Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I donated my Denim OCD Quilt to The Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
They have a salvaged art auction every year to raise money.
You might remember that I donated some stuffed critters a couple of years ago.
They just put my quilt on their website (scroll down) as a featured piece and I'm all aflutter. I'm not sure where it will be displayed yet but I'll be attending the opening for sure.
I also recently received an email from the WI Institutes For Discovery. They will be displaying the drawings from the last Lynda Barry workshop during their Public Humanities Conference. I actually think the drawings done by kids will be waaaaay more interesting than the stuff us grown ups made. The conference looks really intriguing and the workshop was crazy fun
I'm looking forward to attending that, too.
That's my spring social calendar filled.
Not bad for someone who doesn't actually have a social calendar.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Super Secret Project
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
I'll never finish this by the Project QUILTING deadline: Sunday at noon. I'm having too much fun. It's very meditative and I can't help but wonder if I shouldn't be doing this on a single layer of fabric instead of a thick quilt.
|OMG! Boobs! It shouldn't look like that when I'm done.|
|There, that's better|
Check out my caddy. I found it at the thrift shop yesterday. I was there stocking up on kitchen items to decorate during my next Fearless Crafters program.
Friday, January 25, 2013
One Good Thing
About giving up on the Project QUILTING challenge is that I get to add new colors.
I'm not going to add too many colors, I think just a couple of neutral colors will work.
I added an additional circle, too. To, ya know, play down the boob thing.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
It's Better, Right?
On the quilt, the rays don't look like they did in my head. They add a whole level of chaos that I don't really like. I also envisioned the circles as being tighter.
That's because I was going to machine sew them. I still could have, I do have other sewing machines, but they're in the cold basement.
So I tried making tighter circles and I think I prefer it.
It's odd but it's easier for me decide about something if I look at pictures of it.
Even if the thing is right in front of me
Side by side shot. It's better, right?
Also, it was so cold yesterday that an egg froze in the coop. It was only out there for a couple of hours. Poor cluckers.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I Don't Know How To Sew
I totally forgot how.
OK. That's not really true but that was my first thought when trying to sew a bunch of circles on my machine. It didn't work at all. The bobbin fell out twice. After a night's sleep, I now think it was the sewing machine. It's a fabulous straight stitching machine but doesn't like sewing in circles. Does that sound reasonable? I haven't fully abandoned my first theory.
On to hand stitching. I rounded up all my blues and whites and pulled out my new pin cushion.
Isn't that hilarious? My friend gave it to me. She called it a hillbilly wine glass. I added the pin cushion lid. The only plus about actually drinking wine from it is that I could drink a whole bottle but claim to only having two glasses. Maybe that's not a plus. Anyway, it's a perfect place for all of my safety pins.
I had lots of fun making my circles. They don't exactly match what I envisioned but I like them anyway.
Here's the back after I added another circle. I really like this side. I used some old blue linen left over from another project.
Monday, January 21, 2013
What Could Go Wrong?
It's another Project QUILTING quilt!
I didn't think they would have another challenge that would tempt me but...
Here I go again. I got a strong image of what I wanted to do as soon as I read the challenge rules. I'll only do them when that happens.
So the theme is favorite color and the idea is that you pick only one color plus white and that includes thread color. As you can imagine, I'm picking blue...denim. Surprise! So I pulled out my denim pile plus some pants and started putting them together; very much inspired by all the string quilts I looked at on Pinterest today.
|I'm thrilled to have my Grandma's sewing machine working again!|
I intend to use white only in my thread choice. I plan to quilt big circles with rays coming out from the middle of the circles with both the machine and by hand using different whites and blues. Cool, huh?
And I got this far before deciding what it would all end up as: A project bag! So now, with one hour before I have to go pick up a kid, I'm ironing and blogging at the same time. What could go wrong?
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Thanks To The Hand Holders Of The World!
Smack in the middle of making the Project QUILTING quilt, I was lucky enough to have a yearly mom's retreat happen. Woohoo! If you don't have a bunch of friends who like to get together for a weekend to eat, drink and be treat each other well, I highly recommend you find one.
It meant that I would need to bring a sewing machine with me if I was going to finish the quilt in time. The only portable machine I have right now is my Grandmother's Featherweight which, as you may remember, is haunted and therefore was in need of repair.
I don't know about you, but I fear electricity. It can mess you up. So I needed a fair amount of hand holding for this project. On the other hand, no way was I going to pay to have someone fix it. I mean, it was obviously a simple fix, you just had to know what to do.
First I googled around and found this very inspiring blog: Mysewingmachineobsession.blogspot.com. I emailed the woman whose blog it is and asked pointless questions that basically added up to "Tell me I can do this please!" She got back to me very promptly and told me I could do it. I stopped at the local hardware store and bought an plug thingy and was ready-ish to rumble.
I also cornered a friend at the retreat who fixes up vintage machines and she was a huge help. Go buy things from her etsy shop here. :)
Hand-holding powers engaged, I started. The hardest part was prying the inside of the plug out of the cover.
It fought me all the way.
Then I stuck the wires through.
We cut off the insulation with scissors (By the way, don't try this at home. Surely there's a safer, better way but we were at a retreat center and had slim pickin's for tools. We twisted each of those two little sets of wires clockwise. This is so that when we screwed them in, they stayed bundled together. Then, we just wrapped them around the screws and screwed them in snugly. I wish I'd taken a picture at that point. Sorry, I was too into it, I guess.
