Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Day Gone Wrong--Doggone Wrong!

Where do you find inspiration for your craft and sewing projects?

 One of my favorite things to do in the evening when I am too tired to sew or craft is to look at old issues of my craft and sewing magazines. I am often drinking a nice hot cup of tea too. The following tidbit may be just too much information but here goes:   before I can do either of these things I have to be sporting a comfy pair of pj's. There you have it--my idea of a perfect evening! It may sound boring but sometimes it's just what I need to get the old creative gears cranking in my head......

Lately though, I seem to have a one track mind. Linens are my inspiration for everything.....One trip to the antique shop and I can find plenty of inspiration.

My growing pile from the past month or so......

Last Thursday I went to a favorite shop to check out the stock of vintage linens. I went without the intention of buying anything but of course left with a few things I couldn't leave behind. I spent a whopping $13.

I found a ziplock bag full of  ecru and white vintage pillow cases for $4.00. I washed them right up and ironed them nicely. Just look at all that lovely crocheted lace! The lace alone is worth more than that!

Dish can never have enough of these! I love linen towels and at .50 to $1.00 it is money well spent! I would much rather have these sweet little dish towels than any of the new mass produced towels that are in the stores.

The dish towel on the left is one I bought earlier in the month. I found the one on the right during my most recent trip and was so excited to have a matching pair! These are just the sweetest and they are in mint condition. I doubt they were ever used!

These pieces were in a bundle of other linens. Why yes that handkerchief is monogrammed with an "L" for Linda! It was just meant to be!

This dresser scarf was also in the bundle with the items above.

This was my ironing board after I washed and carefully pressed each item!

Which leads me back to inspiration. LINENS!

So today I was excited because I had an entire day to sew up a storm and a mass of linens to draw inspiration from.. My husband was out of town for the day and it was just me and my dog Ellie......but my dog had other ideas. 

My dog loves (is obsessed with) the next door neighbors and they love her too!  She hasn't seen too much of them over the winter because we had a major pile of snow  dividing our two yards and barricading us in. 

This morning I took Ellie out to do her business and as soon as she saw our neighbor in the back yard she was off and I was airborne. She totally forgot to do her business but she got some one-on-one with the neighbor. I brought her in and tried to sew but it soon became obvious that I was not going to accomplish much. She sat by the window all afternoon watching my neighbors entertain. The she wanted to go out over and over again, she wanted something to eat, she wanted attention......soon my husband's boots appeared mysteriously in the middle of my living room, a little tub of putty was on the loveseat and she grabbed a pair of scissors off my table while my back was turned and well....that was the last straw. I proceeded to have a discussion with the dog about how unsafe it was to run with scissors in her mouth.....

This is when I determined it was just time to call it quits. Today was clearly about her and not about sewing. I did manage to cut out a tote bag and I quickly stitched up a phone case which I displayed at the beginning of this post. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it did get done and it is definitely inspired by my love of  linens. I even used a scrap of lace leftover from one of my heart pillows. It took about 15 minutes because that's about the largest stretch of time I had between doggy distractions.!

I had the entire day to sew today and sadly all I sewed was this little phone case. I'm not even going to try to sew tonight. I am going to put on my comfy pj's, make myself a nice hot cup of tea and sit down with my two new Stampington magazines: Mingle and Haute Handbags. I love these magazines and every page is such a feast for the eyes. I am looking forward to reading their issue of Willow and Sage too. If you are not familiar with their magazines check out this link:

My sweet Ellie.....she really is very sweet.......I adore her!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Quick Fix For Supper

Doesn't that look yummy?

Tonight I needed a quick supper as I was in the middle of more than one sewing project and I wanted to keep working on them. This is what I whipped up for dinner, tossed with some pasta and though it only took minutes, it was so YUMMY!

I have learned that anything sauteed in olive oil and garlic ends up tasting delicious. So, that's what I did!

I threw some chopped garlic into olive oil. Then I added jumbo shrimp and fresh asparagus. When the asparagus was partially cooked (I like my veggies tender-crisp)  I added some fresh chopped tomato, parsley black pepper. It smelled so good while it was cooking!!! Once it was cooked, I served up some pasta and topped it with the shrimp and veggies. We enjoyed it!

Then as soon as I cleaned up the kitchen I went back to my sewing. I finally found the nerve to cut into some linen to create one of my vintage inspired heart pillows.

I used the blue and ivory linen placemat that you see in the photo above. I decided it was okay to cut up because there were some tiny stains and tears in the linen that could easily be worked around. I was very pleased with the fruits of my labor and I do believe this is my new favorite of the little vintage pillows I have sewn. It is very sweet!

New item in my ETSY shop......

I stitched the little quilt patch and the various vintage laces onto the heart, stamped the sentiment onto some painter's canvas and stitched, sewed the front and back(which is an ivory muslin) together and turned right side out. Then I stuffed the pillow.  It was coming together nicely. Next I tore the strips for the bow.

At this point I took my heart pillow into the living room to sew on some buttons. I turned on the TV to watch some news while I was sewing. The blue you see in the photo above and below is actually my knees and I am wearing blue jeans. My jeans frame the heart pillow rather nicely!

I stitched on some buttons here and there.....

I still have enough of the placemat to make another pillow and so I shall......but right now I have to finish a custom cherub before I turn in for the night. She will be wearing a white eyelet dress and I look forward to embellishing her. 

Nighty night, don't let the bedbugs bite! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Afternoon Project--Sew Fun, Sew Easy, Sew Sweet

On Friday I was sorting through my stash of fabric looking for a couple of  prints that would coordinate nicely for some hot mats that I wanted to stitch up for a birthday gift. I found this floral print chintz (stamped Bloomcraft 1987) and this small rose, floral print that I thought would be just perfect for my late afternoon sewing project. 

First, I made these two large hot mats. I liked these two fabrics 
   even more after they were sewn together. Finished, each block is about 9" square (6 1/2 " floral square with an 1 1/2" border.) They are top-stitched and the block is also stitched in the ditch.

Front and back views....(not ironed yet)

Then I decided to make a set of four mug mats to match the hot mats. The fabric has many little blocks of these sweet little floral designs so I wanted to include as many of the flowers as possible in my project. I top-stitched these as well.

Here are all four.....the florals are so pretty. There are additional flowers on the back of each mug mat as well but I forgot to photograph them.

They all look so pretty together.

I tied up the mug mats with a strip torn from the rose fabric. Perfect little touch!

This was a fun, easy project and it took less than two hours to create. I love the vintage fabrics and it was perfectly blocked for making the smaller mug mats. The main fabric is even stamped as stain resistant.

Oops! I almost forgot the gift enclosure card!

For the card I used some kraft cardstock and a block of the fabric. I stitched the fabric onto the cardstock using a zigzag stitch and for a final touch I attached a torn strip of the rose fabric through a hole made with a round paper punch.

It makes a pretty cute ensemble.....

I am happy that I have so much of this floral print left over. After seeing how cute they look all completed, I have to make a couple more sets for gifts!

UPDATE:  4/27/2015

I stitched up the second hot mat gift set this afternoon. The set looks very similar with the exception of the border on the larger pair of hot mats. Also, I did not top stitch the borders because I used a bulkier batting between the layers and did not want to bind up my sewing machine trying to go over the extra thickness.

Larger hot mats

Front side of mug mats

Back side of mug mats

Hot mats, mug mats and gift enclosure card.

The second set went together more quickly and I enjoyed sewing it as much as the first! 

Linking this post up to:

Cozy Little House: Tweak it Tuesday #139

The Enchanting Rose

My Salvaged Treasures

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Bird in the Hand.....

It's been a rainy day today so I thought it would be a great day to work on my bird project. I have been thinking about creating bird ornaments out of an assortments of fabrics. I tried drawing a pattern but couldn't quite arrive at that preconceived notion in my head. So I asked my friend Debbie, (who is very artsy) to draw me a bird. She drew me several!

I love this one! It's exactly the bird I have been trying to draw myself. It's cute! It is traditional with a touch of whimsy! I love that it is a bit on the chubby side! Thank you Debbie!

The next step was photocopying it to make a template. I made a few different sizes and cut them out. The first one that I attempted to stitch up was too small  and difficult to stuff the tail section. The beak was also too small to stuff. So I went with a larger size and made a separate triangular pattern piece for the beak.

A bird in progress, still some tweaking to do......

In these photos, nothing is stitched together except the body and the wing. All of the little extras, the trim at the neck, the twine bow, the star button, the stamped inspiration and fabric streamers are all just lying there unattached.

I have not reached any final decisions on how to embellish this little bird.It is still in it's planning stages and gets a little better each time I redo it. I am not loving it's tail at the moment--the bird says tweet but the tail says cock-a-doodle-doo so I will change the tail (square it off a bit) when I cut the next one out.

Later this evening, I will stitch the beak, wing and belly openings closed, attach the wings and all the little extras. Then I will start another bird, tweak it's tail section and hopefully arrive at a bird that I am completely happy with. I am envisioning both hanging and standing varieties in an assortment of fabrics, colors and styles.

"It's not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today's To Do List

Tonight I have been sitting in front of the television hand sewing the finishing touches on my latest two Vintage Inspired Sentiment Hearts. I will be listing them in my ETSY shop tomorrow morning. These two have some additional details that my last two pillows did not have
such as several mismatched buttons and additional vintage lace. The darker, rose colored pillow has a handmade flower that has been lightly singed on the edges and the bows are made from a very sheer, lightweight cotton fabric and tulle.

Here they are before the bow and flowers are sewn on. Lots of luscious, vintage lace!

I love the wide piece of vintage lace. It was carefully cut from a beautiful place mat and stitched in place..

Did you maybe notice this tablecloth underneath the heart pillows in the photos above? I purchased it today. It is beautiful, vintage perfection! It measures about 48x50 and in excellent condition!

I may have picked up a few other items too! That little hand towel at the top with the embroidery is so cute! I love it!

The towel is in perfect condition and the linen has such a nice feel to it!

Another pile to add to my collection though this pile is much smaller!

I still have a few hearts sitting in my "to do" pile. Then I will be focusing on some birds and butterflies which are in the planning stages right now and I can't wait to begin working on them!

Also some news to share:

I  was recently (informally) interviewed by Jemma who blogs at At Home With Jemma. She wrote such a wonderful introduction to the interview -- if you would like to read it please click on the link above. 

The post is part of the Passion, Purpose Productivity Project that Jemma began earlier in the year. It has been very interesting and thought provoking to read all of the posts related to this project. I thank Jemma for her insight and her wonderful ability to touch upon a sensitive subject with just the right words. I also thank her for the opportunity to participate. I have enjoyed it so very much.

Linking up to:

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home