Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Swoon Mini Quilt

Ok, so I know I've been hinting at this project but not really sharing much. I hate it when others post about secret projects and yet, I've done the same thing. Though this isn't for a magazine or book or anything. If I had something like that I would just keep it to myself.

Instead this mini is my reinterpretation of the Swoon block. I haven't seen any made like what I came up with and didn't want to give too many sneak peeks because I knew someone out there could whip this up faster than I could. And yes, in this case I wanted to be the first that I know of to share this take on it.

Sunflower Swoon

Now let's talk about the Swoon block itself. On the Swoon-a-long Flickr group there are many talking about failures and successes with this block. I found it to be a breeze to piece and didn't have issues with the HSTs being too small or anything. The points that aren't just right go with my design of it so I accept them. I did find it tedious to cut all the pieces but that's nothing new. When I do make the full size quilt (and I will one day, probably not this year), I will probably cut one block at a time and sew them up one at a time. That will break up the tedious part for me.

My mini started with this Swoon block as inspiration. Once I saw it I couldn't get sunflowers out of my head. I did try to find fabrics that were similar to the ones used but in the end am glad I couldn't find anything just right. The solids led me to playing around with FMQ some more. Let me just say that the brown area took hours! I enjoyed every minute of it but it was a lot of time invested. I would say the time spent quilting just that area and the time spent hand sewing the binding are about equal in length.

Close up of quilting

The quilting isn't that visable in the distant shot. It's pretty overcast (partly sunny the weatherman says, ha!) and if the lighting outside is better tomorrow, I will take another photo for my WIP Wednesday post.

It was Chad's suggestion that I bind it in brown. I showed him the mini prior to quilting and he was amazed, which is rare. Usually he doesn't want to see any of my projects until they are done because he tells me he can't see the final product like I can. (He loves almost everything I make so that's never a concern.) He at first thought I would bind in white and told me brown would be best. I honestly had not thought about that step yet but once I got there settled on it because I thought it worked best.


I backed it in a humingbird print that has flower names and other garden related words written on it. It doesn't match color wise but matches in theme. After making this, I could see so many color combinations to make all kinds of flowers.

I'm sure it is obvious as to which fabric cuts I switched out but if you have questions, I can update with the notes I made prior to cutting. I did sketch this out to make sure what I saw in my head would work. It was also useful in making a list of what to cut out of each fabric.

Sunflower Swoon

Feel free to use this as inspiration in your Swoon blocks (but please credit me if you share my photos). And if you're not one of the almost 800 members of the Flickr group, be sure to check it out. There are so many creative takes on this basic block. It really is veratile depending on the fabrics choosen.

I'm linking this up to Sew Modern Monday and also Fabric Tuesday. If you're visiting from either of those, thank you for stopping by!

Be back tomorrow with my WIP update. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

FAL Finish #1: Halloween Mini

I finished sewing the binding on this Friday night (when I should have been in bed, oops!). While this sort of item isn't high on my list of priorities after rethinking things, I couldn't justify putting it away when it was so close to being finished. Now I can put it with my other fall decor though and be able to put it to use right away. Ah, there was a pretty big sigh of relief over here.

Halloween Mini

Since this little mini is reversible, there isn't a real front or back. The quilting is just some meandering over the whole piece. I bound it in premade double fold bias tape and machine stitched the binding on. I think I'm getting better at it but still prefer the look of hand sewn binding.

Halloween Mini

At least it's done and now I have only four more things to tick off of my FAL list. The project on my sewing machine right now isn't a part of that list though, but I'm really enjoying working on it. I'm doing some creative FMQ on my Swoon mini and am hoping to finish it soon. Also need to flesh out some ideas for my swap partners.

Happy Sunday to you!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Studio Saturday

I don't have much to share visually as far as schoolwork goes. Maybe I should have saved some of the paintings from last weekend. Ah well. Here's my recap of my art classes this past week.

I took a sick day for painting, so I didn't do much during the week. I do have a painting to complete for Tuesday and also wood to buy to make stretchers for canvases. Chad is going to help me with picking out the wood and I haven't started my painting yet.

I have a great start to my sculpture that is due on Wednesday. I spent a few hours today cutting steel and welding. I'm using scraps that I found in our shop so it's definately a make-do project.

