Vous pouvez lire le billet sur le blog La Minute pour plus d'informations sur les RSS !
1632 items (34 unread) in 55 feeds
- Décryptagéo, l'information géographique
- Cybergeo (10 unread)
- Revue Internationale de Géomatique (RIG)
- SIGMAG & SIGTV.FR - Un autre regard sur la géomatique (1 unread)
- Mappemonde (10 unread)
- Imagerie Géospatiale
- Toute l’actualité des Geoservices de l'IGN
- arcOrama, un blog sur les SIG, ceux d ESRI en particulier (6 unread)
- arcOpole - Actualités du Programme
- Géoclip, le générateur d'observatoires cartographiques
- Blog GEOCONCEPT FR
- Géoblogs (GeoRezo.net)
- Conseil national de l'information géolocalisée
- Les cafés géographiques (1 unread)
- UrbaLine (le blog d'Aline sur l'urba, la géomatique, et l'habitat)
- Séries temporelles (CESBIO)
- Datafoncier, données pour les territoires (Cerema) (1 unread)
- Cartes et figures du monde
- SIGEA: actualités des SIG pour l'enseignement agricole
- Data and GIS tips
- Neogeo Technologies
- L'Atelier de Cartographie
- My Geomatic
- archeomatic (le blog d'un archéologue à l’INRAP)
- Cartographies numériques (1 unread)
- Veille cartographie (2 unread)
- Makina Corpus (2 unread)
- Carnet (neo)cartographique
- Le blog de Geomatys
- CartONG (actualités)
- Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
- Google Maps Mania
- All Points Blog
- Directions Media - Podcasts
- James Fee GIS Blog
- Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
- Planet OSGeo
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
After the success of the first experiment with printing one of my mom's photographs on fabric and quilting it last July (see Quilting Fuchsia), we selected seven more images and had those printed at Spoonflower's largest possible size (about 27 x 40 inches without distorting the image). I've since shipped and carried those pieces of fabric all around the United States and even into Canada, twice. Two weeks ago, I finally managed to find the time to sit down and start to quilt again—truly one of my very favourite/favorite activities.
This is the resulting quilt that I created from the photograph "Golden Light" by Elizabeth Root Blackmer (you can see the original image in the middle of her Frozen gallery at BrootPhoto.com). The image is bubbles of air trapped in the ice of a frozen pond.
First of all, I had to find a fabric store. I was staying at my house in Nova Scotia when I finally found the time to quilt, and although I have spent extended periods of time here at the house over the past seven years (I took over the family home), I had never tried to find a place to source fabric here. I mentioned to my farming neighbour/neighbor that I need to ask his wife about a place to get fabric, and he looked at me like I was utterly obtuse. He said something along the lines of: "Everyone goes to Avonport Discount Fabric Centre over in Avonport, up behind the school—how do you not know that?" LOL.So I asked a few more people over the next few days as I finished up my stack of work-work, and every single person (male and female) said the same thing: go there! So I did. Well, it doesn't look like much from the outside, and it shares a big dirt parking lot with the used auto parts store next door, so I was reasonably skeptical, but oh, what an epic pleasure this place is. Fantastic materials, ample supplies, helpful staff, great prices, and generally, like so many places here in Nova Scotia, a meeting place for friends and family. I've been back quite a number of times since; it's just down the road from my house—not ten minutes away!
Anyway, I found the most perfect backing fabric and thread for my project at this lovely store, and had a few wonderful quilting-related conversations with the ladies there while I wandered around looking at everything.
For some odd reason, I decided to use the dining table as my quilting space (but it's just me here this time, so I'm not in anyone's way). It might seem odd, given that I made myself a quilting area in another room, but this space is always warm, and that space doesn't need to be heated, so I ended up out here. By the time this quilt was done, five of the six chairs had been moved away from the table to give me access to all sides of the quilt.
And here is the original printed image.
I started by quilting the ice bubbles with gold thread and used a twisty stitch-line within each circle to make them stand out as separate elements. You can see the backing fabric here as well, a delicious mottled teal.
Then I quilted the darker section in the upper-right quadrant with a brown top thread. I used the diagonal line that runs through the image as the dividing line between the two sections of parallel stitching, and eyeballed the entire quilt from that one line. Teal thread was used for every stitch on the back of the quilt.
I used a variegated thread for the rest of the straight lines. Again, with teal thread on the back.
Quilting so many straight lines was exhausting, but I found my rhythm after a while.
You can really see how the variegated thread looks on the binding. I used three lines of it on the binding to make this element really stand out.
I had to go back to the fabric store to find a suitable edge fabric to use for the binding, but then I found a bias tape that was the perfect colour/color, so I used that.
And here's what the back looks like.
And here it is on the bed in one of the guest rooms ... I go in and visit it often, as I take stretch breaks from work-work and think about which image I'll quilt next ...
I only had one major blooper that I had to reëngineer with this quilt. Oh, and what a drag it was! My camera apparently couldn't register so much teal, so it displayed it as greyish/grayish, but even so, there's the epic snaggle of thread. Ugh.
And here are the test scraps that I used during this project. I can't imagine throwing them out unless I have a record of what they look like. It's that, or staple them into my diary, and that gets cumbersome.
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
My mom is an amazing photographer. She captured this image called Fuchsia:
And this is what I recently turned it into: a quilt!
