Quickie Quilt with remnants

Remnant Redo a little late this week, but I like having it done on Friday rather than Monday. A Monday deadline is so…ahem! workaday.
I found these two remnants at different stores, but how incredible that they go together so well!

Green wide-wale "Soft N Comfy" from Joann's & cotton flannel/chenille from Hobby Lobby


I am behind on my baby blanket quota, so these soft, pastel colored remnants had to be put to use to make it right. The two fit together fairly evenly, although they made a non-standard size throw (30″ x 50″). Perhaps it can be used for a more casual wrap, cushion, or floor pad. I didn’t have to cut off and discard any of the fabric, except for four tiny triangles where I turned under the borders to miter the corners before sewing them down. I embroidered the lad’s name in an acorn font that came with my Husqvarna Viking. I like to think that he will grow into a strong oak!

embroidering the top border

I seamed the sides right-sides together, then turned them out, inserted a thin layer of batting and top-stitched along the seams. On the top and bottom borders, I stitched a decorative seam in the center of the panels to bind the layers together. Then I tie-quilted it with cotton yarn tied at intervals on the patchwork flannel/chenille side. The chenille patches are thick and fluffy like fake sherpa, and the Soft N Comfy minky backing is dreamy-soft. A sensory smorgasbord!

last step: tie-quilting

Just saying: I don’t love to do remnant projects only because I’m too cheap to buy real fabric {although I’m not denying that completely}. I see it as a creative calling to rescue the odd bolt-end and find a worthy use for its wonderfulness. Postaweek 2011 remnant project!

Avoiding the Dirt Nap with Remnants

“Life is a constant battle to keep the dirt from covering us up.” –my Mom
I thought she was referring to the never-ending cleaning one has to do when one has a family. I can appreciate it, having been around busy little fellows recently, who keep you on the move shifting clutter, sweeping up Fruit Loops, calling attention to the desired resting places of toys in the baskets rather than all over the floor.

This saying, “Life is…” can also refer to avoiding death, as my DH said while we watched an episode of a Crime Show: “She’s about to take a dirt nap…”
Me: No! She would have been such a great girlfriend for McGee!
DH: No, I’ve seen it before, she takes a dirt nap.

Sigh. This week’s remnant project features a white piece of silk? Satin-backed shantung? I’m not sure what it is, but it has a very shiny side and an opposite side with slubby threads all pulling in the direction of the grain. It’s been in the stash forever. With a narrow hem around the edges, it was ready to be colored on with my new Shiva Paint Stiks that I scored from a Flock Shop online bluelight sale. I found Flock Shop on Twitter. I think they are an off-shoot of Interweave, because that was on the envelope when I received the stiks in the mail. They advertise a deal going on currently at their online shop, and you click on the link and get the current price. I got the Shiva Paint Stiks on sale because the packaging was damaged, but all 15 paint stiks were good.

Shiva Paint Stiks and remnant

I figure that based on the size of the remnant, it can be a dresser scarf, a table runner, or a shoulder wrap. The oil paints, when dried and set, will be washable as long as the garment is washable. I have seen beautiful silk dresses embellished with paint stiks. A web site that distributes paint stiks also sells blank clothing to be embellished, at wonderful prices. Check out dharmatradingco.com clearance sales for interesting items. My local sewing store gives classes for using paint stiks. I don’t want to get too artsy-craftsy with them, such as stenciling and tole-painting on fabric. But the possibilities for this type of project abound. Maybe a portrait of one of my grandkids’ dada?

Dada

Up, Up and Away with Summer Remnants!

This week’s project features a remnant of all-cotton Hi-Fashion Fabrics, Inc. print in a multi-colored hot air balloon motif.

balloon fabric remnant

I found this at Hobby Lobby, and thought it might provide a good companion to some cool Jacobean machine embroidery designs I purchased from emblibrary.com this past spring.
I made a pair of shorts from the remnant, using Butterick 3860, a very basic Fast & Easy pattern. It’s Labor Day in central Florida, so we can still get away with wearing shorts and summery things for another month or so. I spent probably about an hour, total, making the shorts, plus about 40 hours of avoiding getting started on the project. Why do I do this? If it were not for the bow on the front of the shorts (one of those skinny tubes you sew and then have to turn right-side out and then slip-stitch the edges), it would have probably taken 15 minutes.

