Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Had to Stand on the Table to get a Decent Picture.

 Early the other morning I figured out how I want to make the quilt that I have been procrastinating on since September.  
I had just finished writing my morning pages when 
this quilt idea jumped into my head.  
It's really simple but that's the kind of quilt that appeals to me.


 I don't think it will be quite like this but it's a general map.  
It at least got me started.  
I know it looks like just a jumble of scribbles but trust me, that's a quilt there.  :)


 I decided the background should be mostly red with some beige and just a little green.


I finally took the leap and cut the corduroy into strips.


Here's a pile of the selvedges.  I just thought it looked kind of cool.  
It's trash can bound....maybe...


I sorted the embroidered squares by size and ended up with seven piles though I think I'll cut some of the squares into smaller shapes.  That might be pretty cool.  I like the idea of the embroidered path being interrupted by a patch of color only to start up right where it left off on the next square.  Hmmm.  I may be giving this a little too much thought.


General concept.  

I had to stand on the table to get a decent picture.  

I like the nap going in different directions.  The second red strip from the top looks darker because I reversed the nap there.  
I think I'll keep that going  randomly throughout the quilt.

Now, that's what I call a process post.  I haven't even started sewing yet.  
But I am about to.  

Riiiiiight NOW! 

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Because That's My Pace


 The tree trunk table is moving slowly only because that's my pace.  
It's in the basement and so I keep forgetting to work on it.


 I'm calling this side finished.  It probably has eight or nine coats of Tung Oil.  The Tung Oil did darken the wood but I don't mind.  I'm really pleased with how it's turning out and can't wait to put my feet up on it.


You can see the marks from the chain saw but it feels smooth.  This will be the underside.  I'll need help flipping it and then I'll start the other side.  I'll try to remember to take a picture of it before I start oiling it.


In lieu of actually sewing content, I thought I'd show off my sewing machines.  I have a few and really love them all.  

What looks like an unassuming side table, turns out to be...


 A beautiful vintage Necchi Mira BU from 1954.  I love me some old machines.  They are sturdy and much prettier than newer machines.


Yes, that is denim thread on there.  Perfect for sewing old jeans into new things.

I could tell you all sorts of details about Necchi machines but this person does a much better job of it.  Also, she has a really cute Springer Spaniel who looks like the one we had when I was a kid, but I digress as usual. 


I found this machine on Craig's List.  A woman had been given it by her Grandmother and was done sewing and so was passing it on.  At least, that was her story.  It came with all sorts of awesome paperwork including a guarantee and catalog.  Very fun.


 I can't get over the weird way the threading directions are lettered.  Italians have the same alphabet as we do, right?  So how are we supposed to follow this?  S to E to U to D and wha???  There must be a good reason.  I'm just glad there are pictures
.

How cute is that?


 It came with a Wonder Wheel for fancy stitching and a ruffler foot along with many other feet and accessories in a Bakelite box. 


 It's a heavy duty, dependable machine and I love using it.  More pictures of my other sewing machines coming in the future.


I also need to organize my corner of the basement.  
It seems to need attention every few months as I keep finding the greatest stuff that I just really need.  

Surely, you understand.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Spice of Life

That would be variety.  It's the spice of life.  Anyway, I guess that's my awkward way of saying that this post is not about sewing or knitting or any other craft that I do on a typical day.  It's about WOOD!

A family friend brought me a slab of elm from a tree that was cut down.  He figured I'd come up with something to do with it.  

He was right 
(Coffee Table.  Duh.)
but first it sat in my garage for over a year.

It had to dry plus I just didn't know where to start.  
So much advice out there but so many of the finishing options were just too toxic for me.

My husband brought home some heavy duty caster wheels but still...it sat.  

Finally, I lost my patience with myself. I started yapping about it to anyone who would listen (all part of my process).  
A co-worker told me about a woodworking store in town - I must have passed it a million times but never thought of going in.  I'm so glad I finally did, all my good free advice came from there.  

They were very helpful and told me that Tung Oil is the goo for me.  It's really good for porous surfaces - which, I learned, Elm, totally is, and it is petroleum distillate free.  It actually hardens the wood from the inside - whatever that means.  It lets you see the wood as it actually looks, not darkened and it's water and alcohol resistant.  It's advertised as  "one of the first 'Green' finishes" on the website.  
Oh, Tung Oil, you had me at petroleum distillate free. 

I wish I had some 'before' pictures.  Bad blogger.  
I do have a couple of progress pictures.  


This is right as I started when I finally thought of taking a slightly before picture.  I spent two days removing the bark (that part was easy) and sanding (that part was soooo time consuming).  I was ready to move on.


That's it, though.  I took these picture only moments ago.  I've got coat one done and and will move on to coat 2 in...40 minutes.  I'll keep going every hour till I get tired and then get back to it tomorrow.  I'm a little nervous about the wheels being even.  Do I need to be?  I guess this would be learning by doing.
I'll post some more pictures as I get further along.  
Sometimes it's nice to be easily distracted. 

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Process Post


Before
After

It doesn't look that different, does it?  But I did spend a fair amount of my yesterday making this second curtain panel the right size for my window.  I expanded it along two sides so that it would fit my kitchen window.  Now I just need to figure out how to mount it.  I need to be able to open it.  I have a pretty good idea, I've done this before.  I need to buy some dowel rods and rings so I'm at a stopping point for now.


There is something so satisfying about freshly ironed linen.  It can really stand up to a super hot, super steamy iron.  That kind of ironing brings out the best in linen - though when I wear linen clothes, I just embrace the wrinkles.  It's one of my favorite fabrics.


I sewed the two squares together in a long chain to preserve thread but also to be more efficient with my time.  It still took me hours and hours.  
Fun hours but still...hours.

Before and After
 That's right.  My before on this quilt is the exact same as my after.  I still can't commit to the background fabric for this quilt.  I did lay them out a couple of times to see that they may end up looking like.  I sometimes think that I'd like a quilt made only of the corduroy.   PS - Check out the stuffed animal on the couch.  I made her out of an old wool coat about a year ago.


I did steal away one square to patch a worn spot on the sofa.  
Apparently, denim wears out whether the ass is inside or outside of the pants. 


 I picked the patch I did because it just had a few lines of embroidery.  That way I could add some more while attaching it to the cushion.  I extended some lines beyond the edge of the patch just for fun.  
I also used some thread made just for sewing denim - it ends up being relatively invisible - around the edges in the hopes that it stays on well.  I'm tempted to add some fray check around the edges just to be safe.  
We do get a lot of asses on this spot.


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