Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Anyone interested in a 1946 fire truck?
Overpass art in Albuquerque, New Mexico
San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Zoe and Kyra will have Christmas stockings. I used just a few chile fabrics from my huge collection. Most of my family has cross-stitched stockings. I started making quilted stockings for my grandchildren.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
I do two things every year in late November. I avoid shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, and I make a stocking for the Omaha Quilt Guild's Stocking Challenge . This year, I sent my family off to a movie without me on Friday afternoon and made my stocking. Photos show front and back of stocking.
The orange fabric was the challenge fabric. I chose snowflake and sky fabrics to be a background for my free-hand cut star.
I like to try something on a small scale that I am thinking about for a larger project, so this stocking has crazy-quilted patches. The stitching was done by machine and I didn't fuse the patches onto the background.
I'm happy with the stocking and what I learned: It is easier to start at an "end", rather than work in a circular pattern around a middle.
I hope the child who gets this stocking enjoys it for many years.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Today, I took those cloth bags to the grocery and used them. I'll keep them in my truck and use them again later this week. And next week, and the week after that. And again, and again. Not just one less plastic bag, 1000 less plastic bags!
Tomorrow is recycle day in my neighborhood. I will pat myself on the back when I put out a recycle bin that is twice as big as our garbage bin. And then I need to work on reducing the number of plastic bottles in that recycle bin.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
An identification crisis! I acquired a bag of fiber that I *think* is tussah silk noil. There are four distinct "pieces" - two are light brown and two are white.
There are burn tests for cotton/poly/wool fabrics. Is there one for silk? Can you help me ID this fiber?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Of course I had to do it too. I am pleased to announce that I am done! Here is my "one pen, one paper" drawing.
My favorite part of the design is something I've been doodling a lot this year.
I experienced a number of conflicting emotions when I saw *MY* doodle in Dianne Firth's piece in Quilt National (Red Wave). I was pleased (maybe my work could be in QN!), surprised (OMG, someone else thought of it), irritated (no one will think my work is original now), relieved (she doesn't do it exactly like I do!)
Monday, July 16, 2007
• Pin binding to BACK of quilt, raw edges of binding to outer edge of quilt.
• Sew binding to quilt, using a ¼” seam.
• Fold binding to FRONT of quilt. Press the binding lightly. No need to get a knife edge – you just want the binding to lie in position. Do make sure the miters on the corners are pressed.
• Choose a thread for the top which contrasts with your binding/top if you want the stitching to show or a matching thread if you want the stitching to blend. The bobbin thread should blend with your quilt backing.
• Using a decorative stitch, sew the binding down by machine. My favorite stitch is the zig-zag stitch which has 3 stitches in each leg of the zig. I also like to use a buttonhole stitch. I don't like to use a straight stitch because it can be difficult to keep it a consistent distance from the edge of the binding.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I've been dyeing wool roving - sort of a bus man's holiday! These are the last five batches. I hang them in my kitchen window to dry. It adds a nice spot of color!
I've dyed wool with Kool Aid. Fun to do with kids, no toxic stuff to worry about, but a little on the expensive side if you want to dye any volume. I switched to MX dyes with vinegar as my acid after a few times playing around with Kool Aid. At first, I used the left-over dye from a fabric dyeing session, now I have to mix dyes just for wool!
There is an color shift when dyeing wool, so the results are less predictable than with cotton. This adds an element of surprise that I anticipate and appreciate. Back to the dyepot - I'm in a green and blue phase right now.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
This is a fairly vague description of what I did. (It has been a while & I was experimenting.) I used a plastic cup. Fill cup about half full of soda ash, put in wooden stars. Set aside to soak for about 30 minutes. Poured off most of the soda ash solution. Added dye to enough water to fill the cup about half way - covering the stars, poured it into the cup, making sure stars were covered. Covered the cup with plastic wrap. Left sitting until the next day.
