Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cheap Batik Art Project!

Hi! It has been forever since I have posted anything. 3 years ago I went back to work full time teaching Art and Gifted at a Middle School. Which means I have less time to manage more things, so I don't get to sew as much as I did and I definitely didn't have much time to squeeze in a blog post. But after this project, I had a few people ask me to write out detailed instructions, so here it is!

Here are some final projects.

My 7th grade classes were doing a Unit on African Art, and we studied a variety of techniques to make/dye cloth. I wanted to do a resist project, but I have a budget of $0 and 100 kids. I was able to find a few yards of cotton Muslin in my closet, and figured if I break them into teams, It just might work. I had Elmer's Glue in my closet, and some donated. fabric paint. 

Supplies Needed:
White or Off White Cotton Fabric
Fabric Paint
Shaving Cream
Access to a Washing Machine

The first step was drawing their plans in their sketchbooks. Because this was a group project, they had to agree. I let them pick their own groups to help foster that. Then, they free hand the Washable Elmer's Glue onto then fabric. DO NOT HAVE NEWSPAPER UNDER FABRIC, it will stick as the glue seeps into the fabric. If you have plastic table covers, use them to lay them to dry. It took the glue about 24 hours to dry completely.

After the glue is dried, mix the fabric paint into a cup of shave cream. Just like paper marbling.

add a good bit of fabric paint, and mix well. Then they paint the colors onto their cloth.

We let the paint dry for a weekend. I washed the projects that Monday, and for some I had to wash twice to get all the glue off. They came out wonderfully though!

The students loved this project. It is easy enough for younger students to, but interesting enough for older students.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy and the Autism Spectrum

So, the post going around about Drax from Guardians being like an autistic person because he could not get metaphors got me thinking, as a teacher I can see a bit of all the spectrum in the Guardians.

If Drax is verbal autistic,

Groot is non verbal autistic. He has so much to say, but just can't get it out. He is sweet and sensitive.

Rocket is total ADHD. All action all the time. Smart to the point of scary sometimes, he can create elaborate plans quickly that actually work. Can be totally obnoxious often, but you love him anyway.

Gamora is our girl on the spectrum. Smart, socially isolated and with a strong sense of justice, so
metimes things go a little over her head but that's OK. Once she found her few good friends, all was well.

Starlord - He's our Aspie. Smart in certain ways, but socially awkward. Totally verbal but sometimes doesn't know when to stop talking. He knows he is different but doesn't quite know why.

and there it is, the Spectrum of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Bare walls drive me nuts. However, I am not really great with home decor. I tend to find all of our furniture from craigslist, family members, or the side of the road (seriously, drives my husband nuts). Everything hanging on our walls is either art from my kids, my very talented friends, or family photos. My house will never be in Better Homes and Gardens.

So we have a dining room. I love having a dining room, we found an guy through friends that makes tables and benches out of scrap wood leftover from building homes, a china cabinet for almost nothing, and chairs from Goodwill. It is big enough for our whole family even when extended family visits. It is also where my amazing Girl Scout troop meets, the kids do art projects and general mayhem happens. The walls in the dining room are still bare. Like totally neekid.

At first I thought I would put a dry erase board in there, or cork squares to change things up, but I didn't want it to be too classroom like. So a few months ago my friend Dorothy gave me a bunch of really cool vintage embroidery hoops. All sizes. I knew they had to be in my house somewhere.

So today the kids and I went through my fabric scraps and started loading up the hoops. To keep the edges down, we used Elmer's school glue, just in case we wanted to take the fabric out and use it in another project. If you want yours to be permanent, you can use a glue gun or staples.

This project took us about an hour from hooping to hanging!

I think it fits our dining room really well, and the fabrics remind us of past sewing projects! Bonus, it was FREE.

I know a lot of us don't have the hoops hanging around, but they can often be found in thrift stores or grandma's attic!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tennessee Row by Row

Many of us are excited for Summer, especially with travels! It gives us the opportunity to visit other quilt shops, and perhaps participate in the Row by Row Experience!

If you are coming through the Memphis area, please stop by Sew Memphis and pick up a copy of our free row by row pattern for the challenge! I love our pattern. The theme this year was water, and of course The Bluff City is right on the Mississippi River!

Our row features local fabric designer Jenean Morrison's latest fabric line, Star Landing. The pattern was inspired by the DeSoto bridge, the Mississippi River, and Memphis as the crossroads between the midwest and the south.

I love Memphis. I have met so many creative, fun people here. I have learned so much as a sewist, and have grown a ton as a quilter and designer.

Happy travels this summer, and don't forget to participate in the row by row experience!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Check out the new issue of GenerationQ Magazine!

July/August 2015 Issue of GenerationQ

Sew big news! I have a project in the current issue of GenerationQ Magazine! I am sew excited! You can find the issue at select bookstores, the coolest quilt shops, or order online!

I have been writing patterns for a while (bag patterns are available on etsy and craftsy), and last year started submitting to Quilt magazines. It has always been my dream to have patterns in print instead of just self publishing, and here is my first! The pattern is a fun, quick easily pieced lap quilt! I hope you check it out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marcia Derse and Fall

There is something about fall that makes me gravitate to Marcia Derse fabrics. A few weeks ago I was in Sew Memphis for a visit and was talking with Mary Allison about christmas, inspiration and upcoming fabric lines. She asked if I could do a shop sample of the Kosmos quilt (free pattern here) using fabrics that would be a good fit for a Christmas kit. Together we chose Marcia Derse and a grey solid background.

Kosmos quilt using Marcia Derse fabric, before border was added

I LOVE how this came out. The stars just pop out of the background. The colors are so vibrant! The kit will be available this holiday season at Sew Memphis.

Of course I had to buy more Marcia Derse fabric with the intention of maybe designing a new bag pattern around the fabric, but when I got it home I knew I already had the perfect boho chic bag pattern for the fabric.

Koukla bag made from Macia Derse fabric
The Koukla Bag Pattern is perfect for Marcia Derse fabric! I love how this fabric changes the feel of the bag. All my samples before had used patchwork print fabric, but this gives it a more boho feel.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Awareness Ribbon Wall Hanging

So October flew by so fast this was the first year ever we didn't sew anything for our Halloween costumes, just hit up the thrift stores. I also was a bad mom and really didn't get many pictures! It has been crazy! But on the good news front, I had my 6 months post surgery visit and am not only Melanoma NED, but also healing really well!

I have most of my range of motion back and can sew for about an hour at a time now! It is still tight and healing, but is healing really nicely!

Originally the margin was so wide I was going to need a skin graft. Skin grafts are tricky to begin with, and can be awful if they don't take. Along with the graft site itself, you also have a huge spot where they take skin from. I was totally freaked out when I was first told I had to have one, and asked my surgeon what we could do to not have a skin graft on my hand, since keeping a hand from moving is pretty impossible. He promised me he would try his best to stitch me up, and since I was chubby it just might work. So here is one instance where being full size helped me out a lot! He was able to stitch me up, and for that I am so grateful! He was also a top notch surgeon, and even though I pray I never have to see him as a doctor again, he did take time with me as a patient to explain everything and help quell my fears. Of course, I had to make something for his office.

All his wall art was Breast Cancer Awareness, so I had to add some Melanoma Awareness to his office! I made this using Quilters Cache Ribbon Quilt Block. It was super easy and quick to put together, and I think I need to make myself one for my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!