Sunday, January 23, 2011

Costume Shop Quilt

This past Thursday I spent much of a snowy afternoon quilting the blocks, sashing and borders of the Costume Shop Quilt that Grace and I have been working on together.  Since Bowling Green doesn't believe in salting roads or plowing snow, I stayed home Friday and managed to get this bound all in one day.  (Actually, I'm not even sure if Bowling Green actually owns any plows.)

 As previously mentioned, this quilt was a group project.  I designed the layout, and the pin cushion & button blocks.  Grace designed the thread & thimble and sewing machine block.  I can't remember who did the heart.  I'll have to ask when all my kids are back at work tomorrow.  The blocks were created from scrap fabric we found around the shop, and the appliques were done with Wonder-Under.

Grace pieced the front and then we laid out and pinned the quilt sandwich together.  She then quilted the focus fabric sections.  (A majority of the quilt really.)  I quilted the black sashing & borders and all the blocks, then hand sewed the bright red binding.  I'll be sure to get a picture of it in it's new home on the back of the shop sofa tomorrow.
Oh and by the way, Gracie-Gracie-Lou, I love you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

TARDIS Matchbox for Craftster Swap

I recently was "strong armed" into participating in the Matchbox Swap Round 4 on Craftster.  My partner is a big Dr. Who fan, and had lots of TARDIS themed items on her Wist.  Since they are both rectangular, I thought the TARDIS would be a great choice for the matchbox I was going to build her.   I used an online template from Swap Bot for the box itself.  (Though the PDF wouldn't really open for me.  I had to take a screen capture of of, and size it up.)

After coming up with the right sized box, I found blueprint images of the TARDIS online, and cut down the front and tweaked proportions till it fit the size of the box front.  Then just cut and pasted together in Photoshop.  I printed it, along with the manual cover on the only sheet of blue card stock I had.  Thank goodness it worked the first time!  The printed lines were all gone over with superfine Sharpie, and the upper windows were cut out and backed with vellum. The doorknob is a little metallic scrapbooking embellishment.
Matchbox with all it's goodies packed inside.
When the tray is empty there's always the Doctor to keep you company.
All the goodies unpacked, including a resin bottle cap pendant, AB beads, a bone bead, tiny TARDIS Instruction Manual, two keys to the TARDIS, a paper tag, pin back, clip, blue buttons and beads, blue acrylic drops, a copper and brass ring, stamp from China, evil eye bead for protection, star charms, hematite beads, hook clasp, an angel wing charm, 60's-esque teapot, leather "Travel" tag, s-hook clasp, and a cookie fortune.
All the goodies unpacked.
Detail of the necklace, a resin-filled bottle cap pendant.  
Tiny TARDIS Instruction Manual.
Inside of the Manual.
Possibly my favorite find from my stash, a travel themed fortune.
I should probably note that when I came up with this idea, I had never seen an episode of Dr. Who before.  I chose most of my bits & bobs just by going for items that related to traveling, and the same shade of blue as the TARDIS.  Since I finished the box and mailed it a week ago, I started to get curious though.  In the last week I ended up finishing Series 1, and just started Series 2 this morning.  While David Tennant is adorable, and I'm sure will grow on me soon, I already really miss Chris Eccleston who I was nursing a bit of a crush on.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Twilight Charm Bracelets (Custom Order)

The same lovely customer who ordered the previous two jewelry sets also ordered 3 different Twilight themed bracelets.  The first was just one I made up for my shop, but she ordered two more that she requested be similar to hers, but each unique in some way.  The first is a Twilight Saga theme and the charms include a chess pawn & queen, moon and star, baseball hat, apple, fork, leaf, piano, key to the cottage, lion, swan, wolf, Celtic heart, feather, motorcycle, crystal ball & crystal heart with a heart shaped toggle clasp.
The second is a Cullen family theme and includes a charm for each character in Bella's extended family.  rose (Rosalee), bear (Emmett), heart (Esme), Cullen crest (Carlisle), truck (Bella), piano (Edward), baby cup (Renesme), wolf (Jacob), feather (the Quillutes), crystal ball (Alice), peace sign (Jasper), apple, fork, star, crystal heart, evil eye for protection, key to the cottage, a baseball, and an apple shaped toggle clasp.
Both include black, red, silver and clear glass, Czech glass, Swarovski crystal, shell bead frames, glass hearts, hematite and pearls.