They took color well. Where one star was lying on top of another, the dye was partially blocked, which you can see in the picture. The white flecks are bits of fluff from sitting around for all this time! If I were to do it again, I would make sure to have a single layer of wood objects.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We got to Rosenblatt Stadium about 4:45 pm for a 6 pm game, to find the earlier game was still in progress. The game between Cal State Fullerton & UC Irvine went 13 innings (5+ hrs) setting a record for the longest CWS game ever. And I had GIVEN my tickets to the nephew of a friend who left in the 5th inning. Who does that? Even Dodger fans stay until the 7th!
Since we had time to kill, we wandered around the Fan Fest area, shopped (I bought another ASU t-shirt) and went over to Zesto's to eat. The two lines were each about 30 people long when we got there. By the time we got our food (GREAT burgers & fries!), they were twice that long. Which meant that standing in line to get ice cream was out of the question.
And finally, a baseball game. ASU's loss to Oregon State was ugly and painful. The final score was 12-6, but it wasn't anywhere near that close. I quit keeping score around the 4th inning, when I got tired of coloring in little boxes on the OSU side of the score sheet. The high point of the game was the blow-up doll that fell into the field from the right field bleachers. Pathetic, but the Sun Devils gave us very little to cheer about tonight. The security guys who confiscated her set her up on the bench beside them. They usually get booed for taking the beach balls, but the crowd gave them a round of applause this time. And by the time we left Rosenblatt around 11 pm, I wasn't too unhappy that I missed that LONG first game!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
What a slogan! What a day at Rosenblatt! What made it such a good day? Since I like to make lists.....
1.On a HOT HOT day, we watched the Arizona State Sun Devils beat the UC Irvine Anteaters by a single run.
2. The frozen lemonade was incredibly and wonderfully cold. (Did I mention it was HOT?)
3. Eavesdropping on the conversation in the row behind me, I met a quilter who had come from Grand Island for the game. She & her husband were rooting for ASU because their son lives in Scottsdale, AZ. As the innings passed. I gave her directions to two local quilt shops, we talked about sewing machines, I invited her to Quilt Nebraska, and I showed her my quilting tattoo. We talked about the differences in humidity between Omaha and Grand Island, and the dry heat of Phoenix.
4. During the 7th inning stretch, we sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Then we got to watch a young man get down on one knee, offer a diamond ring to his girlfriend, and cheer excitedly when she said yes.
5. I bought a new ASU shirt to wear on Monday, when the Sun Devils play again.
6. Since ASU was designated the home team for this game, my seats were right in the middle of a huge crowd of ASU fans from all over. It was lots of fun to share the thrill of victory!
7. My favorite vendor visited our section. He talks non-stop, offering to shut up & go away for just $3. AND, he throws in a free cherry sno-cone! Lots of takers - did I mention it was HOT?
8. The wave went around the stadium 4 times before falling victim to action on the field.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Baseball! Almost like Opening Day, without the stress of wanting my team to win! We saw the NC Tarheels come from behind to beat the Mississippi Bulldogs. I cheered for both teams, leaving the NC fan sitting beside me scratching his head.
I love my seat location. My seat looks straight down the basepath from 3rd base to 2nd. The sun is always behind us. I don't like the new seats in Rosenblatt. The seat portion is not as deep, making them less comfortable. The new lack of depth is supposed to make up for the seat portion not folding up, but what is does is make the "may I get past you dance" even more awkward.
I'm leaving for Rosenblatt Stadium in a little while to see Arizona State (go Sun Devils!) play UC. I've got my Sparky tattoo on my cheek and am still sporting my "Born to Quilt" tattoo on my forearm. Not exactly Biker Babe stuff, but they work for me!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Many of my other initial concerns were realistic. The poly thread didn't dye. I haven't found a marker which will color the thread and blend well. The corduroy seems to have shrunk while the lining did not. The jacket doesn't hang as nicely as it did. I knew the lining would not take any color, but the white looks good next to the blue. There weren't any surprises, which means I thought it through.
My client hasn't seen the final result. I don't think she will be satisfied. I wish she had liked the initial dye job. The color was much prettier than the color in the final product! See First Round and Second Round of The Great Blazer Dyeing Experiment.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
My favorite son turned 30 last month. (I don't think I'm old enough to have a child who is 30, but the calendar insists that I am.) I wanted to do something different, so every day for 30 days, I sent him a gift consisting of 30 of the same items. The idea for this came from a post on the QuiltArt list (see last paragraph).
