Friday, January 23, 2015

January experiments

  For Christmas, I received a Cricut Explore. I wasn't sure how it would fit in to my visions, but was willing to give it a shot. I tried some of the basic projects they suggested and watched a LOT of videos. It wasn't long before I was exploring making my own designs to cut. The machine comes with a free trial period of using the designs in their library. I've played with those as well.
  I was pretty disappointed when I tried cutting an idea I've had for awhile. I was finding the fabric just didn't want to cut. So, while I was waiting for a "deep cut blade" to arrive in the mail. I went ahead and worked on my idea how I was planning to before I got the Cricut.
  I am liking the idea but the execution leaves something to desire...so far. It's not so bad that further thinking can't rescue it.
  Anyway, I'm now testing how intricate the designs can be and still cut through fabric. So, my design board is littered with things I've tried. The hearts, flowers and birds all cut really well. The trees were much harder, but the fence worked. While the shell cut great in paper, not at all with the fabric I picked. But, now that I've tried some alternative designs with that same fabric, I'm thinking it might have been the fabric was just too hard to cut, and might try the shell design again.
  Most of these experiments are done with random 5 inch squares I have cut  as well as some left overs from charm packs. I'm playing with positive and negative space too because the Cricut allows that by starting to cut exactly where it needs to for the object, leaving an intact square.
  I've been picking things to try that might eventually end up on a dress for work.
  Speaking of work, they had the costume shop sale . Of all days I don't wake up at 6:00 am! I don't know how people get there so early and clear it out so fast! Ah, well, I was still able to snap up a BOLT of fabric (not quilting fabric but still) that has about 8 yards on it for $4.00. It will make a perfectly wonderful jumper style dress for work. It will also be plain enough for something interesting going on as decoration, like the birds and flowers.  That's my plan anyway.
 
  This is a jumper I made this month. It has subtle red/green plaid going on. I pushed the red, because we still have patriotic Saturdays this year and I can probably get away with wearing it at Christmas too. I played with my ruffler attachment for the first time in a garment. It is confusing to me how to judge how to use it for gathering the skirt, so I did that my old way, but the ruffle on the bottom was done with the attachment and  it worked great, but I have to watch because it tends to want to unscrew my needle. I put leaves on the pockets and free motioned over them. Anyway, I call it successful.
  I also finally finished Maura's Christmas Quilt. I have to make a note to myself to forget about trying to make a big project when I am still working Christmas Hours. I just didn't have the time or energy to do the binding in time. So, at my leisure, because it didn't matter at this point, I did the binding while watching TV in the evenings.
  I have all sorts of things I want to get done before I go back to work. My head is getting so crowded, I really have to make a list, but I'd like to paint the kitchen before I go back to work. We've been looking at paint colors.