Saturday, November 29, 2008

Free-Motion Quilting Strikes Back

I bought myself a darning foot a darn long time ago. I tried free-motion quilting. It didn't work out so well. I abandoned the idea.
Then last summer a friend asked if I could turn her boyfriend's childhood Star Wars sheet into a quilt for his birthday in November. I said "Sure! I've got plenty of time!" Well, after freaking out a little in October and considering sending it to a shop to be quilted on a long arm machine I gave the free-motion thing another try. It was so simple. Here's a tip that I found especially helpful: lower the presser foot. Duh. That was my problem. I don't think you can blame me though, if the needles up the presser foot looks like it's up, even if it's down! Ack. Such a stupid mistake.
So, long story long, I figured it out in the nick of time and hauled ass on this baby over the course of an evening and a half. It was nuts. A crazy, wine-fueled, free-motion party for one.

It was really a lot of fun. I totally dig free-motion quilting. I will do it again soon.

Quilting a solid cloth quilt like this was also quite enjoyable. It allowed me to focus on the quilting. Plus, I think it's pretty bad-ass. And bonus, the birthday boy dug it too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tip of the Week

A little while ago (yipes, two months!) Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio extolled the virtues of a marvelous product called Fabri-Tac. I would like to second that. It dries fast, it holds really well and it's clear and flexible. The only problem I have with it is that it is more of a gel and can be hard to manuever straight out of the bottle, especially on small details. And that's where my tip comes in. Many many puppet makers I know use this stuff all the time for gluing foam on puppets or making teeny tiny costumes but instead of using it out of the bottle they put it in one of these babies:

This little guy will change your life. Or at least your gluing life. For real. You may be able to buy similar syringes at the drug store but a google search for Monoject 412 comes up with a lot of online sources.
I used this guy a lot recently when I made the costume for this bad-ass. Hopefully I will be able to show you more pictures soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

C'est L'Halloween!

Well, it was two and a half weeks ago anyway. What? I'm busy!
I've gone from zero to sixty this year in the costume production department. Buddy Systems hosted what may be the first annual Halloween Buddy Ball so there was no way my Kroquasian costume could make a repeat performance. So...I'd like to introduce you to....Squirrelly Temple!

A bit high-concept? Perhaps. Eerily close to a furry outfit? Most definitely. But the costume was a ton of fun to make and even more fun to wear.

The dress was from an actual pattern (I'm sorry I don't know what!) that I shortened A LOT and widened the boob ties. I whipped up a matching pair of puffy underpants/diaper cover (no, there was no diaper). The tail has some big ass heavy duty armature wire inside along with some fiber-fil. The wire is JB Quiked into a piece of 2x4 which is screwed to a nylon work belt from the hardware store. It was surprisingly not uncomfortable yet not surprisingly awesome to wear. And of course, the icing on the cake was a pair of tap shoes, ordered off Ebay, originally sent as two left shoes, I kid you not.

Some other notables:

Harv (as a Green Bay Packer) and I.

Imposter Harv (our friend Ethan) and genuine Harv.

And last but so far from least, the masterpiece known as Sexy Stay Puft.

More Buddy Ball pictures here.