Monday, February 27, 2012

Sashiko Style

I've been wanting to give Sashiko a try. And wacky me thought doing a guided Stitch-A-Long would be a good way to do it! So ... since I've planned to lead the group, I guess I better figure it out!

Here's my sample piece so far. I'm trying out a single thread. Going to give the next sample a double strand. See which I like better. Plus, this cotton fabric doesn't have as loose of a weave as the linen-cotton blend we'll be using, but it suffices for a first try despite the slight puckering. Actually, after tracing the pattern onto the fabric, this basic running stitch only took about 15 - 20 minutes to do what's shown in the photos.

I'll be posting again with finished samples and the finished projects when everyone's done!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Adventures In Cording

As someone fairly new to sewing, I look for new ways to add to my skills or explore new-to-me techniques. I have this great book - Stitch Magic by Alison Reid - that explores surface texture and creating dimensional fabrics. It's a well-done book, in my humble opinion. I like that they primarily use white fabric for the samples so you can really see what's happening. There are finished objects in other fabrics, but I think the consistency with the "how to" portions is helpful. Let's the texture really stand out.

Anyway, I've been wanting to make some cords for embellishments and what-not. I looked at a cording foot for my Janome Sewist 500, but it's a little pricey. Especially since it can be done with a simple zig-zag foot. So, I cut some scraps into strips no more than 1/2" wide and set about "cording"! Here are my first attempts:

The first cord (top, left) was the first one. Denim might not have been the best thing to start with, but not horrible.

I did deliberately leave some "open" areas where the fabric flattens out and doesn't twist. Just experimenting. I used red thread because I liked the contrast it would provide and ... well, it was already loaded in the machine and I have plenty of it. :) Sometimes I plan. Sometimes I wing it.

Now, what to do with my cords???
Methinks I will embellish a small pouch or coin purse. We shall see!


General How To* :
Set machine for zig-zag stitching, longest stitch. Using 1/2" wide (or less) strips begin feeding them through the machine, twisting hard to the right as they feed. They have to be twisted in order for the thread to encase the fabric strips. I stitched some strips end-to-end first to make longer cords. Some, I tried adding new strips as I went.

* This is NOT a technical explanation. Just a rough idea. Check your machine's manual before beginning anything like this. Or look for a proper tutorial elsewhere. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Open Studio Project: DIY Fabric-Covered Accordion Files.

There are several tutorials, how-to's and DIY projects like this floating around the web. I based this group project on this guide. Here are the finished files:

Can you spot mine? I'll give you a hint: It's green & leafy ... and doesn't have a bow. Just a tie. I'm not a "bow" girl. :)

You'll also notice that two of the folders use two different fabrics - one for the front and one for the back. Great way to go if you like variety!


You may wonder about these "Open Studios" that I've mentioned before. A few years ago, my friend, Cara, and I formed The Community Crafts Studio located within Christ Church UCC. It's a place where we, as artists in residence, can have a space of our own to work on our artistic and crafty ventures, while providing a space for other to commune and work on their projects. We frequently hold guided projects, such as these files, too. Sometimes we charge a nominal fee to cover any supplied materials. Other times, folks bring all their own materials while we provide the "how to".

Above, I have included a link to our new web page. Over the next few months, I hope to add content to it ... a new logo ... finished projects ... who knows what else! Right now it's a place for upcoming events. Maybe we'll see you there ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nothing Says Love Like a Beheading

That's right folks. St. Valentine was clubbed, stoned and beheaded.
Happy Valentine's Day!

But in honor of a more ... contemporary view of Valentine's Day, I created this card for MY Valentine:

What do you think? Too subtle? ;)


Today is actually my Valentine's birthday as well. Yesterday I baked him the world's best gluten free cake, made with a layer of strawberry in the middle:

Yeah, that's right. I can out-Martha Martha.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Little Pretties

Got some new fabric a couple weeks ago.
Thought I should show you.

This "tiki"-like fabric was too fun! I'm thinking of making pillows from it. I've been trying to bring that rich blue into the living room color scheme.

The flower fabric was from the same Hawaiian collection as the tiki fabric. I just thought it was pretty. No immediate plans for it though. I'm thinking something to wear ...

The retro cassette tape fabric is for the lining of a messenger bag for my honey. He started school again last month! Yea!!! He needs something cool for toting his laptop around. I have some wicked plans ... stay tuned for that!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

THAT'S A Winner!

So you might remember a little contest a couple weeks back ...
THIS went to the winner!

Just a cute little zip bag with a pretty vintage-looking fabric detail.
Could've been yours ... but you didn't even try for it. So sad.
Enjoy, Pat!

PLUS ...
Seeing as how she's family and all, I can show you what I made her for Christmas!

I'd tell you how I did it ...
But I don't wanna!