Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome Fall... Welcome Colds

Well in the last two weeks everyone in my family has gotten this nasty little virus that seems to be going around. It started with Abby our little girl's fever rising so high so fast (104!) that she had a seizure. She is alright and some kids get them when their temp climbs to quickly. Then within a few days after coming back from that I got sick... luckily Adam was out of town on business that we thought he was safe ... Ha ha! He got it within a few days of being home as well. We are now going on 2 weeks with a sick household. It's like a bad cold that just won't leave us!

My husband joked that whoever coined the term, "sick as a dog" must not have owned a dog, because the only one not sick is our dog!

But while going through all of this I had a consigned baby blanket to make. Which is in the washer now getting cleaned before I mail it out!

It was actually a perfect time to make a crocheted blanket. It kept me warm as I would sit up at night watching TV waiting for my cold medicine to kick in! Ha ha! And now that it's all clean it is just beautiful! Luckily we are all on the mend now, but boy was it a rough few weeks. Everyone just gets off schedule!

Here is a not so great shot just after I completed it! I love the simple Granny Square blankets! Then at the end I put about 4 rows of just straight single crochet. Since this was made for a boy I didn't want to put on a border that to me would be too girly, so single crochets were what worked best for me!

There is something about the welcoming of fall that just makes it time to crochet. Unfortunately here in San Diego we are in the midst of a heat wave, but I can't help but want to crochet as soon at the pumpkin patches start popping up!

 Here is the completed project!!! I have it all washed and dried! I like to use a mild Eco friendly detergent and and tiny bit of softener!

Then you put it in the dryer on low for only a bit, because it never takes the full cycle to dry and take it out.... it feels as if it would melt in your arms!!!
 This bow I made from a tutorial I found on Pinterest.... (here)

I found this puppy dog button in my button bucket!!! I think that is one of my favorite buckets (as compared to the cleaning bucket ; ))

And above is the detail of the four rows of single crochet border.

This was a fun project to make. As I was making it Abby became a little jealous of the time I spent on it, but my husband reminded me that I've never made one for our family.... might just have to be one of my next fall projects!

As always, Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The ORIGINAL Circus Quilt!!!. . . Finally

This Art Quilt is Titled: The Side Show Marquee
Size: 16" x 24"
Made of Cotton, Wool Felt, Tulle (Behind Tattooed Lady)

To call this a Labor of Love would be an understatement! This Mini Art Quilt was made with my blood, sweat, and tears! I know that people who quilted were special and that what they created was magic, but it wasn't until I made this that I really felt it.

If you didn't read up on my other Circus themed quilt, then here is the cliff notes version. For awhile I was big into Craftster, and had signed up for a Mini Art Quilt Swap. My partner had very much darker themes than my own liking and had Side Show Circus acts as an option. I started researching and came up with the quilt top featured above. I took it uncompleted to my Quilt Guild meeting and women there said I needed to enter in the San Diego Quilt Show and not send it! And thank God they said that, because I went home and made the other quilt and mailed it, but never received anything back from my partner! Not even word she had received mine (The second one of course....). I was so thankful I kept this quilt because I literally cried, sweat, and bled making it!

Today is the day I have to turn it in for the Quilt Show this weekend.... So if you find yourself in San Diego this Friday or Saturday please come check it out! I'm entry #119! 

This is what it looked like up until about 10:30pm last night! Yes, I love to procrastinate! It's really a very bad habit! But the idea of figuring out how to make a three-dimensional circus tent was scaring me.

I knew what I wanted it to look like in my head, but getting it out and onto that quilt was another story!

So I actually made the base of the tent first. I cut the middle red rectangle down the center to make the flaps and attached a piece of black felt to the back. So that was made on Friday.... Then I let pretty much 2 days go by before I started work on the top... the most important part!

So last night as were heading out to take the puppy for a walk I cut and used interfacing to keep the top triangles together...

