Fiber Art DOTW - Week 5
The month really flew by quickly. It seems really quick to me anyway - maybe keeping myself busy with these projects helps. Good too, because that means we’re one month closer to Spring! If you haven’t been following my DOTW personal challenge, read this post first (week 1), which will help explain everything.
See the previous weeks here: Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
Instead of doing clothes this week, I decided to tackle this “fat quarter bag” that I came across and looked pretty cool on the picture, and I had these batik fabrics that were gifted to me a year ago for my batik hexie quilt project as well as a bolt of bright orange cotton fabric that I needed to find use for. I don’t need that much of each color for the hexies, because I want to mix it up, finding batik fat quarters as I go, so I knew I could use some for this project. This site, by the way, is a goldmine - it’s nothing but free sewing patterns! I didn’t realize the sheer size of this thing, even reading the cut list. Probably not a bad thing though. If I created a smaller bag that attaches to the handle so I don’t lose my things like keys, wallet, phone in there, I could see myself using this as an every day bag. Going grocery shopping, going to the library, etc. A bag to carry my reusable bags (for which I also have a pattern which look similar to the Baggu bags that I love and use). I wasn’t sure about the orange lining, but I think it goes really well with it! The only thing I did different is the pattern says to use the same material from the lining as the handles, but I had a remnant that I thought would be a better match.
A week in and it’s already proven itself useful. I had other obligations I needed to tend to, one of which required me to be somewhere for an hour, so I was able to bring a project with me. Later on, when I needed to run an errand, I decided to pick some fast food up on the way home, and it came in handy to help me carry the fast food freeing up my hands to carry the drinks. Not bad.
After last week’s post where I mentioned I wanted to make more Little Prince themed things, I had the idea to make a Little Prince planner cover! I had just dyed up some blue last week that happens to be the same color as the cover, and I already had grey that matched the planet. As much as I love the little prince, this will be going in my shop since I already have a planner cover I use (the first one I ever made) - maybe someday I’ll upgrade to a new one, but for now it works.
These aren’t just for planners, though. I personally happen to use it with my Hobonichi cousin, but it will fit any A5 book that’s under an inch thick. So you can use planners like the Hobonichi, bullet journals, or even sketchbooks, art journals or watercolor journals. I even made myself a travel watercolor palette using the Peerless watercolor cards that fits perfectly in one of the pockets.
Since I was on a roll, I decided to knock out another cover - this one for a dear friend of mine. I’d promised a few of my friends planner covers, after which I’ll be filling up my shop with more of them. I want to try knocking out at least one or two per week. Normally I’m not a fan of wet felting (and I do want to try making one on the felting machine and see how that looks), because it does a number on my back, but since I got the boot mat it seems to help speed up the process and eliminate the need for rolling. One-to-two a week should give my back enough time to recuperate.
I finished off the last of the black row, and went to work on the final white chain stitch at the top. That ended up being a disaster - it kept twisting on me! I was going to try to start over by cutting off the stitches, but accidentally cut one of the picots in the process. Glued the picot back together and, well, I’m calling this one done. I did find a favorite way of sewing in the edges - rather than pushing the needle under the tight stitches I just weave them in between. It’s hardly noticeable, far less than the mangled mess left after fighting the needle through.
For the tie-off, I used a flat cord. I tried using a leather cord but it was too stiff and bulky. This definitely works better, though I need to crimp the ends to keep it from fraying. I would like to look up other ways to make the back prettier, but for now it works.
Since the yarn on the corespun I made last Saturday was smooth, there wasn’t any fancy textural stuff going on. It definitely added quite a bit of sparkle though, in addition to the change of color! I don’t know if you can see, but despite beating as best as I could, there are more gaps between the yarns here than in the past. Maybe it’s because the corespun isn’t as “fluffy” so it doesn’t fill in? I have no idea. Ironically, I’d always wanted to learn how to make a very loose weave, so I’m not upset about this. I’m just curious why it didn’t want to “stick.”
This week was the last week of the January TAST block! That means next week I’ll have a new crazy quilt square to get started on. This week’s stitch is kind of fun, and starts to step away from what I’d consider the ultra basic utilitarian stitches to the ones that are more decorative - this week we had the feather stitch, and the bonus was the feather and chain stitch. They look very similar, except in the second one you add a chain stitch to the feather.
The feather stitch reminded me of hoar frost on flora and objects/structures, and felt particularly fitting with this past week’s polar vortex. I decided to fill in the remaining part of the block with the feather stitches in no particular pattern, trying to make one in a circular pattern at first but then decided to just throw them in however. Frost has taken over, as a grand finale to January.
Chances are I may still come back to this as I feel inspired to really finish it up. I have til the end of the year after all before all these blocks will be completely stitched together (the reason the stitches don’t go all the way to the edge is it will be squared off, with strips sewn over top of the adjoining blocks - I’m not worried about the edges being pretty right now). But for now, it is done.
Felting Friday/spinning saturday
There’s some extra bullshit going on in my life that came into play today that’s taking up much of my mental energy, so I just focused on continuing needle felting planets and stars on the planner/journal cover I started on Monday and will hopefully be able to go back to working on the “big project” next week. Not that this current bullshit has an end in sight yet, but maybe by then it will be stale enough where it won’t affect me as much. I really can’t go into detail about it though. It doesn’t have anything to do with my crafts (or my kids or marriage), so nothing to worry about there, just one of those things where if you thought things were finally going well and have found a sort of balance in your life, life will decide to pummel you with a crate full of lemons. I still haven’t figured out how to make lemonade out of this particular situation.
Those two ribbons on the cover are what will be the bookmarks once the cover is stitched with the inside. I decided to needle felt his asteroid on the end of one of them (the red dot is supposed to be the rose, I may see if there’s anything I can figure out to make it look less like a dot) and the other is the Earth, where the majority of the story takes place. Pretty excited about this one, and hopefully will have it up in the shop next week!
The way I have this set up does make it difficult to keep up with the challenge at times when things come up in life that need to take precedence. Initially I mentioned that I want to spend just an hour on these things each day, but most of these never end up being “just an hour” projects. The bag, for example, took several hours to do. The recent bracelet also several hours (though I did eventually split that up into two weeks). Some weeks, embroidery is an under-an-hour thing, but some have taken longer. Felting is never just an hour thing for me.
I’m allowing myself grace for when I miss a day or two. Rather than beating myself up “messing up,” I celebrate the fact that I got far more done creatively in a short span of time than I have in the past. Just in the past month, I have two new bracelets (though the first one is a bit of a flop), new sweats, fancy new tank top and a gorgeous batik bag. I’ve completed my first crazy quilt block by participating in a weekly embroidery challenge. I crocheted for the first time in ages. I picked back up on my blogging and filming, got some more planner covers prepped to sew, started on a new needle felting tutorial and started on my big project of 2019. I have spun some beautiful yarn on my wheel and woven enough of it into my scarf that it’s got some length to it. I am having a lot of fun doing this, and feeling incredibly productive.
The goal of this is not and never was to feel rushed - it’s to encourage myself to try to work on making something every day, and to switch things up to both keep things interesting as well as padding days of frustration (when it comes to learning new things) with easy days that don’t take as much conscious effort. It was to be okay with mistakes (of which I’ve made a few) and see the bigger picture of progress. Mostly it was about making a daily habit of it. Not that I wasn’t making things, but I definitely went through periods of long pauses and did not work as efficiently as I would have liked. I could also try to seek more balance and to force myself to work only for an hour, thus spreading certain projects out further. Maybe I’ll try that in February!