Thursday, May 31, 2007

In the True Spirit of Whiplash

I had an utterly amazing time participating in the doll quilt swap of late so I was thrilled to see this most recent challenge at Whiplash: miniature quilts! That's so great! Except that I didn't find out about it until two days ago and it must be posted by today! But did I let that dampen my creative spirits? Of course not! So, in the true spirit of the site, I have whipped up a small quilt as fast as I could and...voila!Let's call it "Confetti".

I wanted a quilt with a similar feel to this wip but with much less handwork. So I decided on small squares and rectangles instead of circles and a very random arrangement rather than the gentle dispersing look of the bubbles.
To start, I took a big old stack of fabric (all cotton), trying to have a balanced variety of color and brightness, favoring simple patterns and solids over anything too crazy.
Next, I cut one small square or rectangle out of each different fabric. The sides of the pieces were no smaller than 1", no larger than 2".
Then I used a rotary cutter to cut several strips of white fabric, 1" being the thinnest and 2" the thickest.
Now, to the sewing machine! I sewed each colored piece onto the long white strips, right sides together, adding each piece as I fed the strip through the machine. It doesn't matter how the pieces are oriented or to what width strip they are sewn. I wanted things to be as random as possible. When I was done sewing I had a nice little banner of flags like so:
Laying the strip white-side down on my ironing board, I pressed the colored flags back so that the seam allowances are all pressed towards the colored piece. Once everything is ironed, I snipped the pieces apart.
Now repeat the process of sewing the blocks to the white strips, being sure to sew one of the colored sides to the strip, not the side that is all white.
Iron again, snip apart again.
Now do the whole thing one more time so that all of your blocks have three sides that are solid white and one side with a bit of color.Next I took all of my pieces and treated them like a puzzle, trying to fit them together in rows so that all of the colored blocks are surrounded by white. I didn't try to make everything match up exactly.

*Update* For this part of the quilt you have to be a little creative. Your "puzzle pieces" won't fit together perfectly so trim as necessary. You may want to sew some smaller pieces together and press before piecing them in a row. Feel free to add bits of white to fill in empty spaces and don't be afraid to go back and make a few more colored blocks if you think that you need them. This is a real free form way of quilting. You have to do a little bit of thinking and figuring to get everything to fit together. Don't worry...that's normal!

After each row was sewn together I squared things up as necessary.
Once I was satisfied with my rows I sewed them all together then added a border of white.
I used the "birthing" method instead of binding the quilt. Once that was done I machine quilted around each colored piece.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Done (Enough)!

Oh sad sad blog...I am sorry I have forsaken you.
The painting is done, minus a few touch ups. I finished the floor on Saturday, we went shopping for shelves and other necessities Sunday afternoon (Ikea was out of the shelves that I wanted so I didn't actually get any) and we then had to move everything out of the living and dining rooms and back into my room and make the house presentable in less than three hours because we had friends coming over for games and karaoke. I am still in awe that we pulled it off. We went from total squalor, not even able to open the front door all of the way, every seat and table covered in crap to our cheery, comfortable, never-quite-totally-clean-but-as-close-as-we-can-manage house in less than three hours, PLUS I had time to run to Trader Joe's and whip up some easy treats for our guests! Company has always been our greatest cleaning motivator.
It feels so nice to have our house back. For four weeks it was increasingly overrun with all of my crafting stuff, with many other messes weaseling their way into any nook or cranny they could find. And let's not forget the most important thing of craft room! It's back! Well, not totally I said I have no shelves so things cannot be properly put away but the room is usable. I have many many ideas. I think this crafting drought has caused a sudden flood of creativity. It's so exciting! I told Harv that I don't want to do any entertaining this weekend...I want the entire weekend to myself and my room. It's going to kick a lot of ass. I can't wait to share with you again!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Truth

Oh Internet, I'm so sorry! I feel as though I have abandoned you and I can tell that you are fast losing interest in my non-craftiness. Well I haven't been completely honest with you. I am working again and that is a huge crafting deterrent but that's only half of my problem. The other half is this:
The day before I returned to work I decided (unwisely) to embark on a craft room overhaul. Why did I do this? I really don't know. I guess I just wanted my little clubhouse to be a little more cozy and inspirational, not merely functional. But let's be honest. It was barely even functional. It was a big mess.
Here is what it looked like, moments before I took everything out of the room and put it all everywhere, in every room of the house, in every space I could possibly put things. Shortly after, the nightmare started.
You see, this is not our house. We rent it for a very reasonable amount of money from a man who is cheap yet lazy so he doesn't really mind if we do things to the house at our expense as long as we don't destroy it. So painting seemed like no big deal. And it would have been no big deal, except for the fact that the people who lived here before us (who are our friends and still have some of their stuff in our yard by the way) did not use this room as a craft room. It was their "tiki room" and their tiki decor included sheets of bamboo hot glued to the concrete walls. I know! It's ridiculous! So when they removed the bamboo, they also removed huge chunks of paint and left globs of glue in many a spot. In addition to that mess, the trim had been painted over roughly 50 times and was barely recognizable as its original shape.
So what did I do? I decided to remove the paint. Oh what a mistake that was. Well, maybe not a mistake, just something that I really wish that I hadn't done. Here's a bit of wisdom for you: paint removal is A LOT OF WORK. I really did not want to do a lot of work. I still do not but guess what! I'm not done yet! And I'm such a doofus that I started the removal process in such a way that it was impossible for me to not follow through with it. Yes, Internet, mistakes have been made, Ladies have shown themselves to be capable of great stupidity but at least all of the paint has been removed.
The room is primed and partially painted. The only thing I did this past weekend was work on the room. Seriously. I am really hoping that this Saturday will bring the end of the painting and I can have all of Sunday to put everything back in and get things really nice and organized and maybe even work on something. We shall see.
I miss crafting so much and I might miss my room even more! I don't know what to do without my little craft room. It's my default place to go when I don't have anything to do. I can do whatever I want in there and it doesn't affect Harv or our frequent visitors. *Sigh* Soon it shall be returned to me!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Well internet, the prophesy has been fulfilled. I am so tired by the time I get home from work! Actually, I'm pretty tired by about 5:00 and we don't get out of there until 7:00. I have to stand while I'm animating and it is amazing how sore I get by the end of the day! I'm so out of practice I guess. To top it off, I have been sleeping horribly and I am a World Champion sleeper. There is something about working that is just getting my mind whiring at 3 in the morning and giving me either restless sleep or no sleep. Last night it was no sleep for a while. The previous nights I was having very stressful dreams about spiders and American Idol contestants (separate dreams).
But I am determined to stay productive...everybody works, who am I to complain? So here you go, internet:
and after,
gray linen dress from Target with some Lady Harvatine touches. Some pleats made from a vintage bed sheet
and a little simple embroidery.
And just for good measure, here's a little puss to brighten your day.