Monthly Archives: May 2008

Currently in my sewing basket:

It’s been awhile since I’ve shown off what I’m working on; I like doing this because it helps me keep on track. I’ll come back to this post and document when I finish something, so it’s a nice record of things accomplished. So, on to the show!

The wedding present:
for my friend Pam
I started this photo frame quite awhile ago; it’s definitely a *WISP! I’d like to exhibit it at a show in July, so I am trying to work on it more diligently. The blank square in the center will eventually contain a photograph. I’m going to try to finish this off so it’s easy to change the photograph.

Irish baseball cap:
latest baseball cap
I pieced this hat just before going to Ireland; the finished sections still need beads. It’s certainly brightly colored-I won’t get lost in the crowd when I’m wearing this hat! Most of the thread and all of the buttons and other embellishments were purchased in Ireland. There is one more section-I didn’t include it in the photo because I haven’t done any embroidery on it yet.

Baby’s onesies:
hand embroidered onesies
This is the third set! The first two were for girls, this set is for a boy. I did almost all the embroidery without any stabilizer or hoop. I used water soluble stabilizer on one to try it out, and decided it was too hard to sew through, and it was too time consuming to fit the stabilizer to such a small item. I think for an adult size tee, I would probably use the stabilizer though; getting your thread tension just right is a little fussy.

Eyeglass case:
eyeglass case
I am working on some ideas for small, simple, relatively speedy projects for crazy quilting classes. This is the first small project. If you select the image and enlarge it, you can just see the basting stitches around the edge.

Poppy quilt:
small crazy quilt
Another *WISP; this one was started three or four years ago, for the first Georgeson Botanical Garden quilt show. I wrapped the quilt top and some batting around a board, pinned the crap out of it, tacked a backing on, and entered it; I think it got third place. I want to put it in another show this summer, and the makeshift back isn’t gonna work this time! This is a closeup view; not the whole quilt.

There are more pictures on Flickr of each of these projects.

*WISP = Work in slow progress

Surfin’ the web

If you visit my blog, you’ll notice a new page, Surfin’ the Web (if you view this blog via a reader, well, come visit!). I’m trying out a new way to keep track of my bookmarks. I’m sure you’ve heard of Del.ici.ous, the social bookmarking site. It’s a really cool way to access your bookmarks from any computer that’s connected to the internet. I’m sharing my links with you, and so are other people. Anyone who uses the tag “crazyquilts” is included in the feed on my Netvibes public page, in the upper right hand corner of the page.

If you’d like to join in, and add sites too, sign up for a Del.ici.ous account, and start adding links. You can put a bookmarklet button on your browser, making it super easy to add links. If you network with me, you can see all my bookmarks-even more sharing! But… If you’re a little unsure of using Del.ici.ous, you can always leave me a comment on this page, and ask me to add your link. And please, if you have a cool blog or website, tell me about it so I can add it!

The list below contains links to my Netvibes tabs; I think the names are self explanatory. Each Netvibe tab also has a list of my Del.ici.ous tags. You can select a tag, and go to my Del.ici.ous links associated with that tag. If you click on a link in one of the feeds, a new page for that link will open.

Crazy quilting


Computer (not there yet, but eventually…)

Let me know what you think of this. It’s an experiment at this point, and I might go back to having links on the blog (yes, they’re all still there as of now! but that’ll be changing soon… verrrry sooonnn…). It’s just that I’ve found it so easy to use Del.ici.ous; no more copy/paste stuff, my link list on Netvibes is updated without any effort at all, and I can see tons more links as well. What’s not to like??

Critiques and criticism and “eww!”

I stumbled onto this post (from True Stitches, via Red Thread Studio) regarding making honest comments about a knitted item. I was intrigued by this statement “Apparently someone left a comment about the socks Stephanie was knitting, calling them “fugly”. Stephanie was slightly miffed, pointing out that her blog was like her living room, and it would be rude for a guest in her home to say “Gee, that’s an ugly couch”, so why do visitors to her blog feel they can say whatever they like?” In the next couple of paragraphs, True Stitches makes the point that only making positive comments is boring. Too true! Though we all like to hear good stuff, it ought to be okay to disagree and say you don’t like something (personally, I’d appreciate hearing why you don’t like it too!).

