baby quilt – the end of applique

okay, this is a lot of photos for a little bit of progress.  this marks the finishing up of all this applique quilting of clothing onto the top of the sandwiched, three-layer quilt.  instead of showing the monotonous slug progress of sewing on item after item, i decided to document the last several bits of clothing so you can see how i did it.

the oshkosh b’gosh overalls i got from my mom that might have been my little brother’s.  the onesie has been cut off halfway to reduce bulk (you wouldn’t believe how heavy this thing is now), and i’ve pinned it in.  when you do layered clothing like this, you need to plan carefully.  i cut away the back of the overalls to save on bulk, and saved only the shoulder straps.  i’ve sewn them onto the quilt halfway up their length, leaving the ends free so i can fasten the whole thing when it’s done.

you can see the bit of the back side of the pants on the lower right.  i cut a bit of the back side out so i would have more of a turn in the pants when i sewed them in, so i had to cut the back some of the way up, and now i’ve pinned the edge of the onesie right along the edge of the cut back, so it looks like it wraps around.  i’m going to have to go right into the inside of the coveralls in order to stitch down the sides of the onesie.  i’ll be stitching thru the onesie and the denim on the inside, and then will go at it from the foot and sew the rest of the pants seam down (below).

this is the quilt all rolled to fit neatly in the hole in the sewing machine.  my machine is particularly compact, so it’s a real bitch getting the thing in the space so i can sew.  that’s when i start dreaming about a quilting machine, about as long as it takes to look up the going price.  i’m going to go down the right side of the onesie/jeans, tugging on the back of the fabric, wedging the roll thru the throat of the machine, plumping the fabric in front of the needle so it doesn’t drag.  it’s going to be a real struggle, a physical struggle, partly because the machine is so lightweight and isn’t anchored to anything.  it’s just sitting on a board on top of my old cabinet sewing machine.

this shows the other end of the overalls and onesie we’ve been looking at above.  you can see on the lower right how i’m continuing the seam on the inside of the pants.  you can see the bottom end of the onesie under the folded-up leg in the middle – it’s crooked where i cut it but i don’t really care.  you can see where i’ve pinned in the snaps that will hold the legs in place.

see, i’m making the whole thing, at this point, as a play blanket.  it’s designed for older babies and toddlers to mess with.  they can unsnap and unzip everything, they can stick their little hands and feet into the hands and feet opening, and i was even considering leaving some clothes that an enterprising toddler might be able to zip him- or herself into.

moving on to the only girl item of clothing.  i debated about this.  but i didn’t have any girl things.  and the first dress i tried, a nice pink seersucker dress, didn’t work out when i cut it in half to save bulk.  so i went back to the thrift store and got this nice ruched thing with pants.  a very basic dress, really, but i had no trouble fitting it into the space i had for something there.

i sewed down the top edges of the dress, around the arms and shoulders, and came down the sides of the skirt, and then lifted the skirt and sewed the back of the skirt down.  since i wanted a lot of movement in my clothes, i made a few pleats, tugging the skirt down on the right side.  i just sewed the edge down as a precaution, even tho it would have been enough to sew the pants down on top of it.  with the pants, i did what i’ve been doing with most openings, and sewing down the bottom edge of the legs and the waist, leaving the top edge loose.

the last thing i had to do was the pair of kids standing on each other’s shoulders.  it’s the middle of the quilt, and it’s the only two pieces of clothing going the same way (every one is upside down to the next one).  so i figured i’d do something fun with it, and made them start to lose their balance.  i raised the right knee and tilted him over to the right.  this meant having to tuck the fabric at the knee and hip, and you can see the yellow-headed pins holding these areas down.  the trouble with these union suits is that the zipper runs from neck to foot and is plastic, and so won’t stay down.  it naturally buckles unless it’s under tension.  so it’s always going to look lumpy.  in the photo above, you’ll notice that i’m  not going to sew down the arms and shoulders yet, until i’ve figured out the guy balancing on top of him.

