Saturday, July 28, 2012

Amazed and Inspired: Sidewalk to Catwalk

Jean Paul Gaultier

Yesterday I spent a wonderful day with friends at the de Young museum in San Francisco in awe of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit Sidewalk to Catwalk.  If you live in the area, I highly recommend that you go to see it.

By far the best display I've seen - a FUN artistic, interactive experience - like Disneyland for grown ups.

The clothes were stunning; the beads, buttons, leather, ribbon, the mix of knit and tulle. 

Each and every garment was clever and crafted to perfection.

There is just no way to even pick favorites.  Which is yours?

Coo Cooing Model adorned in Feathers
A tad bit eerie at first when the mannequins eyes shifted to look at me with a subtle twitch of the mouth and it was a little silly that it felt rude to walk away from Jean Paul while he was talking.

I started to take a video of the coo cooing model adorned in feather singing to me and then found out I wasn't allowed - oops. 

    Luckily you can check out this video for yourself - REALLY, I insist.

I'm not usually a star struck kind of gal, but it was exciting to see celebrity Red Carpet couture gowns in person. 

Because "I heart the '80s" the flashback to Madonna music videos was a blast.  Who else could make famous a pointy bra and pull off a fashion trend of wearing underwear on the outside?
Love these shoes

The photos from my phone do not do the justice.

This was one of those times when I wish I had a smart phone and instagram...

...maybe someday.


There were many wonderful sketches although they too were difficult to photograph.  We sat for a bit and watched the huge screen showing scenes from various movies - although I must admit, The Fifth Element was the only one I recognized and that's only because I live in a house with all boys.

I was just amazed by the overwhelming by the attention to detail and could have walked through two or three times to find new things to discover.

A Little Side Trip

On the way home we stopped at Harley Farms to pet the goats and taste some cheese. Here are a few bits I bought - this morning we ate Lavender Honey with our breakfast, yum

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zakka week #17

Two weeks in a row for me is quite a change of pace for the Zakka Sew along - I wish I had 17 projects to show for it but at least I have one more as of tonight.  The Delightful Linen Bag designed by Mette Robl.
another Zakka project complete
So often I spend more time choosing which direction to go than I do actually making things.  Tonight was one of those nights. My first pull was soft pink Curio, cream lace, roses on the trim and pearl buttons... very old fashioned and it didn't feel like me.
Inside Lining folded Up and Over
I'm not a fan of bias tape although I keep collecting packets of it from the thrift store and someday will learn to control it better with practice.  Mostly it was because I adore the lining fabric and really wanted it for the top edging that I decided to modify the pattern and simply fold up and over instead of attaching tape.  This method was new for me and it worked great!

The only leather lace I own is black and I would have preferred tan but used it anyway.   I've misplaced my interfacing so I used scrap warm and natural which I am in no short supply of and really need to create projects to use it up. The participants in this Sew Along seems to embrace making do and changing things up as desired and I appreciate that freedom.
A few favorite buttons

Earlier this week a snagged a grab bag of buttons at the thrift store and here are a few of my favorite.  I was tempted to use the red one especially since the dark rim would help the leather fit in but I have a larger purse in mind for it.

Linking up to  LRStitched for Zakka Sew Along - did you see that I was the lucky winner in the drawing last week?  So Thrilled!!  Check out host Sukie and her version of the bag and all of the link ups.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swoon gets Stars

Swoon Stars
Progress - hooray.  After a blazing start with Swoon six months ago- choosing the fabric pairing (fun), chatting it up on the QAL group (fun)... I hit a major road block and locked it away in a project container.  Honestly, I had not enjoyed myself and my seam ripper had gone into overtime - let's just say I was pretty much "over it". Three blocks were complete but there was no way I would survive another six.  But, I put it on my FALQ3 mosaic and made a promise to come up with a plan.  
One more block had been cut out and just needed to be pieced. It went together relatively easy although I still found the poor print quality difficult to distinguish parts illustrated in two shades of gray frustrating.  The pdf version is apparently in color which I would have opted for had I known. Doesn't it look as if a copy machine was low on toner?
Normally I don't like to read blogs with an overly negative tone and avoid writing those kinds of posts, but I feel the urge to vent. A 3 1/2 and a 3 7/8 square should not appear exactly the same on the pattern - it messed with my mind. 

