Tuesday, July 07, 2009

On the pins and needles

I took some time last week to do two things. First, I tackled the travesty that was once an organized sewing table. The creep of bits and pieces that did not belong was taking it's toll on my little corner and I needed to do something. I pulled all the fabrics out that I own, pulled them out of closets and crates and stacks at the bedside table. I sorted and folded and decided one very important thing. I have enough fabric.

As a novice sewer, I tend to think I need every piece I see, that I need to try to emulate every perfect craft room featured on the number of very crafty blogs I frequent. But after exposing my own fabric stash, I realized I have more than I need, more than I can sew into items for house, home and body. It was a nice wake up call, to see it all. It is also a very nice inspiration. I like being able to eye the new stacks and think how a piece might be incorporated. And it has also put me in check as Tim can eyeball them too and give me the same look I get when I start to go into yarn ordering frenzy.

The organizing made me realize I have a lot of smallish scraps I am reluctant to toss. I am not sure I will every really dedicate myself to the patchwork/quilting area of sewing, but it is hard to part with my favorite little pieces.
pincushion patchwork

A few months ago I won a giveaway on the STC blog and received a book I have been wanting for some time. It is the Last Minute Patchwork Gifts and has some really lovely projects.
pincushion patchwork

The scraps I gathered from the boys' patchwork quilts can gain a new life as a pincushion, squat and cute as a button. Most of the projects seem very manageable and I hope to explore this book thoroughly over time.

I also found my order of FOE during the clean out which prompted a 'fix it' project. I have had a great skirt from Old Navy that I kept for years.
skirt fix
(The white makes it look a little too underwear but the waistband will be covered)

I love it but the waist elastic gave out and I had to resort to safety pins in not very strategic areas. I had heard about FOE (which stands for Fold Over Elastic) from Angry Chicken and needed to use it for my Alabama Skirt. Here is a picture of my hand sewn waistband for the 'Bama skirt.

A bit of a nightmare, but an accomplishment nonetheless.

The current skirt fix was a cinch, you just stretch the FOE and zigzag sew it to the waist.
first FOE

With the machine which leaves a much cleaner stitch. Now I have my skirt back in rotation. Yay!(The white makes it look a little too underwear but the waistband will be covered)

The other thing I did last week was re-charge my knitting batteries with my great group of girls. We rarely talk knitting when we gather, but we do knit while we eat and gossip and share stories regarding our life experiences. I always seem to come away with a renewed desire to knit, to try a new thing or just get my projects going.

My Poppy doll (which I should rename Purpley due to her coloring) is coming along thanks to the knit night.
poppy, or purpley

I am finding it a little weird to be knitting her up....very voodoo feeling, watching her head and body and legs emerge. I think it is the faceless-ness that bugs me. To be rectified soon.

The other knit is a new project for Mace. I am calling it the School Boy Vest. Just a little something for him to sport around in the cooling Fall weather when it does come. I envision this lovely tweed-ish blend as a vest with a few Owls across the chest.
school boy vest I

It is fun to try out designing, vests are so simple but we will see how my math fares with this one. Owen will get one too. but I have very different ideas for his. And it totally trips me out that I am talking about school for them. I know they are excited and I am too. I think the best part is that Tim and I will be 'working' in the classroom as is it a co-op program. So, onward with the Fall knitting, just so I am not caught with not enough time.

Now, who knows where to get sawdust to stuff those little pincushions with? I have a feeling I might be making a bunch of them if this one turns out. And if you use it, how do you keep your embroidery thread straight? That is my next organization project.

Happy crafting, folks.


Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Totally inspiring post. I love the fabric combo for your pin cushion. If you happen to make more than you need, I am happy to provide a loving home for one. :) So great to see you. We have to get together more often!

jillian said...

1. Fantastic save on the skirt.

2. A perfect example of being inspired by all you fabulous women to try new crafty endeavors.

3. It was great seeing you again! My single picture turned out blurry. Boo.

4. My friendly neighbor down the road has a woodshop - I'll ask about carting off his sawdust.


Em Natural said...

So verrrry nice! love the organization. need to do that myself :)

Preeti said...

Love all the stacks of fabric and all the crafting that you've been doing. That pincushion is going to look so cute!

Jen said...

what a great idea for quilt scraps! i have to make myself only save truly usable pieces or else we'd be up to our eyeballs in scraps, cause really, you can use just about everything!

K8 said...

Love those skirts! I'm trying to tackle my quilt stash right now, but you're definitely inspiring me to move on to clothes! Would you recommend the Last Minute Patchwork book? That pincushion is adorable....

gleek said...

wow! you've been crafty busy! i love it all :)