Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Sewing

I have really been into sewing lately and that has happily resulted in several finished objects.I made this top for my eldest girl, Sarah. It was based on the top I posted about here , but it's been heavily altered. It has been resized, the bottom portion has been reworked to eliminate a lot of the bulk, the bodice has been trimmed and the straps now cross in back. These were all suggestions that Sarah made. She absolutely loves the top and it was great fun to work together on this project. We definitely have plans(and fabric) for more.
That's not all(to quote Dr. Suess).I made a stack of improvisationally pieced log cabin coasters. I even used some of the fabric in Sarah's tank along with other commercial fabric and some of my own hand-dyed stuff. These are a wedding gift for my husband's co-worker and his bride.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sewing Saga

I had promised my middle daughter that I would make her a dress. She had picked out a pattern and fabric. We'd even purchased all the necessary notions(an inexplicably big hurdle in this house). I was determined that the project not linger, so last Sunday, I set about to make her dress. I was practically through when she notified me that, actually, she's not much of a dress person, so...she didn't want the dress. OK, determined to make lemonade out of lemons, I altered the pattern slightly and made it a dress for myself.But, wait. I'm not much of a dress person either(it must be genetic). I didn't really want the dress either. Suddenly, I was kind of disappointed. I'd spent a fair amount of time on Sunday crafting this and I probably wasn't going to use it. Serious bummer. Then, yesterday, as I was driving, I realized I could alter the dress yet again into this:I totally love this tank! My eldest totally loves this tank. She's requested one as well. Though, she also wants some minor alterations. Oh well. I'm so glad to be excited about the end product of all my work rather than disappointed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Grad's Gift

As promised, here's a picture of the finished bag I made in honor of Harper's graduation. The ceremony was very touching and there were quite a few misty eyes in the audience.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

WIP Mosaic Updated

Yea! My mosaic of work in progress has changed. I finished the bookbag and can now remove it from the picture. I've updated the mosaic to include my discharge/dyed circles quilt. I haven't worked on that much lately, but that's not that unusual for me. I can't remember a quilt that I made start to finish without any lag time in between. It just doesn't seem to be the way I work. Anyway, here's today's mosaic.I'll post pictures of the finished bookbag tomorrow. My camera battery ran out of juice and is currently recharging. Also, I wanted to mention that the skirt I made Abi and wrote about
here is featured on the Sew, mama,sew blog. If you have a chance, check it out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Works in Progress

This morning while swimming I was thinking about all the bags, clothes, quilts and classroom example pieces I have looming as works in progress. I resolved then that the solution to this was to list my works in progress along with some kind of visual record. Then I could prioritize what needs to get done when and start whittling away at the list. So, I came home and made this:This is a mosaic of my current works in progress. Actually, I accidentally left at least one piece off. I hope that by tomorrow I will be able to remove at least two of these items and reconfigure the mosaic to include any other unfinished items. Currently, my works in progress list is(from left to right, top to bottom):
1. Summer clothes for myself, Abi and Rachel
2. Bag made out of felted sweater that I dyed with a shibori resist
3. Making the sample sewing projects for the classes I'm teaching this summer
4. Making a second challah cover like the one pictured for a customer
5. Sending off the Gryffindor hats I've made for the charmed knits KAL(at least I finished making them)
6. Chevron scarf
7. Bookbag for a friend
8. Ripple blanket for Abi's bed
9. (not pictured) Discharged/dyed circles quilt in progress
10. (not pictured) Bed quilt for Rachel

OK, I feel a little better. I'll see what my mosaic looks like tomorrow and organize it based on priority.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Harper's Bag

