Thursday, January 29, 2009

The excitement is building.

My husband, who knows how to build things made some new shelves for my workroom. They are in the garage and have to be installed. I was using a nice old baker's rack before, that sort of worked, but not really, so I moved it to the kitchen. It will be so useful there as a place for all the things that fill up the small space.

Here it is in my workroom. It was just too hard to get things off of it because of the wire across the front of the shelves.

And here it is in its new place. my kitchen counters have less clutter, and I don't have to climb up on a chair to get my cookie cutters off that top cabinet shelf.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wedding Trunk Show

Well, as promised, here are some pictures of what I have been working on in my spare time for Colleen's Wedding Trunk Show. It will be at her store, Saffron and Genevieve, on Saturday, February 21st.

I have been having fun making ring bearer pillows with some things I've had around for a while, like a beautiful old quilt with only small areas that were not stained or torn, and some sweet vintage millinery flowers.

And I finally figured out a use for those odd shaped crocheted know the ones (were they once collars?)..... a little bride's purse, or maybe a money bag. Since I was sewing it to a lining fabric, I just cut off the odd shaped parts.

And I love anything with a bird on it.

My plan is to open an ETSY shop with whatever I have left over after the sale, along with some other surprises I am working on.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Print N Sew

A couple of posts ago I said that there might be a tutorial on printing on fabric, and here it is.

First select a thin fabric with a tight weave. A high quality muslin works well. For this tutorial I used silk taffeta because I am working on some special projects that I'll tell you about at the end. (You didn't just scroll down to the bottom of the post did you?)

After you find some fabric and give it a good press, get out your freezer paper, or go to the store and get some. It comes in a roll that is 18 inches wide, and you will need pieces that are 8 1/2 X 11 inches, or whatever size the paper is that you are printing on in your computer printer. If you tear off a piece of the freezer paper 13 inches or more, you can fold it in half so that the side edges meet, draw a line 1/2 inch from the folded edge and cut on the line, you will have two pieces that are 8 1/2 " wide and all you have to do is measure the 11 inch length.

Now lay the sheet of paper, shiny side down, on your uncut piece of fabric and press the paper without steam.

After it is stuck to the fabric, cut the extra fabric off, and you have a sheet of printable fabric.

The next step is to choose the design you want to print. Dover Publications have an unlimited supply of permission free designs. I bought the "Ornate Letters and Initials" for my stocking projects and it even came with a CD. Super easy. You can sign up at to get free samples sent to your email address. (I used free samples for this tutorial.) Once you have your design ready to be printed, load your fabric-paper into the printer. In my printer, I load it fabric side down.

You then will need to peel the freezer paper off and press the back of the printed fabric for 3 minutes or so, without steam (Because I printed on silk the design showed through on the back). This will prevent the ink from running if or when it gets wet. If the fabric will be washed or exposed to rain, or drool, it would help to soak it for a couple of minutes in some cold water with vinegar added to make it even more run proof and preshrunk.

I will be using my newly printed fabric to make a ring bearer pillow. No, there aren't any weddings coming up for anyone I know, but there is a fun Trunk Show in the works at Saffron and Genevieve in February. I will have some pictures of some of the things I am making, mostly from vintage linens, and more details about the sale in my next post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rare treat

Before Christmas my youngest daughter (19) asked me to help her make a quilt to give as a gift. I was thrilled. The two daughters that no longer live at home didn't do much sewing until they were out of the house. Maybe that's because it seemed too much like work after watching me sew day after day. To save money, she used fabrics that I had in my warehouse of fabric. Just kidding, I try to keep only what I can store in a cabinet...okay....three to four cabinets. Having a large assortment of fabrics does come in handy sometimes though, right?

I helped her decide on a size, and since she would usually rather be doing other things than sewing and crafting, she decided to go with large blocks. I helped her do some of the cutting, and then she laid it out on my quilt wall. I then showed her how I go about sewing them together by labeling the square on the left side with "left side, row 1", etc., gathering a row into a pile and sewing the sides of the squares together. After the rows were all sewn, I helped her pin them together, one row at a time, making sure to pin at the seams and then she completed the quilt top.

We then made a sandwich of backing, batting and top on a 30"X72" table that I found a while ago on Freecycle. I learned this method in a great quilting resource book, Heirloom Machine Quilting, by Harriet Hargrave.

She had fun sewing the layers together on my work machine.

And spent hours hand stitching the binding after I helped her attach it by machine.

I really didn't want to see it go. Since it was made from wools, tickings and twills, it was very warm and cozy. I probably don't need to tell you that she was proud of herself, and I was very impressed too.