My gifts were:
1. baseball cards
2. 6.5" fabric squares
3. pieces of Trident gum
4. smiley face pins
5. drinking straws (bendable!)
6. coasters from Chili's
9. green plastic toy soldiers
10. gel tab sponges
11. blue pom-poms
12. pipe cleaners
13. Capitol One fake credit cards
14. clear pony beads
15. round pasta (don't remember name)
16. chocolate pennies
17. mini ponytail stretchies
18. biz cards w/Happy Birthday notes
19. fortunes from cookies
20. baseball post-it notes
21. ketchup packets
22. $300 in $10 Monopoly bills
23. canceled stamps
24. Simpson cookies
25. green paint samples
26. origami cranes (folded by his youngest sister)
28. songs (downloaded onto cd by another sister)
29. plastic clothespins
30. pictures of himself from age 1 day to 13.
Last Paragraph: At the Chicago IQA show, I asked 30 people to write Happy Birthday on their business card as one of my gifts. Christine Adams happily did so, then told me that her sister had done "40 gifts for 40 days" for Christine's 40th b-day. Christine had posted about it on QuiltArt. I thought it was really neat that the person who inspired me to do this for Josh was actually involved in one of his gifts! Thanks Christine!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I've dyed the blazer a 2nd time. Read about Round 1 . I wanted to tone down the blue, make it darker AND less bright, plus even out the color. Again, I used a 5-gallon bucket. I didn't take it out of the bucket this time, which made it easier to slosh around when I added the soda ash. It was also MUCH easier to rinse. I poured off the excess fluid, let the jacket drain for 15 minutes or so, then was able to move it from bucket to washing machine with minimal mess.
When I took the blazer out of the dryer, it looked good! The color was beautiful and it looked even. But! Take it out into stronger light and YUCK! This color looks horrible in the sunlight. When it isn't in full sunlight, the color and shade are what I want, this picture shows that I have some work to do. The white threads didn't dye, and after some discussion of Sharpies on QuiltArt, I'm hesitating about using them. My best argument for using them is that when the halo effect starts to happen 10 years down the road, this jacket isn't likely to be around.
Back to the dye bucket!