But of course, just interfacing alone would have been too easy of a fix... so I then whip stitched the triangles together... There is black felt behind it all and I made the top and bottom separate pieces so I left a small opening to stuff and well this is what came...

It's not just as I imagined but hey THAT came out of my head with NO pattern! I was just pretty proud of that alone!

Now it's about 2am... And I didn't like all the black on the sides so I hop on the computer, find a font and am cutting felt by 2:30am!!!

I finally forced myself to go to bed around 3am this morning, and figured at least I'd get a good 3 hours in before our daughter came walking in our room, but no... today she came in at about 5am.... And that is how my day started!

I finished it completely around 10:30am and have gone over it with my lint roller and gotten it ready to walk out the door. I signed up to have it judged, but honestly, I don't care what they think! I know how much time and effort went into this. This was truly the first quilt I ever made (over the size of a mug rug) and I am so very proud of it!

Although, it didn't start as something I would have ever made, after those lovely women all telling me I couldn't send it away, and then not even getting anything from my supposed partner, I am so happy I made this, Circus theme and all! I learned so much about the side show acts and incorporated them into my quilt! I thank that woman now for pushing me further and only hope that she enjoys what I sent to her.

These are the two "real" side show acts. I printed out their images on fabric and embellished them with floss, beads, and colored pencil.

I had never worked with printing on fabric before and it turned out so well... Just can't get it wet!

Here is the detail to the felt characters. I stuffed them in areas to accent her bust and hair and his muscles.

Here they are full sized in all their glory! I have plans to try a little hand quilting around them. It's hard to get a photo showing there is a tulle spotlight behind the Tattooed Lady. It is a very faint yellow in the picture...
I close with the label I made for the back. I dipped the fabric in coffee before embroidering it to give it a bit of a rustic feel! After the Quilt show I will add that information to the top. (Such as the entry number, and the judging information)

Thank you so being so patient as I took literally months to complete this... always saying I was "almost done." Well now I am!!! I am so proud of the time and effort and hope that what I make in the future will be just as wonderful as an idea, but maybe a little more quality quilting as this piece! 

I am off to load us up in the car and head out to drop it off with my head held high and a smile on my face! I hope I brought one to yours!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hello Chef!!! (Updated!)

Well, After making my first Little Chef apron for my niece, Sadie... I got to thinking ... My poor husband yet again had to experience another one of my brainstorms and this one included yet another trip to the fabric store! (Well, OK 2... But he ONLY had to go to 1!)

And although I didn't buy enough duck cloth the first time around, I was sure to get enough the second!

So, I found the 3 brown and pink floral prints and I had this grand idea of embroidering some amazing scenes on the natural tan and then lining the back with plain cotton and binding it, so essentially making it reversible. But to be honest my 2 year old wouldn't understand the hours of time the embroidery had taken and to be honest the duck cloth is similar to canvas and well a second layer would have made it that much heavier...

So I started making all the binding out of 2.5"x5"inch strips of the prints and got all of the binding set before I really had a decisive idea for the front....

Now, we have to fast forward a few hours... I've cut the fabric for the apron and a pocket and made all the binding ... it was hot out and the middle of the afternoon and well we decided to go get yogurt land!!! And every summer they have Hello Kitty bowls and spoons....

So once we got home I google imaged some shots of various Sanrio characters and Hello Kitty and Badtz Maru made the cut!

As you can see from the photo on the left Abby "helped" color the printout!
I didn't really know what to do for the whiskers or face so I just used some freezer paper stencils to make them. It was a quick solution but next time I might try something a little different...

Badtz Maru was definitely the easier of the two to make, but I now wish I would have used black thread to outline him than the white, but it was the first time around!

I hope you have thought about going to Sew Much Ado's website and creating your own little apron.... you can find it here!

I have a little more to show on it, but that will have to wait until next time.... I have a little girl sticking monster stickers ALL over my office wall and calling it a "circus"! ... My poor husband is going to come home and think I don't watch her now... ha ha!