Monday, December 28, 2009

Needle felting makes a "cameo appearance".

I have been going crazy trying to find time to do this project! I love needle felting, and now you can fall in love too. I have the "felting mat" (which looks more like a grooming brush for my horse) and the felting needle tool available on my Open Sky sore. I only mention this because after seeing Martha Stewart do a demo on her show, I had some difficulty finding these tools. These are not her tools, but they work the same. You can use wool felt, shrunken (felted by the hot water wash and hot drying process) wool sweaters and vintage blankets, or even plain old felt from the craft department. That's fine for a tree skirt or a x-mas stocking, but for a pillow or a project that will get more day to day manhandling you may want something more durable and lasting. Wool felt is actually quite luxurious!
Cut the wool shape to be appliqued onto the background fabric.
Cut the background fabric the same size as the pillow you are using- if you are making a pillow. So, 16" x16" if you have a 16"x 16" pillow.
Start felting the cut shape by placing it where you want it on the background fabric and place this over the felting mat.
Start in the center and work out toward the edges.
If you have the finer point needle tool use this at the edges of your silhouette as shown.
You will begin to see how to the two fabrics start to mesh together and get fuzzy on the back side. (I rather like this ghostly effect on the reverse side, too.)
When the appliqued silhouette is completely at one with the other fabric, you can sew the felt squares wrong sides together, leaving one side open.
Squeeze the pillow in and stitch up the fourth side. Trim the edges with a pinking shears. Felt doesn't fray! YEAH! Dress her up with a vintage pin or earring.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Create a family heirloom.

I got this idea from some place mats i saw at Anthropologie. Strips of vintage lace are stitched together with some strips of muslin. Stamp a message with archival fabric safe ink. I think a set of place mats might be overwhelming, but a lacey table runner is perfect for winter tables. Quick construction, no edges to finish of. If you are worried about unraveling, use some fray stop on the raw edges. It is a nice compliment to my pottery pieces made by my friend Maeera Mougin.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gone fishing.

I think I was inspired by our recent trip to Nashville with this last project. My husband Tim was doing a video project with our friends Gary and Linda Shiebler. Gary is an incredibly talented singer/song writer in the Americana Country style. They took us fishing in between video shoots and while it wasn't salmon we were catching- in fact I caught nothing but "rays"- I thought some quilted fish would be fun. Since I have been on a potholder kick, (super holiday gift that is always appreciated!), I combined it with some cedar planks to go and a little baggie of brown sugar rub. Check my archives for the video on how to do this yourself. Or, you can get the kits from me...

Friday, December 11, 2009

The workshop has been busy.

I have neglected my posts and for that I apologize. I have been so busy getting ready for the holidays, but at last, I seem to have things under control... for the moment! The month started out silk screening 120 towels for a fundraiser. My friend, the talented ceramist Maeera Mougin, enlisted me to collaborate on this special project. Kate McGarrigal (folk singers The McGarrigal Sisters), mother to Martha and Rufus Wainright (and a few others?), had created a concert to raise funds for cancer research. Last year it was a holiday concert at Carnegie Hall, and this year it was at the Royal Albert Hall in London! It was a huge success, and V.I.P. guests like Annie Lennox, Boy George, Tim Burton and Helena Bonhem -Carter received a goodie bag that included a soapdish, soap and linen hand towel, embossed with a lovely drawing that Kate did herself. What an incedibly talented family! The "Little Ski Girl" was inspired by cookies that Kate bakes every Christmas. In fact she was a guest on "Martha" last year- you can make them yourself! We wish Kate luck in raising millions of dollars for this important research, and send love and payers her way in her own fight with cancer. FYI, my dining room/print shop is finally back to normal.
Then it was back to work for the big Sis Boom Bash! About 40 pot-holders, 10 tree skirts, and a herd of bobby horses later, and we were off and running. Thank you to all of Jennifer's loyal followers for coming out and boosting the economy. It's always so much fun- more like a party than a sale, really.
Woman's Day Magazine featured my hobby horse and published a pattern- without giving me credit OR asking permission... but in the spirit of giving- I hope it brings someone some joy out there! And, of course, I'm flattered.
In between there have been a few gift fairs, and now, silence. I have a slew of orders before Christmas, but I should be able to squeeze in a few batches of Kate's Ski cookies myself. Feels good to be home, not rushing out the door. Baby, it's cold outside!