Friday, April 27, 2007
1. I'm short for my weight.
2. I learned to read before I started school.
3. I love baseball and the Cincinnati Reds.
4. I have four kids, all by C-section.
5. I like both cats and dogs.
6. I started dyeing my hair in high school.
7. I can quilt, knit, sew, crochet, x-stitch and bead.
8. I am very good at keeping secrets.
9. I am a collector (trolls, crayons, fabric, buttons, baseball cards, blank books, McD toys, yarn, postcards, chiles).
10. I'm a very private person.
11. I love math.
12. I have been known to hold grudges.
13. I listen to my intuition. When I don't, I regret it.
14. I think potatoes are the perfect food.
15. My favorite color is pink.
16. I am a middle child (2 sisters & a brother older, same younger).
17. I knew everyone in my graduating class of 110, almost everyone in the high school.
18. I like to be alone.
19. I've watched The Young & The Restless since 1982.
20. I converted to Catholicism in 1987.
21. I dream every night, in color.
22. I talk in my sleep.
23. I always wear my seat belt.
24. I am very stubborn when necessary.
25. I like living in the city.
26. I have a beautiful smile.
27. I never had braces.
28. I think a pedicure is a wonderful luxury.
29. I always go home from a haircut/style and redo my hair.
30. Comics I always read: Baby Blues, Zits, Sally Forth, Non Sequitur.
31. Foods I dislike: cooked spinach, olives, sardines, lima beans.
32. I don't like to cook.
33. I had a Top Secret security clearance in 1975.
34. I am a great navigator. All I need is a map and a street sign!
35. I love electrical storms. Lightning! Thunder!
36. I'd rather be hot than cold.
37. I have an electrical engineering degree from Arizona State University.
38. I don't like the Designated Hitter rule. Pitchers should bat!
39. I like to sit in the back row in movies, church, school.
40. I've been married 3 times, divorced twice. 3rd time's the charm.
41. I like antique furniture.
42. I like to fly kites.
43. I like to water ski.
44. My favorite car is a Mustang. I've owned two.
45. My favorite album is Jackson Browne's Late For The Sky.
46. I went to college on the GI Bill.
47. My first job was as a waitress at the Red Bird Restaurant in Russells Point, OH.
48. The hardest job I've had is being a mother.
49. I jumped off a high dive board ONCE - to prove to myself that I could.
50. I wear glasses.
51. I recycle & think everyone else should.
52. I love purses, bags, totes.
53. I like to wear funky socks.
54. I make lists.
55. I caught a luna moth on summer night at my grandmother's house.
56. I got my 1st pair of pants (shorts) when I was in 5th grade.
57. I get carsick.
58. My favorite video games are Tetris and Ms. Pacman.
59. I was the first 4-Her to show goats at the Logan County Fair (mid-60s).
60. My favorite artist is Amado Pena.
61. In church, I won't sing any song written after I was born.
62. I can type almost 70 wpm.
63. I dropped out of college (Ohio State) after 1 quarter, walking away from a full scholarship.
64. My favorite desserts are ice cream and cheesecake (not together).
65. I've hiked in & out of the Grand Canyon several times.
66. I eat steak medium rare.
67. I saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (live!) in the late 80's with my oldest daughter & Taylor Kirkman.
68. Sometimes when I look in a mirror, I see my mother.
69. I prefer Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke.
70. I love chocolate.
71. I'm a morning person.
72. My drug of choice is caffeine.
73. I have season tickets to the College World Series after being on the waiting list for 11 years.
74. I don't like to fly.
75. I don't have a favorite holiday.
76. I like to do jigsaw puzzles.
77. I hate to shop.
78. I use commemorative stamps.
79. I do not want a tattoo.
80. I have naturally curly hair.
81. I have very low blood pressure.
82. I have O- blood.
83. I've never broken a bone.
84. My favorite dogs are non-shedding: Chows & Mini-schnauzers.
85. I love to run, but my knees don't!
86. I'd rather deal with an ugly truth than be lied to.
87. I like to have my bed made.
88. I like to drive a stick shift.
89. I love to sing.
90. I have a very high IQ.
91. I have very good fine motor skills.
92. I was named after both of my grandmothers.
93. I like keeping a diary, a journal, a record of events.
94. I keep score at every baseball game I attend.
95. I have trouble going to sleep without a TV on.
96. Cigarette smoke gives me a headache.
97. I've eaten more than one worm from a bottle of tequila.
98. I was standing in line at the end of the day in my 3rd grade classroom when I was told that JFK had been shot.
99. My person mantra: Success is in continuity of purpose (Benjamin Disraeli).
100. I love roller coasters.
Monday, April 02, 2007
It is the end of The Void, the beginning of a new season. The Boys Of Summer are back. The Reds are in first place. Oh, I can dream! My afternoon will be spent watching my Cincinnati Reds take a whupping stick to the Chicago Cubs. Oh, I can dream!
Reasons why Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year:
-- My playoff fantasies are still realistic.
-- The Reds game is always on tv.
-- I get to sing my version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame (and it's root, root, root for Cincinnati, if they don't win it's a shame!) during the 7th inning stretch for the first of many times this year.
-- I will take calls from my sisters (Margery & Patience) who are celebrating Opening Day at Coors Field.
-- I will win the first of many squares in my baseball swap.
-- Winter is truly over (I hate snow!).
The day could only be better if I were actually at the ballpark. Play ball!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Last fall, a woman approached me and asked me to dye a blazer for her. She had a white corduroy blazer that she wanted dyed black. After some negotiation, we ended up with a contract which spelled out all the problems I could foresee. These ranged from shrinkage issues and un-dyeable polyester to uneven color coverage. We agreed on navy blue instead of black.
