Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Make it Monday Turned to Tuesday...

I have been playing around with making my own stamps so that my designs can be my own.

I have started with leaves from my back yard. Scanned them, traced them, then put them onto fun foam...
I then scratched the design in with a needle.

I learned this in Alisa Burke's  -  Beneath the Surface class. http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/

What a lot of information! It was amazing!!!

This was the result of my experiment...

The three leaves in the centre were done with my new leaf stamp and acrylic paints Then I did some stitching on the stamped leaves. The branch is an applique and then couched sari silk on top.
I attached two leaves that I stitched veins on the  leaves to match the stamped leaves. Then I put wonky boarders with some of my favorite scraps...
This was a finish on Sat. so this is what I made last week....
I can't wait to try more of Alisa techniques.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Made it Monday...

I don't just sew...
I have to find portable projects that I can work on in the car, for watching TV with my family or when visiting with friends at the cottage like we did again this weekend.
It is absolutely wonderful that we have such good friends to spend time together at the lake.
This weekend I made these fingerless mittens for my DD and started a pair of my own.
The pattern is a Churchmouse Classic http://www.churchmouseyarns.com which I purchased at my local favorite yarn and quilting store http://www.stitchonline.ca. The yarn for the finished pair was from left over yarn that I made a hat and a scarf for my daughter. I doubled the yarn because it was quite a bit thinner than this green wool. The green wool is so soft!
So now I have made two pairs of these gloves for DD and I have almost finished the first glove in my own pair.
I also make some stamps out of fun foam and can't wait to try them.
And I did about 10 blocks of my nieces quillow in between loads of laundry and making dinner the other night. They are nine patches I am going to cut to do the ??? (mind blank on the name lol)
Off to work to be able to afford more fabric and wool...

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Finish!!!!!

I started this top 2 years ago for my ds1 for his room. My dd complained she had to wait for hers until she went to university. She actually pieced her quilt herself and I hand quilted it the summer she was to leave for university...
I was not going to get caught again with finishing it just in time.... 
So the top was pieced and life happened. 
I decided to machine quilt this quilt due to time and the fact that it will probably hold up to the use my son will give it. He is harder on his things then my daughter... 
So true to form this was finished at midnight the night before he left. 
My baby off to University. It will be an adjustment this fall.... 
Two out of the house and the third busy with his life. 
But this is good... 

Here is the finish of the quilt and the start of a new adventure for son and mom.... 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What have I been doing the last month...

What have I been doing the last month...
Taking care of family - mom had a heart attack, stints put in and is now back on track...
                                 - DS2 sent off to Korea for two weeks Mission Trip.
                                 - Vacation with hubby....
                                 - working on finishing projects already started..
                                 - special room surprise for DS2 arrival home....
                                 - work - bookkeeping and catch up....
                                 - cosy pj's for my nephew....
                                 - normal everyday stuff.
Here I am relaxing with my friend... (I am on right)

This is my crazy 13 year old dog who licks her paw until it bleeds  and wears a cone so she won't. And still tries to go through the water to get to the boat house.... Determined old thing. She has a lame back let too!

Here is my outdoor "office" as my BIL would say. We had 10 great days here. Looking forward to the day I can stay a month.... And yes I could easily do that. I set my sewing machine up on the porch and get a lot done. 
I finally feel well enough to tackle projects... yeah!  But I have so much to catch up on. Life one day at a time.

Art work will have to be fit in between. I need closure on so many projects before I can feel settled.

Learning to let go of the negative... enjoying my great friends.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fun Stuff!

In early June I went to our family cottage with a few of my BFF's. How many BFF's are you allowed to have? What is a BBF? To me it is someone loves you no matter what. When your happy/sad, right/wrong, giving/taking,talking/listening and when you screw up. It is being to say able to say sorry even when you disagree and and you don't know what you did. It is a love you anyway kind of relationship.

Anyway, I am blessed with such a supportive group of women. And did we laugh, cry and laugh somemore. Oh and eat!

We did some shopping on our way up and I went to Rockport my favorite shoe store because I have to buy supportive shoes. But usually I don't feel I can afford to buy them or it is too much money to spend on a pair of shoes. But I am not held to not buying them when I get a deal. I got 4 pairs of shoes but these were my favorite!
Cute, cheap and funky...and comfortable. 