Wedding & Dragonfly Charm Bracelets (Custom Orders)

In addition to the jewelry I've been posting lately, I've also finished several custom bracelet orders for one very lovely Etsy customer.  Since they came out so nice I thought I'd share them this morning.

The first is a wedding/eternity themed bracelet and earring set.  The charms include two keys, Cupid, wedding gown, tuxedo, engagement ring, 2 cherubs, Celtic heart, heart in hand, an eternity ring, and various shape pendants that include the words "I do", "amore", "Embrace", "Love", "Be mine" & "Faith, Hope, Love".  The beads are glass in shades of clear, white, silver and glass pearls, and the clasp is a rose with a single blue Swarovski crystal in it for "something blue".

Detail on charms and beads.

The second one is a Dragonfly themed bracelet and earring set for her sister.  I honestly thought finding several kinds of dragonfly charms (besides what was already in my stash) would be easy.  That turned out not to be the case!  The customer loved it though, and that's the important part.  The charms include 4 enameled dragonflies and two pewter ones, a sun, and several leaves.  The beads included light blue and lavender glass flowers and leaves, some lampwork and millifore, and silver spacers.
Detail on charms and beads.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sneak Peek: Costume Shop Quilt

At the end of last semester I was talking to Grace, who works for me at my Costume Shop.  We had been working on making the Shop more comfortable and inviting.  She was kind enough to donate a new futon to our office and scored us a free coffee table.  We made new pillows for the futon, but decided that what it really needed was a quilt.  A sewing themed quilt.  Fortunately dear friend Melissa (of the MAQ fame) had sent me the perfect fabric, Alexander Henry's Sew Now Sew Wow.

I loved the busy print, and thought it a shame to slice and dice it too much.  I didn't have quite enough to do a whole cloth quilt, but could come close...  Thus inspired, I sketched out the design and set about making the patterns for the blocks.  All of my student workers got in on the process, and each one helped in creating the 5 blocks.  Grace has completed a majority of the quilting.  I'm hoping to finish the quilting this week, then bind it over the weekend.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the blocks.
Pin Cushion
Thread & Thimble
Detail of fabric & free motion quilting.

The multi-talented Grace also has experience painting murals and we decided to put that talent to good use on the Shop walls.  Inspired by the stylized design of fabric, Grace sketched out the mural on our shop walls.  Over Winter Break her and I came in to paint it together.  Here are the results:
Including: flower, machine, zipper, safety pin, button, rotary cutter, needle & thread, seam ripper.

Dress form, tape measure, pin cushion, thimble, iron, tracing wheel, bobbin, thread, scissors, hip curve, hanger & TO DO List.

Whole mural, completed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

May A Rainbow Follow Each Rain

Today I joined the 11 Quilts in 2011 Quilt Along on Craftster as yet another way to keep me on task this year.  My dream list is actually 13 quilts, but my realistic goal would be to complete 11.  Listing all my upcoming projects today did give me the chance to think through some of the projects lower down on the list, and have me dreaming of pretty fabrics like jelly rolls of  Sugar Plum & Lemongrass jelly rolls, or a layer cake of Kate Spain's Central Park.

In the mean time, since I've been posting so many crafts lately I decided to pull a quilt out of the archives tonight.

This wedding quilt was made in June 2009 for my friend and former roommate Dianna.  The pattern is from McCall's Quick Quilts, May 2008, and was originally intended for 16 brightly colored fat quarters.  I choose to stick with a tighter color palette, as Dianna had always said that she wanted an all blue quilt.  When I looked at the pattern sketched in nothing but blues it reminded me of the way raindrops look, falling into puddles.  It is quilted in the ditch as a grid pattern, but I kind of wish now that I had done rings, to echo the raindrop image.