Start of an Ant

I need to weld on the legs still, which I may save for class on Monday. I'm pretty wore out after all that work. To finish it I will be adding toy cars and house images.

Here's my first cyanotype for my photography class.

Cyanotype Playing

It's a little creepy, I admit, but it is supposed to be an image of me as a child. I was playing around with toners and once it got bleached like this it wouldn't go back to dark. I do have five more hung up at school waiting to finish exposing tomorrow (they need ultra-violet light to work). I also spent last night sizing watercolor paper so I could use it. Sizing means to soak the paper in hot water that has gelatin in it. The gelatin adheres to the paper making it easier to use. The cyanotype solution soaks in a bit too much with watercolor paper and that's what I want to use for the final project. I have been pulling my idea together but do have this whole week to work on it. I will share more about it as I start working on that part. For now, I'm just playing. And we do have to turn in examples of the techniques to show that we know what we are doing.

So that's all for now. I plan on doing minimal school work tomorrow and use Sunday as a day to take care of myself (and work on personal projects). In addition to the above, I have a take home test to do and a quiz for an online class. Nothing too big for this weekend thankfully. I'm pretty behind on reading blog posts so I may take some time tomorrow to catch up. I miss seeing what you all are up to.

I do have a finish to share tomorrow. I hope your weekend is going well! See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TTT: All Over the Place

Today, I have nothing visual to share. I did sneak in some sewing this morning but not enough time to finish anything. Tomorrow is another day for that.

Instead, I have some things to write about. Thank you all for your well wishes on me feeling better. I'm not sick, per se, but very tired and overwhelmed with everything going on. It's causing me to be pretty scatterbrained and I have had a pretty steady headache this week. My remedy is to prioritize everything and maybe ignore those things are not important. So that means schoolwork, work, household duties, swaps, and then everything else. Needless to say, the project on my sewing machine is part of the everything else category but it was the easiest to work on in the time I had earlier.

Another thing on my mind are the concepts of perception, perspective, and persuasion. I pride myself on trusting my gut most of the time but recently allowed my perception of a situation to be influenced by others. Even though this went against my gut feeling, the facts presented were pretty believeable and I had no reason to think these people I trusted would lead me astray. I have now come to find out that I did really know only half the story and that I was right all along. This all was concerning a person at work who has now quit. I do not blame him one bit and was one of the few who didn't rejoyce in his leaving. I am regretful that I can't remedy this in my soul though. Lesson learned to always listen to my gut instead of most of the time.

I'm finding myself moving away from reading some of the more popular blogs that host giveaways all the time. It's great for that blogger to get all that traffic, but I know that I wouldn't be satisfied only having people come here to get something free. I really do appreciate all of you who take the time to read what I have to say, whether you comment or not. This isn't to say that I won't have a giveaway or anything from time to time, but I'm talking about those blogs that have them every week if not more often.

It is ridiculously beautiful outside today and I am stuck inside most of the day. It is 35 degrees F and after the past week of below zero temps, it is weather that you don't need a jacket or sweater for. I love any day that I don't need to have lots of layers on.

With that note, I have to run off to class! Be sure to go over to Making Rebecca Lynne to see what is on her mind and the minds of others. Thank you, Becca, for hosting the Thursday Think Tank every week!

Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday already? I'm going to just get on with it since I am not feeling great today.


Birthday present for a dear friend. At the time I posted about this, I had not given it to her yet. Now she has it and loves it! Plus we went out to lunch at a great Italian restaurant (which I am still eating leftovers from). I don't eat out much at all, so when I do it is a treat.

Birthday Present

Progress Made:

Halloween Mini - I'm hanging my head on this one. I really thought I would have this finished - and would have if not for work on other projects. I do have it quilted and just have to put on the binding. I see no reason why this won't be a finish by next week.


Garter Stitch scarf - Still slowly knitting on this. It is taking forever and ever.

Swoon Mini - I have this one basted and ready to quilt. I'm only posting a little sneak peek because well, I can. I did also alter the pattern a bit and haven't seen anyone else do what I did. I want to finish mine before I share the entire thing. This is on deck after I finish binding my Halloween mini.