here you can see what i’m doing with the guy on top.  he’s even moreso lost his balance, and is reaching for the hand of the little girl in the pink dress, and over the shoulder of the guy to his right.  at this point i’ve just pinned everything down, i think, including the arms and hands of the guy holding him up.

this was tricky.  i’ve got to sew down the guy on the left first, except where he overlaps the guy on the right.  then i’ve got to come in and sew down the guy on the right, including where he overlaps the guy on the left.  and then i have to come back in and sew down the wrist of the guy on the left.  all this on top of a three-layer quilt plus whatever other appliqued clothing lays beneath it.

this looks like i have loads of room, but the throat of the machine, off camera to the right, is jammed with rolled-up quilt.  here i’m sewing down the arm of the guy on the left, and i’m going to come all the way down the right side and underneath the overlapping foot, which i’ll come back to finish sewing down once i’ve finished the layer underneath.  at some points i figure i’m sewing thru nine different layers, and sometimes that’d be nine different layers of seamed edges.  that’s very thick for a little ballpoint needle and a machine that cost around a hundred bucks.

i’ve re-rolled the quilt so i can sew the left side of the two kids.  i’ve got to put the left arm down over his side and over the pink sleeve, and then i’ve got to come down to the overlapping wrist of the guy on the bottom, and sew down the right side of his sleeve until i get to the foot of the guy standing on his shoulders.  does this all make sense?

but finally i’m done with that part.  i even got around to clipping all the loose threads on both sides and sewing down any edges i missed the first time around.

it’s hard to see the details at this distance, but i’ve got – starting from the top middle – a boy in brown standing on his brother’s shoulders, then a girl in a yellow striped top and jean shorts, turned upside down from the boy in the brown jumpsuit.  then there’s a baby bubble suit in white with green trim facing opposite to the kid in the jeans, and it’s heading to the right in the middle of the right side.  beneath that is a kid, facing the opposite way to the bubble shit.  this kid has dinosaur overalls.  next comes the brother holding up the kid on his shoulders, in the bottom middle of the quilt.  and next to him, and opposite, is a kid in green pants and a pink flowered top.  next to her is a kid in a onesie and overalls, in the middle of the left side of the quilt.  and finally there’s the little girl in her flouncy pink dress.  every kid depends and upsets the balance of the next kid, all the way around the circle.

of course, it’s hard to see the details at this distance.

what’s next?  well, turning the quilt over shows that there are areas which have not been quilted yet, and this will make a difference after 50 times thru the wash.  i need to devise corners for the thing after that, and then wash it 50 times.  stay tuned, i’m not finished yet.  but at least all the hard work is done.

baby quilt – decision time

both jim and i liked the dynamics of the running, playing kids’ clothes, but it just wouldn’t show up well against all the detail on the front, so we decided i should try it on the back.  so here it is.  i can make them all active on the back.  i could put in a ball in the middle for them all to play with.  i could sew on buttons for eyes and make them all heads and faces, except that you don’t sew on buttons for a baby quilt, for obvious reasons.

i might end up with these fellows on the back, and the couple or three little outfits that i can still put on the front.  either way, it helps to quilt the whole thing.  the technical issue is how do i actually sew it down like this?  i’ve had to fold the little suits in half sideways, so that they’ll appear in profile.  and then i had to really move and poke the fabric of the legs to get them to look sort of realistic.  i’m only ever going to get an approximate (mannered, stylized) figure out of these rather shapeless things.  and they look awfully strange close up.  am i going to have to sew down the edges and then trim inside, or should i cut the suits in half so that i only have one edge to worry about?  should i pad the insides of the suits so that they puff out into the finished space?

like i said, back to the painting.  fewer problems, altho i never thought i’d admit that.

i’m probably going to sit with this for a few days.  it’s the most important part of the quilt, simply because it’s the final layer of surface design, and so i don’t totally screw it up i’m going to wait and maybe go to the thrift store for more clothing options.

