Monday, January 16, 2017

Cathedral Windows Mosaics

So, I've put together some online fabric pulls for the mosaic contest running over at Stitched in Color. The prompt was  Cathedral Windows, and it was really challenging for me.
Mosaic 1
I really struggled to get across the brilliant colors with the darkness and shadows...

Mosaic 2
So, I tried solids, with 'eh' results... 

I really prefer playing with fabric in person!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

My first Sampler quilt

I've decided to join along with the Penny Sampler over at Stitched in Color this year. I hemmed and hawed a bit, since I'm not sure I should be adding to my commitments, but the Penny Sampler won out. I've loved this quilt for a long time and I didn't want to miss my chance at making it. I've joined in the 12 month plan, so I could go slow and (hopefully) steady.

This weekend I've been playing with my color story. I decided to play with a vintage scrapy look. I made this pinterest board to get a feel for what I liked and didn't like.

Some of my favorites surprised me.

Found here 
The scrap factor on this quilt is crazy! But I really loved it. I like the pops of red, and all of the saturated colors. 

Found here 

The red on this one delighted me even more!

This inviting country-style bedroom is given a fresh flare with the pale grey damask wallpaper. Do you like the combination?:
found here
The dark colors mixed with brights drew me to this one. 

So I went though my fabric and pulled out anything that read vintage to me on first glance. 

The photo is kinda crummy but you get the idea.

I need to figure out solids to pair with what's I've pulled. I'm leaning towards some very light pastels, and some more 'faded' saturated colors in blue and green. I'd like to hear what anyone thinks! I'd love some input. 

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Creative Lull

I haven't been sharing here much lately, because I don't feel there is much to tell. My creative life has been buried under other duties and interests.

Over on Instagram (@teagancarnes) I've shared some of my fabric/creative life over the past couple of months, including participating in #30daysofquiltdesign hosted by @stitchedincolor. It's worth a look for sure. So many interesting and different designs, from modern to traditional. It was a blast to see everything that people posted.

Also, I did a holiday craft show back in November which monopolized much of my sewing time.

My vintage suitcase displaying my logo
 So much time was spent sitting and waiting for people to come to my booth, in a cold and dark hallway of a local high school. I didn't lose money on the show (like some of the people around me) but it was not worth my time.

Reusable Gift Bags
The main item I was trying to sell were reusable holiday gift bags (simple drawstring bags). I did sell out of one of the sizes, mainly by one buyer. So at least someone appreciated the idea.

Reusable holiday gift bows! (Christmas pins)
I also made over 100 of these Christmas pins, marketed to go with the drawstring bags. I sold around 25 total, which is probably because I had them under priced at only 1$. It is fun to get out the hot glue gun from time to time, and play around ribbons and trims. Unfortunately, most the people who would wear a Christmas pin, already have quite a few (since they tended to be older ladies with many years of shopping under their belt) and these did not sell as well as I hoped they would.

So, after this show I made the decision to call it quits. I'm not going to do craft shows. Mass producing one item is not my thing. I may try another holiday show next year, just to unload some of my current inventory, but overall I'm not going to be putting any more energy into this venture. I want my sewing time to be filled by what I like to sew, not what I think other people might like. 

It has been so freeing for me to give up on the idea of craft shows being profitable for me. I'm so glad that I decided to move on. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mosaic Contest Entry: Dreaming at Dusk

I love playing along with the Mosaic Contests at Stitched In Color. Here are my entries for the one running now, inspired by dusk. :) What do you think? I was disappointed with the selection of brown available, but overall I'm happy with how they turned out. I love the blue's I found. :)

Number One

I think of the first as a snapshot as the sun is sinking, and then of number two a snapshot taken just a few moments later as the sun is even more gone. 

Number Two

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Video Game Mishap

Oh, I've been feeling drained lately.

I've been getting my household in order (something I'm not very good at, or interested in) and it has been taking it out of me. I also have been dealing with a new medication that makes me sleepy (I seemly randomly came down with hives). This means my energy for playing, and creating, has been seriously depleted.

I did however manage to try out another folk flower idea, this time as applique instead of a linocut.

Folk Flower

I up cycled a beat up red sundress for the petals. Once I got it all together and stitched up I realized what the flower looked like. It resembles the flowers that try to eat you when I go down pipes in the Mario Bros video games. Oops. My hope for this project was to enjoy the act of creating and trying something new. That I succeed at. My future hopes for this little art quilt are currently unknown, since I'm feeling a bit deflated about it's unintentional connection to Mario and Luigi. 

I've been doing some thrift shopping this week, and I was excited to find two yards of adorable vintage corduroy. (For 1.50$ !!!)

Frogs, and bugs, and flowers, oh my!

I am hoping to find the perfect project for this delightful fabric soon. It's super soft, and the creatures are beyond delightful. Idea's welcome!

Hopefully I'll get back into a routine of creating regularly soon. I really miss it. 

Linked up at Off the Wall friday

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Some Simple Patchwork

In Michigan, August is a very hot and very humid month. My sewing has slacked a bit, since my sewing room is not air conditioned, and is in the upper level of our home, making it even warmer.

