Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He's the Man...

This Old World Santa was great fun to make. It just took me several years to get him done! The project went in stages. Every year Santa would surface at the top of the "in progress" pile, get a little more done, and then get put away for another year. Well, this is Santa's year! Not only is this one done, but two more are following close behind.

If the fabric print doesn't give away the age of this project, the price sticker on the pattern envelope will. I apparently bought it back in the day when patterns were $4.50. Those days are long gone. And the copyright date is 1988, so you can see I've had it for awhile. It's a pattern called "St. Nicholas Doll" by Country Appliques. Designer Jan Kornfeind has lots of Christmas patterns, and this one is still available. Well, 1988 aside, Santa is pretty timeless don't you think?

Santa was fun to embellish, and I went fishing around for all sorts of trims. I found that teeny, tiny tree that's hanging from his bell rope. It's old, too. But on the back was a teeny, tiny price tag that said $5.75. Yeah... I don't think so. I never would have paid that much for a teeny, tiny tree. It must have been part of a grab bag. And beyond all that, Santa seems to love the camera, and he begged to be photographed in a variety of settings! Since I often make a project with no clear idea what I'll do with it once it's done, I just tried out different settings and aimed the camera to see where he looks best. Here he is beneath the tree on "Yule Logs", a small Log Cabin Variation made using both wide and and narrow fabric strips. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is to be able to decorate with all of the quilts and home accents I've made over the years. They don't get out much. I'll show some more of them over the coming weeks.

All this posing really tired Jesse out. He got a haircut for the holidays, and collapsed by the Christmas tree.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Angels All Around...

I've recently joined an exciting and inspiring online art group at Roses on My Table. The subscription group is called Roses Art Information Library (R.A.I.L). Each month the mixed media instructor, Christina Zinnia Galliher, offers videos and how-to instructions for a project members can make. Since I'm new to mixed media, but fascinated by paper, paint, stamping, etc., this is a perfect group for me. I'm learning about art products and how to use them effectively, while making something pretty and useful at the same time. Zinnia's videos are excellent and informative. Great fun!

This is my first effort... a memory box. Only the outside is done so far, but I thought I'd show you that much for now. I've got so many embellishments from collecting it over the years. It's exciting to finally find a home for some of it!

I found some bits of text to go along with the angel theme of the box, and included a piece from the dictionary that defines "spiritual". Also words like "celestial" and "angelic" are placed on the surface. The detail photos may show some of this. When I took it to show my sewing and craft group last week, one of the members paid it a big compliment when she said "Oh, where did you get that old box?" So I knew it was a success, because that was the goal... to age a new craft store wood box in ways to make it look vintage. I'll move on to bigger boxes now that I have practiced on this size.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Buttoned Up Ornament

At last I've found a home for some of those little treasures and embellishments I've been collecting for years! This nostalgic ornament began life as in inexpensive acrylic ornament from the craft store. I added bits of pattern tissue using decoupage medium. And when that dried, I added bits of text, tatting, images, buttons, beads, and yarns using more medium to adhere them. I think it has a nice vintage look with a little bit of glitz.
The ornament top was a bit too shiny, so I tinted it with alcohol ink which seemed to tone it down some. One thing I especially like about my exploration of mixed media projects is using that "someday stuff" that is tucked away all over my sewing room. And I love learning about new products and techniques. Of course this means even more "stuff"' finds its way into the space. Managing the stuff has become a bit of a task, but so worth it. I entered this piece in the Cloth, Paper, Scissors "All Buttoned Up Challenge."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meet Luv...

She's been traveling. So have I. We're both home now. The difference is that Luv has been traveling to quilt shows. In fact a half dozen of my quilts have been visiting quilts shows that I've missed due to other commitments. So really Luv has been having more fun than me! And she earned a third place award at the Stephen Foster Quilt Show on the Suwannee River in White Springs, FL.

Anyhow, Luv was a project made using a pattern that accompanied Susan Brubaker Knapp's DVD "Master Machine Quilting", one of the Quilting Arts Workshop series. The DVD offered excellent instruction, and Luv was a fun way to practice thread sketching. Of course embellishing her was the most fun of all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Twin Dolls for Children in Need

Meet Belinda and Bo. They are two more dollies I made for the Dolly Donations drive. Belinda's dress is made using some of the Urban Landscapes fabric I won this summer. It was a prize awarded on designer Kathy York's blog. And Bo's shirt is pieced from assorted fabric selvages. You can find all sorts of crafty and sewing uses for selvages on The Selvage Blog, published by Karen Griska who is the author of "Quilts from the Selvage Edge" (AQS, 2008). I've been saving selvages for awhile, and thought this was a good place to show some of them off and give Bo a one-of-a-kind shirt.

The first donation doll I made some months ago is shown in this post. And these donation dolls were also made to send to the dolly drive intended for children in Haiti through The Abundant Gound Foundation. While this is no longer an active drive, there are still opportunities to contribute dolls in a variety of ways, and by organizing your own dolly drive for a charity of your choice. You can learn more and get the free pattern to make donation dolls for a good cause at Dolly Donations. Although Sarah is changing the direction of her dolly donations site, you'll find helpful how-to tutorials and free patterns on her site.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Hear a Symphony...

I made this small "Symphony" quilt using applique and machine techniques from quilt artist Gloria Loughman's book "Quilted Symphony" (C&T Publishing). It has some intricacies, but I enjoyed the methods and thought the results were pretty good.

Our Country Road Quilter's Guild show is this coming weekend- Friday and Saturday- at the CFCC campus in Ocala, FL. I had forgotten that I entered this quilt back in early September and had set it aside, incomplete. When I got a list of my entries, I hurriedly pulled this project from the stack and finished it up. It only had a little quilting and the binding to go, so it did not take long.

The befuddling thing is that I had meticulously made a list of the quilts I entered in the show at the time of submitting the forms. But as things go, I could not find my list!! Often my mind seems as chaotic as my sewing room. But eventually things unfold as needed.

And over this past weekend I had a chance to visit another quilt show in our area held by the Anthony Quilt-and-Go Quilters. They used this charming community center building in McIntosh for the show, and it was a beautiful fall day. The grounds alone made the trip a treat. Add in quilts, and it's a perfect event.