Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Embroidery with Kiriki Press

My order came in from Kiriki Press and instead of putting maps in the side pocket of my car door I now have an embroidery hoop floating around in there.

That is a sign as to how much I love these tiny projects.

They are bite sized and not hard to complete.  Even a beginner like me can have a pretty great time.  I ended up with 3 of them because you bounced into free shipping after you get more than 2.

I started with the Sloth since I think it's likely my kids will fight over the bear I decided to save him for last. 

The owl that I made back in the beginning of the month went together quickly.  I'm distracted with Halloween right now so progress is at a different pace.

Looking forward to a spooky evening later this week.

To get ready for it we carved some pumpkins this weekend.  More on that and my visit to The Makery in Los Altos in an upcoming post.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

PIQF 2013: Favorites and Loot

PIQF was a cool show this year and it's almost impossible to pick a favorite.

That said...in case you didn't have time to get through all the photos I posted, here is my short list of really memorable and inspirational quilts - stand outs that caught my eye:

Octopus Garden by Carolyn Winfield

Anne's Quilt by Samantha Ricks - Hawaiian blocks

Wayside Strawberries by Nicole Pullman - hand applique, patterns by Jeanna Kimball - my favorite
My Mom's Jane by Carrie Britten - traditional Dear Jane quilt, beautifully executed, stunning reproduction of the original 1863 quilt

All in The Family by Nancy S. Brown - when Nancy puts a quilt into a show it is always hand applique, and usually the most interesting quilt in the whole show.  This was no exception.

Kingyo (Goldfish) by Naomi Yamamoto - incredible fish, I took tons of detailed photos

Moonbeam by Fumiko Matsuu - beautiful collection of indigo fabrics, super Japanese look

Life by Yoshiko Katagiri - beautiful spiral quilt with an amazing collection of Japanese floral fabrics

Let's Go Party! by Keiko Ike - beautiful machine work, won the best in country award from Japan

In terms of vendors, I had fun looking around and did pick up a thing or two, but not a lot of shopping for me this year.

My most exciting find was marbled fabric.  There is a fabric artist out of Oregon named Marjorie Lee Bevis who makes marbled fabrics by hand.  I picked up a couple of pieces and hope to make them into book cloth for some book covers.  They are unique, no two are alike.  I found them affordable for hand made fabric. 

The other thing I got excited about was the Seam Fix thread eraser.  You are supposed to be able to rip out a seam and use the tip of this plastic bee-hive shaped wand to collect the loose threads so they don't get re-sewn in the wrong place.

Given I have done my fair share of ripping things out, I'm interested to test this.  More news after I give it a try.  Looks like fun though.  Using the tool that is, not ripping out seams.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

PIQF 2013: Pacific International Quilt Festival

PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) 2013 has come and gone but not without the notice of myself and hundreds of other happy onlookers.

I took a lot of photos, not of all the quilts, but of the ones that really caught my eye and some that stood out as being really notable.  I was a bit more rushed this year than in other years.  It's soccer season with the kids after all.

When you look through the photo stream for the most part the photo of the quilt is first, and the name of the quilter and details of the quilt come after that with photo of ribbons awarded as well if they got one.

I did a small bit of shopping.  More on that and links to my personal top 10 favorites in an upcoming post.  

For now, enjoy PIQF 2013.

Oh yes, and if you're looking for eye candy from other years, you can find hundreds if not thousands of photos from the last nine years of this event in my PIQF Through The Years flickr collection.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quilt Fabric: Organization by Color & Collecting

Collections.  Collections of collections.

I think most people probably have them.  People collect all manner of things from PEZ dispencers to tea cups, from Bundt cake pans to scissors, and in some cases even cameras (ahem, DH) .  You can probably collect just about anything.

If you're like me, collecting either virtually or actually is as satisfying as seeing all your shoes lined up under the bed.
Above is a photo of my Oakshott Cotton 5" squares before they became hexagons.  It's a collection for sure and I will confess to having really enjoyed organizing it. 

Our son was home sick recently so I gave him my button collection and told him to arrange it for fun.  He got really into it and the photo below is what he created.
Do you collect something?  I'd love to hear what it is.

Do you actively avoid collecting?  I'd love to hear how and why.

Some beautiful things I bumped into lately:

A video of somebody making a hand bound book - lovely

A video of sea life made out of jewels - sparkles, cool

A recipe for Chinese style Tomato Eggs - yum

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

English Paper Piecing On the Go & PIQF 2013

Before we get into the sewing, let me remind you that PIQF, HUGE quilt show in San Jose California, is taking place starting on Thursday and running through this weekend.  If you are near, it is certainly worth a visit as the quilts are many in number and each has its own beauty.

If you are not close by, don't worry, I'll take a lot of photos for you!

Now on to the stitches....

Basting the small fabric pieces to paper templates may be seen as a chore to some people but I find it relaxing and enjoyable.

Once all the pieces were sewn with giant stitches to the hex papers I fussed a little bit with color placement and starting creating stacks of rows to be sewn together.

