Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lace and Fabric Crazy Quilt

I've been working on the final pages for my lace book round robin group.  The theme for Liz's pages was "A Stitch in Time," and was anything to do with vintage sewing and stitching.  I decided to try my hand at crazy quilting, because it incorporates a very vintage method of sewing and because I would be able to incorporate some of what I know with learning some new things.

Crazy quilts were born during Victorian times and were inspired by Japanese asymmetrical art. Making them became quite the rage for women, and they were usually made from velvet, silk and brocade, cut and pieced in random fashion and with decorate stitching (fan, feather, and chain, for example) covering each seam.  While crazy quilts appear haphazard, they were very carefully planned and arranged.  Although crazy quilts were originally made by women in the wealthy classes,  other women (hurrah) eventually got in on the fad and began making their own. Some were made from scraps of fancy, used clothing of the day handed down by wealthy relatives and friends.  After 1900, the style was adapted to everyday fabrics like cotton, denim and flannels, and at that point the seam embroidery was often left off.

My friend Shirley gave me some helpful hints on how to use iron-on bonding fabric (I used Heat 'n Bond), attaching it to several pieces of fabric, then cutting them up, piecing them onto the page background, and then ironing them on to the backing.

Pinning down

Ironing on

Finished base

Both Shirley and Benedicte helped me out with tutorials on stitching, and I used several of the traditional crazy-quilt embroidery stitches on the edges, along with couching some hemp string and some sari ribbon. 

Finally, my mixed media muse encouraged me to decorate some of the sections with hand painted hearts, flowers and birds, and I did some embroidered scenes in others. And I made a heart with a stamped "Stitch in Time" title for the center of one page.

Finished page

Finished page

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!  As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions about how-to's.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quote Me Wednesday

This quest for making decisions - the wondering of what we can each do now for ourselves or others - never really goes away, no matter what our age.  Or maybe, if it does, we aren't trying hard enough to truly live.

(Background:  Kim Klassen texture over tree image.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quote Me Wednesday - Kids, and a Diaper Cake

I get lost on Pinterest. I go from pin to pin like a bee on a mad dash for honey, and time goes by waaay too quickly for me.  I "pin" now and then, "repin" a lot, and "like" with abandon.  I often pin quotes that inspire me, so it's no surprise that the thing I've posted that has been most repinned is a quote -- this one:  

Yes, that's my quote for this week. Hope none of my readers are language offended, but this quote is just too salty-sweet to resist sharing here.

And since we're on the subject of toddlers, I thought I'd post some pictures of the Diaper Cake I made for my daughter's shower, in case anyone would like to make one themselves.  I browsed all over the internet and modified things to make what I thought was the easiest and cutest cake ever made from disposable diapers.  It kind of has the look of a fondant frosting.  Below are pics, with a simple description, but if you have specific questions, email me directly.

This is the finished cake.  Ta-da!!

I used size 1 and newborn diapers. Get a round cake plate
or cut a piece of cardboard for the base. Roll two diapers 
together jelly-roll style and secure with a small elastic.  
Repeat and repeat until you have a nice little circle of
diapers that will fit your cake plate. Put an elastic around the 
whole deal, and then wrap with tissue paper, securing with tape.

You want to put something around the outside of this, to give it a finished
look.  I started with ribbon but it wasn't wide enough, so then I cut 
scrapbook paper, taped sections together, and taped that around the layer.

Repeat this process for the middle layer, but make
it smaller than the bottom one.  You know, like
that guy on Cake Boss.

I used big packing tape to tape the bottom layer to the plate, the middle layer
to the bottom layer, and when I made my top layer, to secure that one, too.  
If you go back up to my top picture, you'll notice that I cut the tissue paper
open on that top layer so people could see there were diapers inside -- because 
it looked so good my husband thought people would think it was really the cake, 
and I would get no credit for all my work!  

Next week - a diaper burp cloth tutorial!  Gee, I feel myself growing younger
in my old age...