Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fabric is Expensive

Do you ever try to fool yourselves into thinking that you're saving money by making things instead of buying them? I do this a lot but unless you're comparing your own handmade item with someone else's, it's almost never true. How can craftspeople compete with Wal-Mart crap?
I went to JoAnne and found some great fabric for the Amy Butler nappy bag that I want to make and I spent $40! And I didn't even get everything I needed (side note: the pattern calls for cotton canvas but I could only find "outdoor canvas". Is there any such thing as indoor canvas? Can I use duck cloth or twill?). Now I'm thinking I'll get an Old Navy onesie for the mom I intended the nappy bag for and make the bag for someone I'm closer to. Or, more likely, my first one will be hideous and misshapen and I'll carry it as a tote :) The pink and green are for the bag. The purple terry cloth and blue and brown fabrics are for the accompanying changing pad. Maybe I'll just send Katie the changing pad...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Preemie quilts

I recently joined the San Francisco quilter's guild. One of their community outreach projects is to make quilts for the preemies at one of the hospitals here. I think this would be a good way to get rid of some of my fabric stash. I decided to challenge myself to see how many I could make without having to buy any fabric! The quilts are only 18" - 24" square, so they go together fast, but they also don't use much fabric. I finished these two and donated them at our meeting this week. I've made about 6 more quilt tops with other fabrics and still have a stack of child-print fabrics to go! This first one I made with a piece of "Tiny Town" print fabric that was too cute to cut up, so I used it for one side of the quilt and for the other used blocks of coordinated solids. For the other quilt I used some of my 30's prints. I'm using them to practice my machine quilting, too.

Craft Night

Last night was craft night at my friend Deirdre's house. This involved wine, delicous snacks, and whatever crafts we were each working on. Clockwise from the top, Kelly crocheted a baby blanket, Deirdre made earrings, Jen crocheted a scarf, Kyle pretended to knit while Sarah laughed on a break from her applique, and Jean embroidered koi fish onto napkins. I worked on a bed for Izzy, but that will have to wait for another post.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lauren's latest project

Here is a picture of the gift that Lauren orchestrated for her Grandma's 77th birthday this week. She used pictures of all of the Markt cousins, and used Photoshop to put them together and make them look like sketches. And, in true Laney fashion, she put most of it together on the morning of the birthday party!

Spousal Crafts

I think John has taken a lesson from Dan (with his fancy wine-cork trivets) and has come up with his own craft project. He was on the committee at our church to raise money for a big capital campaign to replace the slate roof of the church and the steeple. (The church is over 75 years old.) John had the contractor save the old smaller slates from the steeple when they took them off. Then he had a printer silkscreen a picture of the church steeple on each slate. Now he's in the process of touching up a few of the slates and sealing them all with lacquer. He's planning to give one to each family that donated money to the campaign. (They raised about 2 million dollars in about 3 weeks!) Here's a few pictures of the job in progress.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Sock

I was so excited when I finished my first sock, that I had to take a picture to share with all of you. It may be six months before I finish the second one, and by that time I'll probably have misplaced this one. Kathy bought me the pattern and the yarn and needles for my birthday, and I made several attempts to get started, only to have to rip it out and start over. I actually did several rip-outs as I was knitting and learned a lot in the process. The needles look like pick-up sticks (and can also be used as shish-ka-bob skewers!) and there are 5 of them. Very confusing. I'll keep you posted on Sock #2.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I'm back from Italy and thought you guys would appreciate this relief from the cathedral in Florence. There was a series of panels describing technologies important in the Renaissance and one of them was textile arts.

Zac's pictures are here, mine are divided into pictures from Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terra, and Rome.