Monday, August 18, 2014

Manly Sewing

As I mused in the last post, sewing for men I find quite difficult.  Fabric seems to have an inherent feminine quality.  Coming up with gifts for the men in my life proves more difficult every holiday season.

This year. we decided to make homemade dry rubs, ketchup, sauces, and such.  We want to make a gift basket out of something useful, like a salad bowl, and I thought I would make kitchen towels and potholders to go with it all.

So, for the manly chefs in my life, manly fabric is needed.  I have had these waiting for a project.  I just loved the moustashe fabric and the shirtings were perfect.  Now, onto the potholders.  I need to get some heat resistant batting to be sure that the potholders are useful.

I hope they like them.

Until next time,
One Little Birdie

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Design and Paranoia

So, I realized that there was one friend I had not made a quilt for yet.  It's a guy, and I think designing quilts for guys is hard because I feel that most quilts are inherently feminine.  I know he is a batik kind of guy, so I thought that a neutral to bring the batiks together would work, hoping that the lighter batiks wouldn't come off as girly.  I had a good collection of 6 inch batik squares, so I went with that and used the gray in the same way.  I really like how it is coming together and it is easy to piece.  The top is actually done now, so all I need to is sandwich and I can begin to quilt.

I will probably stew over quilting design for a while.  I always do.  Need to get inspired on that to get started.

In the mean time, I also realized I had not made my nieces quilts.  so I need to get busy on designing something for them!  It being July, I have enough time to do those before the holidays.

The girls share my love for the lullaby, Little Birdie in a Tree, as their mother (my sister) sang it to them as children.  In fact, they too have tattoos based on the song.  So I am going to try and design quilts with that song in mind.  They each like bold colors, which I think will add fun and excitement to the quilts.

I love designing with specific people in mind.  Trying to capture their personality in the design is a challenge I really get into.

Now, we have a new puppy in our house.  A puppy, a 12 week old puppy.  trying to accomplish things and concentrate with a puppy biting at your heels and getting into things and house training is, well, interesting.  I have to take her outside at least every 30 to 45 minutes.  I need to keep her entertained so she chews on appropriate things.  And, I need to make sure that I do not step on her accidentally.  Keeps us all on our toes! 

My sewing studio is on the second floor and Chai is one mobile puppy!  She is currently asleep on the sofa downstairs, so I need to check on her every few minutes.  A quite puppy is a very suspicious thing, let me tell you.  I have become one paranoid puppy mommy.  I need to remember to check on her and not get lost in my work too much.  Thank goodness, for now she is young enough to sleep quite a bit, as long as she also gets some exercise.

Genny, our other dog, is six years old and, frankly, a pretty lazy dog.  She has to be on her toes too and a bit paranoid herself with the puppy around.  She has been extremely patient.  Right now, she is currently doing her best imitation of an area rug on my studio floor.  A difficult hurdle when walking around when one needs to avoid an 80 pound lump.  She is just happy that a puppy is not chewing on her ears.

Well, I had better take advantage of the quite to get something accomplished!

Until next time

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

I have been busy

I picked up those hooks and I have hardly put them down.  I seem to be focused on jewelry and other small objects like bowls. 
With this much going on, I decided to reopen my etsy shop:

I am having fun.  I have also made a few new things to help me display this new inventory at craft shows.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An old hobby, revisited

I haven't picked up my crochet hooks for quite a while, but I got the urge to have something for my hands to do in the evenings.  So, I found my stash and got started.  Here are the fruits of my labors.

The necklace is made with Patons metallic yarns.  Shiny!  Some folks have ordered some!  Squee!

The socks are very easy and crochet up quickly.  They will be very toasty.

It pays to keep busy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Project! Split Decision

It is always exciting to start a new project.  I have had the stuff for this one sitting for a while.  I was taking a class at my local quilt shop and saw the sample for this hanging on their wall - I fell in love.

The pattern is called Split Decision, by A Quilter's Dream.  It is a 2 color quilt.  10 fat quarters of each colorway.  you make log cabin blocks in each colorway.  Then, and this is the exciting part, you slice the blacks in half, using a gentle curve.  You then piece opposite colorway halves together.  The blocks offset as well.  This makes for such a cool effect - I hope I described it right.

The sample in the quilt shop had 2 colorways that were very subtly different and reminded me of sunrise and sunset.  While choosing my fat quarters, however, I made the decision to go a different way.  Cool and Warm.  I think this will be pretty when it is finished.  The fabrics audition well enough together, so cross your fingers.

Now to cut the strips, label the parts and piece the log cabins.  Slicing finished blocks, that will take some courage.  But after the silk quilt, I think I am up for it.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Finished! Purple Dream

All finished!  I ordered a silk cotton blend in a lovely royal purple for backing and binding - and just enough.  I paid very close attention to the basting this quilt because I was very concerned about the slippery nature of silk.  I also ordered a silk bamboo batting.  So, I basted the quilt with both fusible basting spray as well as pins for extra confidence.

I was rewarded for my efforts and had very little issues while free motion quilting.  And I used my wonderful new machine, the Brother PQ1500.  It has a very large harp and was a dream to quilt with.  I chose a meandering swirl pattern, due to all of the straight lines in the piecing.  I used King Tut variegated purple thread (938), top and bottom.  I finished quilting with very little trouble and am quite pleased with the results.

The piecing isn't perfect.  The slippery nature of the silk won that contest.  But I am in love with this quilt anyway and proud of it in spite of its flaws.

So, after putting it off because I was intimidated by the silk, it is finally finished and I have one less UFO.  That feels good.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Purple Silk!

I was visiting the midwest a few years ago and went to a quilt shop with a blogger friend.  And there it was, on the wall.  A gorgeous purple silk quilt sample.  all shiny and purple!  I had to have the kit!  HAD TO!  and it was very reasonably priced!  The blocks are very simple.  In fact, i admit to getting board with the piecing and put it off for a while.  also, sewing with silk is very slippery work, so this is not the best example for piecing.  But who cares.  IT'S PURPLE SILK!!!!!!

I just ordered a purple silk/cotton blend for the backing and bamboo/silk blend batting.  I think this will have to be rather heavily quilted or it will tear easily if used.  And this is one I want to use.  wrap up in the silky luxurious goodness!  Squee!!!