Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mail Art Extravaganza!

Feel free to ignore the laundry, I sure did!

 Yesterday I made a colossal mess and


Twenty six mail art postcards!  
I'm planning a major mail out in the next week or so. 
I'll post more details on my mail art blog...soon...ish.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Things I Didn't Buy And The Thing I Did


 Yesterday was a thrift shopping day and I came upon a goldmine of crazy.  Someone's collection of ceramic figurines, all of them elderly.  In addition to this shelf full, there were about 20 more scattered throughout the store.   I couldn't bring myself to buy them.  I just felt like I had to have them all or none of them and, while my husband really appreciates many of the horrifying ceramic things I bring  home, he wouldn't if I spent $60 to $80 on one haul.

Then I went to my local grocery store and happened upon this:


For sale for $18.95 and totally ironically cool.  Which was hugely disappointing because I already own this:


Bought for a buck at a yard sale, under the impression that it wasn't supposed to be ironically cool.  I don't know how I feel about it any more.  


But I am thrilled with this purchase.  It's the door to an old PO box.  I bought it at the post office.  The woman behind the counter gave me a quick lesson on how to pick the lock, too - which was priceless. 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

No Brilliant Reason.

I made a book!  One of my mail art groups wants to have a journal swap so I made a journal.  It's full of mistakes but I'm good with it.  I learned a ton.    It was so fun to do; I see more journal making in my future.


I used Coptic Stitch Binding (I'm sure that doesn't need to be capitalized but it somehow seemed appropriate). I learned about it in How To Make Books by Esther K. Smith.  I used a cereal box for the covers and embroidery thread for the binding. 

 It also gets two pictures because it's an awesome technique.  It was the first time I tried it and it's a little loosey goosey.  

What's that you say?  Didn't I just buy a binding machine?  Why am I binding this by hand?  
I got nothing.  No brilliant reason.  Leave me alone!

Sorry.  I know you're just looking out for me.  

I used paper bags to make the pages.  I used this technique to make them look cool.  I also added some envelopes as pages.  The idea of the swap is that everybody adds to the journal and then passes it on, so I wanted to make different options for people.

One of the cool things about this binding is that the book lies flat and I hope that will make it easier for people to add their art work.   It's a long term project but I will post some pictures of it here when I get it back.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

A Bunch of Different, Totally Random Stuff.

At first she's cute

 but as she comes towards you, you see that

 SHE"S SCREAMING AND SHE'LL NEVER STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't been on  the computer much lately but here's a bunch of different, totally random stuff...


 Finished the Darkside Cowl


 Here it is in action

Phrenology head was feeling pensive...

Splurged on a Tom Bihn bag.  It's pretty cool but I can't help thinking...it's just a purse.

This is what my thought process looks like..apparently...because that pile just sits there while I think about it

This is the time of year when I garden.  I have a black thumb and don't like to buy plants until they're on sale since I'm going to kill them anyway.

Also, because I don't have enough collections, I bought yet another glass insulator thing.  Isn't it cool?

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unrelated News

Check out my awesome yarn bowl.  My sister in law got it for me for my birthday.  I love it.

I've been partaking in some transitional crafting.  The last time I finished a big project I felt down for little while.  So, this time I decided that knitting would be the perfect in between thing to do.  It's doesn't take a ton of concentration - especially when using someone else's pattern - and it's fun to do.  And it worked.  I'm making the Darkside Cowl out of Noro Retro that I impulsively bought at a Sow's Ear knit night.  Phew - lots of name dropping there. It's a very fun knit and I'm sure it'll get lots of wear.  

On to destruction:

That's right.  I took the unfinished half of a baby quilt that I had left over and unquilted it.  I was never in love with it and I realized why the other night.  It's the colors.  

They are great for a baby quilt but these denim blocks don't really want to be a colorful baby quilt.  They're too regular and tidy (relatively, for me).  

They want a neutral color thread.  Can you hear them asking?  I can.  I will need to remove the border and separate at least some of the squares but I think it's for the best.