Swoon sneak peek

Sparkle QAL - Fabrics have been cut. I thought I might have time to start sewing, but didn't. At least I'm caught up with the instructions being posted so there's that at least.

Sparkle fabrics cut

Dessert of the Month Club - I did buy a linen for this and threads. This one is a year long project obviously, so I'm not going to rush this. No picture of the threads though. I'll try to remember to take one before I start stitching.

No Progress:

Drunkard's Path QAL - Trimming=torture right now for me.
Sewing Machine Cover
Project for Migration Blocks - can't decide how to quilt them. I need to decide this before the end of the month.
Wedding Present (embroidered towels)
Kaleidoscope QAL
Zig Zag QAL
Tangerine Tango Challenge - stalled until I get my Konas in the mail.
2012 Color Challenge: January - Joann's didn't have all the solids I wanted to match the palette, so I've placed an online order. Not sure if they will come by the end of the month so I may dig through my scrap drawer.
Curves Class (starts Feb 1st)
For the Love of Solids Swap - partner assignment received and deciding on design/colors.
Made in Cherry QAL - fabrics picked out and I will be joining in.
Mouthy Stitches Swap - partner assignment received and am thinking about design ideas.
Embroidery Journal Project - still thinking of what I am going to do for January.
Embroidered Ornament set
Mini QT Swap - waiting on partner assignment.
Project Quilting Challenge - the challenge this week is music based. I'm trying to decide on a song title to use as inspiration.


Nothing! This is a first I think.

Linking up at Freshly Pieced. Be sure to check out everyone else's progress. Hope your Wednesday is going better than mine!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Paintings

It is still windy but I was determined to photograph these or just forget about them. All are practice paintings on paper. I really hate painting on large pieces of paper. I'm so ready for canvas. And oil paints, but that won't be for another month.

So to continue from last Saturday's studio post, here are the remaining paintings from last week and the couple I did over the weekend that are due today.











If I manage to finish quilting and binding one (or more!) of my minis I will be posting again today. If not, see you all tomorrow for WIP Wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rainbow in the Snow

Winter seems to have finally arrived here. It snowed from Saturday evening through the early hours this morning. All in all, I believe we got between 4-5" of snow, which really isn't a lot for us, although I know it is a lot for other areas of the country. However, in Minnesota and North Dakota we don't get snow days for that. (Since I'm linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday, to explain, I live on the state border between the two. I feel more like a North Dakotan than Minnesotan, but I live in Minnesota. I'm digressing terribly and could spend an entire post explaining what I mean. Phew.)

Fresh Snow

Today is still gray and the beautiful, white snow has turned dirty already in the streets. Life goes on as usual. I don't like to drive much in the winter and only go out in my car if I have to. That means I pretty much only go to work, school, and to shop for nessecities. Yesterday was the perfect day to stay inside, work on homework, and sew. I have three mini quilts basted and ready for quilting: my Halloween mini, the mini Swoon, and my Migration mini. I thought the Swoon was easy to put together, at least compared to what I've been reading on Flickr. I'll talk more about it once it's finished.

The other thing I finished was a birthday present for a friend. I haven't given it to her yet, but do want to share it today so I can link up.

Birthday Present

She loves elephants (as do I) so I made her a small wall hanging with a fussy cut elephant. The rainbow bars are charms from the Color Wheel Charm Swap. The backing is more of the teal print at the top. Chad cut the dowel down for me and I found some cord to use as a hanger. You can kind of see it in the photo, but not well. It's still windy here so getting a good picture wasn't easy.

Despite this being a gift, I would love to have it for myself. I'm hoping she likes it as much as I do!

How was your weekend? Did you get any sewing done?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Studio Saturday

This is a bit late! I spent all day catching up on housework and finishing prepping fabrics for some projects. I did also finish something, but since it is a gift, I won't be sharing until after I give it to the recipient.

This week has been very busy and I didn't have time to photograph all of the work I completed for school. Today was dark, overcast, and terribly windy, so I will have to share some more next week. I do have a couple photos though so let's get on with it.

First up, the painting I posted a little teaser about. This was done quickly in class as just a warmup and is my favorite from the bunch we had to do this week. Chad loves it as well and asked if we could frame it.

