Thursday, December 9, 2010

Plum Leaf Quilt

I have a couple with whom I have been friends for a while, and they just recently got married.  I was trying to figure out what to give them.  I finally decided to do some sort of quilt.  Last summer while the kids were home, we went out and gathered leaves and did some Eco dyeing as described in India Flint's book Eco Colour.  Many of the things we dyed did not color well, however, the plum leaves from our red plum tree dyed a beautiful maroon and green mix of colors.  I pulled out this piece and decided to stitch veins on many of the leaves on this piece of silk.

Once I had finished all the embroidery, I decided to mount it on a piece of raw silk, machine quilt it, and make a wall hanging of it.  I hope you enjoy seeing the finished quilt.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Embroidery in process

I have spent the entire morning putting directions for sewing a dress onto my other blog, With Needle and Stick.  Wow, I hate waiting for the photos to upload.  In anycase, I decided to update this blog too.  I decided to show my new embroidery piece in process.  It will be a bright pink cosmos in the end, but here I am working on the center and on the shadows along the edges of the petals.  I seem to be stuck representing only a quarter of the flowers that I sew or paint.  I am fascinated by their intricate structure.  The cosmos along with zinnias are some of my  favorites.  I will keep further progress updated.

 In the meantime, before my kids get home on the bus, I need to get at least a little bit of weaving done.  Maybe I will show you my new weaving piece next...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Times they are a changing....

Looking back over what I have posted in the last few month, I have decided to split off my blog.  I will post my tapestry and art work here, but I will post my clothing and knitting to a new blog:  With needle and stick.  I felt this blog was turning into a mish mash.  I am working on art pieces and as I finish them I will post them here.  I have two tapestries in the works, and I am mulling over a new embroidery piece to complement my sunflower embroidery.  I have hung that piece in our house but the opposite wall is empty and crying out for a companion piece.  I have selected the subject:  another flower, this time a cosmos, another one of my favorite flowers.  It will be an orangey pink and close up like the sunflower embroidery.  I have selected  the background fabric, it will be the same as the sunflower piece, now to get to work on it.  It is just that I am determined to finish my coat sweater that I started last year.  I have now finished the front and back and started on the sleeves and I want to finish it before it gets cold, although after this summer and the fact that we are having no fall, I might never get to wear it, another day in the low 90's with no rain in sight....

I will keep you informed of my new art, but check the new blog

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Summer of "REST" Or How I Spent My Summer "Vacation"

I haven't posted in a really long while, all summer really.  I do have a good excuse.... I have had back problems all summer and spent five weeks of my summer in bed.  Crawling from the bed to the bath is really a bummer, but it certainly beats getting carried, or rather dragged there.  I herniated a disc this summer in addition to some problems with my iliac joint, so I spent five weeks of my life in bed and crawling.  Looking on the bright side, I did get a lot of knitting done.  I started a coat last fall and had only gotten the front done.  I am now 2/3 of the way up the back, I got to watch almost every World Cup game, I learned to stitch on my back in between reading books, that is when I was concious and not swooning from narcotics.  (Nasty stuff that I don't recommend at all, doesn't agree well with the digestive system, don't ask).  Here is my Alabama Chanin shirt that I stitched while lying in bed.

In between my bouts in bed (I had three separate bed ridden periods (one iliac joint displacement and two herniated discs), I attended an art composition class.  I did sneak some fiber arts into the class, but the first main project was a pen and ink portrait that used the idea of value.  We had to scribble symbols to make different values to give the portrait depth.  I decided to make a portrait of my nine year old son.  Instead of symbols I used words that had meaning for him in his life.  Here are the results of that exercise. 

Our final project in the class was to make a "book" of the Jack and Jill rhyme:

Jack and Jill
Went up a hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Each line was to be represented by an illustration which had to be at least 8"x11" and we had to have at least 6 images, but could have more.  Students came in with all kinds of projects.  One was a wood sculpture, another were 6 pots with plants in them, another was a power point presentation of water problems in Africa, two were anime boards of a cartoon Jack and Jill.  In the end I chose two dandelions to represent Jack and Jill and made a quilt showing the life cycle of the dandelions. 