project: double apron painter’s smock

i used to work in the kitchen of a busy lunch place in a college town. we wore aprons. i loved my apron. it cradled my unbra-d breasts, it gave me a waist, it wrapped around my capacious hips. i looked great.

and i don’t look good in clothes. i only look good naked.

be that as it may, you can understand why my apron has been the model of many of my clothing styles ever since.

it’s practical. it keeps everything covered, it holds everything close to the body so you don’t dip anything into anything. it’s a sheath, like most elegant evening gowns, hugging tightly to every curve and giving way where room is needed.

so when i decided that in order to protect my sister’s expensive clothes (see my travel blog) i was going to need an artist’s smock to cover everything i could think of to wear during a breezy stormy residency in the west of ireland this fall.

i will be wearing a silk undershirt (mine), a t-shirt and cardigan and a sweater over that (my sister’s), and there’ll be a turf fire burning in the center of the cottage, and endless cups of hot tea, but an extra layer wrapped tight won’t be amiss.

i happened to find in the attic some fancy upholstery cotton. 2 yards. and i found somewhere else a similarly busy but smaller scale mess of quasi paisley brushed cotton of a not quite as heavy weight. also 2 yards. they both look brownish green when seen at a distance.

i envisioned an apron tied in back. and another apron, put on backwards and tied in front. but since i wanted protection for my shoulders and arms, i needed sleeves and a neckline.

i’d seen something in some historical costume picture book, a continuous yoke that went from wrist to wrist, making the sleeve. the neck was cut out of it, the body of the shirt was gathered into it. it was a powerfully simple idea.

so, this continuous yoke. and stitched onto that, the bib of the apron, back and front.

i made the yoke 16″ wide, because my fingers spread to 8″ and i doubled that.

i cut out an 8″ hole for the neck and put facing on that.

i made the bib 15″ wide, the distance across the top of my chest. i made it 15″ long, to the top of my hips (because i don’t like anything around my waist, i make my waistlines at my hips. just facing facts).

then i made the skirt another 25″, to mid calf, and wide enough to wrap around my hips and almost meet at back (and i think i misjudged that, because i had to do considerable messing around with the width of the skirt when i was piecing it together).

the bib has a triangle piece on each side that wraps around to the back. and there are pockets. and possibly cuffs. and ties.

so i figured out that i liked the idea of making a panel the width of the bib but the length of the whole bib-and-skirt. so 40″ by 15″. it suited the patterns of the fabrics. so i cut out a middle panel of both fabrics. and then the two sides of the skirt, and then the two triangles. and then i mixed them so that when i wrapped and tied the whole thing, the same fabric would be on the tie-ing part of the skirt, and the different fabric would be on the bib, a slimming thing.

and then i did a lot of pinning and measuring, as usual. and then i sewed everything together using wide seams and double-turned wide hems, hoping to avoid that rolling-hem problem i keep having with my clothes.

the hole in this entire idea is the fact that the sleeves don’t meet the bib. the shoulder yoke meets the bib, fine, it’s sewn right to the bib. but when i stitched the sleeves together i only closed the fabric to around the elbow.

the sleeve hangs open from the upper arm to the bib, about 6″.

what to do? if i close it to the underarm it will be way too tight to accommodate all the clothing i plan to have underneath the smock in october. i can’t attach it to the triangle of the bib because the bibs wrap around the body. the front is not joined to the back below the yoke.

so i may have to leave the hole. but i think that might be okay. it doesn’t gap or pouch when i have my arms down, and it makes the whole thing easy to get on, just reach my arms into the sleeves and pop my head thru and tie the ties.

there’s a question of pockets. the ties will cross any pockets that are on the bib front. and the pockets will mar the lovely line of the bib itself. i could put them on the edges of the skirts near the ties, and have them ride my hips. i’m still not sure.

apron-smock

here are my drawings and some preliminary measurements. you probably can’t see them very well.

update 12/7/10:  for the rest of the story, go here and here.

leather caps 2

hat1
cutting out the pieces from deerskin. the muslin mock-up is to the right, you can just see the practice cap on the extreme right.