That's my mom there, Elizabeth Root Blackmer, holding the finished product.
She's printed on paper, glass, silk, and aluminum over the years, each with amazing results. The aluminum prints immediately below are absolutely stunning in person, and the silks below that were beyond ethereal.
She recently had a show at a photography gallery that included seventy of her various prints. You can view more of her work on her website: BrootPhoto.com.
It seemed time to combine our interests and print one of her images on quilting fabric. Neither of us was completely satisfied with the saturation of the print on the fabric, but for a prototype, it provided us with what we needed to know for the next time.
Here's what I started with: the image printed on a yard of fabric, a yard of solid fuchsia for the backing, and seven colors of thread.
For those who might wonder, the fabric was printed by Spoonflower. We've since put in another order and are hoping for more accurate saturation of the colors.
Here's what the original printed fabric looked like just after it had been washed and ironed. The printed image measured 25 by 40 inches, and by extension, the quilt came out measuring just shy of that.
It was difficult to know where to start quilting as I didn't have a plan and was just winging it. I figured that I'd begin with the small white bits and sewed them directly onto scraps of batting so that they were tamped down to something (if not, washing the quilt in the future could make a huge mess of things when the batting wads up).
Also, I wanted the white bits—which were mostly droplets—to have a slightly 3D feel to them. Here's what the back looked like with the bits of quilted batting; I then cut carefully around the shapes.
As an example of how the white islands look on the final product, here's a preview:
Then I placed a whole piece of batting on the back and started quilting the darkest color on the fabric with my darkest purple thread. This time it was the printed fabric and the batting, but still without the final fabric backing (you'll understand why when you read about my topo lines below).
Some of the light and bright green also needed this pre-backing treatment as there were islands of those colors within the fabric that needed to be captured before the more prolific colors got quilted. In the following image, the purples had also been quilted, but you can see where the greens existed as islands—unreachable from any edge.
Once the colors that existed as islands were quilted to the batting, I layered the fuchsia backing fabric to the sandwich of printed fabric and batting, and started quilting the larger swaths of color that ran from the edges all the way in and then back out again.
I'm not sure how many of you know this, but in my real life, I'm a cartographer. I love me some topo lines, so I quilted this such that the back looks like a topo map. Plus, I freaking loathe tying the hundreds of knots in the back of a quilt (I always think they look messy and I know that they will eventually come loose and unravel). As such, I quilted from one edge into the image and back out again, avoiding the need to tie knots—instead, I backstitched the heck out of each thread's beginning and ending. This is what the back of the completed quilt looks like because of this method. Dude: topo map!
So, that's why I quilted this quilt the way I did, first to bits of batting, then to a whole piece of batting, and then with the fabric backing. Also, I quilted around the bubbles as best as I could while going in and out, and used the various thread colors to create the visual texture of the piece.
Maybe you can imagine the maddening forethought it took to freehand each of these lines so that they didn't overlap at any point but so that enough of the complete layers of the quilt were actually stitched together.
Once all the quilting was done, to ensure that none of my backstitched threads were ever going to release, I double stitched around the whole edge of the image and then I cut everything away except for about a quarter-inch of white around the remaining image.
I had originally planned to add a traditional border to the quilt, but decided against it. Instead, I sacrificed a small percentage of the image all the way around to create a border by carefully double-folding the edges of the quilt all around and stitching them into place.
And once again, I'll mention how annoying I find it to tie knots, so I very carefully stitched all the way around and created all the quadruple (at least) stitching on all the corners using one freaking thread. Epic win!
So really, except for the one blasted thread that broke during quilting and that I had to repair with a knot, there is only one other visible knot in this entire quilt!
Oh, and this is where this quilt was made—in Tenants Harbor, Maine:
I've been visiting my parents for a few months and as a Mother's Day gift I painted out this room for my mom—it went from yellow and white to a light grey on all walls and ceiling, and with fresh bright white trim throughout. Before I moved her back into the room, I took it over as an office and quilting space. The light in here is awesome and her photography will look amazing in here. Or maybe some quilts ...
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
Hard to believe, but it's already been two weeks since I dropped my husband off at his ship and said farewell to him for the summer and beyond. He's off again aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter HEALY—north into the seas and oceans around Alaska. This is the last picture I took of the cutter, as I stood on a beach in Washington in the pouring rain. She was sailing north and out of Puget Sound ...
I've been tracking the ship since, which is one of the very cool things you can do with this particular Coast Guard cutter (a truly appreciated rarity). She left Dutch Harbor, Alaska just a few days ago on her first mission, and it looks like she is now entering the Chukchi Sea. You can track their progress from this link:
This first research mission—which runs through late June—is to study the under-ice bloom. It's fascinating stuff if you're interested in plants or ice or biology:
The two other missions this year will study "Moorings" and "Oil Spill Technologies." Those are the main topics, but many other scientists are aboard as well, doing other very interesting research.
They are already in the ice as one of the recent images from the hourly camera feed from the top of the HEALY shows us. You can track the photos here:
This blog post is really just an update for those of you who want to track the HEALY and her progress in 2014. We have a whole list of other posts we are supposed to have done already (some of which we will yet do, we promise), but the past few months have been especially busy with work and also filled with trying to pack in as many adventures as we could together before he sailed away again ...
