Archive for April, 2013

All Thread!

All thread-deep- I’ve been bowling again and having so much fun! I’ve always wanted to try  “thread painting” a clothesline bowl, so I did! I made two and I’m really pleased with the way they turned out. (Click each image to see it larger.)

I hate to tell you that you don’t need my PowerWraper, or my hand-dyed clothesline to make this bowl.  All you need is cotton clothesline and a boatload of thread.

That's a lot of bobbins!Here are just some of the bobbins I emptied making two “thread painted” bowls.

I started with a 100-foot length of clothesline and a 3,000-yard spool of variegated cotton thread (30 weight) which I used as the “top” thread for the entire project.

I zigzagged the clothesline from one end to the other three times emptying a dozen or more bobbins with leftover thread on them from all sorts of projects. Some had just a few yards, others were full. I reloaded about 10 more spools from spools of thread that were at least three-quarters gone. I couldn’t believe how much thread that clothesline ate!

All Thread-ShallowThen, I cut the line in half and make two medium-sized bowls. They measures  about 8″ in diameter and roughly 3.5″ tall.  Here’s the second one.

When I coiled and zigzagged the bowls together I kept the bobbin thread somewhat consistent. I used a variegated blue for the bowl first bowl pictured which gave me a lighter inside and a darker outside. I’m loving the two-toned bowl idea, something else I’ve been wanting to experiment with more.

All Thread-Shallow-bottomI also used the same blue bobbin for the sides of the second bowl. I used a variegated orange/pink/green thread in the bobbin for the bottom of the bowl.  It kind of reminds me of my Revere-ware copper bottom pots in the kitchen. You know, the ones I never use.

Prepping the line.And, because I’m really hoping the weather warms up (and dries out) so I can dye the first batch of clothesline of the season (and the underpants) I started prepping the rope. It won’t be long now!

Meanwhile, I’ll be teaching the Fabric BOWLing workshop for the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club in Sequim, Washington on April 25th. There are still a few spaces left.  Check for more details.

Ami Simms


April 23, 2013 at 2:14 am 24 comments

A Diversion With Bubble Wrap & Duct Tape

Lake Simms It’s been raining. For days. And I don’t mind, honest. It’s a lot better than snow.

Everything is soggy. We’re growing a lake in the back yard.  And a small one in the basement. Towels are doing the trick downstairs for now. I’m not worried. (I’m leaving on a teaching trip tomorrow.)

It rained again last night.  One of the sump pumps died (yes we have TWO) so the plumber is coming to install a new “spare” sometime this morning.

Front walkBut isn’t the front walk beautiful? A little moist perhaps. I love the reflection.

I was concerned because the surviving sump pump was spewing all the water out into the front yard. The pipe ends about a foot above the edge of what could be a flower bed, if I ever cared to make it one.  The incessant torrent of water created a small pool in the dirt about a foot deep. Then it overflowed across the front walk making the front door distinctly out of bounds.

I found a chunk of PVC pipe in the garage and stuck it over the end of the pipe, balancing it on a tree trunk that floated by. That got me about four feet. Not long enough.  The pumped water was still feeding the walkway pond.  Then I got a brilliant idea while making room for the plumber downstairs. (I only pick up when company comes. ) I found a huge bundle of bubble wrap!

20130419-100330.jpgI tried sewing the bubble wrap together, but the feed dogs on my Bernina aren’t used to the bubbles. I tried popping them and then sewing. No go. I dropped my feed dogs and attempted to free-motion quilt the sections of bubble wrap together and broke my needle.

So, I resorted to using clear packing tape on the short seams and duct tape on the long seam. I slid my bubble wrap tube onto the free end of the second pipe and secured it with zip ties. As long as the duct tape was on the top there was very little leakage and I was able to divert the water about 12 feet down the driveway. Success!

I am so proud! Here’s a mercifully short video of the water flow.

I was entertained by my little “diversion.”  Warm and DRY thoughts to all who are dealing with serious flooding. Stay dry.

April 19, 2013 at 9:30 am 50 comments

Ami Simms

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