Hammer Painting

From now on we are to only paint from life. I knew this was coming because I had this same instructor for a drawing class and the structure for this one is pretty much the same as for drawing. Some fellow students had a problem with this, and I was part of that group in the previous class, but I have to say that working from life versus a photo or imagination has greatly improved my skill and eye.

ETA: I forgot that I had not shared this other painting I did earlier in the week. This was quite the departure from my usual style and is hard to show the textures in a photograph. We were to use techniques that other students did for our first assignment so I collaged some paper prior to painting so there would be wrinkles and added text. The little chick is a part of our decor at home. Chad thought he needed more of a head, but I was painting him as is because he is so cute.


Assignment for next Tuesday is to do two more paintings, each of them taking an hour to do. I haven't started them but they are on my to do list for tomorrow.

For my sculpture class, I have my concept and model made. I'm terribly stuck on execution and what materials I will use.

Model for my sculpture

I do know my sculpture will be of an ant and the concept is of community. I brainstormed some ideas and wrote down what this theme means to me and then set it aside. I think it's time to revisit them tomorrow and see if anything clicks.

Finally, in photography we have been learning techniques. Our first project is to make cyanotypes and to print on whatever surface we want. I will be printing on fabric (surprise surprise!) and what that will turn in to I'm not sure. Here's an example of a cyanotype (named for the brilliant blue images).


Our assignment over the weekend is to create at least one negative to use for printing. This involves the much dreaded Photoshop and sitting at a computer for a period of time. It is fascinating to me though how these can be created just by printing an image onto plain copy paper and with the use of certain chemicals. I'm just itching to get past the computer part of this project.

That's all for today! I am going to try to post midweek some of the other paintings I did this past week. Tomorrow is all about homework, cooking and baking bread for the week, and sewing. Like I said at the beginning of this post I prepped fabrics for some projects. So far I have cut out the pieces for my mini Swoon, the Sparkle QAL, and have picked out my fabrics for the Made in Cherry QAL. I'm not cutting those until right before I sew because I scaled it down for the squares to finish at 1". Too many little pieces. I also want to quilt my Halloween mini tomorrow and maybe sew some more Drunkard's Path blocks. Oh, and there is football to watch of course.

I hope your weekend is finding you well!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Whew! This past week just flew by for me. I do love having a lot of things going on because it stops me from being lazy, which is easy to happen. I've been getting up early, like 5am early, in order to catch up on my shows on the DVR and to sew. Then I have classes and then work, which some days has kept me til midnight. Long days, but with some coffee I am able to get through. I'm really trying to keep my weekends for working on personal projects, housekeeping, and cooking for the week. So far, so good.

Starting last Saturday I have been sharing what I am doing for school. I will have a lot to share this Saturday as well. For my painting class alone we have to paint 10 paintings for Thursday. Here's a sneak peek of one. This one Chad even loves and wants to frame. Funny thing is it was just a quick exercise in getting paint down.

Brush Strokes

Mmmm brush strokes....

Now onto my update on my personal projects! Linking up to Freshly Pieced for Lee's weekly linky.


None this week.

Progress Made:

Halloween Mini - I finished both side of this and just have to quilt it. Definately will be finished by next week's update and will be the first thing off my FAL list! Double whammy!

Next up, quilting!

Garter Stitch Scarf - I have been doing some knitting on this too. Nothing big enough to show in a photograph. I have been thinking of making this my default couch project and knit for at least an hour a day.

Drunkard's Path QAL - I trimmed another set of blocks. I still have some to go and lots of sewing.

No Progress:

Sewing Machine Cover
Project for Migration Blocks - can't decide how to quilt them.
Wedding Present (embroidered towels)
Kaleidoscope QAL
Zig Zag QAL
Tangerine Tango Challenge - stalled until I pick up some Konas.
2012 Color Challenge: January - stalled until I pick up Konas.
Curves Class (starts Feb 1st)
For the Love of Solids Swap - just waiting on partner assignment to start.
Sparkle QAL - I have picked out my fabrics and am waiting on the cutting instructions.

Sparkle QAL Fabrics

Made in Cherry QAL (maybe?)
Birthday Present for BFF - Her birthday is Thursday and we are getting together Friday. This is my priority project. Good thing I know what I'm making.
Mouthy Stitches Swap - waiting on partner assignment.
Swoon-a-long - Depending on if I can find the right fabrics for my plan.
Dessert of the Month Club - need to buy supplies.
Embroidery Journal Project - still thinking of what I am going to do for January.
Embroidered Ornament set - I totally have been forgetting to put this on the list. Oops.