The class was a fun learning experience that I am glad that I took part in.  The quilt is now hanging in my studio.  Now I need to get to work on my other projects.

I did do a little experiment during this summer.  I am thinking of doing a large scale color field.  I have so many scraps laying around.  I had seen the work of the artist Barbara Winoski on Lotta Helleberg's site that I thought looked interesting.  I decided to use the scraps I had laying around to see what happened.  Here is my little journal scrap quilt.

I want to try something on a large scale to see what happens, but I want to dye the scraps that I have, or rather overdye them to shades of blue and grey. 

I guess the last project that I did, which I have been trying to do for some time was to make some big chair napkins.  Having two young children, our chairs in our kitchen take a beating.  White upholstered chairs are so beautiful when you are young and single.  My husband had these chairs, but after a few years of kids sitting in them they became really disgusting.  I recovered them, but the fabric didn't stay clean but a couple of months.  I had the idea to make washable covers that I could use everyday and just take off for entertaining but never got around to making them.  I finally did, and here are the results.  I made them our of scraps of organic cotton that I had left from covering a sofa.  I then took and sewed a double layer so we could use either side.  I love Lotta Helleberg's work and decided to try my hand a leaf printing.  I used oak leaves from around our farm and then also used fig leaves.  Here is a photo of the results. 

So now you know how I spent my summer "vacation"!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The perils of a home studio and the philosophy of tapestry and the secret to life....

After weeks of no rain, we had three lovely days of rain.  It was perfect, no hard down pours, no major flooding thunderstorms, just nice soft rain.  Now the grass I planted is really beginning to grow, the yard no longer looks like a mud pit, but has the nice soft fuzz of new grass.  After a few weeks of hard labor in the garden, I got to return to my studio, what a nice break.  I have missed making art.  I have scattered pieces throughout the studio in various stages of assembly, but I try to push them all along as I can.  I have never been a linear thinking, singleminded person who can abandon all else for one thing.  I seem to flutter from one thing to another, unless of course I have a DEADLINE! 

The perils of a home studio awaited me on these rainy days however.  My studio is directly across from the kitchen, which can be a minor distraction, but this week it has been a major distraction.  I normally don't keep many sweets in the house and potato chips are strictly forbidden.  The reason is, I confess, I have no self control.  We had a dinner party this week for my husband's students who are graduating.  He brought home several pastries from our favorite artisanal bread bakery.  He always overestimates the amount he should buy so we had two boxes of pastry, homemade chocolate gelato, and then someone brought an apple pie.  It has been too much for my limited self control so I have definitely overindulged this week.

In the meantime, I had a lovely visit with Susan Iverson...  I have been reading several essays lately on the philosophy of different tapestry weavers.  So far, my tapestries have all been renditions of my drawings and paintings.  I have been asking myself, why the extra step?  I could just stop at the painting step, except for the fact that I love the tactile element of fiber art.  I LOVE fabric and yarn and the feel of them and what they can do.  The past American Tapestry Alliance had several essays on the philosophy of several different weavers, the two that really caught my eye were Alex Friedman and Sylvia Heyden.  Both of these women have been exploring the uniqueness of tapestry as a medium.  What can you do with tapestry as a woven form that you cannot do with paint on a canvas.  I really like this idea.  To begin my exploration of this idea I contacted Susan Iverson who graciously spent a morning with me giving me a tutorial in shaping tapestries and showing me her work.  My ideas of what to weave and how have been transformed.  I soon (when the rains started) warped a loom and started weaving a small tapestry that I can sculpt into shapes by pulling warp.  I also ordered Sylvia Heyden's book from Fine Fiber Press, what a revelation that book is!   I am seeing tapestry through a whole new lens and looking forward to more interesting weaving. 

