Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #14--More Quilt Squares (Study in Blues)

Logs (but small narrow ones)

Blue. I'm so BLUE. Not really but this challenge really challenged me. It wasn't that I had a dearth of ideas but I had so many that I couldn't decide and ended up wasting a couple of days trying to decide. The challenge became even more difficult in that I decided to continue on working on blocks for a future quilt.

These blocks were dedicated to logs (rectangles) and points (triangles). The points almost made me jump off the George Washington Bridge.

The design that I have been most enamored have been the log designs. I tried them in a larger (thicker) format but decided to try to do narrower rectangles to work on my seam allowances. With the larger rectangles, you have a lot of room for error. On narrow rectangles, much less so. The reason that I like the pattern so much is because there is less pre-measuring. You simply sew two sides to the length of the current side and then cut the opposing sides to the added length.

Although there is less blue here, I did feature the color in the design.

The second pattern featured rectangles, squares and triangles. In this example, I tried to work on the triangles meeting the points of the squares. I loved the blue against the red. As you can see, I ran out of the grey striped material and had to piece one side and it made it wonky in the process--LOL. You live and learn.

The third and fourth patterns really featured blue and POINTS. The classic star pattern proved to be most difficult and that I had to start and restart several times. As you can see, some of the points matched up better than others. I do love the two shades of blue and the pattern on pattern.

The final pattern made me dizzy in the process. I don't know the name of the pattern but I got so confused and at times couldn't remember where I was in the pattern. I think that this would be equivalent to a knitter losing count during a stitch pattern. On a larger scale, I think it would be too busy. Once again, sometimes the points met and sometimes they didn't.

One of my biggest regrets is that I don't have a washing machine. Therefore, I have to wash all of the material by hand, let it drip dry, and then sew it. The I have to repeat the process with the finished square and iron it.

So, hopefully I met the Blue Challenge even though it turned me blue in the face. When I worked with Isaac Mizrahi, he told me that he learned more about sewing from taking things apart than sewing them together. I never understood what he meant until I started these quilt blocks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #13--Halloween in July

For this challenge, we were asked to work with text. Kat said that she was letting off easy and I really needed an easy challenge for #13 because I was on vacation for most of the crafting period. When I returned, I developed an inner ear infection so it seems that I am constantly in a cave.

I was watching QVC and was noticing their Christmas in July broadcasts and I thought--why can't I have a Halloween in July crafting period. This is a two-for-one special because I felt a little guilty after cutting my first card.

Two years ago, I had a 31 Days of Halloween series and I used the ghost image for a bag topper (seen here). So, for the first card, I decided to make a card using the same image and adding the text "Boo."

Thinking that I was done, my good old Catholic guilt kicked in and I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning thinking that I had cheated. I decided to use the same text with a different image. I did a quick "bats and moon" card and then went back to sleep.

With a clear conscience, I was able to go to work--LOL.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #12--Quilt Squares

This week we were tasking with creating something of which we were a fan. Many of you know of my fascination with QUILTS. Whenever I see a quilt, I become reduced to a blithering idiot in awe. My grandmother was a quilter and she would make a quilt, by hand, for every child and then grandchild. The quilts were all greatly revered by the family and many times she would enter them in local craft fair competitions.

My grandmother never made me a quilt because there was some angst within the family that by making a quilt for an adopted child that the "natural" children would get upset. Of course, this was adult stupidity but it made its mark and I never received a quilt. When she died, much to the regret of the "natural" children's parents, my grandmother bequeathed her fabric to me.

For this challenge, I wanted to honor my grandmother with making some quilt square with some of the fabric that she left me. I have been waiting for the right project and decided that this was it. 

I started simply by just doing a four block square.

I then make smaller squares but kept it simple.

I then used the smaller squares to make a pattern.

Then I experimented with points and triangles and geometry, oh. my.

Then I tried different shapes (oops, everything just didn't quite measure up.

Finally, I decided to go back to simply shapes that I could control. I had used this pattern in paper quilting and decided to try my hand in real fabric.

I have a new found admiration for people who do quilts. Moreover, I have a greater appreciation of my grandmother and her ability to make this quilts without calculators, computers and the modern convenience of sewing machines and stitchers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #11--Paper Playbill Bouquet

For Challenge #11 we were asked to create something out of paper or in the words of our leader--find your inner Dr Russ. Oh. My. Gosh. The pressure to produce something special really hit me hard (just kidding). The only other difficulty is that we were in the middle of the theater awards season here in NYC and the show that is currently at my theater has been nominated numerous times. Three of our actors were nominated for a Tony Award (the highest honor in the on-stage professional theater profession). I wanted to do something special for them so I created these paper bouquets out of the show's Playbills (the free programs that are given to the patrons at each performance).

I folded, curled and molded several different types of flowers out of the most colorful pages and gave a bouquet to each of the nominated performers.

Paper Rosettes
Kusudama Flowers 
Curled leaves (and the underside)
 I am very happy with the way these turned out. The actors were very appreciative. I just hope that my Iron Craft crafters like them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #10--E is for . . . (Updated)

In my attempt to get my post online in time, I left out some of the specifics regarding the envelopes. I decided to update the posting so people could understand the process.

The picture above shows the reverse of the envelope (or the face of the envelope if you are sending it out without the glassine cover). The top envelope is still awaiting its liner. The bottom envelope shows the liner. The liners are made up of pages that have product descriptions only (or pages that could not be used for envelopes).

As mentioned yesterday, many times I will place the envelope in glassine covers so I can send them out without ruining the image with an address label. I simply tape shut the envelope, throw an address label on the front of the envelope, place a stamp on it and send it out.

When I send the envelope without a cover, I simply tape shut the envelope on the flap side, throw an address label and stamp on the flap side (if you are using standard size envelopes you can use a regular priced stamp since no special handling is needed). By utilizing the flap side (the reverse), the main image is unaffected. Many times, I will send out my bills with these types of envelopes.

When I use a glassine cover, I include a blank address envelope so recipients can determine if they want to use the envelope for their personal use (I also include instructions).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #10--E is for . . .

Another letter challenge. This challenge was dedicated to the letter E. So E is for...envelopes. I have done this project before and I decided to revisit it as I need to use my stash of recovered Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs.

Someone posted on Craigslist that they were selling old A&F catalogs. After failing to find a buyer, the owner offered them to a good home as long as they would be recycled, reused or repurposed. I convinced the owner that I would put them to good use.

These are business sized envelopes. I am constantly amazed at the images used in these catalogs. These envelopes have been very popular with my friends. I usually send them in glassine outer envelopes so the recipient can reuse the actual envelope.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #9--Dragon Eggs

For this challenge we were asked to do something "faux." I took the challenge on a different direction. Rather than create something that looked like something else (faux painting, faux metalwork, etc). I decided to go with something that is truly fake--in other words, something that doesn't exist (well at least MAYBE doesn't exist).

I decided to make dragon eggs (a la Game of Thrones Dragon Eggs).

I took some leftover goose eggs that I have been hoarding for Easter Eggs and covered them with decoupage paper (which is a very thin glassine type paper). I used techniques similar to washi eggs but instead, I simply cut the fringe as it was attached to the egg. I will provide a tutorial when time allows. I went with wild prints to add to the fantasy of Dragon Eggs.

I wonder what type of dragons will hatch from these beauties.