I decided to do a vat dye (rather than low water immersion), using a 5-gallon bucket. I mixed the dye and put it in about 2.5 gallons of water. I added the jacket, agitated it and let it sit for two hours, stirring it around every 15 minutes or so. When I was ready to add the soda ash, I let the jacket drain into the bucket until my arm got tired. Moving it to a tub created a mess! I'm glad I don't vat dye on a regular basis. I had blue dye all over! With the blazer in a large tub, I poured soda ash over it. I manipulated the jacket to get the soda ash spread throughout. I'm not sure I did a good job, as a blazer is much more difficult to work with than a yard or two of cotton! I expect to dye it twice, maybe three times to get an even color.
I rinsed the blazer the next day in the washer (delicate cycle, cold water). This is the blazer (front and back) after the first dye. There are light and dark areas of color as I expected. I love the color changes, but not what my client is looking for!
The topstitching thread is obviously poly. I'm going to color it (probably with a Sharpie) when the dyeing is finished. Round 2 tomorrow!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
My cash register table needs a cover. For a couple of years worth of shows, I've made do with a big black tablecloth. I fold the too-wide length under and pin the too-long sides up. And promise myself that I'll make a custom cover that FITS. And stuff happens and I don't get it done and I go to the next show and go through the folding and pinning and promising.
I woke up this morning to the sound of a thunderstorm. I planned to spend the day cleaning out my flower beds for spring, planting some early color. With my outdoor plans stymied by the heavy rain, I realized I could make my often-promised table cover AND satisfy an on-going need to produce measurable work.
I started by raw-edge appliquéing strips and chunks from my scrap tub onto a base of muslin about 6" wide. When the first piece was 24" long, I started another. When I had enough 24" pieces to cover my table, I joined them together. I added a skirt black polyester to surround the table and hemmed it so it hangs just an inch off the floor. I finished all the seams so the poly wouldn't ravel. Not creative, but satisfying. I did some top-stitching with varigated threads. I will notice the color, whether anyone else does or not.
This is the finished piece. Colorful, somewhat creative, measurable work. I'm happy. Except that I'm not sure I like the idea of Mike Piazza in an A's uniform.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
This cute little froggy just called out to me "I want to be a pincushion!", so now he is. I needle felted the wool, starting with a "bead" of wool that had been machine felted. (Making felted wool beads didn't work out the way I wanted, so I'm using the beads as a base for other felting projects.)
My second pincushion was a cute little pink cup. You can't see it, but on the saucer was a black poodle. Almost too cute to hide! I tried to felt a striped pattern on the top of the wool, but it looked weird, so I turned the wool upside down in the cup. The matching pink saucer MAKES this pincushion!
My third pincushion was felted last week. I machine felted a wool base because this cup is so big. I hand felted on dark red wool yarn, then put it through another machine felting cycle. You can still see the texture of the yarn, as well as a little of the base wool peeking through. Not as "cute" as the first two, but I like it.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I've recently been dyeing wool yarn with Procion dyes and vinegar. What I've discovered is that wool absorbs dye differently than cotton. When I'm dyeing cotton fabric, it is easy to get the textures and shades that make hand dyes so appealing. But that darn wool yarn soaks up the dye! Case in point: I poured blue dye in a dish, put my wet wool yarn on top of the dye, then poured on yellow dye. During the heating process, the blue dye absorbed into the yarn, mostly overwhelming the yellow. There are some bits of yellow left, but nothing like I anticipated.
This picture is from one of my students - these are her colorwheel fabrics:
Thanks Mary R!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I had fun today! I taught my first dyeing workshop for the Omaha Quilters Guild. Each person got a 3-jar set of the three primary colors. Following my recipes, they dyed 12 fat quarters.
Here they are, hard at work!
The end result was a tub full of colorful baggies.
Happy dyers, each holding their fabrics.
After being dutiful students and dyeing with my recipes, they got to play. Most people chose to dye two 1-yd pieces, other dyed half yards, and one mother-daughter team dyed fat quarters. The pictures show just a few of the colors which were dyed. So often in dyeing, the prettiest pieces are those which are created by accident. The last photo is one of the wipe-up rags - beautiful!