In the meantime, I unwove about 2 inches of the sand pail, the weaving that will never be finished, since it was pulling in quite a bit.  I was advised that I would be unhappy with steaming it and should just unweave it and make it right, so unweave I did.  Now I am back to weaving it once again.  I have 6 inches woven, and another 8 to go.  It doesn't sound like lot, but it seems like it is really slow going since I have been working on this tapestry for 2+ years.  In the meantime, I really want to get that tapestry off the loom so I can use it for my new ideas!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fitting everything in

Spring is finally, truly here.  The daffodils are now gone as are the crocus.  Now is the time to seed grass.  Since our house was renovated last fall and winter, we are living with the remains of the work.  As you can see from the photos out our front door, we have much to do.  Plans are in the works for the gardens, but the back yard and fields are crying for grass seed.  I don't really like having to mow a lawn, but with kids, you definitely need some areas of grass.  I have been working slavishly to get the soil prepped for seeding.  There were a lot of rocks churned up in the grass, they took out our propane tank because we switched over to geothermal, but left the hole filled with all kinds of rocky, gravelly soil, and finally there are the remains of our old brick patio and mortal laying around in the most unexpected places.  We have been picking up and hauling these remains away, and tilling the soil, raking, and finally seeding, covering and watering.  I have two big sections done, but the biggest sections are remaining.  I keep telling myself, this too will pass, and it will be a relief to have it done.  I look forward to planting the garden sections of the house, but I am waiting to finalize plans and budgets.  I will be doing most of the planting myself, landscapers won't an obscene amount of money to seed grass and plant.  Luckily, the kids are now beginning to be a big help with it all. 

In the meantime, on the nights when I haven't fallen asleep by 9, right after getting my 9 year old son to bed, I sometimes manage to stay awake long enough to do some knitting.  I am trying to finish a couple of projects that I started last year.  I did manage to weave an hour yesterday.

I have started on a new project.  I am not sure where this will lead, but I thought I would show it and see if anyone had suggestions.  I was struck by the wonderful lines in the spring onions this year.  This year they had lovely loops and curls, I don't remember seeing them like before.  Maybe the deer always ate the lovely loops and curls off before I saw them.  (Sorry about it being sideways, it is not like this in my photo album, but keeps coming up sideways in blogspot, weird, huh!)

 In any case, I decided that I would try a new technique and embroider them onto silk organza.  I am embroidering one or two at a time.  Now, what should I do.  The original idea was to layer them in some type of mounting.  Not sure this is going to work.   I have also considered just embroidering words around them and mounting them separately.  I like them, just not sure what to do with them.  Any ideas? 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mounted piece

I entered this piece in a show last year.  It didn't get chosen and sat around for more than a year.  I finally got it out and took it off the board it was mounted on, worked on getting it blocked.  I bought a canvas for it last week and painted the canvas and sewed it to the canvas last night.  In the photo, the dark grey above the green looks black.  It is not black, but very dark grey.  I do like the silver highlights in the canvas, they reflect the light differently as you move around the room.  Now we have to find a place for it in our house.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cool knitting commercial

I don't usually share this kind of stuff.  But I saw this "knitted" commercial.  It is so cool, okay, WAY COOL!  Have fun!  I keep watching over and over!
Natural Gas: knitting commercial

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back to old weaving

I have been working on this sand pail weaving for more than 2 years now.  I seem to find ways to avoid weaving it.  I have finished a few weavings in between, but now I really want to get this one done.  The sand pail has been a real challenge for me.  I have woven and rewoven the thing about 8 times.  I think I am finally done.  In the last reweaving process, I wove it, looked at it a day later and found that it had regressed rather than gotten better.  I then unwove it yet again, and wove it once more.  I am still not 100% happy with it, but I think now if I try to fix it again, it will again get worse rather than better.  This tapestry has been a big learning experience for me.  I feel that I have learned a lot about weaving tapestries with it.  I am going to get back to it this morning as soon as I finish the bills.  One of life's pesky little things we can't avoid.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sewing Bag Full of Memories

After my mother died, my sister and I sorted through a lifetime of my parents' "things about them" (If you love the John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara movie of the "The Quiet Man" you might remember this quote, if you haven't seen the movie you should check it out!).  My father was a basket maker in his later years and made beautiful, traditional baskets in the Shaker style. 