So then I needed a purse... Hummm 

Off to my stash of newly dyed fabric and I chose this. 
I used a  potato masher at the workshop with Gunnel Hag in Toronto www.colourvie.com  . Gunnel said the masher was from Portugal so it has a international flavor. 

And I made this bag to carry my drivers licence and a few essentials and off I can go in my comfy shoes and sort of matching purse.

The colour match is not perfect but makes me happy for now. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

dying fabric

Took my second dyeing class from Colourvie  colourvie in Toronto on Sat.
It was great fun.
Gunnel is so helpful and upbeat. She is wonderfully generous with her knowledge and workshop supplies. If she doesn't know the answer she is into experimentation.
You come home with usable fabric.
It is an easy system to clean up and do at home and doesn't smell!

Here are some pic's
Rubber stamp for leaves, gold dye paint for stems, flowers a wooden stamp, center of flowers dots of gold dye paint. 

 Making our own stamps with fun foam shapes and wooden blocks. 

Making our own stamps with softoleum or softkut or linoleum and a cutter tool. 

Fabric I will print on trying different techniques. 
I had a great day!

Now to get back to my sewing room. It has been painted and things are going back in. I am going through everything before it goes back in and the things going out are going to my son's garage sale to raise money for a trip to Korea this summer to teach English through VBS.

What fun to clean up stuff and help him too!

I am hoping June gets me back to sewing. If not I have July vacation at the cottage! Two weeks of rest, reading, sewing and being with my hubby.

For now back to life as mom, bookkeeper and fundraiser for son's trip.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wonderful Play Day!

4 or 5 years ago I came across a vendor at the Creative Festival in Toronto whose product I just had to have.
I wanted to learn how to dye fabric but not have the mess. 
I thought I would do it on my own... I thought I would do it with my friend. 
Life happened. Using the product didn't. 
So fast forward to now and I finally did it! I signed up for the class and drove to Toronto on Saturday. 
I met some neat new people. So interesting. All wanting to expand what they do... quilting, sewing, smocking,  spinning and dying. 

What did I do? 

I went to the Colourvie Studio and took a class with Gunnel Hag and had a fabulous time. http://www.colourvie.com 

“IRRESISTIBLE RESISTS” (with Gunnel Hag)April 2, 2011: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Are you ready for a fabric adventure? Experiment with the use of soy wax and other resists to create a wide range of patterns and textures on fabric. Learn how to mix pigment colours as well as a variety of  techniques for hand painting/dyeing and making simple stamps and stencils to create gorgeous resist printed fabrics with exquisite colour and complexity. Truly irresistible!
Workshop includes Colour Vie pigments and wax used in class.

I took some pictures to remind me of the processes. 

I got to create some very cool fabric. I learned how to mix the dye concentration with the creamy base and make my own colours. 

Here are some pictures of the process.... 

Batik with soya wax resist.

Who knew using a potato masher could be such fun!

Or making lines with a brayer and elastics....

Chain design made with the lid of a antiperspirant. 

Using a pop bottle to get a neat Tye dye effect. 

All in all it was a good day!!! So well worth the workshop fee!  So much fun I am looking forward to another workshop in May. 

Gunnel is the most enthusiastic teacher I have ever met. So giving, so knowledgeable. So open to questions and experimentation. It felt like a friend sharing her passion with you. 

And where is my fabric that I make and got to take home..... 

That will have to wait a few days because I found out I forgot it when I got home! And although I could not wait to show and tell with my hubby I was not going back for it that day. So I phoned and Gunnel had saw I left it and was going to mail it to me right away!. 

Take the opportunity to go to her web site and see what she offers. If ever in Toronto or where she travels to teach. You won't regret learning from her! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On vacation....

Literally I am on vacation. February was a downer of a month in some ways. In others it was a very growing month. 
Sometimes the negative - events in the first half of the month can change your perspective and allow you to get a fix on things. 
Traditionally I do not enjoy the lack of sun in the winter. 
In the last half of the month I 
- got caught up at work. 
-went downhill skiing
- had a wedding shower for a great couple 
- went to Ottawa with my daughter, husband and good friend - saw museums, saw the Senators win, shopped with my daughter, skated on the Rideau canal, and laughed a lot. Good medicine.

