October 31, 2011

It's Done!

It's done!  It's done!  The fen quilt is all finished!

It will be hanging this coming weekend at the Fine Art of Fiber show at the Botanic Garden up in Glencoe:  http://www.fineartoffiber.org/.  That's what I needed, a deadline, and now it's done.  Nothing like a deadline to make things happen.

In celebration of this great event, here is a tour of my rendition of the landscape and the creatures who dwell there. I am so happy!

The saga of creating this quilt appears in these previous posts:
the beginning
the animals
kayak and borders
detailing and embroidery

Little Women costuming

The show is coming soon!  Shows are November 18-20, with a sneak peek promo at the main Evanston library on November 8.  http://thinicetheater.com/

I'll be posting projects as these next couple of weeks roll along.

Vintage Black Lace blouse for Aunt March

Look at how lovely this lace is!

The blouse needed a gusset in the back to extend the size a bit.  Our actress probably could have fit in, if she was wearing a corset like a proper lady.  Well, we don't go that far with our costuming!  I was also glad to get some of the tension of closing the blouse off of the fragile old fabrics.

I made the gusset by interfacing one side of a rectangle of fabric, folding, stitching all around, and turning, so there would be no raw edges.  Here it is pinned on, outside view and .......

...... inside view.

Then the strip was hand-stitched to the blouse, longer stitches on the inside, tiny stitches on the outside.  And I basted a line to indicate where the other side of the blouse should fall, a guide to moving the hook-eyes.

Here's about how it will look once the hook-eyes have been moved over onto the gusset.

October 10, 2011

Fashion Show

I'll be helping my friend Rare Jule with a fashion show on Friday night. She's my friend with the Etsy shop selling vintage clothing, the one I help out / learn with by repairing things as needed.  Me - at a fashion show - imagine that!  This will be especially fun for the young and hip (and I'm hoping some of both will rub off on me).

There'll be vintage music to accompany the vintage clothes, representing the 1940s through the 1970s.  And Julia is masterful at accessorizing with fun hats, jewelry, and shoes.  (Uh-oh, did y'all catch that - the 1970s - high school and college years - that's now "vintage".....  gulp.)

We had the dress rehearsal last night.  Wow.  One thing I learned for sure is that fashion shows go Really Fast.  Eight models, four outfits each, one for each decade.  It's a non-stop flurry of buttons, zippers, earrings, hats, and hangers.  There are two dressers (I'm one) and a hair and make-up person.  Everything has to be totally organized backstage for the split-second changes.

Here's the scoop on the show:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=214251628638219 

I've worked on several of the things that will be in the show:

closed split seams

 re-beaded the bodice - a description of that process can be found here

added new buttons where none existed

replaced a few missing beads

replaced elastic on sleeves

replaced broken zipper

Here's the address of the shop where you can see the entire collection: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BasyaBerkman

So, just think of me next Friday night, dashing about in the Chicago bar scene!  Or come on out, and be young and hip (ish) with me.  Tee hee.

October 1, 2011

Rhombic Hexecontahedron

Well, obviously there's a fair amount of math and geometry involved in quilt patterns.  But what happens when an actual mathematician is also a quilter?  A friend sent me a link to such a person's website.  One of the things she played around with is a rhombic hexecontahedron.  Yup.  

A rhombic hexecontahedron seems to me very closely related to a dodecahedron.  That's one of the Platonic solids, made famous (to me anyway) in the book "The Phantom Tollbooth", written by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer.  This is one of my all-time top favorite books, nominally a children's book, but a great read at any age.  

Both shapes have 12 faces.  The dodecahedron usually has pentagonal faces, but the rhombic hexecontahedron goes one step further by using 5 diamonds to make concave and pointy-edged faces.  Well, for some reason, I've always found the dodecahedron a very pleasing shape.  Maybe because I like "The Phantom Tollbooth" so much.  Also because it's such a fun word to say.  The rhombic hexecontahedron is harder to say, but is a more graceful and interesting version of a dodecahedron.  So I decided to make one, too.

One of the suggestions on the math/quilt page was to fussy cut print fabrics in each star-shaped side.  (Fussy cutting means cutting the shapes precisely according to the print.)  I decided to use fabrics from Jane Sassaman's great collection.  Wonderful bold colors and interesting stylized designs.

My rhombic hexecontahedron is about 6" tall.  I followed the process described on that webpage: cardboard diamonds, aka rhombuses, covered with batting, covered with the fabric, then stitched together.  The diamonds are almost the 60-degree diamonds used in Grandmother's Flower Garden and such quilts.  But officially, they are supposed to be 63-degree diamonds, in which some of the dimensions end up in the Golden Ratio.  (I couldn't possibly explain that concept, but recommend another book - "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, The World's Most Astonishing Number" by Mario Livio.  It's written for non-mathematicians, a fascinating read.)  Because there are 5 diamonds, instead of 6 like a quilt would have, they automatically go concave, to just the right angle.

Such fun!!!