In unrelated news, one of my chickens laid her first egg.  :)

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Invisible Stitch Mini-Tute

 Here I'm holding the mitered corner in a death grip so I can make sure it lines up in a nice and tidy way.  I've sewn the corners of the binding where I want them as I hand sew this side of the binding to the quilt.  Then I'll tuck the extra fabric into the corner and tack it shut with a stitch.  I wish I'd taken a picture of that.  I'll get it next time I make a quilt.

I took some pictures so I could post a quick little tutorial on how to hand sew a quilt binding on, using an invisible stitch.  It always seems like magic to me.  

The binding fabric is folded under just a bit.  I've machine sewn the binding onto the other side of the quilt so there is a line of stitching on this side that I need to hide under the binding fabric.  I also try to make sure it looks even across the quilt edge but other than those two things, I'm not very careful

I put the needle into the flannel and follow along the line of the binding, right up close to it, for just under about a half and inch.  I pull it out and...

 then put the needle into the binding right next to where it came out of the flannel and make just under a half inch or so long stitch in the binding - always pulling the thread nice and snug.  I pull the needle out and ...

 do it again on the flannel side.  That way the thread is hidden under the fabric and the stitch is invisible.

 I just keep moving along that way all along the binding.  It's always surprising to me how fast it moves along. 

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitered Corner Mini-Tute

The first place I saw this technique was in Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.  This is the book that got me sewing again after over a decade; I love it.  I'm sure there are better tutorials than mine all over the interwebs. But I thought (since I took copious pictures of the project) I'd share this tute anyway.  

Quilt corners look hard but they really aren't. 


Here we go:  Machine sewing the quilt binding to the quilt. When I got almost to the corner - say, about a half and inch to a quarter of an inch away I stopped, lifted the need out of the fabric and ...

pulled the whole quilt otter there.  I took the rest of the binding fabric and

 folded it straight up at a ninety degree angle...

 Then, I folded it straight down.  The fabric should be right on top of the quilt, hugging the edges. 

 Then I turned the quilt so the edge I was about to sew was lined up.

Then put the foot in about a half to a quarter of an inch down and sewed along to the next corner, where I did the same thing again.  I think I clipped the thread but I really didn't have to.  When I hand sewed up the other side of the quilt, I tidied up the corners.  Picture of that coming up om my next gratuitous mini tute...stayed tuned!

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Saturday, August 11, 2012


Washed and finished.

  My least favorite parts:  The orientation of the stripes is not what I originally intended so it just seems wrong to me.  But, maybe, if you weren't inside my head, it would look fine. 

And, while I really actually like the edging from a distance; up close, it doesn't really get along with the colorful stitching.  

 Here are some gratuitous macro shots...just because...

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Mojo Free

This quilt has been a tough one for me.  I know.  That's sounds silly to me, too.  But I just never got my typical quilt mojo going with this one.  

But, even mojo free, This one needed finishing.  I picked the edging material out of my stash.  Not perfect but my original thought was using the same material as the backing and that looked terrible. 

With that decision made, I had to plan my CHOPPING IT IN HALF approach.  Scary.

So, the plan was only just coming together in my head when I started cutting. 

 I started by trimming the excess backing and batting which needs doing every time anyway. 

Folding it in half and.......

 CUTTING IT!!  AHHHHH.  No return and a final plan hadn't been hatched yet.  

But that's OK.  I think I had to get to this point to visualize what might work.  I added a border strip a little ways up on the quilt

That way, after I ironed it down, it would overlap enough to have some batting behind it.  

Pretty smart, right?  I didn't want the edge of the quilt to not be soft and stuffy.  Please excuse the excess pictures.  I took 59 shots of this process.  

 I was nervous and I guess it gave me a solid distraction.

OK.  There.

It was still a little too wide for the amount of backing so I trimmed the border all around

 The next step is easy peasy.  I machine sewed the border onto one side, I hand sewed the other side on but I think I'll save that for another post because this one has gone on long enough.

 I do still have the other half of the blanket to play with.  I can add more quilting if I choose or do something else.  It has no deadline.

And there's still this giant pile of squares to play with...

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