Monday, February 23, 2009

Needle Felting

I've been doing some needle felting lately. If I want to apply for the arts festival I need a few more things in my portfolio.

I did this the other night - it's a needle felting of one of my pictures. I think it turned out really good and I was pretty impressed with myself.
I have a pair of felted slippers that I'm about to sit down and embroider. I'm trying to get a bunch more of those done too.

We're getting pretty close to sending all my paperwork in. It seems every day we re-read what we need to send in and find something else we need to write or some other form we have to fill out. Today we realised that we need certified copies of birth certificates/passports from the people that wrote statutory declarations for us --- ugh! I went and did my criminal records check stuff last week and found out that I didn't actually need my finger prints taken. Oh well. I have them now in case I need them I guess. I'm hoping we can send everything off in about two weeks. We're also waiting on some pictures we ordered to come in (but if we're ready to send everything and those aren't here yet then we'll just send our forms off. We have some pictures and these were just going to be extra).

Other than that! I'm just trying to survive work until my boss makes it back on Friday. I'll be very happy when he's back and I'm not the boss any more!!

Temperature: -22C (feels like -32C)
Sunrise: 9:33am
Sunset: 6:42pm

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quilting Challenge

To add to my growing list of unfinished projects, I'm about to start another one... Our quilting guild is having a creative challenge and I'm taking part (because I'm crazy!!). The challenge is quilting a deck of cards. Each person takes as many cards they want (I took one to start) then they interpret the design how they want and turn it into a 6"x10" quilted piece.
Some people are translating the card literally onto the fabric and others are thinking a bit more outside the box. It should be interesting to see what we all come up with.

I ended up getting the ace of clubs and have finally planned my design and what I'm going to do. I ended up buying a bunch of wool felt to use instead of fabric (for some reason I'm less scared to work with felt than actual fabric?!) and I'm going to do some free motion quilting on it (yikes!) and maybe some needle felting.

So my task for tomorrow during quilting is going to be working on my free motion quilting. My machine is being kind of picky with the tension so I want to get all those issues worked out before I try it on my piece. I have a feeling that depending on my filler and the felt you might not actually be able to see a lot of my stitches so we'll see... I might pick a couple of colours I'm not going to use and see what things will look like.

Once I get all my pieces cut out and put down then I'll take a picture - I'll spare you the photos of my sketches (there are many!).

I'm still trying to figure out what my plans are for this summer... There's a family wedding and the arts festival but if I go to one I can't go to the other AND if I go to the wedding I'm probably not coming back up here (because I'll probably *hopefully* - be moving soon after that anyway and there's no sense spending money on plane tickets TWICE)...
We've started to buckle down and get my immigration forms sorted out. We're making lists of things we need and it seems right now the only thing that might take a while getting is my police clearance thing. Otherwise it's just up to us to write letters about our relationship, compile pictures and all that sort of stuff.. I'm hoping that we'll have all that stuff done by the time my police thing comes through so we can send everything. ugh... It's a lot of work and I'm paranoid about screwing it up...

Temperature: -6C
Sunrise: 10:11am
Sunset: 6:05pm

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fabric Dyeing Workshop pt. 2

Here are my results from the workshop:

I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Most of the pieces are lightly marbled (instead of a tie-dyed effect) which is quite nice (I was too lazy to take a picture of each individual colour). Today we did some two colour experimenting (ie: put one colour in the bottom of the cup, then the fabric, then pour another colour over top) and some people painted with the dyes. Rinsing all the colours took quite a while and then when we got home we put everything in the washer/dryer then ironed it.
I would love to do another workshop like this - I had fun doing the rainbow thing with the three primary colours and I think it would be fun to do more experimenting with different shades of red/yellow/blue.

I'm planning on making a colour wheel quilt (pattern in Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts) and have about half my fabric with what I have dyed. Hopefully it won't be too tedious to find the other half.

Here's a picture I took yesterday on my way home from the workshop:

Temperature: -35C
Sunrise: 10:42am
Sunset: 5:35pm

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fabric Dyeing Workshop pt. 1

We had our first day of our fabric dyeing workshop today - it was a lot of fun! I'm really excited to see how my fabric will turn out.

For the workshop we got a booklet that explained the process as well as "recipe cards" so we could make certain colours - or in our case - a rainbow of colours.
We started out making a basic rainbow that involved using 12 cups and mixing various amounts of 3 colours into them (red, blue, yellow). Some people used different shades of red, blue and yellow but for the first batch I stuck with true red/etc.

For our second batch we were encouraged to do our own thing (ie: more rainbows, doing mixes with two colours or making batches of specific colours). I chose to do another 12 cup rainbow but I used hot pink, bright blue and yellow. I'd like to do another one using a lighter blue.

As you can tell from the pictures - we uses plastic beer cups. They seemed to be large enough to fit our dye and our fabric (we were using an eighth of a yard - ie: a "fat eighth"). Some of the fabrics might have a kind of tie-dyed/marbled/mottled look depending on how much you scrunch and fold the fabric into the cup.

Tomorrow we're going to go back and rinse/fix the dyes and then start on more experimental things (ie: stretching a piece of fabric, putting dye on and then sprinkling salt on the dye, painting with the dyes etc).

It's all a great experiment and a lot different than what I'm used to with kool aid dyeing.

I'll update tomorrow with our results once I get home (and have a nap!).

Temperature: -27C
Sunrise: 10:46am
Sunset: 5:31pm

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dyeing Results

I took my swift and ball winder to sewing tonight to re-skein my newly dyed yarn. One of the reasons I did this was because we have good tables to clamp everything to (we only have a crappy card table here and it wobbles) and another reason is because I'm in a sewing funk. I have about a jillion projects on the go but don't feel like working on any of them. I'm getting a few new sewing books so hopefully that will help (they should be in the mail any day now!)

Re-skeining is my least favourite part about dyeing yarn (tedious!!) but it's SO rewarding when that blobbly skein turns into something really awesome. The skein on the right was a bit of an experiment - I was using powdered Ukrainian egg dye and I noticed it did funky things when I put it in the water (some spread out, some sunk, some sort of fizzled) so I put my skein in some water and just tapped dye on top of the water and let it do it's thing. I need to get some more yarn so I can fully try out my Ukrainan dyes. My mum's friend sent me one package of each colour.

Temperature: -34C
Sunrise: 11:03am
Sunset: 5:12pm