My Shop on Spoonflower

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Spoonflower Adventure Continues

Note finished hem of blanket -- 1) straight stitching 2) double zigzagging 3) zigzagging.
Spoonflower's newest fabric, Minky, is fabulous.  It is forgiving, it is soft, and it is a joy with which to work.  Having said that, above is a picture of my first effort at a blanket.  I ordered one yard of Minky fabric in "A Tumble of Sheep," one of my designs in my Spoonflower shop.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the tactile sensations of this fabric impressed me the minute I pulled it out of the Spoonflower shipping envelope.  I washed and dried the fabric and the colors held.

I like easy-peasy projects and I decided to make a baby blanket.  Now, mind you, I rarely look for directions on anything and just plunge directly into whatever I'm doing.   I should learn to Google first, sew later, but I didn't.  I folded the right sides of the Minky together, pinned them, and stitched the folded over yard -- now 27" wide instead of the original 54" wide -- of fabric together, leaving a small hole so I could pull the fabric right side out.  I stitched up the hole then straight stitched a 5/8" seam along the outer four sides of the blanket.   Then I folded over and pinned a strip of 2" wide pink satin blanket binding to both sides of 1 side of  the Minky, mitering the corners once I had determined the length of that one side.  (If you look at the above picture, there is no longer pink satin binding on this blanket.)  I zigzag stitched the binding to the blanket, messing up everything.  I stopped and looked at my effort.  I showed it to my husband.  Now my husband thinks just about everything I do is great -- possibly because he has to live with me -- but he is not an honest critic. My last honest critic went off to college 15 years ago -- my daughter --  and she is now a mother of three of my grandchildren. 

I looked at my work objectively, saw that it did not look good, reminded myself that I had purchased a yard, and boldly sheared off everything -- the binding and the fabric -- leaving -- when folded -- a 25" wide blanket.  I stitched everything back up and then Googled binding a Minky blanket and there were several generous people who has posted advice and tips.  And next time I will follow those tips.  :-)  I wanted to get this sucker done because I'm giving it to my oldest granddaughter tomorrow as part of her birthday gifts -- she loves soft fabric and she can use it with her baby dolls.

So my next step -- because I had now decided NOT to use the pink satin binding --  was I laid out the stitched together fabric on the dining room table and grabbed a dinner plate and a sharpie and I put the dinner plate in each of the four corners and marked off rounded edges with the sharpie.  Then I carefully tucked in the rough edges and stitched the rounded corners together.  Then I zigzagged around the whole border of the blanket, then double zigzagged again all around the blanket leaving a nice finished look to the blanket . . . except all the sides are not precisely even but they are close enough.  Next time I WILL do better.  But for a first try on an unfamiliar fabric, the result, for me, was acceptable.  :-) 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mrs. Pecos Bill, the Monster Tornado, and the Far Side of the Moon or My Version of a Spoonflower Mythical Creature Plushie!

Mrs. Pecos Bill Inside the Monster Tornado with her flock of rainbow sheep.
The Far Side of the Moon (only poor Mrs. Pecos Bill's hat is left) and on the right, Mrs. Pecos Bill inside the Monster Tornado
The Far Side of the Moon and Bluebonnets!
I always learn something doing these Spoonflower contests and the important thing I learned during the “Mythical Creature Plushie” contest is that my beloved Pecos Bill, popular in the 1950s, is part of fakelore, rather than folklore!!!  He is not even as big a myth as Paul Bunyan.  He is believed to have been invented in a series of short stories by Edward S. O’Reilly a little over 100 years ago. And also, after I did all this work, I realized I didn't really create a mythical creature! Nevertheless, I forged ahead and created a cut-n-sew about a wife of Pecos Bill’s.

Now Bill, who was raised by a pack of coyotes (really!!) managed somehow to grow up to be a cowboy.  His first love interest was Slue-Foot Sue but this isn’t about Slue-Foot Sue.

No, this is about a sweet innocent young girl who was taken with Pecos Bill’s bad boy image – after all, he used a rattlesnake as a lasso and rode a horse named Widow-Maker.  What girl wouldn’t be attracted to a man such as Pecos Bill!

One day a great storm came up as great storms do in the Great Plains of the United States.  A tornado touched down.  Pecos Bill saw that tornado, lassoed it with his rattlesnake and rode that tornado until the tornado was no more.  What he didn’t realize was that there was an even more powerful tornado right behind the first.  That monster twister swooped up Mrs. Pecos Bill and the flock of rainbow sheep she was watching at the time. 

When Pecos Bill realized what had happened, he leaped on his horse, Widow-Maker, and rode as fast as he could, trying to lasso the tornado that had taken his beloved wife, but it was for naught. Mrs. Pecos Bill was flung into the far reaches of space by that gigantic twister, and hit the Far Side of the Moon, leaving only her hat and a single bluebonnet.

Check out my version of a Mythical Creature Plushie.  Designs featured above are printed on Spoonflower linen-cotton canvas.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Giant Pinking Machine?

Is there such a thing as a giant pinking machine?  Like when fat quarters and yardage are being cut at Spoonflower, is there a machine that would pink the edges instead of the straight cutting that exists now?  I only ask because the other day I washed quite a few fat quarters (Spoonflower basic cotton and basic cotton Ultra) and there was so much fraying of the edges that the threads became balled up together and it took a bit of time to untangle all the fat quarters.  Really it is just the cottons that fray so badly after watching -- although it would be nice to have the satin pinked too -- it also frays too.  Well, I guess for good measure -- just pink all fabrics.  Ha!  But is there such a thing? A giant pinking machine?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Spoonflower Minky Arrived!


