Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Canada-Style

My friend, Joyce had a "special" birthday in May. (I'll let her tell you just how special it was!) Joyce is Canadian, and loves to have tea parties. So for her birthday party, she threw a tea party for 60 people! She is such a "Very High Class" woman/quilter/friend.

To celebrate this special birthday, I made her this small mug rug, using the Canadian flag for the center motif. Joyce lives here in the good ole USA, but retains her Canadian ties.

It wasn't a very hard project. I simply Googled (don't you like when the name of a company become a verb!) "paper-piece-Canadian-flag." I came up with a very straight-forward design on this website. I have to say that I was excited about making this, because I absolutely love Canada's flag! Its two-color design (I also like Switzerland's flag), its simplicity, and the fact that the motif is from nature. (Your national anthem is great, too. "Oh, Canada...") Red and white are such striking colors to work with! I used Kona cottons for this project. The photo below shows the relative size of the mug rug, sitting beside a pen.

For the back I could have gone simple and used either the red or the white fabric, or used one of my red-and-white prints. But I was having fun, so I decided to free-style piece the back together. I started with a base of muslin and started slapping down various size fabric pieces onto it.

Then a simple quilting to highlight the leaf, some red binding, and I was done.

Happy Birthday, Joyce!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Little Bit of a Landscape

Here's a little landscape that I made several months ago in a class. We drew our scene, then made templates out of plastic which can be ironed over. It was a good way to get some nice, smooth curves.

All the pieces were sewn onto the background muslin by hand. I'm not sure why this took me so long to get around to quilting. And it took me forever, and a lot of experimenting, to decide how I was going to quilt it. The whole thing is only about 5" by 8" big! It shouldn't have been this difficult!

I have to admit that I'm still not done, though. I'm going to try mounting it on an artists' canvas, just because I've never done that before.

I used this zig-zag method for binding the tiny little thing--that was new for me, too. I think it looks kind of nice; I used a green variegated thread for that.

I'll keep you posted on the next step!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Welcome Sight

I was walking down the sidewalk in San Francisco the other day, and happened to notice this little, unobtrusive sign.

"We Welcome Reusable Bags."

This sign really made my day! I abhor plastic bags, and the environmental damage they cause. Slowly, it seems, some places are making strides to reduce the use of plastic bags. Although sometimes I feel like clerks don't appreciate it when I bring my own bag. It's probably not as easy to fill as their standard bags.

But this small sign brightened my day. It was only about 4 or 5 inches square. I'd love to see more and more of them!

It was in the door of a Vietnamese restaurant/carry-out. The restaurant was closed at the time, which is why there are bars obstructing the view.

Remember to carry your reusable bags with you. If you need a pattern to make them, there are simple instructions at The Green Bag Lady.