Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wednesday WIP

I actually have some quilty stuff to show this week! I started working on my tiny hand pieced Seven Sisters which I HOPE I will get done with in time for the next Quilt Studio reveal. The circle will finish out to 12 inches so these are really small pieces. And all of it is from my scrap bag!

I started working on these at the car repair shop last Saturday - I had to do my bi-annual 'smog certificate' and I knew the car was going to need some work so I got there when they opened at 8am, hoping that they would be able to fix whatever needed fixing, and get the results to the state so I could get my car re-registered, all in one day. The car did indeed have to get a bunch of stuff done - they had to change the check-engine light bulb which meant they had had to take the dash apart and then there was some fancy-smancy part that only comes in an assembly costing 180 bucks(!) that needed to be replaced...but..it got done and whilst I was waiting, I ensconced myself in the waiting room with my Seven Sisters stuff...I only had the scraps picked out and put into baggies...so I marked and trimmed and stitched and got lots of comments (interestingly, mostly from the guys, though there were a few ladies that brought vehicles in to be serviced). The service guys were cute about coming into the waiting room to keep me informed of the progress (the rest of them had to go up to the counter to talk with them) so I did not have to get up and mess up my sewing setup..And by 1pm they were done, I had 5 stars completed and I was headed over to the AAA to get my car tag. I just need two more stars, the joining diamonds and the circle of diamonds around the outside border.

On Sunday, I took a class with my friends (most of them are quilters, one is a rabid knitter and only tolerates quilting because the rest of us are quilters!) on 'Color Theory For The Fiber Artist'. This was a very interesting class on why some colors make quilts look blah and why some make them pop. Part of the class was the teacher giving the groups assignments on what colors or color schemes to find and we went out into the store and pulled bolts of fabric that matched the assignment using our handy dandy 3-in-1 Color Tools ....wow, that was exhausting! Sometimes we just had to 'make do' because that color wasn't IN the store (at least that we could find!). I came away with a new appreciation of color.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What to DO with braids...

Rian asked "What does one do with the braid? "

The one I am currently doing will probably end up long enough for a bracelet - since it is my learning piece, it really does not have to have a purpose, but I will find some way to use it. The round braids could make bracelets, necklaces, badge holders, shoelaces, key chain fobs, scissor fobs, napkin rings...the flat ones could be bookmarks, curtain ties, headbands, guitar straps - anything you would use a ribbon for could be replaced with a flat braid...You could braid around a core and make jump-ropes, or plant hangers...

I am sure there are hundreds of ways to use braids...of course I probably will find some way to incorporate braids into my crazy quilting...I am thinking of trying one with embroidery floss to get a really thin braid...

The Ultimate Gift

DH and I went to see 'The Ultimate Gift' movie over the weekend. It was wonderful - we both thought it was very inspiring and beautifully done! DH said as we walked out "That's one we HAVE to have on DVD when it comes out."

"When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or “gifts” – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness."

The cast includes Abigail Breslin - the young lady nominated for an Academy Award for 'Little Miss Sunshine' - terrific! Other cast members are James Garner, Bill Combs, Brian Dennehy, Lee Merriweather, Ali Hillis and Drew Fuller...all excellent choices for the parts.

But...if you go, take a box of tissues - one just won't do! It's at least a 5 hanky tear-jerker.
(o jeeze..I just went and looked at the movie trailer again and I have to find another hanky...)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wednesday WIP - Kumihimo

Went to a craft fair last weekend with my quilting/crafting buddies and we were all drawn to this one booth where they were showing 'Kumihimo' - the art of Japanese thread braiding. The picture below is a disk made of three layers of fun foam with 32 slits cut in the edges and a hole in the center. By moving the threads from top to bottom in a specific order, you get a spiral braid out the center of the disk.

At the bottom of the braid, a fishing weight is hung to keep the tension right as the threads are coming thru the hole. I think the setup looks like a jellyfish!

By varying the order of which thread gets moved, you can produce a bunch of patterns.

Want to try it? There are some instructions here that are reasonable - she is showing using only eight strings where the one I have in the picture has sixteen. I want to try with eight and see if its a more bendable braid - the one with sixteen is quite stiff!

Also, if you want a longer braid, you have to plan ahead and wrap the excess length of ribbons/threads on bobbins (the embroidery thread kind) or tama (which look like spools).

There was also a hexagon shaped loom that uses only 5 threads but creates a cool looking shoelace! One of my friends got that one and I will see if I can borrow it sometime to try a pair of shoelaces.

The lady also had some really BIG looms made of wood called marudai that she was using to braid beaded strands into necklaces...same kind of philosophy on the hand movements but no handy notches to put the strands into, so you have to be really concentrated when you are working with that loom!

Also, you can make flat braids - the one I am showing is a round braid (kongo gumi) but here are some cool looking flat braids - I want to try that too but its a little different in how you set up the loom.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday WIP

Well..Wednesday is almost over, but I did want to post a bit about what I have been 'doing'- its not particularly QUILT related...but golly, is it ever FUN!!! Presenting.... my new grandbaby - Lily!She is ever so much fun to cuddle! She arrived in the wee hours of Sunday morning, weighing in at 8.15 lbs and is 21 inches long.
DS has learned to change diapers, swaddle baby and give a spit-bath. Miss Lily is amazingly calm except for diaper changes and bath time...Kid has an impressive set of lungs when disturbed!

I am scheduled to go to a craft show this weekend...I am looking for a couple of things - a wooden seam roller and I want to check out the lighted knitting needles and crochet hooks - those sound like a gas to have.