How not to Quilt # 2

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The moment three-quarters of the way through quilting the improv dragonfly started in Katie Pedersen’s workshop when I realized that the white on white fabric I was “using up” as backing was sandwiched printed side in …

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Here you can see how the back of this piece will look (the flipped over triangle at the bottom of the photo).

Well, at least it’s not an alphabet print, so let’s not tell anyone, shall we?

I have extensive stash of white on white, cream on cream, off white on off white prints.  Great for overdyeing either on their own or as part of a finished quilt, as Ana Buzzalino does, not so great when trying to make more modern-looking quilts.  But also good for backing.

Does anyone else have this problem of old-fashi?  What do you do?

Batik Slab Tote Finished!

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Leading up to the big reveal of the quilt that goes inside this …

I put this together with leftovers from the quilt itself plus some other batiks and hand dyes.  It’s a little smaller than a pillowcase and plenty big enough to take a large nap quilt with room for a book or other small items that might be needed.

Now I realize I should have taken a photo of the other side too, oh well.  I constructed this by sewing the slab into a long rectangle, folding it in half and sewing up the two side seams.  The lizard tote was folded the other way and I had to sew across the bottom and up one side seam.  Because this will be a functioning tote as the quilt will be carried around, I took care to keep the lighter colours at the top of the bag as the darker colours can withstand being set down better.

The whole tote and the handles are stuffed with batting and quilted with trilobal variegated thread which has a beautiful sheen.

Hmm, I could see getting into more totes and the like, there’s something very satisfying about functional objects that you make yourself!  I’m still going to do art pieces but sometimes the gap between the inner vision and the ultimate object is so vast.

Book Bag Finished!

Before making a tote bag for a quilt, I thought practicing would be a good idea.

We all have particular mental blocks and challenges and I can easily get myself confused when it comes to sewing things properly.  I know I could easily sew something inside out with twisted handles, or somehow have the handles stuck inside the body of the bag.  And once confused it can be hard to get back on track.

IMG_0626IMG_0627Since this was to be for the use of younger people, I searched my stash for something with kid appeal that wasn’t too girly or babyish and that would not show every mark.  This fabric seemed to fit the bill and also the critters aren’t directional.

This bag has just one side seam, which means a directional fabric would actually have been okay.  The side seam in fact makes this a nice bag for books, it’s that bit easier to slide them in and out.  And the striped lining is cool.

All in all I’m quite pleased with this, even the handles are lined with batting and quilted.

It’s functional so in my book although the fabric is traditional, it’s modern because of the emphasis on “get ‘er done!” and “make something useful!”

Call for Entries – Digital Alchemy – Juried Exhibition @ International Quilt Market Houston

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My Warhol hot lichen, on sale at Spoonflower, where I go by wordnerd411

Jane Dunnewold is the creative force behind this first ever exploration of how quilters are using digitally printed fabrics from print on demand companies such as Spoonflower.  Of course Spoonflower is the leading company in this groundbreaking field, and they are co-sponsoring the exhibition.  It will premiere at the 2015 International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this fall.

Jane has put a link to the pdf of the call for entry here.

Details of size, etc. are all on the pdf.  Worth calling out:

Quilts must be made from at least 50% digitally printed fabric.  It is not a requirement that fabric be designed by the quiltmaker, but the designer must be credited.

The other pertinent rule is no online/social media sharing of work in progress until acceptance and rejection notices have been delivered.

Submissions open March 1 to April 5.

Spoonflower turns orders around fast so even if there’s nothing lurking in your stash of too beautiful to cut, you’ve got time to design and order your own fabric — trust me on this, it’s not hard — or just go shopping for other designers’ fabrics.

Since this is for a quilt show (as opposed to bed quilts) you don’t have to confine yourself to cotton.  Spoonflower can print designs onto silk, jersey and now even Minky (think pushing the envelope with soft fuzzy baby blankets in non traditional colours and designs).  Of course quilts have to be quilted and quilting on Minky might be a bit challenging, but interesting.

How not to Quilt # 1

IMG_0609The pen on the top is a Frixion.

The other pen is a regular ballpoint  I enjoy writing with because the ink is the same luscious turquoise as the pen barrel, and the same colour as the Frixion ink.

Marks on fabric or paper made by the Frixion can be erased with heat, either by pressing or using the eraser on the end of the pen (which apparently works because of the heat it generates when you rub it on paper).

As you can see, I was making binding and thought I was using the Frixion pen to draw the stitching lines.

Mistakes: Opportunities:

  1. Sewing  the wrong side to the right side instead of right sides together
  2. Not having locked my beloved turquoise ballpoint away before starting to sew

Oh well, at least it’s binding so I can make sure the ballpoint goes on the inside.   I have pinned a scrap of bright fabric by the line so I can be certain of doing that.

By the way, although Frixion pens are handy things to have around, the lines can reappear if the fabric is exposed to freezing temperatures, although they fade once the fabric is at normal temperature.

Sock Creature Dramatic Reveal!

mug run laura004The story so far:

Snarfie and Pie Thagoras have spent the previous 350 pages having various suspenseful gothic adventures largely stemming from their need to save their ancestral home from being redeveloped into a bingo hall.

Reluctantly they agree to sell the family portraits.  With heavy hearts and grubby feelers they repair to the Long Gallery and begin boxing up portraits by Van Dyk, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, ready for the monsters from Christie’s to sell them at auction.

They work their way from Elizabethan times up to the early 20th century and lift down the portrait of their great-grandparents, painted by a friend of Picasso’s.  Turning over the precious artefact, what do they find but the long lost legendary Ginormous Emerald either won by Sir Jonas Sock-Creature, the 18th-century buccaneer in a game of chess with an exotic oriental despot (the family story) or perhaps “liberated” when Sir Jonas helped himself to it while a guest of the Maharajah.

MUG RUN LAURA005_cropSir Jonas Sock-Creature, illustrious 18th-century buccaneer.

Sir Jonas bravely fought with hippos and crocs on his adventures!

Sir Jonas bravely fought with hippos and crocs on his adventures!

The family fortunes are restored in the nick of time and the cousins celebrate by snarfing coconut cream pie in the Great Hall.

More Book Sharing

IMG_0505I found two welcome surprises when out walking yesterday:

  1. The neighborhood sharing bin has ebbed and flowed with assorted items but has never contained many books.  But things are changing!  A good selection of literature, and non fiction. interestingly the mysteries I had left are gone after sitting there for a while.  Definitely a step in the right direction and more genre fiction will be added as I read through my shelf.
  2. Dollarama finally has sketchbooks in again. These were in stock in the summer and then when I went back for more they were out of stock.  But right now there is a good supply in.  When I can pay $3 for a sketchbook with 80 sheets of 60-pound paper in the preferred 9 by 12 size, I’m SOOOO there.

I figure this means I can spend more money on other supplies from specialty stores.

What’s YOUR take on this debate about shopping from local stores versus discount places?  Are you firmly in one camp or the other, or like me split between the two?  I’d love to hear!

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