Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Bird & Blooms

It looked much better in my mind than it does in reality.

  I'm going to re-visit this idea in the future to try to get closer to what I visualise in the ole noggin.

I printed off some fabric pieces and pulled some selvages.
One of the fabrics is a purchased print, the others are all printed with my printer.

I wanted a black and white background with subtle colors smattered throughout.  I think some of the printed fabrics are a bit too dark for my thread painted swirl flowers. I thought my selvages would work well for the smattering of color part and for the most part I am happy with that bit...with some improvement next time.

I sewed strips of the background fabrics and added selvages here and there and did fusible raw edge applique for my bird.

Then some thread painting for my swirl flowers.

This piece was to go into a frame that Dad made a while back, so I just stay-stitched the edges.

Oh for goodness sake, don't I ever dust my walking foot?!

That's a bit better.  I'm always telling myself I'll clean everything after this project.  Then I just start sending the new project through....I forget.

Anyway, for now and until I get a chance to play with this thought again, it is what it is.

Get ta stitchin'!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Blog Followers

Several comments about blogger's word verification included comments regarding our followers and whether or not the number of followers really means anything.

The number of followers/members can be a psychological belief that that many people are actually following our blog and it can make us happy to "think" that many people read our blog.  It can work psychologically in another direction as well.  When we go to someone's blog that has hundreds and thousands of followers, and that can make us think that we must be missing out on something really big at this blog. 

It's only a number, but it seems to be a number we all want to attain on our blogs whether it be a true following or not.

Personally I have about maybe 20 - 30 actual followers.  That would be my guess.  Of my 280some followers, 260 of them joined my site in order to have a chance to win a prize on another blog, Sew We Quilt.  They were extremely nice prizes.  I would also have to credit 15 - 25 of you actually following me found me by way of Sew We Quilt.  Because I only had 3 flickr friends when I started blogging.

I have an attraction to collage.  And all those little squares of followers up there make up a really fun collage.  But I do not in any way kid myself by thinking that many people are reading my blog.  They just wanted to win a prize.  A handful even returned after the contest and removed themselves from my following.

I guess I would rather have a collage of true followers up there, but I haven't figured out how to delete the prize chasers or even if that is possible.  In any case, I enjoy the collage, and I know that my new followers and my very first few followers are my "real" followers.  After my guest appearance and the prizes were distributed, I began to watch you join my blog as a follower (It must be because you want to follow) and I always go and check out your blog in return (if you have one).

It's your blogs there to the right that I love to check in on most because you're checking in on me too.  Some of you don't have a blog...yet.  But I keep checking so I know when you do start blogging!  I so appreciate all my true followers and thank you for all your generous and kind comments.

So, does the number of followers mean anything to you?

Now here's a fun one too...our
List of Blogs
that we follow.
Everybody wants to be at the top of everyone else's blog list. So, very soon now we no longer will need to know our alphabetical order...we'll need to know the order of importance for punctuation marks.

! * & " + ! * & " +
Who's winning on your blog?

Happy blogging!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Four Leaf Clovers?

A funny thing happened on the way to Pillow #4.
It didn't become a pillow.  It was too big.  I don't want any pillows that are larger than 18".  But that isn't the funny thing. 

You see that "Rocket" fabric outside the twisted pinwheels?...when I bought that fabric I saw black and white and I saw that luscious green and I saw numbers and not a once did I see a rocket!  Not a one!  There's a rocket every 2" all over this fabric piece!  <~~That's the funny thing.  What? were expecting hilarious?

Well, now what am I going to do with this stupid piece of fabric that I'm now mad at for having stupid rockets on it!  And it's been in my way and laughing at me and haunting me ever since!

Noticing it, I pulled it out thinking, oh, what a fun piece to border these pinwheels with...that I decided I would call four leaf clovers for a March, St. Patrick's Day theme.  Then I saw the stupid rockets and was reminded all over again how I hate this piece of fabric!

Then I took another look at it.  This design made with the Little Twister tool is called twisted pinwheels.  I see them as whirligigs.  And I visualise them spinning around in the air.  Which is where a rocket goes...up in the air.  I decided the rockets, the count-down numbers and the green words "blast off" all fits nicely with whirligigs.  See how nicely I forced this hated fabric to go with my twisted's how my twisted mind works.  I'm awfully determined sometimes.  Yep, the four leaf clovers don't work into this scenario any more.

Now, yay!...I'm using this fabric...getting it out of my stash.  this project is still a pillow at this stage, so I'm already planning ahead for the back of the pillow.  I'll make an extra whirligig and I'll fussy cut the words "blast off" guessed it...I didn't have enough fabric left to get those large "blast off" words for the pillow back!!!  I hate this fabric again

In the end, the piece was too large for a pillow so it's a table mat.  I just couldn't know what size it would come out to once it was chopped up and resewn.  And I did my best to use up the rest of the rocket fabric on the back...I kind of like how the back looks.  That hated fabric makes an interesting design pattern.  I just keep shaking my head...rockets...

