Monday, May 20, 2013

Tombow Time

My friend, SewCal Gal, recently posted about Tombow.  I had never heard of it!  She described the products, and offered samples from Tombow to other bloggers who would write about it. 

From the Tombow press release:
"Bloggers who are interested in participating in the “100 Days of Tombow” movement should contact Barbara Pritchett, public relations coordinator, who will facilitate the provision of 100 Days of Tombow Starter Kit, containing Dual Brush Pens, Irojiten Color Pencils and the Stamp Runner Adhesive (photos attached). In addition, every submission for the “100 Days of Tombow” blogging program will result in a $100.00 product donation to the Council for Art Education. “We hope to donate $10,000 worth of product to this dynamic, vibrant cause that shapes the future crafters and artists of America through its educational programs,” said Hinn in closing. “After all, we want to be the product of choice for future generations, and what better way to celebrate the past than to promote the future.”
Since my BA degree is in Art and Education, anything I can do to support this VERY important factor in education, is important to me.  I received the sample pencils, dual brush pen set, and the adhesive stamp runner.  As I'm primarily focused on quilting, I couldn't think of uses for these for me.  One thing I did check with the markers and pencils, was their conforming to the quality standards or government regulations.  Tombow's products do.  As a teacher, I preferred Crayola products, and as a resident of the northeast part of PA, I've visited the Crayola Factory in Bethlehem.  I care about the ingredients that kids use, and Tombow does to. 
I brought these samples to my friend Sue, who does scrapbooking, and teaches classes on scrapbooking.  She uses Tombow.  Since I hadn't heard of Tombow before SewCal Gal's blog, I was surprised.  Sue liked the adhesive stamp runner.  She showed me how to use it, and said it's refillable, which is smart.  I then realized it would be perfect for combining pieces of patterns together.  Sometimes when I sew, the patterns come in sections.  They need to be matched and taped.  Brainstorm!!  It will also come in handy for attaching fabric swatches to designs before cutting for the quilt. 
The pencils were great, too.  The tips were smooth and the colors vibrant.  We also played with the markers.  There is a larger brush tip, and a fine tip.  The shape of the tip is marked on the barrel, so it's easy to pull the cap for the correct tip.  Occasionally I need to draw a design, and add color.  These are blendable, so that's a great feature.  Some of the designs I teach to kids are sketched.  These products will help them see their final design before they cut the fabric. 
So, even though our Tombow time was limited to testing the products, I can see I'll enjoy using them.  Although I don't plan to get into scrapbooking, these are great products to add to my supplies.  I will be looking for more Tombow products for gifts.  If you want more information on Tombow and their products, go to  Tombow, thanks for allowing me to try out your products! 

Catching Up

I can't believe I haven't written in almost a month!  I've been fairly busy. 

First, I was asked to do alterations, then asked to make costumes for Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts, in Bethlehem.  The alterations were rolled hems on dresses with circle skirts, and the costumes were 12 red satin, lined, bolero jackets with black trim.  Luckily, many of the girls were similar sizes, so I could cut multiples of the pieces to save time.  2 prototypes were made before the actual design was figured, so the rest were easy to make.  These were all for the performance in Quilt, their dance recital, which was May 17 and 18.  I went to the 2:00 performance.  All the dancers were wonderful!

Here's a shot of a few finished, ready to be delivered. 

I must admit that I got tired of seeing red!  I did use one of my quilting skills, chain piecing, to get these done a little faster.  The design is shorter than the pattern, and the sleeve is from another jacket pattern.  Creating the pattern to fit the teacher's idea isn't that difficult, but making sure it works for 6 different sizes was a small challenge.  After making 8, I was tired!  I had to keep going, though, and avoid procrastinating.  At one point, Hazel, my chocolate lab, decided to lay down in the doorway so I couldn't leave my sewing machine without disturbing her sleep.  It was funny!  She only sleeps on the tile floor when it's really warm, so I was surprised.  I guess she wanted the jackets to get done!!

This picture is from the final bow of the performance.  Since no pictures were supposed to be taken, I could not use my flash.  This one is the best of the few I snapped. 
The next finished project was a special order for my best customer in England.  She purchased Mary's Contrary Garden, and asked for a smaller version for a different chair.  This time she asked for a 21" square for the back of the chaise lounge.  Since I had a section of the second quilt done, I only needed to add borders and quilt it.  I took another square, and made it a pillow cover, to thank her for her support.  These were shipped off last week. 

I also did a quick 4 store one day Shop Hop with a friend.  I had lots of fun, got great inspiration, and some great deals!  It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed seeing Wooden Bridge Dry Goods, in Kutztown, right on a Menonite farm, in the Spring.  Usually we go there for the November hop. 

Sometimes, after sewing things for my store, or custom orders, I need to make something for me, for fun.  Otherwise, I feel I get burned out.  I've been wanting a new lunch tote.  It needed to have a "wipe clean" interior, a zipper closure, and be insulated to keep my food cold.  I've had the Desk Deli pattern by Quilts Illustrated for a while, but it doesn't have a zipper closure.  I also wanted it a little taller.  I often pack something baked to share, and wanted something that would hold my lunch and a little more.  I changed the pattern size, added a section across the top with a zipper, and made my own laminated fabric for the inside.  There's a great product that you just iron on.  I only recommend that you don't drop the sticky part of the vinyl on the dog hair covered floor before you place it on your fabric, lol.  (Yes, there are a few hairs between the laminate and fabric inside my bag.) 

I also made a sling for a friend's little daughter.  She fell off her bike, and the sling from the hospital was too large.  I used a large white dot on red, like Minnie Mouse's skirt, and she was so excited! 
This is quilted, and has a padded cover over the strap. 
The project I'm working on now is pink and brown.  It's a quilt for my soon-to-be born great neice.  I'm just glad the fabric I picked isn't red!! 
Thanks for visiting!