Tuesday, January 15, 2013

all of the quilts

Having just finished a quilt, and TAing a quilt class: now I have the fever now and want to make all the quilts.  While iIve probably got enough fabric in my apartment to go ahead and do that, I love starting things and buying supplies so really this is about new project mania more than anything else.

I've got all these new quilts in my head right now, on top of some long term projects and half-finished things.  The purpose of this post is to dump them out so I can stop obsessing about them and calm down (and close some of these browser tabs)

First of all, two quilts that have been simmering in the background for a while and will continue to do so.

1) a coin quilt using pieces of all the extra special scraps + pieces of the fabrics I love too much to actually use (in hopes that having a piece in a quilt that I can have FOREVER frees me to use some of the rest of the fabric).  Probably something like this, perhaps with a pale grey/mushroom linen or a quiet ticking stripe as the "background" fabric.  (The pictured quilt is the one that inspired this plan, so this has been in my brain since 2005.)

birthday coin quilt

2) a quilt using scraps of 60s/70s bedsheets.  I'm not sure what pattern i'll use - maybe flying geese since this quilt is super pretty.

hey geese!

The next three quilts in my head are things I started-then-abandoned a while ago, and I feel like I need to finish at least one of them before starting any of the exciting new ones.

3) a pink/orange patchwork duvet cover iI was supposed to make as a gift for my best friend several years ago.  This might just be patchwork and not a quilt, or he might not even want it anymore (I asked him this morning - awaiting reply) but the bulk of it is done and I feel pretty guilty about never finishing it.  It's just patchwork squares alternating in orange and pink.  I had to dye a lot of the fabrics myself because I couldn't find enough oranges I liked (this was something like 10+ years ago and there weren't as many options then).

4) my first quilt ever (which was a terrible choice for first): the quilt on the (hardcover version) of Kaffe Fassett's book, Glorious Patchwork.

kaffe quilt

I guess I thought it would be a good first project because it's technically not a quilt but just patchwork (there's no backing or batting - it's more like a curtain, and when the sun comes though it looks like stained glass).  It was all paper pieced and complicated and took me years. All the patchwork is done, but I had an issue with tension on my machine so when I went to rip the paper out, the stitches also ripped out.  It will take me a lot of repair to get this to a usable state, unless I make it a wallhanging and just leave the paper on it - but I don't like the color scheme anymore so I'm not jazzed to finish it.

5) a triangle quilt from the same Kaffe Fassett book (on the softcover version's cover).
work in progress

I probably have enough blocks to finish this one too (and without seam-ripping issues) but I just don't like the colors anymore.  I believe my solution here is to eliminate some of the blocks (probably the ones with brown in them) and introduce another color I like better to replace them.  To avoid wasting my rejected blocks, I should be able to make them into a baby quilt to donate to project linus or a similar charity.  Or I might just finish it as-is and donate the whole thing.  I think this is my most likely candidate for the project that I finish before starting a new one.

Finally, the the shiny new ones:

6) a chevron quilt in pink, aqua, lime/chartruese green, orange, and grey.  The colors are similar to the quilt I just finished, but those are the colors I like!  Also those are the colors I have a lot of, so except for the grey, I shouldn't have to buy very much fabric to finish it.  I'd like the colors more saturated than my finished quilt, and I'm considering adding some bright acid yellow and some black-and-white fabrics to give it more punch.  I'm also very interested in doing some printing and dyeing for it.

I'm probably using something like this pattern (funny enough, it's a similar palette to what I want):
(Also I definitely want the cameras from this fabric collection for it.)

7) a postage stamp quilt in 30s repros.  This is the fault of my Blythe friend SewPixie, who has been doing that "scrappy tripalong" thing and posting it on Instagram.

I wanted to know what it was, so I looked up the pattern and liked the enforced randomness (after putting too much effort getting my finished quilt to look random) but I know that I'd need a palette conducive to putting whatever color next to whatever color to keep me from thinking too much about it.  Luckily I have a lot of 30s repros and those look good all mixed up with each other.  I think I will do a postage stamp quilt though instead of the "trip around the world" because I found a tutorial that keeps the strip piecing ease but without undoing seams which would drive me insane.

