Monday, September 29, 2014

Spirit Houses and Bleach

Yes, I realize it has been 6 months since I have updated the blog....and yet it doesn't seem like much time at all! Let's jump right in....

I have been invited to share my quilts in April 2015, in a tiny little alumni gallery at Otterbein, now a University, when I graduated, a College. It's tucked underneath the stairs on the lower level of the Courtright Library, but it's sweet nonetheless. They specifically asked me about my work recycling fabrics from thrift shop clothing. Since normally that is the focus of my clothing, rather than the quilts, I'm creating more artwork just for them.

I visited the Otterbein thrift shop a couple time for materials, I puttered around all summer in the Art Barn, but this weekend, finally, I got started. I used some discharge paste and the stamps I created last year at QSDS on a scrap of linen skirt, and the sleeve from a man's shirt. I'm thinking along the lines of "spirit houses", places in the mind where we hold memories of cherished people, places, events and moments. The spirit of those memories live on in their houses, but sometimes we forget to visit them for long stretches of time. Sometimes, we even forget who or what lives in the little house there in the back. So I'm trying to investigate!

Here is the discharged fabric.....






....and here is the first stage of the first piece. I've laid out the backing fabric, batting, and the background of the face of the quilt, and I'm going to do some of the quilting next. Then I will begin layering the focal point, a larger "spirit house", and as I do, I'm hoping I will make the final decision regarding exactly who or what lives in this particular house. That big light circle at the top is a really lovely silvery gray piece of oriental satin from the Otterbein thrift, from Hong Kong or so the selvedge says, and represents the silvery moon.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Old School Selfie and New Repurposed Clothing

I don't have a smart phone.....I'm not that smart, plus, I have a really old, grandfathered cellphone account that gives me 5 phones for under $130. I keep checking and talking with them, but if I switch to smartness, my bill goes up over $100, and that's just for 1 smart phone! Yikes!

So...this is me wearing my recycled cashmere and men's shirt top....yep, in the bathroom with a regular digital camera! But the weather is so pretty, and I love wearing it so I wanted to share.

I've entered March like a lion, roaring thru the first weekend and making 1 new top a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday! They're all listed in the Etsy shop already, and I really think they're pretty and perfect for this time of year.

This weekend I have GOT to clean, though! My bedroom & the inevitable upstairs bathroom are calling my name, so at least Saturday I'll be a no-show in the Art Barn.



I got accepted into a really cool craft show in May, so I've already started stacking up plushie "skins" to be sewn and stuffed for my booth. I'm also working on a new item since the show is right before Mother's Day; a sort of everlasting corsage from cashmere sweater scraps and vintage buttons. I'm messing around with the flower shape right now, but as they come together, I'll share!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Wrap-Up

As we near the end of February 2014, it occurs to me that despite my best couch potato efforts, I have actually accomplished several projects this month! Amazing, I know, but there you have it.

Last night I finished knitting the first of a pair of socks, very pretty! I did FINALLY finish up my brother's Christmas pair of socks, but as they are serviceable black, I didn't photo them.

Yesterday I also whipped up a top for myself, I love it! I got some delicious woven stripe linen at Joanne's of all places....off white and "blackberry". Paired it with a 100% fine cotton knit sweater from the thrift; extra-small sized, ha! One sleeve is the button up front of the cardigan, and the other is the solid back. I had to radically piece them both, but totally worth it to incorporate the pretty silk chiffon trim from the button placket. I even dug out the roll hem foot for the Bernina, PRACTICED on a scrap (whaatt???) before hemming the bottom. I still need to finish the neckline with bias trim, but that won't take but a minute.





Monday I did all the quilting on a new piece, inspired by a photo taken by musician Tim Perdue, who is making quite a name for himself about town as an excellent photographer. Very sensitive images, evocative. I had these blue "bricks" laid out on a stark white background, but apparently I really wasn't sold...a week ago a friend came to the Art Barn to play, and encouraged me to go with my plan to switch out the white for a gray color. She helped me lay out all the bricks & pin them down again. And then....Monday I woke up and realized it was wrong! I had the bricks all lined up vertically, and they really cried out to be diagonal. So I took out all the pins, cut a few more bricks, laid it out, voila! Much better. The quilting is intended to evoke raindrops. I obviously need to bind it, and my plan is to then sew on many, many pearl buttons, like raindrops. Oh, did I mention? Every piece of fabric is from thrift shop clothing! Yep! and so are all the buttons I plan to use. I have been invited to display my work Spring 2015, particularly pieces from reclaimed textiles. So I'm concentrating on some new pieces that use more of those materials. It's really not difficult, given that I use them so regularly in the clothing I make.