Because of Presidents' Day, my Spoonflower Minky did not arrive until today.  I ripped open the now familiar Spoonflower package and pulled out this fabulously soft fabric . . . even the reverse side of this fabric is soft.  This design is "A Tumble of Sheep". The colors printed brilliantly.  I attempted to get a good photo of the yardage -- I wanted to try to convey the softness of the fabric in a photo.  However, that is not possible.  The fabric is soft like a baby bunny's fur and there is a beautiful drape to it.  This photo was taken in natural indoor light.

A pile of pillows

Someday, some time soon, I will make more than throw pillows but right now, I'm in need of instant gratification and two fat quarters of Spoonflower fabric, stitched together and stuffed, gives me stylish and artsy throw pillows in no time at all.

The pile of pillows pictured below went to my daughter-in-law for her birthday.






Left to right:  "My First Mardi Gras . . . I Had No Idea!"; "The Fierce Line of Symmetry"by Logan, (without my grandson's school photo; Spoonflower designer Mezzime's "Audrey Hepburn black and white;" "Monsterscape" by Alex; and last but not least, "I'm Not Nice, I'm Pretty!" by Kaitlyn.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Laci's and Cooper's throw pillows

When our granddaughter, Laci, was last here she went through several pieces of paper, drawing and drawing.  I really liked one of her drawings which shows a chicken (at least I think it's a chicken!).  I scanned the drawing into my computer and created a design using her drawing.   (Laci told me if anyone  purchased Spoonflower fabric with her drawing on it, I'm to give her the commission, and I said, "of course.")  The drawing was printed on Spoonflower basic cotton Ultra.  I made a simple throw pillow from a fat quarter of this design.  On the reverse side of this pillow is her latest school picture printed over and over again!  That is what is nice about Spoonflower -- flexibility.   Here is a picture of the chicken side of the throw pillow:


Laci's  younger brother, Cooper, did a hand design at school and gave it to us so I scanned in that design and through Spoonflower had this design printed on Spoonflower basic cotton Ultra.  The reverse side of the pillow has Cooper's school picture centered on the hands.  (His pillow is on the right side of this picture.)

I think everyone who is interested in drawing, painting, doodling . . . check out Spoonflower.  You will love it.  It's a wonderful outlet for creative expression, plus you get to make things out of your drawings -- it's not just a drawing -- it can become throw pillows, dresses, tops, skirts, quilts -- you are limited only by your imagination!  :-)


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Venting

Life happens when we are making other plans.  In late August of last year I had a vertebra injury and now I've managed to come back somewhat and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.  I continued to create designs for my shop on Spoonflower during my continuing recovery because creating something always takes me out of myself and I don't think about pain for awhile.  This rant, though, is not about spinal pain.  This is a short rant about our Internet social media. (I heard on the NPR radio show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" that complaining actually lengthens our lives and helps us deal with stress so I hope I add a day, at least, to my life with this rant.)

Early on in my Spoonflower days, I learned how to link my project pictures from Flickr back to the design page on Spoonflower.  Everything went along okay for a little while until Flickr would no longer let us sign in using our Google accounts.  I adjusted with the move.  Then Flickr started messing with the URLs we used to link our photos from Flickr to Spoonflower -- very smart people in the Spoonflower Flickr discussion groups posted hints on what parts of the html to delete to continue linking our pics.  I adjusted again.  Then in mid August 2014, I received a message from  two of my Spoonflower Flickr friends asking me what had happened to my photostream -- everything was blacked out -- over 1,000 photos blacked out.  I received a message from Flickr telling me that my photostream had been deemed "unsafe"  -- not because of content, but because it looked too much like a shop!  I asked which photos were the offending ones and I never received a concrete answer so I began deleting links from my photos to Spoonflower.   I also deleted my little 60 second videos featuring designs and projects.  I worked on it for over 3 days straight deleting links even though at the beginning of my Spoonflower adventure,  I distinctly remember being encouraged to do exactly what I had done -- link photos from Flickr to Spoonflower.  Finally, my photostream was deemed safe, but, alas, it has not been the same.  My views have dropped precipitously and I'm always amused when someone wants to follow my photostream.  Why???

(I wish we could just upload photos from our computer to Spoonflower so there would not be an intermediary but then there would be no social media "connection.")

Then I thought I would try Instagram.  The problem with Instagram is that one takes pictures with one's smartphone -- small screen, small keyboard -- small, small, small.  (No, I do not have an Apple Iphone.)  I got an LG smartphone in December and tried taking a picture with the smartphone -- the quality is not the same as taking a picture with my Fuji digital camera.  Plus I cannot figure out to do the ever important tags on Instagram. It's such a commitment just to touch the screen of the smartphone -- I'm not sure where I will go next!!

Then, this afternoon, (as I said, recovery has been a slow slog), I remembered my blog -- poor blog -- I forgot it in 2013, the year both of my parents passed away, then rediscovered it sometime in 2014 only to forget it again in August 2014.  Yet it has always been here, waiting.  And I discovered that I can link my project photos from this blog to the design pages in my Spoonflower shop.  I am so happy.  A small victory maybe, but still!!  Many of you are now saying, "Well, duh!"  But it is a victory for this 62 year old woman who is trying to keep up -- well,  not keep up, but keep my head above water in this ever changing technological world we call the Internet.

Oh, and I just have to add, the other day I was listening to a program on NPR and a person mentioned that the Internet is like another planet and I have to say I agree.  A lot of us get to visit Planet Internet everyday!

Oh, and in case you are interested, here is my Flickr photostream.