Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow-dyed fabric and more

In addition to the January Girls (now available as a pattern!), our February show-and-tell also had an abundance of colorful fabric.
Joan decided to take a positive outlook on our lousy weather, and figured, if life gives you snow, make snow-dyed fabric.  She used only two shades of dye to make all of the pieces shown above.  She folded, twisted, and clamped the fabric in various patterns, and soaked the material in a soda-ash solution.  Then she covered the folded fabric with a thick layer of snow, and sprinkled powdered dye (in raisin and sage green) over the snow.  As the snow melted, it randomly dispersed the dye and made beautiful patterns.
Ann R. showed us what she's been working on during this long winter.  This truly stunning quilt top is done in needle-turn applique.

From all the colors of the rainbow, to only one; 'Shades of Pink' is this critter's official name, but Vicki calls him Pinky the Cat.

For our lesson, Ann C. taught us how to make probably a dozen different ribbon flowers from the book Ribbonwork by Helen Gibb.

Our last entry for show and tell is this tiny little girl (she's about 4" high, seated).  She is the first part of a mother & child doll that Katie is designing.  Her face is needle-sculpted cloth with a cloth overlay.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Barbara Schoenoff's January Girl workshop

This month for show and tell, we got to see the results of the January workshop.  Several members braved the artic winds to meet Barbara Schoenoff in Danville, Illinois (home of the wonderful Threads of Time sewing retreat) to make these lovely ladies with fancy hairdos, made of braided trim that has been gessoed and painted.
January Girls, designed by Barbara Schoenoff

Below is Julie G.'s doll, Magdalena.

Next is Anne C.'s dolly-in-progress.

Next is Jude's doll, named Amabella.

Last is Katie's doll, still named January Girl.  Katie had fun adding some extra layers, like the sleeve caps and the ruffled tulle.

Below you can see where she modified the hairstyle to become a charming chapeau!

Thank you, Barbara, for another delightful class!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Challenging New Year

Welcome back!  We didn't mean to be gone so long, but holidays and snowstorms and power outages and sewing room rearrangements had taken over, temporarily.

When we left our intrepid dollmakers in December, they found themselves hopelessly tied, every time they tried to decide on a challenge theme for 2014.  So an early order of business at our January meeting was to vote, once and for all, on this year's theme.  The contenders: Metal, Leather, and Lace (anything goes, as long as all three materials are used in the doll) or A Fairy in a Fairy House.  By the narrowest of margins, the Fairies won!  (We suspect some fairies may end up wearing the elements of the losing theme, which would be pretty cool too.)

Our next challenge, of course, is to figure out how to judge the fairy houses, which could range from mossy magic mushrooms to rainbow silk castles and include anything in between.  Fortunately, we have a little while to figure that out.

While we are looking forward to our challenge, the show-and-tell this month was all about looking back.  We had some really old dolls, and some kind of old dolls, and also a just-a-little-bit late doll.

Shelby's doll was meant for the Mythological Being Challenge last October, but school and work got in the way, so her Zodiac personification Aries made her club debut in January instead.  Aries in sculpted in paperclay, painted with watercolors, and dressed in copper armor.
She turned out so well that this might be just the first in a series.
Aries, by Shelby Oertel
Our new member Janet brought some of her early work to share, dating back 15 years or so.  Something about this turkey just made everybody giggle.

The guests that Leslie invited to our meeting brought the really old dolls.  Carol and Zee are members of Leslie's doll collector's club, The Doll Circle of Indianapolis; Carol brought several vintage cloth dolls that her aunt made back in the 1940's.
We also learned about the newest stuff, too.  Our program for January was a demonstration of two different brands of die-cut machines.  Joan brought her Cricut, with plenty of cartridges and intricate cut-outs on hand-painted papers, and Erin brought her Silhouette Cameo.  We all appreciated the possibilities in Silhouette's ability to use original artwork as well as to use or modify purchased designs.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Welcome back to our virtual tour of our November doll show.  We're continuing to walk around the table...
Two new dolls, both in yellow.  Julie G. made 'Suffragette Sally' from Deanna Hogan's pattern, and Nita named her Jill Maas angel Maggie.
The view from the corner, showcasing a little of everything!
Nita's been busy; she also made this not-too-scary Halloween themed doll by Cindee Moyer, called 'Here, Kitty Kitty'.
More display. with dolls both old and new.
Martha made this delightful adaptation of Barbara Schoenoff's Queen Anne pattern.
And Katie brought another elegant original, with a sculpted face and recycled jewelry.
For the grand finale, let's go visit the People's Choice Award.
Our challenge theme for 2013 was to create a Mythological Being.  After all the ballots were counted, we had a clear favorite.
Katie's Hamadryad won nearly half of the votes, and is this year's People's Choice  Award winner!