A Frozen Remnant Project

Sometimes the desire to be thrifty can take too great a priority in your life-script.

By that, I mean that thriftiness can rule your life to the point that you feel saving the maximum amount of money is your highest priority. Therefore, you are stymied when trying to make a decision, because you feel that, “What if I make this choice, then something else comes along that will save me even more money?” So you put it off, until you feel the coup de grace of remnant projects comes along. But it doesn’t, so there you are, losing creativity in the meantime.

Sometimes that happens to me. But also, I have vague ideas for projects, I just need to ruminate about them for a little while until I’m sure I can pull them off. And I’ve also done projects where I rush into them, and they never quite rise to the level of greatness I first envisioned. So they either look bad, or they’re relegated to the UFO colony until I summon up enough enthusiasm to take them on again until completion.

This project sat in a pile of fabric until I had an urge to do spring cleaning in the sewing room. It consisted of a great little fabric remnant named CP51876 Sisters Framed Toss, copyright Disney for Springs Creative Products Group LLC that I snagged from the remnant bin at JoAnn Fabric. It could have been a great winter project, as it is a warm minky fabric. It could have been a Valentine’s Day project because it is pink and has hearts. But I missed the mark on both: now it’s spring, and though we don’t need warm blankets in Florida, I noticed last time one of my granddaughters came to stay overnight, she had a little blankie similar to this one, so I pressed forward. No little girl would reject a Frozen blanket, I thought, even if it could just be for playtime purposes and not a real bed linen.

All materials were in the fabric stash already, so I didn’t have to go out and buy anything.

blanket

sewing the blanket binding on

Yes, you know me, the project wasn’t completely trouble-free. I used as a backing, a remnant of white Ultra Cuddle (currently $10.99 per yard on Joann’s web site). The Anna and Elsa Frozen remnant was 1.79 yards, currently on sale at the web site for $11.99 per yard. Usually Joann’s remnants are a yard or less, but they will allow larger pieces for home-dec and fleece fabrics. Sold as remnants, these pieces of material go for 1/2 the regular price. The satin blanket binding has been in the stash for a long time. If you look very closely at the picture, you might notice that part of the binding is a wee bit lighter in color. I didn’t have enough of the pink to go all the way around the blanket, so I added what was left of a package of very light pinkish-white satin blanket binding that had been part of my grandmother’s stash. Yep, I do stuff like that.

Frozen blanket

Frozen blanket, made from remnants

One other annoying problem that came up, was the lack of cohesion between the three very different fabrics while trying to sew them together. The Frozen print is minky, a sort of ultrasuede one-way stretch knit, and the Ultra Cuddle is a plushy, stretchy-in-all-directions knit, and the blanket binding has a satiny appearance, but is a rigid, woven polyester. So I laid out the Ultra Cuddle on the dining room table, and put the Frozen fabric on top, and cut out all around it so the front and back would be the same size. But when I started sewing, the Cuddle stretched more, so that it was looking like I’d end up with a couple more inches of backing than front. I remedied that by using a roller presser foot. I held the back of the strip of binding, with the two fabrics sandwiched in the center of the folded strip, in one hand and the front of the strip in the other hand, and sort of fed that strip under the needle, then stretched out the next length to be attached in the same way.

sewing machine roller presser foot

roller presser foot

You could probably use a quilting foot or a walking foot as well. Now, if I wasn’t the thrifty person that I am, I would have waited and gotten another package of pink satin blanket binding so it would all match perfectly, and then it would look as good as a store-bought blanket. But the contrast between the two slightly different colors of blanket binding isn’t extreme.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

This week’s photo challenge theme is all about Three. First, my take on the Three-fer:

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Grayzie and his catnip toys. Lately Grayzie has been found to have a thyroid condition, so we have to give him meds for that and it sometimes makes him gallop around the house and treat the other cats like he’s the villain in a spaghetti western.

Meanwhile, I did finish a remnant project so I haven’t been completely worthless. This is my 4th nappy mat, and first girly one.

nap mat

pink purrfect precious nappy mat

rolled and ready nappy mat

rolled and ready nappy mat

The mat isn’t for the cat. It’s for a cute little toddler girl. I would be deathly afraid to even show it to the cats. Bob got sick a few months ago with pancreatitis, then we found out he has diabetes. And ring-worm. So we’ve (that is, DH) been administering insulin, oral fungicide, antibiotics, milk thistle extract, and for a considerable amount of time, pain meds. Bob did like the pain med. He would saunter up to DH and meow plaintively when he thought it was time for another dose. And then he got extreme constipation. As a result of that, he got a couple of hernias from trying to poop, and the vet said his colon was the size of two softballs. I thought about drawing you a sketch of what his colon might look like, but there are obscenity laws….So when he came home from staying at the vet’s and getting a whole regime of enemas, he started pooping in the living room over by the piano instead of in his cat box. Needless to say the room that has the piano in it is now blocked off to ALL the cats, sorry, they must all suffer for the sins of the one. And Bob is the Alpha cat here so we can’t give him an inch. I am not making this up…so no, I don’t let Bob see cute little toddler nappy mats right now.