As a teaser, here's one of the images that Badger took of himself with the HEALY last year during Ice Liberty somewhere in the Arctic Ocean:
Here's the post on (roughly) the same topic that I wrote about a year ago when they deployed. It includes some additional details about the ship and about my sweet husband:
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
A few years ago, my Beloved Aunt Alice (my father's older sister) parted ways with the living. She was an amazing woman on so many different levels, and she touched each of us in special and unique ways; leaving every one of us believing that we had her absolute attention (and maybe rightfully so, as she had a huge heart and so much to give). We miss you Alice.
A few months after her passing, a number of us received packages in the mail that included an item of jewelry from her collection. The piece I received was a necklace that I wouldn't myself wear—I don't really wear gold-colored stuff—but after just a few minutes of looking at it, I knew what to do, and I sent an email with a photo of it to my very favorite jeweler: Jen Burrall in Portland, Maine. She replied that the red beads did look like carnelian and agreed to do a closer inspection of the piece to see what she could do with it for me. I figured that if I could wear the beads in some way, that I would be honoring Alice, but if the necklace sat in the back of a drawer for the rest of my life, that it would be sad and pointless.Jen's jewelry has an extra-special place in my heart as my husband has been giving me pieces of hers since long before we were married. Also, she made my engagement ring, our wedding rings, and the special pins that we gave out to the twenty or so guests who attended our wedding. And each year, my collection grows ... and grows ... and grows ... (but that's another post).
So, I sent the necklace off to Maine (we were living in Seattle at the time), and Jen harvested the carnelian and disposed of the garish gold balls. All that remained of the original necklace were the smaller round beads, but that was enough for her to work with. She sent me a few ideas via email and I chose one. Here's her sketch:
Not long after that, the most amazing necklace arrived in the mail. Here's the picture that I immediately took and posted to my various social media worlds:
She did it! Jen turned something basically unusable into something absolutely spectacular. And honestly, I wear this necklace quite a lot, and just about every time I do, someone asks me about it or mentions how gorgeous it is. Alice continues to be honored on a regular basis. Thank you Jen!
So ... the point of this blog post is actually not about that necklace from years ago, nor about Sweet Alice. It's about the fact that my Dear Cousin Lex turned fifty this past year. Happy Birthday Sweetie! Lex was another one of us who had that extra-special bond with Alice—a bond that is just about impossible to break. It will always be there. Forever! And when we get together, we always talk about Alice and our memories of her.
When Jen sent me her completed masterpiece all those years ago, she also returned the remaining beads from the original necklace, and I've been saving them since. Waiting for a reason to somehow use them.
Lex has seen my necklace and stated her love for it. And we each sniffed a tear or two when I told her where the beads had come from and how Jen had brilliantly repurposed them for me. (From what I remember, I think she received a set of odd earrings from the estate?). So it seemed only natural that I would have Jen make a set of three necklaces with the remaining beads: one for Lex's fiftieth, one for her sister (also known as my Awesome Cousin Clare, who will also eventually turn fifty), and one for my mom, who was an integral part of Alice's life, especially in the years since moving to Maine.
So, off I sent the beads to Jen. And oh look what came back! A set of three astonishing necklaces that are clearly part of a set, but that each stand on their own.
Lex's is the one in the middle, Clare's is the rectangular one in the front, and the faceted one in the back is for my mom.
Again, it's only the round carnelian beads that are from the original necklace, but look how perfectly Jen matched them with a few other faceted carnelian beads ...
I adore Jen's twirly bits ...
And just look at those gorgeous pendants. Here they are up close:
Each of the necklaces uses a different mix of chain and hammered circles ... and yet they all so clearly belong together as a set, too.
I love Jen's hammered circles!
And those hooks!
They are stunning, Jen! Thank you so much for making yet more memories for me and my family.
Happy Birthday Lex! Cheers!
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
Oof ... I cannot believe how quickly the past few months have flown by—2013 is long since gone now, and 2014 is already in full swing. And although we have done an enormous amount in that time on both personal and professional levels, as usual, I am running behind on getting out our annual New Year's Notes. For the record, it usually takes me at least the first third of each year to write all the personal bits in them and decorate the 225+ envelopes, but I really had thought that this year would be different (as I do every year; so who am I kidding?). Anyway, I am working on them today. No, really I am. I think I have finally even frozen the design (yeah, right!).
I had three different clients slip scheduled project deliveries to me today, which means that I'll be working all day and night on Sunday, but it also means that because I had blocked most of the day today to work on those particular jobs, I instead found myself with a few precious hours of unassigned time. WHA? I could have picked up one of the [literally 20] other, more-flexible-deadline projects, but I just couldn't face yet another client file when my personal piles of stuff are literally falling over with their own weight. Plus, husband is away this week/weekend so I have all those other hours to myself as well. Some would nap or take a bath or read a book ... but me? Nah. I decided to spend the time doing the most important thing to ME on my extensive lists of shit-to-do. For me, that's working on my correspondence—something that has so sadly fallen to the wayside during these insane few months. What I really should be doing is working on writing that masters thesis, but that will have to just hold its horses for one more day. I need a break!
I am sorry, peeps, for not yet responding to your lovely letters. I have a few here from early-2013 that I've been transporting around in my bag for almost a year now—very well-traveled epistles. I'll try to do better in 2014, but the fact is, I already know this will be my most stupid-busy year ever. Sigh.
