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I Tried: I Used Pink.

After my Fearless Crafters Journal Program and, thanks in part to these two books, I am obsessed with making cool journal pages lately. 
 This one is a blank, colorful (on the other side) card sewn to a wall paper label. 
I really enjoy sewing on paper. 
I’ve already punched holes into some of them using my handy dandy book binding machine.  Then I decided they were too plain so I added some this and that to them.
Sewed a card to it. 
Here’s just  a pile of blanks to add to later, after it’s a journal.
 Same but less blank.  I felt somewhat compelled to add lines to many pages.
 The more colorful one was an advertisment in a magazine but now is an envelope.
 Fun with paper bags!  
The one on the left is a bag that a wine bottle came in.
 I folded over the ends to make little pockets.  
Here’s the other side.
This bag is one that I just started.  This is when I realized (again) that I don’t have a really “girly aesthetic”.  I have no interest in a ton of lace and floral (which seem very common in art journal pages.)  I tried: I used pink.
This I love so much.  I printed it up for use in a library display and just couldn’t throw it away afterwards.  Wouldn’t it make a great page?  It’s from “The Twits” by Roald Dahl, the picture is by Quentin Blake. 
It’s incredibly fun but also very time consuming.  I have this amorphous plan in the back of my head to sell them.  I’m just not sure it’s realistic.  
In the meantime, though, I’m having a really fun time and learning so much about working with paper.  
It’s hard to believe that it didn’t used to interest me at all.  Then again, it shouldn’t be that hard to believe, it’s such a reoccurring pattern for me. I should journal about it!
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I Just Have to Share

I just have to share some of the pictures from the Fearless Crafters Workshop we just held:
Aren’t they awesome?  I shared them with permission from the Monona Public Library

P.S.  I didn’t make any of these but I still feel proud because I helped a bit.  🙂

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Quilt Expo

I went for it.  I entered this quilt into the Madison Quilt Expo Quilt Contest.  
When I look at their gallery of past winners, I realize that it’s a major long shot that they’ll even let me in the contest.  All of the quilts shown there are super detailed, highly patterned and technically brilliant.
But I figured, as I often do: What the hell

The self addressed stamped envelope looks like this, too. That way I won’t be so sad when they send me the rejection letter.
I had to send in five bucks, a completed entry form, a SASE and two photographs, one whole quilt and one detail shot.  So, yes, I made quilted envelopes.  Now I wish that I had made them out of denim.  Maybe next time. 
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Goofy Journal

 The Fearless Crafters Journal Program was so much fun.  It inspired me to make MOOOORE!!! 
For my birthday, I bought myself a book binding machine.  Today, I finally got to play with it a little bit.
 First I cut out some cool looking paper from here and there.  I trimmed them all up so that they were basically even.
 I’m supposed to be able to punch holes in 15 sheets at a time but it takes a little getting used to. 
My first batch was a mess.
 So I punched all the sheets separately, which worked just fine.  I forgot to take pictures of using the binding mechanism, which I screwed up but that’s how you learn so I just kept moving along. 
 It looks fine here but closing the wires (squeezing them together) was hard. I suspect it just takes getting used to.
 See, the pages stick up and don’t turn smoothly.
But, if they did, I would love this goofy journal.  It only took 40 minutes to bind up and that’s while learning how to use the machine.  I picture many more journals in my future. 
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Travel Journal

 In the last post I was prepping for a trip.  We took it and we are back home already!  One week in San Diego.  It was really lovely.  I brought a couple of projects to work on.  
Well, I didn’t embellish my bag even a little bit more, though that was my plan.  
I also planned on working on a travel journal while we were there but didn’t work on it till we got back.
I think that’s a sign of a good vacation.  We were too busy or too bushed or watching Mythbusters on cable.  
I did pick up tons of brochures and pieces of paper from everywhere we visited.  I put it together in anticipation of my Fearless Crafter Journal Making Workshop that happens tonight!  There’s a waiting list and I’m really excited! 
The left side of the envelope has a card from the Venice Beach “Marijuana Doctors”  I felt so naive, I never know such things existed.  

 Here’s my screwy binding.  The idea came from the fabulous How to Make Books By Esther K. Smith.  I’ve used it once before and it worked but this time I glanced at the instructions and then winged it


 You would think that I’d know better by now. 

 I’d like to say that I make it look amateurish so that my workshop participants don’t feel intimidated but I think we all know better. 