My mother needlepointed, sewed clothes for me and my sister, knitted, and in her later years she learned to quilt.  Among her things, I found a piece of needle point that looked quite modern. 

 I put it among my things and let it sit for a few years knowing that somehow something would come along sometime.  After carting around my knitting and embroidery in handbags to piano lessons and ballet and soccer for the last couple of years, I finally decided what I really needed was a sewing bag that had the pockets and accoutrements that would make my travels and sewing/knitting on the road easier .  I thought of the needlepoint, took it out and went to the fabric store in search of the right combination of fabrics.  Amy Butler had just the thing, that piece along with some beautiful cream jean fabric looked just right.  I had seen a lovely bag in a knitting store that I admired and had that in mind as I started my bag. I spent three days cutting out fabric and sewing this bag together. 

I made sure I had lots of storage space for my yarn, and lots of pockets for scissors, knitting needles, thread, and whatever else I might need.  I even included a pin cushion.

I have enjoyed using it, and think of my mother when I carry it with me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Enchanted Pathways

I finally finished my entry for the Enchanted Pathways exhibit at the American Tapestry Alliance meeting in Albuquerque, called Wind Blown.  I was in such a rush to mail it that I did not take such a good photo.  I took the photo from an angle and it looks really skewed.  It is pretty square, thanks to K. Spoeirng's directions on blocking a tapestry.    I have to admit, it is not totally square, I was experimenting with skipping warps on some sections, and weaving over and under on all warps on others.  As a result, the tapestry really pulled in toward the top.  Oh well, it was a learning experience, and it is a very different subject matter than I have used before.  On to other subjects now....I am thinking about weaving a series of small tapestries called Lines.  More about that later.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring fashion projects for the younger set

I have been wanting to make something for the baby of some friends of ours.  The baby is now over a year old and I finally got around to making and finishing the project.  The turquoise is from a recycled t-shirt and the lining t-shirt fabric was in my stash leftover from other projects.  The rabbit is from Alabama Stitches, and the dress is an easy jumper pattern that I have used for my daughter for years.  This time I experimented with a bleach pen to write the word starfish all over the fabric and then used reverse applique to have the starfish swimming on the jumper.  I thought it was a fun little play dress.

I also worked on a couple of things for my daughter for spring and summer.  Here is a jacket that I made.  I bought the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  I love this book, and I had such fun sewing this jacket, now I think I am going to have to make myself one.  I am trying to use up the stash of fabric that I have for the sewing projects that I have bought for and not gotten around to starting/finishing.  This jacket was just so much fun to make! 

Detail of the back of the jacket.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Signs of Spring?

After all of this snow, I think most of us are a little cabin fevered.  I am ever hopeful for warm weather and no more snow.  I thought I would post some of the hopeful little signs we have been seeing here.   I found our first egg this morning.  We have one aged hen left, whom I thought was beyond laying eggs, but there it lay this morning in the nesting box.  I profusely thanked Aphrodite for her gift and then my daughter and I proceeded to cook it and eat it.  What a great spring gift!

While out feeding the horses, I saw the beginnings of the daffodils, a bit worse for wear from the cold, but up and a sign of spring no less.  I will post some of my projects later this week, mostly sewing clothes for my daughter for spring.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Alabama Studio

As you can tell by previous posts, I love the clothing of Nathalie Chanin.  She also speaks to my heart, since I was also born in Alabama and spent several years of my childhood there.  Her books remind me of my childhood spent eating biscuits (but not that often since my mother didn't like them, but boy, my father and I sure did), sugar cookies, and other southern delights, as well as the sewing circles with my mother and her friends, and the coffee klatches with their yummy treats.  Anyway,  I digress, Burda Style is having a contest for those who want to enter their Alabama Stitches inspired wear.  I entered several pieces, but thought I would show one new one that I sewed for my daughter and a better photo of the black skirt and camisole top that I made.