It went back on way easier than it came off. I picked this huge plug because it's easy to grab and I won't be tempted to pull it out of the outlet by just the wire again.
Check it! Light is on. Motor is running and the quilt got finished. All I needed was hand holding and people telling me I could handle it.
Thanks to the hand holders of the world!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Craft Book Review the First
With my Project QUILTING project all done, I'd say it's time for a non-sewing related post.
I love books. Near the end of last year, the possibility of my writing some short craft book reviews to post on the library's Facebook page came up. I was all aflutter and for several days lulled myself to sleep by writing book reviews of my favorite craft books in my head. But then, lots of other things went down at the library and, while I haven't given up hope, the project has fallen by the wayside. For them.
Even though the only other book review type post that I've tried on the blog was a chaotic mess, I remain undaunted. After all, I wrote that using one of those horrible little texting keyboards on a phone and survived. I haven't written a book review since high school and, even back then, I only wrote about half of the reviews I was assigned. I even got in trouble once* because I purposely gave a glowing review of a book that I knew my teacher hated and that I had only read half of. I was not a model student.
Anyhoo, I'm a grownup now and I figure I can write a book review any old way I choose and about any old book I want to write about. Since I'm writing them on my blog, I don't even have to behave. If it's fun, this will be the start of an irregular series here at AnotherJenniferMakingStuff.
Here's my rating system. A book can rate, at the best: "Go Buy This Book And Pay Full Retail Value Right Now" to, at the worst: "Avert Your Eyes, It Burns, It Burns!" I also reserve the right to make up the different ratings in between those two as I go along.
The book I want to write about today is How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith.
This book simply rocks. First, it's just beautiful to look at. It's about as handmade looking as a mass produced book could hope to look. The cover is cardboard, the title looks hand type set and the binding has lines drawn on it that mimic a hand sewn long stitch binding. She hoped to have it actually hand bound but I'm sure that was too expensive
The inside of the book is lovely, too. The title page, table of contents and chapter beginnings are all gorgeously typeset.
I really appreciate the step by step illustrations, too, They're works of art in their own right and are quirky and funny and fun to look at. Oh, yeah, they're easy to follow, too.
The book is full of projects. Duh, that's why I like it. Speaking of that, even the no nonsense, non fancy title is just right. But back to the contents:
The projects are described in a straightforward, very personal way. The writer talks about where she learned about the different techniques and what they mean to her. She's not super overly, crafty, girly, cutesy with her descriptions. As a reader of many craft books, let me tell you, I seriously appreciate that. She also doesn't fill the book with stupid puns or project titles that rhyme with themselves. I HATE those. But, back to those contents again.
The layout of the chapters is this: She introduces the technique, how she learned it and why she appreciates it and how to do it, obviously. After that, she shares a few variations on the theme. All of the samples she uses in the book are gorgeous and creative. Check out the instant book on the next picture down there. Fabulous.
There are little asides on different useful tidbits throughout the book like what bone folders are and why they're helpful and what kinds of thread she prefers and why. They come up at the perfect point of the books, like threads when the binding sections begin and that kind of thing.
There are seven chapters with different types of books and bindings. Within the seven chapter are so many ideas and concepts and ways to use them that you're really getting more than seven new skills.
My favorite project, those of you who know me will know this already because I'm always shoving it down people's throats, is the instant book. This would be chapter one of the book so maybe it's her favorite, too. They are so simple and elegant and versatile.
I have used most of the techniques in the book as inspiration for many projects of my own. That's really saying something because so often, I'll fall in love with one or two ideas in a book but the other thirty eight (just a random number there) do nothing for me.
I also think, after reading the book, that Esther K. Smith is probably a really nice person who I would virtually (she lives really far away) hang out with. I'd be a little intimidated at first but then we'd totally laugh at the same stuff and probably get to the level of friendship of commenting on each other's blogs every now and then. Which is plenty for me because I'm not very social.
I rate this book: Go Buy This Book And Pay Full Retail Value Right Now! I sure did.
Of course I'm going to pick a favorite as my first review because that's the first book that popped into my head when the idea came up. I'll branch out to less positive territory one day...probably.
You might also like her other books: Magic Books & Paper Toys: Flip Books, E-Z Pop-Ups & Other Paper Playthings to Amaze & Delight, which I may review one day, and The Paper Bride which I probably won't review because I haven't read it and as I'm already married, wedding planning bores me.
* OK. Way more than once, but that's for another kind of blog.
Please share any thoughts on craft books you would like to see reviewed. I have a few lined up but it's always the right time to recommend a good book.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Feeling That Time Crunch
I'm done with the stitching!!! It felt like it took forever but really, it was pretty fast. I'm feeling that time crunch though.
It's not perfect but it'll do.
|Little bit of detail. I sewed one wonky square, cuz, ya know; I'm me.|
All that's left to do is put on the binding and then I'm done!
Here's what I found while searching for my missing thimble.
This was all in one bag:
The missing gingher scissors
It showed up later in my sewing machine cleaning supply basket.
Friday, January 11, 2013
I'm about halfway through the hand stitching. I'm happy with it but not thrilled beyond measure. I prefer to be thrilled beyond measure, as you might imagine.
Maybe it was the color choice but the stitches aren't popping like I want. But they are pretty cool as far as design goes.
I hope to find enough time today to finish up the hand stitching. Generally speaking, the binding goes pretty fast (knocking wood furiously).