Sunday, July 22, 2018

The 100 Day Project 2018

I DID it! I actually manged to complete the 100 Day Project!! It ran from April 3rd to July 11th. This was my first time participating and I have to admit I was a bit doubtful that I would see it all the way through and stay on schedule, but I DID!  I set a goal to draw each and everyday, there were times when a particular drawing took several days to complete so they were posted in stages and the rest of the time it was a new complete drawing everyday...and ....all drawn digitally on my iPad.
I used this challenge to try a few things that were out of my comfort zone.....mostly working with colour. If you have been following me a while, you are well aware that I normally work in black and white. Making a commitment like this required a bit of focus, it also meant that pretty much consumed my "creative" time. But I really enjoyed it learned a LOT along the way.

Obviously I am not going to show them all in this post....but here are a few of my favourites
















and if you are interested.....I created a video showing every drawing in the order I drew them from 1 to 100.



Monday, July 2, 2018

Pattern weights

Quite often when I am cutting out a garment, I simply "weigh" the pattern down instead of using pins. Unless I am dealing with tricky fabric, I often just trace the outline of the pattern piece, note important marks and notches, then cut it out. What I had been using for weights is some kind of chunk of metal wrapped in tape...effective, but rather unsightly.
I decided to make some that would be more attractive sitting here in my new workspace.

I began by making some simple little sand bags. I could have just stopped there...they are not very pretty but certainly more neat and tidy than what I had been using.  (I did not concern myself with the colour or neatness of the whip stitches closing these up as I planned on making little covers for each of them anyway.)


I always like to have some small hand stitching projects ready...AND am in "use up stuff" mode...so , of course I went a step further
I cut out some squares of wool, added some circles (or pennies as they are called)


Once each one was embellished with thread, (some hand dyed by me) beads, buttons and jewelry findings, it was time to add a back. I used water soluble thread to do a quick running stitch on 3 sides leaving a "pocket" this made doing the blanket stitch edge much easier as everything was held firmly in place with no need for pins.


when my blanket stitching covered 3 sides, I slipped in one of the sand bags, then continued with the blanket stitch to close the last side. With the pretty cover complete, I simply ran a wet finger over the edges to dissolve the water soluble thread


here they are...all dressed up and ready for work.




Saturday, June 16, 2018

Where have I been?

I have been doing a lot of sorting, re-organizing and purging lately because I am in the process of creating a main floor studio. You see, I have always had a work space in the basement and I suppose I am simply tired of being below grade, and especially working under florescent lights....feeling the need for some natural day light. Being in the same house for 40 years also means that there was a LOT to do to be able to make this happen. Not moving occasionally means that one can become complacent, allowing "stuff" to accumulate...way too much stuff. While I am far from being done with this undertaking, I have made enough progress that I now have a room on the main floor dedicated to my creative needs ( because this room is fairly small everything needs to do double duty.) I will keep an area downstairs to store many of my supplies and bring them up depending on what I feel like working on at the time.
So once I had the room empty and a fresh coat of paint applied, I needed to figure out how to make the most of this small space. I am also a big believer in trying to use what I have on hand without tossing perfectly good (but old) furniture. I used my iPad and the app Concepts to figure out exactly how everything would fit before I committed to anything.
The app allows me to input/draw the dimensions of the room, fixtures, cupboards, furnishings and so on letting me see the amount of space it all takes up....allowing me to know how much clearance I have between objects and so on. So ....with a plan in place I was all set to put the room together


I have a lot more work to do to get this room completely functional but I am well on my way. I thought I would share a few photos of how its coming together


I already had that big desk.....built in 1967, it is one SOLID piece of furniture and will do double duty for sure. My husband installed the cupboards and built a simple but very sturdy unit that holds my machines when not in use, those drawer units as well as other supplies.


there is a closet in the room and a spot for my dress form


the desk is 60" x 30" with large drawers and pull outs.....so it will be my cutting, pressing, painting/drawing/sewing surface.