Block #4
Adding stars to the layout seemed like a good idea and so far I'm pretty pleased.  I ran out of Kona and either misplaced or used up all of one fabric but at least there is progress with an end in sight. The quilt will be smaller than I'd like unless I add a border so we will see where it's headed.
the start of some stars

WIP Weekly Status Update:

Polaroid Swap (75 done and 60 mailed)
Low Volume Swap (cut and mailed)
Blog pages (added pictures)
Swoon (yeah - progress) 
Wedding Quilt - Old Italian block (no progress)
Alpaca Pillow (no progress)
Not your Granny's Bee (no progress)
Patchwork Prism QAL  (no progress)
Modern Scrappy Bits swap (almost time for partners)

Linking up to Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday and since it's almost midnight  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced with guest host  Coleen of The Busy Bean.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Zakka Ribbon

With pressing deadlines looming I took a bit of a detour and had fun creating Fabric Ribbon.  Scrap projects alway appeal to me and I haven't been able to participate since the zakka tote and pin cushions that I made. Watching from the sidelines just isn't the same. When this project came up that seemed quite attainable and practical I went for it.

Using the left over strips of the Art Gallery from Low Volume Big 10 inch swap, Philip Jacobs floral and a mix of others I had in my stash here's what I came up with: 
Zakka Style Sew Along Ribbon
Fraying bugs me. So when I read comments about strings and various solutions I decided on the bias cut used by Linda at I finally have time and really liked her narrow 1 1/4" cut. Rather than using the pieced strips for both sides I went for one fabric pinked to avoid all those joints and so that it would yield more too.
freehand clean up of the ends

Pinking lining
One long strip= 22 ft of Ribbon!
When I make binding I don't do bias and I usually guess one too many or too few strips when I estimate how many to cut because I avoid actual quilt math to figure it ahead of time. Check out how close I guessed -love it when things work out that way.  I can see that linen would have given a nicer weight than the cotton I chose. A serous starch may be in order. 22 feet of ribbon should make for some nice wrapping!
Guessed spot on how much I'd need
The version in the book by the wonderful Melody Miller is much more attractive - how could anything made with her fabric not be, right? Maybe one day my scrap stash will have enough to make ribbon but for now it still falls under my Precious category.

Linking up with quite a variety of ribbon to LRstitched

Detour ended. Direct course to Swoon and Old Italian Block!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Birds and The Bees Giveaway

My friend Kathleen is having a giveaway on her blog at Doodles and Designs.  You could win 9 fat quarters of The Birds and The Bees, just released by Tula Pink so go pay her a visit.  You can also check out the entire line at Intrepid Thread

Dog Pics and Blog Pics

Not a stitch of sewing this weekend for me so instead of progress, I'll share a picture of the pups.
Dottie and her pillow, Chase
I've mentioned how my dogs are camera shy, especially Chase who leaves the room the minute I power it on. Well, I asked my son to see if he could figure out how to silence all of the nerve-wracking beeps and viola - problem solved.  Late last night in the pitch black I took this one.  Dottie has always used Chase as her pillow and he doesn't ever seem to mind. 

The second step to having just learned how to add tabs to my blog is underway - the hunting down of photos to put on the pages!  One of the main reasons that I started blogging was to better chronicle my creations and this process has reinforced that decision.  I can figure out what I made in 2012 and some of 2011  thanks to flickr but the rest is a blur... I hope you'll have a browse. Let me know what you like best!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lure of Linen

When our MQG made a parting gift for one of our officer's who is moving away (boo hoo), we used Kaufman Essex Linen to sew an assortment of napkins using the Purl Bee's wonderful tutorial and I also created a coordinating runner similar to this one I made for my friend's birthday.  Now that the secret is out I can share some pictures.
All rolled up and ready to give
I staged a photo on my own table
Surprise Unveiled
I love the texture that resulted from quilting organic lines on the linen so much that it could easily be a two sided runner. 
Underside and bits in the binding
Aside from Echino and some other linen that I had purchased online and used in my Zakka tote and pin cushion, I hadn't really had much experience with it.
Now I really get the Lure of Linen. 

More Linen in My Future

Here's a sneak at yet another secret so I won't reveal too much other than to say I had a terrific time during two marathon sewing sessions with a talented young lady who is learning to sew and I think it turned out SO cute!  We modified the Zakka Style bag directions slightly to make it a bit wider. The Art Gallery mix & match interior makes me smile.
Echino and Linen book tote
Art Gallery Interior - a pretty mix
Our next project together is a makeup clutch inspired by these.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WIP: Same ol' same ol' - but many more

Is it Wednesday again?? I've been up to the same ol' same ol' but more of it.  My Polaroid swap count is up to 50 - crazy. Sign Ups are still OPEN.  These little blue chairs seemed appropriate for Kati from the blue chair guest post for WIP for Lee this week and the swim trunks were super fun to fussy cut.
O.I.B. growing slowly

More swap blocks

If only the Old Italian blocks (O.I.B.) would multiply like rabbits the way the Polaroids do, I'd be set.  Tally is 27 from 7 and I've got to pick up the pace to complete the quilt on time.