The blocks, all laid out on my floor prior to piecing the top.
Detail of the blocks.  Sadly the color is off in this shot, but you can see the fabric patterns more clearly.
Finished and bound.
Lounging on my porch swing.  

Tomorrow I'm planning to do some more quilting on the Costume Shop Quilt.  Maybe I'll even get some process shots up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Potions Master Charm Bracelet ~ Version 2.0

A while back I created a Potions Master Charm Bracelet for SevsOnlyGirl in the Loaded Charm Bracelet Swap.  I was really happy with how it came out, not to mention psyched to be so inspired by my awesome partner, Sevs.  Here's the original:

But in the year since making that one, I've refined my technique quite a bit, and started using a different style of chain as my base, which I think wears much nicer and is more comfortable.  I decided I wanted to go back to that bracelet and try it again, with a "what I know now" kind of approach.  Here's the result:

Charms include:
~Evil eye, used to protect oneself from malicious spells
~Snake, symbol of Slytherin House
~Lightening bolt, for the Boy Who Lived
~Silver star
~Phial of lavender, to promote love, protection, courage & strength
~Inkwell & quill, for grading all those rolls of parchment
~Locket to stash a picture of your true love
~Silver Doe, Snape's Patronus Charm
~Phial of rue, symbol of sorrow & repentance; renowned as an antidote to poisons; carried to guard the bearer from poisons, werewolves and all manner of dangers
~Owl, to bear your messages
~Beazor, a stone taken from the belly of a goat which will guard against most poisons
~Spell books & an apple for studying
~Phial of sage, for longevity & increasing wisdom
~Wand, from Ollivander's
~Crescent moon
~Wire wrapped skull, like the Death Eater's masks
~Goblet in which to serve your most potent potions

All in all, I like the new one more, though I do wish I had been able to locate another copy of the locket used in the original.  There was just something about that pointy blackened locket that worked so well with this theme.  

Mug Rugs - Part I

While wandering the swap boards the other day, I discovered the Mug Rug Swap.  How did I not know about these before?!  They are so very me!

For those of you who haven't seen them either, a Mug Rug is somewhere between an over-sized coaster and a mini-placemat.   Or as my husband noted, somewhere between a doll quilt and a saucer!  The idea is that you should be able to fit a mug full of your favorite beverage and a small snack on it.  I clearly joined the swap about 2.6 seconds after discovering it.  As we are still in the Sign-Up stage, we don't have partners for me to stalk yet,  but here I am itching to make some anyways.  What's a girl to do?  How about some practice Mug Rugs?

This was my first.  I busted out some metallic threads and fancy stitches on my sewing machine.  I actually think it matches my work mug rather well.

This is my second one.  I found a single fat quarter of the red Celtic knots a few years ago, and could never quite decide what to make with it.  I'm pretty pleased with this one.  I think I'll start using it in my office at work, since my office is starting to become pirate themed, with lots of black and red around the room.  (My office also doubles as the student office, supply room, and general visiting area for the Theatre Department.)

This last one has to be my favorite though.  I just really love how it came out.  The fabrics were rescued from the scrap bin, and was originally from two student's pajama pants, and another student's shirt project.
It's hard to tell in the photo, but the quilting thread matches the color of the little green owl.

And the back:

The cookies in the photographs are Magic Peanut Butter Middles, and were made by my awesome husband.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Plethora of Earrings

I've been taking the last week to make a whole lot of jewelry for my Etsy before heading back to work after the holidays.  Here are some of the results, a plethora of earrings!

Almond Drops on filigree bails

Celtic Knots and Shell

Leaves of Glass

Busy Bees

Heart of a Slytherin

Always - The Silver Doe

Expecto Patronum - Silver Stags

Breaking Dawn (Chess Pieces & Crystal Hearts)