Fur-bearin’ Varmints, with Remnants

I had a good reason for wanting to make cat and dog purses…I just can’t remember what it was.

Oh yeah, I had some fake fur remnants.

fake fur remnants

fake fur remnants

I just recently bought the brown one, but I remembered having a white one somewhere. I looked all over, then found it at the bottom of a barrel full of fleece, minky, and other furry, fluffy fabrics. And I’d purchased the pattern back when Joann’s had a 5-patterns-for-$5 sale.

Simplicity 4376

Simplicity 4376

I love this sort of thing. If the girls in Little Women had seen it, I’m sure they would’ve referred to it as “cunning.” “Cute” and “adorable” just aren’t descriptive enough! Plus, I’ve been camping lately, and seen more cute, cunning and adorable wild animals at close range. Check them out:

Mr. Squirrel

Mr. Squirrel

Mr. Cardinal

Mr. Cardinal

little deer

little deer

at Manatee Springs State Park

at Manatee Springs State Park

So beautiful!

Here are 2 of the finished purses.

2 cat purses

2 cat purses

Although I had the furry remnants, this project called for lots of other little notions and things. Here’s the breakdown of what I used. Inner ears: minky remnants in pink (had on hand). Noses: I bought some pink heart-shaped buttons. I also bought some black Animal Noses to make some dogs later. Eyes: I bought a package of green Cat Eyes, thinking, “wow, I wish they had some other colors besides green.” Lo and behold, when I got home I found an old, old package of Cat Eyes in blue, in the bottom of my button box. Yay! I bought some regular-looking brown Animal Eyes to make the dogs later. Ribbon for the cats’ necks: had remnants on hand. Jingle bells for the ribbon collars: had on hand in the trusty button box. Cord for the purse handles: bought Parachute cord in several colors. Whiskers: used black hand-quilting thread and ran it through a block of beeswax. Zippers: had several on hand that were smaller than 7″ and they fit perfectly. Purse lining: had pink satin-like remnants on hand and also used a remnant that looked like it had been cut from someone’s double-knit pants hems. Tails: used feather boa from Joann’s, cut into 9″ lengths. Hand-sewed the ears on with white cotton hand-quilting thread.

Bob turned his back on the new competition

Bob turned his back on the new competition

20130618-102606.jpg

PS, here’s a pic of one of the dog purses.

Please fix my machine quick

Aargh. I had to put Ruby in the shop; it hurt me more than it hurt her. She kept giving me a “main motor overload” message and she blacked out a few times, once in the midst of embroidering. That was a pain, because I had to manually go back to where she left off, when she came back to life again.

The good news is, I finished 8 Imke tops (from my fave pattern book Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn) before I relinquished Ruby to the sewing machine doc. Bunny says it will be up to 14 working days…trying to be brave! Maybe I can do a bunch of serging with Sheila the Serger in the meantime.

Imke with 3/4 length sleeves and t-shirt style neck

Imke with long sleeves and t-shirt neck

Imke with straight sleeves and pointed hood

Imke with bell-shaped sleeves and t-shirt neck

Imke with 3/4 length sleeves and t-shirt neck

3/4 sleeves, t-shirt neck

Imke with bell sleeves, round hood, and pieced top and bottom

Imke with 3/4 sleeves, t-shirt neck and embroidered front

It is the Hello Kitty hoodie that I’m most excited about. I had about 1/3 yard of this minky Hello Kitty remnant, but it had a hem already across one side of it. Never wanting to waste good Hello Kitty fabric, I dreamed up the idea of combining it with another remnant of white minky, and voila! It is very soft and plushy! Most of these tops were made from remnants of a yard or so, more or less. Depending on the width and size of the remnant, I was able to make longer sleeves or add a hood. All the fabric remnants are knit, so I used a STRETCH needle (very important) and reinforced the shoulder seams with twill tape. They are all girls’ size 10.

In the meantime, DH suggested that I fill the void left by Ruby with one of the mini sewing machines—but it just doesn’t look the same.

You picked a fine time to leave me, Ruby, with 4 hungry children and a crop in the field…

Someone bring me a kleenex…

And I want to call attention to the fact that sweet Sweaty Knitter had nominated me for Reader Appreciation Blog Award quite a few posts back, and I am just now thanking her for this. I enjoy reading her blog just about more than any other blog out there. She brings out so much to love and ponder about the history of fiber arts! Thank you again Karen!

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