  Now it is back to work weaving my piece for the American Tapestry Alliance's Enchanted Pathways show.  And, there are always the taxes to start, and the New Year's letters to finally send out....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sun Spots

Here is my latest piece, finally finished.  This piece will go in a show with my fiber arts group, Fiber Transformed (FT).  I have been working on this piece since Christmas.  The FT show is called "Starting Point" and must feature at least one black dot somewhere.  I mounted the piece on a 12x12" hand-painted canvas.

It is embroidered/thread painted with DMC thread on cotton fabric and measures 5 3/4" x 5 3/4". I beaded the sunflower center.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yet Another Snowy Day....

After 10 years of no real appreciable amounts of snow, Mother Nature is making up for it this winter.  Before Christmas we received approximately 27 inches.  I stopped measuring at 21", but then it continued to snow for another 20+ hours, albeit at a slower rate.  This snow was followed by another 9 inches a few weeks later, to be followed by 4 more inches last weekend.  The predictions for this snow are ranging from 12-30 inches.  I haven't been measuring, but is has been snowing at a pretty good rate since 6 am, and it is supposed to snow through tomorrow evening.  Here is a view out our kitchen window.

You would think with a nice snow, I could get a lot of weaving or other projects done.  However, now I have three horses in the barn with water and hay to be given, stalls to be cleaned, manure dragged out to the manure pile.  Soon, I will have to shovel a path to the barn and the manure pile.  We had to stockpile wood, and start a fire to keep the fireplace clear of snow.    The last big snow when the power went out I couldn't start a fire because the chimneys were completely covered in snow. My husband was stuck at a friend's house for two days because he couldn't get up our unplowed road.  He is home today and busy outside doing most of the heavy duty work on stockpiling the wood.  We have a fire started, but my son just came in to tell me that I need to get it going again.  I have to finish this entry soon!

Of course it is not all work.  My kids and I have had some fun with my husband's surf board.  My childhood sled is only good on ice.  With this much powder, we took out his surfboard, he took off the fins, and snow surfers we became.  Here are my son and I trying to look cool as we surf down the hill into a pasture.

I think my son Scott has got me beat on the cool factor!

As for what I have been busy doing this week instead of weaving, my kids have only been in school 4 hours in the last week.  However, that four hours was a nice break.  It gave me time to run to the thread store and get some colors that I was running out of to finish my 10x10 inch tapestry, to run to the grocery store to get a few more items in case of power outage, and to go to my fiber arts meeting with a fiber group that recently asked me to join called Fiber Transformed.  We have one show mounted right now at Artworks in Richmond if anyone gets a chance to see it.  I was not able to finish a piece for this show, called Starting Point.  There is another show right now at Radford University called Wish You Were Here, based on photos from members' vacations.  Because I just recently joined the group, again, I don't have a piece for that show.  I am finishing one for the next Starting Point show which will be at Blue Ridge Community College at the end of February.  The Starting Point pieces must have at least one black dot in them somewhere, and it can be any size.

Today, I am trying to get a little weaving done.  Here is a view into the studio, you can get a glimpse of my companions.

Here is a shot of my progress on my ATA Enchanted Pathways weaving.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another snowy day

We are having a particularly snowy and cold winter.  We haven't had any significant snows for ten years until December when we received more than 2 feet of snow in less than 24 hours.  We were predicted to get only 1-4 inches for today, but we have 8 inches and the snow continues to fall.  Here is a view out my studio window.

I thought I would just show a photo of the sand pail.  This is my first larger tapestry and has been a real challenge for me.  The sand pail has been a hard piece to weave for me.  I have woven and rewoven that section about 8 times, but I am finally pretty happy with it.  I think the rest of the tapestry will go much faster.