Because I have been spending so much time on this, I have done little in the way of stitching, I am however, still keeping up with The 100 Day Project on Instagram and have used the drawing a day as my creative outlet. You can find me here or click the button on my side bar

I did create something right here in my new room though!. A "rest" for my iPad. I draw almost exclusively on my iPad these days (generally with it on my lap in front of the TV) but that can lead to a sore neck, I wanted to have my iPad sit at just the right (for me) angle when I am seated at my desk so this is what I did.
I began by making a tube with a piece of muslin cut at 7" x 12.5"  which I stitched across the bottom and up one side leaving the top open. I used sand (found it at the dollar store) as the filler because I do want it to have some weight but also be somewhat flexible. I filled the tube to roughly 1.75" from the top then whipped stitched it closed. (this left a bit of space for the sand to shift giving it flexibility) Next, I simply took a bunch of scraps cut into strips and sewed them together.....this was trimmed to 7.75" x 13"


The pieced fabric was also then stitched into a "tube" that the sand filled one could be slipped into


after being stitched closed it was ready for use.


 Now I simply place it under my iPad and it elevates the screen to a comfortable height.








back to sorting and deciding what needs to come live in this room. (those cupboards and drawers have not yet been filled) 



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The 100 Day Project

Have you heard of The 100 Day Project? it is an initiative where you commit to doing something, anything, everyday for 100 days. What that might be is up to you, you choose, I decided to jump in and see if I can actually keep up....... 3 weeks in and so far so good.

What am I doing for my 100 day challenge? I am drawing (digitally on my iPad) every day and posting on Instagram. In most cases I can complete a drawing each day, in others, where the drawing I am working on requires more time than I can dedicate, I am posting progress shots.
as an example, this chickadee.....the entire drawing is made up of dots and took several days to complete



I am playing with some graphic black and white ideas






and trying to work with colour more








When I began, I did not start out with the thought of using my toy sewing machines for inspiration.....but trying to draw every day means not spending a lot of time "thinking" of what I want to draw. I have lots of these little machines, in lots of colours and shapes, so it just kind of happened.   :-)

Interested in what else I have been drawing?
You can find me on Instagram Jill Buckley @Quiltrat




Monday, April 2, 2018

Surface Design on Clothing

Surface design on simple garments, like tank tops, is a great way to combine creativity and practicality. (..and...if it does not go according to plan, you have not wasted a lot of fabric) Lately, I have been creating a few new summer tops. This grey jersey has a lovely feel but it is a little boring so why not dress it up with some stencils, paint, thread and maybe even a few beads.
With this top, I started by drawing the pattern outline shape so that I would have some guidelines to work within. I used stencils I designed and cut myself
(I used window film to make the stencils, you can see how I do this in an earlier post here )


I used a stencil brush to apply the textile paint. The fabric is pinned onto a piece of foam core to keep it from slipping about and also provides a good surface for stenciling



Once I had completed stenciling, the paint was heat set with a hot, dry iron to make it permanent. Next I began adding some "outline" stitching.
With the hand stitching done, I then cut out the top and partly assembled it because I wanted to add a few beads and did not want them to be in the way as I machine stitched the shoulder seams, neck and armhole bands. I left the side seams open for easy access allowing me to continue with hand stitched details and beading


I tend to do the hand stitching and beading in the evenings while watching TV ( Netflix) A piece of felt glued into a small margarine lid makes a terrifically portable beading tray.






I have more of that same grey jersey, so this time I am adding dots. Now, because it would be rather difficult to hand cut consistently perfect dots, I used a commercial stencil for this.



This time, I cut the top out prior to stenciling. I stay-stitched the neckline and armholes to keep the bias edges from stretching out of shape while I manipulate the fabric.


In order to make sure the dots would flow nicely across the bottom, I stitched one of the side seams partly closed near the lower edge to ensure that stencil design would be unbroken


I will post the finished top once I get back to the sewing machine.

Rather than putting up a separate post, this one has been updated to include a photo showing how this top with the stenciled dots looked once completed (with a close up of the stitch detail)










Monday, March 12, 2018

Feature article.

Many of you know that I have a collection of toy and miniature sewing machines. I was recently asked to compose a short article about my collection and well....about these little gems in general. The article appears in the current issue of The Canadian Quilter and I just noticed that it is also a "featured" article which means there is a link to it so that it can be read online. If you would like to take a look, you will find the link here.....look for it under the heading for Canadian Quilter Magazine Spring 2018


If you would like to see individual photos of the machines in my collection (well most of them, I still need to post more photos) You can click the "Toy Sewing Machine" button on my sidebar
But here is an overall look at the photos of my machines that I have posted there.



Copyright Jill Buckley