Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Catching Up

It's been awhile since my last post, and I plead the Fifth!

Aside from not feeling so all right, I've been steady working on cleaning my studio. I know I always say I'm working on it, and so far I haven't managed. This time, since I have a big project coming up, I tore the whole blinkin' thing apart and started anew, beginning by wrapping my fabric yardage around comic book boards so I could store them like books.

(Whoops! Guess DCW didn't want me posting pics of the comic book boards. Still, if you click on the link below, it'll take you to the site where there is a pic. Thanks, Daisy, for bringing this to my attention.)

I only bought a hundred, couldn't imagine needing more, but I'm running really low on them now. They're only about 10 bucks for a hundred here, though shipping doubles the cost. (Find the tutorial for fabric wrapping here.)

When I took the above photo, I'd only done three shelves. The basket on the bottom left has now been redone as well with all my scrap fabrics rolled into tidy parcels and secured ala Just Something I Made. She shares a PDF Download for labels to wrap around cigar-wrapped remnants here.

I'll show more pics of my cabinet once I complete the arranging.

The other thing I did while I was not posting was this new tea cozy.

I made it of a lovely linen fabric I found at our library thrift store a while back.

I've had a good old time testing fiber content of this and other fabrics I've picked up here and there. Did you know that if you leave a piece of 100% wool in bleach for a while it will disappear? Silk will disappear as well but takes longer. Other fibers need the burn test to determine content. You can use the burn test on silk and wool as well, but since my smeller's not the greatest, I find the bleach test more conclusive. Just know that petroleum products become molten plastic.

So with that and my sincerest apologies for my inattention to the blog, I'll sign off now. Take care, y'all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Few Finished Projects--Finally

For a while now, I've been working on some projects that seemed to take forever. First, I've been making a couple of tea cozies as a gift for a friend. Both her large for-company-only and her small daily-usage teapots are Meissen Blue Onion pattern. I wanted to make cozies for each.

The large was relatively easy, once I worked out the design. I used white linen as the outer fabric and embroidered the word tea on the front.

The trim on the bottom came from Etsy, a nice woven blue onion-patterned trim.

The lining also came from Etsy. It's a remnant of a vintage tablecloth, which I machine-quilted onto a piece of felted wool blanket for heat retention.

This one I'm liking.

The hardest was the small cozy, and I'm still not happy with it. First I wanted to use the same white linen, but as it's very easy to drip tea on a bachelor tea cozy, I nixed that. Then I tried a fabric I had only a small remnant of, and I cut it wrong! So I decided to do a patchwork with what I could salvage from the messed-up fabric and another piece I had. That took me in an entirely different direction than the blue and white I intended.

See the teapots on the blue and white stripe? That was my original messed-up fabric. Since there was a great deal of pink in the teapots and cups depicted on the fabric, I originally intended to use a pink for just the liner, but instead used it as alternating patches on the front as well. Now I'm thinking the pink has taken over, becoming the dominant fabric.

I've made bachelor cozies, with the handle and spout free, before and had no problem, but since I was using lightweight fabrics for both the outer and inner sections, I decided to add felted wool to make sure I had heat retention capability. I got a bit zealous though, putting it on both the outer and inner fabrics. It makes it seem more of a down-filled teapot jacket as opposed to a nice dressy woolen teapot coat.

I'm going to send it to Kathy as is and hope she can use it. Maybe I'll make another and send later.

The other project I've had going on lately was for my sister Daisy.

This is the fabric she used for her dining room drapes, nice and tailored-looking. And this is what I made for her wall.

Again, I'm not as happy about this as I wish I were. Since I had no fabric to go with her drapes, and since I'm trying to use things in my stash, I opted for wallpaper, which was in my stash. This picture makes it look as if it needs batting underneath. 'Cept there ain't no way I'm gonna start all over on this one! (Sorry, Daisy.)

I'm hoping to get both of these in the mail tomorrow. Kathy doesn't read the blog so it should still be a surprise for her when she gets it. Daisy does, sporadically, which makes it a coin-toss as to whether she'll see it online first.

So what have you been working on lately? Does it take y'all as long to finish projects as it does me? Do you have long lists of things you want to get of these days? (I'm thinking my next project--once I get my studio back into a shape where I can actually work on something--is going to be the pillow with the flower I blogged about last.)

Hope you all had a lovely Labor Day! Ta.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pillow Design Quandry

First, before I get into the pillow design question, I want to note that I've decided to use my blog as a memory jogger. After spending what seemed like hours this morning searching for a design I recently saw, storing the images here seems the easiest way for me to find things.

So now for the question--I picked up a pillow the other day from the thrift store, solely for the down insert. Both the cover and the insert are in perfect condition, hardly used, but it's a banana color, not so great for most people's decor, definitely not for mine. But it's a Crate and Barrel pillow, not expensive but still not something you'd pick up at the dollar store. So I decided to find a way to foof it up, yellow and all.

This next pillow was on Cluck Cluck Sew's blog and was also featured on Someday Crafts.

I'm thinking the bright yellow Crate and Barrel pillow would look cool with a flower like this. (Tutorial found here.)

Using the same process, different dimensions, she also made this flower brooch. (Tute here.) 

That would look terrific on a bag. And isn't it cool that it's using scraps of fabric? I'm all for using what I already have.

Another design I'm considering for the front of the pillow is this one from Michele Made Me. She calls it Teddy Bear Swim Needle and Hook Book.

Pretty cool, innit? Tute can be found here. Whether or not I use this design for the pillow, I certainly mean to make the needlebook. I do love me some needlebooks!

I don't do that much crochet anymore, but I'm thinking the inside could be adapted to hold tools I'm always misplacing, i.e. my sewing gauge, bodkins, seam rippers. It could be made to be very functional, methinks.

My last idea for the pillow transformation is to translate a rainbow in buttons. How cool is this picture? I'd love to use that as an inspiration but I'm afraid it would take more buttons than even I have.

But a simple arc of buttons in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red shouldn't take that many, should it?

So those are my options. I'm leaning toward the flower because 1) I have some pretty cool scraps of fabric and 2) it seems fairly easy. Still, I'd love feedback on which design you think I should choose. All comments appreciated, my friends!