A few post it notes stuck on the top of a row and a zip lock bag holding about 3 rows in one place was my solution to packing this project on the go.

I have worked on it on the soccer field and in the car.  Progress is slow since I'm a bit short on time these days, but progress is progress and it's looking pretty cool.

All the fabrics are Oakshott cottons and a real joy to work with.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sewing Garments - Not

Am I interested in making more cotton jersey garments?  Yes.

Do I plan to sew them in an elegant non-messy fashion?  Yes.

Am I beneath trying to fix a hole in my son's jersey PJ's if he begs me to?  No.

Did I fix said hole while he was still wearing said PJ's?  Maybe.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

He's only 5 and really wasn't in the mood to take them off.

Wow, my stitches are messy!

Disclaimer:  No children were harmed in the fixing of these PJ's.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hand Sewn Bookbinding & Calligraphy

Making beautiful lettering has been a passion of mine for a while.

Writing on fabric, paper, wedding invitations (cannot find a photo of them all for you, sigh), post-it notes, chalk boards, and anything that holds still for too long is something that I picked up about 15 yrs ago when I was learning Copperplate Calligraphy for Baltimore Album quilts. 

Wandering around CreativeBug, I ran into some super cool classes on bookbinding by Jody Alexander.

I made the above book after taking her online class on Coptic Bookbinding.

The cover is just a simple art paper in light blue that I decorated with calligraphy after the book was all finished. 

I'm using this as a notebook for some of my creative thoughts and classes I've been taking. 

One of the other classes she has covers how to make a book cloth out of fabric.  My next version will hopefully be covered with Liberty of London fabric, with any luck. 

It's been a real adventure for me in learning about paper and glues, including how to make glue from methyl cellulose power.  Hint: dumping some powder in cold water is hardly the place to start.  Can you say sticky icky goop?  Oh yes you can, it's almost Halloween after all.

I have thoughts about making some of these for give-aways since I'm addicted to making them.  You get to sew paper!  It's almost as much fun as sewing fabric.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kiriki Plushie Owl

I've never been one to delve into the rabbit hole of embroidery.

When I saw the awesome creations of Kiriki Press there was no way to avoid trying it.

Not only are the fabrics hand made through a screen printing process, but even they very box they come in is hand made/screen printed.

It's adorable from soup to nuts.

I made this owl as a gift for my husband to honor our 10th anniversary.  The time has flown by (pun intended).

Making the stitches was not hard at all and the instructions were great.  I'm not very skilled at this, but all the same I'm happy with the result and would like to try to make a couple more.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Got Yarn?

Here's a cheesecake shot of my plied yarn. 

It turned out to be 250 yds, so I'll probably make some Easy Handspun Mitts out of them.

That is if I ever put my quilting needle down. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Golding Spindle & Indigo Targhee Wool

Just a quick post to wish you a happy Friday.  

I finally finished spinning the singles from the naturally dyed indigo wool (Targhee breed).

I'm in love with this wool.  I wonder if my yard is big enough for a Targhee sheep.

Fiber was dyed by A Verb For Keeping Warm, by hand in Oakland, California.

Ring Spindle by Golding.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Home Plate Is Where the Heart Is

It's no secret that I like baseball.

Our family was lucky enough to attend the last game of the year last weekend with the SF Giants.

I did a little knitting on the way home, but outside of that was too glued to the game to do much else while it was going on.

I have always wanted to run across home plate of a major league ball field and I finally got my chance. 

Above is a photo of my dream coming true, me running across home plate.  It felt pretty good.  My kids had of course run much faster than me since I was taking a bunch of photos along the way.

We had dinner at Gotts in San Francisco.  Yummy, affordable, and acceptable to eat there with kids.  Not an easy combo to find in any big city. 

Did not have time to visit my favorite Peapod fabrics, but another trip will certainly be in order in the not so distant future.

On to topics of incredible things I've run across lately:

1)  Check out the work of Chalk Artist Dana Tanamachi.  She lives and works in New York and designs art for chalk boards in shops, companies, restaurants.  The fonts she uses are beautiful. 

They make me think about the ink on fabric that I do...I wonder if I shouldn't expand some of the fonts that I use.  Check out her time lapse videos, they are just incredible.

2)  Briar top by Megan Nielsen - goodness I would also like to make this shirt.  I had probably better make the other shirt patters I already own first.

3)  Soto Softies:  These stuffed sewn toys by Maritza Soto are soooo cute.  Some bats are in my not so distant future.  If your kids need some bats too, you only need to click a couple of times and have $7 at your disposal.  Ok, you'll probably do some sewing too, but that's the fun part.  I cannot wait to make a bat.  Seriously.  Cannot wait.

4)  Kiriki stuffed toys:  These adorable kits to make embroidered dolls are to die for.  I got the horned owl kit on my visit to The Workroom and started making it.  The fabric is screen printed by hand.  The design is modern and adorable.  I am only sad that I don't own them all.  We may have to work on fixing that.