So, I'm working on them ... and that's what I hope to spend my entire night on—decorating envelopes and thinking about all these beautiful letters sitting here before me from all you beautiful people.
And as I just posted to Instagram: You know it's been way too busy when you have to measure your personal as-of-yet-not-replied-to mail by the inch (this is more than two inches when squashed as tight as possible). I live for the mail but I was a terrible correspondent in those last months of 2013. Sorry guys; I'm on it!
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
I've had one last Airstream fabric project hanging over my head for quite some time: covering the bench seat that Badger sits on. I've had the fabric for months and months, but was squeamish about sewing around all those curves and corners. Today, in a period of just over an hour, I did the entire project from start to finish. Months and months of avoidance and it only took me an hour and twelve minutes! That'll teach me to procrastinate (*grumble*).
So ... here's what it looks like now: Awesome!
I had already covered or removed all of the other unfortunate blue-and-white-striped fabric in the Airstream, and replaced the (dare I say awful?) palm-tree curtains with new white ones, but this project eluded me. I dislike that stripey fabric so much that I had even kept a piece of black fabric draped over the seat in question for the past few months just so I didn't need to look at it. But then, because husband is away for many months, somehow various projects got assigned to The Bench where they languished ... but in a fit of cleaning and reörganizing over the past few days, I cleaned them all off and away. Then I could see those blasted stripes again, and the ridiculous blue bolsters. Arrrrgh! So today was the day.
Just pulling the cushion off made me happy. I had previously removed the television that used to be on that wall but didn't want to cut any of the cables, so that's the steampunkish cable hanging down there (it just tucks in behind the cushion).
Managing this huge piece of fabric in limited space was difficult, but I was determined to get this DONE!
And wrapping the cushion was unruly to say the least. Yes, it's all one big thing all stitched together which makes for easier management while snapped into the seat (it isn't always sliding all over the place), but it made a more difficult sewing project for me.
I made it up as I went along, and with each seam I sewed, I refitted the whole thing back over the cushion and replaced it in the space so I didn't make too many mistakes in a row. Corners had to be tucked in and sewn ...
I even cut all five slits for the snaps right the very first time (three above and two anchored below). Yay me! (Very lucky me!)
I couldn't be happier with the result. It will make me smile multiple times every day for probably a month or more.
I hope you enjoy your new seat Badger. I'll show it to Makeshift if he ever gets out of bed, LOL!
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
When Makeshift and I went to Alaska last month, we met an awesome octopus in Seward at the Alaska SeaLife Center, and we've been octopus-obsessed since. We'd been tentacle-crazy for years, but they were usually Cthulhu-related experiments, not necessarily octopus-centric. However, once we were home again, the infatuation didn't wear off, and one morning last week we got it in our heads to make a quilted octopus, and a bunch of hours later, Makeshift had one of his very own! Granted, it is a temporary ownership in that the octopus is actually a baby gift. But for the nonce—and until I managed to make the matching quilt—Makeshift had a new tentacly companion.
I'd never even considered the idea of how to make a quilted animal before, but it seemed reasonably straightforward. The biggest problem I had was that I only had a single fat quarter of the olive fabric (I later secured more of this fabric) which I wanted to use for the underside of the tentacles, and I had a very limited amount of the onion fabric (and that was the very end of it after I reserved the piece I needed for the matching baby quilt that I planned on making), so I needed to use every possible inch and not mess up. I was only going to get one shot at this.
I extended the fat quarter by a few inches on both ends of the olive fabric to match the size of the onion fabric I had, which was easy because I knew that the selvage would be hidden inside of the head. I sketched out a head shape and reproduced it on a piece of printer paper.
Then I copied the reverse of that onto the other end of the fat quarter and drew in four tentacles coming out of either head—they all twisted in and around one another to use up as much of the fabric as possible.
Then I made a sandwich of batting and the two fabrics (good sides facing).
And I cut them out.
I then took each half-topus and pinned it up so it wouldn't move around as I carefully sewed the three layers together.
And sewed them up. Here's what the other side looked like.
I had of course left an un-sewn opening so that I could reverse the half-topuses. And I worked on that for a long time ...
Once reversed it looked like this.
I sewed a stitch into all the edges to give the tentacles some additional strength and to flatten them out.
And then I quilted each of the two halves including the heads.
I laid the heads back-to-back and cut off the edges so that they were mirror images.
I had originally planned to use binding to connect the two head pieces which is why I did things the way I did, but in the end I ended up sewing the heads together from the inside, and then reversing them, which made for a much cleaner and easier-to-make product. I could have saved myself a ton of time by sewing the heads differently, and if I ever make another quiltopus, I will know how to save some time; basically though, leave the opening for reversing the tentacles at the top of the head, not within the tentacles, and then don't bother sewing the head up until you are doing it from the inside.
I used some clamp guys to mark where I wanted to stop, and sewed four lines of stitches into the head to make it wicked strong.
Then I reversed the head.
To finish him up, I decided to make a pillow to slide inside the head to give him some extra volume, and to make it removable so that the quiltopus could be easily washed/dried. I'm told that kids barf on stuff, so things should be washable, right?
So I grabbed another piece of the olive fabric—of which I had since secured another 3.5 yards during the week, and washed and dried—and traced out the head shape.
