Coloring <3

I love coloring. I always have. I recently decided that I wanted to color, gosh darnit, and so I would get some coloring books and colored pencils.

Since I live in a rural area, I can’t get coloring books at local stores. When I looked on Amazon, everything I found was $10-$15 bucks (in yen… I was buying from JP Amazon, but whatever). I balked a bit at that, but the desire to color was strong and I bit the bullet. Thankfully, it turns out that all of these books are well worth the price. Continue reading

Changing Tides Fiber Art Shop

Changing Tides in Juneau isn’t technically a hole-in-the-wall shop, since it’s on the second floor of a building full of shops. I found it via a street-level window display.

Changing Tides Street-Level Window Display

It’s also a little bigger than what I consider hole-in-the-wall. But as it caters to cross stitching and needlepoint as well as quilting, it’s plenty cramped for one. Continue reading

RainTree Quilting

While I was in Juneau for Kyle’s wedding, I visited two quilt shops. I wanted to visit at least one, so Ash pulled up the GPS app on his iPhone and we went to the first one on the list. That was RainTree Quilting.

RainTree Quilting

RainTree Quilting is located off of Mendenhall Loop Road. A few trees separate it from the street, but the store itself has enough front windows to give the place a light, airy feel. They have a show room and a class room, with completed quilts hanging in each. The fabric selection reminds me of what Quilt Tree carries here in Anchorage, in terms of color values and the types of patterns they carry, though there were fewer oriental fabrics.

The owner was in that day, with one employee. Both were friendly and helpful; we got to chatting a bit about Anchorage quilt stores and quilt tourism in general. I may be only starting quilt store touring, but they said that people come through from all over. They were fine with me taking pictures (though many of them came out poorly). I ended up cutting both the picture taking and the chatting short, though, because Ash and Patti were demonstrating signs of boredom, eventually retreating to the car.

I’ve decided that I will get a fat quarter of some green fabric and a yard of something else nifty from each quilt store I visit in my travels. From RainTree Quilting, I took away a bright green fat quarter with a scratchy/speckly pattern and a dark blue batique with a dog sledding pattern on it. It’s possible I could have gotten that same batique from The Quilted Raven in Anchorage, but I wasn’t sure and it really appealed to me while I was there.

Fabric Purchased at RainTree Quilting

I found my visit to RainTree Quilting a pleasant experience, and recommend the place highly. More pictures can be found on Flickr.

Work in Progress: My First Quilt (Top)

I have completed my first patchwork quilt top! It’s actually been completed for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t get around to taking pictures of it quickly.

Ta da!

I cut three 2.5″ squares from each of 40 different fabrics, which I put in a bag. After shaking the bag until they were thoroughly mixed, I pulled them out, stacked them, and made rows of ten squares each by pulling them off the stack. I didn’t count how many fabrics I used; I’m lucky it came out in a number divisible by ten — I had no squares left over. Once it was all sewn together, I took my mish-mash to The Quilt Tree and picked out the border fabric. (Thank you, Shannon, for advice about the color).

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The Birth of a Quilt Log

I went to the Loussac Library‘s fall book sale last weekend. I was hoping to find good Japanese reading material, but they were pretty much cleaned out on that. I did find some quilt books, though. I only ended up with one because this one lady snapped up every quilt book but the one I was holding while I was flipping through it to decide if I actually wanted it or not. I’m very happy with my one book, though.

nqandpd

The copyright on this book is over twenty years old, and there doesn't seem to be a newer edition. What would you call it, anyway -- The New New Quilting and Patchwork Dictionary?

The New Quilting and Patchwork Dictionary by Rhoda Ochser Goldberg is a nice quilting resource book. The first third or so of the book is information on different quilting supplies and techniques. Concise introductions all around. The rest of the book is quilt block patterns built on grids to make drawing them out at any size for templates a piece of cake. There are pre-drawn templates for basic geometric shapes at the back, right before the quilt block index.

The real gem in this book, though, is page 1, which I’m sharing with you.

quiltlog

Click for legible size. It's worth the read.

A quilt log! Plans for quilts to make in the near future and others to make eventually when I have the appropriate skill have been circling around my head and scattered through text files on my desktop since I first bought cloth. A quilt log gives me a single place to keep all that information, in addition to the above-mentioned benefits. You’d think something as simple as a quilt log wouldn’t be that important for posterity, but between my recent world history class and having a genealogist for a friend-sister, I’ve come to realize just how important such things are to really understanding the people of a given era and area. I’m not exactly representative of the average, I don’t think (one of the pages going into my quilt log is for a fussy-cut Super Mario Bros. quilt I’m planning for the distant future, for instance), but maybe that’ll make my quilt log more interesting to anyone who bothers to read it later.

Like the author of the book, I’ve opted to keep a three-ring binder. I will (hopefully) fill it to overflowing at some point in the future and have to split my log into multiple binders and/or transfer it to a bigger binder. For now, however, I’m using one of my ridiculously old binders that I’ve been keeping since middle school — or maybe earlier — simply because it’s a shame to throw away a good one.

logouter

The shark and headless horseman stickers glow in the dark.

loginner

Behold the power of adolescent doodles!

Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters 2009 Quilt Show

The local quilters guild, the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters, runs a quilt show every September. This years started yesterday and ends today, running from 10 AM to 4 PM with their silent small quilt auction ending at two and a raffle quilt being given away at 3:30.

And if you like quilts, you should go.

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First Visit to Quilt Tree

I finally got off my duff and walked over to Quilt Tree this evening. Up ’til today I had gone exclusively to Seams Like Home due to its extremely close proximity to my place of work. (Well, except for one after-hours fail attempt to hit the quilt shop in Eagle River with my sister.)

I didn’t realize before going there that Quilt Tree is a combined quilting and yarn crafts shop. And they don’t waste any space. They have bolts of cloth on top of shelves and leaning against shelves on the floor, leaving just enough space to peruse. I didn’t wander into the yarn section — though I probably should have, since I need some supplies for my Halloween costume — but it looked just as crammed as the cloth half of the store.

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Work in Progress: Final Fantasy Tissue Box Cover

In the process of working my way up in difficulty to the needlepoint projects I daydream about, I am making a tissue box cover. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever done plastic canvas needlepoint has done at least one of these, and by the time I finish this project I will be no exception. Mine is a simple display of characters from the original Final Fantasy for the NES. The order in which they appear on the box is semi-inspired by 8-bit Theater. I’ve got the fighter and black mage on one long side of the cover, with the white mage and monk on the other long side. The thief and the red mage each have a panel of their own. The final product will have physical and magical damage dealers alternating all the way around the box.

Check out this Final Fantasy plastic canvas album on Flickr for more and larger images.

Final Fantasy plastic canvas pattern
The pattern I made on my computer for one of the long sides.
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Getting Into Plastic Canvas, Part 2 – Testing Things

In my previous post on plastic canvas needlepoint, I talked a bit about what it is and what people have done with it. In this post, I chronicle the embarkation of my journey toward understanding what all can be done with it, and how. You can find larger versions of all pictures shown here on Flickr.

How the Internets Have Failed Me

For the most part, the coolest things I’ve seen don’t seem truly inspired.  I don’t mean to dis them here… they’re really quite nifty. And a small percentage are downright fantastic.

But here we sit on all the possibilities of three-dimensional stitch work, and people make plain boxes. Some of the boxes are very nice. Some incorporate a little bit of extra three-dimensional-ness in the form of sewing one or more flat, decorational panels to the outside. The bulk of them are just plain ol’ squares.

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