I was distracted with Fluffy Sheep Quilting's Kona bundle contest - vote for me - I'm #23 in the cool category!

Focus. Focus.

My blog layout has been officially added to the WIP list because it really needs some TLC before it becomes a junk drawer of data.

Linking up to WIP at Freshly Pieced. That's what I've been up to - how about you?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Goals and Tabs


Finish A-Long

The Pre-Third Quarter FAL Linky Party is open at Quilter in the Gap and I am once again setting my sights at even more than Q2 four out of six and all three Q1  completed.  Nine projects - ambitious or insane. 

They are in no particular order:  Old Italian Block (O.I.B.), Polaroids, Alpaca pillow, Tassels, Quilts for Kid, Swoon, Row Robin, Sewing Room pillow and Crazy Bento.

Blog Layout=WIP

Another goal that I've set for myself it to improve the blog layout so it's officially become my newest Work in Progress WIP.  I've been posting pretty often averaging over a dozen each month since I started in March.  Before things get too out of hand, I want to learn a few tricks to control how it looks and is organized.  This morning I figured out how to add pages and tabs finally - yeah! I will expand bit by bit and sort. Thanks for hangin' in there with me and stopping by!  What tips do you have for keeping a blog tidy?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Swaps and Interviews Galore

Remember when I said I was putting a freeze on my swap joining? Well, I take that back. This week alone I signed up for three!

How could I not when one of them is linked to my Polaroid post and hosted by my flickr friend Debbie at A Quilter's Table? Check out the SIGN UPS and get a move on because although these whip up quickly when chain pieced - especially since we're only swapping the untrimmed center with white, the mail to date is August 15th and you don't want to miss out.

As for the other two swaps that I caved on... no excuses, I just can't say no to a great idea. Modern Scrappy Bits means I get second-hand scraps which I love and create a gift for a secret partner and 10" Low Volume means that I get the variety it takes to make a scrappy quilt and share my lovely Art Gallery fabric with others - a win win.  FYI: I'm just too afraid to type the actual name of that group in my blog, clever as it is - rather safe than sorry!

Interviews Galore

The second post of Mermaid Sew's Keepin It Real interview series is up and for icing on the cake she's offering a chance at winning a PDF pattern of choice from Cluck Cluck Sew to three of her readers- how great is that?!  It was also comforting to find out that Allison isn't on facebook and doesn't tweet either - I'm not alone.

Even if you're not lucky like me and headed to Utah in October for Sewing Summit, you'll still enjoy reading the interviews on the 4 Favorites 4 Friday each week. I can't believe I'm actually going to get to meet these wonderful bloggers in person and will have my finger on the button to choose classes when the link goes live this summer.

If you've stopped by - thank you - please let me know by leaving a comment:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Kona Bundle Contest -Capitola Sea Wall and O.I.B

Azure, Ash, Banana, Avocado, Coal,Bone, Teal, Turquoise
 Fluffy Sheep Quilting is having a Kona giveaway and I've entered Capitola SeaWall for fun, voting is open for one week starting the 9th.

my sketch used to paint the tile
The center picture is of the ceramic tile that was installed on the esplanade as part of a  Community Project by the Art & Cultural Commission.  I wanted something unique to our city so I went with the zip code and designed it to look as though 95010 is propped in the sand with our names drawn in sand.
Installed tile - top row center

The foreground is a glimpse of the real seawall tiles and a peak at Moss Landing stacks is on the horizon - just like on a clear day. If you are ever in the neighborhood, take a stroll and check out the tiles.

I chose the Kona colors because they feel like summer in a lazy day sort of way.

Old Italian Block - OIB

seven down... 125 to go....  Progress was slow but I am please with the marriage of tradition and modern for this wedding quilt. With literally everything cut on the bias, it's a snails pace to avoid stretching.  I'm sure once I get a few under my belt I'll figure out some time saving tips.
Of course I could have taken the author Anita Grossman Soloman's advise and starched or paper pieced, but I didn't. The directions are really terrific in the book Rotary Cutting Revolution and I love how it trims down so easily appearing to line up for the secondary pattern.

If I had chosen to make it in all batik I'm sure it wouldn't be as difficult but then I wouldn't be able to use all of my yummy modern designer fabric. My goal is to not only finish by the wedding reception but to complete the quilt and enter it for our MQG show in September.

