Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quilt and Dye Results

First some pretty flowers that my co-workers gave me as I prepare to leave for a few months.  I'm lucky to have such a great bunch to spend my days with.

I started (and since finished) piecing together the printed and dyed fabric that I started last week.  You can see the yellow and pink from the flowers I found in the yard.  It's been a fun project so far - now for the slow part that I like the best.  I plan to do a lot of hand stitching and maybe some applique if I have any time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lot's of Busy

The biggest news of the day is that Eliot is now on two wheels!  He started working on this with major determination about 2 days ago.  He practiced coasting down my Mother's driveway and then yesterday we went to a open school lot where there was a nice gradual hill.  He coasted and turned then tried pedaling with success!  The newly acquired knee and elbow pads helped a little, too.

I'm glad it happened before baby so we could properly celebrate and give him loads of attention for it.  I think he has needed a little extra lately.

We went out for ice cream to celebrate.  He wants to keep celebrating today!  This funny hat came all the way from some friends of ours in Japan. It says "Ice cream roc and roll" and "Hello, do you like ice cream?" It's really silly and fantastic all at the same time.

And lastly we got some family photos together.  I took the opportunity to do another Mothering picture for my little series.  Eliot, of course, was game.  I think Friday is going to be my last day at work - I didn't realize how big my belly has gotten until I saw this picture!

Friday, June 15, 2012


I happened to be sitting on the ground the other day - not something I have been doing much of lately and I liked how the light was shinning through the Hosta stems.  So, here are a few photos from that short stint.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Going Portable

With all of the current crafting going on I needed to make something to tote around my 'stuff'.  I have found a couple of vintage sheets at thrift stores lately and made this from the remainder from another project.  The zipper came from a yard sale box of stuff ages ago.  It is nice to have a perfect size pouch to put my dress project in with thread, 1 needle and a teeny pair of scissors.  I think having a to-go bag for each project might keep me more organized!

A small garden update.  This is basically it right now.  Pretty unambitious.  Tons of peas, some garlic I planted last fall and some perennial herbs.  I planted a box full of veggies but something ate EVERYTHING.  I don't have a whole lot of stamina to bend over right now - I was trying to think up a tube system to shoot seeds down but I don't think it would be very fruitful.

I think I am going to get some tomato seedlings and toss in a bunch of herb seeds that I bought to put in another area I dug up while I had energy and call it good for this year.  At least I will have the summer to visit the farmers markets.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garage sales and more WIP

I found this kids size rocking chair at a garage sale this weekend along with a couple of other little things.  I debated about picking it up but it was just too cute.  I imagine Eliot rocking the baby or little dolls sitting in it.  Girl sewing is so fun!

I started working on a bucket hat for Eliot at his request.  He wanted it to have a dragon and bats in black with white on the front.  So after picking up a couple of t-shirts at goodwill the hat has begun.  It is a reverse applique stencil that I found via google images (actually a tattoo) and the hat pattern itself is based on the Alabama Chanin version in her new book.  Boy sewing can be fun, too. *

We were planning to do a family picture this weekend but I forgot about it by the time Kevin had to head to work.  I have something up my sleeve for it that I think will be kind of cute and funny but for now I put the camera on the table and had Eliot stand with me.  I don't have a lot of belly photos and there isn't much time left!

* Since finishing the post above I finished the hat.  It was really easy to work up and cheap to boot.  One more bath time and it was done.  I might put a brim on it but he is happy with it and that's what makes me smile.  I'm happy to at least be able to make something for him right now as he is getting pretty board with me and my lack of physical prowess.  I keep assuring him I will be back to mostly normal soon!  

On another note I planted about 10 tomato plants today after really forcing myself to go to the garden center.  I am finding it hard to deviate from the homeward path most days. Yesterday I planted seeds from whatever I could reach from my position sitting next to the garden boxes.  I have no idea what I put where but at least seeds are in the ground.  I feel a lot better now!  Almost done!

 A bit of a tough guy look.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fabric Dye and Paint Part 2.

The second round of fabric manipulation was some experimenting with fabric paint and various household objects.  I watered down the paint quite a bit so that the effect became almost batik or watercolor like.  I like the effect for this project but I would like to keep experimenting for different results.  

These circles were made with the lid of a ball jar and the small circles with the cap from the fabric paint.

The squares were just a block of scrap wood I found in the garage and the zig-zag lines are a block with an elastic wrapped around it.

It was such a nice weekend I'm glad I had a few minutes to work on this while Eliot was busy digging in his dirt pile and tossing tennis balls on the roof.  I just love this birch tree, too.  Gives nice dappled shade and the birds have a great time singing up there.  Plus it doubled as a laundry line for this project!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fabric Dye and Paint Part 1.

Some experiments were happening late last week with fabric dying and painting.  I have an idea for a baby quilt that I wanted to test.  I have always been inspired by people going out in their yards and finding useful things growing there so I thought I would do some testing of the things I found in my yard.  

I also had a bunch of leftover cotton muslin from making some curtains so I had a blank slate to work with.  Eliot is always game for foraging, too.  

The first step was dying the fabric.  Since I was feeling lazy I didn't do everything the way I probably should have.  First I simmered the plant material in about double the amount of water for an hour.  Then I strained it and added some vinegar.  I put the liquid in ball jars with the fabric, mixed and let it sit overnight.  After re-reading the dyeing suggestions I probably should have put the fabric back into the pots with the liquid and vinegar and simmered for another hour.  Next time I will try that.

From left to right: Grass, Iris blossoms, Pink flowering bush that I am still trying to identify, and Celandine.

I had mixed results.  The grass and iris were too weak - but the pink flower and the Celandine gave me a nice strong color.  I took the fabric that didn't dye and did some experiments with making my own fabric patterns.  I'll post more about that tomorrow.

Friday, June 08, 2012

First in the nest

I thought I would make my first post back in a while about crafting.  I have been a busy bee lately.  We are just about done with the baby's room with a few finishing touches to go along with trim etc... that probably won't happen for a while but I am comfortable with it the way it is now.  Pictures will follow once we get some nice light.  I am due for a belly related self portrait, too.  Perhaps this weekend...

I have been sewing madly since Kevin moved the fish tank and I now have a sewing spot back again.  Unfortunately it is an albatross in the living room but once we do some more moving around and storing 'stuff'' I will be able to unearth the nice leather top antique table which is smaller and more attractive.  Much better than the white folding table with a sheet on top.  But, it is certainly functional and I am very happy for it!  

I have been turning my nesting sewing on myself most recently.  Is that fair?  I'm not sure if it is but it is happening anyway.  I like to have multiple projects going at once - especially ones that are transportable.  This is an Alabama Chanin dress that I have been thinking about since I bought the 2nd book.  It is the inked and quilted dress.  You may remember photos of the stencil I was cutting out a while back.  I got a wind of energy and finished that and dug out the fabric paint I had bought ages ago and got to work.  I took over the 'man cave' (garage) for a day and Eliot and Kevin gave me enough space that I got it done in one fell swoop.  

Now is the most time consuming part the quilting. After the stencil was done I drew around all of the shapes with a sharpie and now I am slowly stitching away at the dress.  I figure it will be a good project to work on here and there since I'm not really a knitter.  I hope by the time I am done I will fit into it!  

Some other projects I have going on include:
  • Stenciling curtains for both Eliot and Baby
  • A baby quilt that is in the design phase
  • I want to make some receiving blankets like these
  • Alabama Bucket Hat for Eliot with Dragons and Bats (his request)
  • Lots of other things that I will hopefully post about sooner than later...

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