Monday, June 27, 2011

Bojagi in San Francisco

My mom and I took a short, but fun, road trip to San Francisco to see "The Steins Collect" exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (phenomenal!) and the "Wrapping Traditions" exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

No photos are allowed in the Bojagi show, so no pictures to show of the work. But if you can swing a visit to San Francisco, I highly recommend catching the show if you are at all interested in textile arts. Artists from all over the world interpreted the craft of making bojagi in all kinds of materials - traditional hemp and silk to plastic to glass to washi paper - and the results are amazing. The exhibit is small, but packed full of good stuff. And it's just around the corner from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The museum shop also had the hard to find book by artist and show curator Chunghie Lee that contains detailed instructions on how to make the different kind of stitches to make bojagi, which is great because I have not been able to find much of the information online.

In other sewing news, I made some zip pouches and fabric envelopes as gifts for my golfing friends.

And a belated Father's Day gift: a 36" square prayer mat.


Monday, June 20, 2011


This little guy was too cute to not use to make yet another baby quilt. And because I'm on a bit of a French kick, I named this quilt using the French for "to play".

My sophisticated quilt display: an ironing board and an iron to weight the top.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

I had a bunch of leftover half square triangle blocks from the Radiate and Ripple quilt and wracked my brain to figure out a way to use them up. In the end I settled for pairing up the blocks to make the traditional flying geese block, but the end result was "blah" to me.

Imagine the quilt without the giraffe. A tad dull, right?

So I draped the top onto my ironing table, stared at it, and waited for inspiration to strike. At some point I remembered that a bunch of pre-made animal applique shapes were taking up space in one of my boxes of stuff. The giraffe makes the quilt sing, I think.

The finished quilt is 36" x 40" and the batting is a higher loft polyester than the normal thin cotton batting I use, but the end result is comfortably poofy and snuggly quilt. I like it.

 To me, the colors and giraffe remind me of an idyllic day at the zoo.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cozy scissors

Last night, I got into my head the idea that my embroidery scissors absolutely had to have its own cozy case. And the case should also have a pocket to hold an embroidery needle and some thread. So I happily drafted a pattern and was generally pleased with how the case was coming along, until it didn't.

Plan B: I tweaked the pattern and then fiddled some more. Frustratingly enough, putting on the snaps took the most time because I kept messing up the snaps and ended up going through four types of snaps (I now really dislike pearl snaps and don't understand how they are supposed to work.) before making do with the ones in the picture because it was now 2 in the morning and enough was enough.

If I were to make this again, which I won't, I would use a small magnetic snap or a simpler button and loop enclosure rather than wrestle with the little snaps. And the placement of the thread holder definitely needs work. But the final result is okay for me for now.

Along the way I thought about taking some process pictures in case I wanted to offer a tutorial on making a scissor cozy. But I didn't. But if you want your own exercise in frustration, the pattern is available as a JPG file that can be printed onto a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper.  I basically assembled the scissor cozy as if I were making a very small bag. Patience to sew slowly is definitely a virtue in sewing something so small.

More fun to make are these keychains made of felt. The design is a riff on the heart in the header of this blog. The keychains look like cookies to me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Knick-knack Sewing

Just some stuff that I've sewed over the past few days to slowly reduce my sewing clutter...

leftover blocks from a quilt repurposed into 9" square potholders

mini-drawstring bags (6"x7") using some novelty fat quarters that I did not know what else to do with

a couple more... the hippo makes me smile

coasters repurposed from a fail oven mitt experiment

a string quilt style coaster using wine-themed leftover strips

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wrapping Traditions: Korean Textiles Now

The San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art will be hosting an exhibit on bojagi. From the web site:

Wrapping Traditions: Korean Textiles Now brings together contemporary artists from Korea, and ten other countries that are inspired by this Korean folk art. Unlike the traditional form, Contemporary Bojagi varies in medium, size, and functions to create a new meaning that transcends borders. Wrapping Traditions: Korean Textiles Now explores both traditional Bojagi, and its multiple reinterpretations in contemporary art.

I can't wait to see the exhibit and have been looking forward to this for months. The photos from the press release look fantastic.

from top left (clockwise): Yeon Joon Chang; EunJi Lee; SungSoon Lee; Ji Young Lee

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On a bag making roll

Some tote bags and shoulder bags that I've made in the past few days. The red and blue ones have been sitting in my works in progress (WIP) pile for months now and I felt the need to clean. The pattern is a free classic tote tutorial from the Sew Mama Sew blog. I've sewn the bag so many times now because it's such a great pattern. On a lark, I added the snaps. 

The orange and striped bag are made from another free tutorial online. This time from a very purple person. I ended up making the straps four times (!) on the striped one because I couldn't make up my mind about the length. The first time because I wanted to be able to wear it as a cross-body, but the straps were too short. So then I added length, but it looked awkward. Then I cut the straps to a shorter length only to mess up and make one of the straps a mobius strip. The fourth time was the charm. Thankfully I only had to sew the orange one just once. Lesson learned for now.

I added a small inner pocket in the bag lining and also a metallic snap so that the bag won't gape open.

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