The Denim Quest Continues…

I cut and I cut, then I sew and sew and yet, it seems like I am never making progress!

IMG_4435IMG_4434I have plans to make at least two dozen quilts in various configurations plus my fallback style, the crazy quilt.

So, not much new to report other than the constant denim. I have way too many projects started and it takes some kind of effort not to start more!

Send me your good thoughts? I am going to need ’em!

julie

Quilts, Denim and Thrifting… Oh, and I Finished My Cross Stitch

I’ve been working on a ton of projects but current resources are making things hard to finish anything. And when I say “resources” I am not talking about time, imagination or inspiration and generally speaking also not about fabric, thread or sewing machines.

The group of quilts that I’ve been working is based on using denim fabric harvested from old jeans. Getting my hands on really, really cheap jeans isn’t an issue. The problem I am having is that the borders I want to add to these quilts in progress I want to be seamless. And that will require the purchase of new denim fabric. And, of course, I want to use is flannel and I am finding that the necessary amount of this fabric will be quite large. I tend to find myself in this quandary quite often now that I am approaching nearly a year of unemployment. 😦

Not so long ago, I saw a comment posted on a beautiful – simple yet very functional – quilt made from old blue jeans. The comment, which I cannot seem to locate now, said something to the effect that quilts made from old jeans look like “old jeans” and therefore implied that the quilt looked ‘old and worn’. I replied saying that’s what makes these quilts so extraordinary, that they feel as great as your favorite jeans and thereby by extension, are something to be used and to feel comforted by. These words kicked off a goal of using harvested denim to make both beautiful and functional quilts. To show that your blue jeans and flannel shirts aren’t about dressing up, but about feeling good; and isn’t that what we all love about our favorite quilts?

So, let me start with sharing my method for acquiring blue jeans. It was a absolute accident that I stumbled upon this idea. If you’ve been reading or following my blog, you’ll know that I am a huge lover of thrift shops and going with my son. We just happened upon the “Last Chance” racks of clothing at Red Racks. Red Racks, I believe, are local to the Missouri, from Kansas City on the west all the way to St. Louis on the east. With a little luck, you may find your solution in your area.Fancy Line 1

Red Racks is a major source of funds for DAV. The proceeds from the sales of donated goods help our country’s Disabled American Veterans, providing assistance for transportation, medical needs, counseling, and much more. Find out more at DAV.org.

Fancy Line 1

So, Red Racks have what they call “last chance” and all items on these racks are priced at a dollar. Sometimes, they have some wonderful items (a great place to get kid’s clothes!) and often many pairs of jeans. These range from baby jeans all the way to guy’s jeans. Even at this price, you can’t beat it.

But… on Sundays the last chance has one really last chance and everything is marked to twenty five cents! Now here is a unbelievable price! And as you might suspect, items go quickly. For some reason, The Kid and I just happened to be there early and literally took every piece of denim we could find. And even at this, our giant haul was only $13!

Now, here is one thing that I discovered with working with denim. Be extremely cautious using denim with stretch. One project I am working on is using the jeans seams. However, when you add in seams with stretch, the piece becomes … curvy. Not a result that I wanted. And if not used correctly, the stretch denim can cause havoc in your quilt. I am not saying that you can’t use it, just be careful when you do. I, personally, have opted to reduce my use, if not all out stopping.

IMG_4370So, this is one of my first hauls. Either someone was watching or had the same idea as me, but it never was more than this. But this is more than enough. I was also working on collecting colored denim as an accent for these quilts, but true colored denim is hard to come by. Or maybe I should say heavy denim or colored denim without stretch.

IMG_4369In this pile, really only the top red, the blacks and browns and the bottom turquoise print are what I would call “real” denim. The others are lightweight and/or have stretch and will not use them in quilts. They may work great for making doll clothes though.

So, I’ve been able to piece together six denim quilts, four that need borders and all need flannel backings before I can ship these off to my top quilter. For those who may have missed it, I have a wonderful friend Becky, who does my longarm service, Collis Country Quilting. (If you’re interested in contacting Becky, you can reach here on her Facebook page: Collis Country Quilting. She can also be reached via email at: rebecca_collis@yahoo.com. Just let her know that I sent you!)

