Quickie ornament for the office tree. I had to make the felted balls because I find any pre-made red ones. It wasn't hard, come to find out. I was going to cover them in some sequins but it didn't look right.
I haven't sewn or done much crafting in ages, several weeks, because I was adjusting to a new job and all that comes with that. I get twitchy when I don't craft! Two weeks ago I sat down and made a skirt. Last weekend I cut out fabric for two skirts and a dress, bought some fun printed embroidery panels at a Mexican flea market in south Texas, and buckled down to finish the commission quilts I didn't get done before the new job started.
Doing the hand-stitching on the binding is both boring and soothing. Also, I have the most amazing callouses on my fingers.
I always have too many projects going at once. It's nice sometimes though to have something quick and little so that you feel like you're accomplishing something.
These are for a new little baby friend by the name of Daisy. I didn't make a daisy out of lazy daisy stitches on the booties because of that, but it all makes for something ridiculously cute.
These are made from Simplicity 2867, a reproduction pattern. It's two pieces of felt with two stitches--one up the back seam of the upper and then a big oval to join the upper and the sole. Easy as pie.
I got asked by a friend of my sister's boyfriend's parents (follow that?) to make some custom quilts for her. Her husband passed away not too long ago and she wanted small quilts made from some of his shirts--one for herself and one for each of her two daughters for Christmas gifts.
The project is a challenge to me because of the colors of the shirts. I gravitate personally towards bright colors or punchy pastels. I'm not big on muted colors--ask anyone who knows me in person and sees my outfits regularly! When I initially spoke with the woman she described the shirts as being Hawaiian shirts, so I thought they'd be bright colors. I had an idea to make each quilt one super-sized traditional block--one four foot square quilt block. I thought the bright colors would make that really fun.
When I picked up the shirts and talked more in person with the woman, who said that she really wanted something "funky" (especially to give to her daughters) I had to change my approach. These colors make anything other than traditional a challenge.
As you see above, the first thing I did was sort the shirts by color. Then I stared at the piles for awhile waiting for some inspiration.
Then I did this:
That's the first completed top. It's approximately 52" square. There's a lot of woven interfacing and piecing happening there, with knit fabrics and fabrics with a loose weave and bias seams. The red shirt in the middle was cut to include the chest logo, which is the logo for the local yacht club that the family was a member of. The black t-shirt patch with the writing is from the gentleman's business t-shirts. Each quilt will have the same black patch and logos from other shirts in them somewhere, though I want to keep those more subtle than a t-shirt quilt or the like.
I am rather pleased with the end result. Two more quilt tops to go (though I only know what I'm doing for one of them) and then the quilting.
I have more free time on my hands lately, so I want to update on some old projects and try and build more here. Blogging shouldn't involve blogging about blogging, but when you can't manage to do it often, that's what it becomes.
Here's a skirt instead!
I got this fabric for free--a woman in my quilt guild was helping a friend of hers that had worked at a fabric store in the 1970s clean out her house. There were BAGS of fabric. Most of it was godawful polyester double knits. I took some of those in funky prints, but a lot of it was in bad shape from having been poorly stored for so long.
I got this swath of unknown content fabric. There was just enough to make a skirt, and I figured out pretty quickly that I'd use it to finally get around to making the skirt from Simplicity 4044, one of Simplicity's re-release of their old patterns. I've had pants cut out of this pattern for years that I've never finished! Someday...
The fabric is a bizarre color that should be ugly, but somehow manages not to.
I have a yellow vintage styled sweater that goes perfectly with it.
The pattern of course, was super easy. It's 7 pieces of fabric and a zipper. It is super long. I turned up a really deep hem and it's still just below the knee on me. I kept the extra fabric in hopes that the weight would help give the fabric a bit more pull and drape. It took a lot of steam to shrink out all the excess for the hem!
I haven't really crafted in a couple of weeks while I've had a houseguest and no room to use the sewing machine, plus lots of time spent out and about. After putting the air mattress away, and feeling a bit depressed with a lonely apartment, I decided I'd pull out fabric and a pattern for a dress that I've had lying around waiting for sewing for a couple of years. I don't have many easy party dresses in my wardrobe and decided I needed one to wear to an event next month. I got all the fabric cut out and then decided that I also really needed a gift for that event.
The overall size is about 15" not quite square. It took about 5 hours to sew and of course it seemed like half that time was the time it took to hand stitch the back of the binding. I couldn't find the clothespins, so the vines came in handy there.
This is a gift for a college professor of mine. He's stepping down from leading the program he created at my university, which is the program that has led me down my career path. He's the kid of professor that inspires just about everyone who crosses his path.
The gorgeous historic home he shared with his long-time partner, who recently passed away, is named Sun Oak. It's an old, old New Orleans house painted in bright fun colors, with a lush garden on the outside and an amazing collection of art and antiques on the inside. Some of the collection are drawings and paintings of suns that were gifted to Gene and Lloyd by many of the people they inspired with their work and their wonderfulness.
During a phone conversation with a friend about my upcoming visit to attend one of the celebrations for Gene, I decided I should sew something up. I used fabrics and threads I already had so the colors aren't exactly what I might have chosen had I started from scratch, but I'm pretty well pleased with a project that I conceived of and completed in half a Sunday. And which I hope will lovingly received and appreciated as a token of appreciation for someone who helped chart the path of my future.
-finished sewing up a pair of baby booties -went to a crafting group to sew up dolls for kids in the children's hospital to learn about medical procedures -sewed together a bunch of pieces of fabric for one quilt in the making in order to get that off my design board, where it's been hanging around for months -ironed out the 60 pairs of triangles I sewed into squares yesterday and laid those out on the design board.
I need to sew more triangles up, but that will be a project quickly accomplished. At least the top, anyway.
I figure that in order to keep myself more entertained here, I need to write about more things that are going on in my world. I keep a private online journal, which is why writing in a public blog happens only sporadically*. I feel further restrained trying to keep it to one topic like sewing. So I won't.
Here's what I else do:
I did not single-handedly save this building from demolition, but (to toot my own horn) without a few well-placed phone calls from my office, a certain major bank, the bank of this country as they call themselves, would likely have torn down this amazing 1950 theater building. I helped make sure they knew they were not exempt from some laws and so they decided to find another site for a new building.
This is a rare occasion where I can stand up and say that I helped save a building and made a difference for a community. It's an amazing feeling.
I can't wait to see the interior restored.
I don't know anything about this site other than that it's right off the interstate and it's damn cool. I love industrial and agricultural architecture.
On a future trip, I might actually risk getting out of the car and walking around.
*I always think of Clueless when I type out sporadically.
Oh look, I have problems maintaining a blog. Go figure. I'm trying again, with a personal decision to not put too much time into composing posts, thereby putting less pressure on myself to keep it interesting.
In that vein, here's a quick peak at an almost completed project.
I'm a lazy blogger. I have good hair. I own a lot of stuff. Multiple people in my life have called me the most interesting person they know. I don't believe them but I take it as a compliment. I spend most of my time talking or thinking about craft projects and old buildings.