Scrapping Peru

Not only did I finish my pillow, but I finally, finally, finally tackled the scrapbook layout from my Peru fieldschool that has been sitting in a closet for literally years (I mean, the trip alone was in 2007!!).

These pages are from my excursion to the Museo de la Nacion (the National Museum). The blank spots will be filled in with a little story of my trip, but I am out of ink at the moment and to match the pages I began years ago, I want to keep the printed font theme rather than go to handwriting.

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The recreation of the man by the hut represented some of the work of our field advisor.

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I’ve learned now not to take photographs of human remains as many cultures find it distasteful, but I was young and naive then and I thought it was really cool. Now, I recognize photographs are best spent on research reasons, not “cool bones”.

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That’s me, pointing to Machu Picchu, and I was terribly excited to go (I would go at the end of my 5 week stay stay in Lima, the capital). The statue art in the lower left was an exhibit just getting set up, and I got in trouble for taking photographs (I had no idea, as I do not read Castilian, was separated from my group, and only guessed that’s what the security people were trying to tell me).

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The images in the top left were sad. It was a special exhibit detailing some of the political unrest and civilian casualties from recent history. We didn’t stay in that exhibit long (I may have lingered longer could I read anything).

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Let’s just put it this way: the ancient Moche loved what we would now call erotic art.

I am not sure how much more I will scrapbook, but I do hope to get back into it this winter break. Now that I am getting the hang of teaching, I feel the joy of free-time again. Of course, this semester is a study in organization but otherwise simple. Next semester may be more complicated…

Hexagon pillow case

Today, I finally finished the paper-pieced hexagon pillow case I had been working on. You can read a little bit more about it here. A quick recap is that the flowered piece was sewn by Boy’s grandmother who has since passed away.

hexagon_pillow_case_1Boy picked out the fabric for the back. he said “you gotta go with green, no one ever chooses green!” I love it when he participates.

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It works perfectly on my little couch for a little lumbar support!

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I used a 16×16 pillow form and shoved some batting in the corners to fill them out. Oh, and I used a sheet of stabilizer too, just to make sure all my hexie work didn’t come undone under pressure. Originally, I had intended on doing an envelope case, but then just decided to sew the pillow in. My hidden stitch worked for a change!

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Taking photos in the winter lighting conditions (or ever, if I am being honest) isn’t my forté so please excuse that.

First applique experience

I finally wrapped up my sister-in-laws 2-year-belated wedding present and gave it to her. In this post, I am going to talk about the process. When she sends me over a photo of it hung on the wall in all its glory, I will post the final look.

I learned many things. One, I like appliqué as much as I like hexagons. For her project, I used all free materials, except we purchased the background (a nice canvas for structure) and the trim (upholstery piping). The rest came from her grandmother who has passed away, her stepmother (my neighbor, a quilter and giver-of-scraps), and what I had in my stash (some gifted from my friend Leslie). I used a template I found on the internet, but for the life of me I cannot find its source again. Grr! I did not use the giant one, mostly the three on the left and a few of the one on the bottom right.

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The process was simple – cut paper templates out, baste stitch around the edge and press.

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Oh, so two, I learned the difference between ironing and pressing. And three, that you can burn your ironing board cover :(

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Kaite was very lax about what she wanted. Or where she wanted to put it. So, I tried to stick with neutrals and her general house colors, but she also said to make it a bit fun. I selected a rainbow of colors and fabrics.

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Not all of them made the cut once I started putting them together. I think I only used about half of the ones I had prepared. Here is a look at all of them:

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My inspiration came from this image, I found through a foray into Pinterest (I do not have a Pinterest account, for the record – but I scope it out every now and then. But not having it prevents me from locating this art’s owner…).

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A long time ago, I bought this rectangular embroidery (?) “hoop” (is lap-quilt frame more appropriate?) for a project that I hope to embark on soon for a coworker of mine. (See a theme here about belated projects?) It worked out really well! I pinned the petals in place, and then appliquéd them on one by one. And four, let me tell you, Star Trek TNG is starting to get really, really good. I am almost on Season 4 and I am just now starting to understand why the internet thinks Picard is such a badass (when I was little, he was just the old man!). Now, I know.

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An easy roll-over over to finish the edge:

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Even with the original choices for this pattern, not everything made the cut in the end. You’ll see that in the finale in the next post.

Then, some embroidery for the bride and groom – standard backstitch in a complimentary brown.

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I had to cut it to size, and I lost some of the petals here. It was slightly crooked so to square it off; more got chopped off than originally planned. Then, of course, adding a quarter inch seam all around ate some of the real estate too.

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I had another piece of canvas for the back trimmed out with pockets for a rod – to either be hung vertically or horizontally (the embroidery works with both!). And, to either be hung so you do see the rod, or with spaces so you can use rod hangers behind the whole thing so the hardware doesn’t detract from the view. I wasn’t sure how they would hang it, or if they would want it hidden or not. I sewed the front and back face-to-face and left a fairly large hole to turn it out. More pressing and ironing. Then I sewed the trim to the backside (I was too afraid to try to get it perfect whilst sammiched inbetween). I also wanted to hide the edges of the canvas for the rod pockets, but with them being that small, I could not get them to turn out. The sides are nicely hemmed, but the bottom isn’t. And ironing them was a pain also, so I went with fray check (the darkened line across the bottom). I mean, it’s the back, right?

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See those sweet scissors? Boy got them for me for my birthday! He says no embroiderer is complete without gold swan scissors. He admires them for their engineering and is sad he is not allowed to use them (he’s learned the hard way about my sewing sharps!). I should mention he is the one who picked out the background and trim for Kaite’s project. He’s very proud of that.

Hopefully she will send me pics along soon to show you the front so ye can be dazzled.

I also learned finally how to not end up with crazy knots all over the backside (in all of that, I had one knot – in the embroidery – and I was able to get it out before I tied it off!). I was so proud of it I took a photo, but the thread is too much the same color as the canvas and you can’t tell what’s going on. Just believe me. It was cool.