I just have to figure out if I want colors butted up next to each other like above, or if I want to put in solids for breathing room.  (For some reason i have a resistance to mixing solids and prints even though so many quilts I like have that.  I'm curious if alternating the pastels with 30s prints in black would look cool instead - still have to work that part out.)

8) I have a fair number of navy blue prints and after seeing this fabric line on Etsy I kinda want a nautical quilt in something like navy blue/sky blue/pink/lemon yellow.  This totally came out of fabric browsing and is very nebulous, but I can't seem to shake it, so I'm including it.

Okay, I think that frees me up a bit to think of other things.  I have a couple other non-quilt sewing projects I also need to do before I can really delve into any of this (mainly Lolita stuff - a dress for a very patient friend, and upcoming fashion shows) but being in that quilt class every Monday keeps me thinking about this stuff :p

sorry for ignoring you for like 3 years, blog.  but i need you now, so here i am.

last year i took a quilt class at lillstreet - it was a week-long "quilting bootcamp" where the goal was to make a quilt, start-to-finish, in a week.  (it was the week between christmas and new year's so it was a lofty goal but not completely ridiculous maybe.)  we each made a disappearing nine patch - i made mine full size so i could use it on my bed.  my cat wembley was really fond of sitting on the thing while i was working on it, because that's a cat's job.

thus she helped me pick out fabrics:
fabric for quilt boot camp = wembley approved

and baste:

the cat basting method

and bind.

helping again

after working on one project so intensely i needed a little break from it even though i was quite close to finishing (basically just needed to finish hand-stitching the binding on. also my mom was coming to visit for my birthday in february, and i needed to get my apartment really clean for that.  unfortunately wembley got really sick and passed away suddenly on march 1st, the day my mom left from her visit.  i was too sad to bother finishing the quilt because i had such strong associations with wembley and felt guilty that i hadn't finished it in time for her to enjoy rolling around on the finished product.  so the quilt sat for the rest of the year.

a couple weeks ago i found out i would be the teaching assistant for another quilt class at lillstreet (making a quilt in 10 weeks instead of 1) and decided i should at least have one finished quilt under my belt before doing so.  so i finished the binding, pulled out the basting, and washed it.  now it lives on my bed.

the quilt is finally bound and washed and on my bed!

i miss wembley a lot and i wish she could enjoy the quilt with me, but the colors are so happy and i feel so accomplished that i think i can have happy thoughts about her while i sleep under it.

i will take a better picture of it later - that's just a quick one on my semi-made bed so i could show off a photo on the first day of quilt class.

all that is basically background for my next post, in which i have to list all the other quilts i suddenly want to make.

Monday, July 04, 2011

notice how loesje (the mondrian at far right) always gives a little extra for the camera!

just uploaded the rest of my blythecon leftovers. i actually sold pretty well there, i just went crazy making stuff because i had no idea how much to bring, and to keep my nervousness at bay i just kept cranking them out.

coming soon will be:
  • pants (using an awesome pattern that james drafted ages ago)
  • more cape sets (after i dye some more velveteen in my next lill street class)
  • more spoonflower prints (although they are out of sateen right now and i wanted to give that a try)
and thanks always to my friends who support my little endeavors, and make nice comments on flickr and repost my links on facebook. i really, really appreciate it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

listed some of the blythecon leftovers on etsy... more later this week :)

(i just realized poor loesje's unringed pullstring is showing... i really need to get her a new one!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I seem to have accumulated a few too many names in my time on the internet.

I think my first online name was eero67. That was a reference to two of my favorite furniture designers: Eeros Saarinen and Aarnio. I had a paper zine about 60s fashion and culture named eero (I'm still breaking myself of the habit of writing in all lower case all the time, ok?) and since most of the time online names needed a number, I added the year of the Montreal Expo. Back then I had a Geocities site, which, creepily, has been archived by some stranger, so you can still see it.

I'm not sure when I first started using mylaar, but it must have been a little while after that. The origin of that one is really silly, possibly too silly to type out, but it comes from a time when I was obsessed with Walter Van Beirendonck, so I guess wanted something that sounded Dutch? My best friend James was going by quasaar (I guess that also sounded Dutch? and apparently those would have been our club kid names if we'd gone to college together and lived in NYC instead of Pennsylvania? I told you it was silly) so when we both moved to Chicago and started to make products together, we combined our "names" to get qylaar.

