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Action shots!

I’ve spent a little time on this busy day playing with my fabric instant book and want to share some action shots!  It’s really fun to work on!


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I Can’t Stay Grumpy

I’m going to be a presenter at the Wisconsin Book Festival.  Woo hoo!!
I’m going to lead a teen program on making Instant Books.  
Inspired by The Great Good Thing by Rod Townley and How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith; both incredible and inspiring books.  
So, with that in mind, I’ve been making instant books to use as display items.  
Of course, I had to make one out of denim – duh.
I picked a randomly sized rectangle of fabric; I went with slightly bigger than a regular piece of printer paper.  I thought that would be easier to work with than, say, a postcard size or a couch size.
If this had been regular paper, I would have just folded it, but I get to iron it because it’s fabric.  
I folded/ironed it in half.
 Opened it and ironed it in half the other way.
Then, I ironed the edges in to the middle so that it ended up looking like this:

Then I folded it like that first fold again.


That gave me this cutting line
  Which I cut.  Just to the first horizontal fold
Then I’m going to refer you here (steps E and F), because, using floppy fabric, it was really hard to get an action shot. 
But, when finished it will be this shape.
Here’s where I was when I ran out of time.  I need to sew these features on (That thing that doesn’t match the rest is another instant book that I made out of paper…clever, huh?) and then I’ll probably sew the rough edges together.  Fun fun fun!
Now, I think we should al collectivley shake our fists at Blogger which made me fight to place these pictures in order.  Grrrr Blogger!  
But, since I’m off to a workshop being run by Lynda Barry (!!!!)  I can’t stay grumpy. 
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Attitude Adjustment

I didn’t have time to work on my scrap quilt yesterday so I had to knock it out today. I’m glad I took that time off because when I sat down to work on it, I felt completely different about it.

I realized that this project is been a great opportunity to try something new that I never would have chosen. Yesterday, all of my whining was really just my insecurities rearing their heads.

I’ll hand it over to my swap partner happily; she knew she was risking getting a final product she wouldn’t necessarily adore, just like I did when I gave her my scraps. It’s really the point of the whole exercise and I’m glad I finally figured it out.
It was a chance to try out these little corner pockets for hanging. I put one on every corner so she has lots of hanging options.
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I finally got going on this Quilt Guild project.  For those who haven’t been following along, I joined a local Modern Quilt Guild.  The people are very nice and I enjoyed the meeting.  For fun, they had a scrap swap.  We each brought in some scraps and swapped them with someone else with the intention of making something for each other and then giving it back finished.  I brought denim and the minute we switched ziploc bags, my heart sank. I got selvedges that are black and white and highly patterned.  No, not crazy about those.  But I rallied.  I picked a bargello type quilt to work on and got started.  Well – I knew this about myself already – I don’t like to take direction and I don’t play well with others and, I’ve recently learned, making a bargello quilt is super dull.  I like making quilts out of solid fabrics and making them up as I go along.  Anyhoo – I put it off for over a month and now the next meeting is coming up on tomorrow. 
So yesterday:
I pulled out my already cut scraps to iron.  Please note that there are lots of them.  Should make a decent doll quilt, right?  And then some.
Oops – dang it, I sewed one on backwards.  I always do that.  
There.  Fixed and all sewn up.  I trimmed the edges and sewed the top to the bottom to make a tube.  It really is a clever (but picky) technique.

Then I turned it and started chopping the tube up.  See those safety pins?  They’re there to help me keep track
Still with me?  Boring to read, boring-er to do.  Actually this part was the funnest bit.  All lined up and …
Tada!  Wonky and cool.
Unpick the seams that make them tubes and they make this cool pattern.
But somehow, in all that seaming, it ended up as this long skinny piece of nothing (Remember waaaaay back to the beginning of this post?  When there was plenty of fabric?).  What the what am I supposed to make that into?  This is where I got re-stuck.  Tomorrow night it’s supposed to be a finished thing.  My swap partner did have a list of suggested items she hoped it would be: A zipper pouch, an iphone case, a throw pillow or a doll quilt.  Not seeing any of those things here.  
And then there’s this:  She’s an actual quilter.  She probably could have made something better out of her own scraps.  Something she actually wants.  So, like, I could make it into a wall hanging but she’ll never hang it.  If I cut it in half (which I’m tempted to do), to make a doll quilt, the cool zig-zaggy-ness effect will look decidedly uncool.  So…sigh…
“Sigh” is all I got.  I’ll post a picture of whatever is ends up as.  I’ll have to machine quilt it since there’s no time to do it by hand.  Also, I have resolved to never ever join a swap like this again.  So, there is a bright side.  🙂
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Because I have a project waiting…