Here is a quilt that I stumbled onto via Pinterest. It is called “Cathedral windows” and was quite quick to put together.DSCN5208And the back:DSCN5209This is quite wonderful since it didn’t actually require top quilting… it is a ‘quilt as you go’. I love the varying shades of denim… this is one of those quilts I am working on in the concept to show just how beautiful old and faded jeans can be turned into equally beautiful quilts.DSCN5210And here, a shot of the front. Some of the squares turned out a little funky, I think I wasn’t paying quite enough attention to the flaps as I worked. I think once its gone through the washing machine once or twice.DSCN5211I’ve actually starting working on another of these quilts, starting with 10″ circles which should fold down to about 7″. Initially, I was going to use the harvested colored denim, but after assembling a few squares have determined that it is too dull. So, more investigation as to other possibilities.DSCN5212I actually did a smaller quilt with some leftover squares and ran it through the washer. This will give you an idea of how it will look:IMG_4388I did finish the binding for one more that Becky top quilted for me (there are still a ton more to finish binding!):

DSCN5214The quilt didn’t turn out quite like I hoped. The patterns of the fabrics mask the layout and you can’t quite see it for the colors.DSCN5215Oh, well, sometimes you hit a homer and sometimes it is just good for keeping the fans in the bleachers warm.DSCN5216Pretty purple backing with a nice meandering pattern.

I also finished my cross stitch of my favorite Pyrex pattern: Friendship Birds.IMG_4391I’m not thrilled with it in the hoop, can’t seem to get it taut. I am going to look into other options. Stay tuned!

Okay, that’s it for now! Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Sweet Denim Bench

I picked up this little vintage bench a while back and it sat in the garage for a while before I got around to working on it. But once I started it went pretty quickly. I just can’t believe that I had forgotten to write it up. I had uploaded all the photos, just didn’t get the text written! How the heck did that happen?

DSCN3744

Originally, I hoped to restore the bench, but the top was just too damaged and stained. And it probably was a saving grace, as while taking it apart, I found that it had been stuffed with horse hair and old newspapers. And it smelled pretty bad. So, 4 inch thick green foam replaced the stinky newspapers and horse hair.

I first laid a sheet of wood across the top. All of it was painted with a beautiful deep metallic brown paint. I just love the way it sets off the carvings.

I was in the middle of harvesting denim from old blue jeans and opted to go that direction. I carefully dissembled a couple of pairs of jeans that were similar in color to use in covering the bench.

Using a pneumatic stapler, I then laid the denim over the bench, pulled taught and stapled.

DSCN4184

Once the denim was securely fastened, I needed something to cover the staples. During on of many thrifting adventures, I thought that using leather belts would be appropriate… get it? A belt on a pair of jeans! LOL

I couldn’t find any belts the same – either color or style. So I found about a half dozen leather belts that were very close in style, so I opted to spray paint them the same color as the base. The leather took the paint very well and was even malleable enough to get wrapped around the bench. I even kept the belt buckles! From there, it was simply a quick tacking over a base of glue.

DSCN4652DSCN4651DSCN4650DSCN4649DSCN4648DSCN4647DSCN4646DSCN4645DSCN4644To wrap things up nicely, a quick ‘before & after’ photo:

bench-before-after

And there it is. Another project completed. I am determined to get these projects done so that I have room in the garage for at least two cars this winter! And since fall arrived this week, winter is just around the corner!

julie

How to Make Denim Yarn From Old Denim Jeans: A Tutorial

I’ve been working on this one for a while. And boy, am I glad to have this one crossed off my list!

Where to start? I saw a braided wool rug on Pinterest (where else?) and thought that it would look great in denim. So, off I started to figure out how to make the strips to make braids and then (eventually) get it made into a rug.

Of course, the way I envisioned the rug, it would have to be many shades of blue, worn to perfection by being worn. I have always been a big fan of denim quilts, having made many of them, so I know that it all had to start from old pairs of blue jeans. And since The Kid and I are big fans of thrift shopping, so a new item was added to the shopping list. And its great, you can find a variety of sizes and denim qualities and colors easily. And I found jeans in size 58! Do you have any idea how much fabric that is?

DSCN4414

So, I’m getting ahead of myself. I did a test and took pictures so that I could write a tutorial on how to turn old jeans into a braided rug.

  1. Collect from your closets old and unworn jeans. You can also get them from friends and co-workers; I once posted a note in a common area and my co-workers rewarded me with over two dozen pair! Also, as noted, I also buy them from thrift stores; keep an eye open for when they run specials… in this case, the two pairs of jeans I bought were on a day when the thrift shop had half off orange tags:

DSCN4407

2. Next, you have to harvest the fabric. I created a tutorial on how to do this with the least amount of waste, you can see it here. This is what I have when I finished taking apart this pair of jeans:

3. Because I am a quilter, I have a cutting mat and rotary cutter, but you could achieve the same results with scissors. Cut the fabric into 3″ strips, maneuvering the material to get the most uninterrupted strips. I find that this does not have to be cut on the grain, in fact, there is more ‘give’ later when you’re braiding if you do not.