Sewed that up and left a slit for stuffing. In retrospect, I would have left the slit at the top so that the final seam wouldn't be visible when inspecting the underside of the octopus.
Hello extra pillow. Goodbye pillow. Hello awesome stuffing.
And voilà: Octopus brain!
Easy to slip in, and thus presumably easy to slip out for washing needs as well.
And here he is, sitting up, so you can really see how little fabric this project actually took (because the tentacles all sort of fit into one another when not hanging about).
So, I still had that one remaining piece of onion fabric, and now lots of olive fabric (I bought the last of what one local shop had, and found two more yards at another shop), so it was time to make the matching baby quilt.
I laid out my onions atop the olives and I had my front and back.
I'm still working on that enormous piece of batting that I bought a few months ago. A king-size, all-natural, no glues or resins monster that I picked up for a quarter of what it was worth (sale on top of sale and a coupon equals a happy mushroom!). So, here's the sandwich.
I sketched out some baby tentacles for the edges on the back-side of the onion fabric.
And then cut them out (that's three layers there: batting, olives, and onions).
I sewed all around the edges and left a few tentacles un-sewn so that I could reverse the whole thing. Which once again took forever.
But finally I had it fully reversed and all the tentacles sitting pretty.
Then, exhausted, I went to bed. The next pictures include natural light and coffee!
I sewed up the few tentacles that I had left open for the reversing process.
Then I put a stitch all around the edge to strengthen and flatten—so many twists and turns!
And then tens of thousands of stitches got placed as I quilted from the outside edge all the way to the inside.
And eventually, however many hundreds of turns later, it was done! Here's the oniony front side.
And here's the other—sucker/olive—side.
Here's Quiltopus atop his blanket, blending in just as octopuses are prone to do.
And again ...
May my new small friend enjoy these tentacly, octopus-inspired gifts as much as we enjoyed getting to know our Alaskan octopus buddy, the predominant influence behind them.
And here are three pictures of our enormous Alaskan friend and his super-cute little horns:
Thanks for the show, Thumb! You're awesome!
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
You know how when someone you know says something like "Hey, you should check out my vintage fabric collection—I've got kind of a lot of it," you smile and think, Hey, yeah, that's cool, I have a few boxes too. But politely and excitedly say, "Yes, sure, I'd love to check it out. And yes, sure, we can barter the thing you want of mine for a few vintage scraps."
Well, Stacy weren't kidding. I was literally speechless when I walked into her vintage fabric room. Truly awesome!!!
The sheer volume of awesomeness was overwhelming at first, but then I enthusiastically dove in ... only to find that there was even more fabric than I first believed; layer upon layer of incredibleness. I had just been reading about inspiring workspaces in my new issue of Uppercase magazine, and wow, did this space inspire me! I wanted to go get my sewing machine, bookshelves, comfy chair, and quilting/crafting supplies, and move right into the middle of it all!
So, thank you Stacy for the incredible Friday afternoon adventure. And thank you for the inspiration and the awesome barter.
Here are the amazing fabrics that I got out of it:
And here's why I chose each of these delicious prints ...
1. Three vintage Alaska tablecloths. Each full of errors/typos, cultural insensitivities (by today's standards), and stereotypes, but each a representative example of its time. Given that my husband has been in Alaska since July (mostly floating around in the Arctic Ocean), and given that I recently took my first trip to Alaska, my infatuation with the state is deep. These three gems themselves were worth the price of admission—oh wait, that was free. I am a lucky girl! I have no idea what I might do with these, but I can't wait to find out ...
This one is 34 inches by 37 inches:
This one is 31 inches by 33 inches:
This big boy is 50 inches by 47 inches:
2. I love anything with a vegetable on it, and this is the oddest vegetable-related fabric I've ever seen (it's another tablecloth measuring 52 inches square). The Dutch (?) rabbit with the apron is downright sinister, and the truly bizarre collection of quotations is insane—a sampling:
"Cares melt when you kneel in the garden"
"Don't get carrot away"
"24 carrot gold"
"Do you carrot all?"
"From caring comes courage —Lao Tzu"
Wait, what? Clearly this must become a quilt, but for whom?
3. How could I pass up the kind-of-creepy fish?
4. I've been octopus-obsessed since my trip to Alaska (and my run-in with the awesome octopus in Seward), and I've been drawing out octopus-inspired quilting designs in my journals since my return. This fabric make me think of the suckers on an octopus' arms, and I already know just what I'm going to do with this black and white scrap of masterpiece!
5. Well, these are mushrooms. How could I pass up a mushroom fabric? Not possible.
6. Given that my husband is in the Coast Guard, and given that because of that we will probably always live very close to the water, we are surrounded by nautical hints at every turn. This fabric will make an excellent quilt or pillows or even curtains at some point ...
7. And this bizarre pattern and color combination will make an amazing accent to a more sedate quilt or scarf.
So, that's my haul ... I can't wait to do the laundry again and get all of this washed up and dried.
Thank you dear Stacy for the fantastic glimpse into your vintage fabric world—it left me inspired and excited to see what comes out of my sewing machine next ...