…that I really should be working on, I’m starting a new, unrelated and pointless project. My favorite kind.
I started looking at this book 
and was inspired to start a project that has no final iteration in mind.  
I’m funny about my hands. I’ve never liked them. They look older than the rest of me. They always have.
My knuckles lock up a little. Why? No clue. Doctors haven’t figured it out so I call it Jennifer-itis. So, I don’t really trust my hands to come through for me though I love to work with them.
Also, I’m left handed. It isn’t something I give a ton of thought to but it’s in my awareness and I often find myself noting other lefties, bringing my attention to hands again. 
Anyway, because my hands are a somewhat loaded topic for me, this book, with it’s hand maps, caught my imagination. I’m curious to see where, if anywhere, this goes. I’d like to embroider on it a bit.
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It’s a bargello quilt made from someone else’s scraps…Oh well.  
It doesn’t seem to be making itself no matter how much energy I put into ignoring it.
  A really nice friend of mine gave me this bag of pre-cut denim squares left over from her relative’s denim quilt project.  How thoughtful!
The pile looks way more satisfying out of the bag.  It’s kinda calling to me but I do find them depressingly uniform in shape.  
I intend to leave them out where they can tempt me but not let myself touch them.  That way – theoretically – they can be my motivation to finish the swap quilt I agreed to do back in August and never sign up for anything like that again. 
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I’m down with a cold. So I’ve been Zentangling. It’s really fun.
I’m also taking a Figure Drawing class which I can’t go to tonight. 
So, consider this a pity post. That is all. 
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So…I wear orthotics.  I injured my Achilles tendons years ago and they never healed right.  So these monstrosities are my only comfy shoes.  Recently I also injured my left big toe joint (Yes, it’s a hard job, being my feet) and I’m supposed to keep it extra cushioned, as well.
Here’s my orthotic with the cushion that the Poditrst added.
And here are my new shoes, which I love dearly.  Compared to my comfy shoes, these are downright sexy. 
And, here’s why they don’t fit when I wear my orthotics.  
That’s the orthotic on the bottom and the insert that came with the shoe on the top,
Whew,  that was a whole lot of exposition.
Anyhoo…You can see here that I cut out foot shaped pieces of felted sweater and…dang..I really thought I took more pictures.  
Well,  I cut out four of them.  You’ll just have to take my work for it, I guess.  I had fun sewing them together because I know noone will see them and so had fun with embroidery floss colors.
Now they fit way more snugly.  The wooly inserts are in there under the orthotic, which is, yes that’s right, covered in glitter from my tracking through it barefoot.  A hazard in this house. 
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Hi. Remember me?

I’m still here.  I’m still with it. For the most part.  We had visitors for a couple of weeks and – have you noticed? – I haven’t been thrilled or particularly satisfied with many of my projects lately.  I’m calling it a slump, I guess. There has been zero progress on the scrap quilt challenge thing.
Why do I never remember the before shots?  This used to be an XL – honest.
But I’m still slogging along.  I’m doing a practical-ish thing.  I guess.  I have some new shoes that are too roomy with my orthotic inserts. 
So, I’m making some wool inserts to put in under my inserts which totally makes sense in my head.  I started by felting this wool sweater.  More pictures coming up.
And this door that is stuck in the garage?  Believe it or not, that is a future table.  I plan on cutting it down a bit, putting in a cool looking door knob or finding some other interesting thing to do with the knob holes and then adding legs.
Shapely legs.
I may even do something wild and wooly with these.  We’ll see. First I have to de-slump myself.