There’s two parts to this:

  1. the “fugly” comment – criticism is good, bland, non-specific (rude) comments are not good, but they’re a fact of life, so deal with it
  2. “like her living room” – um, no, the ‘net isn’t my living room; it’s an alcohol-free zone that is public

Okay, no. 2 first: The Internet is public. Whatever you put out there, people can see and react to. Sometimes they won’t be nice about what you put out there. And it hurts. So toughen up, dry your tears, and get over it. Delete the danged comment! Sometimes easier said than done.

But no. 1 is much more… important to me, I guess. Personally, I would love to get constructive criticism. I get a considerable number of visitors to my blog on a daily basis, but rarely get comments. Of course I love getting positive feedback! But I’d like to hear from visitors who think my hats (or whatever) are, well, ugly! “Constructive” being the operative word here. In a way, I don’t blame Stephanie for being offended by the “fugly” comment. She would have been better served if the criticism had been more specific: I don’t like the design, I don’t like the colors, the object is poorly constructed, the sock will only fit a midget with three toes, etc.

How do I judge things? Mostly by whether it appeals to me; I think that’s how most people decide that something is “good” or “ugly”. By the color, the shape, the texture, and how they all fit together. When I’m looking at a piece of artwork (or machinery, for that matter), I also want to look at how the piece was constructed; the workmanship. I try to look beyond the aquamarine blue that I remember (and detest) from Phoenix, and look critically at the oil painting of the river, and see that the artist didn’t quite capture the color of the river, but the trees and the motion of the water and the sky are proportional to each other, they look realistic, and my eye is drawn to the subject by the placement of the elements in the painting. I think about what I would do differently if I were the artist. Why do I like this piece, or not? What attracted/repelled me? What keeps me looking at it?

Looking at an object critically helps me refine my own artwork. I try to step back and see the piece as though it were new; it helps if I put it away for a few weeks and then look at it. Sometimes I’ve put a lot of time and energy into a project, and I can’t distinguish between that and whatever else I might like/dislike about the work. But if I can step back, and be critical, I learn what not to do, and what works. My next piece will be better. Other people will see things that I don’t; they also don’t have any investment in the work, so they might be more honest than I can be. That’s why I’d like comments from you.

What would you prefer… Would you leave a comment on the blog? or would it be easier for you to leave a comment on Flickr? What about setting up a blog just for critiques? Would you be willing to contribute (items to be critiqued and comments)?

Curiously waiting…

Another perspective on criticism from Judy Dunn, of Artrepeneur. She makes some good points on not listening to criticism. Her conclusion says it all:

The bottom line….The process of creating is precious. Protect it from the critics. The product is just product. It is not precious. It is not us. Let the critics come out and have their say when you are ready to pause. Listen. Notice. See it as a way to learn and grow. And then thank your critics for their input, and tell them to go back in their closet.

Be sure to read her post on after the show as well; it contains good info on evaluating a marketing experience, but I think you could use a similar process to evaluate why you didn’t win the gold (with some revisions to the questions you ask yourself).

Electric embroidery…

An amazing video:
I sincerely hope that this is an awesome Photoshop/Flash project. Definitely something to aspire to, no matter how it was done! “‘Like It or Not’ was painstakingly stitched by The crew at Mathematics (who made the AIH clip for ‘Debbie’), directed by Josh Logue and interpreted from a coconut concerned psychedelic love fantasy emanating from the stream of consciousness of Cameron Bird.

Architecture in Helsinki – Like It Or Not from helsinkids on Vimeo.

Found via Embroidered Prayers of Peeling a Pomegranate

Soft circuit embroidery:
I want to try this“…introductory tutorial for working with conductive thread to make a circuit on fabric. Using traditional embroidery techniques with modern electronic components, she will demo the creation of a simple soft switch circuit that will light up a sewn LED…”

LilyPad arduino:
Whatever arduinos are, you can sew them onto fabric and do electronic thingies with them. Lea Buechly works at in the Computer Science Department at the University of Colorado Boulder and “…explores the intersection of computational and physical media, focusing on computational textiles or electronic textiles (e-textiles) – soft, flexible, fabric-based computers.”