i had ten days to do these caps, between the time my art grant deadline closed and xmas. i had two deerskins santa brought me this fall, and an old dry-rotted mink coat my mom gave me, and a cheap leather jacket someone threw away.

i realized after cutting out the practice cap pieces that i was not going to be able to follow my first idea, which was to make two omplete caps out of deerskin and sandwich them around a fur cap. i wanted to make them warmer than fuck, like the shearling cap i was trying to copy.  that would take at least two layers, because one skin on top of jim’s bald pate isn’t very warm. but i didn’t have enough deerskin.

santa explained it this way. you’ve got a cap. it’s 28″ around. what’s that diameter look like?  it’s a big circle, is what, and how many big circles do you think are on a human-sized hunk of skin cut in half down the middle? not a lot. the middle back, the lower back. maybe the haunches if you’re fat.

having determined that i wasn’t going to get half a dozen caps out of the deerskin, i cast about for something to help extend my options. a comb thru my stash drawers turned up tapestry and fur-coat lining, and then i remembered a leather jacket our homeless man dropped off one day thinking we could use it and knowing it’d just get robbed off him. it was your typical leather jacket, with loads of construction and real thin split leather. but the strength of the various layers wouldn’t matter so much since i was going to in effect quilt them.

hat3 
deerskin part completed, cutting out pieces from cow leather coat

so i used the time waiting to see a specialist to cut apart the leather jacket. i sat there in a crowded waiting room and used my sharp shiny shears to cut around all the stitching lines. leather, i have found, doesn’t ever close up around a wound. if you stick a needle into it, the hole stays.

this says bad things about the propensity  of doctors to order blood tests.

so you can’t resew a piece of leather without weakening it, because you can’t guarantee the machine’s going to use the same holes, and so you’re just punching more holes in a staight line, and soon it’s micro perferations and you’re screwed.

eventually i had a little pile of leather squares and oblongs and trapezoids and other plane geometry objects. and a huge tangle of seams still joined all together in a vaguely coat shape. we got a lot of visiting done in the waiting room once the ladies noticed me cutting pieces out of something, which of course they did immediately but had to work thru the southern politeness thing.

hat4 
having cut both the fur and the leather coat into pieces 

i had a bunch of leather jacket pieces, graded by thickness and delicateness, with only the worst pieces put aside for some other project. pack rat here.

i had my mom’s ex fur coat which i’d torn into as big chunks as possible because you never know what you might use it for eventually. there were lots of places where the stitching had failed, and places where the piecing of the pelts had failed and the thing was falling into tatters. i couldn’t tell which were the maybe good pieces from the ones ready to come apart – without tearing them apart. anyplace i put my strength to would rip, but the whole thing held together if i didn’t put any pressure on it. maybe sandwiched between two skins it would be okay…

hat5 
making the fur batting or inner lining

i went out and bought something to put on the fur skin to recondition it. i couldn’t find mink oil, all i could find was some improperly labelled spray thing for shoes. it wasn’t waterproofing, i didn’t want that. fur is already water shedding. i wanted something oily to get down into those pores and moisturize. something for the connective tissue to hold on to.

it just so happened that the shoulders of the fur coat were rounded almost as much as the flattened hat, and so i figured if i cut out two half circles and sewed them together i’d be able to fit it roughly inside the 7-cornered hat i copied from the sheepskin version my sister gave me. i did that for this one i’m showing below, the first production hat. for the others i cut out lozenge shaped fur sides, fortunately i cut them all going the same way, because the nap on those things is fierce.

hat22 
the original sheepskin cap, sudie, and my first deerskin cap

my little dog sudie weighs ten poinds. my sister got her for me when i was recovering from cancer surgery. little lap dogs help in the healing process and are a general laugh riot. this one’s a king charles spaniel. she’s not like the breed, which is outoging and friendly. sudie is suspicious and dim witted. but she’s beautiful, and she sleeps in my lap all day. she’s tucked inside my housecoat at the moment, snoozing away while i sit in the cold back room and type with my keyboard next to her head. yes, and included in the above picture, the deerskin cap inside out (the suede goes next to your head, the wrong side is the shiny leather side that will back the fur).

