Thursday, May 27, 2010

Doggie Diner

The very first thing I was drawn to last weekend as we headed into the fabulous Maker Faire was a trailer that had three of the iconic Doggie Dinerheads.

They were just sitting there being iconic, probably ironic at the same time, and beautiful in their own strange way. I thought maybe they'd be modded out to do something unexpected (this was the Maker Faire after all), but nope ,didn't seem to be anything other than decorative. Good enough for me, just getting this picture of the three dachsunds with their crisp little chef hats and cheery bow ties was a great blast from the past.
.Such expression for fiberglass. So many memories too, as there was one on the way to my grandparent's house. Every now and then if we began the begging and pleading early enough we'd stop and get a hot dog. But usually we'd be going to eat at my grandparent's house, so the question always was, "Didn't you eat enough of grandma's cooking?" Of course we had, but the lure of Doggie Diner was strong, stronger even than the competing Der Wienerschnitzel chain. All because of that rotating dog head. A vivid, textbook example of how marketing works!

More pictures of Maker Faire over the next couple of days to come...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Creative Dam

Here is the 19th in the year long series of six word memoir quiltlets.
Words for this week are cautiously hopeful:
Has My Creative Dam Broken Open?
Variegated thread stitched down in the wavy line pattern, upholstery fabric, purple ribbon, dyed fabric scraps.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fish Party!

I finally got the comfort quilts done for the Downy Touch of Comfort project.
Isn't that label cool?I decided to call this one, "Fish Party!"Here's the second quilt that I made with my own fabrics (the other one was from the quilt that the project sent me). I don't have many commercially produced solids, I just don't buy them for some reason. So I used some of my dyed fabrics that were in good colors, pink and blue. This is one crazy quilt, mostly because of the psychedelic frogs in the border.
I'm glad I finally got to use some of this rainbow cat fabric again, the expressions are so true to life. It was fun making these two small crib sized quilts. I hope the kids who get these quilts enjoy them and that they do end up bringing some comfort to them!
You can still sign up to make one here, they'll send you a free kit.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Silk Sneaking In

More silk fabric has arrived in my life recently.
This time from friend Jaye, who has decided to part with her silk tie remnant fabric. I was the lucky recipient of this lovely blue and mauve/pink in circles/squares. I really enjoy using silk fabrics even though they are finicky to work with (ravelly and slippery). This should be much easier to work with than using recycled/repurposed ties, no un-stitching, pressing out of fold marks or removal of linings and then the funny shape of an un-made tie. This is just rectangular yardage, much simpler!
I do know that if I want to make anything easily and at all well with this type of silk, I need to remember to get some of the recommended stabilizer, Golden Touch. That is my "note to myself" right there, hopefully this will help it get put onto the increasingly untrustworthy internal things-to-buy-at-the-fabric-store list. You iron it on the back and then the silk behaves and doesn't ravel and slip when you're sewing it together.
Not sure specifically what I'll make with these, but they will show up somewhere in my work in the future. And I know that I have several other silks in my collection in colors that will go really well with these two.
Thanks Jaye!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fabric of Memories

In my opinion, these are the best kind of scraps to get.
All these came to me recently from my mom.
Here there is some Jonathan Livingston Seagull fabric (remember that book and movie?),
the purple trim from my curtains,
the embroidered Mickey Mouse pocket from my dad's old shirt that I always wanted to steal,
the yellow I think is from my roller rink skating pants
and more bits containing memories small, unremarkable, but still precious.

What ever will I use these for?
Who knows at this point, but they'll get put into something, at some point. Maybe an intentionally autobiographical piece?
And I have to say that I like having them around, helps me to realize how tied up my memories are in fabric. Thoroughly immersed I am! Thanks for passing them on Mom.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Kaleidoscopes

Can you tell what these kaleidoscopes are made from?

If you guessed the newly completed quilt that I posted yesterday, "City of Creation" you're right!

I finally broke down and bought the upgrade to the new version of Kaleidoscope Creator 3. The old version just didn't work on this new computer with the Vista operating system. The new version is great, even easier to use. It is really nice to be able to make kaleidoscopes once again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

City of Creation

This is the quilt that I just finished this week, you got a peek at it yesterday with the serendipitously matching silks. This is what it looked like after the edges of all the pieces were stitched down, but before any quilting was added..
And here it is with all the quilting and an edge stitched on. The title is: City of Creation and it is 19"high by 23 "wide.
This quilt has been "marinating" for just over a year since the Pamela Allen class. It was just gluesticked together and I noticed that it was starting to come apart a bit. I liked getting to just do the stitching part of the work since the design was already completed.
Some closeups so you can see the quilting and the interesting fabrics I used.I used a lot of different colors of thread on this piece, it was worth the trouble.
This didn't start as a sun, but somehow, when I was quilting, it kinda turned into one!

Friday, May 14, 2010

GMTA Silks and Quilts

Super fantastic Mr. Husband had a trip to China once again and he recently returned with two really vibrant silks. I put them on my work table to take a picture of them and was surprised to see how well they went with the quilt I was working on.
The colors match almost exactly. GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike even 7,000 miles away!). I guess he really does pay attention to what I make and the colors that I like to use.
Now I get to decide what to make with them. One is 2 meters and the other is 1 meter. They are both a mid-weight charmeuse ( I think).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mom's Day Presents

For my wonderful mother, on Mother's Day, I made her this card. It has patterned tissue paper, a fabric sample swatch and a tag from a tea bag with a Thoreau quote: "There is no remedy to love but to love more".
Since I used a watercolor paper card, it is easy to stitch through, but substantial enough paper to hold up to the stitching. Always something to consider when stitching on paper.

