Sunday, July 29, 2007
This great tutorial should get much of the credit for my finished April journal quilt. I'm really pleased with the binding technique and it would have been harder to learn without a video cast or a demo in a workshop. I do okay learning from books and diagrams, but believe me a demo is dynamite for getting to the finish line fast.
This is the reverse. I used cotton flannel as the filling for the quilt sandwich and that was a mistake. Don't do this again. The white flannel bits followed the needle out the back and showed up as specks on the dark fabric. I thought at first it was because I used metallic thread on top, but no it did the same with regular thread. I covered up the white flecks by sketching along the quilting lines with a metallic marking pen (archival, blah, blah, blah) and so it appears like I intended to do that not that I was covering up a huge mistake. I do like the back a lot now.
These photographs from the Houston International Festival in April were my inspiration. The theme for 2007 Festival was of course China and there were a lot of great exhibits and shows. These are replicas of the Chinese soldier statues found in a tomb. We had a great time that day. Almost stayed too long.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
These are wonderful flowers. Only need a little help standing upright when it rains so much. Each day one or two blossoms open and then when they are done, they twist themselves tightly closed as you can see in the close up.
Afterward, the seed pod that grows looks exactly like a blackberry only not juicy and tasty. The birds ignore them and I haven't noticed any volunteers so I'm not sure what is happening to the seeds. Perhaps this year I should try to collect some and watch their progress closely.
I emptied another bobbin on the swatch swap warp tonight and filled another to be ready for the next weaving urge that hits.
I am a bit bothered by people who wait till the last minute and change their idea around and then wonder why they can't possibly finish a nice project in that fashion. A group project started months ago and simple enough but now some can't remember just what it was they were supposed to do and others say they simply forgot they had the item in their possession for five days and did nothing with it. Three reminders and three answers of, oh yeah, I'll bring that in to you. Hmm.
I don't really care if they look the fool next week. I don't plan to swoop in and save the day. I've completed my contribution. Let the rest of the pages be blank. Perhaps we can call it a "do-it-yourself" birthday gift?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
It's hot. It's July. The a/c is not working in my office at work. Everyone else is freezing; I have two fans pulling cool air to my end of the hall. And yes, I did have some cheese with that whine. And crackers.
I think my brain is suffering from the heat. I can't get into a rhythm on this blogging thing lately. I mean do you really want to hear what I had for lunch? Don't answer that.
The best thing I did lately was a dress for a paper doll as the sign in for a round robin on Girly Girls.
Then this is for an altered canvas round robin that is just beginning in a couple of weeks. I have had to hide it from myself until the mail date because I would really like to just glue things on it myself. I really need to do more collage. Either that or mosaics. Or maybe paper mosaic collages.
Or maybe go weave on the samples that are due in a month.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
International Blue Owl Day ATC
Just a couple of the projects I finished today. Also did a lot of mundane chores and babysat for the grandson while the rest of the family went to the circus on Saturday. Relatively easy except for the fact that after he took a tumble, I move his hair aside and there was a huge bruise and a bump. I felt guilty until his mom told me that was from a face plant on the fireplace the day before. He was really doing the heavy drama and piling on the guilt for a throwdown bruise.
Then today between cloud bursts, the grill king and I drove down to a park-and-ride and took the train from the beginning to the end of the line. Not a big deal, it just runs from the medical center to the University of Houston with stops at the museum, Rice University, the zoo and downtown shopping in between. Huge expensive train very under used. It doesn't really go anywhere I would need to go. By the time I've gotten to a park and ride, I might as well go to my real destination. The only time it was worth anything to anyone was when the parking for the rodeo was not available due to construction of the new sports arena which is one of those really useful touristy things for a big city. So now we know where it goes, found out it is comfortable and easy to ride. Not too expensive, not very necessary. Can't wait till they spend more money to put one in another wierd location like from the Woodlands to ... the county jail. We might take it again for a joy ride to show the granddaughter what it is like to ride the train, except she is so open and trusting, she would introduce herself to all the bums who ride from their sunny morning sleeping area to their covered sleeping area under a bridge during the afternoon monsoon.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Last week my sister and my mom came for a visit to see the great grandkids. My sister pulled a quilt kit out of her suitcase saying she brought along a little mindless entertainment that she figured I would help her with and maybe doing this together we would rekindle my mom's interest in sewing. Mom is in her eighties and she used to sew all our clothes when we were kids. It made her nervous to sew really important things like graduation and prom dresses so in high school my sister and I took over the sewing chores at home.
I've only recently begun to do more interesting things besides sewing clothes and my sister is complimentary but seems confused a bit by some of my collage and journal quilting. I showed them a video "The Art of Quilting" that includes the Chicago School of Fusing skit and that was amazing to my sister. I'm sure she'd never seen quilts like that before. As we worked on the kit I tried to show her some the things I've learned recently. Of course the kit directions weren't really well written and we had to wing it at times. She said she never would have finished it without my help. We cut one assembled section wrong and had to sew it back together and recut it!
Anyway, I showed her how to free motion quilt and we did samples so she could choose which batting out of my stock she wanted. At first she said yes on the first one and then I did another sample and she realized that was more what she envisioned ... just a matter of no experience on her part and no expectation of there being real differences in something as simple as the batting.
At the end of the week, she had a nice wall hanging for Christmas and had actually done some FMQ around some of the printed illustrations in the blocks of the quilt - kitty cats - and had learned a lot about piecing and quilting. Not that she had a expert as a teacher, of course.
My mom on the other hand was not really interested in the sewing but she was our color designer! My sister cut the pieces and mom decided which one of the colors and prints went next and I sewed the pieced border panels. They were amazed at all the tools and professional (!) equipment I had including the spray baste - all things I have only learned about in the past year or so ....
In the end, the project that interested my mother the most (besides watching the grandkids play) was making paper beads! She wanted to make them real tiny and real tight. She rolled quite a few and I showed her how you can use any paper and some of ads in the magazines make the best beads! Anyway, they've gone home now, all the sewing stuff is back in my workroom upstairs (mom doesn't do stairs anymore) and I'm still rolling paper beads! I've put some copper embossing on some and that is looking dynamite! So maybe I won't get caught up on reading the messages on my forums after all.
I am very surprised at myself for not taking photos of my sister and my mom as we worked on the quilt. I was so involved in the process, I didn't think to document it. Fodder for the blog now lost forever.