Monday, November 26, 2007

The Valley of the Doll

I began my doll project by studying various patterns and books. My doll is made from a basic body pattern I found in an old Dover book. She has yarn looped hair, which was very tedious to make until I went and got large utility needles. Other than needles, I haven't needed a lot of new supplies.

Her face is embroidered and is a variation on the pattern's doll face. I think in the future I'll go for smaller eyes. These are a bit scary. I'm starting to keep a sketch book of face drawings, and I now look at fashion magazines with new eyes. Certain combinations of hairdos and clothes can call up very specific characters.
Because I want to make my doll an adult, I amended the body by giving her some boobs. I have some old doll clothes patterns that I edited to make her a blouse. Because of those boobs, that blouse is going to need darts. (That blur in the photo is my cat design consultant Bunny)
I found the perfect color for her blouse. One cool thing about making dolls is that you can get a blouse out of a fat quarter.
This blue blouse is an important part of her character. Stay tuned to see how she comes along.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

100th post!

I missed my two-year blogaversary last month, but I did notice that this is my 100th post. Blogging has been a very useful way for me to keep in touch with old and new fiber friends. I do enjoy the on-going exchange with all of you, I just wish I had time to post more frequently. But for the sake of celebrating this milestone, I'm going to have a drawing. I'll put the names of any commenters to this month's posts in a hat and I'll send the winner a goodie bag. Make sure to comment!

These before and after images show what I did with a quilt top that was hanging in my closet unfinished. I originally planned for it to be a table cloth, but on second thought I decided to expand it into a throw. It went from about 50x50 to about 60x70. I plan to give it to a niece for her birthday next year.
I've got similar plans for this quilt top:
Once finished, it will be a throw for my other niece's birthday. I love the cheerful polka dots in these fabrics.

After mulling it over, I've decided to make a few dolls. It's a different process from quilt making, for me anyway. I like to improvise a lot when designing quilts, but I find that I need to settle on a concept before beginning a doll.

I've been collecting patterns and books, so I'm getting a feel for some of the alternative styles of doll bodies that can be made from fabric. The materials themselves are, of course, the same as for quilting, and hence, very familiar. This particular doll will be an adult, and not a child, so I may tweak this body a bit. Other than that, her character is going to be mostly rendered through her clothes. Check back and see who surfaces.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Caprice (50x50)

I finished my little quilt from the rummage sale box, and I found its title, Caprice, by scanning the titles of Doris Day movies. This wasn't one of her better known flicks, but the era, the late 60s, was what I was looking for, and the name fits. I like the whimsical quality of this quilt. Just what I need for a grey fall day.
Allie Aller was brave and posted pics of her studio space mid-project. It's interesting the controlled chaos that is required to produce art. I'm only showing my space because I just gave it a thorough cleaning, so it's presentable for company.

This is a spare bedroom in my house. The wall where the sewing machine is separates the sewing room from my daughter's bedroom, so I usually don't run the machine if she's asleep. Otherwise, this is the perfect space. I've got my sewing machine on an old desk+dresser combo that I bought used (of course). The drawers are not very sturdy, but it's fine for holding fabric. The work table is in a new position after the room overhaul. I like this spot by the window, and if I'm not too rushed in the morning, I'll sit here and drink my coffee and look at what's on the design wall in front of me. The big dresser is a recent addition. I needed more storage and this allowed me to organize my supplies better.
When I finish this quilt I'm going to re-position my design wall by moving it out from behind the dresser. My design wall is a flannel sheet that's been upholstery tacked to the top of the wall for years now. It's worked great. This quilt is one of a group of projects I made awhile back, but haven't finished. Many of these need final borders and I'm trying to finish as many of these as possible. This one's being given extra blocks and a more definitive border.
Behind the ironing board is the closet which was my original sewing room. When I first moved into this house, this was the kids' t.v. room, and I had a table in this closet with my one sewing machine and all my supplies for quilting. Needless to say, this whole operation has expanded quite a bit.
I finally pulled the table out of there and installed shelves for various WIPs and supplies. That sack of rice is not a spillover from the kitchen, but I use it to make neck warmers.
On the other side of the closet I hang my UQOs (unquilted objects) many of which are waiting for final border decisions. I've got at least 3 bed-sized quilts that have their backings sewn and are ready to be pin basted. I keep larger pieces of yardage up top, and some of my remaining magazine stash. When I cleaned out this room, I got rid of several boxes of old magazines that I just don't have room for anymore.

Finally graduated from the almost-done closet is my Japanese Ladies quilt.
After Debra and I worked out a swap, it has gone to live at her house after a long limbo hanging with the almost-finished quilts. Life is more adventurous for all of us when we expand ourselves and leave the closet.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...