IMG_3567

4. Cut the strips, using all the fabric. I collect the smaller pieces and have used them in making denim quilts.

IMG_3568

5. You’ll want to trip edges to make them even, including the top strip even though you will only get about 8″ of fabric that measures 3″ wide.

IMG_3570

This represents all of the strips from this single pair of jeans and the scraps.

6. I then separated the strips into three piles roughly equal and joined the strips with a single zigzag stitch along the edges. This resulted in each of the three pieces being about XXX” long.

IMG_3572

7. Now, moving to the ironing board, we’re going to turn these strips into binding by turning the two edges to meet in the middle and then ironing in place:

8. This sets the crease making it easier to then sew together. Moving now to your sewing machine, I fold the two folded edges together…

IMG_3609

…and sew a seam a scant eighth of an inch from the edge. This locks the rough edges inside and will reduce the amount of fraying and lengthen the life of your rug. I found this to be a process that requires special attention, as you’re sewing through about four layers (and up to eight on seams), so I had to guide it through the tough areas or I would be looking at multiple broken threads on each length. I also used a heavy duty thread to minimize breaks.

9. At this point, you need to repeat the last couple of steps until all your strips have been turned into (what I referred to as) denim yarn. It is then ready to turn into a rug.

IMG_3618

Each of these lengths are approximately 39 feet. In this case, since it is a single pair of jeans, the color is uniform, but if you’re making lots of denim yard for a large rug, vary the color and value will result in a more interesting rug. The older the denim is, by the way, will also result in a softer rug under foot.

10. I overlapped but offset the ends of the three pieces of denim yard and sewed them securely.

IMG_3619

11. Then it is time to braid!

IMG_3624

I had my son hold the ends with a pliers so that I could really tug hard as I braided, but you could also loop it over a door or some other brilliant way (share with me how you do it!). I then braided the three lengths.

IMG_3628

I simply clipped the ends together and then wound the braid into a circle. The total length of the braid was just under 39 feet and ended up being a circle with a diameter of 12 inches. I didn’t take a lot of time winding it, but normally I would take more time to make the braid lay flat and sew them together while winding.

So, there are the instructions for making denim yarn and turning into braid. I’ve been working on my yarn for some time and started with this prepared bundles:

IMG_3489

The step I left out of the instructions that I used here, was to wind the three inch lengths of fabric into rolls to make it easier to work with. I found after a while that the 39/40 feet length was about as long as I wanted to make the yarn and still be able to easily work with it without tangling. I think it is a matter of preference and offer the length that works for me. I also started sewing about four inches down on each length (and end about 4 inches before the other end), so later when I begin braiding, I can quickly connect the lengths and continue braiding.

Many hours of ironing and sewing went into turning those rolls into this yarn (isn’t there some beautiful variances in color?):

IMG_3655

Which when tidied up and stacked neatly looks like this:

IMG_3656

The next step is to start braiding!

julie

Thinking Big… Maybe Too Big?

I have a bad habit of always going big when I take on a project. My first quilt project was to contain 2,000 different fabrics in a charm quilt to celebrate the new millennium. (That one isn’t done, BTW). The first time I wanted to really try a cross stitch project, the canvas was two feet by three feet (that’s big for cross stitch). That one too, isn’t done. My first (faux) stained glass project was about six foot by three foot… that one did get finished. The American Girl doll house I built was 48 square feet and stood over seven feet. Also done (and sold)! Even if the projects are quite so big, I tend to go a little overboard on the project materials… you’ve seen photos of my sewing/quilt room, yes? I literally have enough fabric to open my own shop. 🙂

So, one of the more recent projects that is in progress is a braided denim rug. One of the things I like to try to do is having little projects within the bigger one that I can write posts about. So, this one started with how to harvest the most denim from old blue jeans. I actually wrote that one up as an “instructable” and you can see it here. Then over the course of a couple of months, I collected used blue jeans and harvested as many three inch strips as I could.

DSCN4263.JPGIt was a long process, but I was able to do most of the deconstruction while watching old movies or binge watching my favorite television series. Over a hundred pairs of jeans (lost count during collecting) were used and I was able to sell the carefully removed back pockets on eBay for almost a hundred dollars!

The next step was to create long strips… I wasn’t – and still aren’t – sure how long the rolls should be and what would be the easiest length to work with. After all, braiding tends to tangle while working… I will just have to be conscious of it while working. I ended up creating mostly the same length… just guessing at it while I was sewing. Some ended up longer than others and there are a couple of kind of short ones. The should be easiest enough to shorten when I start braiding if they turn out to be too long.