The whirligig centers needed a little something I thought, and these tiny buttons worked out the best of everything I tried.
There are only 25 buttons.  A mere sampling compared to Carol..*snicker*
They don't really seem to be the answer now that they're on, but I haven't had anything else come to mind yet.  I'll just wait.

I'm not calling this one a success but I'm so glad I finally got to play with the Little Twister tool I bought ages ago.  I love this twisted design but I didn't think it was fun cutting out the twisted blocks so I'll most likely never make anything larger than a pillow or table mat in this design.  But I'm glad I've made it at least far.
Have a fun blogging day!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Robot Proof 

We'd all like to avoid spam within all of our electronic communications.  I see this attempt of avoidance mostly in blogland.  Personally, my blog is not a popular blog and I have not experienced much spam in comments.  At least not enough to make your visit here too annoying to leave a comment if you choose to do so.

I try to visit and comment on as many blogs as I can fit into a variety of time frames.  The inspiration is irresistible and I hate to miss anything!  But proving that I'm not a robot is becoming so time consuming.  I see now that many blogs have two words we must type in to prove we are not robots.  One of those words is extremely difficult to read.  I've just guessed at them. 

I already don't bother with comments if I have to type a user ID and my email address and I don't know what all else after that because I just don't have that kind of time.  So I close the blog, don't leave my comment and go on to the next one that I want to read.  I feel like I'll have to start skipping comments on those two words proofs as well if they are going to become numerous. 

Some of my most favorite blogs have huge followings and get lots of comments and I can leave my comment without the added time of proving myself.  How do they do it?  It doesn't quite make sense that they don't need this robot proof system, yet a small followed blog with a few comments has a fancy system to avoid spam.

Blogland is growing ever larger and we find more and more inspiration available to us.  But a 24 hour day never adds hours.  So many of us already feel we spend too much time on our computers.  So, spending extra time at a blog to prove who I am in order to leave a comment?  I'm sorry, I just don't have that kind of time to spend on one blog.

Is there really no better solution to the problem of spam?  Is it possible that this is a concern that blogger will be correcting come March 1st?  I wish it could all go back to simple because I'd love nothing better than to tell people I love their creativity...I wish I had the time to continue that but, well, you know...

I know no one will miss my one comment on their blog, but what if a lot of people are finding it too time consuming?  I wonder if I'm alone in my musings on this.  It's possible.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm sitting here thinking about 

I admit that ... I don't get it.  I can't understand nor imagine why anyone would want to gunk up their fabric with starch. Unless maybe you don't have a walking foot, then I am able to make some sense out of it.

When I was young (prior to permanent press) we starched shirts while ironing and I remember being glad that they weren't my shirts and that I wasn't going to have to wear them. 

Luckily, "To each his own".

I sew 99% of everything I sew with a walking foot.  It's the best $150. I've ever saved and spent and when it gives out, I will buy another.  But I just can't even think about starch.  Yuk.  But am I missing something here?

So, if you starch and you have a walking foot, I'd love for you to explain to me why starch your fabric too?...cause I'd love to be able to say, "oh, I get it now".

Starchless in California

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pillow #3
My personal Pillow A Month Challenge
Flower Collage

One of my Flickr contacts, Krista Withers, lolablueocean, does a lot of free piecing and improv stitching.  She created wonderful flowers that I immediately fell in love with.  You can see her flowers and improv here .

I just had to make some for myself.  I can't even imagine free piecing them, so I drew up a paper piecing pattern for mine.

I ran a test as a postcard before starting in on the pillow top.

I've mentioned before that my process of a creation is starting with an idea and from there, making it up as I go along. Very seldom do I start out with an entire plan.

It turned out that the piecing process I used to make the flowers allowed me to create a bit of a different look for each one. That was a fun surprise.  The background for the flowers actually is free pieced and improv as well as some applique.  Doing the background this way was a big challenge for me.  This was my first time playing around with that.  Some of the background fabrics I made myself (you can see how I made the fabrics here)  and others are purchased fabrics.

I quilted with meandering straight line angles (for lack of a better description).  I'm 50/50 on whether it's over quilted or not.  I like it to look quilted but I do not like it when the quilting over powers the fabrics and design.

This pillow front sat for more than a week before I finally decided on the binding and the back.  I'm very stingy with my text fabrics and didn't want to "waste" a big chunk on that back side.  Feeling wild I decided to include the zipper as part of the design.

Me and my seam ripper became more than just good friends during this pillow creation, but I'm real happy with the way it turned out. 
It's my fave so far!

Thanks Krista for your awesome inspirational improv!

This pillow project is linked to Fabric Fascination's 12-Months Linking Party Check out all the fab creations!