Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

Today is Saturday December 31, 2011. I am not much for New Years Celebrations, we usually have a nice dinner, watch a movie and head to bed. This year our daughter is a teenager and we want to make sure she is safe and sound so we offered our house as a place she and a couple close friends can come and hang out to play games and watch movies. My husband and I will hide out in my basement studio and watch movies on my computer. Sounds boring I know but it is worth it to know my 16 year old is safe.
This was a good year..Year of the rabbit. It was pretty mellow considering how awful 2010 was for me...Year of the Tiger. This next year is year of the Dragon. I hope it is another good prosperous year for us.
I will literally begin the new year traveling the world. I leave on jan 2 for India. I will be there on business to visit factories making our clothing. It will be a quick trip, traveling with my boss and his boss. I am sure I will not get any shopping in, but it will be my first time in this part of the world. I will take pictures of what I can to share. Once I am in Hong Kong I will write more. I will travel to Tokyo as stay tuned. My goal is to blog my way along this trip. I don't make New Years resolutions...but goals. and my goal is to blog about this trip to share with my family and friends who care to read about it.
Goals for 2012:
Continue to sew my way through the studio.
Be able to make a smaller dress size and shop the Athleta and Title 9 Catalogs!
Have more Art play days in the studio.
Be more patient at home.
See my sisters and old friends I have not seen in a long time.
Completely finish my quilts. machine Quilting and all.
Participate in the PAC show December 2012 with a bunch of new stuff.
Get out and take more pictures with the digital SLR.
Think of a happy thought everyday to keep me going.
Don't let my daily job get me down and dry me up. Do the best I can but not let it consume me.
Make a piece of jewelry for every new outfit I make.

Ok that is good to start with. I will be adding more on my trip notes. So until Hong Kong and Japan!.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day of the Dead Mask

My daughter's Spanish teacher gave them extra credit if they colored a paper mask or made a puppet or dressed up for Halloween. Well when my daughter Cora tells me about projects like this...I have to ramp them up!!! Cora wanted to make a mask but with fabric or a store bought one knowing I would jump at the chance to go to the art or fabric store. After our brain storming discussion we came up with a canvas mask that she spent the weekend painting. I think it came out very well. Cora also made some paper flowers a-la Frieda and we pinned them in her hair. The teacher was impressed but wanted the mask to keep. Cora said she wanted it for her portfolio and didn't want to give it to the teacher so she only got half the bonus points! It was a good collaboration with what we had at home in the studio. Save my trip to the art store for another project...Christmas is coming!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Remnant Stash

I am a self proclaimed "Remnant Whore" I scout out the remnants at most fabric stores but non better than my beloved Fabric Depot. My daughter, Cora, has been playing softball this summer and the practice location is a few blocks from Fabric Depot here in Portland. I love this is big, well lit and has the best remnant rack I have ever found. They mark down the pieces 20% from the regular a yard price...then 50% off of that! One night I challenged myself to only spend $10 and I found lots of great stuff for the stash. One night I cleaned up on Oil cloth!
I was able to find fun flannels for some scrappy kids quilts, batiks, mesh and lots of solids to have for those arty quilts I like so much from Jean Wells lately. I will not miss the Softball schedule but I will miss going to FD twice a week! Look for some of this fab in projects I can finally make now that I have the weekends and evenings to myself again!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Project Runway Premiere Party!

My daughter won tickets from a local radio station , 95.5, for a Project Runway Season 9 Premiere Party! We were so excited because it was hosted by Seth Aaron Henderson, winner of season 7! The girls gussied up and Dad put on a clean shirt and we headed down town on the beautiful summer evening. The stage was the bing Lounge. This small venue is used for radio concerts and small showings. There was quite the crowd so we squeezed in amongst the Portland Fashionistas. By the end of the evening Stephen and Seth were buds and the girls won lots of swag. Sorry for the out of focus...I did not have the flash on.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scraps 101 - Real Scraps!