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
So, Badger's birthday came around last month while he was still off sailing the Arctic Ocean and stomping around on ice sheets to his heart's content as part of the crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter HEALY. I knew that I would be taking a trip to Alaska to join him for a week soon after his birthday, and I wanted to make him a special quilt. I'd started quilting in June, shortly before he left, and he's missed a few of them since he got underway, so this one had to be extra-special. It took me a few days to figure out what he most loves/misses about being out to sea, but it soon came to me: HE MISSES HIS AIRSTREAM! (Duh.) So I spend a number of weeks in September working on this two-sided, openable, scale model quilt of our Airstream. I gave it to him while we were together in Seward, Alaska a few weeks ago, and he and Makeshift felt right at home beneath it. It has since been installed on the ship where it is having the trip of a lifetime (or rather, the first of what will be many to come).
Here are a few more pictures of what the final reproduction looks like. Our Airstream is 25-feet long and this quilt reaches five feet from tip to tail—a one-fifth scale model. It has flair that is specific to port and starboard sides; logos, lights, awnings, windows, water, refrigeration, furnace, outside shower, electricity hook-ups, outdoor outlets, hot water heater, et cetera ... (even the blue pull-tabs for our gorgeous blue-striped awnings are there if you know where to look). I apologize for the somewhat rumpled look, when we took these pictures the quilt had been in a very tightly-packed travel bag for a number of days.
Badger's rack (bed) on the ship is essentially a twin-size bunk, so I wanted this quilt to be able to both lay there reasonably—decorating his living space—but also have him be able to use it as a blanket to curl up with. He tested out that idea with Makeshift and it seemed to work just fine (I don't think a man has ever been happier to have unfettered access to broadband Internet before; that's his freshly loaded-up iPad mini in the townhouse I rented for us during our week together in Seward).
So, it all began as many projects do with me: a journal entry (or ten) outlining the pros and cons, problems, concerns, issues, and any other sort of drivel that comes into my mind. Hey, it gets me where I need to be—we each have our own process. And I should mention, I actually completed this quilt long before I had even had the notion for the Cthulhu quilt that came after it, and for once I managed to keep a secret from my husband (something I am notoriously terrible at!) and didn't tell him about it. [It didn't hurt that we had very limited communication pathways during the weeks that I worked on it—I surely would have blown it otherwise.]
Choosing the fabrics was easy, the swirly silver waves on the simple gray cotton was the obvious starting point for the quilt, and many of the smaller bits I even had on hand from earlier quilting projects: the blue was from Mom's Scrabble quilt, the red was from Tania's elephant quilt, the black flower fabric was used in Kasia's pink-hair quilt, and the orange was purchased for my brother's quilt (which continues to languish at the moment, unstarted) but was also used to make the eyes on Dad's Cthulhu quilt. So really, of the six quilts I've now made, only the Ripley quilt isn't represented here in one way or another.
Then, I spent a few hours outside one evening with a ruler and tape measure, carefully collecting all the dimensions and doing calculations. Exhausting work for my brain, but I rewarded myself with a glass of wine, so all was well. And only one neighbor actually stopped square in their tracks and asked what the heck I was doing this time! LOL. I love that Martha! She's a crack-up.
I input the calculations into Adobe Illustrator (my map workhorse and very close companion of mine for more than a decade) and created all the attachable pieces. I cut them out one by one by one by one by one by one ... it went on forever! But in the end I had all the bits cut out, fused, re-cut, and bonded—and all onto the correct bits of ironed fabric.
Windows in the making for the curb side.
And all the darker gray bits for the curb side ... (see my note in the Intermission below and you'll understand why all these pieces are together: re-do!).
Lights! Orange lights in the making for the front of the Airstream! And then the red ones were created for the back. And then all over again for the other side.
Here are some of the bits for the street side of the quilt.
Here's one especially awesome thing about this quilt and our couch (gaucho): The quilt fit perfectly on the only surface (besides the floor I suppose) that would hold it. Here's what it looked like when I had all the pieces placed atop, before anything was actually sewn on.
I'm jumping ahead, but again, check out how once things were actually attached to the two sides, they fit perfectly—two-pieces-across—on the privacy curtain bar between the living space and the bedroom. This quilt was made to be made in this Airstream!
So, returning to our regularly scheduled program ...
Then I had to figure out how to best attach all those bits. I decided on an awesome stitch that looked like it would cover up the edges completely so they wouldn't fray in the wash, as well as hold strong for many years to come. And so began the sewing-on of bits ...
It took SO LONG to sew on all those windows using that thick, complicated stitch, but I love how they came out.
There was so much more measuring and math ...
I added a darker grey stripe along the bottom of the trailer just like it really has, and added the wheel wells, too.
And then the "chrome" strip that runs between the aluminum above and the grey below needed to be created and attached. I even sewed it to match the horizontal grooves in the real-world strip.
Then I decided to make the riveted door frame out of a piece of binding. I thought I could use what I call the Asterix stitch—cuz he put up with Obelix—to adorn it. Natch!
I needed a bit more bite so I added a long scrap of paper to the mix. All the better for the feed dogs to grab.
My theory worked and the paper tore away easily enough, leaving me with a long piece of "riveted" binding.
I also used that same Asterix stitch to create the (curved) lines of rivets that run top-to-bottom and end-to-end along the Airstream.
Then, I took a break from the main parts of the quilt and figured out how to make the awnings! Always with using up every scrap! This batting remnant from the eggplant quilt got cut down to be used inside the awnings.
The smaller awning arms for the two sides (different lengths for each of course) were easy enough, but the awnings that run the whole span of the Airstream were almost five feet long on this quilt; that took some careful maneuvering.