Mini QT Swap - signed up and waiting for partner assignment.

Surprise, surprise, I found yet another new challenge out there. I did miss the first one for this year, but that's ok. I may make something up for it anyway, even though I missed the deadline. This new challenge is the Project Quilting put on by Kim's Crafty Apple. It looks like the next challenge will be posted January 22nd, so if this is something you're interested in, check it out! There are prizes involved too.

I swear this list cannot get any longer any more. At least I will have one done next week.

How are your projects going?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Monday

After sifting through my stash yesterday, I decided on fabrics for the Sparkle QAL. I wasn't going to participate in this one unless I found fabrics at home. Here is what I pulled.

Sparkle QAL Fabrics

I had been collecting the western themed ones to make Chad a quilt. I still want to, but need more than what I have right now. So in order to make something that would please him, as well as me, I'm making a mini with these. The fabric on the left will be the backing, the next four are for the sparkles, the linen is the background, and the print on the right will be the binding. In person, the linen contrasts more with the two lighter prints, but seeing it here, I may find something else to use. (And that may mean buying a solid. Good thing Konas are on sale this week at Joann's.) Any thoughts?

I'm also debating on joining the Made in Cherry QAL. I would again make a mini, but for this one I figured out measurements for it to work. For this one, again, I am shopping my stash. I have some lingering charm packs without a project in mind, so if I do decide to do this one, I will be using these fabrics. Very dark and muted. I don't know what solid I would use for the background yet. The draw to these fabrics is the small scale prints on the charms.

Made in Cherry QAL?

Chad tells me all the time I love taking on too much, so why not. At least minis won't take as much time, right?

I did also join another swap on Flickr. This one is the Mini QT Swap and they swap minis six times a year with different themes. The group is very friendly and I can't wait to make my first one. The theme for February/March is the movies. Very open-ended indeed.

Since I had today off of class, I decided to go to the thrift store and look for some old books. This online class I have been taking on creativity has project instructions for making sketch books out of old hardbacks. I found quite a few contenders but only left with three.

Thrifted Books

My big find though was this copper tray from Turkey. It has a stamp on it of what I'm assuming is the maker, but also has the city in Turkey where it was made. A quick search online didn't yield anything on the maker's (?) name, but did pull up many webpages in Turkish. Even if I never find out more about it, I love it and it is now hanging out in my sewing nook.

Thrift Find-Turkish Tray

Now off to finish up some homework. Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Studio Saturday

Welcome to my first weekly recap of the projects I am creating for my classes. I figure having one set day to update would be best for both you and me.

I don't have much to share visually today, as many things are still in the planning stages, or I haven't created the next project yet. To recap and for those of you who missed my post where I discussed my classes, you can expect projects from painting, sculpture, as well as my photography class which is on alternative digital processes. I am addicted to the darkroom so I am going to try to squeeze in some time there on the side.

For the first assignment in painting we had to do our best acrylic painting. There were absolutely no parameters for this assignment, which some do think is helpful but in fact, having parameters can make creativity flourish more than when everything is open.

There were some interesting paintings submitted and some students who didn't do anything. We weren't graded on this, but he wanted us to just paint so we had some sort of benchmark in which to compare at the end of the semester.

My painting was this.

First Painting for Class

Someone commented that it reminded them of watercolor, which is interesting considering I sketch with watercolors. I know I can do better and really wasn't sure what to paint. I fall back on using my dogs as subjects and could have done that here, but I don't want to overuse them for class. I cannot grow if I keep doing the same thing, ya know.

Our next assignment is to do another painting, again whatever subject or size, but we have to use three things that other students did with their paintings. I haven't started this yet because I'm not sure what to paint again. I may use one thing and do a nonobjective painting. One girl just put paint to paper without a plan, so that is something else I could do. Whatever direction I go, you will see it next Saturday.

For sculpture we are to make up a minature of what we want to weld. We are making assemblages first and he suggested gathering materials as well over the weekend. The subject matter is completely open ended. I have ideas and really need to flesh them out tomorrow and Monday. We don't have class Monday because of MLK Day, so Wednesday is when this is due. We are also having a welding demo since only myself and one other student have welding experience.

