I absolutely adore garlands and have been wanting to make some. Last year (just a month ago) I made some for christmas presents. I’ve done one paper one, sewn together. The others are fabric ones. This first one is from Dutch ‘delft blue’ fabric I bought when last visiting Holland two years ago. I cut out the pictures and doubled them up, wrong sides together, stitching around the edges with a zig zag stitch. It worked fairly well, but here and there some threads are sticking out. I sewed them all on a piece of chord I found in the back of my drawer. I later realized the reason the chord was so thick and irregular was because it’s candle wick chord!! I suppose I won’t be making candles anytime soon.
For the second garland I didn’t have to deal with small pictures so I could make proper little flags, sewn right sides together and then turned. They look much better, I think.
A while ago we had a big wind storm in the area and my rose bush in front of the porch got blown over. In hind sight this was a very good thing because now I can use the porch railing for exhibiting my quilts and projects. I’ve pulled the bush in front of the window, from where I can now see the birds sitting on it. It looks a little strange from the garden side but I think it will look better when the bush fills out a bit and gets used to growing the other way….
Inspired by the (old) beach pictures I put up yesterday I decided to go back to the beach to take some pictures of my latest quilts. I got to cheat a bit on these since they are made with a quilt top I found at a thrift store. I right away loved the colors and the fabrics, which I think are from the 1960’s. It was quite large and I decided to get out my trusty seam ripper and ripped it in half, very carefully, so as to get two quilts out of it.
They are just the right size for cuddling up on the couch on a cool California evening, of which there are quite a few. I adore polka dot fabric and am particularly taken with the red one, so that was an easy choice. The batting is polyester, so as to keep it nice and fluffy and light. One of the quilts has double batting for when it’s even colder than usual.
I had planned to try my new sewing machine’s quilting capabilities but the quilt top was a bit wonky so I ended up just tacking down the corners of the squares, which worked out fine and keeps the quilt fluffier and warmer. I did some ‘stitching in the ditch’ around the binding, which turned out okay, although I could probably use some more practice…. Can’t wait to start on the next quilt, this time with “a top of one’s own”.
Beach bags, or they could be. The beach is just brilliant for taking pictures, and in the off-season the life guard stations are usually not peopled, so they make a nice background. These bags are all from my bag making period, when I was churning them out one after the other. Most of these have found nice new homes with family and friends, except for the pink one. I’ve been using that one as a purse. They’re so nice and big and the inside pocket has a zipper to keep things a little more safe.
The Dutch print fabrics and some of the polka dot ones I bought when I was in Holland. Others are from the fabric section of the garment district in down town Los Angeles, a wonderful place for fabric hunting. There are also some fabrics from my local buy-by-the-pound fabric store. The interfacing comes from Jo-ann’s, which I buy during their sales or with the coupons they provide.
I haven’t been fabric shopping for a while and even have a new years resolution that I’m not going to buy any new fabrics, but do some major stash-busting. In my thrift shop adventures I still buy the odd vintage sheet when I find a nice one, but that is quite different, don’t you think? Although I must admit I’ve started sewing with those as well….
In the last couple of years I’ve made a great number of shopping bags and I just found some pictures of one of my favorite ones that I would like to share. The bags are made from a very basic model. My pattern consists of a modified paper bag that is a little wider across the top. Most of them have some inside pockets, and some have thread spool closures. They are all lined and are sturdied up with iron-on interfacing.
This first one is made from a pillow case with a map from the London underground on it and I absolutely love, love it! I found the pillowcase in a Ventura thrift shop and wish I had more. It was enough to make two bags. They went to my sister and a friend who had been to London recently, so that was all very appropriate. I hope to one day go to London myself and maybe find some more of this great fabric.
For the pictures I took the bag to my metro station. There obviously is a formula for underground map making since the LA style is exactly the same as the London style. Mmmm, maybe I should start looking for LA metro fabric. Of course the LA metro isn’t as nicely intricate as the London underground so you would need many more repeats to make a pattern.
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything. I’ve been doing lots of projects and keep on thinking: I should write about this but I never do….. Until now! I’ve even switched to WordPress, a brand-new blogging experience for me. Lots to learn. Yay.
I’m going to start with some older projects and hopefully will more or less catch up to the Christmas presents.
For quite some time now I’ve been almost obsessed with felted wool. In particular felted wool sweaters. I love going thrifting and there’s nothing like finding the perfect color sweater that you just know will make beautiful felt. Of course I’ve been mistaken once or twice, but I’m getting better at it.
I’m a serious tea drinker and I like it hot. I start every morning with a pot of tea, and I like the second and third cup to be as hot as the first. This wool felt cozy does that job tremendously well, for all that it is so slim. I didn’t have a pattern, I just started with a circle on the bottom and added and molded pieces to that until it fit. The top is fastened with a button, which also keeps the lid from falling while pouring. I added wings and two buttons for eyes to make it into a red bird. The lip of the pot suggests the beak.
The turquoise cozy I made for my sister-in-law. Hers is just elegant, no birds. For rinsing out, only the top button needs to be unfastened. To clean the whole teapot, open all the buttons.
My musical tastes are somewhat eclectic and I enjoy discovering new music. How about this: A grunge song played by a string orchestra?!