Category Archives: Needlework

A bit of mending

I have these dress slacks that have needed attention for some time.  A few years ago, long enough that I can’t remember who was the culprit anymore, one of the cats decided to climb the clothing in the closet.  The bottom few inches of these pants were ruined with snags and rips.  Being that this was a really nice, high quality pair being fully lined, I couldn’t stand the idea of just tossing them.  At some point I did cut off the ruined portions.  The remainder has been haunting my studio since.  I had the glimmerings of an idea last night a dug through my box of trims and some trim grab bags I had.  This morning, I converted that idea into reality.  I hemmed both pants and lining, and added a bit of fun trim to the pants hems.  Now they are capris and have touch of seam lace that peaks out just below the hem and a small band of black and white gingham.  I’m quite pleased with the results and have already imagined outfit pairings.

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Filed under Needlework, Sewing

Quick Cushion

I needed an “instant gratification” project as the mystery quilt is taking time.  Not just in the quilting of it, but the cats keep deciding it’s the purrfect place to snooze, so I keep having to clean the fur off of it.  Stinkers.

Munchkin had a little upholstered stool that at some point recently became highly unstable.  Some part of its structure was broken and it had to go in the bin.  We were out at Cost Plus today and saw this small rattan stool and accompanying cushion.  They were, of course, sold separately.  And the cost of the cushion, well, it was hard to justify knowing that I have a towering boxes of fabric, both new cuts and stuff to be re- or up-cycled.

I knew before we got home what I wanted to use.  The box of denim pieces.  Only a small bit of cutting was required as much of it was cut already.  I threw some random pieces together, and stitched them up to make two pieces that could accommodate 18″ circle cuts.  I laid them down right sides together, and marked 4 cardinal points then drew arcs connecting them to make the circle.  I pinned it, with different ones to call out the turning opening.  I stitched the circled twice just to be sure, took out the pins, turned it and stuffed it with a combination of poly fill and cuttings not suitable for scraps (selvages and the like).  A quick whip stitch sealed it up, and now we have a cushion for considerably less.

And it was a fun little quick project.

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Floss Organization,  progress pic 3

Got through the greens and blues.  On to purples then neutrals. 

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Floss Organization,  progress pic 2

Managed to get the oranges and yellows dine and happily discovered that the balls of perle cotton  (8, 12 & 16 ) fit nicely in the bead box.

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Filed under Needlework, Organization

Floss Organization,  progress pic 1

So the reds are done.  No, I don’t sort by number but by color and shade.  My closet is the same.

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Patching, Building, Organizing

Today seems to have been sort of catch up on things day. Normal household stuff got done then diverted elsewhere. Upon getting the laundry folded, I found a couple pairs of munchkin’s pants that need patching. That got done. Amazingly I had some orange fabric that perfectly matched the orange pants. That is excessively rare for the non denim stuff, not that he wears denim anymore. Started refusing to wear jeans at all a little over a year ago. It isn’t a hill to die on.

After that was a trip to Beverly’s to either get a second rotary cutter or new blade(s) for the old one. This happened since the blades I ordered online had a different center than the cutter I have. As the new blades are nearly $9 for a single blade and a second cutter was $17, I opted for the cutter since I have a 10-pack of thise blades. Storage boxes were on sale and I picke up a couple to try to organize the mess that is my floss and beads. Well, the floss is definitely worse off.

boxes

A couple more stops before we came home, and I was suddenly motivated to finish that over-the-sink shelf for the kitchen that I started last year. The boards were cut and varnished, but I hadn’t bothered to assemble them yet. I finally did that, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I’ve some knick knacks on it for now. I plan to pull out my seeds and see if I can’t get a herb and/or salad garden going there.

shelf1

shelf2

Yes, this is procrastinating of a sort. The Dragon Fruit quilt is at a bit of an impasse as I vacillate between putting the blocks together then quilting or using a quilt-as you-go method. Also, with dull rotary blades, the inner border pieces were not coming along very quickly.

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Filed under Beading, Needlework, Organization, Uncategorized

CQJP 2017 – Intro & January

I think it was sometime in 2015 that I first discovered the Crazy Quilt Journal Project though it has been running for longer than that. I thought about it off and on last year and hand intended to sign up for this year’s challenge. The year got away from me, especially with all the craziness that happens at the end of the year, and it completely slipped my mind. I posted a little note to the project’s Facebook page and received a note in return saying sign up as a late registrant. So I did.

Then I panicked! I started cutting up my stash of old no longer wearable jeans. Then I changed my mind and pulled out the box of silks and satins and other shiny fabrics. I was going back and forth and neither set was gelling for me. In the process of moving around some of the fabric for a quilt currently in progress I cam across a set of tumbling blocks I had pieced together that have just been sitting since I could never figure out what to do with them. No layout worked for me. I counted them and discovered there were exactly 12. It was like an omen and inspiration struck.

I did some Googling to find images and whatnot to tease out the ideas puttering around in my gray matter. I pulled out my large sketchbook and my pencil. I made notes and sketched the initial images of what I wanted. I even found my water soluble fabric marking pen. I pulled out my stash of embroidery floss and perle cotton then added the bags (yes, bags) of 11/0 seed bead tubes. With my munchkin’s assistance the floss was sorted by color family and tucked into gallon size Ziplock bags.

Now I stared at my little stack of tumbling blocks. The last time I had done crazy quilting there was a foundation fabric the the pieces were stitched to. These blocks were already put together but would still need support for the embroidery. What to do? What to do? Aha! Quilt batting! I buy it “in bulk”, i.e. off the bolt at Joann’s when I have a 50% off one item coupon. I buy the largest width available and cut it down to the sizes I need for whatever quilt I’m working on. There are a bunch of smaller, random pieces. I cut a piece slightly smaller than my block, turned under the edges and stitched them down. After that I sketched the basic outline with my marking pen.

Now I was ready to stitch! And stitch I did, incorporating stumpwork techniques I learned in a class at CATS (Creative Arts and Textiles Show) in Riverside many years ago. As I wanted the stumpwork in the middle to be the dominant piece, the surrounding embroidery is minimal and mostly done in only a single strand, though I did add a touch of beadwork. The centerpiece as it was complete, but the block still needed a little something. I slept on it and figured out what I wanted, finishing it up this morning before starting on work stuff. I must say I am pleased with how it turned out.

Here it is at different stages.

Tumbling block prepped for embroidery

Tumbling block prepped for embroidery

Focal embroidery complete

Focal embroidery complete

Completed  CQJP 2017 January Block "Snowdrop & Garnet"

Completed CQJP 2017 January Block “Snowdrop & Garnet”

And I would be wholly remiss if I did not credit the beautiful photos I used as a basis for my sketches:

The Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2017 has a blog here .

Happy Stitching!

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Filed under Beading, CQJP 2017, Needlework, Quilting