Friday, February 29, 2008

Art Quilt and More Yarn

Well I finished the quilt show quilt and dropped it off the other day. It's ok, but not something I would do again. I really enjoyed the process of dying all the fabrics, but I always do. I layered netting over the top and quilted through all the layers, and then beaded it. The organza swirls show up better than I thought they would. Siobhan is holding it up for me.

The blue yarn is my latest reclaimed yarn project. There wasn't a label so I'm not sure what it's made of, but it's soft enough that I think it might be a cashmere blend. I think I will save it for a scarf. Melissa wants me to show her how I unravel sweaters while she's here next week, so that means a trip to the resale shop, hooray! I have been spending as much time as I can on the shawl, too. If I can find a border yarn I might finish it over the weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recycled Knitted Shawl

I am knitting this garter stitch shawl from a silk/cotton blend yarn that I recycled from a thrift store sweater. I don't knit much, but this is coming along pretty quickly. I got the pattern here:
I'm not sure what to do about the border yet, if I can find some yarn I like here I'll use it; if not I'll have to hit the thrift store again.

I am almost done with a patchy bag for Etsy; it's all green prints with a celtic knot appliqued on the front. It's my first scrap project of the week.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dyeing Nylon

I finally got the shrug finished and am posting pics of the sweater before and after it was dyed. I used Procion Lemon Yellow, 1/4 tsp. and then just a tinch of Emerald Green, and I got this pretty apple green. I simmered the sweater for a good 45 mins and then used vinegar to set my dye. It was a nylon/cotton blend. The trim was an acrylic/rayon blend and it didn't take the dye at all. I trimmed it with trim that Sio got at the the thrift shop, so except for the thread, the entire thing is made with recycled materials.
The little nylon slip I dyed with Cushings Rose Pink. You can't see it in the picture but I have added 2 bands of rose print fabrics to the bottom. I need a vintage silk flower to pin to the cleavage. I was going to take off the lace because I knew it wouldn't take the dye, but it looks nice so I'm leaving it on. Later on today I'll take some better pics and then list the shrug on Etsy.
Sio taught me how to knit the continental way last night and I am making a skinny scarf from recycled yarn that was once a tank top. It's kind of a skinny ribbon yarn, red and black. As soon as I finish it I'll post a pic.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Victorian Charm

I don't know, maybe it's because Valentines Day just passed, or maybe it's just because I like the romantic Victorian look, but whatever it was, I was inspired to make both of these projects. The coasters are the latest scrap project and they are pretty; I can see using them at a tea party with pretty pink and white rose china tea cups and tea pot. The cuff was inspired by the little floral earring that I have sewn to the center. It was a clip earring and I broke the back off and sewed it to the cuff. I think it turned out very nice. I still have the other earring and I might use it on a choker. I also dyed one of my slips pink and am going to turn it into a dress today. I have some yellow cotton printed with pink rosebuds that might make a nice band for trim.
I think my next scrap project is going to be to use up all the 4 1/2" squares that were given to me by a friend who used to work at Hancock. I have a huge bag full, I'll bet there's enough for a twin sized bed, maybe even a double. Then I'm going to look for a flannel sheet at the thrift store for a back and sell it or use it as a summer quilt. I have one already, it's perfect when a sheet isn't enough but a regular quilt is too much.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vintage Clutch

I made this little clutch for Etsy. It's the same pattern as the blue strips one, just the smaller size. I also got the bath mat finished but gave it away to Holly before I had a chance to take a picture. I have some crazy quilt sachets to make up for my third scrap project this week, I might make them tonight.
I went to Salvation Army last night and got 2 shirts to turn into the corset on Threadbanger. Then I got this real cute linen cotton blend skirt that I am going to shorten, add some trim to the bottom ,and an applique.I also got 3 slips for slip dresses, a cotton rose print skirt that I took apart to add to my quilting stash, and this nifty embroidered table runner which will become at least one bag, maybe two. Plus a sugar bowl and a towel so I can try another bath mat. All for $18! I call that pretty smart shopping.
I have started hand quilting the applique blocks at moms in the afternoon. I am sewing them into groups of 4 and then quilting them 4 at a time and the first 4 are almost finished.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This is Pretty Cool!

I stumbled across, and found this really cool video. I can't wait to try it.

There's also a tutorial:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Since I've been spending so much time at mom's house, I went and bought a new machine that I can just leave there. It's such a pain dragging my machine back and forth every day, so I wasn't getting any stuff for Etsy done. This will make it so much easier, and once mom is well I'll have a back up machine for if my other machine is being tuned up, or to take places. This one is smaller and lighter so it's a lot more portable. Every once in awhile Carla needs a machine, so she can use it too.

