Friday, September 26, 2008

The Return of Gordon Gartrelle

Remember that episode of the Cosby Show where Denise told Theo she could make him a knock-off of a designer shirt for the big dance? And it came out all lopsided with long arms? And Theo was mortified?

I have a love-hate relationship with garment making. The idea of is always a bajillion times better than the reality for me. So when I realized yesterday (in what I am sure is just the first of many 11th hour school projects to come) that my son needed an outfit for culture day at day care this morning, and I thought "I will just make him a really simple shirt", someone should have stopped me. I even found a pattern that said "fast and easy" right on the package. Three times. That should have been my signal to throw it down and run away. Because it was neither fast nor easy and I don't know how many times I have to be lied to by packaging before I learn my lesson. In the end, I just improvised the collar because I could not make heads or tails of the so called directions.

But I did manage to get it put together. And it actually stayed together all day. I expected it to fall apart halfway through the day. And, like Theo, my kid only cried a little when we put it on him. I'm pretty sure it didn't cause any long lasting psychological scars. Fortunately, my son does not stand still long enough for anyone to notice the various improvisations, crooked seams, tucks, and threads I refused to deal with properly because it was late and I just wanted to be done. I'm going back to quilting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hello My Name is (Part 2)

I finished the calling cards. I don't really need calling cards. I just wanted to see if I could do it. It was more of an exercise in seeing if I could focus my artistic point of view in small space with limited images and text.

They are the size of standard business cards and made from fabric that has been used in other projects. I also decided that they had to incorporate hand work so they have some type of embroidery or beading on them. I created an image from a baby picture to go with the text for the reverse side. I used an iron on transfer to get the image and text onto the fabric. Mostly because I wanted to try out the iron on transfer stuff.

I put an eyelet in my favorite card and tied it to the bag I made with a piece of scrap ribbon. I will probably attach the rest of them to future projects. It is a good way to use up scraps of fabric. And one day, when we have gas in our state again and can leave the house, I might actually be able to give them to people. They are calling cards after all.

I didn't use anything like a stiff stabilizer or fusible inside the cards because I don't like to hand sew through that stuff. So the cards are flexible which I kind of like. I embellished the back of the cards before stitching the two sides together because I didn't want the stitches to show on the back. And the whole thing is put together like a pillowcase because I don't like binding. I guess my artistic point of view also includes a certain amount of laziness. I'm okay with that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hello, my name is...

I'm making some calling cards. Not that I ever go anywhere or meet anyone. But I was thinking about things like artistic voice and communicating a point a view. Something like a business card or calling card has to communicate everything you want someone else to know about you and where you're coming from in a very small format. So I decided to try making some. They are pretty much like ATC's but 2 by 31/2. And there is text on the other side. I was thinking of attaching them to projects.

Work on everything else has stalled. Mostly because I just can't get to it. But I can work on these little cards here and there and feel like I'm accomplishing something. I'm crocheting baby blankets too. Lots of people seem to be having babies these days. I don't know if they will be girls or boys. But I figured I'd make a few in different colors and get ahead of the curve for a change.

I'm hoping to get back to the other projects soon. The cityscape and the olympic quilt were moving along really well. But I just haven't been able to get to them. I think someone is slipping me decaf.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Super Easy Fun Bag

I made a bag. I've been wanting to make a bag for a while now to hold crochet projects. The fall issue of Quilts and More had a pattern for a super-easy bag. I'm usually skeptical when I see words like "super easy". And I doubted the pattern the whole time I was making it because if anyone can get a pattern wrong, it's me. But this bag really was super easy. In fact I made it in one night. With an almost 2 year old. And a cranky husband.

The bag has six pockets on the outside which is perfect for hooks, scissors, stitch markers, a pattern, an ipod, a bag of M&M's. Everything you need for crocheting. And I do love pockets.

The inside can hold a surprising number of skeins of yarn. It's holding an unfinished scarf right now. The finished bag is 8"x10"x4". So it is not huge. I don't think I could cram a whole finished afgan in it. But I prefer not to cram afgans into bags anyway. I just want to keep the yarn away from cats and toddlers and keep all of the related notions together. Now I can be super organized.

This was a fun project. Super fun. Now that I have it figured out I can add all kinds of embellishments next time and maybe some kind of closure. It's perfect for those big prints I've been hesitant to cut. And I've got that fashionista fabric in all kinds of color ways. I was thinking it would be cool if I could make it a little bigger. Then I could make a bag that matched the baby afgan and put the afgan (folded not crammed) inside the bag. The baby can use the afgan and the mom can use the bag. On second thought, I might have been better off if the pattern hadn't been so super easy.