Thursday, November 13, 2008

Korean Pojagi-inspired Quilt

It's finished! I'll try to get some better pictures in the morning, but I had to share the first glimpse of the finished quilt.

I had no pattern, so I followed a method of crazy quilting by Weeks and Ringle. The piecing is random, but if you look closely, you can see that the pieces are sewed into stips of a certain width and pieced in a log cabin (around and around the center) style. The hand quilting is also random. I mostly outlined the larger pieces or groups of pieces, but I snuck some personal symbols in too. Can you spot one below?

It was inspired by Korean piecework called pojagi. I don't know much about this style (most sources are in Korean or Japanese!), but it doesn't appear to be layered or quilted, just pieced. My version is obviously a Korean-American hybrid because I layered it and quilted it the traditonal American way.

Here are some of the photos of real pojagi which inspired me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hand Quilting

I finished hand quilting my son's baby quilt tonight (yes, he is 2 1/2, but to be fair I didn't start making it until he was 18 months old). I find hand quilting relaxing and oddly comforting.

I'm ready to get this quilt done though, so it's on to binding. I found a good tutorial here. It completely eliminates the bulky ending of the traditional method.

More about this quilt and its inspiration when I have finished photos!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thomas Costume Tutorial - Part 2

See what a difference the paint makes? Pick a lighter colored blue for your Thomas though. This cadmium blue is darker than Thomas should be. The whistle, buffers, and numbers are cut out of craft foam ("Foamies"), and they add some nice dimension, I think.
The next step is to add straps so your train engineer can wear Thomas. I used peel and stick velcro. I cut four small strips (the prickly side of the velcro) and put them inside the train.
Then I used the soft side of the velcro for the straps. This way, your straps are completely adjustable. They can be worn straight across the should or crossed in the back. I left the peel away paper intact on the straps.

When I did a test run on the costume I found it was back heavy. To add ballast (?), I taped a 16oz can onto the inside of Thomas' head. This worked very well, but it did make the costume pretty heavy for my little guy. If I were making it all again, I'd make the back of the train much thinner and forgo the extra piece to cover the seams. Try to make it as light as possible. You might also cut the engineer opening further towards the rear of the first box, rather than in the middle.

The only remaining step is Thomas' face! You can print out a face from this website. I believe this is actually James' or Percy's face. If your little one is old enough to tell the difference, you can change it to look more like Thomas by drawing more of a triangular eyebrow with a black marker. My guy didn't care. To fit my "head" I printed out the face at 80%. You may have to fiddle with this a bit to get the right size.

As you can tell the costume turned out to be too large for my 2 year old. These instructions make a train that would better fit a 3-5 year old. If your person is smaller, be sure to start with smaller boxes! Comment with any questions you have about the process, and I'll try to clarify!