Monday, July 23, 2007

SAQA Foot Square Auction

My "Peace Signs" quilt is on page 3 of the SAQA Foot Square Auction pages. Pages 1 and 2 have been auctioned off over the past week. Pages 3 and 4 will be auctioned off starting tomorrow, July 24, over the next 7 days. Go to to view all the beautiful quilts and to read about the rules for this "Reverse Auction."
Also, I went to the Visions Art Quilt Gallery a couple of weekends ago. It is a fabulous new venue for art quilts, so by all means check it out when you can. The current exhibit is the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection, running through August 5.
I think I've mentioned it before, but a few of my fiber art balls are available for sale in the gift shop.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Crocheting with plastic bags

I'm happy to find that I can still use my sewing machine, even a few weeks after hip replacement surgery. My Bernina Aurora has a push button feature, so I can free motion machine quilt without touching the foot pedal. Woohoo!
One silly project I've been doing in my free time is crocheting with plastic bags. I saw it done in Craft magazine and on television, I forget where. Here's how you do it: take a plastic bag and roll it up, jelly roll style, with the top and bottom of the bags on either ends of the roll. (See first photo) Then cut one-inch slices, as shown.

Each slice is a loop of plastic. Slip knot them together, forming a long string of loops. (Refer to second photo) When you are done slip knotting all the loops, roll it into a ball, like a ball of yarn.

Now you can crochet with it, like yarn. Use a large crochet hook - I'm using a size H crochet hook, which was the largest that I had on hand, and I stuck to the single crochet stitch, for sturdiness. You can make purses, baskets.... use your imagination. Experiment and have fun!

When you come to the end of your string of loops, simply cut up more plastic bags and slip knot them to the last loop. You can crochet for a while, then make more "yarn," then crochet some more. You only have to make as much "yarn" as you need.

Some plastic bags work better than others. I found that the thinner, cheaper bags worked the best. You can use thicker plastic bags, but they will be harder to work with. Cutting the loops less wide might help.

When I started working with the plastic bag "yarn," I used a random bunch of different plastic bags, one after another. I found that the crocheted shapes warped and distorted more when I did this. There is less warping when you use similar kinds of plastic bags. Here is a little basket I made entirely from the little red and white bags one of my newspapers comes in. Soooo pepperminty!

Friday, July 6, 2007

What I've been up to lately...

Hi! It's been almost two and a half weeks since my hip replacement surgery. It went well. I've progressed from a walker to a cane, I can go up and down the stairs routinely, walk around the block, etc. Some things I can't do for 8 weeks: bend over too far, drive. :-( But otherwise things are going great.

So I've been trying to fit in a little arts, crafts, and quilting, in between the physical therapy sessions. I took some photos you can see what I've been up to. I've been thumbing through a wonderful new book, Kaleidoscope: Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creativity. Suzanne Simanaitis is the author, and North Light Books is the publisher. Check it out!

I've been working on my quilt for Quilts on the Wall's "Beauty in Imperfection" challenge. Can't show that yet. I've also puttered in my art studio trying to start a little quilt for the Quilt Art List's "Flower Power" challenge. Puttering is still hard for me - I keep dropping things. Luckily, I have a grabber tool, since I can't bend over to pick up anything.

I've worked on another of my fiber art balls. Here's a photo of it in progress. I made it "inside out" this time, for something different. You can see more of my fiber art balls on my website ( and at the Visions Art Quilt Gallery gift shop in San Diego.

I'm also working on a crocheting project. I'm crocheting recycled plastic bags. I'll give instructions and show photos in my next post.

I've also been doing little sketches in my art journals. This is something I started earlier this year, just for fun. I use a variety of drawing tools, including water color pencils, Niji water brushes, regular pencils and colored pencils, and sometimes an ink pen.
In the 80's I used to do a LOT of pen and ink drawings. I'm using the ink sparingly and more casually this time around - I don't want to get too uptight, like my old drawings were. I haven't done much drawing for many years, so this feels good! Gotta keep those synapses stimulated.