30 Sep

What’s Up

Portfolio Books

These cute little books arrived in the mail over the past few days. I made them with iPhoto to show off some of my projects, and I think they turned out great. I love my Mac, and Apple’s thoughtful designs.

We are going to the Quilt Festival in Houston in November. Though the primary reason for going is to see quilts (like my two and friend Deborah’s in the Tactile Architecture exhibit, and lots of friends in Beneath the Surface), I’m thinking there’s too much chance for opportunity to show up empty handed. I decided I needed to have something to show off my work to any interested parties I may run into, but I wasn’t going to bring my big black portfolio from the good old days, nor do I want to haul around actual projects. I think these books fit the bill quite nicely.

Portfolio Books

One is fabric designs, another is my somewhat traditional bed quilts, and the best is a collection of mostly recent art quilts. I hope to bring my collection of Twelve by Twelve postcards too. Yes, I’m an art and craft schizophrenic, but no one needs to see the extent of it if I only show them one book at a time! Now I need to design an IBOL business card for hubby and we’ll be all set.

Though it looks like I’ve been neglecting my blog and artwork of late, there’s actually a lot going on. In addition to psyching myself up for Houston:

• I entered some work to Quilt National and hope to find out in a few weeks if it’s been accepted or (more likely) not.

• Thanks to some generous friends, I’ve raised enough money for The American Cancer Society via the Artful Bra Project that I’m feeling good about delivering the bra, “My Beloved Support” so that it can be part of the auction at Hard Rock Cafe’s Pinktober event.

IBOL II is nearing it’s mail-by deadline, and though it hasn’t garnered the huge numbers of boxes so far compared to last year, it is wonderful to see community coming together and sharing resources and good will. I’m sure that Nahed, the coordinator in Iraq will have plenty of bundles to distribute to needy locals.

• So, now it’s time to gear up for JDRF fundraising! Our neighbor has a wonderful daughter with Type 1 Diabetes and has been working hard, practically since day one, to support those working to make her daughter’s life more manageable and as normal as possible. Last year the taekwondo dojang we all belong to pulled together to raise an amazing amount of money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and hopes to be able to do the same this year. I’ll be posting more details soon.

• I almost forgot to add that my little rooted house textile art sold in the SAQA auction! Someone beat me to the two I had my eyes on in round two, but there’s still hope for two that I’m looking at in round three. There are still plenty of lovely artworks to be had at very affordable prices this week and then the last batch go on auction Monday. Supporting SAQA supports exhibit and educational opportunities for many quilt artists across the globe.

• I’m making Halloween costumes for my two kids and their taekwondo instructor. Be prepared for posts about chain mail, fun foam armor, fairy wings, tulle and maybe even a glimpse of Fleur from Harry Potter.

18 Sep

Octobunny and Lil’ Mermaid Share a Dance

Magical things happen under the sea. It’s a place where cute little mermaids can cavort with octopii with rabbit ears and no one batts an eye. Especially not when it’s happening on a twirly skirt for an imaginative eight year old and in hopes of winning some artwork from an admired blogger. I made this skirt for Bad Bird’s Stitched by Hand competition. My project is obviously not stitched by hand, so I’m submitting it in the Machine Stitched category.

Competition: Octobunny & Lil' Mermaid Share a Dance

I chose Andrea’s Octobunny embroidery pattern because his goofy look appealed to me. When paired with her Lil’ Mermaid, they looked like they were dancing. As long as they were dancing, I figured my project should be a skirt for dancing in, and to stick with the theme, I used Heather Ross Mendocino fabric which has octopii swimming on it (I wanted the mermaid fabric, but it appears that I am the last one on the Heather Ross bandwagon and it all sold out at least a year ago). I went straight to the interwebs for a basic skirt pattern. I wanted something danceable, naturally, so a full or ruffly skirt fit the bill and there is no shortage of tutorials online. From several options, Katja chose the Twirly Skirt tutorial from House on Hill Road.

Competition: Octobunny & Lil' Mermaid Share a Dance

Once I made the skirt, I then enlarged the embroidery patterns and traced them onto the skirt and the fabrics I used for the figures. I cut out and glued the fabrics in place with wash-out basting glue and backed the whole area with water soluble stabilizer. Into the hoop it went and I free-motion stitched the designs with my sewing machine (using a darning foot and dropping the feed dogs). My daughter (who gets to wear it) and I think it looks awesome. Thank you Andrea (Bad Bird) for the great excuse to make cute clothes.

16 Sep

Speaking of Support…

The wonderful ladies at Sew Mama Sew are at it again! This time around they are offering fantastically priced thread bundles for IBOL II: Give a Little. So, if you are inclined to support donating sewing supplies to needy sewists in Iraq but don’t have much of a stash yourself, click here to have the SMS ladies send a bundle of thread, needles, and pins for you!

15 Sep

Support my bra, please


The second annual Artful Bra Project is underway. Last year I made poi filled calabashes for my entry. This year, it’s the Hawaiian flag. My original idea was to make a “Shaka Bra(h)” and have two “hang loose” hands sort of cupping the cups. I still needed to do something to the cups themselves though, so I added the flag bits and the ribbon lei. As I finished up the basic bra, it was actually looking pretty well done. I made some hands, but they turned out underwhelming, so the bra spoke and remains simply a flag.

So, now my bra needs a name, and it needs some financial support which will benefit breast cancer patients and survivors in Hawai’i. All of the altered bras donated to the Artful Bra Project Hawaii will go on to the Pinktober Benefit Auction at the Hard Rock Cafe on October 23rd to earn a little more. Last year, the bras brought in something like $3000 total.

If you’d like to give your support to breast cancer services in Hawai’i please email me or leave a comment. Thank you for your support.

P.S. Robin suggested “Tutu’s Secret” as a name — referencing the Hawaiian name for grandma and obviously the well known bra retailer. I can’t quite imagine tutu wearing this under her mu’u mu’u, but maybe it’s her secret in the same way Hawaiians are said to have hung their flag quilts under their bed canopies during the time of the Provisional and Territorial governments.

12 Sep

And The Winner is…

Natalya! Out of 18 comments, the random number generator over at Random.org picked the number 8. Thank goodness my tech support is here on site and was able to fix a glitch that was not allowing me to see the comments. This morning when the blog said there were 18 comments yet I couldn’t see any one of them, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell who #8 was. Anyway, congratulations to Natalya who will now have lots of inspiration for that eleventh hour crafting she anticipates.

By the way,  this little giveaway coincided nicely with my blogiversary. “Musings” and my web site are five years old now. It’s nice to be able to celebrate with all of you.

09 Sep

Look, a Book!

It’s real! Twelve by Twelve has a book. I can hardly believe it since this project started three years ago as a low key way for a group of fiber artists to inspire each other to push our boundaries and see what happens. Well, a book happened!

The book is due out in March 2011. It includes beautiful color photographs of all 144 quilts created as part of the twelve theme challenges we did through 2007 to 2009. Each “Twelve” wrote a chapter discussing a particular theme, how we were inspired, our thought process, and how it may have related to what other Twelves were doing for the same theme. It’s about us, but it’s about collaboration too, and with so many people connecting online it’s nice to see how one group (ours) was particularly enriched by the experience.