And then to wrap up her gift (a Keith Haring Sigg water bottle!), I made a quickie cloth gift bag with some of my dyed cotton and two colors of green ribbons, and a leaf embroidered edge.
and since one can never say it enough: I Love You Mom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Museum Visiting and Participating

For Mother's Day we went with my parents to the San Jose MOMA. There was a great Wayne Thiebaud exhibit that I really enjoyed and it was a free Community Day.
This is a picture of a vase that was in the gift shop. It is covered in small slices of rolled paper tubes. What a cool effect!
It really stood out from all the rest of the things for sale in the shop.
I think the vase itself may be made from paper also. Unfortunately I didn't look to see who made it, so I can't post a link. The museum had a great set up right in the middle of the Thiebaud exhibit where you could sit down and draw a dessert from really realistic models. That's my dad in the blue shirt, he did an awesome cake slice with lots of details.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tumbler Plans

Even more charms for my tumbler charm quilt that I'm ever so slowly assembling. These are from my generous and industrious friend Jaye. Thanks Jaye, guess I better get sewing these together.
I think once I do that I'll be pretty darned close to having enough for the king-sized tumbler quilt I'm planning on. But I won't know that until I'm done sewing all those rows together and do some measuring. There are still quite a few of my fabric boxes that I haven't gone through a cut a shape out of each fabric. Luckily as I've been going along with this project I've been noting which boxes have been mined for tumblers.

Also, I have to figure out how I'm going to deal with the irregular edges along two of the four sides of the quilt top. Some sort of long triangle will work, I guess. Because I most certainly am *not* going to be doing an irregular binding, not me, no way, no how. Not on something this big, and that will be intended for being washable many times. Also, what color or colors will I chose for this evening-up triangle, hmmm, scrappy? a single color?

These long-term projects are fun to come back to over the years. Good thing I'm not in any hurry.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mint Gum Saves

This past week's six word memoir. I used more of the sliced up and painted ATC scraps I discussed the other day.

The words say:

Mint Gum Saves Me Once Again
Yes indeed, those green shiny bits are gum wrappers. They sew up very nicely compared to most papers I've tried sewing. I think they have a plastic layer in between the paper and foil which gives them more flexibility.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Word for the World is Water

This quilt was just finished recently and sent off to be part of the Dream Rocket Project. It is named "The World for the World is Water" and is 2'x2' and made entirely of recycled fabrics, clothing, and a burlap rice bag.

Here is where I started in the making of this quilt and thought it might be interesting to see how how differently it ended up looking in the end.
Quilted but not yet cut down to size.A closeup of the doll dress. I cut this out when I was a kid trying to make my Barbie a new dress. As you can see I was 3-D challenged even back then..
A closeup of the watery piece near the bottom of the quilt. This blue nylon fabric was a piece of one of my practice flags from back when I was in the tall flags performing with the high school marching band. I liked the way it looked cut up instead of the big rectangle that I started out with.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Morphing ATC's into Quiltlets

Here is last week's six word memoir quiltlet. The words say:
Teaching Requires A Lot Of Organization
Which I found out last week, it really does!
It made me appreciate even more all those classes and workshops that I've found useful because the teacher comes prepared.This quiltlet used some of the scraps from making my recent ATC's. They're just too yummy looking to just throw away, all that stitching and nicely painted fabric. But all that excess batting, just too white to work with on a small scale quiltlet.
When in doubt, try throwing some paint on it, right? Dr PhMartin's violet in this case. This stuff is usually used for marbling and has a really high concentration of pigment and not much binder. Sure doesn't look like much at this point does it?
But I just love how it soaks into the batting and wicks up into the surface fabric in a random, unpredictable manner. The largest one on the right was cut into three pieces and used in this six word memoir.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Monorail Cat

Rexie is throroughly enjoying the new deck. He has perfected his monorailing technique. That's what we call it when he flops on the rail with all four legs dangling, two on each side. Just like a monorail! And his ability to get onto the deck from the hillside is not at all hampered by his size.Well, not too much. Good thing he is mostly fur.
See he got through eventually, not a problem.
.Very relaxing this deck, very relaxing.Too many cameras though.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Why So Irresistible?

How about these weird, yet cool fabrics that I scooped up from the FabMo bounty that Bron brought to share with us all at the last CQFA meeting? I keep missing the monthly distributions of free fabric that they hold so it is really nice that she brings some freebie goodies to share with us!

I have no idea how I will end up using these first pieces, or even how they would be used if I were an interior designer? Curtains maybe? It kind of looks like a zebra/animal print. It is flexible yet stiff, soft and very rough, matte and shiny, the black section is like a tightly woven raffia out of some polyester derivative, with a bonus fringe on the edge of the black. Weird stuff huh? Wonder how much it goes for per yard??

This really plush fake fur piece was too irresistible to put back once I'd touched it. There is probably enough here for my son to make one of his stuffed creatures, or maybe I'll snag it for something. It reminds me of a friend's late dog.

This one was hard for me to resist because of the nicely drawn figures, the Jack of All Trades being my favorite. They will probably show up in my fabric collage quilts somewhere.