Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reverse applique

Lately, I've noticed lots of articles in magazines and on the Internet about reverse applique. It's a great technique to use on t-shirts, especially if you have a favorite that has a small hole or stain that you want to cover. Basically, you sew a fabric patch on the back (wrong side) of the shirt, then trim out the front of the shirt, revealing the patch underneath. T-shirts don't really fray, so you can leave raw edges and not worry about it.

Yesterday, I worked on a sample for my (new) adult sewing class. The t-shirt was a men's XL for $3 at the thrift store, and I patched it with a couple old t-shirts and some yardage I bought recently. Of course I couldn't resist spicing things up a little: I used a gel pen to doodle on the light pink fabric before I sewed it.

Reverse applique hearts

The latest issue of Sew Simple (volume 12) has a nice article about reverse applique. I also found a great, straightforward tutorial here at the blog "that *darn* kat." The only tip that I would add is that if you haven't sewn knits before, this is a good way to start. Use a short stitch length, go slow to get around the curves, and enjoy the results!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Leaping . . .

. . . into ten!


(spring break at Riverfront Park)

Ten candles

Happy 10th birthday, Ross!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another sense of Earth Day

I'm not feeling so great today, but I've been reading other folks's blogs, and thoroughly enjoying myself. Thanks to all bloggers for the smiles, tears, laughs, and beauty that you share with your readers! Blogs expand my appreciation of the whole world.

I am in the habit of clicking on my little ClustrMaps widget (at the right, below my flickr account link), every time I check into the world of blogging. It shows visits to my blog by country. I am amazed and humbled that I've got hits from every continent but Antarctica! It is such a huge world, but such a small one, too. A few clicks, and you can be viewing people's writings and photos from almost anywhere.

I hope that as we link with others around the world through technology, we embrace our commonalities. The smile of a grandchild is beautiful on every grandmother's blog. The worry about the environment is equally pressing to a hunter in Michigan and a hiker in Europe. Wildfires in Australia remind us that the U.S. west is not the only dry land that burns with devastating results. The illusion of separation lifts as the fog burns away before the sun. To save the planet, we must deeply feel our connections to one another, no matter where we live on this little globe. Your grandchild becomes my grandchild, and I am honored to work as hard for her future as I do for my own child.

Peace to you on this Earth Day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On a hike

The weather has finally turned to spring, so today I took a little hike. There's a steep ridge near my house that has been left wild; it is crisscrossed with narrow dirt trails, where people jog (with or without dogs) and hike. There's a highway in the valley below, but the road noise is low. The trails are mostly quiet in the morning.

I brought a backpack with a snack and water, my camera, my outdoor sketching journal, pencils and pens. I took it slowly, taking everything in, not in a hurry to get anywhere.

I spotted some blooms up the steep slope and climbed up to sketch them. Finding a place to perch, without sliding back down, was a challenge. Once I took out the colored pencils, I was frustrated that I could not find the right green for the stems and leaves. But I continued, accepting my rusty drawing skills, consoling myself with some photos of the scene that I didn't capture very well in the journal.

Yellow flowers on ridge (wide view)

Yellow flowers on ridge

I ate my snack, happy to be eating outside. I watched a freight train on the ridge opposite me, then closed my eyes to feel the sun on my back and the still-cool breeze on my face. This was a spring moment. All was right with the world.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter shoes

I went shopping for white shoes to go with my Easter dress. (Yes, I ignore the old rule about no white shoes before Memorial Day. I'd never even known there was a rule until I started reading the Miss Manners column.) The only pair I really liked was $85 -- not in my budget this year. Then I remembered this old pair of white canvas sneakers that are in my closet, and thought, why not make those into Easter shoes?

At first I was going to use acrylic inks, but some of the ink bottles say "water resistant," which is not necessarily permanent enough for shoes. I used fabric paints, instead. My dress is bright and flowery, so I painted my own version onto the shoes.

Easter shoes (1)

Easter shoes (2)

Yes, they're kinda gaudy, but what the heck. I'm not the shy and retiring type.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The middle of things

I realized (again) this morning that I am impatient about many things. Why is it so hard to let work evolve on its own schedule? Then again, I have so many projects going at one time, plus I tend to lose interest pretty quickly, and then I don't feel as if I finish anything. There's got to be a balancing point for me -- giving enough attention to what I'm doing now, and giving myself a schedule to finish it. And permission to drop it if it's not going anywhere.

So I am in the middle of these things. I added more paint and circles to the yellow canvas. Even tried stamping with Cheerios, and using them as a resist to the paint. They're glazed, though (honey nut flavor) -- might have been better to use plain ones. But it was fun to play with it!

Yellow circle canvas, stage 2

I've bought some different yellow paints and inks -- more experimenting ahead.

The blue and pink hat is now FINISHED. I gave it a little pink edging, to top it off.

Blue/pink hat scrumble, finished

Yesterday I cut out some pink flannel I've had for a long time, to make a plushie to wear the little hat. I think she's going to be dressed for a party. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sorry that I've been missing in action . . .

Spring break was last week, and I spent a lot of lovely time with my son. But now I'm playing catch-up, and I just haven't gotten to blogging this week. I promise -- photos coming soon!