hat6
right-the inside, deerskin suede; left-outside, ex-leather jacket

presto chango i’ve finished two of them. but not so fast. these are the best two. the first one is on jim’s head all day long, and he won’t let me do anything more to it. the first production one is sitting on my sewing table. i didn’t anchor the fur inside the assemblage, and it shifted. fur is bunched up near the front edge, and missing in the back. i’m going to have to take the thing apart and redo it. many stitches.

santa came by in the middle of my working on the first one and persuaded me to abandon the central circle and just extend each pie slice to a point in the middle. but this was complicated by something bad – i hadn’t made 7 copies of the basic pie shape, i made one copy of each pie slice, which were all quite different from each other, as measured by holding a round hat against a flat piece of paper and trying to draw around it. i extended each irregular pie slice to a point.

so when i sewed the caps together, i had a whole varying range of peaks. you’re supposed to make them all meet in the center, a perfect 7 pointed star.

this is why i can’t do traditional quilting. the precision needed to make all the pieces sew up just the same is too much for me. why, i’m not sure i could do it if i were working by hand, but the machine just slews fabric every which way, and i can barely get straight seems, never mind the two layers crawling against each other, never mind leather pieces slipping, and naps preventing evenness.

i ended up going over the cap top after i’d sewn the sides on, artificially putting in a curve. but it was ugly. why did the original design use 7 piece caps? the norm is 4, right, one for each quadrant of your head. and i’ll be that doesn’t sew together easily. it’s orbital geometry, it’s not like plane geometry. i’m tearing my hair out. i need a circular sewing machine.

but they all fit flat on my head when i smoothed them out. one of the hats turned out much larger than the others. it was the last one, and i didn’t need to take it in to make the segments even as much as i had with the other caps. learning curve.

when they say these hats are easy to sew, they’re not counting on me, who never Rs TFM, and decides in the middle to do it her way anyhow.

i had to go over the finished hats and stitch the lining in, quilting it, but only at the seams and not many stitches at all. the fur will shift, as i found out on the first one. the fur has such a nap on it that it crawls even while you’re holding it down. even when you pin it in place. it’s creepy. still going for the fence even after you’ve blown its head off.

i had a lot of trouble with the brims. first of all, i cut them out curved, like the original cap. and then i realized that leather eases, and i could have cut a straight line and had it work, even tho in a bucket cap, the outer edge of the brim is longer around than the inner edge. the leather will stretch. this stuff will, anyway.

whenever i attached a brim, and i did it four times, i had too much play in the outer edge. it was going to need taking in, or cutting differently, something. i didn’t know what to do with it. i didn’t have long enough pieces of the jacket leather to use as a brim, and figured i could get away with rolling the brim made of deerskin around the edge of the fur cap inside and up over the edge of the cow leather cap on the outside, and then just stitch it closed.

which because it was too wide, it didn’t fit and needed a alot of little tucks and eases-in. it’s a bit awkward. but again, leather eases, so it just looks strange.

the hat is much shorter than the muslin pattern, or jim’s test hat, or the original. he had to roll it way up to get itt o perch on to pof his punckin head. he handled a skull cap better than something that came down over his years. he’s wearing it in the studio during the day and keeping the heat down because i’m not down there. i know it. but when i saw how he rolled it i decided it was too long, and cut the muslin pattern down for the ones that i also made peaks on , which ended up being the ones i wrapped up for xmas presents.

to tell the truth, i can’t see the details in the deerskin suede. i found it hard to photograph, the suede takes the light in and doesn’t give it back. my eyes are going bad, and i work in low light, and so i probably don’t see the glaring flaws visible to anyone wholooks at it out of doors.

i want to make up a label that acknowledges the difference between art and craft. because my craft on these hats is woeful. it’s illustrative of how much trouble it is to get right, and how much practice you need to do it right over and over. i show my stitches – and they’re wreckless. jim says i’m using an abstract expressionist stitching technique.

