Monday, January 25, 2010

You like me. You really, really like me.

Remember when Sally Field accepted the Oscar for Norma Rae and that's what she said?
Well, maybe I feel a little like Sally right now, but without the excessive melodrama because I'm just not like that. I'm really, really not.
Anyway, I've been nominated for a Poppy in the category of Favourite Textiles(I intentionally spelled favorite the "other" way because that's how the Poppies spell it)
Don't know what The Poppies are(other than a field of lovely, but sleep inducing flowers in The Wizard of Oz)? No worries. Learn everything there is to know here. And if you're so inclined, you can vote for me by clicking through here or through the Poppie Portal I added to the right-hand sidebar.
Since I can't imagine a post without a few pretty images to look at, I'm including some shots of some recent creations, several of which already reside in Ye Oldde Etsy Shoppe while others will be making their way there throughout the week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Places at Once

Isn't it great that the internet makes it possible for me to do something that I never can manage in the non-virtual world? I can be both here, blathering in this space and at Whip Up guest blogging over there. I've never been more efficient than I am at this very minute.
Anyway, I put together a little post about my book, Color Your Cloth, and dyeing fabric. I also designed a special pattern just for my guest blogging gig. It's free and available as a PDF from Whip Up.
I had mentioned previously that I was madly in love with the Baktus scarf. The free knitting pattern for that is available on flickr. When Kathreen from Whip Up asked if I'd like to do a guest post about my book, I decided that I wanted to create a special pattern as part of the post. I'd been thinking about how to adapt the Baktus scarf to fabric and wrote to Strikkelise, the scarf's designer, to get permission to rework the pattern in cotton.

Since the focus of the post was hand dyed fabric and crafting with it, I patterned some cotton with a stamp I created by gluing a pair of wine corks to the back of a letterpress stamp I bought on Etsy. Instructions for making stamps out of all sorts of commonly available objects are found in the book. I then backed the patterned front with a hand dyed solid and I had my very own fabric Baktus.

I hope that some of you who've enjoyed making the knitted version will be inspired to sew a Baktus.
Before you decide though, head on over to Whip Up to read my post, check out the free pattern and...oh yeah...enter the give away for a free copy of Color Your Cloth.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As Easy as it Looks

It's been cold here. Every time I turn on the news I hear about how cold it is in Florida and how unusual that kind of extreme cold is. Well, it has been cold like that here, except we're not getting nearly as much coverage.
This unusual drop in temperatures prompted us to bring out a little something extra to make sitting in our newly painted living room, complete with now-filled aquarium(though no fish yet) more pleasant.

You might remember this quilt from the post that featured it on my daughter's bed and..oh...the cover of my book. Now it's gracing the couch along with a new pillow or two and it looks good there. So good that I'm not returning it to my middle's bed even though the thermometer isn't dipping quite so low.
Actually, seeing the quilt on the couch and, more importantly, cuddling underneath it, reminded me that I still had a few leftover blocks from the quilt's initial making.
It took a while to find them and there were only three, so I decided a fourth block was needed.

I've thought about the "rejected" block off and on since I made the quilt and came up with several ideas of how to incorporate them into something else. But these plans were rejected as well. It took seeing the finished quilt laid out to realize that the best solution was also the simplest.

I quilted the pillow top in the same pattern I used for the quilt and then selected the backing fabric.

It was only after I'd started attaching the zipper to the backing that it dawned on me that the pattern in the fabric mimicked the quilting pattern on the pillow top. All the parts just seemed to fit together easily.
I wish I could figure out how to make that happen all the time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happiness is a Whole Bunch of Fish

Before I get into this post, I wanted to answer a couple questions from the previous one. The sewing table is called the Arrow Olivia Sewing Cabinet and I purchased mine at Ready to Sew Bernina in Cedar Park (Texas, that is).

"It'll make me so happy." That's what my husband said when he proposed the idea of adding a second one. I had to laugh, but I wasn't so sure. I did finally agree to it but with two caveats. I've gotta give the guy credit. He definitely fulfilled his side of the bargain.
He did this:

So, now we have this:

The "this" I'm referring to is the aquarium.
A few weeks back, my husband made a heartfelt plea for a second fish tank. We currently have a 55-gallon tank stocked with what look to me like happy, little fish. But, he really wanted another one, so I said that if he could figure out what to do with the books and bookshelf that a 6-foot aquarium would likely displace and paint the room, then I would make room in my home and heart for more fish.
I mostly wanted to paint the room because I felt like it was a natural part of the remodel process. Now that I've actually had to help him move the tank into the house, I realize that it was a now or never situation. That tank is the heaviest thing I've ever had to help move and that's without any water. If we hadn't painted now, we never would because you just don't move that puppy around.
Naturally, new wall color necessitates the creation of a few new things.

So far just one new thing, but I'm working on at least one other pillow.

This one features some of my hand dyed fabrics including two twinkle circles and a few commercial prints.

I backed it with a simple, graphic fabric in shades of gray and bound the whole thing with some hand dyed linen in yellow.
My couch is gray, my wall are now yellow. Now I'm so happy!