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!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fabric Printing

I finished up all the prepared fabric squares from my QSDS workshop and here's a snippet of what I created!

I did some gingko leaves for my mom, and she's already absconded with them!

I also created some little doors; I've got some nice photos from Italy that I can combine these with, although some are sweet by themselves.

I had a lot of fun creating my own stamp motifs in both positive and negative shapes, and cutting out lots of vinyl stickers to use as resists. Now to create some new quilts!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Charms from a charming friend....

As I continue to go thru fabrics and organize the Art Barn, I discover things! This week I discovered a big fat ziplock FULL of charm squares sent to me eons ago by a great quilting friend, Anastasia (just like my own dear daughter, and HER daughter!).

Looking at all those tidy little stacks really took me back...different decade, different style of quilting, fabrics I remember and they don't make any more. They called out to be useful, so I spent the weekend sewing over half of them together. I finished 2 nice big blocks, one in mostly yellows and purples, the other brights. The rectangular bright block I think I will quilt up and sew into a nice tote bag. The yellow & purple block is asking for a nice dark border, possibly some more blocks or applique. Perhaps it will end up a lap quilt, more probably a wall hanging.

I also pieced together a stack to be saved as a bright, random border for a project in the they are all nicely pressed. Now they are neatly rolled and tucked into the drawer with other blocks that are waiting for their moment. It's nice to have a pieced border all ready to go, so when that urge hits me, I won't have to stop and fuss with it!

Thank you so much for the sweet memories, Anastasia!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

So I took a class....

at QSDS last weekend! (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) with Melanie Testa. Very sweet instructor, great work, and we got stuff done.

We were taught to use thickened dye to monoprint and stamp on soda-ash soaked cloth. I wish I had finished more, but 2 days just isn't very long! But it's so fun to go to QSDS; gets your creative juices flowing again, or pouring out of you if you weren't stuck.

I still have some prepped blank fabric, and I brought home some of the gooey algaenate thickener, so I guess I need to do some more! It's a little messy, but that's what the Art Barn is for.
We had limited time, so we needed to stick to a single motif. I chose some gears; I cut some out of freezer paper to act as a resist, then I created my own positive and negative stamp with sticky back fun foam & acetate. Quick and easy techniques, and with more time and planning, I can imagine some really great results.

Friday, April 26, 2013

New plush Pattern Results!

So last week I shared my thrift shop score of cashmere sweaters, and the new patterns for soft toys that I'm working saw the sad little "skins" laying on my worktable, ready to be stuffed and embellished!

Here they are! a lovely argyle Owl.....

a sweet little pale blue Lamb!! (I like his little gray face, don't ewe?)

and HERE is what happens when you use a ribbed sweater to try and make a lamb...the stretch is out of balance! I was so disappointed, and also it cracked me up, but I think it looks like a pink hammerhead shark! I debated just pulling the stuffing out and tossing the thing, but it's grown on me...I'm going to make a little shark face!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Working and loving it!

Busy working in the gorgeous studio.....I have a pile of cashmere sweaters from the thrift shop all washed and ready!

See the pile? so pretty!

I'm scheduled to do some arts & crafts type festivals this May & July, so I'm concentrating right now on increasing my inventory of super-soft and cuddly Kashmere Kitties....not only are they cute, but they're environmentally-friendly!

See the cut & sewn up "skins" that I made next?? They look a little creepy and forlorn like that, I know.

I've also drafted NEW patterns for cashmere plushness! I've got a pattern that doubles as either a lamb or a puppy (see the pink & blue skins lower left) and I re-patterned an Owl, mostly for Dear Daughter. That will be the argyle "skin" on the bottom right!

Stay tuned, I'll post pics as I get them all stuffed and pretty!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's the new & improved Art Barn!

When we first moved in, the poor place was a disaster! If we weren't sure where to put it, it ended up in the barn. Piles and stacks and bins, oh my! See the Disaster Site.

I did finally get a bit of organization going, setting up a sewing area...see, it was my Little Slice of Heaven!

Well, things have REALLY changed! Last Black Friday-day after Thanksgiving, my baby brother pulled up with his truck & trailer and unloaded a ton of wood & tools. We built a loft! Or as he calls it, a mezzanine. It is gorgeous! Sturdy, BIG, proper stairs, tons of space for storage!
Dear daughter & I spent the next 6 weeks hauling stuff to Goodwill, to the trash, organizing, emptying bags, boxes, tubs and bins. Hubby installed the new eco florescent fixtures baby brother gave me for Christmas, and a great shop fan. And now.....

Unveiling the new & improved Art Barn!! There is a lovely seating area, with a coffee pot next to the furnace & fridge. There is Floor Space! There is organization! I actually KNOW where things are, and more importantly, can GET to them! Storage bins are upstairs, labelled. The only bins I still need to empty & organize are the fabrics, although those are semi-sorted already.

Room for cutting tables, all the supplies sorted and grouped together, Ana has her own area, plenty of room to move stuff around! My jewelry bench is finally put back together. Okay, so that area still needs sorted out, but at least it's all in one place! Stereo equipment & speakers are hooked up, and the CDs are actually right next door. I can put things AWAY and find them again the next time! Room for visitors, classes, parties, it's so wonderful!

Yes, I have been working, although most of what I've been sewing are UFO's (Un-Finished Objects) getting them done and tagged & properly put away. It has been really great to work in the new space, and I kind of hate to mess it up! That pile of tubs in the back, near the overhead door?? Empty!! There are still a couple items that need to go to Goodwill (anyone want some GIANT speakers?) but my, it is so awesome!