Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

my brother and I reflected in our ancestors' grave marker

my brother and I reflected in our ancestors’ grave marker

I’m part of them, they’re part of me.

For more Weekly Photo Challenge look here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning! (and GO GATORS!)

first thing in the morning: yoga at the gym

first thing in the morning: yoga at the gym

for more WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge “Good Morning” look here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (with remnants)

Nappy time mat

Nappy time mat

I’m combining a remnant project with this week’s photo challenge, the better to

“help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.”

see more Weekly Photo Challenge here.

Pinterest has troves of adorable nap mats for babies and toddlers, and I want to make one, or two, or more… But after looking at tutorials, I decided my project was best going to come about through eye-balling and sew-as-I-go shenanigans.

snuggly fabrics

snuggly fabrics

Deciding to make a sewing project has everything to do with the fabric remnants I have on hand. I like to buy remnants of minky fabric whenever I see them in the bin, because Soft & Comfy minky is $14.99 per yard if not on sale for 1/2 price as a remnant. This red minky matched perfectly with the Yo-Gabba-Gabba cotton print. I had a remnant piece of quilt batting, which I used double thickness because I wanted a cushiony mat. I also had a 12″ x 16″ pillow form in the stash. I used a strip of red cotton flannel remnant to seal up the end of mat, like a large, fat, quilt binding.

flannel remnant

flannel remnant


hook & loop velcro to fold as a bedroll

hook & loop velcro to fold as a bedroll

In a nutshell, this is how I made the nappy mat.
1) sewed pillow case out of minky to eye-balled dimensions of pillow by sewing one side seam, right sides together, and folding the edge of the other side under and hemming it
2) sewed folded cotton mat fabric to pillow (left side and bottom seams open)
3) sewed minky fabric for blanket onto top of cotton mat fabric at side seam, wrong side of mink to right side of mat fabric (right side of minky facing up, sitting on top of right side of cotton), then sewed fleece binding to raw edges of blanket
4) turned inside out and sewed side seams of mat fabric together, right side of bottom layer of cotton mat fabric to right side of minky with top layer of mat fabric sewed underneath minky
5) turned right-side out, then stuffed quilt batting, folded double, into tube of cotton mat fabric
6) quilted mat fabric layers together by sewing long vertical rows
7) cut a piece of red flannel remnant the dimensions of open bottom of mat; sewed edge to top layer of bottom edge of mat, turned under raw edge and sewed to bottom layer of bottom edge, through all thicknesses. Turned under raw edges and caught them in the seam.
8) sewed on two strips each of hook & loop velcro fastener tapes where the bottom edge of mat met the underside of the nap mat

I like the idea of bedding and toys coming together like this. It reminds me of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem “The Land of Counterpane.”

perhaps my next mat will have this space theme

perhaps my next mat will have this space theme

Weekly photo challenge: carefree

20130816-180638.jpg
Lazing around on the last weekend before the new semester begins…
For more weekly photo challenge: carefree, look http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/.

Craftsman Style with Remnants

My DH is a woodworker and a maker of Craftsman-style furniture. His most recent accomplishment is this “grandfather chair” and ottoman in the style of Gustav Stickley.

Stickley-style Grandfather Chair

Stickley-style Grandfather Chair

He has also made a settee, a Morris Chair, a media console, and several tables. As the rooms are graced with more pieces of Arts and Crafts style furniture he has lovingly produced, we’ve thought about adding accessories like lighting, textiles, art objects and even wall coverings.

At one point I collected machine embroidery patterns for making textile pieces to complement the style of the furniture. And yesterday, I FINALLY made for DH my first Arts and Crafts themed pillow.

linen remnant gingko pillow

linen remnant gingko pillow

Er, sorry about that moire effect; it’s the first time I’ve noticed it so prominently in a photo. Perhaps because the linen fabric slubbing catches light and shows off the warp and weft more dramatically than other fabric? How does one fix a moire effect in a photo? I am posting a tag on here for “Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern” because that is the theme of the challenge for this week. The photo has a moire pattern going on, although it’s not sought after. If you want to see more Pattern photos in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Sewing divas must be using linen a lot more lately, because I’m finding great pieces of it in the remnant bin at Joann’s. Thank you, sisters, you know who you are and I appreciate you!

thanks for the linen remnants

thanks for the linen remnants

Linen is made from the flax plant. I love to picture an old-fashioned flax spinning wheel with its birdcage distaff overflowing with fiber. I have a large cache of well-used table linens from my grandmother, that are still in majestic shape, even with so many washings and ironings and applications of starch. Linen fabric is thick and lustrous. However, one wrong glance, touch, or breath out of place, and it’s wrinkled.

The embroidery design for this pillow is a stylized gingko vine. I plan to make more textile items using the gingko and other popular Arts and Crafts motifs: dragonfly, moth, lily. I tried to find the source of this design but I couldn’t discover where I bought it from; so sorry. I also found a treasure trove of machine embroidery designs for a quilt at Secrets of Embroidery. That project will be a long time in the making! But don’t you agree that the painstakingly hewn and polished and hand-crafted (complemented with machine tools) furniture needs a hand-pieced and theme-embellished quilt to set it off?

settee, with pillow

settee, with pillow

matching Morris chair

matching Morris chair

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

hallway in the gym, from above

hallway in the gym, from above

Change your perspective, they say.
For more Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in the Life

First time trying tiled galleries. Fun! For more Weekly Photo Challenge” a Day in the Life, go to the Daily Press page. I was able to bring up the tiled gallery but then the regular images wouldn’t back off. Why?

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