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Archive for August, 2011

No excuse to not learn quilting

August 30, 2011 2 comments

A friend of mine had a large yard sale this past weekend, to help raise money for the Canadian Kidney Foundation. Nothing there was priced; if you wanted something, you made a donation of what you wanted to pay for it. In one of the boxes, I found a large number of fabric squares, and I paid $2.65 for them all. I feel guilty about even that, because I know they’re worth far more, but that was all the money I had at that moment.

I think most of the fabrics are from samples, probably from things like curtains. They’re not quilting cottons. Nevertheless, I know that I can make something from them, and this gives me a really good chance to learn how to quilt properly.

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The pictures above are the fabrics that mostly have the same sort of feel to them, so they’ll probably work out best if I’m going to make a quilt. Anything there that doesn’t match the same sort of feel will probably end up being my practice pieces, so I can get used to thinks by making a patchwork pillow or two, or something of the sort.

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This piece has a very different feel from the others. It’s like it’s rough-woven, the threads varying between thick and thin. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet, but I’m sure an idea will come to me eventually.

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These are the little pieces. Most of the fabric pieces are 9-12 inches wide, but these are only about half that size. If they don’t become part of a patchwork pillow, I’ll probably turn them into little drawstring pouches. I used to love making those when I was younger.

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This last piece is destined to become 2 pot-holders. It’s thicker than the others, and feels like it might have been part of a little kitchen handtowel. It’s all one piece even though it looks like somebody has pieced it together from patches, and it occurred to me that if I can find some good lining and something to use as trim, then I could very easily turn this one piece of sturdy and soft fabric into 2 very practical and pretty pot-holders!

I feel a little guilty at only having paid $2.65 for all of this fabric, when I know that it’s worth so much more. When I get some more money, I’m going to make a larger donation to the Kidney Foundation to make up for it. Otherwise I know it will weigh on my conscience!

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Categories: stash

Stay safe

Hurricane Irene is making itself felt in many lives right now, mine included. I’m lucky that I live where I do, so I’m really only feeling the tail end of it, but even so there’s heavy rain and warnings of high winds and thunderstorms as the day progresses. To everyone who’s weathering the blast, stay safe, and know that my thoughts are with you.

Categories: Uncategorized

Enchanting Geisha progress #11

August 25, 2011 4 comments

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As you can see, I’ve worked more on her face (which now looks less like a “Phantom of the Opera” mask and more like a Mexican wrestler mask), added some detail to the fan and the kimono, and worked on the background, starting a bit of the trunk of the cherry tree on the left side. I know now that I won’t be able to finish this by the end of August, as I had originally wanted, but I’m getting close. With any luck, maybe by the end of September is when I can call it complete.

Categories: cross stitch, embroidery

Blackwork Board sampler progress #1

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I’ve always liked how blackwork looks, but it seems that it’s not a very popular form of embroidery. I thought that making a blackwork sampler in the style of a chess board (every second square will be filled) would be a good idea to not only get more practice with it but also to show others just how good blackwork can look.

Of course, there are many people who can do blackwork better than I can. Just looking at some of the blackwork photos on Flickr can show you that! But it’s still fun to do, and I won’t improve by not practicing, after all!

Categories: blackwork, embroidery

Review: Sew Kawaii, by C Knight

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I was privileged to receive a digital copy of Sew Kawaii from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Just looking at the cover makes me want to find some good material and get sewing, and that’s just my first impression. Based on the cover alone, this is probably a book I would pick up if I saw it in the store.

The book is a relatively thin one that starts off with a little bit of info as to just what kawaii means, not only the literal meaning but also from a cultural standpoint. A good little background for those who may not be so familiar with Japanese words and concepts. (It keeps this up by introducing Japanese words for various projects throughout the book, which is fun to see.) It also does what every craft book does and tells you a little about the types of materials you’re going to need, along with an overview of the basic skills needed to make the projects.

The projects range from easy to a little more advanced, but none of them are particularly hard to accomplish. The types of projects vary, from cute little keychain or cell phone charms to large items like character hats and scarves. Naturally, there are patterns here for cute stuffed animals, too. The book doesn’t stop at giving directions for accessories, either. There are instructions for altering clothes to make them cuter or give them animal attributes, and to make larger items of clothing.

Some of the accessories are cute but impractical. While I can imagine someone wearing a plush scarf with a cat face at an anime convention, I can’t see some of these things being used in daily life. The charms and stuffed animals, though, are both easy and make great gifts, and can be enjoyed by many people at many times. Most of the larger clothing patterns are more practical, too, while still being stylish and cute.

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Not all, though. The squid dress, for example, may be cute but goes right back into the realm of something you can probably only wear at a costume party or a convention. And I dread to think about how many times those hanging tentacles could make a person trip.

It’s safe to say, though, that if you like cute things, you’ll find something in this book that you’ll really enjoy making. There are more than a couple of patterns that I have my eye on that I think are going to be very cute!

Categories: books

Enchanting Geisha progress #10

August 18, 2011 7 comments

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The work on her kimono seemed to be going so slowly, because at this point most of the work left to do on it consists of lots of small areas of certain colours. While I like the detail that gives, it got to be tedious, doing a few stitches then switching to a new area or a new colour, so I decided to take a bit of a break from that and start on the background.

Here you can see a little more of the sky behind her head (not much of it), and the start of the river and the hills behind her. These parts are done in half cross stitch, so they go quickly and don’t look as solid as the image of the geisha itself, which makes it look good for background colours. I’m enjoying the change of pace!

I will return to the main part of the image soon, though. Her half-finished face is starting to bother me. She looks like she’s just wearing a mask!

Categories: cross stitch, embroidery

A wonderful gift

August 16, 2011 1 comment

A while ago, Karyn from A Riot Patch of Pixels ran a contest, and I was the winner. The prize was a cross-stitched representation of the winner’s favourite character from a video game. I chose Tachibana Itsuki from Fatal Frame 2.

Yesterday, a package arrived for me, and it contained this:

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It’s so very fitting for Itsuki, and I love the butterflies. Thank you so much, Karyn!

Categories: cross stitch