Crafty Fun with Family

While my blog may have been a bit inactive these past 2 weeks, it is not from lack of activity on my part.  My 15 year old cousin, Crystal flew out for a 10 day visit and we packed in a lot of Bay Area adventure including a trip to San Francisco, Winchester Mystery House, tour of the new Levi stadium, San Jose Tech Museum, Great America theme park, Mystery Spot and zip-lining high up in the Santa Cruz redwood forest.  But we also set aside some much needed crafting time.

Crystal started a fun new bracelet featuring a dog on a skateboard.  Her ipad mini served as a flat surface to stabilize her piece, as well as refer back to the uploaded pattern.  It was a lot of fun watching the skateboarding dog emerge as she completed each row of knots.

We also set aside a fun morning of tie dyeing.  Crystal brought out a fun selection of mostly white cotton clothes to experiment.  And Doug helped whip up a colorful assortment of dyes.

Crystal adding splashes of color while the pups observe
I also dyed some cotton clothing, and experimented with some pearl cotton and embroidery floss.  And to use up the remaining dye, more tray dyeing pimatex yardage!!  I really liked the pearl cotton, which seemed to retain more gradation and brighter colors.  The embroidery floss seemed to turn to brownish hues--which is perfect for fall!  Either way, I will need to find a better way to rinse them out without creating a giant ball of knots.  Luckily Doug was very helpful with helping to wrangle them back into order!
Rainbow of dyes
My colorful creations--tray dyeing, threads, tank tops and t-shirts!
We also hit up a quilt shop where she picked out a fabric featuring space shuttles to use in making her a new drawstring back pack.  After researching some free online patterns, I went to work stitching one up with her new fabrics.  It was a fairly simple construction process as the only difficult part was sliding the cording through the casing.  I did the first pass through and then had Crystal do the 2nd, which she made quick work.
Crystal's Drawstring Back Pack featuring space shuttles
Crystal modelling her newly dyed duds and her gorgeous 1st quilt!!!
I was super excited when Crystal asked to learn more about my quilting and said yes, when I asked if she might like to make her own.  

So I pulled out my bin of fused scraps along with some scissors for her to experiment.  She went to work creating an explosion of color and chose a black fabric for the background, which makes the design truly pop. 

When it came time to deciding on the quilting, I sketched out a few ideas, and she liked the spiral coming out from the center and chose a fun variegated thread. 

With all the important decisions made, it was time to introduce her to Bernie, my sewing machine, and once I got her started, she quickly took over and did all the quilting on her own.  She then selected some bindings scraps and I helped attach the binding by machine.  She even came to my weekly small quilt group and got to do some show and tell with her newly finished quilt!!  She also commented that the process helped her to better appreciate the effort that went into making her bed sized quilt.