Sunday, November 28, 2010

I am thankful for owls

Before I get rolling on all my holiday jewelry projects, I had to get this little guy out of my head and into the physical world.


Needle felting is FUN and cathartic.  I was having a panic attack while trying to order my son's Christmas pressies on (his fave is sold out EVERWHERE), and when I could take no more, I started Sir Owl here.  Presto chango, I am no longer stressed.  

Lotan's Playmat, and my first finished quilt!

Finally finished, and right now hopefully being ravaged by Lotan!

The pattern is based on one in the book Play Quilts by Kristin Addison.

I tried to design my own quilt for Loti, but since I have never made an entire quilt before, I found it to be, well, bad.  So, to the book shelf I went.

The little pockets hide owls and other surprises.
The animals were sewn in two pieces (head and body) then assembled.  They are tied on with ribbons and fully detachable.

I did machine free motion quilting for the first time, which was super duper frustrating at first but ended up being addicting and fun.

I also did some hand applique on the owls and some hand embroidery. Hoot.

You can see the kid-ready texture that the machine quilting gave this mat.  Yay, Kenmore home sewing machine!  It can be done.  It was hard to manage all the bulk of quilt with so little space, but I just did a little section at a time while trying different ways to secure the rest of the fabric.  The best way at the end was to use these cool circular clamps to hold the rolled up quilt while I worked on a small section.

I am especially partial to the technique of using the features of the fabric to free quilt, like on the milky way!

The only hand embroidery is on the signature label (which I realized later was missing a date) and the Big L sun below.

My son was very disappointed that I did not "make this up" (that I used a pattern) but I assured him that I departed from the pattern often and there was a lot of Jobi in this gift to Lotan.
The sun is the only bit that is 100% Jobi, not at all based on the pattern.

I hope this mat provides as much fun for Loti as the ones Fiona made for my kids, which are true treasures.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Knotting madness

I started knotting the other night and now I can't stop.  I have even made two pretty horrible macrame pieces.  Egads.

This site got me started with some great free tutorials.  They are total dealers - "hey, try this for free!" and then WHAMMO, you are hooked.

These lovely lampworked beads came to me from a bead-swap with the fabulous Suzanne.