Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hanging a Rug and other stuff to figure out

Magic Baby booth at a recent event.

Now that the Artist as Quiltmaker exhibition I curate has opened, and my daughter's wedding is over (I know, I never finished posting the pictures of the dress and jacket made for her...soon, soon, I promise!), I am back at work on my Magic Baby line and other artwork on my etsy store. I recently finished up several things I had cut out before the wedding. (Have you noticed my life has been defined by "pre-wedding" and "post-wedding?")

Although I had made several prototypes of this adorable little jacket for my granddaughters, I wanted to make one for little boys. This one is made out of snuggly flannel, is hooded, has adjustable sleeve lengths, and is completely reversible, part of my signature style. The first picture shows both sides of the jacket completed and ready to be measured for buttons before sewing it together.

One new thing I wanted to do on this jacket was to perfect my previous attempts to make completely handmade and baby-soft buttons. I have tried several different ideas previously, but wasn't completely happy with the results. This time, I used recycled plastic bottle cap rings covered with layers of quilt batting and flannel to create matching buttons. They turned out wonderfully!

I used the same style of handmade buttons on the inside. Since they are soft, they won't chafe the skin!

I also just finished a prototype for a new design, but will post about the separately. Suffice it to say that, each time I create a new pattern prototype, the goals are to a) have fun with it b) to solve some new problems and c) to try something new.

More on that later.

The other project that came my way in the past few weeks was designing a hanging sleeve. Because I have made art quilts for exhibition for the past 25 years, making a hanging sleeve isn't anything new. The twist for this project was that I needed to create an appropriate hanging sleeve for a very large needlepoint rug. Not only is the rug heavier than a quilt of the same size would be, but there is not backing layer of fabric to stitch into, and the entire large piece is stiff. I couldn't exactly curl up with it on my couch to work.

So, here you see my tools gathered, and the top sleeve pinned in place. Because of the weight of the rug, I opted to use unprimed, pre-washed and pre-shrunk canvas for the sleeves, both top and bottom. I needed very long, thin pins to be able to just graze the needlepoint canvas to hold the sleeves in place while stitching. I used glazed quilting thread that matches the canvas in a single strand to attach the sleeves.

In my next post, I will detail the logistics!


  1. Pre- and post-wedding reality is par for the course for you and I both, I see;) I bet it feels good to be back on track with your other projects! I love the little boy's jacket!!! :) :) :)

  2. I'm glad you like it, Sinker Squid! It really came out cute. It's funny making the really girly ones with lots of ribbons and such, but it's also fun to design really adorable things for little boys. They are soooooo hard to find in retail stores.
    RE: wedding stuff: I guess now we just have to get our list ready for Sept!!

  3. Love the baby cloths. I can hear your delight in what you are making and the beautiful detail of the work. It's such a pleasure to see these beautifully made items.

  4. Thanks, Terry. I guess my mind responds positively to problem-solving, whether making art or creating a successful jacket design : ) Your kind words are much appreciated.