I worked on a Christmas project tonight (since it is a gift - no pics) - again with the sewing machine...I think I am having an affair with Ken(more) :). We have been on again off again for about 4 years but the past few weeks I have been seeing him almost nightly. Here he is: My husband found him on the side of the road in Seattle and he required a $100 tune up but he gets me by. I have often dreamed of trading him in for a newer model, drawn by decorative stitches and tensioners that actually work. Maybe someday. As you can see he is set up at the kitchen table. I sometimes use him on the antique secretary but that only works for quick projects. While I am talking about my tools, here is the rest of the gang:
I have 3 pairs of scissors, indulgent, I know. The nice pair, in the black sheath, were a Christmas gift a few years back. They are still super sharp and pretty amazing. The black handle are pinking shears that belonged to my great-grandmother. They have a dull portion towards the handle, but I can avoid it. Finally my nippers were a gift from my mil. These are so much better then the string cutter on Ken(more).
An old self healing blue mat and Sears yardstick (that my mom gave my Grandma in the 70s then my grandma gave me) are how I measure...hence the problems.
I also have my grandfather's ruler (he passed away in May) which is nice for small projects (like cutting a baby blanket every inch). It measures 6" and a pinch and is very handy - just like Bud Carter (who happened to be just about 6').
My final tool is a wonderful husband (no picture - sorry) who never complains about hauling Ken(more) in and out of the kitchen or about my fabric $pending or how I spend my evenings.
Sometimes I feel like I am working with some pretty old stuff, but then I remember the prairie women sewing clothes and quilts by hand and I think I am pretty lucky. Projects may take me a bit longer, but that just means they have more love in them.
Last week I started work on a picnic blanket following this tutorial. All of the top fabrics are from my stash. I had intended a different layout but got mixed up and it would have take a lot of seam ripping to fix it, so I left it. (I was near tears that night.) I had to purchase the backing fabric and batting. In the pictures you can't see but the white and red fabrics have small yellow flowers and since I couldn't match the red, green or blue, I went with it. I followed the tutorial except that I added a ribbon to tie up the blanket, it is sewn into one of the seams. This was my hubby's idea. On another note, I made this small blanket from this tutorial to go with my other flannel blanket. All of the ribbon was stuff I had on hand!! I tried to use one of the decorative stitches on my ancient machine and it didn't go to well, but it will hold tight. :) I think I will be doing more of these, it was super easy!!
A friend of mine had a baby Tuesday and I realized I needed a gift. I decided to make a blanket and followed this tutorial. Here it is cut out, sewed and snipped. It is still in the process of going through the wash and dry cycle.
I am becoming more and more fond of my sewing machine. I am working on another blanket but it is taking longer. So far one day I cut it, one day I sewed the top pieces and one day the back. Now I just have to put it all together. Hopefully I will have it up soon. :)
When my husband and I were first married we lived in a less then 500 square foot studio. I wanted everything to match so we had blue sheets with a cream duvet, a hand-me-down blue, cream (or was it dirty white?), and goldish 70s couch that was a wedding gift to my parents and I used this fabric to cover my painted white dining chair seats.
3ish years later my husband and I went to Florida and left our (3rd) apartment (now a bigger 1 bedroom) and kitty in care of friends. They draped the couch in red (a color I hadn't warmed up to yet) and covered the chairs in green. I was horrified when we got home but the damage was done. The white/cream in the couch was stained pink from the red fabric (that was too slick to stay on) so I bought a cream duvet and went with the new colors with this: My mil helped by making me throw pillows.
Unfortunately the green on the chairs was lightweight cotton and didn't survive long, so my mom helped me pick out a red and green that matched the red painted (it came that way) kitchen in our new townhome and didn't look like Christmas. The thing is, while my husband loved the colors and the stripes, I didn't. Well, we had a baby and had to rearrange the living room and suddenly the Ikea chair that was covered in the stripes was an eyesore. Maybe it was just me staying home with the boy but I was staring at it all day everyday. Finally I picked up some light blue fleece and covered it up and that began the transformation. Here is the pillow I covered Tuesday.
Now the pillows are 2 navy, 1 red, one blue and red, one 3 blues and the lovely one that incorporates all, seen above. The thing is - no green. So the ottoman (previously green) is next on my list. I am going to make a removable (kid-friendly) cover in a yet to be determined fabric. There are also the kitchen chairs but those are fine (for now). :)
Yesterday I undertook organizing my stash. Most of my fabric is not from purchases that I made. I have raided my mom's stash and been given a lot of remnants by my mother-in-law. All of it collected in a big box under my bed unfolded, unsorted, unorganized and basically unknown to me. Yesterday I pulled it all out. I folded the big pieces 1-2 yards and bigger that are mostly from my redecorating projects. I then sorted, trimmed, ironed and folded the smaller pieces. Here is half of it sorted by color (and out of reach of my little one). Here it is in process. I used the guide to fold it all into 5 inch squares. And here it all is. I even discovered some great 'vintagey' stuff. I can easily tell where I got each piece. The pieces from my mom (the craft-er) are mostly unwashed quarter to half yard pieces with squares cut out of them. The pieces from my mil (the sew-er) are washed, surged on 2-3 edges but they had ragged pieces cut out of them for applique. I trimmed the edges before folding and only had to throw a few pieces in the wash (cat hair). The pieces I purchased in highscool are mostly not 100% cotton, not washed and overall crappy. I am excited to look at my project list and see what I can use. I need to find an easy apron pattern for some of the blue, red, green, yellow 80s stuff.
Today I got my house back in order. Sunday we had a couple over for BBQ ribs. Saturday we had two couples over for soups, caramel apples and a beer tasting.
Let me stop here and tell you that I LOVE cloth napkins! They take a get-to-gether and make it a dinner party. They take a little more effort so choose carefully (I skipped them for the ribs night). A quick trip into the washer and a snappy pressing and they are ready for the next time.
Friday we had friends over for mac & cheese and good company (not that the others weren't good company this night was just more comfortable). My friend and I also finished the relaunch of our business: www.greenonthevine.etsy.com. Thursday I sewed this pillow:
and these eye pillows.
Wednesday I did all of the cutting on the aforementioned projects. I used this premise for the eye pillows.
Tuesday I made refrigerator cookies. I won't post the recipe because they were not worth it :(. Monday I caught up from being out of town since the previous Friday.
Don't think I have been slacking...well, just in my blogging.