Friday, July 16, 2010

Reverse Applique Bag

small slow stitch bag closeup

I've been seeing these beautiful reverse applique items all over blog-land for a couple of years now and have been fascinated by them. I've always wanted to try the technique but have never felt very confident with my hand-stitching abilities.

Then I saw this tutorial by Beki at Artsy-Crafty Babe and was hooked. I thought about it all day at work yesterday. (I'm sure my employer appreciates that).

When I came home, I looked for the freezer paper I knew I had bought a couple of years ago. It wasn't where I thought it was, but a yardstick I had "lost" over a year ago was there. I have a corner in my apartment that I refer to as the "Bermuda Corner". I have lost more items in that corner in the years I've lived here than I can count. I live alone. How can these things keep going missing??

I eventually located the freezer paper (in a closet. who put that there?) and then couldn't find the t-shirts I had started cutting up for another project (that I haven't ever mentioned. I'm an excellent craft blogger, aren't I? yeeshk). This led to a complete overhaul of my sewing shelves to find the fabric (on the bottom) but now that area is tidy, so yay, bonus!

My paints were where I thought they were and the textile medium was exactly where I thought it was (because it had never been in the Bermuda Corner. Obvs.) so I got going on stenciling a simple design on my fabric. I decided to do a small bag (about 3" x 6" complete) so if my mad hand stitching skillz failed me it wouldn't be too big a write-off.

You know how you get a project idea in your head and you have to start it RIGHT THAT SECOND or you won't be able to concentrate on anything else? (Yeah, I know you do. That's why we all get along so well.) So I painted my design and then my brain went "Oh, wait. Paints are wet. This has to dry before any stitching can be done." and then my brain said "Huh? wait? no one said anything about waiting." and pouted for a while.

I used my hairdryer. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Eventually it was dry and I got going on stitching. I'm not very good at even stitches by hand so it's very very very "homemade" as opposed to "charmingly handmade" but I am very happy with my first attempt at this process. (and I used the word "very" 5 times in that sentence so I'm sure my writing award is on its way, no?) I decided to complete the bag by hand, just to see if I could do it. I did a "charmingly handmade" (ha) wonky blanket stitch up both sides and turned the top edges under with a straight stitch to leave a casing for a draw string if I decide I want one.

small slow stitch bag

I will definitely be attempting more of this technique. I love the finished look, and who would have guessed at the colors I pulled out for this practice bag? (ha. ehem). For now this is holding my sunglasses in my bag but I think it might end up seeing use as a sock-in-progress bag.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This morning as I was watering my plants I saw something in one of the pots.

What is that?

What is that? Is that a...?

is that?  what?

I think it IS a...

Attack of the mushrooms

MUSHROOM. In my lily plant!

It's kind of cute though. I might leave it for a while. Until it grows big and not cute. Not sure how nature made it into my nurtured plant soil but...

True Confessions time: I hate hate hate mushrooms in/on/as food. I will politely eat them if they are in sauce or in something and it would be rude to pick them out but I have to tell my brain they are something else while eating them. Oddly, I think toadstools & mushrooms are quite pretty when in the wild. (note: a plant in a pot in my living room does not constitute "the wild")

To cleanse the visual palate, as it were: a picture of real nature, where it belongs.

Fishin' in the rain

The Sunday of the Canada Day Weekend (Canada Day would be July 1, for any non-Canadians) The Boy, his parents, his nephew & I went into Kananaskis in search of a suitable fishing spot. We had light rain/drizzle the entire day and eventually settled in at this lake that I forgot the name of and wow I'm so good at nature/travel blogging.

Thank you everyone who commented on the Bandana (banana?) Quilt! When I made it I was thinking "oh that's a bit Stampede-y" but then just went on with my life. Then about 1 minute after posting I realized how well timed that was, as we are in the middle of Stampede right now! Yee Haw. Bandana Quilt!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bandana Quilt

Everytime I type "Bandana" I see "Banana" even though I'm the one who typed it. So I keep seeing the caption as "Banana Quilt" and then I go to fix it and oh it's not wrong... aaaaand this is a little glimpse into the fun fun mind of Lori...

Bandana Quilt Close up

For a long time I wanted to try making a quilt using bandanas for the top. I kept putting it off but it was always in the back of my mind. When I finally got around to it, I ended up changing my plan quite a bit, using white cotton for sashing - my original plan was for the whole top to be bandanas. Mostly this was because I couldn't find as many different colors as I wanted while staying within a color palette that I liked. Now that it's done, I am quite happy with it.

Bandana Quilt

This is the biggest quilt I've ever made. It's bi-i-i-ig. Queen size (pictured on a double bed). To make the quilt sandwich I had to move all the furniture to the sides and out of the main area of my very small living room. It's backed with a cotton sheet from Ikea which is a little boring, but my goal with the quilt was cheap thrifty quilting so I couldn't justify buying yardage for a queen sized quilt back.

If you look at the picture at the top you can see the quilting started getting a little (a lot) wonky on me. This is due to the fact that I was machine quilting a queen sized quilt on a 40 year old sewing machine on a table that is 3 feet by 2 feet. (that's the reason I'm sticking with and I can't hear you lalalala)


I love the binding. I used scraps from the western shirt I made last June. I had just enough to bind the quilt, which made me so very happy.

bandana quilt

Predictably, finishing this quilt has just made me want to make more. I think I need a bigger table first. Or a bigger apartment.