Here are boxes of treasures that Megan from Absolutely Art allowed us to sift through to get goodies to offer to people to use in their journal making. 
 I was a little thrown off by how much of it was stuff that I had donated.
Next Fearless Crafters:  3-D Collage on August 28th!
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I Paced, I Pouted, I Twitched

  I did it!  I passed on the baby blanket with hardly a word and no apology at all!  
But then yesterday I was suffering from sewing deprivation.  I paced, I pouted, I twitched with the urge to make something.  I overshared pictures of the baby quilt at Craftser and Craftsy and Ravelry
So I sucked it up and made something.  
We are taking a family trip soon and I’m never ready to pack for a trip until I get a new purse.  Don’t ask me why.  
I couldn’t find one I liked.  That, along with my sewing withdrawal symptoms, made it clear that I needed to make one.  
Please forgive the bad pictures, I can’t find my camera and used my phone again.
It’s exactly like the one I’ve been using (I bought it for our last family trip but I don’t have a picture of it because it was ugly).  I liked how it was laid out though. Two large pockets on the ends of the purse for keys and phone make it so useful. 
I used my long neglected stash of barkcloth and a really ugly linen dress I bought at the thrift shop.  I put the pocket from the dress on the inside.  I also used the shoulder strap from the ugly purse.  Can I just say, it took me less than an hour, because I used the hems and finished edges from the original pieces.  I used to spend a day on a bag.  It was pretty exciting.
After I got it all put together I decided that it wasn’t big enough.  So, I bought the cheap one I was eying up at Target.  It was so plain, I had passed on it earlier.  But, since seeing it the first time, I had picked this book up:
So I started to decorate it late last night.  
I have a long way to go.  I plan on bringing my thread along and working on it on the trip.  Yes, I have to take everything out of it to do that so it won’t be what I work on in the airport or anything.   
That project will be a travel journal.  
I making a traveling kit for that stuff today.   I don’t think I’ll be sewing it, just putting it together.  I just need to find the right container.
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The Wash Turned The Birds Upside Down

Before the wash
After the wash
After ironing after the wash.
I wish I had measured it before washing it for a comparison.   It looks smaller in the picture but I probably had the camera at a slightly different angle so there’s no telling.
Check out those monster bumps on the jeans side:
 I could have sewn the lines of stitching closer together but I wanted to sew around the pockets so they could still be usable.
 So…bumps it is.

Besides slightly fading the colors in a pleasing, vintage-y way, all the wash did was turn the birds upside down (just kidding).   Well, not really, obviously bird fabric shrank.  I’ve sewn jean quilts with lots of space between stitches before and they didn’t bump like this.  I’m considering this quilt a lesson quilt rather than a failure quilt because that’s just the way I think.  I’m still gonna gift it.  I think having a quilt with usable pockets is more important than having a quilt that is perfectly smooth…right?
Getting gifts with a bunch of apology statements is kind of uncomfortable so the real trick will be handing it over without any qualifying statements.  Like it just is what it is and it’s all on purpose and doesn’t need any explanation.  So, that’s my next challenge.  Wish me luck.
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The Queen of Finishing

 I was the Queen of finishing yesterday.
I will admit to tossing and turning in bed a couple of times because I was worried about the colors being so un baby like.  I also worried about the weight of the quilt.  But I’m all in now.    
I did add a couple of lines of purple stitching.
 In my “so into this project I’m going a little nuts” brain, I imagined them as two friends who’s lives intersect and then separate over and over, but they still care for each other.  
Does anyone else do that or am I just a little goofy?
Probably both.  
Here’s a spot that looked a little weak.
The edge of the denim was  little frayed where I sewed them together so I reinforced it a bit.  It was also just fun to stitch. 
 Here’s a patch I added where I didn’t like the way the intersection of blocks looked so I just covered it up.  I could have kept adding and changing details into the wee hours.  As it is, I was up till midnight.
And here’s the ultimate test.  The quilt is in the wash, regular cycle, as I type!  Even though the colors aren’t typically babyish, it is a baby quilt and will need to be able to withstand a lot!  I may have to do some repairs after the wash but I prefer to be the one to do them, along with whatever reinforcing it will need.  
I’ll post pictures of the aftermath. 
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Randomly Diagonal

Almost done stitching.  I picked off white thread to quilt the layers together.  I know, kinda boring.  I did stop by Ben Franklin today to pick up some purples that match the purples in the quilt.  I plan on just stitching a line or two in purple.
I didn’t want to stitch it horizontally and vertically because I thought it would look stupid with the strong verticals on the backing so I went -surprise! surprise!- randomly diagonal.
Sorry these pictures kinda stink.  It’s the lighting in the basement, I think.  
 I’ve made some pretty good progress.  After a couple more lines of stitching across the quilt, I’ll have just the edging to go.
I hope to deliver it on Thursday.  I will post pictures of it when it’s completed. 
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One Quilt, Three Scandals

 I’ve made some progress on the baby quilt.  Finally…
 Quilt sandwich pre-pinning
And post pinning.  Compared to my last quilt, which was king sized, 
this was  piece o’ cake.
 Here’s the fabric for the other side.  It’s not soft.  Isn’t that somewhat scandalous for a baby blanket?  I really tried to talk myself into other fabrics but the second I saw this in the store, I knew this fabric had to be the backing of this quilt.  It can always end up as a “throw it on the yard or floor” quilt.  With all that denim, it’s not really destined to be a baby covering quilt anyway. 
 Look at those cute birdies.
I hope it’ll soften up when I wash it.  That’s right.  Scandal number two is that I didn’t wash it first.  I’m hoping that when I wash it the first time, once it’s all sewn up, it will take on a nice, vintage look and feel.
Scandal number three:  It’s dry clean only.  Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen.  My only worry is that frequent washing will wear it out faster than I would hope. 
Knock wood that it ends up being sturdy.
Next step is to pick the quilting thread color, which is always so much fun!