March came in and even though it snowed we are enjoying it. 

First Saturday in March was spent with my good friends doing a collaborative project. 

This will go into the Dundas School of Art Auction. Lisa is a raku artist and Diane is a fiber/weaver artist and I am the fiber/quilting artist. It was a great experience to work together. 

Now I am off again visiting my family in Vermont. Taking pictures, drawing, resting, reflecting and healing. 
Oh and I think I bought some fabric and books too! 


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I like my mini bolts...

Why do I like my mini bolts?

I guess I am obsessing on my mini bolts. I just find this so easy to use.

This method keeps my fabric from getting to messy and mashed. When I fold my fabric an put it in plastic boxes and I start pulling for a project I start hurrying and stuffing stuff back in.

And it does allow me to play deal a fabric. Like this:
 Or this
 Or this.....

Then it allows me to put things back into the boxes like this. 

I also can pull my boxes and see at a glance what I have. The piles don't topple. Are not falling off the shelves and the pets can not knock them over. 

This works awesomely for me when I am making small art quilts or any other project I do. Larger pieces than a yard go in my cutting cabinet. I have material ear marked for projects here and then bigger pieces I have to use up when I need to like neutrals and fabric to great to pass up. 

I had a suggestion from a comment to the way I do my fabric bolts from the Quilter Club of America site. They use hair clips/ binding clips to hold their bolts together to prevent wrinkles. I will have to see how the pony tail holders wrinkle my fabric. 

Off to the sewing den... Play day!!!! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How I store my fabric.... Part one

Storing your fabric.

Risky topic to bare to the world.

Why? If you hubby happens to see your blog he might realize how much you have. Or you might feel embarrassed that your stash is smaller than others. What if someone doesn't like your choices? Or what if????

Does it matter how you store your stash? Not really. But for me I have found that out of sight is out of mind. I just don't remember any more what I have. My kids call one space in my basement the wall o'fabric. A storage area in my laundry room of photocopy boxes with fabrics of different kinds. Fleece, knit, scraps, poly cotton.....

Slowly I am gifting to organizations my stash of unrelated to quilting items. I am teaching my niece to sew. She picks from the stash... Donations needed for orphanage in Africa. My girlfriend picks from the stash.

I thought of trying to sell it online to raise some money for more fabric - quilting fabric. But I am too lazy or somehow it doesn't appeal to have someone reject it. It is my goal to find local places that could use it.

Now my quilting cottons are finding a good home in my "studio" (I have a hard time saying this because it sounds snooty)

Here is a simple tutorial of how I now fold things and store things under a meter.

First I buy some comic book acid free inserts at a comic store.
I cut the inserts in half.
Then I take a piece of fabric.

 (Now I am in the "wash all my fabric before I use it" category. One to make sure of colour fastness. Two for shrinkage. And three to get rid of chemicals. I will add starch back into a piece before cutting)

I then smooth the fabric and start to fold it according to the size of comic board cover. 

I then put the cardboard on the piece and roll it.

Next I put one of these around the bundle. 
When I first used this idea of folding which I grabbed from some blog somewhere, I used a pin to hold it in place. This was unsatisfactory because if I used a pin it could result in a hole over long time storage.
 (Who would have fabric in their stash that they wouldn't use for a long time?) 

So I stole these from my making coffee cup wrap venture. And ...

And I have a neatly wrapped piece of fabric.

Stay tuned for why I like this method so much and how fun it is! (OK I lead a simple life if playing with fabric is my fun hobby...lol)

Have a great day and if you are in the "storm watch zone" from Texas on up to Canada stay safe and stay off the roads.

If you are a person who believes in prayer, Please pray for a family  - friends of my daughter who were involved in a car accident on the weekend and at last I knew their little boy was in critical condition.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP storage

While surfing this morning... a hard thing to do in Canada when it is freezing ice on the driveway and temperature high will be 6 degrees C ... no, blog surfing...

I went to Em's Scrapbag who I follow and from there to www.13woodhouseroad.com/ where Shruti Dandekar has a great blog and giveaways. One of the ways to enter the giveaway is to become a follower.... the other was harder ... to link to a post of how you organize your WIPS.

