Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Breathing Room

Well, a very merry Christmas was had by everyone, at least as far as I know. I made quilts for each of my (grown) kids, and I think they like them. My son got the blue-jean rag quilt (I LOVE the way this one frayed!).

My daughter got the pieced and machine-quilted quilt.

And I got a serger from my DP. I've always wanted a serger, but considered it an extravagance that I wasn't willing to shell out the money for. I love getting presents like this, since it's something I've really wanted but wouldn't buy for myself.

I took the rest of this week off, so I spent some time today learning to thread it and sewing some test seams. That can be really intimidating when you've never even seen a serger in real life, much less used one.

I also over-dyed the (previously dyed) turquoise fabric; I rubber-banded the fabric and used yellow Procion MX, and ended up with a green and blue tie-dyed effect.

I've had so many projects on the back burner for so long that now I can't decide what to work on this week; I'm afraid I'll waste all my time off just trying to figure out what to do next!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Babes in Toyland

Or, in this case, one babe in a very messy craft room. I bought a couple of books on doll-making a while back: Creative Cloth Doll Making, and Creative Cloth Doll Faces, both by Patti Medaris Culea.

One day I got a wild hair and decided to see if I could paint a doll's face, and when that worked, I felt obligated to make a body for her. I sewed and stuff and painted her body with textile paints and stamps. I'm still working on the hair; I rather like her without it, but we have some not-very-attractive stitches to cover in the back of her head. I think I may go with a turban.

At any rate, she's not ready for her debut quite yet, but I thought letting the world get a glimpse of her might spur me to finish her.

Brief Excursions

Every once in a while I buy a canvas for no particular reason. Then, of course, I spy it in my craft room, feel guilty about not using it, and decide to slap some paint or collage elements onto it.

A few months ago I did that with these two (very small!) pieces, and then played with them over the next few weeks, occasionally adding another layer of paint, glaze, or texture. I like the way they turned out; my DP insists that I buy a large canvas and do one that's big enough to see :-)

She stained the frames, btw, which turned out beautifully. She uses some sort of touch-up spray typically used for wood cabinets.

A closer view of the painting on the right side:

'Tis the Season . . .

for last-minute quilting. I've finished three quilts and have one in process that I haven't posted about here yet.

This is the first rag quilt I've ever made, and my DP, my dog, and I all fight over it. I'm obviously going to have to make another one after Christmas. It's made from flannel and we love it. It was super-easy and fast to put together--the hardest part, I think, was getting it washed at the laundrymat so the threads wouldn't destroy my machine.

The second quilt was from a kit that I bought last summer at a quilt show. It's an adorable Christmas quilt, and of course at the time I thought, "I have MONTHS to get this done." Ha. A couple of weeks ago, I decided I better get busy or we wouldn't be enjoying it until NEXT Christmas. Fortunately, it was very easy to piece. I machine-quilted it with an all-over stipple and invisible thread, which was much easier than I thought it would be. I had heard nightmares about invisible thread tangling and breaking, but I had no problems at all with it.
The third quilt is a gift, so I can't say anymore about it until after Christmas, except this: I HATE machine-quilting with polyester thread. Is it just my imagination, or does it make trying to get even stitches a nightmare?

The fourth quilt is also a gift, and I'm (fairly) confident I'll get it finished in time.

In between quilting, I took a break to try my hand at dyeing fabric. I've painted a lot of fabric, but never tried dyeing. The first attempt was with Procion MX red dye, and I was shocked at how it turned out; the more I looked at the fabric, though, the more I loved the tie-dye effect, so I tried to replicate it in turquoise. This was the result I had been expecting, but now I want to replicate the tie-dye look!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Home from the Fair

Getting back to our roots, we had a booth at the Georgetown Christmas Stroll last Saturday and sold fused glass Christmas ornaments, dishes, and jewelry. No pictures, of course; I really meant to take my camera and completely forgot it.

I was very happy with the turnout, considering the day started out drizzly and nasty. At least it was warm!

At any rate, now that I'm not busy firing glass as quickly as possible (and having to order and replace a set of kiln elements a few days before the show--EEK!), I can work on some fun things for me.

I guess I should finish up all those Christmas presents I've started, since the date is only 3 weeks away and we don't want our tree looking like it had a visit from the Grinch in the middle of the night . . . come to think of it, though, if I don't finish, I wonder if my family would go for that story?