In photography we are to assemble photographs to scan. She wants them to be photos that there would be two differing sides of the story behind it. Her assignment was pertaining to family, but I talked to her after class about my situation with family, and was given the ok to use photos with other relationships. Her example was if we had a photograph of our parents, who happened to be divorced, and ask each of them their side of the story. My parents do happen to be divorced, but never would talk about why they were, and as such, I will never know.

I have picked out a few different photographs and am interested to see what the next step is after we scan them. I am hoping it doesn't have a whole lot to do with sitting at a computer. I am also really hoping that this class will be worth it in the end because I am torn between challenging myself and spending four months doing something I hate (sitting on the computer for hours and hours on end). Time will tell on that one.

I'll be spending Sunday and Monday working on these projects and hopefully squeezing in some work on my WIP list. I hope you're having a great weekend in your part of the world!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

My classes started yesterday and while most students call the first days "syllabus day", that isn't the case for my studio classes. They are normally 3 hours long and the first day for each entitled talking about the syllabus and projects to be completed for a couple hours. I have assignments due already, and really should be working on them today instead of reading blogs, but I'm not sure what I want to do.

For painting, we have to do our best painting. Any subject, any size.

Photography's assignment is to find a photographer's work I like and bring in examples. The class is not what I had thought it would be. For one, since I am in Photo III I should be able to pick my projects for the semester. Two, the focus on the spring was supposed to be film, or so I was told. I do not care for digital photography, especially sitting at a computer editing. I would much rather spend hours in the darkroom. Instead of all that, this semester's class focus is on alternative digital photography. I do admit I am intrigued because we will be learning how to print on any surface: fabrics, wood veneer, sheet metal, etc. Because of the level I am at, I will also have more freedom in project presentation, which will be nice. She wants us to combine our favorite medium with the processes we will learn, so I've been working out ways that I could combine this with fibers. I do have sketches and ideas down already, so that should help propell me through the semester. I am disappointed that I won't be able to work on what I wanted to do, which is learn early photography methods, such as tintypes, but I may be able to fit that in on the side. At any rate, this class is going to challenge me and may surprise me in the end.

Finally, for my sculpture class, we need to make up a model for a human-size sculpture we will be welding. Aside from one guy, I am the only other student in the class who has welding experience. That should be interesting for the others.

Enough about school for now. I'm thinking about taking one day a week to share with you all what I'm working on in school, and contain it there so you can choose to read about it or not.

Speaking of a schedule, check out Mollie's (Wild Olive) post today about blog planning. In December I was planning out my future blogs, and even scheduling some in advance. I really liked the organization of it and that I could write a few at a time instead of wondering what I could post every day. Currently, the only thing I have planned out is these weekly WIP posts, but I will be returning to more planning, especially since I am so busy now.

Now onto my weekly progress. Be sure to check out the other WIP Wednesday posts over at Lee's place and give your support.


January Stitch-a-long - I made my couched piece into a banner. See this post for all the infomation.

Name banner

Progress Made:

Garter Stitch Scarf - I have done some more knitting, but not enough to really show progress. Today's not a great day for photographs either, as it is heavily overcast and snowing a little.

Drunkard's Path QAL - More blocks have been trimmed. Have I mentioned that I find trimming to be tedious?

No Progress:

Sewing Machine Cover
Project for Migration Blocks - can't decide how to quilt them.
Halloween Mini
Wedding Present
Kaleidoscope QAL
Zig Zag QAL
Tangerine Tango Challenge - stalled until I pick up some Konas. They are on sale next week at Joann's though. Hopefully they have the colors I want.
2012 Color Challenge: January - stalled until I pick up Konas.
Curves Class (starts Feb 1st)
For the Love of Solids Swap - just waiting on partner assignment to start.
Sparkle QAL (maybe?)
Made in Cherry QAL (maybe?)
Birthday Present for BFF


Mouthy Stitches Swap - all signed up and waiting for partner assignment.

Mouthy Stitches Mosaic

Swoon-a-long (maybe? Depends on if I can find the right fabrics.)

