eight by eight


June buttons: I pretended they were something else. by Blair
July 27, 2008, 8:20 pm
Filed under: Blair, finished | Tags: ,

Dear Daria,

Well I, like you, was secretly trying to wish this particular month’s challenge away. I mean, buttons are nice, but I wouldn’t say I am too inspired by them at this point in my crafting life. But what is inspiring me right now is printing (of any kind) on fabric. When I sat down to finally work on this project, I came at it from more of exploring what was inspiring me at the moment, and working the buttons in, rather than make the buttons the focus. That’s how I came up with this little piece.

I cut a freezer paper stencil for the silhouette and printed it in gray onto the beige linen you sent, then I attempted to “applique” different parts of her outfit with the other pieces of fabric you sent (all of which I loved!). The 2 fabric covered buttons were going to go on her dress bodice, but then I decided to embroider little french knot buttons on there instead.

Based on the direction she is facing, and the way her dress seems to be blowing, it became windy and her balloons (buttons) started blowing downward.

I did this last Friday afternoon, and even though I was tempted to stop and start it again the next day, I kept going. I’m glad I did, as I’ve said I often overthink things when I spend too much time on them. I probably would have completely started over (this was already my second idea from an earlier foiled attempt). I am already exploring more printing ideas thanks to the little push this piece gave me (well, minus the buttons). I see many mistakes in this piece, but I also needed the practice I got from making it.

You are right, these monthly boxes aren’t always supposed to fall completely within our crafting comfort zones, are they?

I have laughed more than once this past month at how coincidentally, neither of us were inspired in the least by our self-imposed button challenge. And I do have a confession to make about what I sent to you. I’ve always snatched up at least a quarter yard of those novelty sewing prints, but once I get them home, they never get used for anything. So I sent those to you as sort of a favor to myself, to inspire me to use them. You used them to their best, I love the buttoned blocks and quilted “tacks” you added (how do you do those so neatly anyway?), they anchor it all so perfectly. You also managed to balance the colors and add in just what was missing.

I hope you think I was nicer to you when you opened our July box… I am IN LOVE with July’s theme and what you sent to me, which I’ll share here soon.

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JUNE! BUTTONS! by daria
July 25, 2008, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Daria, finished | Tags: ,

Dear Blair,

Holy moly, this one was hard. Hard!

Which, ok, I guess is not too surprising, since I am not one someone who collects vintage buttons, or thinks to use buttons for decorations on things I’m making — I have SEEN some fantastic vintage button collections, & some great, inspired, charming uses of said buttons, but it’s just not my gig, to look at a button & have a flash of design genius. But we’re stretching ourselves, right?

Though I am not sure a nine-patch with buttons sewn on is much of a stretch, & am definitely sure that it’s not genius, but focus on how the thing is actually FINISHED & humor me, ok?

For a long (long, long) time I didn’t know how I was going to pull everything you sent together, but then I noticed that the aqua in the Japanese print you sent was pretty close to one of my favorite aqua cottons, & once I had the fabrics working together, it was easier for me to let the buttons do their mismatched thing.

I had originally thought I would “quilt” the nine-patch with the buttons, only I had too many/not enough, so I tacked the corners with a machine satin stitch & attached the buttons (with orange thread) in two columns. I experimented with some orange binding, but it sent the entire project over the edge from tiny quilt to potholder, so it was a thankfully short-lived experiment.

The little silver button was my favorite, I think.

Ok, so, I have to say that this was the first project of ours that was NOT my favorite while working on it, though I did have a very satisfied moment when I figured out the background color scheme. However, now that it’s done, I’m not sorry we included the BUTTON theme, since I think that if we went through a whole year of challenge without totally tearing our hair out at least once, it’s not really so much of a challenge, right?

(I’m looking forward to getting back onto a less aggravated path with WATER, though.)

D

*As usual, I posted larger images than usual for the big reveal but looks like our template cuts off the sides so be sure to click the pictures for full size or check them out on the 8×8 flickr.



let’s give ourselves a break by Blair
July 16, 2008, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Blair, Daria, inspiration | Tags: , , ,

Dear Daria,

I will wholeheartedly admit to having let the lazy days of summer get to me, how can I work when the weather is like this??? And how can you work with sick kids: ( ?

Let’s officially put ourselves on an eight by eight summer schedule. Which will work something like this-

Next week, Daria and I will take turns posting a photo a day to inspire us for July’s theme of ‘water‘, to kick us back into creative gear. We will be posting our finished June project at the end of July (you can see our boxes of materials for June’s theme here and here), then double up with projects for August (August and July’s project will both be completed in August), to get us back on schedule.

Thanks so much for following us along on this creative journey!



buttons…buttons…what to do with the buttons… by Blair
June 16, 2008, 8:44 am
Filed under: Etc. | Tags: , ,

Dear Daria,

Well, I have to admit that I really wanted to skip June altogether. I mean, buttons?? I’m still wondering if we had some sort of sudden button/fastener inspiration the day we decided this, that I can now not remember for the life of me. But then I got your box.

Your purples make me like purple. They really do. I love everything you sent. The fabrics could be the perfect palette of squashy cushions and chair covers for my backyard. Add some white lights and we’ve got a party. It feels just like you described in your note. Of the summer we are looking for here in Seattle…lemonade, berries, blue sky….

I’m looking out my window today and thinking we may finally be seeing it. The summer stuff, I mean. Not the inspiration for the buttons. I’m still working on that.