If you've stopped by - thank you - please let me know by leaving a comment:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP - Polaroids and Old Italian progress

White trimmed and ready for gray

EDIT: If you are reading this post as part of the Perfect Picture Polaroid Swap  or Say Cheese Swap - I've noted below where to stop as they are mailed with the white UNTRIMMED - feel free however to scroll down further for suggestions on what to do with your blocks once received and to leave me a comment - do you own a Polaroid picture and if so what is it a photo of?

I know each month I go on and on about what great choices the gals at F+F=AMSB have in blocks but it's TRUE!  Ever since the Polaroid blocks started popping up on flickr I've been drooling and thanks to Nicole I got to make some. These were the links given to the group: Paper piecing tutorial by My Crafty Crap, this post from Rachel from Stitched in Color , and of course the wonderfully talented Little Miss Shabby. For more inspiration, check out Debbie's flickrdeb50's gallery.
At our July SBAMQG meeting I brought them to share - big hit - and one of the ladies asked about how I made them.  A few were paper pieced but most were made using a modified method of Rachel's instructions so as well as providing the links to her, I explained the chain piecing steps I used and thought I'd share them with you all.
use a template made of cardboard to help fussycut
2.5" x 2.5" cut size and once sewn in only 2" will show
  • Fussy Cut 2.5"x 2.5" squares of feature fabric.
  • Cut the white WOF 1" for SIDES and TOP sashing and 1.5" for the BOTTOM but do not sub-cut, just leave them long.
1" WOF cut for sides & top
1.5 " WOF for bottom
  • Place the 2.5" fussy cut center face down on the 1" WOF white strip and chain piece all the centers on the left side, ironed towards the white then cut the strip apart by lining up the ruler to the center square. (I found my small square ruler more manageable for this than the long one)
  • Repeat these steps for the right side.
  • As you can see, at first I didn't pile my stack oriented the correct direction but later decided it was helpful to streamline the process.
  • 1" WOF can be kind of wiggly so I used medium speed and my start and stop button between placement of the next square.  

Set Press the stitch line

  • Take care while you are pressing to be sure the strip does not warp.  Setting the seam line first is another step but worth the time.
  • When trimming the white from the sides, use the fussy cut square to line up the ruler. 
Press out & Keep it straight

  •  Repeat these steps for the TOP, however for the top when you cut the strip apart you can just freehand it since the white is trimmed down and that cut isn't critical.  (see pictures below)

sides on and trimmed
chain stitch the top white
cut apart freehand - no ruler - no worries
  • For the bottom I chain pieced a WOF 1 1/2" white strip, ironed towards the white and freehand cut them apart. It's important that the center measure a nice straight square 2" sewn in but the white edges will be trimmed so don't waste time making them uniform.

White attached and untrimmed
  • To trim them correctly I used as a point of reference the stitch line of the center square which is now 2" sewn in  and trimmed them to 3"x3 1/2". I found it easiest to trim the bottom last.

  • For the gray, I cut WOF 2 1/2" (you might get away with 2") again chain piecing but this time I attached them clockwise: bottom, left, top, right because I think they attach to one another better with less bulk.  I also ironed out towards the gray.
12.5x12.5 block
  • I used a small square ruler to cut them 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" and played around with tipping them slightly keeping in mind to leave the 1/4 seam allowance and to not get too close to the white when sewn in. 
  • Using my 12.5x12.5 ruler I made sure that the final block squared up and was true to size - which it was - yeah!
Mixed with 4.5" solid gray squares

Nicole asked for the second block to be mixed with shades of gray and the number of Polaroids of four or more - so I picked 7 to feature the mermaid.

Not to get all mushy and sentimental, but making these blocks brought to mind an actual Polaroid of my hubby and I taken when we first met.  It measures 3.5" square which might be an interesting alternative size to sew them. 

My Favorite Polaroid - early '80's

Pulling, Ironing, Cutting...

My friend came by and helped me pull lights/mediums to go with the dark batiks for the Old Italian block wedding quilt. Things are always more fun when you do them together and she's got such an artful eye.  The stack is HUGE and the ironing and cutting slow but here's my progress:
Didn't even make a dent in my stash...hhmm
Just a portion of the pull

Old Italian block parts
Happy 4th of July. Linking up to Jess also known as SewCraftyJess who is this week's guest blogger for WIP at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Weekly Status Update:

MQG/Quiltcon Block Challenge (all done and mailed)
F+F=AMSB Polaroid blocks (done & need to mail)
Wedding Quilt - Old Italian block (some progress)
Alpaca Pillow (no progress)
Swoon (no progress)
Not your Granny's Bee (no progress)

If you've stopped by - thank you - please let me know by leaving a comment: