Sunday, December 6, 2015

Love You Still... Great-Grandma Kelly

This fabric manipulation submission to the Project Run and Play November Contest 
was created by my 
Great- Grandmother and me.  She created these flower garden quilt patches in the early 1960's and I've saved them all these years.  

Some are pretty. . . and some are an unique combination of fabrics she would draw out of her sewing basket.

 She would hand-sew the pieces together while we watched TV together. I remember that she liked Roller Derby and Wrestling on TV. 
 I just liked being with her.

 I created the fabric with layers. Backing, flannel center, purple polished cotton, and then the quilt squares.
I also added diagonal quilting lines and free hand machine-stitched embroidery with sparkly ribbon thread. 

Then I washed the whole fabric and dried it with a hot dryer temperature to shrink the flannel and create a soft quilt fabric.

I love how the old and the new blended together.

Since the fabric is heavier than most fabric used to create a child's top, I reduced the bulk of all the seams by zigzagging close to the seams and trimming the excess. I bound the hems with bias tape, just like you would a quilt.

My hope is that when my Granddaughter wears this top, it will feel like she is wrapped in a warm, soft, cozy quilt made by her Grandmother and Great-Great-Great-Grandmother.

Love you still Great-Grandma Kelly,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hot Chocolate Bar

Our house is officially open for the holidays.

The Hot Chocolate Bar is 
and we are waiting
for your visit. 

Happy Holidays,

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Mudroom Remodel: Walls and Storage Crates

Image result for hanging drywallSince I tore out the bar that was previously in the mudroom area, I had to add studs and drywall to the wall. The previous owner of this house had cut out an arch in the wall for the bar.  So my son-in-law helped me "sister"  new studs to the existing stud parts that were in the wall.  Then we had to screw on 4 sheets of drywall.  I never could have done that by myself, sheets of drywall are just too heavy for me to handle. I did learn that you hang drywall horizontally with the seam in the middle. 

Why does HGTV make it look so easy?

Today, I was painting stripes on the crates for the coat lockers shelves.  I added red, brown, and golden yellow stripes to
coordinate with the floor. I taped off the stripes with painters tape and then added multiple layers of paint to achieve the depth of color that I was looking for. Lastly, I sprayed on clear sealer over the front to the crate to make the paint more durable.

Well, I have to go work on the drywall mud taping..... another adventure awaits. 



Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Mannequin Christmas Tree: Details About the Creation

One of my blog readers, asked: 
"How did you create the layers?"  I thought I would share my answer to this question with you all.

In this picture,
notice the wide burlap ribbon around the waist. First that ribbon was secured and then I began hanging garlands of pine branches with a few small pine cones wired into the garlands.  I used corsage pins to x the garland to the ribbon, sometimes going through parts of the plastic covered wire. 
If I used real pine branches, I thought about using duck tape to create the waist ribbon, and then stripping the limb free of all foliage right at the end of the branch. I would then use more tape to tape the branches to the duck tape waist ribbon. 
Additional layers were created with sheer wired ribbon strands and batttery powered lights (cool lights). I circled the waistline with the end of the lights, and made sure the battery box ended up in the rear beneath the bustle.

 Part of the secret of this design is the sewn top.  If you look at first picture again you can see how the top fit over the ends of the greens, lights, and ribbons.  I used commercial velcro tape to overlap the edges of the top.(See the strip of black tape on the fabric on the picture above. The top is laying on the table and you can see the velcro. )  I also lined the top with a heavier fabric to give it strength to hold it's shape and not show the bulk under the waistline edge.

The bustle of ribbons and fabric flower were created separately, and added as the last step to the creation of this fantasy Christmas tree. 
Future plans for Glorious are to change up her top..
..remember, I used velcro to close the edges of the top,
 into a Fairy.  
Her wonderful pine garland skirt will be perfect.

What about an Easter creation with a skirt overlay like this:
Or maybe she'll turn into an angel, watching over the family.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

More Preparation For the Mudroom

I've been playing with these Flor Carpet Tiles for 45 minutes. I love the quality of the tiles.  I know they are going to function well in the Mud Room.   I'm so excited, because I know these tiles are going to bring a pop of excitement also to the room that I've been creating.  

Since all the storage cabinets so far are white, the room will need a bit of color.  I'm thinking of sewing the fabric storage boxes for the shelves on the two lockers because I want them to fill the shelves.  They are going to be 18" X 14" X 10". 

 I'm either going to use red or dark brown.  Maybe, I'll use both colors.  I could make brown ones for the bottom shelf and red ones for the second shelf.  

I'll need to take one of the tiles to the fabric store tomorrow as there are so many different tones of reds.  I know they have a perfect dark brown that I can use, but the red.... we will see.

I've been tearing down drywall, and pulling out ceramic tile from the 70's, so I really needed this boost to keep me focused on finishing this project.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Santa's Pants Gift Bag

I sewed up some red felt  Santa's Pants Gift Bags to create
 a great way
 to style that teacher gift.
Did I tell you that my Santa is a real fashionable guy!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Creating a Mudroom Cabinet for Coats and Backpacks

Started a new project this weekend. I am creating a mudroom for my daughter's house.  I bought these two storage cabinets off of Craigslist for a total price of $60.  Today, I removed a display light inside each cabinet that I didn't want, and cut the crown and base moldings off one side of each of the cabinets. I did that so I can push them together and create the illusion of one large cabinet.

I bought some white primer and paint today too, 
so that's my next step. I plan on painting the entire cabinet white- inside and out.
 I love how quickly paint can change
 the overall look of a furniture piece.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Mannequin Dress Form Christmas Tree

I've been dreaming of creating a Christmas Tree using a Mannequin Dress Form.  A local interior designer, Joyce Konstantinow, who is the owner of Blooms and Rooms in McHenry gave me the opportunity to create this original design.

Look at this beautiful bustle made with 
a sheer champagne ribbon
 and burlap ribbon.

Here I am creating ... "Glorious."  (Of course, we had to name her.) The next layer added some sheer ribbon curls that peeked out of the pine garlands and battery powered twinkle cool white lights.

(If you want a few more details about how this Christmas Tree was created, I wrote another post about it.  Just CLICK HERE to read more about creating this project.)

October 2016 Update:  I just finished my New Christmas Tree Mannequin design: The Woodland Fairy. I posted about it here. 


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Exposed Zipper Top for the Workplace

I don't often sew for my youngest daughter, but here is a recent top that I just  made her to wear to work.  It features an unique exposed zipper in the back that forms a box pleat in the center back of the top.

I consider the fact that she likes it a MAJOR Success.  I spent a week with her and her family, and was able to draft a pattern, make a muslin trial garment, and complete the top for her petite figure.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Running Stitch Used to Decorate a Child's Vest

Today, I've been working on my latest project for the "Project Run and Play August Challenge".  This sewing challenge involves hand embroidery. I just made this cute little vest and I am using the running stitch to create rows of interlocking hearts.
It's a simple little stitch and is usually one of the first stitches learned by a beginner.   I may add another whipped stitch layer...I haven't quite decided.

In many ways, I just like the simplicity of the stitch...

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