Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book for a 1 year old = Kai

I am going to preface this with a quote from a recent Quiltart post.

Lorraine Edmond Nov 22 at 11:46 PM
"I belong to an art quilt group that has an event called a Showcase (formerly show-and-tell, I think). If you bring a piece to show, you sign 
up on a clipboard, and check one of two categories. One category is “I just want to show you this” and the other is for (respectful) critique. Everyone knows what the expectations are. Skillful critique is something of an art in itself, but if that is not the objective, better that everyone knows it going in.

Thank you Lorraine.  Sometimes I just want to share what I am doing.  Especially when, at this time, it is not a quilt, it is also not a work of art.  It is however very precious to me.  Hopefully to the recipient also.

I had multiple problems with making this little book.  Printing problems were helped with encouragement from Gloria Hansen.  Thank you very much Gloria.  The other major problem was that I did not have a working sewing machine.  Finally, I do have one machine that sort of works.  Not wonderfully, but it will sew a little.

This is a little cloth book for my first cousin twice removed = the grandson of my first cousin Tom.  He is my closest communicating relative so it is very important to me to keep up this conversation.

I carefully cut out each page as exactly as I could.  [However as you notice, the end product does have a lot of misalignment.] Then printed the images after they were 'worked' in both Picasa and Paint.  I have no typesetting applications because the typesetting I had on my old machine was on a 3.5" floppy disk.  This was frustrating because I could only look at a page at a time with no reference to text size.

This was however, a labor of LOVE.

The page edging is longer at one end to facilitate turning/finding a page.
The 'loop' at the top is for carrying the book around.  This is similar to the book I made for my other 'First Cousin Twice Remove = Alex'.

However, I found a lot more animals starting with 'A' than 'K'.

Back page - Cover page

Page 2-3

Page 4-5

Page 6-7

Page 8-9

Page 10-11

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Printing problem with my Epson Workforce 1100

Once again I am frustrated with this printer.  Love the ink; hate the printing process.  
I love the ink because for children's books, it is permanent against most everything.  Those gooey pages can be lightly sponged clean.  This is why I use it for these little books I make.

Since my black ink showed problematic signs, I installed a new black cartridge in the spot where the printer said that one was empty.  Not sure why it was empty because it had very little use.  Nevertheless, I want to get this working so that I might print a 'book' for my first cousin twice removed who turned one in September.  I usually send it for the first birthday.  Obviously I am tardy.  Now, I am just plain frustrated.  Christmas is coming, so I want to get this gift to this little boy before the holiday's become overwhelming.

Problem is that after the new cartridge and the cleaning, I got a worse mess.  Why?  Also, the cleaning used so much ink, my new color cartridges are now down almost 25%.  Not good, because the cartridge goes bad after it gets about 80-90%.

Last time I printed it cost me ~ $100 for 12 finished pages + some leftover ink.  Of course since I do not print very often, that ink dries up. 

Just got a message that my filled blue cartridge is now empty.  NO.  It is not.

I would very much appreciate some solution suggestions.  Also, since I rarely print, is there some way I can keep my ink from drying out?  I'm thinking perhaps I should take them out of the printer and put them in a plastic bag.

Frustrated in Maine where it is 67 with a steady rain.  Eerily warm for this time of year.  Then I looked at the coast of Southern California = 100 degrees +/-.  Scary weather.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Power of the Sun

I know the sun is a powerful means of creating energy in terms of solar energy.  I am very happy about that because we need to get off fossil fuels.

I also know/knew the sun had the power to take color out of fabrics.  However, I did not know how much until I went into a partially finished bedroom, only used for summer guests because coming to Maine in the winter is not on anyone's list of things to do. I used the fitted sheet to cover the whole bed. This way when visitors were expected, I could remove this sheet and use all the protected pillows, covers beneath it.

These last few years I've been battling some personal physical problem, so not any guests.  My dear cousin Tom and his lovely wife Carla, stayed at The Brunswick Inn which is only 2 short blocks from my house.  After their visit I thought I should take a peek at this room to see what was going on.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  See below.

100% cotton sheet

It is faded in the center from the sun.  The edges are faded from a few washings. This sheet lost its color rather quickly.  As I did more investigation, it seems yellow dye does not last as well as others.  This is the first time I purchased dark colored sheets.  In the future, I will only use white fabrics in this south-east facing bedroom because of the sun fading.

100% Cotton Sheet

The fading here is where it was not covered by something else.

