100th Post Special

This post isnt what I had intended to post for my 100th post special, but I felt it was special enough, if not even more special than my original intention.

Two friends and I participated in Iraqi Bundles of Love this year, otherwise known as IBOL. To sum it up, a military man who grew up in a family of quilters and married a quilter, and therefore always surrounded by crafting, was stationed in Iraq when he saw a desperate need for sewing supplies. As we all know, Iraq has been through so much strife for such a long time that it doesnt take much imagination to see how sewing fell to the bottom of the economic priorities. While there are many other kinds of donations that could be done, this one really felt right with me because I feel it symbolizes a desire for unity, one crafter to another, no matter where in the world we live.

The three of us were really excited about it and by using our coupon clipping skills, were able to send a bundle worth over 100$ by only spending just about 20$ each. I had heard about IBOL through an article at Sew Mama Sew (the same place I participated in the May Day Giveaway earlier this year). It sounded like supplies other than fabric were needed so that was our focus.

IBOL

Kinda wishing i had taken better photos of our goodies, but this is what will be received by one of our neighbors in Iraq:

  • 8 pounds of fabric
  • 2  embroidery hoops
  • buttons and fasteners
  • sewing needles and straight pins
  • magnetic pin cushion
  • seam ripper
  • curved safety pins
  • fabric marker and measuring tape
  • 2 sewing scissors
  • craft ribbon
  • thread and thimble
  • bobbins and handi-bobs

The time period for this round of  IBOL is over, due to the fact that its volunteer based and difficult to coordinate long term processing and delivery. But do check out the website (the military man does have a great sense of humor;) and read the story behind it, see the pictures of the families accepting bundles, and wait for the next round to be announced. It will make you feel good, and some Iraqis feel even better :D

PS The cause for my delay would be my kitchen remodel. Not a single crafty project is getting worked on during this mess. Good news is our kitchen floor has now been fully replaced (still without the kitchen basics – no stove, sink, counters, etc). BUT I promised you something and I intend to (eventually) deliver! Im just sorry you are having to wait so long:(

a fabric family tree

So Im gonna say it: Im pretty proud of this fabric family tree project. It took me upwards of about 30 movies to complete (all by hand!) so I dont really care to calculate the time spent on it but it was a good time (i mean hello, i watched more movies in a month than i have in the last 5 years combined – thank you streaming netflix!!). Its true what they say – hexies are addicting. I was afraid to start this project because I had never done paper piecing before, nor had anyone I talked to. However, the tutorial over at craftstylish was well explained and easy to follow. And paper-piecing is quite simple! Honest!

Here is the backside:

fabric family tree

The idea for the fabric family tree project was a culmination of a couple of things. First, i had tagged this article at disdressed. I normally lean toward non-traditional quilting ideas, so hexagons-turned-tree-wall-hanging caught my eye. I have literally hundreds of things tagged in my RSS feed though, so it got lost in the pile for some time.

Then i was gifted lots of sewing things from my MIL when she needed to clean house to relocate. Included in that bunch were some items she had been in possession of since the passing of her mother. So here i was with pre-cut hexies waiting to be used for something special. But again, they were lost in a pile of fabrics awaiting the right time.

paperpieced_fabric

Once Boys brother had set a date for the wedding, I began poking around for ideas. A quilt came to mind, but are you kidding me? Im too much of a newb to take on that task and something that large doesnt interest me (yet). Eventually, I decided to lean toward doing some sort of family tree, since I know Kev is really into those things. And somehow all these dots got connected and I knew what to do!

paperpieced_fabric2

I picked the pre-cut hexies that I thought the couple would relate to the most and went out to buy matching colors. (Quilters cotton and heavyweight interfacing were the ingredients.) I even found this cool hexagon generator over at incompetech which i was able to size exactly to the pieces cut by Grandmother Dolores. The font I used was eye-balled from my favorite ever font GirlsAreWeird by John Martz/Robotic Attack Fonts (but I used the custom preview option at dafont to help me visualize the names).

fabric family tree

I sewed a little sweetheart on it, which was akin to the image on their Save-the-Date cards.

fabric family tree

Two little apples at the bottom for their kids and bam! Fabric family tree project complete :D

fabric family tree

<Well, it will be housed in an 18×24″ floating frame, but thats beside the point.>

fabric family tree

Now, those 30 movies did involve lots of accidents and learning so I doubt it would take me that long to do it over again. And yes, there are some hiccups that really irk me and i now know what to do and not do for a future project like this, but overall I think its sweet! Congratulations to the happy married couple:D

Next post = 100th Special! :D

heres to the future

Since i have couches/tools/hutches/etc in my bedroom and craftroom, fridges in my living room, tables in my laundry room, and cabinets in my garage, the serenity necessary for me to feel crafty is at an all time low. But my tendency to have my hand in too many pots is as strong as ever so Ive started to work towards better photos for this here blog of mine. Thanks to Aperture and my inherent whim to click-and-learn by trial-and-error, I should be churning out much more lovely photos. I may never be *good* but I promise i will be better :D

Evidence A, Original vs Lovely:

Michigan_anniversary27bMichigan_anniversary27

I currently use a Nikon Coolpix P50 (point-and-click) and lack interest in using a DSLR, though if I ever did feel like it, I could use Boys Nikon D70. He has several lenses and filters and know-how but for some reason Im more of a Snap! kind of girl. Personally, I feel like if i sit there trying to get one good photo by taking a bunch of time prepping and adjusting the camera, then Im missing out on *being* there. (But I do love how Boy doesnt agree, so that we can have awesome pictures;)

Anywho, this skill is obviously a work in progress. Plus, i will have to plan for the resizing involved in uploading since some distortion happened. But fear not, I will pursue lovely photos in lieue of boring ones. I touched up a little spot above the boathouse, straightened the pic a wee bit, and of course gave it some color (what do you guys think? do you like the hyper-realism or is it too much?). In fact, if you are pretty snazzy taking pics or editing them, what tools do you use? What are your must-have items or steps you take? Any tips you want to share? I know Im not the only photo newb around so giveth your advice in plenty, por favor!:)

And remember: I am a mere 2 posts away from sharing something extra special for my 100th post:D Yay!