But I got it. And look at the cunning little blue pull-tab. :)
So, much later (after the quilting was completed) I attached the awnings, but since I'm discussing them here, I'll add the relevant pictures to this section.
So, as an aside—or maybe by means of an Intermission if you are actually reading this—someone I know said that I should add more "screw-ups" to my quilting blog posts. Well, here's one: I thought I was going to be able to use the reverse side of the grey fabric (which was a nice solid grey, not some faded number), and had made all the original grey pieces in that fabric, but check out how it just disappeared into the sparkly fabric, not effectively showing off the particular component. I tore them out and went on the hunt for a darker grey. Believe it or not, grey is not a particularly popular color and it is actually incredibly difficult to match.
I worked and worked on the first side until all of the little bits were added and then I cut the shape out. Then, I had to start all over again with the other side (which is arranged in a completely different way, but thankfully, is lacking a [very difficult to sew] door).
After both sides were fully decorated with their accoutrements, I had to quilt them. Another set of almost-disasters occurred during this phase, but all the major ones were somehow averted.
The first sandwich began.
With something this big I knew I had to quilt top-to-bottom (a million times) and start from the middle. It was a major concern that the layers of the quilt sandwich didn't shift because I was working with less than a half-inch of wiggle room. Wiggle wiggle woo!
Even so, it barely fit rolled up in the crook of my machine. And I was very careful to quilt around every one of the elements, which meant I had to go back with different thread colors and quilt into those separately; all the black and dark grey bits got their own attention ... it felt downright Sisyphean.
I wanted to include all of the pieces that attach to the outside of the Airstream, so I had to create the logos. The tiny little logos. Crazy-town! Ours is an Ocean Breeze model, so it has an extra palm tree logo in blue and silver by the door (under the traditional International logo): Nailed it!
And the International logo sits by itself on the street side.
Two quick things I should mention that I realized about our aluminum home simply by making this quilt that I hadn't known before: (1) there's an International logo on the street side (cool), and (2) there's a grounded power outlet right next to my chair outside, where I have literally been sitting and said to myself (or maybe written in my journal), I wish there was an outlet out here! Well, there is! (Badger will have know this all along [duh!] and will laugh at me when he reads this clear lapse in aging brain power; he'll make an excuse for me though, and say that it must have looked like Cracker Barrel sign, lol.)
So, the binding. SO MUCH BINDING! I needed more than 30 feet of it! And in two colors: silvery-grey for the body and the darker grey for the base. I was so glad that I had invested in a new iron before taking on this quilt.
Ooops, not quite enough clips for the first side ... maybe I'll make another small investment in these useful grabby guys.
The "sunglasses" which wrap around the front of the Airstream were easy enough to add, but I had to put them on after the binding was secured so that they would show the illusion of "wrapping" around the silver shell, also, I gave them depth by adding some padding, just like they have in real life.
And then I had to devise a final solution: a fabric hinge to attach the two pieces of the quilt. I came very close to messing this up about a hundred times, and almost quilted the whole thing together in reverse—that's one of the main problems with too many exceptionally late nights in a row while on deadline: brain-rot.
But in the end, it all came out just fine. I decided not to attach the wheels as they seemed somehow dwarfed by the rest of the structure, even though I remeasured a number of times. I thought about making larger ones but they wouldn't sit right, so I just left them off—and now that just looks normal to me.
And so you have managed to make it to the end of this blog post (wow—thanks for reading/scrolling!). Here are two more views of the finished quilt: curb side and street side. These images may make the quilt look small, but really, for a badger, he has a significant wing-span.
Also, if you've seen the Cthulhu quilt post and the picture of my Dad peeking out from on top of it, this isn't a meme; Badger did the same peeking thing with this quilt before Dad even received Cthulhu (he was in the mail, winging it from Alaska to Maine at the time), and the two haven't seen one another's pictures (Dad will when this gets posted of course, and Badger will when he gets some good Internet again).
Happy Birthday my love ... I hope your makeshift Aluminum Loaf is keeping you comfy.
Can't wait to see you again.
Planet Geospatial - http://planetgs.com
My Dad is a very difficult man to buy presents for. He'd say he isn't because he has an Amazon Wish List, but he's going to buy that stuff for himself in the end anyway (if he still wants it). I did very well last year with the Mystic Order of the Elder Gods fez; it's a thing of beauty and a tribute to American craftsmanship, and he wears it very well!
But this year is his 70th birthday ... so something significant needed to be designed/developed/created. My Dad isn't really a quilt person—it takes an act of magic to keep a darn napkin on the man's lap (if we do end up giving him one, he inevitably stands up and dumps it on the floor anyway, so we mostly don't bother unless fancy company is around who might notice that a setting is lacking a face wipe). But he does love to watch his obscure episodes and movies, and often I think he might want company or might possibly be chilly in the 50-degree room where his monitor is (we don't have a TV, we have a "monitor" that plays DVDs and streams video). So, for a month I was trying to imagine a quilt-like thing that I could make him; something fun and yet maybe useful.
Finally, on the first page of a new journal, on the day before his actual birthday, it came to me and I drew it out: a Cthulhu Quilt! A lap blanket (a cotton codpiece if you will) that might keep him warm (or at least the popcorn bowl better balanced), and provide a smattering of company.
