Friday, June 26, 2009

Cloth and Clay Doll

I'm making slow progress on the cloth and clay doll. Chuck stopped by a little while ago. Spotting my freshly gessoed doll drying on my kitchen island and suspecting my involvement in voodoo, he asked if there might be someone at work that I didn't like. He never fails to make me laugh.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Squares Galore

The squares are done. The strip piecing was sewn when I cut out the triangles. I cut it into squares yesterday. There should be enough for a good size quilt, but I haven't decided if what I'm going to do. Right now all those squares seem a little overwhelming.

To the right of the box of patchwork is the beginning of my cloth and clay doll project. I need to move on to the stuff'n...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Green Goodness

Unlike the past couple of years, we're getting a good amount of rain this year. Everything is green and lush. Chuck planted the vegetable and herb garden, and we will soon be overwhelmed with tomatatoes, cucumbers, and squash.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Little Iron That Could

That would be the Rowenta DA 35. I spotted this cute little bugger at Tuesday Morning and I couldn't resist her charm. Sans an auto shut-off, she'll make a great sewing and craft iron. Putting her to the test last night (...the endless patchwork project), she didn't fail me. In fact, she may replace my primary iron, which would be

the Rowenta Effective. Really, although it may not seem that way, I'm not a big fan of Rowenta irons. Years ago, on the premise that a good iron would make easier work of the drudgery of ironing, I bought a pricey Rowenta at a local department store. After a few years of light use she bit the dust. I vowed to never again invest a healthy sum of money into an iron. Several years passed, as did several more irons, and the Effective appeared at the right place, the right price, and the right time.

So here I am, the owner of two Rowenta irons, neither of which has let me down...yet.

Since we're on the subject of irons and ironing, I'd like to heartily endorse the steam press. This thing is a life saver in a sea of fusible interfacing. It's also great for those large items like drapes and bed skirts. Go for the larger press if you have the room to leave it sitting out.

The leaking and sputtering experiences of past irons have made me skittish, and to be honest, I rarely use the steam capabilities of my ironing appliances. Instead, I keep a water spritzer bottle or a damp pressing cloth handy.

A conversation about ironing wouldn't be complete without the mention of ironing boards. I have two.

I much prefer to use the portable counter-top board. Having stated that, I'm not crazy about the model I'm using. Unfolded, it's raised about 10 inches from the surface it's resting on. That means that I'm somewhat limited in where I can set it up because it's almost too high if I want to place it on my counter height cutting table. I'm in the market for an old fashioned chip board model that sits only and inch or so high.

Occasionally, the full-sized ironing board will come out from its hiding place in the corner of the bathroom. I've had this board for years. Manufactured by Polder, it has an extension on the end to hold an iron. While it may be considered a full-sized board, the extension actually cuts the ironing surface short by about six inches or so. This presents a problem when it comes to buying a replacement cover because standard ironing board covers are too long. I'm sure a replacement can be found online, but sometimes you just want to run to Wally World or Target and get what you need. The cover I have on it currently has been cut to fit and is fastened on the end with what I call ironing board cover garter belts.

My mother must have heard me complaining about the ironing board cover dilema and gifted me with the garter belts. I've had them forever, my very thoughtful and generous mother has since passed, but I've only recently opened the packages of fasteners.

Enough about irons and on to pins and fabric.

The glass head pins were another lucky Tuesday Morning find. I needed some good pins, and these are pretty too.

The fabric came from Walmart. I love Walmart's fabric department. Yes, there's a lot of trash, but I've found plenty of treasures as well. I could probably dedicate a blog post to my Walmart fabric finds. I don't know what I'll do if our local Walmart nixes the fabric department. We've already lost the local Joann's and Hancocks.

That's it for now. My yard is calling me, more like screaming for me to mow it.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Yard boy, a.k.a. my boyfriend Chuck, planted wildflower seeds in this makeshift planter on the side of my house. I'm pretty sure the cement block structure had a past life as a propane tank stand. Rather than take the sledge hammer to it, Chuck saw its potential as the mother of all container gardens.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Praying to the Empty Bobbin God

The patchwork project is kicking my ass. My house looks like a cyclone passed through it, yet I seem to be consumed by small triangular pieces of cotton. I'm playing a little game to keep me on the path to completion. I piece until the logical stopping point of running out of bobbin thread, and then I deem myself worthy of a break. In reality, I haven't been chained to my sewing machine. It only seems that way when I'm facing a million fabric triangles and a full bobbin.

I did manage to slip out yesterday in the evening for a little retail therapy. I hit up Tuesday Morning and Hobby Lobby. My intention was to visit a few other stores, but I always seem to lose steam fast when it comes to brick and mortar shopping. As usual, Tuesday Morning had all kinds of cool things to covet. I was on good behavior and purchased only a practical set of sewing and craft scissors.

These are pretty nice scissors. I have an identical pair of the 8 1/2" dressmaker shears that cost me more than the entire Tuesday Morning set and that I like very much.
I'm careless with my scissors, so I don't buy the expensive ones. There was another, different Mundial set at the store that had a neat pair of clippers, but I opted for the set with the 9 1/2" dressmaker shears. Frequently, nice crafting/sewing items can be found at Tuesday Morning (not to mention all the other cool stuff).

I went to Hobby Lobby looking for a specific item: Creative Paper Clay. A few days ago I joined Cloth and Clay Dolls. I learned of this workshop via a link in the blog of a super talented craftperson/quilt artist, Calamity Kim. I am way excited about doing this. Hobby Lobby sells the paper clay, which saved me a trip into Knoxville.

I also found this pretty remnant that I bought.

It's upholstery fabric, so it's good and heavy. I'm thinking it would make a nice purse, or pillows, or a sewing machine cover... Pictured with the remnant is a couple of yards of good muslin for cloth and clay doll projects. Lastly, I picked up a few of yards of light weight fusible interfacing.

All in all, it was a successful and satisfying excursion.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Making a Dent

The patchwork project hasn't been abandoned. I've decided to piece as many squares as I can, then make the pillow tops or whatever. There's strip piecing that needs to be cut into squares also.

I figure I might as well use it all. The process was sped up when I decided to incorporate assembly line construction by pairing a bunch of triangles first and then sewing them together. I had been pairing the triangles and sewing them into squares one at a time. Too slow. There's no method to my madness. Let's just call the process organic. Perhaps I'll have all the square assembled by this weekend.

The last picture is of the some random test stitches that I did on the new machine. Got to love those one-step buttonholes.

I haven't turned on the flash to my camera.
There's a bit of blurriness going on...still waiting on the tripod.