Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just another Manic Monday

Man, I had forgotten about that song. Used to love it. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is getting ready for an even better week. So maybe the first day of the week is a bit manic, that's ok with me. Mondays always help me get motivated.

Motivation wasn't my problem this past week or today for that matter. I wanted to do one last project before I put moved my sewing machine off my table. I literally move it from the table to the floor and keep it there for convenience. That's what I love about a portable machine.

I had seen some patterns and even kits at Jo Ann's for strip quilts, but since quilting used to be all about using up scraps and fabrics that you had on hand, I went that route.

First I cut my strips 2" x 21" and sewed them together...

Then I cut them into 3" strips going the other direction...

Then I flip flopped the direction of every other strip and sewed them together again...
(Keep in mind that I really don't know what I'm doing, I'm just going for it)

Then I sandwiched a no longer being used dish towel between the front and backed it with this piece with solid blue and stippled it with black...

Then I bound it with strips of one of the front side fabrics...

As you can see, I ended up with a nice size quilted mat for my kitchen table. Now I'm sure it would look a lot different if I had purchased specific fabric or even the strips already cut and sewed them into more traditional quilt squares, but I was just messing around.

Speaking of messing around, after cleaning my studio and even vacuuming the floor, I got out all my polymer clay. I spent several hours playing with it. Just sorting it into groups of conditioned, unconditioned or new and scrap clay. Playing with clay is a lot like sorting beads or buttons. It really gets you in the mood to move on to a new project. (By the way Kristen, I am getting a lot of use out of the clay and things that you sent me, thanks again!)

My newest project was learning to do more with my extruder. If you want to use an extruder and learn new techniques-take my word for it and get a Makin's Clay extruder. I think I may have posted on this previously, but there is a world of difference in this wonderful tool and the little cheap-o junkie thing that I had before that had a little plunger on it and was absolute murder to push the clay through.

This is a wonderful tool and I am having a ball with it. I ordered mine online and it was worth waiting the week that it took to ship. Anyway I have been doing multi color "snakes" and placing them on unbaked clay beads and then baking them. Such fun and the colors are just fab-u-lous.

The method I am using requires you to cut different color circles of clay and stack them together and form a little loaf that will fit in the tube of the extruder. I found that if you use metallic clay as part of the stack, it hardens the Sculpey III up just enough for it to have a tiny bit of crack to the strands and they look like leather and are really easy to work with.

If you are interested in learning more about polymer clay and especially extruders, check out Cindy Lietz at Beads and Beading. She is a super lady and I always love her work. You can learn a lot from her.

Well, that's it for now. I'm sure I will have something new to post in a few days. There is something so enticing about cranking soft clay through the extruder that it just makes me want to sneak back down to my studio and start something else.

We'll talk soon.


Marie S said...

That quilt for your table is gorgeous. The beads are beautiful and I love that makin;s clay extruder too. It is the best.
Thank you for stopping by.
Awwwwwwww Susan thank you so much you made my week.
I amswered your question in my blog.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

You sew like I do Susan... just winging it and enjoying the process! Your project turned out great.

Love the beads. Adding the metallic gives them a great look. Glad you are having fun with your clay.

I totally understand that 'draw' that the clay and the extruder has. I could squeeze clay out of my clay gun all day and never be bored of how it comes out!

Thanks for mentioning my blog, btw. I really appreciate that! :-)

Angela Recada said...

OK, now you've got me humming that song, and wanting to drag out my sewing machine and polymer clay!
I love the little quilt you made. That's my kind of quilting. Too much measuring, and too many precise angles aren't for me, either. The colors and fabrics you chose are beautiful.

I see that I now need to add a clay extruder to my list of supplies that I still need to get.

BlueRidgeLady said...

Love the quilt! What a great idea! Such pretty clay beads!! Even the words clay extruder sound exciting! Have fun!!!

Fran said...

Love the colors in your table quilt. Your polymer necklace is lovely.

Artgalcrafts said...

Hi Susan
Ive popped up again and found your wonderful beads using your Makins Extruder. I have to try them too.
Yes I follow Cindys Videos too, and have done a lot with my extruder.
The pic of earings on my blog were done with the extruder, the cicle blobs that you mentioned. I just love how it all turns out.
The latest thing I have tried is the Jupiter beads using my old clay.
Isnt that wonderful to be able to use the old clay like that thanks to Cindy.
Love all your quilts and if I did them thats just how I would do. I have Judith Baker Montano's book and I love her method and her crazy Quitlts they are my favs
My great friend Rita at Dolly blogs is the quilter around us as are some of my other friends when we have our Doll group once a month, they bring in some beautiful, and amazing work, wish you could see it.
Ok must away .
Love you

Artgalcrafts said...

P.S. Susan made a few mistakes there I see hope you know what I mean, quilts, circles,) LOL. Not quite Alz yet, but a bit of senoir moments as we say, Going too fast as not enough time in my day
Love and hugs