I think I've reached a milestone in my life. Actually, it's not exactly in my own life, but in the life of my children, specifically my eldest. This Thursday evening I will be attending a high school graduation ceremony for one of my daughter's friends.
I've known Harper for years, since she was 4 or 5. Her parents were some of the first homeschooling friends I made when I first considered taking that big step. Harper is a very special person; bright, gentle, thoughtful and extremely talented in a variety of areas. I was trying to decide what to give her for her graduation and I thought about the many art experiences we have shared. It's been my privilege to teach Harper on several occasions and she always amazed me with her attention to detail and her willingness to try difficult, time consuming techniques. It just seemed right that I should make something for her rather than purchase a gift. After chatting with her mom, I decided to make her a bag.I bought these Japanese fabric flowers at Quilt Festival in Houston last year and I've been thinking about incorporating them into a piece for a while now. This image seemed right for the flap of bag.I used a variety of fabrics as well as hand and machine embroidery and machine quilting to recreate these flowers.I'm making the body of the bag out of some Japanese indigo fabric that I also purchased at Festival.I hope to have the bag finished today. I don't want to be stitching as I'm driving to the graduation.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ripple Progress

I've made a lot of progress on my ripple blanket this past week. I had a big chunk of time to work on it. That's good! I had the time because my wonderful eldest daughter broke her collar bone and it needed surgery. So, I spent a lot of time sitting by her bedside. That's bad. Happily she's feeling better and I have new pictures to post. That's great!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Another Skirt

A few posts back, I wrote about how excited I was about a new sewing book, Sew What! Skirts!. Well, the love affair continues.Here's my sweet Abi modeling the second skirt I've drafted and sewn using this book. I've even taken to walking around the house asking my various daughters(I have three) if they'd like a new skirt or, in Abi's case, another skirt. I'm actually in the process of making myself another skirt.I've even joined Sew, Mama, Sew flickr group skirt sew-along.Probably the best thing about my skirt excitement is that I've gained the confidence to make skirts using difficult fabrics(re:anything silky or slippery). Hopefully, I'll have a visual example in the next few days.

Monday, May 7, 2007

I'm Ready to Ripple

OK. I'll confess. I can get totally sucked in by other people's enthusiasm. The latest evidence of that is that I've joined the "No-End-in-Sight-Ripple-Along". The blanket I'm currently working on is my first-ever crochet project, but this is my third time to start it. First, I had problems understanding the pattern. Hey, I'm a newbie and it was all Greek to me. Then, after I got the hang of the pattern, I decided that, despite my intention to work exclusively from my stash, I didn't like the way the blanket was turning out. So, here I am at my third attempt(the charm,right?). I'm using Lion Brand cotton ease. It's a 50/50 blend of cotton and acrylic. Usually, I'm a real snob about all natural fiber, but when I saw the colors that this yarn came in, I was sold.I bought it in eight colorways and added a few cotton yarns from stash. This weight of yarn is a much better choice for Texas. Also, since this blanket is planned for use on my youngest's bed, I think it's machine washability is a real plus. This is where I am with my ripple today.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


One of the coolest things about Austin, Texas is it's many swimming holes. Our city takes great pride in the fact that it has numerous pools, lakes and springs for folks to enjoy. One of the oldest pools in town is Deep Eddy. This pool lies on the banks of Town Lake and is completely spring fed. For the past five years the Friends of Deep Eddy organization has sponsored a 2 kilometer swim in Town Lake to raise money for the pool. This year my daughter, Rachel and I decided to participate in the swim. Swimming is a big part of both our lives. She is a competitive age-group swimmers and I have been swimming at the masters level for over seven years. This, however, was the first time we had done an event together.Here's a view of Town Lake. It's actually a part of the Colorado River. My husband came out to cheer us on and take these pictures.These were the lead swimmers. They finished the race in about 26 minutes. That's actually a little slower than years past, but there was a bit of a head wind today.This swimmer is my dear, sweet, Rachel. She was relatively easy to spot. The youth age group swimmers were given bright yellow caps to wear and Rachel had on a suit with neon green accents. I'm proud to say that Rachel won her age group and in fact was the first youth finisher either male or female.Here I am emerging from the water. I came in about nine minutes after Rachel, but I too had a very good swim and a fabulous time.