A few years ago I made a few Valentines Quilts that I collected Red and Pink fabrics for. I love Valentines birthday is in I made a few of them and gave them away. But alas I bought too much fabric and still have a large stash of Reds and Pinks. So I drag them out every so often and make something. I made a nice Log cabin last year to try out my Log Cabin tool...a later blog. But the other morning I woke up with an idea of a collage piece then cut up into hearts to make some cards out of. I am trying to start early for the PAC show in December! So here is my process:

I cut a red piece as the base fabric..if any background shows through or raw edges at least it will be red and not muslin.
Then I cut random pieces and laid them over each other. I put variegated or red thread in the sewing machine and machine quilted over the peices. I just randomly stitched to make sure the edges were sewn down and it was pretty solid in the stitching.
I made a heart template to fit on a A6 card size. ( I have lots of red envelopes left from Christmas...using the fat of the land so to speak). I cut with scalloped scissors, wavy scissors and straight edge for variety. Then made a small bow from strips and a small shell button. I think they came out really cute and can't stop making them! I need to move to another color.....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Scraps 101 - Yo Yo's!

I was not sure if I liked these little things until I went to my local fabric store where Clover was having a demo on their fun products. I love Clover, lots of great sewing tools. This Little yo yo maker was the coolest tool I had seen in a while and thought it was another great way to use up my scraps. So I bought two sizes, large which finishes at 1 3/4", and a small which finishes at 1". The gal also demoed an oval shape which I bought as well. When I got home I dug out some scraps and started making some while I watched TV. I had a little baggy full before I new it. While I was making them I thought of some different ways to use them, one is to make a little black tunic and sew them on the front and back. Now this picture is of them on top of a little tunic top I have so the finished project is not done but wanted to show my idea. I think it would be nice done with yo yo's in neutral colors as well with a nice linen tunic. I went and bought an extra small template as well to fill in the small gaps. The yo yo's can be flipped with the smooth, non gathered side up as well. I thought it might be cool to put both sides up. I think I will get out my batiks and do one in all batiks with a nice black rayon tunic. Also what about a small bolero vest to wear over my solid color tunics tops with a t-shirt. My ideas come faster than I can make them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scraps 101: Kaleidoscope Template

I like templates and rulers for quilt making. I have always liked the Kaleidoscope block and found this ruler by Marti Michell. Last summer while cleaning out fat quarters and scraps I decided to start cutting scrap prints with this ruler. Before I knew it I had quite a few cut out and ready. Now for the back ground fabric. I put the project aside but recently found a nice light batik that I think will look nice. I cut a bunch of triangles and now have enough to start this scrap quilt. Here is the block lay out. When you do the opposite lay out of dark where the light is the overall quilt will take on movement.
For my favorite new book just out..check out Material Obsession 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke. They have used Marti Michell templates for traditional quilt blocks but with a fun new spin on fabrics and lay outs. It inspired me for more scrap quilts. Their use of color combinations and patterned backgrounds is wonderful. When you look at traditional quilt blocks and only see old boring fabrics and will be able to look beyond all that with this book. I love it for this. New ways to use up that scrap fab I have!
I am working on the "by product quilt" and making progress...I will post pictures soon. but I am really close with my jeans pattern and need them more then the quilt so that is priority in the studio this week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Well I guess I am not very good at this blogging thing. Too much happened the last 8 months...not bad things, just things that distracted me from being very creative or wanting to write about them. I am still sewing my way through the studio. Just not as fast as I wanted to. I am making pants trying to get a jean pattern perfected. It slows down the creative process. I still put my ideas in my sketch book so I feel I am still being creative. The sketches are patiently waiting for me to come back and make them 3 dimensional.
This past weekend I went to the beach with my quilting girlfriends and we spent the time sitting at a big table sewing. It was fabulous to just not think of work or needing to take care of the family...just two full days of sewing. Here is one of 18 blocks I made. I have been collecting the fabric for a year now so I thought it was time to get going, so a large log cabin quilt is in the process. I will post the finished piece once sewn together.

My other thoughts the past month have been on RE-USE and USE IT UP. I have scraps, old fabrics, left overs, bi-products, what ever you want to call them I have too much but can't bare parting with them. With the price of cotton fabric going up I thought how can I use it and make it worth while. so as I am sewing my way through the studio with clothing, I am going to also be using up my scraps and writing about it. It has given me new enthusiasm to write and I don't have to finish a big project to show you my ideas. My little green tunic top on the last blog was the first where I used scraps of fabric to make the rosettes around the bottom. The photo below is of by-product from another quilt I did years ago. They are triangles with reproduction fabrics and white on whites. They are on the flannel wall, I am tired of looking at them so I have set out to sew them up. I have set up an extra sewing machine so I can sew on two projects at a time...that way if I feel stumped with one I can just sit at another machine and work on another...or a garment. (It all has to do with thread color and machine set up) Stay tuned for ideas and pictures of how I use them up. I feel better already getting this going! I have a list of ideas to share.