Monday, January 30, 2017

A Pillow for Fraggle

We have 3 cats...and have always had cats. I can't imagine life without them. I grew up with cats which is probably why I'm so very partial towards them. I have wonderful memories of fun times  - one being making doll clothes which fit my cat. They actually let me dress them in my creations....In looking back I think how sweet they were to do that. My cats today won't even let me dress them in a Santa Suit...Imagine that! 
 Well, enough rambling and onto the point. Our newest cat who will be 2 years old next week, is a 16 pounder and part Maine Coone. We got him at the Greenville Humane Society in SC. He loves hanging out with us on the couch so I decided he needed a really nice BIG pillow. I started with blue fleece - very soft.
 It measures 30" X 23"...

and has a zipper on the back so the inside can be removed and the outside washed.
 I serged the seams before right-siding it.
 My granddaughter received several toys as an infant with a lot of crinkling sounds inside. So I googled it and found "crinkle material for baby toys" which you can purchase by the piece or yard. Well Fraggle loves the crinkling sound and we thought it perfect as part of the stuffing.
I purchased 2 yards and mixed it with batting with the crinkle material being on top and bottom although I don't think it would have made a difference. The inside muslin shell was cut 1'2 smaller than the finished outside shell. It was stuffed and stitched by machine to close it up.

 It was filled but not overly so...wanted Fraggle to be able to sink into it...
and he did...that is one happy kitty-cat!

Friday, January 27, 2017

I Spy

I recently had the opportunity to make an I Spy these cute little quilts which you can throw down for a little one to sit on and find all kinds of cute images. They are bright and colorful which is so appealing to a young child. My 2 friends - Kate and Mary and myself,  made some I Spys at our first PTA retreat. We pooled our child friendly fabric and were off and running. We have a big plastic bin called our "I Spy" bin which we circulate among ourselves. The 3 of us have made many of these cute little quilts over the years.
   So here's some details of some of the cute blocks featured in the quilt.

My Little Pony - my granddaughter's favorite along with Frosty the Snowman.
 A little princess...each block includes brightly colored solids.

My Little Kitty and yummy cupcakes..I do like to mix some black and white polka dots to calm it down.

A cute little caterpillar...

Sully from Monster's Inc. and of course the beloved fairy godmother from Cinderella..

and Carebears who are enjoying a revival. They were popular when my 40 year old daughter was little. One thing I will say is I appreciate my renewed proficiency of all these darling characters since I now have a granddaughter.
For the backing I chose a bright colored print with lots of cute bugs...For the pattern and here
Til next time...

Monday, January 23, 2017

New Ideas for Old Pieces

We recently met at the home of Gen G for our first FJ meeting of the year. Last year, at one of our smaller meetings, Kate, Mary and I did some brainstorming. We brought pieces that were unfinished and needed input. It was such a productive and fun meeting, we decided to repeat it as our first meeting of 2017. What better way to start the new year than with lots of inspiration.
We always have lots to show and share so we did that first. Kate made this lovely piece which included strip piecing and...
circles sewn with a machine buttonhole stitch which is one of my favorite stitches.
Denny made this beautiful pieced quilt using wonderfully vibrant colors. I'm always in awe of good piecing and perfect points.

Gen is a master of technique as well as color.  This beautiful piece utilizes decorator fabric samples.
Now, onto some brainstorming. Mary brought a bunch of woolens and plaids she had been given...this is so up Mary's alley and we're all anxious to see what she does with them.
This is the most luscious piece of fabric ever! Mary dyed this old linen on one of our trips to Folly. She also had another piece dyed in browns which she used a while back; it was a beautiful finished piece so I'm anxious to see what she does with this.
And another piece of fabric from Mary waiting for some input. Mary doesn't remember if this was something she did or bought this way...either way, it will be a fun piece to play with.
Kate brought this wonderful piece...not sure if she felt it was done...but we all agreed it was done!  I remember she made a transparency transfer for the image, to use over the collaged design - really a unique piece.
Gen was finishing up this piece, not knowing where to go with the negative space.
Denny is venturing into creating a large quilt using block of the month. Denny has always worked with her own designs and imagery but sometimes it's just nice to do something that is designed for you. One major change to her quilt is her choice of background fabric. The pattern suggests muslin but Denny decided it would be too flat and this would have more interest...I totally agree with her.
She photocopied the fabric,
then the pattern was printed on top...
and then using markers, she colored in her design. I thought this was such a great tip and really lets you see how the patterned background will work in the finished quilt.

Denny has also been working on many small pieces as a result of Hollis Chatelain's Ten Year Masters Art Series that Denny has been taking...I do believe this is the tenth year.
Some of the exercises include working with various designs interpreted in neutrals
and other colorways.

Denny has been using photos to interpret in fabric...this was a black and white interpretation of the picture above different when you start steering away from color.
This was a piece that was to be remade using another focal point for which Denny chose
and old ferris be used as a major part of the background. There was a lot of suggestions, ideas from everyone FOR everyone so I hope I got my facts straight but I will say that this is such a fun meeting...It's not a "critique" meeting which some shy away from...just great input and suggestions from some very creative minds. What a great day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Snow Dyeing Results

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured into the world of snow dyeing. I've had some interesting results. 
 Some observations - good color...of course I would have assumed that as I used lots of dye powder and great mercerized pfd cotton broadcloth. Another very obvious difference between this and ice dyeing was the crispness of the design (see farther down the post). This piece used wet fabric which had been soaked in soda ash. It measures @ 24" square. I like the design but very soft edges.
 In the same tray, I also tried a smaller piece measuring @ 15" square.
 This piece is also around 24" square and started with wet fabric also soaked in soda ash.
 And a close-up of the center.
 This is the smaller 15"square which was soaked in soda ash, let dry and manipulated. The dye powders were applied to dry fabric.
 And the bigger 24" piece of fabric also dry. I didn't see much difference between starting wet or dry.
 But here is where the difference was really obvious...the above is ice dyed (from several months ago) and the one above that is snow dyed...same technique except for the use of snow or ice. The ice dyeing created much sharper edges and a more crystalline effect. I really liked the ice dyed one better but am happy for the chance to try working with snow...We don't get much snow here so this is probably it for this season.
And here is the underneath piece of fabric...fabric placed in the pan underneath the racks of fabric to catch the drippings.