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Sneak peek at “Luna the Pixie Kitten”

I’m in the middle of editing photos of “Luna the Pixie Kitten” by Max Bailey and myself. I had to share my favorite shot. I was crouching next to our Shoal Creek Chaste Tree, which the bees love, hoping one would cooperate, and one did. Once I have the rest of the photos color-adjusted, I’ll get Luna’s web page up over here.

I asked my mom to take a shot of me too. She told me I looked tired, but I said go ahead anyway. I got my flu shot recently, and since then I’ve been feeling a little under the weather. I’m not sure if I just happened to start coming down with the flu at about the same time, or if I’m just experiencing some side effects. Hopefully it won’t turn into anything.

I picked up some new fleece colors and am in the process of pre-washing them right now. I pre-wash most fabrics, if not all. You never know what might run or shrink, and it’s good to get that out of the way first. I’m always suspicious of reds, and even though polyester fleece doesn’t usually run, this one did. I got the extra dye out so it won’t be a problem later, if anything needs to be washed in cold water in the future. I’m going to make some fleece “Hug Me! Slugs” out of these.

I also picked up a dry-erase board, at Staples, so I could keep track of things I need to do. My current system of little pieces of paper, strewn across my desk, doesn’t seem so reliable, although it’s worked so far. The first thing I need to write on the board is, “Hang up the board.” My mom said no, it’s, “Take the wrapper off the board,” which, I guess, I’d have to write on the wrapper. I’ll get right on that after I write it down on one of my little pieces of paper.

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Pixie Kitten in progress and a new slug

This is actually the second Pixie Kitten original, one-of-a-kind folk art doll Max Bailey and I have been working on together. I got some really cute photos of the first, a Siamese, the other day, which I can’t wait to show…but I have to color correct them first. This Pixie Kitten is going to be a tabby with an orange tutu, or that is the plan so far.

She’s made of paperclay and cotton cloth. Her paperclay is still drying. Next she’ll be painted with acrylic paint, and varnished.

This is “Hope the Hug Me! Slug”. She’s spoken for already. As you can see, she’s excited and happy about this.

She and the Pixie Kitten have been speculating all afternoon about what her new home will be like.

Hope has her own, personalized hang tag too. I think she’s in my workroom trying it on right now.

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Pixie Kitten in progress

A kitten in a tutu. My latest project. She has hand-quilted wings that I borrowed from another project that I hadn’t finished. Max is going to work some magic on her next. She’ll be taking on some Siamese (or Himilayan, or Ragdoll…not sure yet) kitten features soon. We were thinking “fairy kittens” but then I liked “Pixie Kittens” better. It sounds more mischievous. There may just be a “Pixie Cat” to follow…

Dealing with the tulle has been hysterical. Purchasing it was interesting. We piled the bolts up in our arms, and when we got to the cutting counter, the guy there seemed really angry to see us! He looked up and said, “Oh, you’re killing me!!” After the twelfth bolt or so, cutting half yards at a time, he seemed to recover a bit. Maybe that was because the end was in sight, or maybe he was due for a break. I prewashed the tulle, and then had to fold and iron it. It does take some patience. It’s true.

I cut strips with my rotary cutter, each half an inch greater in skirt length than the next, and basted them together, two at a time. Then I basted the two sets of two together, and pulled up the basting stitch to gather the edge. The longest skirt length goes on top/outside, and the shortest goes on the bottom/inside, so the tutu fans out from the body. The whole thing is sewn to a band, which is then folded under and hand stitched closed. I closed it with a snap in the back, and added a ribbon rosette in the front.

I got a couple of new presser feet too. On the left is my new clear 1/4 inch piecing foot with guide, and on the right is my new clear edge joining foot. The first one allows you to butt your 1/4 inch seam up against the guide, to keep your seam even. I used that when I sewed my doll body. Being able to see through the foot helped me make those tiny, sharp turns. I did mess up the bottom surface of my new foot a little when I sewed over some Fray Check that hadn’t dried yet. So, I will avoid doing that again. I tried removing it with some alcohol, but the surface seems a little damaged. It may have reacted chemically with the coating of the foot somehow.

The clear edge joining foot will help attach lace to dresses, and it also acts as a guide for sewing a decorative stitch down a center line.

I used the clear edge stitching foot I bought before to sew my gathered tulle onto my waistband, as I wanted to sew past my gathering stitches, which had built up from so many layers of basting.

To those of you who sent your well wishes for my family, and your kind sentiments, thank you very much. My mom is doing much better, and hopefully she will be all better soon.