Once the heat of summer becomes unbearable, we put a large window ac unit in a main level window, put up curtains and close doors, and are able to cool our main living spaces- living room, dining room and kitchen- to an acceptable temperature.

This lead me to set up my Singer Featherweight on the kitchen table, and decide on some simple patchwork that wouldn't require frequent trips to my cutting mat and design board that reside in the sweltering heat of my sewing room.

4" patchwork squares

So I quickly, in the brief coolness of morning, cut up some 4 inch patchwork squares. I had some Kona Lake and Kona Petunia on hand from my previous project (my friend's wedding dress) and a dress that didn't fit me that a friend gave me because it didn't fit her. So I cut it up! The pattern is pretty exciting, so I felt good about pairing it with the pastel colors.

It came together quickly, and it was just the little bit of mindless sewing that I needed to fill in these hot summer days. It's a baby sized quilt top, and I think I know a little girl to gift it to this winter. It was a bit challenging at times, working with the reclaimed dress fabric, because I decided to optimize the amount of fabric while cutting by disregarding the grain of the fabric. So some of the seams are on the bias, however with simple patchwork it's not as big a deal.

Finished quilt top dancing in the morning sun. 

Now, I'm left pondering how to finish it. I might tie it. I'm just not sure!

I've been enjoying playing along with #30daysofquiltdesign at Stitched in Color these past weeks. It's been fun getting out the crayons and graph paper, and just going at it. 

Day 12, my latest

It's been really fun seeing what everyone else is coming up with over on Instagram under the #30daysofquiltdesign hashtag. Modern stuff, traditional stuff, low tech, high tech, it's a blast. 

In other news, I discovered a volunteer moss rose in my backyard. It was just the delight that I needed this morning. 

Bright in the morning light 

I am working on some embroidery today, with hopes of using it to guide my thoughts and prayers. I am hoping to use my hands to ground my heart and mind. That sounds super weird, but really I'm not as crazy as I seem. :)


Linked up at Off the Wall friday, and NTT.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My Scariest Project

I realize that the title of this post may lead some to believe that I have started to prepare for the Halloween season, but alas, that is not the case.

I just finished one of the biggest, most overwhelming, and scariest projects that I have ever taken on. I should also mention that it was delightful, but sometimes the delight is in retrospect with these types of things.

So, what did I make?

A wedding dress, for a beloved friend.


When my friend texted me in May, letting me know she was getting married, and that she was going with the theme Rainbow Steampunk (I will admit I first thought it was a joke), I started to volunteer my creative services all over the place. Wedding dress! Bridesmaid dresses! Wedding cake! Centerpieces! Steampunk Gadgetry!

My friend was wise, and cut me off, allowing me to focus on her dress and the bridesmaid dresses. She has known me a long time, and knows that once my excitement dies down, my nerves flare up.

One of the very first things I did, was pick out her colors for the dress. She wanted a rainbow, but it was still a wedding dress, so I went pastel.

My Kona color swatches being put to good use.

This was my inspiration dress. My friend was going for fairy with a edge of steampunk, so I knew I would be adding in elements of metal. I used good sense when I decided to purchase a corset that fit my friend to embellish, instead of starting entirely from scratch. I realized rightly, that this was not the time to figure out how to make a corset, even though I spent a fair amount of time online researching the process before coming to my wise decision. Someday maybe, not now.

I took my friend's measurements, added scraps of batting to a dress form to make it roughly the size of my friend, and went at it. Slowly. I was very intimidated. Especially since everyone who asked what I was working on gave me a crazy, you are in over your head, look when I told them I was sewing a wedding dress. I began calling it "a costume for my friend who was getting married." It was way less frightening to think of it in this way. 

I decided to keep the colors in rainbow order, but she wanted green and purple to be the most prominent, as she has green eyes. So I played around with color placement...

And then finalized and stitched it all down. 



After getting the color layer in place, I began to play with adding in more texture, and what I began to call 'bits and bobs.' One special feature that I included was a locket, draped pocket watch style, that allowed her to carry a loved one who has passed on with her on her wedding day.

Many elements changed from this state

The pocket made for the locket includes lace from her mother, and sisters' wedding dress. There is a little vial of mustard seeds, in reference to Matthew 17:20.

I was so grateful that (a) she loved it, and (b) it fit! Overall I was very pleased. And very relived that I was done, in time for her nuptials! 

My hope in making this dress, was that my love for her, and my happiness for her, would be with her as she walks into her new life as a wife. That being able to give her something unique and handmade, just for her, would be a reminder of the special life God has planned, just for her. 

It was an honor to make this, and stretching in all the best ways. I am ready to play with some patchwork though, after being preoccupied with dresses for a while! 


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I am a 30 something mother of two young boys, and wife to a fine man. I live in Saginaw, Michigan, and I have lived in Michigan (mainly western Michigan) my whole life. So, I have all that happening in my life, but I've always been a maker of things. Jewelry, paper crafts, origami, sewing, knitting, crocheting, pretty much anything that has struck my fancy. I've even ventured lately out of traditional crafts into the art realm of things. Yikes! #idontknowwhatimdoing