Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I just got this book last night and boy is it beautiful. It's the most gorgeous book I've ever owned. In the Acknowledgements the author identifies the book's designer, Toni Tajima, especially. Now I know who I would ask for if I ever wrote a book. And of course I'd have to get Heidi Swanson to do the pictures, just beautiful.
I am working on another scrumble quilt! The process is very addictive and makes me wish I had a stand-up sewing station as I race between the triangle points: ironing board, sewing machine, scrap bin. Maybe I can count this as exercise to get down and up from the sewing chair so many times? New rules for these scrumbles, since there must always be rules.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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This is a baby quilt I made for my friend Keirsten's second baby. It needed to be a little fancier than my usual because I had tried paper piecing (my first and only attempt, turns out I hate paper piecing!) for her first baby's quilt and I didn't want the second baby to feel slighted if I showed up with one of my now-standard, simple patterns. This top is made entirely from scraps: I just sewed one piece onto the first and so on to make what I was referring to as "scrumbles" in my head. I trimmed a little to put the scrumbles together but since the pieces were not uniform in size this was probably my most technically challenging quilt to date. And of course my scrap bin is still totally overflowing, this quilt did not make the slightest dent.
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I had so much fun with these little felt appliques! Also, you can kind of see that I used my fancy new sewing machine with the embroidery stitches to handle an awkward set-in seam by just embroidering over the top around the marbled piece. And by the way, I made that marbled fabric myself when I got to do some marbeling one time with the fabulous Charrmer.

Monday, March 26, 2007

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These are the fruits of my weekend. I am experimenting more with my block printing which you can see here under its protective shower curtain. I sandwich it in these layers so it will not dry out during the curing period.
I also made this cuddly little envelope for a dear friend's birthday to hold her tiny little laptop that goes everywhere in her purse. The loop will have a button that it attaches to but I want to see how it fits before sewing the button on. I think the envelope reflects her best qualities because she is quite stylish but at the same time humbly down to earth. It's lined inside with the red and brown flower print.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

February 27
Here's the shirt I made with the same Built by Wendy pattern as the dress (photo coming soon) and my hand-stamped fabric. I think it makes me look a little bulky and shapeless so I probably will not repeat the shirt part of this pattern. Thad told me to "put some of those fold thingies in it" which I interpretted to mean darts for shaping and he also kept pushing it in at my waist so you could tell I have one. I'm a little disappointed because I was hoping such an easy and simple pattern would be a great way to show off handmade fabric. Good learning experience though, and I guess I kind of like it because I am wearing it to work today.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Testing, testing!

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Testing out my options for fabric print-dying. I mixed the chemical water using directions from Dharma Trading Company: a quart of warmish water, 3/4 cups of urea, and 2 teaspoons of sodium alginate. I left the water for 2 hours at room temperature and then mixed up my colors. For the test colors I used 1/4 cup of chemical water per color. To each color I added a 1/4 teaspoon of soda ash and 1/4 teaspoon of procion dye.

First finding: 2 teaspoons is not nearly enough sodium alginate. The paint did not have enough body to cling to the stamps and was difficult to apply using a paint brush. I added 2 more teaspoons to the remaining 3 cups of chemical water. This is a little too thick and I had to thin it with water so it wouldn't gloop. Conclusion: 4 teaspoons of sodium alginate will probably be perfect in a quart of water.

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These are the test strips that were washed after 6 hours of setting. They turned out great and I don't think I need to wait any longer. I will use longer setting times for convenience if necessary. The red colors (jungle red and amethyst) show more bleeding than the blue based shades so I'll have to be careful there. It's pretty clear that the whole 1/4 teaspoon of dye is not necessary for a 1/4 cup of chemical water so I'll reduce that especially with the reds.

And for the grand finale here is some finished yardage that I stamped using a homemade stamp inspired by these. The experiment has been a success.
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Monday, March 05, 2007

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I made Hamentaschen this weekend to use up a bunch of jam jars that had about half an inch each. The jam was definitely used up but I can't say that these cookies were a success. I am not jewish and I think the cookies knew. The corners acted very pinched together prior to baking but as soon as they got in the oven they turned into the flat cookies you see here. They still tasted pretty good.

p.s. I got a tripod over the weekend and am using it non-stop, low light is no longer an obstacle.

p.p.s. The February crafty roundup has been delayed, but I can reveal that I am satisfied with my output in February.

This is Snuggles helping me craft. He loves to hang around when I am sewing and I really enjoy his company.
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Friday, March 02, 2007

I love this cabinet with the white frame and honey wooden doors.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wonderful evening:

Watched The Science of Sleep.

Cut out this Built by Wendy pattern in a beautiful heavy-weight soft stretch sateen. The color is on the royal blue side of navy. I am doing the middle view.