Sunday, August 28, 2011

What a Busy Weekend!

This weekend was full of craftiness! It started with dying a custom shirt for an Etsy order.

Saturday I made origami snowflakes for the wedding. Thank you to my awesome friends for helping me out with wedding things this weekend! You all rock! 

Today I told myself was quilting day. It was finally time to sit down and sew this quilt together. I decided to free motion meandering loops all over the quilt. I started in high spirits, but gradually got frustrated. My thread kept breaking and my top stitches were too loose. I was getting close to throwing my machine out the window. Amazingly mom called in the middle of all of this, so I was telling her what was going on. I suddenly realized that I very stupidly did not drop the feed dogs on my machine! 

Feed dogs: (n), A set of feed dogs typically resembles two or three short, thin metal bars, crosscut with diagonal teeth, which move back and forth in slots in a sewing machine's needle plate. Their purpose is to pull ("feed") the fabric through the machine, in discrete steps, in-between stitches.

When free motion quilting you do not want the fabric to be fed through the machine. You want to have control of it and feed it through manually. 

One of my problems was solved. Now what about the breaking thread? I was sewing with Coats & Clark Star cotton machine quilting thread. I switched to Guterman polyester sew-all thread. Ta-da! No breakage. I'm thinking the free motion movement was too stressful on the cotton thread and caused it to break. The polyester thread seems to be more sturdy. I've read about plenty of people free motion quilting with cotton thread, but I just don't think my machine likes it. 

This week's project: finish quilting. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School

Welcome Back! Today was our first day back to school! I always love the first day of school. The teachers are excited, the students are excited, and behavior issues haven't begun. I have an awesome  team this year. We work well together. I really love 'em!

In addition to a great first day of school I got my first custom order from my Etsy Shop today! Rock climber t-shirt. Very cool. Now I have a weekend project. I still have several batik items that are in the process. They really need to get done so I can get them posted in my shop, I just gotta sit down and DO IT!

I finally finished the quilt top for this awesome quilt. The back is done too, just no photo of it. Now to actually quilt it together! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quilt Progress

I have been very busy with getting back to school, however, I finally finished all the quilt blocks for this quilt I've been working on. Now it's time to make the quilt top! It's in progress, but here is a sneak peak...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Busy this Weekend!

I have had a very productive weekend! One new t-shirt and two sets of baby blocks are now up on my Etsy Shop.

I also have been working hard on this twin-sized quilt. It's still got a ways to go before I can start assembling the entire quilt, but here's a preview!  

On an exciting note, a friend of mine brought be back this awesome fabric from Qatar! Now to decide what to make with it. Suggestions? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunflower Skirt

I finished my new skirt today and I am totally in love with it! Yes, it's available for sale at my etsy shop

I had a lot of fun making these sunflowers, but the best part is the dying process! The results are always such a pleasant surprise! When dying the skirt I use a process called low water immersion dying. The very simplified way to explain it is that it's when you scrunch the fabric into a tight container, pour dye all over it and walk away. When the dye has set, you pull it out and ta-da! Awesome results! 

You can read all about low water immersion dying at Paula Burch's dying page here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Sale and Landyard Fun!

I made my first Etsy sale today! I am jumping for joy! I sold one of my onesies, and what's most exciting is that it's not a family member or a friend trying to support me. Someone somewhere liked my stuff. It's reassuring that I can possibly score some extra income though Etsy. 

So, I sat down yesterday and looked at my school lanyard and was annoyed that the plastic part of it didn't stay connected anymore. Who puts a plastic connector on a lanyard anyway?!

So of course, I decided to make my own. I found a lanyard tutorial here. Scrap fabric? Check. Lanyard clips on sale at JoAnn Fabrics? Check. Awesomely cool lanyard for back to school? Win! 

I also have a couple other fun projects in the making at the moment. Pictures to come...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Batiked Baby Counting Book

I have been very busy this past weekend. I kept working on the custom scrap quilt and completed a unique batik project. 

Here is one of the new quilt blocks:

My new batik project was inspired by the counting book that I had made previously. 

Here is the cover. I just wrote it in my own handwriting.

What makes this book extra cool is that all the pictures are dyed into the fabric! (The sun is my favorite page!)

When dying the pages I decided to leave the leaves without veins so I could sew the veins on later. Super cool! 

This project was VERY time consuming, but WOW! The results were totally worth all the work. I know what you're thinking, "That's so cool! I want one for my child/friend's child/niece/nephew, etc." Well guess what!? You're in luck! It is for sale at my Etsy shop! You can find my shop HERE or on the right side of my blog. I'm also totally open to doing custom orders because I had so much fun doing this book. 

I also learned a ton about batiking and painting dye onto the fabric when making this book. Two words: sodium alginate. This is a dye thickener which means the painted dye doesn't run all over your project. The only drawback with using it is that it takes a couple hours for the dye to thicken. So you can't just wake up and say "I'm going to start painting dye right now." Nope. You have to have some patience (which is quite a challenge for me), but thick dye makes your life easy and the results are worth it.

Off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy quilt fabric and various doodads for projects I have running around in my head.