i want to start a series of one-off wearable art pieces. i’ll call them “fucked up clothes by jeanne. “

project – leather caps

when i was over in ireland this spring for my sister’s wedding, i expressed great envy toward this little cap and mittens set, and so she tossed them down the hall at me as she was leaving, and i brought them home.
sheepskin with the fuzz inside, a bucket hat with a roll-up brim. the mittens keep coming off but they’re wam. the cap is wonderful. everyone who sees it wants one. but it’s mine. mine. MINEHAHAHAHAHA.

but.

my friend santa brought me two deerskins dyed black. at first i thought i’d make a little cape thingie out of the both of them, but when my daughter tried to steel my sheepskin cap, i got another idea.

i thought i might could get a half dozen caps out of two deerskins. they’re about as bit as my hide would be if you took it off and tanned it. and that’s surprisingly little usable area.

i made a paper muslin tracing of the cap, which was hard because it’s all thick skin and fur. wool. it doesn’t smooth out onto a flat surface very well, because it’s round.

i’m certain that solid geometry is fun, but it’s a hell of a lot harder than plane geometry. dividing up a pie into slices is easy. dividing an oblong hemisphere into slices is something else. with my head the way it is now that i’m old (okay, past 50), i couldn’t tell you how to figure circumference without a tape measure.

i made a muslin cap. it was big. but i kind of wanted them big.

one layer of deerskin, no matter how nice to touch, won’t keep your head seriously warm the way a sheepskin will. and i just so happened to have, dry-rotting away in my fabric stash, a real actual mink coat that my mom cast off as i was leaving for college. i’ve used it as a blanket on cold nights, but the cats are too fond of it, and i’ve never worn it out lest i get red paint on it, the reference being to animal rights people who wouldn’t want to see me wearing something dead. i’m one of them myself. but damn is it warm. so it’s been sitting in my stash drawer for over 20 years because i’m not stupid enough to throw away a bunch of minks’ lives just on political principles. if they serve some purpose then they can go to mink heaven.

so i want to line my leateher caps.

but the fur is now dry-rotted, and useless for anything. no sooner would i sew it up than it would start ripping around the stitches.

but if i make it an inner lining – a batting, if you want – then i don’t really care if it falls apart inside the backing, because it can’t go anywhere, and if i quilt it small enough, it won’t be able to bunch up any.

so.

cool idea. but i’ve never worked with leather before.

and i can’t make as many caps as i wanted to. i’ve got a list a mile long of people to give these things to, even some that i think might wear them. jim’s already sporting the first one, mainly because it was an abject failure. my kid, my sister who gave me the original, my mom whose fur coat it was, never mind my sister in brazil where it never gets cold. i’ve got cousins in the frozen north.

progress pictures to come.

my newest project

i see in my last post that i was at a bit of a loss for something to do. i spent a few weeks making clothing for my own self, and after that i figured inspiration would come. well, it has.

corsets.

more like waist cinchers.

something between the silk camisoles that were such a hit last xmas, and full-scale bondage tightlacers which kind of scare me.

i wouldn’t wear these things anyway. i’ve never been a sex-object kind of girl, and besides i look much the best with no clothes on at all.

not so my friend lories. she trained as a ballet dancer and then went into hair and makeup and costuming. she’s rail thin and clothes look wonderful on her, and she knows it.

we’re completely opposite that way.

lorie owns a pin-up place where girls go to dress up and take pictures in saucy poses.

she was excited to hear i wanted to borrow her corsets to study them, because i’d had a little voice say ‘corsets’ in my ear, and i’ve learned to trust the little voice.

she wants me to start production on them right away.

but wait. i’ve just run across someone who took all my scarves to her shop in east atlanta, and so now i have to make more. and i can’t possibly start turning out custom corsets when i’ve never done boning, or grommets, and can hardly sew a straight line despite the fact that i’m on the machine every other day doing something.

