Monday, November 24, 2014

The Advent of Sewing

This is where it all begins.
Everything starts here, today.
~ David Nicholls

Last weekend, I prepared the body of the Advent Calendar.  This weekend, I ironed and my friend Mariana sewed, and together we finished it!  :)

Mariana is just 10 years old, but already she is showing both interest and skill in sewing.  

I figured she could probably do the outer edges of the pockets (and she did - easily!) - but I was a bit worried about the inner seams that were needed to split the larger piece of fabric into separate pockets...  

I pinned them back for her, and...  

... she did an amazing job!  

I was so impressed with how patient and careful she was!  :)

I think she's happy with her Advent Calendar!  

And I know that I am very happy with the thought that this may be the beginning of her love of sewing!  :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Rainbow Saga Continues...

There is nothing an author today has to guard himself
more carefully against than the Saga Habit.
The least slackening of vigilance and
the thing has gripped him.
~ P. G. Wodehouse

I started weaving the first of four, seven inch wide, fabric bands - which I will eventually stitch together to cover a cushion for my weaving bench.  

As I explained before (here), I'm using this project to try a new technique - horizontal stripes:  

I have mixed feelings about this project - it has brought more grief into my life in one short week than any weaving project should be able to do...

But, I think we can all agree that the colors are very bright!  ;)

Oliver has been overseeing my weaving progress...

...while holding down a pile of dangerous papers that could pose a threat to his household at any moment, should he not remain vigilant!  

Thank goodness for Oliver!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Special: Gratuitous Kitten VIDEO!!

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.  
~ Leonardo da Vinci

A slow motion video of Sophie making a jump.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sandwiching in Some Sewing

I gave him my best cryptic smile.  
He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, 
and promise me the world.  
I must be getting rusty.
~ Ilona Andrews

I took a break from my weaving to pop into the sewing room for a quick project - a fabric advent calendar.  :)

I used a fabric panel that I picked up in Wales a couple of years ago, when we were hiking along the coast:  

The fabric panel included this beautiful, train-themed background...

...and a set of pockets to be cut out and stitched to the background.  

The fabric panel is thin, so I decided to make a quilt-sandwich, with batting in the middle.  I raided my stash and found this pink flannel with kittens wearing Santa Claus hats for the back:  

"What?," you're thinking, "that doesn't match at all with the train theme!"  

Not to worry.  

It turns out that my quilt-sandwich-making skills are a little rusty and that cute pink flannel...

... is now snugly sandwiched between the advent calendar and the batting!  ;)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratuitous Kitten Picture

The Internet, aka the electronic cat database...
~ John Oliver includes this photo of Popeye, our snooze-y baby.   

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Rainbow

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
~ Maya Angelou

Well, I finally finished my little black band...

... and was able to start on my rainbow fabric!  

Remember that I am trying to get alternating purple and yellow bands and so I have to reorganize the large section on the right...

...such that all of the purple yarn goes over the back cross stick and all of the yellow yarn goes over the front cross stick - like this:  

And here is one half of this warp rearranged appropriately:  

Then I measured and prepared the second half of the warp and had to combine the two halves on my backstrap loom:  

Here it is all combined:  

Now all I have to do is add the string heddles, and I can begin weaving!  

Weaving my rainbow...  :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gratuitous Kitten Pictures

The Most Interesting Cat in The World.

"I don't always sleep on the hoods of trucks.
But when I do, I prefer Toyota."  


"Stay lazy, my friends."  

Credit to my husband for the captions.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Rainbow Warp

Life is a choice; you can live in black and white,
or you can live in colour.
~ Karen Marie Moning

Remember how I am having an ergonomic bench made for my backstrap weaving?  And how the instructions include sewing fabric to cover a foam cushion for the seat?  

And how I decided to weave the fabric to make the cover?  

And, by "decided", I mean was swept away on a whim...  ;)

Well, I picked out five rainbow-ish colors and started preparing my warp!  

The pattern I am going to try is to weave horizontal bars, like these (from Laverne's blog on backstrap weaving):

So, going from left to right, I will have a series of narrow, vertical bands in the five colors (purple, yellow, orange, blue and green) and then a "ladder" of horizontal stripes that alternate between purple and yellow.  That's what you can see in the threads above.  Finally, on the right side, I'll put a set of symmetrical narrow bands in the same five colors, in reverse order.  

If you are thinking that my photo above looks way too narrow to cover a bench seat, then you are right!  It is one half of one piece of fabric - and I will need to weave four of these pieces and sew them together, in order to complete this fabric...  

Of course, I have to finish the narrow black purse band before I can start weaving even the first of these pieces in these beautiful colors!  :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Little Black Band

One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with
a Little Black Dress.
~ Karl Lagerfeld

And my woven bag is going to require a Little Black Band - so that is what I started weaving over the weekend:  

I used a white weft, to give it a "pop" along the edges and to tie it in with the woven bag fabric and the lining.  

It's coming along pretty well - but I have to say that weaving a narrow black band is kind of boring...  I am definitely a bright color girl!  ;)

And wait until you see the colors I've picked out for my next project!  (They just might show up on my blog sometime later this week...  hint, hint)  

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!