Now I love to organize. In fact it calms me somewhat. It is my go to activity when I am agitated and feel out of control. So you think that my house would be uber organized. Not so. It seems it has to degrade to a point where it is so bad it has to be done from the bottom up. My sewing room is no exception. And it is weird that  sew less when it it disorganized and it gets disorganized when I am under pressure to get things done. And it seems I get things down under a deadline. Who knows what that means to a psychologist! 

But  I digress... So I did clean up the mess in my room two weekends ago. It looks great now. My friends who viewed it were astonished. I haven't got much sewing done because my beloved Husg # 1 Plus workhorse is a the sewing machine hospital.

Here is how I am storing my WIP's for now.

Not that it has to be this brand. This is what I have in the house. And I store my Dear Jane completed and kits in these

 And small wall hangings and squares made or to be made in these.....

Then the baggies go into clear shoe boxes and I put a easily removed office label on them to identify what is in it. IE small projects  or tablerunner Peter and Kristen. to quickly identify what it is. 

I also love these Scrapbooking project boxes (bought easily on sale at a craft or sewing store) to store finished 12" blocks or fabric for a special project. Again I use a label for easy identification. * Note: use the labels that are marked for easy or removal because if not you will be scraping it off when you actually finish a project or bringing out the Goo be Gone.  

I also use pant hangers as in Emily's guest post at Shruti's when I am actively working on a piece or a set of blocks.

Now to create a spread sheet to easily mark my WIP's and projects for 2011. When I am done I will share.

I have to get ready now to go to lunch with some friends who kindly invited me to lunch and a fabric shop!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What kind of writer am I like....

I have a friend Madame Samm Sew I Quilt who  is a very talented creative person. She is now managing TWO blogs... the one above and has taken over at Stash Manicure Stash Manicure she is amazing at finding things. On her site today she had a challenge to find out what author you are like. I am apparently like

I write like

Now I didn't even know who this is... and I read a lot! So I went to Amazon to find out who he is and he (or could be a she) writes science fiction for teens. 
What  a hoot since we are science fiction geeks. Star trek, Stat Gate, Dr. Who etc.  

It used to bother me that my family was a bit odd. Now I embrace it! We laugh a lot here. We are a family that laughs about been geeks. 
That is why I chose sewinggeek for my blog. We love information! It is very fitting that my writing style is like Cory Doctorow. Maybe I will have to read one of his books. 
I can't for the life of my see that my friend Samm writes like Stephen King. She is not gory, or horror filled but actually  very sweet and lovey. Well maybe I can't or shouldn't base my identity on a internet quiz test. lol 

Check out Samm's site to find out what you write like. stash manicure

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Play Day Postponed...

With a play day cancelled  postponed until next week... I am taking stock and regrouping.
The fact is that I run on deadlines and procrastinate the rest of the time. Either that or I take on to many deadlines or have to many hobbies. lol
So last night I went into my lair and started to straighten up from the mess that I had created before Christmas.
Since I spent most of my holidays with a virus (two weeks and holding...) I really didn't get stuff done and away. Just do what is needed and go back to bed...
I had a great time last night... not with my Quilty friends (although I did miss that too!) but I had a date with my stuff - Dr. Who and Magnum P.I. I can't listen to anything intellectual or that I have to pay attention to when I am in my room because often my mind drifts. So books on tape do not work because I lose where I am in the story.
So back to the basement I will go until I get the job done.
From this exercise I have learned...

  1. When I create - I create a mess but I can not start in a mess. 
  2. I like organizing and a set up that worked several years ago needs to be changed for my new interests. 
  3. I need some clear space. Clear the table top!
Some of the things I want to work on this year. 
Blogging- How to do it in my free time to make it meaningful but not take to much time. 
My art quilting. Learn new techniques and apply them. Develop myself as an artist. 
Cut out the negative. Do not live in others emotional dynamics. (Complicated) 
Become a healthier me. 

I have some plans on this. 

Working on some mind mapping. I used this a lot with my son back when he was having difficulties expressing himself.   

This stuff is just for me. This blog is for me. This is not about numbers or following but will be more of a visual diary... 

Welcome to 2011.