First Quilt… and its very adorable “tester”

I finished my first quilt yesterday night!

I took the free “Block of the Month” quilting class on Craftsy.com and loved it. The video-tutorial style class teaches you how to piece more than 12 different quilt blocks, how to do basic machine quilting techniques and how to finish your quilt. For free. wowza.

I decided after making 10 or 11 blocks that I should stop there and make a small quilt to start. As my first quilting project ever (not counting the tiny bit of hand-stitching I used to do with my mom back in the day) it was far less intimidating than a full-sized quilt.

The result is a colorful, kinda sloppy and kinda lovely lap quilt. Was it a success? The ultimate test was giving Dragon access to it…

Hm… then I suppose I just got side-tracked and obsessed with her cuteness because there are more pictures of the kitty than the quilt! oops.

Well, you’ll likely see more of this quilt pop up in future paintings, but I will also try to post a picture of the entire quilt in the near future.

Yup, she loves it. Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Yup, she loves it… 
Cuteness #2
… and I love her…
Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border.
Quilts double as caves... in case you didn't know.
Quilts double as caves… in case you didn’t know.

 

Getting Crafty!

Today I got the Multicraftual Etsy shop back online after being on vacation. Most stitch-markers are only $5 and there are new summery wedge bags with floral or bike-themed prints:

Springtime in Paris project bag
Springtime in Paris project bag
Crafty project bag
Bike project bag with yarn
Bike project bag
Bike project bag

Dragon helped me with my crafting… until she got tired:

Sewing is exhausting!
Sewing is exhausting!

Residency in review: part 5

I wanted to share with you a picture of some of the pillows I sewed to look like books for the library cart.

pillows that look like books
book pillows

Along with the pillows I made a silkscreen in the same manner I’ve discussed before on the blog. The design was inspired by a page from a book in the elsewhere library that I have re-located to live on the cart and be read by kids visiting the museum.

making a silk screen
making the silkscreen
hand made silk screen
finished screen

I printed the design on some of the book pillows as either pages or covers.

pillows that look like books
"everything is different" book (pillow) cover

While I was at it I also printed a tote-bag:

elsewhere residency silkscreen printed tote bag
tote bag for sale (profits to elsewhere) at elsewhere collaborative shop

Residency in review: part 4

Below are some close-ups of the puppets I made as part of my library cart. I asked the staff at elsewhere if they were an animal, what would it be and then made an animal-puppet version of them. The results were: a badger, a duck, a turtle, a mouse, an owl and a one-eyed brontosaurus:

hand puppets in puppet theatre, elsewhere, greensboro, nc
hand puppets in the puppet theatre nook
hand puppet of a badger
badger
hand puppet of a duck
duck
hand puppet of a turtle
turtle
hand puppet of a mouse
mouse
hand puppet of an owl
owl
hand puppet of a one-eyed brontosaurus
one-eyed brontosaurus

Residency in review: part 3

Here is the sewing workshop at elsewhere, where I spent a lot of time. Can you find me in the picture?

jessie dodington in the sewing workshop at elsewhere, greensboro, nc
where's waldo in the sewing workshop?

This is the newly painted cart with my sewn puppet-theatre curtains:

library cart in elsewhere, greensboro, nc
Puppet theatre!

and here are the puppets I made sitting on the newly-sewn bench cushion. We have a mouse, a duck, a turtle, an owl, a badger and a one-eyed brontosaurus – in that order.

hand puppets at elsewhere, greensboro, nc
hand puppets in the theatre

Sewing day

Today I re-covered the cushion for the cart bench. The cart has already been re-painted and the new removable cushion cover now matches my new scheme (which you will see soon).

This is the lovely sunny room I was working in:

photo of Jessie Dodington at Elsewhere cooperative greensboro, nc
Working on the cushion

And this was my view most of the day:

photo of fabric sewing, sewing machine
sewing machine love

Thank you to Lauren for all her help measuring and scheming.

Doggy paddle

Hello again!

It has been a while since I’ve posted and I told myself “no excuses” today, so hello. Here I am.

I feel like I’ve been doing the doggy paddle (the very inefficient yet endearing swimming stroke of K9s and young children) in the art department for a while. That is to say, not much has been happening in terms of painting, yet I am still reading a lot (which I consider research in a way), and exploring many new avenues of creation:

I have taught myself how to sew (sorry Mom, I forgot whatever you taught me when I was 12 and have had to re-learn it all) and made a few projects. Here is a decent sized “market bag”:

photo of sewn market bag
"Market Bag"
photo of sewn bag lining
Seam-less lining, Oh my!
photo of squared corner
Squared corner, ooh la la!

These were brand new skills people, hence the excitement expressed in the captions.

In addition to sewing I have been knitting up a storm. I picked up knitting last October and upon reaching my first year anniversary of knitting decided to step it up a notch. I’ve since made several intricate (to me) shawls and socks and am presently working on my first sweater.

The “sugared violets” shawl (that is the name of the pattern from the designer Rose Beck) I made to wear at the closing reception of a student art show I juried at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). The second shawl pictured is “herbivore” by Stephen West and I made it to wear at the closing reception of my solo art show at the ENMU art gallery. I will obviously be wearing them all the time now, and they are reminders of those fun events.

photo of knit shawls
Two recent shawls: "sugared violets" and "herbivore"

I’ve also started screen printing. This is a really neat method of creating multiple prints on fabric.

The process involves:
1. Creating a screen: I used a sheer fabric held tight in an embroidery hoop. I drew a design on the screen in pencil and applied outdoor house paint to all the spots I didn’t want the ink to go through. I applied multiple coats and let the screen dry.

silkscreen image ready
homemade silkscreen

2. Next I chose the objects I wished to print on (pictured in the photo is a pillowcase but I also printed on tank tops etc.)

3. I placed the screen on the items I wanted to print, making sure to lay cardboard inside of them (so the image didn’t bleed through to the other side of the fabric) and used a foam brush to push the screen printing ink through the screen.
Voila:

floral screen printing image
Floral screen print on pillowcase

All in all I’ve been enjoying these new arts/crafts and am excited about what I can make as my skills develop!

Last but not least, I’ve been occupied in the University Singers choir on campus, preparing for our Christmas concert which was Friday the 9th. We did two performances and had very full, very enthusiastic audiences. It was such a blast I simply cannot wait until next semester’s new lineup of songs! I’ll try to post before our next performance so those of you who are local can try to attend.

I’m not sure if I’ll be painting or drawing that much in the coming month, as there will be travel involved and crafted presents I’d like to finish making but perhaps in the new year my painting and drawing will progress back into a front-crawl or breast-stroke pace… we’ll see. For now you’re stuck with doggy paddle… which is at least a step up from treading water.

As always, thank you for reading and take care of yourselves during this holiday season!

Keeping busy

With fewer posts up the past few weeks you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to. As the sole juror to an upcoming exhibition: Simulare Vitae, Student Juried Exhibition which will be on display from November 1st to December 2nd at Runnels Gallery, I’ve been quite busy going through submissions! With over one hundred entries it’s been quite a difficult decision-making process.

I will remind you closer to the date but just so you know, the reception and awards ceremony for Simulare Vitae is Friday, Dec. 2, 5–6:30 p.m.

In other news I’ve put that new sewing room to good use recently and made my first bag:

photograph of hand holding drawstring knitting bag
Project Bag made of an old sweater, fabric and a button
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Lining
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Interior