27/04/2013: Almost May already! This year is going so fast!
02/04/2013: Happy Easter. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.
01/01/2013: Happy New Year!!
24/12/2012: Merry Christmas!!
13/11/2012: Getting hand-made presents ready for Christmas!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cogs and Gears

Steampunk Quilt Teaser
Gears in Progress

This is a little bit of a teaser and reinvention of what I'm doing at the moment. I realised recently while reading all the usual blogs I visit that so many things we make are a recreation of the same straight lines and defined patterns. I'm throwing all that out the window!!

What this means is that the raid your stash quilt-a-long is probably dead and buried for a while. I have no desire to work on complex straight line piecing at the moment. I want curves, dynamic ideas, pictures, a story... perhaps this is Leah Day's fault with her phenominal quilts and inspiring free-motion quilting, but I also think I am finally on track to what attracted me to quilting in the first place.

This week I've been working on using my cog or gear design which I showed you how to make by folding paper. This is the first of a series of designs that are rattling around in my head and I plan on turning them all into printable patterns for you too!

I'm not sure whether this counts as reverse applique or not, but I have been reading through Applique in Reverse by Teri Henderson Tope and there is so much potential from this technique.

Yesterday I discovered a problem... I'd been using a black polyester thread to do my applique and while pressing under a hot iron it melted! Of course I should have known better... and I have just finished re-sewing my edges with a 100% cotton thread. It is extremely important to use a 100% cotton or silk thread which won't melt when you iron!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to make a Symetrical Template

Steampunk Cog Template (step 6)

1. Take an A4 sheet of paper and fold it diagonally to create a triangle. Cut off the overlap so you are left with a square sheet of paper that is folded diagonally.

2. Fold your paper diagonally a second time.

3. Fold diagonally again. You might want to fold up one side then flip over and fold up the other side to reduce bulk and ensure all your folds are crisp and sharp.

4. To create a perfect circle, use a compas to carefully mark from the closest point. Put the point of the compass on the point which is the centre of your paper where all the folds come together.

(step 4)

5. Mark a design on the paper that you like. In this instance I'm making a cog, so I've used the compass to mark more circles then drawn some lines connecting them. I didn't draw the lines from the point as I want the joinin areas so be the same thickness all along, not thinner at the centre and wider at the edge.

(step 5)

6. Cut along the lines, then unfold - Just like making a paper snowflake when you were young!

7. Experiment!! Depending on how you fold will depend on your symmetry.

I used this method to create a shape and drew around it to create my cog design to follow when quilting. You could use any kind of fabric marker to transfer your design, and you know it is going to be symmetrical and look great!!

This creates a cog that is approximately 20cm wide. You could make it smaller or larger depending on the size of your paper.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What is Steampunk?

Local Steampunk Enthusiasts

What is Steampunk? That is a great question, and as I've got a few projects going at the moment inspired by Steampunk lets try and answer it.

Steampunk is a relatively new branch of science fiction and speculative fiction. It is the imagining of an alternate history where we think what would today be like, if technology had continued its focus on steam power and clockwork rather than advances into electricity. It usually borrows heavily from Victorian era clothing and aesthetics including the colours, textures (wood, brass) and technology.

You may have heard of HG Wells or Jules Verne who are seen as huge influences of the style or seen cartoons like Steamboy or Laputa Castle in the Sky. Even movies like Stardust, Van Helsing, Sherlock Holmes (2009) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have been influenced by steampunk.

The best way to get the gist of the style is of course in pictures, so here are a few more of my favourite steampunk costumers: (all photos can be clicked to see larger!)

Steam Punk Worlds Fair Clockwork Wings

Shot and Steel Liberated Libations Steam Punk Worlds Fair Pachydermos