Thursday, January 18, 2018

Quilting, Weaving and Learning

Finally, the quilting bug bit me while I was snowed/iced in on Wednesday.  The following quilt was pinned quite a while back and partially quilted.  Then a lot of "squirrels" needed chasing. (Chasing squirrels means I was sidetracked by other projects.)
Once it was under the needle again, it was pretty easy to get in the swing and finish the quilting on it.  Now all it needs is to be trimmed and squared up and then to have the binding put on it.
I am excited to be ready to finish the scrappy but fun bed quilt.

Did I mention that we were snowed in for TWO days?  The first day seemed to be perfect for weaving some fabric for a wrap that I will be making.  The fabric was made in just a little over one day.  Mostly because I had nothing else to really do since we were snowed in. (Okay, so nothing except the dozen or so other UFOs that are in a pile - over there.)
Here is the fabric.
This fabric is nice and snuggly.  It will make a perfect wrap for cooler weather -like we have had this winter.

Now, I have to share a secret with you - and it won't be a secret for long.  A bit over a month ago, I found out that Craftsy is launching "Craftsy Unlimited."  I got an offer to join during the soft launch period. I got a seven day free trial.  You can get that trial too.  I have watched quite a number of classes. Several of the classes I have watched have been cooking classes like Mexican Comfort Food (w/ Deborah Schneider) and Love Your Vegetables (w/ Anna Bullett).   But I have also watched some quilting technique classes, a fiber preparation class and even a drawing class.  One thing I have always loved is "knowing how it is done" - even if I don't ever do it.  So far, I am loving it.
I highly suggest that you sign up for the seven day free trial or maybe just go ahead and sign up for a monthly or yearly account.   And if you click through my affiliate link, I will get a small stipend - and you get the same great pricing.

PS - I have been cast in Arsenic and Old Lace.  I got the part I wanted "Mr. Gibbs."  Tonight is the first rehearsal for me.  I am so excited!!!!
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Patched and Woven - 2018 Begins

This year has been slow for me with blogging.  But I have actually accomplished some things.
One thing that I had been planning to try for a while is a Japanese rough mending technique that is known as boro.  The stitching in it reminds me greatly of large stitch quilting such as my maternal grandmother used in making her quilts.  Since one pair of blue jeans had a worn hole in the knee, I needed to do some type of mending on them.  True confession - I used Mistyfuse to keep the piece of denim on the back of the hole while doing the stitching. This is certainly not a traditional method - but it works well.  With the patch in place, some of my weaving cotton thread became the stitching thread for the big stitches.  Here is the result on the knee of this pair of jeans.

The white base threads of the denim are purposefully pushed
apart to show the denim patch underneath for this photo.
The discovery that I made while doing this is that a piece of cardboard inside the leg of the pants will reduce or eliminate the risk of sewing the leg closed. (Yes I did pull out a  few stitches from the first attempt.)

I also finished weaving the cloth that was on my loom for the New Year's Day "weave in."
 My plan was to hang this outside in the sun for a photo  - but it has been very cold and mostly gloomy/overcast here lately.  Here are some detail shots of some of my favorite parts.

The way that the colorful warp threads show through the woven fabric really makes my heart sing.

I did another weaving that I have not yet show.  This is a scarf that was given to a friend who lives in Kentucky, but spends a couple of months in the winter in Florida near my Nana.
She absolutely loves it. 

I gave the scarf to her while we were in Florida this past long weekend.  Because of the extreme cold and possible difficult travel conditions we had to come home a day earlier than planned.  But in spite of that issue, we had a lovely time.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Little More Spinning

The first of my year has been busy with a few things - but the sewing machine surely feels neglected.
Meg, my spinning wheel, has been shown quite a bit of love though.  The bobbin is nicely filled - although I suppose I could put more on it, I probably won't this round.
This will be some fun yarn to use for weaving later.  The bamboo is so soft and shiny that it will make cloth with a lovely drape.

To refresh your memory, here is what this bobbin looked like at the end of the year.
Obviously I love spinning multi-colored yarns. 

In other news, I auditioned for a play with the local community theatre.  I seriously don't remember ever auditioning before.  Yes, I have been in a few plays but somehow skipped the audition process.  With this one, I started at the proper beginning spot.  The play is Arsenic and Old Lace.  I read for two different parts.  My plan was "a small part where I get stage time without too much stress learning the part."  
So the parts are "Mr. Gibbs," a man looking for a room to rent and "Dr. Witherspoon," the head of Happy Dale Sanitarium.  I am waiting to hear the official cast list.  When I do, I will let you know if I get either part. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Practical Sewing

The weather here has been unreasonably cold for Alabama.  While some of you that live in more Northerly states may think 14 degrees F.  is a normal winter temperature - we think it is unbearable.
To be honest, my feet FREEZE at night even with the thermostat set at 69 degrees F.  My blood pressure medicine contributes to this effect, I have been told.

So, I decided to make some bed warmers.  There is a brand of these that you can purchase, but for less than half the price of one, I was able to make two.  I got two thirty-two ounce (2lb.) bags of rice at the dollar store.  Cost $2 USD.   I used a t-shirt that I purchased to dye that I was unhappy with the results. Actual cost around $3 USD - not counting the dye. 
The purchased ones are filled with buckwheat - so if you have buckwheat on hand you can use it. It is lighter in weight than the rice.

Each of these is around 24 inches long - not counting the handle.  I used the sleeve hem from one sleeve to make both carry straps.  I just rolled the raw edge onto the hem and stitched it down.
When these are heated for a minute and 30 seconds in the microwave, they stay warm for quite a while in the bed.  With one at my feet and one against my back, I am all snuggled in and sleep quite comfortably.

These are also excellent for use as a heating pad.  I love to put it around my neck when my neck and/or shoulders are feeling a bit stiff.

True confession:  The purple one took twice as long to make as the green one. Why? you may be asking.  Trying to be fast, I sewed the outside seams and zigzagged them neatly, then I sewed the center seam that makes the channel.  Oops - yes, I forgot to turn it prior to sewing the channel seam.  Obviously, I had to spend some time bonding with Jack the Seam Ripper.  And of course I had back-stitched at each end for strength and durability.

Ideally these should be heated with about half a cup of water sitting in the microwave with them - this maintains the moisture level of the rice and adds to the life of the bed warmer. Otherwise, after several years the rice starts to break down.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Starting the New Year

To start the new year, I went to a friend's studio and spent the day weaving with many other weaving enthusiasts.  Here is a photo - taken by the "official" event photographer - of my weaving in progress.
The warp I am working on is still the "colorful warp" from my last post.  There is a rumor that I managed to weave more than a yard on this piece that day.  There is only one reason that is odd. With a room full of people you don't see often, lots of time is spent visiting, sharing ideas and techniques - and of course just talking.

Last year on January first, I was weaving on this one:
I hope your year is happy and full of wonderful color!  I know mine will be full of color. (((grin)))
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.