?% Not Cotton Fabric

This fabric has some amount of polyester because I did the burn test.  I do not know how much, if any is cotton.  What I found really interesting is how the dyes faded = yellow and orange disappeared.  However, bits of blue and brown remained.  I would love to know what pigments are in those colors on this fabric because my future bedroom has south-west orientation.

It looks like white would be the safest.  However, I am going to do a test on the blue linen fabric that I would LOVE to use.  Notice that the blue in this fabric is still visible even where the yellow values are gone.

I do hope this helps in your future fabric choices where the sun is involved.

I will NOT be hanging any art quilts in this room because of the probably sun damage.  Not sure what art I will use because any dye/color will fade.  I am thinking even the color of wood would/could be bleached out by the sun.

Does anyone have experience with fabric paints and their resistance to the sun?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another Baby = Another 'I Spy' Quilt

My closest active family contact is my cousin Tom's wife Carla.  I think after 50 years of marriage, she is now my legal cousin.  So this family is very important to me.  On January 1, 2011, their second son, Andrew was married to Karen in Monterrey,  California.  On September 15, 2016, their first child was born; a 7 pound 13 ounce boy who they named Kai Cafferty.  This is the quilt I made for him.  Although sent long ago, I'm just now finding the time to post.

Hiles-Oster Baby Blanket [Quilt]

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

Because they live close to the beach in California, I made this a bit larger than the usual baby quilt.  It also has air as a filling, cotton flannel backing with very light 'quilting'.    All the seams were stitched down before the layers were put together.  I stitched the layers together with a multi colored thread, top and bottom. This will keep them nice and flat through all the washing a beach blanket gets.  I arranged them in groups of 4 so that it would not be a complete jumble.  The hope is that it will be easier to look at one square at a time so as to learn the names of the objects in that square.  Definition aids in this process.

Not great art.  Definitely great FUN for a child.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Tabard with a Message

Like many people, I've been very upset about the choices between the major party candidates.  Luckily, I found the GREEN PARTY.  As a Quaker, I am very interested in PEACE.  The GREEN PARTY, in my view , is also the PEACE PARTY.  The more I learned, the more I became an advocate.  The Green Party takes no money from any 'pacs' or corporations or anyone who wants to influence the party.  The only money comes from small donations from individuals like me.  Thus, no multi millions to spend on big ads on the internet.  No promos on major networks every night.   Because the pollsters, major parties, and BIG MONEY want to keep this option out of the lime light, I decided to make a tabard with a message.  At least the folks in my small town will get an idea that there is something else.  

Tabard back

I hate it when a long message appears on the front.  I am not comfortable with people staring at my front.  I also think people will look at your back for a long time.  Many are a bit uncomfortable staring at a woman's front for any length of time.  Therefore, my major message is on the back.  

Techniques:  I printed values on a light green fabric.  They are supposed to be BLACK.  I've been having a lot of problems with my Workforce 1100.  However, help does not seem to something available anymore.  I gave up on getting them black.  Printed what I could.  This turned out to be gray.  Then the fabric was fused to a backing for added stiffness.

I shape some in the form of leaves; others in the form of petals.  As I finished off the edges, I inserted florist wire so that I could shape them later.  This was problematic.  Hard to do, plus turned out to crimp very easily.  However, once done, I drew my pattern in chalk, experimented with layouts, one below, then proceeded to attach the rick-rack stem, then the petals and leaves.  I only sewed down the petals and leaves on one side.  I wanted dimension.  Lastly I attached the photo after fusing it on a heavy backing + extra cotton batting.  I am very happy with that part.

The words in white, both front and back, were stenciled.  The 'G' as part of the emblem, was screen printed.  

Not so happy with quilting around all of these 3 dimensional additions.  Hard to get very close because the projections got in the way.  I did manage to get the whole thing quilted quite well.  It is rather stiff, which I wanted.  

Tabard Front

This does not lay flat because I eased some fabric, after quilting, while I did the facing.  I wanted some extra room in the bust area.  It worked.  I was very happy with my 'Green Party' emblem until I took the photo.  The 'G' is not quite straight.  It is soo well stitched down, it will not be changed.

Tabard Layout

This is a view of the finished product.  It really does get peoples attention.

Tabard- First Layout

The first prints were way too large.  Not sure what I will do with these.  For now, they are just in a pile.  Suggestions welcomed.

One of Many Petal Layouts

Interested in learning more about the Green Party?