Monday, February 28, 2011

Mixed Time Periods...

I recently bought a bolt of muslin primarily to make Santa bodies but I also wanted to be able to use it to test-drive commercial clothing patterns for my dolls before committing to fashion fabric. First up is a little number I sewed for my beautiful American Girl doll, Elizabeth Cole. Although she is supposed to be a nine-year-old from 1774 Williamsburg, I think this dress style places her squarely in the early 1800s. I found the floral applique in my stash of lace and hand stitched it to the bodice. Beneath her feet, are the pieced blocks and borders for the miniature Baltimore album quilt I hope to make (pieced from recycled sheet). Baltimore Album quilts were not popular until the 1840s, way after Elizabeth’s time!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This is something I meant to blog about earlier but it kind of got lost in the shuffle, here. Last year, the cats were roughhousing in bed and put a big tear in a very nice sheet (bad, bad kitties!). I couldn’t bear to throw it out, so I decided to repurpose it. First, I cut squares to use as practice for the free-motion embroidery course I took last fall.

Then, I decided to try out my AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter to cut strips and squares for a miniature Baltimore Album quilt I want to make for my dolls (someday, soon, I hope!). Finally, I found these cool instructions (inspired by Judy Coates Perez) on Jane LaFazio's blog for using teabags for drawing and collage. With the leftover tea, I dyed the rest of the fabric. Now, at least, I feel as though I got my money’s worth out of the sheet. The photo below shows the fabric cut for the little quilt, some tea-dyed fabric and a few sheets of teabag paper (made from iced tea teabags).

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I Especially Heart Black Cats...

February’s Sketchbook Challenge is “Opposites.” I knew right away that I wanted to try making a cut paper collage using the Japanese positive and negative design concept of Notan. This was so much fun – kinda like cutting out Valentine hearts as a kid. For this simple, symmetrical design, I used a 3½“ piece of black paper folded in half diagonally, then cut the cat and heart shapes on one side. It’s amazing how much space a 3½” square takes up when all the cutout pieces are glued into their correct positions. And it’s interesting to see the design that’s revealed by the negative space. The second image is the design repeated and flipped in Photoshop. I think it has an Art Nouveau look to it. I will definitely be revisiting this process.