Finally, here is a look at my new small tapestry.  It is a bit of a departure from what I have been weaving.  The other pieces have tended to be more realistic.  This one is very graphic and is inspired from a quick painting that I did in a painting class.  More on this piece as it progresses...

Another scarf

My sister's birthday is coming up next week.  I tried to start some projects for Christmas, but I just couldn't get anything done.  Moving back into our house and cleaning up the house we were in took all of my time.  However, I decided that for her birthday, I would make a Natalie Chanin inspired scarf.  It is similar to the one I did shown in an earlier post.  However, this time I decided to try something different.  I used a black and white T-shirt material, so it is high contrast.  I made it reversible by using embroidery floss and sketched a trumpet vine directly on the material with soap.  If you don't know this trick, it is a great one that my mother taught me.  You can sketch your quilt lines onto dark fabric with soap.  It fades, so sometimes I have to do it more than once, but I just give myself a general outline.  I then stitched the leaves, stem and flower, and then cut out using a reverse applique technique.  I have to say, that the reverse applique is SOOOOOO much faster than the applique.  I was able to finish this scarf while my kids were at school.  It was a fun project, which I hope my sister enjoys.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A messy Sunday with my daughter...

A couple of months ago, my son went off to work with my husband, and my daughter and I were left to figure out how to spend a yucky day at home.  She said she wanted to make something.  I happened to have the book Felt Wee Folks out of the library at the time.  This is such a great book for making fairies, knights, and little bags like the one below.  Linden picked out a pattern, and we got to stitching.  She picked out embellishments and stitched some of it herself (asking a 6 year old to stick with it until the finish is a bit hard).  I just used the felt that I had on-hand, so it is acrylic and not wool.  I just haven't gotten around to ordering a bunch of wool felt, so expensive.  Anyway, it was a fun project.  Linden and I had fun making it, and she feels the pride of making something herself.   I think it turned out great for a little girl's bag,  maybe even for a big girl, too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Down and dirty quilting

My latest project took a few hours, but let me start at the beginning of the story.  My competition horse, Oliver, lives most of his life outside.  When he is inside, he gets bored and starts to get into mischief.  He has flooded the barn twice by turning on the water faucet, he can open his latch and door, he likes the windows open, if they are closed he'll bust them out.... 

After bringing a pony home for my kids, he decided he would gallop around the field showing off, he then misjudged the distance and footing and slid into a gate, caught his legs in it, and sliced open his leg.  He had to have 4 big stitches.  Now while his leg heals, he has to live in a stall for the next three weeks.  I put away his outside blanket and I had to pull out the inside sheet and blanket.  They both had seen a little wear, so after washing them again, I had to patch them both and sew and quilt the patches on the blanket.  A few hours of work sure beats spending $100+ dollars on a new blanket and $60+ on a new sheet.  Sometimes you do what you gotta do... Now back to my art pieces.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finished quilt

I finally finished my second art quilt.  I don't think I posted a photo of the first one I did, I could do that later...  Anyway, I took a photo of this beautiful clam, Tridacna squamosa, a female that spawned about a year ago.  I took the photo at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego.  This giant clam which is also called a fluted clam lives in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.  A very nice scientist at Birch named Fernando identified her for me.  I took some liberties with the surrounding sea life.  But it was a fun quilt to do.  It took a really long time because of all the embroidery I did.  I really like making these quilts by hand.  We'll see how long the next one takes.  It is a companion piece to this one, that is, it is another aquarium piece.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What to wear...

After having two children, and not buying any clothing for years, I have reached the stage of major frustration.  I find shopping really frustrating.  Either the clothes are made for 17 year old who is into the latest fashion, which right now I really hate.  Who wants to go back to hip huggers and hippy, flowing flower tunics?  I know I don't, been there done that.   Or, the clothing seems to suit a more mature sensibility; I am not ready to dress like I am 80 yet.  I am happy that at this stage of my life I still have a good figure. I just want some interesting stylish clothes that fit well and look good.  Is that too much to ask?  What do I wear???? 

