stitchlines.
Then when it was ready to be bound, I couldn't decide on a binding fabric. The bubbles were my last idea and I'm SO happy that I selected it because I think it frames the whole thing nicely.
Our friends were so happy to receive the quilt...they've decided to hang it on the wall above the crib.

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