Dessert of the Month Club - I'm sure you have seen other people post about this. I love the design for January so I had to join. I need to pick up materials before I start.

Embroidery Journal Project - This is a free-for-all project and I have been only thinking about what I will stitch up this month.

I think that's everything. I am taking another online class about tapping into creativity, but not sure how much of that I will share here. It's not really an end point anyway, so the outcomes/projects from it will get their own post.

Boy, do I need to get to work on this list! First up, homework, then fun. Happy Wednesday to you!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Inspiration: Native American Art

This weekend didn't result in much work on my ongoing projects. Instead, I mostly spent it preparing for classes to start tomorrow. There was a lot of football watching, including the championship win by my university's team, and the start of the the 2012 bull riding season. I also took a field trip to a local museum on Saturday. I had already seen the exhibits they are showing, but wanted to view one that is ending soon again. Of course since I was there, I wanted to walk through the other exhibits too.

One exhibit was comprised of new work that the museum has acquired. Again I found myself drawn to a select few pieces. All of them happen to be created by Native American artists, so I thought I would share them with you as a source of inspiration. (The photos are from my cell phone as I wasn't intending to take pictures.)

I didn't make notes on who exactly created these works of art, just that they were all Native American. The exhibit that these pieces are a part of runs until April, so if you are interested in knowing more details, let me know.

First up is a wall hanging made from tree bark. From afar, it reminded me of a quilt.

Bark Full

Upon examination, you can see that the bark is sewn together.

Bark Detail

Next is this dress. At first, I thought it was carved from wood but it is actually ceramic.

Ceramic Dress

Finally, this cushion is quillwork. Beautiful, and I could see this created with any number of materials.


Those are what stuck out for me. I love going to the museum to see what others make from everyday materials. Especially in Native American art, the use of natural materials is stunning. I come home and look at everything differently.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Couched Name Banner

The January stitch-a-long over at Feeling Stitchy is to make a couched piece. I have been wanting to stitch along with them since I started following last summer, but haven't had the time. Floresita is making a New Year's banner with couching and I loved the idea of a banner, but instead of Happy New Year, I chose to use my name. I needed something special for my sewing space afterall. So I took this stack of materials...

New project

And after a few nights of couching, turned them into this.

Name banner

Just one quick picture of the entire thing because it was very windy today.


Here's a close up. I used bits of leftover yarn from my last cowl for the letters. The banner is beefed up a bit because I fused fleece to both the front and back pieces. Floresita posted a little tutorial on how she did her couching. For mine, I marked the banner pieces with water soluable pen because I was using cotton fabric. I haven't used that type of pen on felt, so I can't say how that would work.

So that's my quick finish for today! If you're interested in a tutorial on how I did any part of this banner, let me know. I would gladly whip up another one.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

TTT: Picking a Pattern

One reason why I shouldn't be allowed to buy new fabrics or yarns is because I immediately want to use them. This wouldn't be an issue if I also didn't abandon the other projects I have going on. So it is taking all of my will to not cast on both of the new yarns that I bought.

Yarn stashing

Both are deliciously soft and if I could manage, I would wrap the silk/camel blend around me to wear always. I forgot to mention yesterday, but my local yarn shop also carries a buffalo down blend that almost made it's way home with me. However, the over $50 price tag kept it in the store. For now.

I know I want to make a hat with the Madelinetosh. The Marrakesh is where I'm not sure. I haven't worked with lace weight yarn before. So I spent some time searching on Ravelry to see what other people have made with both of these yarns.

It didn't help me decided yet, but I thought I would share with you the possible patterns I may use. I do intend to knit or crochet these up in the coming months.

First, the Madelinetosh...

Crooked Paths hat. Image source.

Lush Leaves hat

Lace Leaf hat. Image source.

Rosebud hat. Image source.

Sourwood Mountain gloves. Image source. I am thinking about going back to get a second skein just so I can make these to match whichever hat I choose.

And now my beloved silk and camel...

CashSilk Fern Scarf

Fern scarf. Image source.

Indian Feathers shawl. Image source.

Sezession I shawl. Image source. This one is standing out as the frontrunner.

Any of them stand out for you?

Linking up to Making Rebecca Lynne for her Thursday Think Tank. Hopefully I will have a finished item to share with you tomorrow.