That same friend laughed while I sewed up some new Kashmere pets....foxes!! I think they're cute! I love it when I can find argyle cashmere, it gives each animal a distinct personality.

Enjoy the pics, as I start my second sock, and stay warm and cozy as March comes roaring in!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pinterest WIN!

Yay! I love Pinterest, it has certainly lightened up my hard drive! I used to have an enormous bookmark list, and tons of random images in file folders, but no way to match them up and backtrack. Then Pinterest!

I am fascinated, though, by the sites out there with Pinterest "fails"....lord knows I've got my own share of those! But I do have a "win" to share: re-growing veggies!

I love romaine lettuce, esp the heads, rather than pre-torn salad bags. Snapple the kitty likes it too, she gets the wilty dark tips. So after pinning tips on re-growing produce yourself, I set the end of a bunch of romaine in a recycled lunchmeat container with a bit of water, and in 1 week: Voila!

All that growth is in a week; I chopped it off with a knife, straight across! I think it's pretty awesome, and so far Snapple hasn't discovered it, or she'd be nibbling on it while I'm at work. I love seeing those cute little leaves!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First projects for '14

Oh, I had such plans for the Christmas break! I did finish up some presents, and am still working on a few more (thank goodness my family all understand the madness that is handmade!)

But I spent some time this past weekend in the Art Barn, and did accomplish a few things. I took apart a teeny little Talbots linen top, and now have 71 (yep, seventy-one) lovely pale coral "jewels" that I can use to embellish something new. I cut & sewed up 10 feet of linen bias binding, so that's all ready to go. And I still have some of the fabric left, to piece into a new creation. I'm thinking I'll probably use some of the jewels on something for the Dear Daughter, as she really likes and looks really lovely in that shade. It's always nice to have bias binding ready to use, in lots of colors, and when's the last time you saw linen binding? I think not ever in the big box stores!



I also whipped up something for myself, because I just really needed to....a long raglan style top, with gray cashmere sweater sleeves and a man's fancy dress shirt for the body. Both were from the thrift store, and cost less than $7.00 total! The shirt was really cool; silvery gray, french cuffs and the front placket was meant for studs, but it came with the button tape that I just left in there. The best thing is the print: little champagne glasses, and the bubbles coming out of it are part of the year "2000"....obviously a New Year's Eve shirt for the millennium. The fabric is a jacquard, so the reverse is just as fun as the right side. I used the entire shirt, the sleeves are the darker panels in the back. I've since finished off the neckline edge, and it's ready to wear!





Monday, September 2, 2013

Pleasant labor on Labor Day Weekend

With Dear Daughter off to grad school, this 3-day weekend was mine to enjoy! I was gifted with 5 huge boxes of decorator fabric samples, just in the nick of time, since I gave away the last little zipper pouch in my stockpile.

I use lots of the pouches myself, as a mini-sewing kit, as a change purse, you get the idea. I've been including them as a free gift whenever someone purchases a Red Panty clothing item from my Etsy shop, and I sent the last one out last week. But I've gone thru all the suitable fabrics I had, so I was just about to call up my interior designer friend and beg for samples, when out of the blue, someone emailed me to offer 5 giant boxes of fabrics for free! Snapped them up right away, they're great!


Mom & I went through all five boxes, with the result being I'm left with about 3 boxes worth. So Saturday I spent most of the day in the Art Barn, cutting, sorting, sewing! I like the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done, seeing a tall stack of finished items. It's not art, nor brain surgery, but it is a satisfying moment! I made 26 little zipper pouches....why 26? Because I did not have 27 zippers! Ha! I did use up all the zippers I had in the correct size, though, every single one. Hardly made a dent in the pile of fabric, though. I ordered a new assortment of colors, 50 in all, online from China, so I'll be able to make some more soon. It was fun using up what I had; I noticed that alot of the zippers were "Vintage", some from the 1960's, some from the 70's. Others were upcycled, saved from the thrift shop clothing I use to create Red Panty clothing. So besides saving a bunch of nice fabric from the landfill, I also managed to use up stuff of my own!


I also finished 3 more D-Town Totes to place for sale in the Beehive Bookstore, and there's plenty of tote bag potential in that decorator fabric pile!


The Smiling Scotsman cracks me up!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A thrift shop duvet cover + linen shirt equals.....

Some cute new Gardening Aprons! Just in time for the Scioto Gardens Gardening & Arts Festival!

The reversible duvet cover was just languishing in the Art Barn, black & cream check on one side, toile on the other. A couple of linen shirts for pockets and bias trim, and voila!

I think they turned out really cute, and there are lots of times they would come in handy. I like the full coverage in the front, and the crossover back. I might need one of these when I'm painting or dyeing fabric; I don't like to get messy, and this would be practical!