I did some dyeing with a cotton/nylon blend, and it actually turned out very nice. I am making a shrug out of a thrift store sweater; once I have it finished I'll post pics of the dyeing process and the finished shrug. I finished quilting the wall hanging for the quilt show at work, too. I have to put on the binding, and then I want to do some beading. I am calling it Rain Over the Mountains, so I want some tiny sparkly beads that give the feel of raindrops. I'll post pics of that, too.

I was looking at a quilting book at work, and the authors showed how they keep their small scraps seperated by color in plastic shoe boxes. I think that's the greatest idea, so I bought 5 of them and sorted about half my scraps. That's all that would fit; I have soooooo many of them. Anyway, I set myself a challenge to try and use scraps for projects at least twice a week. I've posted pics of two of the projects. The little clutch is from a Quik Sew pattern which is available on line here: It comes in two sizes and makes up very easily. They close theirs with a snap; I'm doing an elastic loop and button. I haven't picked out a button yet. I have another one cut out from a vintage tablecloth and ready to go; I'll probably get it sewed together this morning. The second project is the appliqued flower blocks; I have 7 done. They are a nice take along project. As I finish 4 I am sewing the blocks together and then hand quilting them. There are a group of 4 almost finished at Moms. I also found this really cool bathmat which I can run up pretty quickly on the machine:
We actually need a bath mat here. It says in the tutorial to cut the squares using a template, but I think I'll use my rotary cutter and mat at least on the bigger scraps. I might have to use the template on smaller pieces. I like this idea a lot because it gets rid of scraps and puts old towels to good use.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We Are The People We've Been Waiting For

Well, Super Tuesday has come and gone and we still have quite a race for the Democratic candidate. I voted for Obama; so did John, Carla and Jimmy. Melissa had me convinced that Hillary's health care program in the long run is better than Obama's, but I voted for Obama first because of his stance on the war. He has criticized Bush's war strategy for a long time. The second reason is because I think at this point in history we need some one who can really inspire people to change because the changes we need to make are so huge and will affect us in ways we can only begin to imagine. I heard Obama use the words "it won't be easy" and "sacrifice", and I'm not sure that people really understand the magnitude of the sacrifices we will have to make, but to have a leader who isn't going to bullshit us and tell us the only things we have to do is hop in our cars and go shopping is a real start. I think when a lot of suburbia figures out what it really means to have to sacrifice they'll sour on the whole idea pretty quickly, but if we can begin to build the new infrastructure we need for a world without fossil fuels; if we can begin to create jobs that can sustain a new way of doing things; if we can really begin to look at the problems facing us in the 21st century then whoever is leading us has begun steering us in the right way. As energy sources dwindle then the people who are living their selfish little lives in suburbia will be forced to jump on the already moving band wagon of a new way of doing things. I think Obama can really inspire people to move in the right direction. I think he is already a force for change that Hillary isn't. And he showed how he can bring us together for change when he said "We are the people we've been waiting for" That line was magnificent, and was the high light of his speech last night. I know I wrote a bit not too long ago about their being no prophets among the young anymore. But instead, maybe there is a real leader.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Silversun Pickups

About a year ago I'd say, Chris told me about a song called Lazy Eye, by Silversun Pickups. I heard it, and liked it, but lately it's really grown on me, so I listened to as much Silversun Pickups as I could. They are my latest favorite band; they reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins but toned down a bit. After having read a lot about them on the internet, it seems I'm not the only one who thinks so; I think it was Rolling Stone who said they were what Smashing Pumpkins would be if they had traveled out west. The drummer, Christopher Guanlao, kind of reminds me of the drummer from Swervedriver. I can't put my finger on why, exactly, except the styles of drumming sound kind of the same to me. Brian Aubert who both sings and plays guitar, has a kind of croony voice like Billy Corgans, except less nasally and much less...well I hate to call Billy whiney, but there it is. He can get whiney sometimes, and Brian Aubert does not. The distorted guitar is also reminiscent of Billy, but in a quieter way. Quieter doesn't mean less confidant or with less feeling; Aubert along with the rest of SSPU's put as much feeling into their music as Pumpkins ever did. My favorite song is called Checkered Floor; unfortunatly I can't find any video of them doing it. Instead, here they are doing an acoustic version of Lazy Eye. Enjoy!