I started sewing again when my daughter who is now 6 turned 2.  I wanted to buy her a dress appropriate for a formal type brunch.  One of my husband's colleagues was being inducted into the National Academy of Science and all she had to wear were hand-me-down's from her brother.  I went shopping and was appalled at how hoochie-koochie the dresses were for little girls.  She is a little girl, not a teen pop idol.  I finally found a cute little corduroy dress, but it was $40.  I bought, but then vowed that I could sew dresses for her just as cute or cuter and for much less than $40.  I admit, my first few dresses were not so great, but over the years I have started to become an accomplished sewer.  I did take the required home ec class in high school and had to make a hideous skirt which promptly became a rag.  Between college and grad school I took a class to learn tailoring for a very accomplished sewer and tailor.  I then made a beautiful blazer, a winter white wool coat with bound button holes, and lots of other things.  Once I finished grad school and went to work I was done with sewing until Linden came along.  Here are a pair of jeans I recently improved upon for her.

After trying to buy myself some clothes a few years ago.  I started sewing for myself.  I like to be able to have my clothes fit, look the way I want them and to be stylish.  Although I have to admit, not all of them end up being as stylish as I would like.  However, I have had lots of women approach me to ask where I bought a skirt or one of my sweaters.  Here is a scarf and sweater that I made recently.  The scarf is a scribble lace pattern based on Debbie New's.  I thought it would be really quick and easy, but I took much longer than I intended.  However, I am pleased with the results.  The sweater is sleeveless, mainly because I ran out of yarn, which was hand dyed.  I won the yarn at an art show as a prize for one of my hats that I designed and knit.  The yarn was a bit too heavy looking for me, so I lightened it with Kid Haze mohair.  It turned out great, looks great on, feels great, but I wanted a scarf to cover my cold arms on winter evenings out.

A couple of years ago, I read a review of Natalie Chanin's book Alabama Stitches, I had looked through the book quickly at a book store and passed it over, but after reading this review I gave it another look.  I then bought the book and started by making a couple of headbands, one for me, and one for my daughter.  I can't say mine does much for me, but Linden's was adorable on her until she lost it.  I then moved on and made an appliqued scarf, which I really love.  It was a lot of work.  I took the idea of the scarf in the book and then by freehand drew my leaves and flowers and appliqued it to a doubled piece of t-shirt fabric.  After I appliqued the flowers and leaves on, I thought it was a bit plain so then I got our the embroidery thread and started embroidering it.  I am really pleased with how it turned out, and love wearing it.  Again, it is something that draws women to come up and ask where I got it.

This summer, I moved on to making myself a reverse applique skirt.  I wanted something a bit dressy for evenings out or parties, so I selected a black fabric and got the dark grey t-shirt fabric on sale.  The reverse applique went much faster than the applique scarf, but then I decided to bead it.  The beading took a LONG time.  However, I love the results.  I call this my "don't touch" skirt.  Again, I sketched the leaves free-hand.  Does anyone recognize the plant?  I have to say, the skirt doesn't look so great hanging on the hanger, but it looks and fits great.  However, about halfway through the process of making the skirt I realized that I didn't have a top for it.  I hurried back to the fabric store, and luckily they had just enough t-shirt fabric to make a corset top.  It fits really well.  I love the corset top and will definitely make another.  Natalie Chanin suggests using used t-shirts to make her clothing, but I have to admit that any t-shirts that we have laying around used are only for the rag bin.  Living on a farm, I really use my t-shirts.  My good shirts that I buy for wearing to town are then used for mucking stalls and gardening, and by then they are so disgusting, stained and holey that there is no way to use them for anything remotely wearable, so I used new t-shirt fabric.

I am also doing some art pieces, but they are in the works and not ready to be shown.  I will show some soon though...