and i’ve got to file my taxes to take advantage of the free money. and i’ve got all those old clothes i had my brother davie collect from mom’s basement last time he went up to help her out. and i’ve got a pile of baby clothes bought at half-off mondays at my local thrift store. and i’m still not even decided whether to make that nice blue linen i bought into a tunic or a smock (to go over those nice japanese pants made of the same blue raw silk, which i just finished), and how to turn the remnant blue indian lacework cotton into a shirt to go with the pants and the top.

so i don’t know why i have been spending every minute of the last three days studying up on corset construction.

a ribbon corset

i had no idea about anything to do with women’s lingerie. i haven’t worn a bra since 1975, and abandoned piercings and makeup and nylons and high heels and shaving around that time as well. i don’t know from women’s frilly underthings – i don’t wear underwear. you wouldn’t catch me wearing a girdle.

so what possesses me to want to start making women’s corsets? and not black ones either. i want colors. i want to hand dye the silks and cottons i’m going to use (i even found a place that sells glove-leather hides that they say you can sew on a machine.

i’m actually a little out of breath thinking about all the things i want to do. as if i were wearing a really tight corset.

the artist in me sees this as a new toy. wow, it thinks, i can make corsets with all kinds of statements, how beauty hurts, how politicized the sex roles are, a whole industry built on artifice and falsehood. lies, snake oil. exploitation. making fun of the silly things women do to make themselves attractive to men who are expected to grow ugly as they age.

hmmm.

a genuine catherine coatney

so maybe i’ll learn how to put together a simple waist cincher, almost just a wide belt. something comfortably snug but not going to do any damage to the internal organs. and maybe i’ll see if lorie likes it enough to charge her customers most of a hundred bucks for the simple ones, and several hundred for a custom work of art. well, up to a thousand for a work of art, but several hundred to take your actual measurements and listen when you tell me about your favorite colors. and even with the thousand dollar corset, you still get what happens to end up being made.

so, i took pictures of all of lorie’s sample corsets. the one that intrigues me most is the ribbon corset.

there are loads of differences in the way the different corsets are made and the materials they use. online references give just a few different designs, but there is a lot of variety in what i just looked at.

Thoughts on quilting a picture

some research:

i just ran across this wordpress blog about quilting.

and here’s another wordpress fabric blog

there’s also the quiltart mailing list

making a mark blog, getting famous now

about quilting by templates

about landscape quilts

here’s a rag quilt, something i should think about. unfinished seam allowances, oooh.

here is a real artist making quilts, beautiful

i’ve just joined a fabric webring, which i’ve never done before. loads of networking going on.

Surface Design
Power By Ringsurf

i’m researching how to do the actual quilting of the thing i’m contemplating. do i piece it together, do i applique it? what is appliquilting? do i have to zigzag them together? i’ve never used a zigzag stitch, and it scares me somehow.

i read a book about landscape quilting that had you sewing long rectangles in varying widths together to get a strip effect that you then pretty much cut into shape and sewed to some other piece of stripped fabric. it sounded like too much work.

i want to just rip this fabric into sthreds – which let me tell you, after however long iof mildew i can’t get out by washing in cole water with vinegar – and use the shreds somehow fastened down to a backing.

jim, of course, says glue it all down to some hard surface with gel medium and call it wall art. i still want it to be on the bed. but if i can’t get it to stop smelling, it’s going to have to be sealed.

i want to know how others have done it, and then do something different. i want to get all experimentl with it. however, it’s ripe-rotten old clothes and scraps of fabric. how much do i expect to do with it?

i’m thinking in my fantasies, that i want to put these different pieces of cloth in the blender and rag them all up, then use the different colors somehow like a slurry of paint, pouring it down onto some support material and fusing it to itself and the support. kind of like felting but also kind of like watercolor. would i use gum arabic as the medium? acrylic medium? some sort of polymer to soak the thing in, maybe heatset somehow? can i imagine a sheet of canvas with fabric lumps somehow glued to its surface but remaining pliable? i can see it!

again i wish i knew the chemistry.