Within the hour I had the fabric ironed and was cutting out tentacles! Luckily, I already had all the fabric I needed in my fabric box and it had previously been washed and dried. I had purchased all of the remaining three-plus yards of this incredible onion print fabric from a nice lady at a tiny quilt shop in Port Townsend, Washington a few months ago with a quilt for my brother's new baby in mind, but I hadn't gotten around to making it yet. And I had two types of orange fabric that were also originally destined for two other quilt ideas, but that also hadn't yet been used, and I even had the green and orange thread that I'd need, and the batting. This quilt was magical from the start!
This is only the sixth quilt I've ever made, and I've never done one that was more fabric-art than blanket-type-thing. So I was totally winging it.
I started out by making a sandwich of fabric and batting for the tentacles.
Then I cut out curvy strips that I imagined would make good tentacles.
One of the two green spools of thread I had on hand was from my first quilt—the RIPLEY quilt—which used a bizarre gradated green thread. I still had quite a lot left so I used it to sew the thousands of inside tentacle stitches.
To make the tentacles, I took the fabric that was on the bottom of the sandwich and put it on the top, front-to-front, with the batting beneath.
The I sewed the three layers together.
Reversing the tentacles was much more time-consuming than you ever might have imagined. If the tentacles were wide, it wasn't so bad, but if narrow, they took forever and a certain amount of swearing was expressed. (Makeshift, cover your ears!)
The two most useful tools I had during this phase were a bone burnisher and the pen for my drawing tablet. With the burnisher on the inside and the pen helping to guide the sleeve from the outside, I managed to get the tentacles reversed one after the other.
It did rather feel like I spent my entire afternoon skinning hagfish (aka slime eels), but it was worth it as the door to the Airstream became progressively covered in tentacles ...
Then I switched to a darker green thread and added a stitch all the along the outside of each of the tentacles, helping to give them some additional strength and uniformity as well as a bit less floppiness.
Oh wait, then I couldn't sleep, so I started playing with ideas for the eyes. A while later I had constructed these lovelies. Completely winging it once again ...
Makeshift was especially pleased.
I should also mention that I broke my first needle! Crunch and Snap! Quite the surprise when it happened. And a rite of passage I suppose. Lesson learned: No matter how awesome those metal clips are, you must remember that one end is longer than the other, and the longer end should be on the TOP of whatever you are sewing. Otherwise, your sewing machine needle will hit one and snap apart in a blaze of terrifying glory. Thankfully, I had 100 spare needles waiting. Turns out, sewing machine needles are incredibly cheap when purchased in bulk (I paid $16 for 100 on Amazon—those are cunning little pouches of 10 each).
The next day I started working on the two sides of the head. Somehow, overnight, I had gotten in my head that this quilt should be able to be worn as a HAT. Don't ask my why, it was just very clear to me that this needed to happen ... (Bad Makeshift!!!)
A sandwich of fabrics and batting began the back side. I chose an orange fabric to line the inside of the head.
Smaller tentacles were cut out of the sandwich.
The fabrics were re-sandwiched and prepared for sewing.
Note how all of the clasping-pins are long side ON TOP this time.
Ends snipped away and edges also cut down a bit to make for easier reversing.
And then, much later, the tentacles had been reversed. Note to self: Long thin tentacles are almost impossible to reverse successfully. And one of them got completely buggered up. But in fact, the anemic little deformed tentacle might even be my favorite. So Cthulhu!
I was much smarter about the front of the head—the tentacles are much wider.
So I sewed the head tentacles, reversed them, added a stitch all around the outside and then started attaching the long tentacles. Again, long sides UP with the metal monsters.
Also, I attached on the eyes ...
More tentacles added ... seventeen in all ...
Makeshift was totally enthralled with Cthulhu ... it was a bit of a love affair for a few days.
The back and front of the head were quilted ...
Then, Makeshift demanded that Cthulhu have wings. So I made some ...
Makeshift spent quite a lot of time that day trying to fly ...
Wings were attached.
The two sides of Cthulhu's head were shaped and cut, and then sewn together with some binding.
Makeshift pleaded to keep Cthulhu ... but alas, their friendship will have to exist via the Interwebs.
At that point, I was rushing to get out the door to start my trip to Alaska—planning to meet up with our large-sized Badger in Seward when his ship pulled into port—so Makeshift and I ended up in a hotel room in Seattle for the night. The room had two large beds, so they took over one of them while I attended to some well-deserved beers at the bar.
And then we were in Alaska with our beloved Badger!
We made him wear Cthulhu as a hat in a sweet church-cum-cafe in Seward that we frequented quite a lot during our week together. As usual, he was a very good sport about it.
And we made him model it, too (I laughed for WAY too long):
Then Cthulhu got mailed from Seward, Alaska to rural Midcoast Maine. I knew he'd probably fuck up the works, but I had no idea he'd shut down the government nor that he would take two extra days to arrive (the Express Mail money-back guarantee meant I collected my refund with no trouble, so although the government is still askew, I have my $40 back in my pocket = essentially free shipping and money for another QUILT!).
But then he did finally arrive in Maine!!!
(The following pictures—as well as the two at the very top of this post—were taken by my mom of my dad with Cthulhu; delayed but unharmed.)
Happy Birthday Dad! May Cthulhu keep you warm and amused for decades to come.