bright cotton shorts


The machine embroidery was applied to a t-shirt I scrounged from the clearance rack at JoAnn’s for a mere 97 cents. It is a Heavy Duty Jerzees shirts that holds up well and the color does not bleed in the washer, so is pretty sturdy kidwear. I fell in love with some of the gorgeously ornate Jacobean balloon designs. My DH thinks they are not strictly appropriate for kids’ clothes; they are more for heirloom projects. He may be right. The time and effort factors that went into the producing of this shirt tell the story. It took about 3 hours, minimum, to stitch out the balloon design, and I just about went nuts trying to keep it under control. The hoop got bumped and the design jumped out of the hoop only to resume at a completely different point from where it left off. As I looked on in horror, I realized the design was stitching about 2 inches farther away from where the needle should have resumed, and I stopped and had to re-hoop everything and regress back to the beginning of one thread color. Luckily I had established a north, east, and west point in the hoop on the shirt by folding it in half and then in quarters, and marking the points on the t-shirt in air-evaporating marker as they lined up on the hoop. So I was able to re-fit the shirt into the hoop at almost the exact same position it was in before it went berserk. But during the shift, the tear-away stabilizer underneath became very unstable, because the stitched pattern thus far was extremely dense in thread count. I added some sticky-backed stabilizer in the hoop, then tore off the backing and sat the work-in-progress on top of it, lining up the positioning marks. I had a water-soluble stabilizer spray-glued on top of the shirt with 505, as I usually use with knit fabrics. So, all together, I used quite a few more layers of stabilizer than I started out with. I had a little mishap with bird-nesting under the hoop, too, so I had to stop the design and wrench the hoop off and cut away about a mile of bunched-up thread that was making the throat plate immovable, so that required another tense re-positioning step. Too much drama for one kid’s t-shirt!

remnant shorts and embroidered tee

Remnant Wrapping Redo

It’s never too soon to think about wrapping presents. A big pile of gifts, artfully wrapped and embellished…why, it’s the stuff of a lavish Southern Living Holiday Issue photo shoot! But, psst, we’re living in a down economy, and more people are whispering that it’s not going to be the same as it has in the past…you know, when all of us had jobs, and the cost of living wasn’t so high.

I can remember getting some home-made gifts, and I wasn’t opposed to it. I love to see people exercising their artistic muscles and wanting to share with others! I suppose now is the time to be planning for the holidays, since this weekend is already Labor Day.

I’m going to make some ultra cool and ultra cheap wrapping paper out of Vogue magazine glossy pages. The fact that some of the clothing and shoes in these spreads cost more than our two car payments together, each month, makes me realize that they are fun for the sake of art and drama, but not a realistic gift for anyone I know… but I did have fun reading the articles in Vogue, and looking at the pics, so what am I going to do, just throw it in the trash now that the season’s changed?

Prada and Bottega Vennetta make good wrapping


Fendi and Tiffany's --dreamy!

I sewed the pages together, some complete and some I just trimmed off some columns of text. I made my sheets of wrapping about 3 by 2 pages, then rolled the sheets onto an empty cardboard roll and tied it with a scrap of sheeting that I was practicing a Point de Paris hemstitch onto.

rolled and tied


Point de Paris hemstitch detail on roll tie

So what do you think, trashy? Or tra-shay?
Can you imagine what a little tweaking might do, like—sew together strips or squares, in clashing or monochromatic colors?

Woodworking Tool Roll

OK, I’ve sewn for the babies, the kids, the fashionable daughters and the cats, now it’s time to do a project for the spouse, who is VERY supportive of my hobbies.

The remnant is 7/8 yard of polyester vinyl–I would say canvas, because that’s what it feels like, but the label doesn’t say canvas. My DH asked for a tool roll, so he could get some woodworking measuring tools together and have handy for a project. the red and white poly vinyl canvas I eyeballed the 7/8 yard and decided I wanted the backing to be about 22″ tall and 20″ wide. I cut off a 6″ by 20″ strip from the bottom, and then the side piece that was cut off was cut to be about 8″ by 20″. These two strips would form the tool pockets sewn onto the backing. The 8″ x 20″ strip would be sewn on the cross-grain.
I finger-pressed some hems along the sides and stitched them down.

Preparing the top for hemming

Then I hemmed the two strips on all four sides, and sewed them onto the backing on 3 sides (the top was left open for pockets). I sewed several lines of straight stitching along the vertical lines of the striped fabric on the shorter top pocket, for hubby’s measuring tools to be stored. I sewed some vertical lines of stitching on the taller pocket at the bottom.

Tool Roll with woodworking tools

Then I added a grommet on either corner at the top hemmed edge, so that he can hang it on the pegboard wall in his shop.
I also added a tie, so that the whole thing can be folded, rolled up, and tied and carried to the work site.
I’ve had this ancient American Flag-patterned elastic band for eons; it really came in handy.

Sewing on the flag-patterned tie

American flags are one of his passions, and I thought that the brightness and boldness of this tool roll would stand out in the sometimes dank, saw-dusty, wood-chip laden, clutter of his shop.

Rolled and ready

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.
This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.
This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.

stitching the remnant applique


This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.

finished applique

This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

appliqued t-shirts


You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

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