I've used mylaar online the longest, and still do, in many places. My first livejournal (which is sitting unused now) was under that name, and it's what I used when I first started up with Blythe dolls. When I started making clothing for the dolls, I wanted a name for my "brand" so I came up with dollyrockers. It's actually the name of a small fashion label from the 60s (everything eventually goes back to that, for me) and seemed perfect for the mod styles I was trying to make. Unfortunately, it now also seems to be the name of a band, so my google search status gets bumped lower and lower...

And last but not least: paillettes. At some point I started a second livejournal, because I'd gotten interested in Elizabethan & Renaissance costuming. I wanted to follow the lj costume journals and groups, but keep them separate from my regular friendslist, since I was getting lost in the volume of posts. I never did get very far with the costuming (I still have the interest, but I can't possibly keep up three expensive/labor-intensive hobbies) so when I got into Lolita fashion, I ended up sticking all that stuff on the same livejournal. Nowadays we think of paillettes as really big sequins, which are my favorite kind of sequin, but it's also a term for a historical kind of sequin, which is why I chose it.

So... I'm basically mylaar, paillettes, or dollyrockers in various places on the internet. I also have my full name parked as a dot com domain, and one day I might link everything there, when I get to the point of having a more viable online portfolio etc. I need to come up with a better design and title for this blog, but for now, minty blue-green, "dollyrockers" + some arbitrary French will do :p

My poor neglected blog! Get ready for a barrage of posts. I've been busy since I've last updated this, and so I have lots to talk about:
  • my textile design adventures: silkscreening at Lill Street and designing prints for Spoonflower
  • making dresses for myself
  • getting back into Blythe dolls and making dresses for them too!
I just got back from Blythecon in Portland -- it was amazing to finally meet people I have known online for many years, and I'm very excited to get back into the hobby and sew for my dolls again (and for other people's dolls, of course). I made so much stuff to sell at Blythecon that even though I had a good number of sales, I have lots left to update my etsy with!

Anyway, hello again :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

hanky project
Originally uploaded by mylaar
I am trying not to neglect the blog, but when I'm busy making stuff, it's sometimes hard for me to take the time to photograph things and write about them.

For now, here is the project I've been working on in my current class at Lillstreet (Printing with Thickened Dyes) -- a series of cotton handkerchiefs.

Real post soon...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

There was a thunderstorm, so instead of sewing tonight as planned, I spent nearly two hours picking stitches and interfacing out of these old curtains, while watching "The September Issue" and part of "Grey Gardens." I didn't want to have to stop in the middle of sewing if the power went out (which I'm gun-shy about, since the last time that happened, I was doing laundry and ended up locking my keys in the basement).

I may overprint something on them (which reminds me that I need to finish posting about my past silkscreen projects -- and I'm in a new class now so new stuff is incoming) or leave them as is, for some Betsey Johnson style summer party dresses.

Friday, March 12, 2010

As mentioned in the previous catch-up post, I've been doing a lot of silkscreening in the past few months. I've been taking classes at Lill Street since spring 2008, I think... because the oldest silkscreen photos in my flickr are from summer 2008, and I know I took one class before that.

In the first classes I took, I did a lot of small multiple prints.

Old French coins, which I printed in a ton of different color combinations, fronts and backs. My original plan was to make coin purses out of (and I still might) but I've since decided I want to applique a row of them along the hem of a seersucker dress:

My first foray into two-color prints was silhouettes of poodles and Jane Austen-type ladies and gentlemen:

Some of which eventually became pillows. I would like to eventually re-burn the poodle screen for a dress or skirt print also.

Finally, I threw in a very Orla Keily-esque leaf print:

Which also was used for at least one pillow.

All those images were taken from various Dover clip art books, which I've been relying on for a long time. I love found imagery, and I'm not very confident in my drawing skills. Recently I've been tentatively doing more drawing, and some tracing, and I'm starting to prefer the more hand-made look of it.

Next time, squiggles, more poodles, and pigeons!