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Puzzle Pieces

My daughter dropped the camera on the floor last night and now it works – kinda.  It’s still held together by a rubber band from a bunch of asparagus and it thinks it needs a new battery all the time BUT I was able to get a picture of the OCD quilt.  It’s all denim from jeans.  I put it together like a puzzle and now I have to sew it so that we regain the use of our dining room table.  This means I’m still procrastinating on my couch but at least I’m using some denim, right?

 I realize that this isn’t really like a Japanese Boro Quilt – mine aren’t really random enough – but those quilts are so amazing that I am going to add some links to some pictures.  They just blow me away.  I’ve heard that what collectors tend to show are the back sides of the quilt.  I can see why.

Harvey Antiques – Check out those prices.
Reference Library – Shows the front and back.

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My camera is a family camera.  It’s also several years old.  
I mention this because it is in the process of dieing an inconvenient death.  
Just look at the difference in the quality of the pictures. 
With that in mind, I am not really going to have any good, new photos until after Christmas.  Santa is bringing us a new camera.  I’ll see what I can do with old pictures in the meantime:
Older picture, obviously.
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A few years ago I opened an Etsy store.  I listed only my jewelry.  No bites.

I truly think that you have to have an established customer base already to sell things on Etsy.  I let the shop go having learned that Etsy is a dead end for me.

So, somebody please explain to me why I just opened another one.

It means I have to have an inventory that’s just for Etsy, I have to keep up with the site, I have to deal with shipping and taxes.  Yet, there it is.

I only have one item on there right now.  I plan to list a wider variety of items:  stuffed animals, jewelry and maybe even some vintage stuff.  Maybe that will justify my many trips to Dig N Save.

If I mention my Etsy store on the tags that are on things I sell locally, maybe someone will check it out, right? 

I used Marilyn Monroe logic:
“Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer?”
Marilyn Monroe

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 When I have a cold, I usually play Sudoku.  Something about completing the patterns while sitting under a quilt on the couch is comforting when I don’t really have the energy to do anything. 
But this time, I got into sewing little rectangles onto jeans instead.  
It’s weird, I know but it’s fun.  
After a while my husband asked if I was making a quilt.
 Apparently, I am. 
I honestly had no idea.  I was just keeping myself busy.

Now that they are becoming a quilt, though, it brings to mind (vaguely) Japanese boro quilts

I didn’t stay too focused though.  I made this little dude, too.
I gave him to my son.  
I think I’ll make some more.  
I didn’t know denim would be so much fun to sew.
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Friday in November

It’s Finished!  Here’s the quilt on our messy bed.  It’s exceedingly warm due to the wool backing.
Here it is, backing side up.  I had to cut the wool piece up and rearrange it just a little bit to make it more bed shaped.  It weighs a ton.
The green velvet pants didn’t quite have enough fabric so I used a little bit of a lighter green jacket for the edging.  Here are the two colors together.  I got a kick out of using the button placket from the jacket and some pockets from the pants.  All in all, I’m very pleased with the quilt.
 Then I spent my yesterday coming down with a cold and making a new batch of critters.
It looks a little creepy to stick an eye ball in a flower.
Add a little linen….
He’s one of my latest owls.  Here he is in progress.  Very colorful for a dreary winter’s day cheering up.
He and several other of his buddies are finished now and will be at the Confectionique Market on November 26th. 
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Back in Business

One of the latest and longest lasting projects is my log cabin crazy quilt.  It’s inspired by the amazing quilts by the women of Gee’s Bend.  I was really taken with their corduroy quilts.  Here are some close ups of my attempt. 
It has pockets!  Everything except for the red and gold came from pants.  That really caused some issues because the pants have been worn and have a lot of bias to them.  I really had to embrace the chaos.
I’m not thrilled with how I hand quilted them together but I just really couldn’t wait to finish.  I worked on it in the spring until it was too hot and then put it away.  It’s been waiting for me for a long time.  I didn’t use any batting so the distance between the sewn bits ‘should’ be OK.  If it moves around I guess I can always add more.
The itch keeps you warm, you know.
The backing is a wool remnant that I bought at Gayfeather Fabrics.  It’s very warm but pretty itchy.  So I decided to edge it with velvet to off set the itch factor, at least around the edges.  I’m hoping that one pair of velvet pants will do the job.

Here are the pants cut up and waiting.  This is the only part of this quilt left to do.  I’ll sew them into a large strip and then edge the quilt.  I can sew one side with the machine (I hope) and the other will be hand stitched.

But, not today.  We are having a group of pre-teen girls over to make duct tape crafts with us today.  They won’t want me around though I’ll need to stay close so I’ll be sitting in the kitchen, burning cookies and working with this:
Keep your eye on this space to see what I plan to do with all this vintage bark cloth.
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While trying to make purses out of old coats, I had this realization:
A stuffed animal is a purse with eyes!

OK, also arms, ears and a tongue and no purse strap.

But, it really got me started on a whole new obsession. I’ve been taking tweedy wool coats and cutting them out around the pocket to make an adorable mouth.

Then I add vintage button eyes and some trims and sometimes the
old woven tags from inside the coats and they just seem to come alive.

This frog’s head is from the lapel of the tweed coat used to make the dudes above his head.

This old skirt just wants a big hug.
There are a couple left at Confectionique.

My next step is to move beyond purse shapes to more complex
critters with heads and more shapely bodies.

I’ve sold a bunch through the library of all places.
They were available at a Susan Komen event about breast cancer awareness.

It wasn’t my original intent but they have become great comfort items for people who are going through challenges – both in terms of health and personal issues.

I guess people have been using their pocket mouths to
hold important talisman type items to assist in healing.

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What’s up with the pile of jeans?

My latest crazy project in full procrastination mode.

Cushions and front are done but I’m stalled at the arms and the back.
I hope to have it done by Christmas…

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Latest Project

My latest jewelry is at Tuvalu in Verona

It’s a great place to go for lunch and Christmas shopping.
They have coffee and/or wine, good food and lots of local and fair trade crafts.

I had a great time yesterday making a new display.

My old display was a cardboard box and it’s pretty amazing that it lasted as long as it did.

Display in progress.

I was a little intimidated at first, I’ve never re-lined a suitcase and was planning to use fabric. But I found this site that used paper and went for it.

Notice the website up on the laptop in the background 🙂

Sloppy paint but since it’s just background, I’m good with it.

I used an old grocery bag and even used the printing from the bottom.

I’m happy with it but just a little worried that it might tip over.

I hope it’s as sturdy as anything else that’s there.

Here are some of the latest creations. Made with electronic components and beads.