Monday, August 31, 2015

Where's Audrey Pt. 2

This project has been such fun and very challenging. Towards the end, I was burning the candle at both ends to get it done in time. My husband even took over the cooking to give me more sewing time.
Audrey loves to zip zippers so there are 2 in this book. She also loves princesses so how fitting to include Cinderella with Audrey as a princess in the upper corner.
I unfolded an envelope to use as a pattern for this next page. I sewed a giant hook and eye as a fastener and included some "Frozen" fabric cards along with Frozen gel markers inside.
This page was a last minute thought - to string a shoelace through the rings; it turned out to be her favorite thing to do. I sewed a white satin stitch as a path to follow. Olaf fabric of course!
Weaving is a difficult skill for a toddler so this will be for later on.
but I included a lot of jungle animals underneath the weaving which she loved.
I loved this fabric with built in backyard scene and some cute chipmunks appliqued on. A small cover snaps over the picture and Audrey is peaking from behind.
Velcro as used in closures for sneakers is undone to reveal
some cute little kitty-cats.
A seat belt is opened to reveal....
Sully from Monster's Inc. It's amazing how familiar I've become with all the Pixars and Disney movies since having a grandchild - love it.
A dog house has a door which is snapped closed, when opened, a bunch of puppies along with Audrey.
 More buttons....
 and zippers....
 and snaps and velcro.
 I finished the edge of each page with a satin stitch...
 I put the pages together by spraying with a quilt adhesive spray, wrong sides together and a machine buttonhole stitch along the edge.
 I struggled with ways to put the pages together to make a book. Metal eyelets would be too bulky sewing wouldn't work as it was too thick. I finally realized I have this wonderful "eyelet" stitch on my BERNINA which worked beautifully. There were 13 eyelets along each edge. Narrow ribbon was strung through the eyelets to "bind the book".
 My son came up with the idea for the title -  printing with a crayon in a childlike handwriting. It was then scanned and printed on fabric.
 I wanted something to be writing the title so I cound this cute pencil on free clip art and printed it on fabric.
 The back cover used the same fabric as the front.
 The arrows show where Audrey's picture is, handles make it easy to carry around...
and a velcro closure with a big red heart finishes it off - made with so much love for the most darling little girl I know. I love being a grandma!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Where's Audrey

It all started with my sweet little granddaughter who seemed to be fascinated with zippers, buckles etc as all little 3 year olds seem to be. A book was in order to help her with these skills. I had never made anything like this and was floundering on how to do it. 
I had this very cute print of "cartoon-y" type faces and my first thought was "It reminds me of that series of books - Where's Waldo" - hence the name "Where's Audrey". Her face appears twice on the cover.
Here's my little Audrey who was the subject of this book.
I started by pulling out and buying lots of cute, child friendly fabrics. I decided on the page size of 8 1/2 x 9 1/2, not including the edge for binding. I cut heavy duty fusible craft interfacing (not fusible web or Pel-tex which is too heavy) and fused it to the wrong side of each page. I left a wider edge on the one side as the "binding" side and additional fabric (@1/2") all around the other 3 sides.
I also cut a very narrow strip of the same fusible interfacing - @ 5/8" for reinforcement for whatever I decided on to use to bind the book. I didn't bring this narrow strip all the way over to the large piece of fusible, I wanted fabric left in between so the book would bend easily when done.
After stitching on the front of the fabric, I did bring the raw edge around to the back, sprayed with a fabric adhesive to hold them in place - more on how I finished these edges later.
I was a lot of fun deciding on all the skills, where to place them in the book, fabrics to use. This page was to be use Velcro as fasteners. The chick and egg are in place.
Googly eyes were glued on the chick and a top to cover him up. You can see the white Velcro tabs.
To create a freestanding piece with a clean edge, I fuse the back and front together with right sides facing out. I lay the piece over water soluble stabilizer and stitch over the edge with a satin stitch. Your stitch goes into the fabric and swings over to the edge/stabilizer - no knots or tangles as you're not stitching on "air" but into the stabilizer; the only little "pokies" left is the stabilizer which can be removed with a damp cloth
I attached the top of the egg across the top...
so it could be lifted easily. I also decided to use a picture of Audrey, printed on fabric and hide it. On this page, it's under the wing. There was an Audrey to find on each page, making it more fun.
I wanted to use a buckle and the smallest I could find was a cat collar. I found this cute little doggie on the "free clip art" website, printed him/her on fabric and appliquéd it to the surface. I found some great fabric of bones and bow-wows to mount it on.
Audrey is under his/her ear.
Lacing was another skill I included. I found this adorable princess fabric and made a vest to go on top. White curtain rings were attached and ribbon strung through that tied at the top.
And there's Audrey as one of the princess's.
Buttons and buttonholes were another skill I used. I chose big colorful buttons I thought she could manage. I also had in my stash some wonderful, whimsical flower fabric to serve as a background. Dimensional round flowers were made with buttonholes in the center that buttoned over the button.
and there's Audrey under the leaf.
Little ones are always losing their mittens and although there's not a whole lot of days that require mittens in Atlanta, I thought I would include them anyway. I started with one of my hand dyed fabrics that looked like sky and appliquéd a clothesline across. The clips have grosgrain ribbon holding them in place and caught in the appliqué stitch.
The mittens were two-toned in Audrey's favorite colors...
and also dimensional so they could be picked up to find....
Audrey underneath. This is only the beginning think I wound up with 20 pages including covers but will share more next time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ice Dyeing Rayon

I have not done any ice dyeing all summer and it's something I really love to do. I have my dyed scarves in several shops and know they'll be calling me soon to get some more. I find this process works well in heat and heat we have - lots of - this summer, so before the fall takes over, time to finish up my supply of rayon scarves.
 As mentioned in previous posts, I use the vinyl covered shelving as a rack to hold the fabric. A new kitty litter pan is placed underneath to catch the run off as the ice melts.
 The scarves and fabric are bunched up on top of the shelving and ice cubes are then placed on top of the fabric.
 Procion mx dyes are sprinkled in powdered form on top of the ice. As the ice melts at different rates, the dye then strikes the fabric, which has been soaked in soda ash. I cover the mixture of powder, ice and fabric for several reasons - first to prevent the dye powder from blowing around and second to prolong the melting of the ice. This works best for me and I get great results.
 So here are some of the results; as I dyed the scarves, I also included a fat quarter of mercerized cotton.
 I really love the crystal effect that you get with the ice...
 and the great patterning of colors.
 I usually use 3 colors and take into consideration what a 4th color would be if any of the colors should mix together.
 I don't have a favorite. I love the process and usually the results are 99% great which is not always the case with a lot of things I do.

I did an experiment to satisfy my own curiosity to see the difference between using ice and this process and just batching with mx dyes. I used the same rayon scarves, the same mx dye colors - one was ice dyed and the other batched with mx dyes overnight - no ice. I think there is a big difference - the ice on the left and batching on right. 
Same here only reverse - ice on right and batching overnight on left...Both are nice and have their place, the ice dyed have more energy and probably harder to use but so interesting. The batched scarves are softer and easier to use but not as interesting.  It's all great fun anyway and I'll have some nice scarves for the next go-round.