IMG_3489

After this, I rolled all the strips into coils… this photo is most of them. Whew! This alone was the endeavor. I rolled about half by hand… just round and round. The Kid, being inventive and with a slight allergy to repetitious work, came up with the idea of rolling them using a power drill. I just love the way his brain works!

The next step is to turn these strips into the “yarn” for braiding. I am basically turning it into binding… folding the edges in and “setting” them with an iron. Then, I fold this in half and sew it with a long stitch. It took some time and trials to figure out how to sew over this much bulk, especially the seams, without constantly breaking the threads but using a heavy duty thread – actually a hand quilting thread – finally was the answer. That and coaxing the seams through by hand. I then let it fall over the edge and into a basket on the floor:

IMG_3492

So, far, I’ve managed to empty the with the least amount of coils. It is a bit of a long slow process. I don’t have the slightest idea of how to estimate the amount of yarn that I will need to complete the rug. Actually, I’m not sure how big I even want the rug to be!

IMG_3557

What I want to do is do a smaller, controlled experiment. Choose a specific number of pairs of jeans, say, 5 or perhaps ten and harvest the denim and create the yarn. That way, I know exactly how much will be needed to create the braids and how much it will produce as far as a rug size is concerned.

I’m also planning a very detailed tutorial, from start to finish. I guess this post is an attempt at trying to explain why lately I haven’t been able to post regularly. All the projects that I have in progress follow the same template… much too big to complete quickly or easily! And definitely too big to write about easily in a single post. 🙂

But, and speaking of this blog, I do have a milestone to announce. I don’t really actively promote this blog and it was really an experiment to see if I could do this as well as learn about the technical aspects of creating, producing and maintaining a blog. Sort of helps me in my “normal” nine-to-five job. But I always am doing creative type things and if my writing and photos help or inspire someone else, then great!

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.54.02 PMSo, I’ve surpassed the 100,000 mark with visitors! To be honest, I thought if I could maintain the blog for a year and have 5,000 visitors, I’d be successful. Who’da thunk?

Two Words: Prewound Bobbins

So, I am working diligently to get everything done and organized before surgery, now just nine days away. Wow… I am both so excited and terrified at the same time!

But work continues on the braided rug made of old jeans. After finishing cutting and harvesting denim from more than a hundred and fifty pairs of jeans… probably closer to two hundred. I’ve sold the back pockets on eBay for a nice little bit and I’ve sewed together all the inseams and bottom seams and have (mostly) fashioned them into bags and purses. I say mostly because I’ve still to find a tailor or perhaps shoe repair place that can do the final seams and attach handles as my somewhat specialty sewing machines just can’t do more than twelve layers of denim and/or leather (handles or straps). I am excited about finishing them though, they are going to be tré chic when they are complete.

The three inch strips of denim are, for the most part, now combined to form reasonable lengths. It took some time and experimentation to figure it out, but I’ve landed on a length that I think will be most productive when I start braiding. I’m taking lots of photos and making tons of notes, I think I am going to do a in-depth tutorial on creating these rugs from start to finish, that is, starting at the very start to include collecting jeans and harvesting the fabric all the way through to the finished rug. So, I won’t put too much of that into these posts pre-tutorial.

IMG_3480But I did do something that I thought I’d never do while in the process of turning the three inch strips into the finished strip for braiding. And that was to buy pre-wound bobbins.

s-l1600I don’t know why, exactly, I hesitated to do so, maybe something leftover from an early home-ec class or something about being thrifty and always winding your own bobbins. And heaven knows that I have enough bobbins and don’t really need to invest in more. But I found that with all the basic sewing that I’ve been doing, I have been just going through tons of bobbins and to sit and wind bobbins seems to be the most essential waste of time. Additionally, the pre-wound bobbins that I purchased seem to be wound very efficiently, that is to say, it seems to be twice as much thread on the bobbins than when I wind them, so I find that I am not changing bobbins as often. Which is awesome… again with the amount of basic sewing I am doing, nothing is as irritating just getting into a groove of sewing just to have the bobbin run out. And as my machine is overdue for maintenance, the bobbin sensor is getting in the habit of not alerting me and I find that I can run through feet of sewing before I realize that its not stitching! Argh!

So, here is officially my stamp of approval on pre-wound bobbins. They’re not overtly expensive (I get mine off eBay), they save me both time and frustration and they are help saving my sanity! Can’t think of better reasons to use them!

So, do you use pre-wound bobbins? I’d love to get the impressions of others who do a lot of sewing. Ever tried them? What’s your take?

julie

 

Forever in Blue Jeans

So, I’ve finished (for now) cutting all the blue jeans collected into three inch strips. I had set aside all the remaining pieces for making jean quilts. I’ve been working up the courage to start the rag rug… for whatever crazy reason, I always seem to go overboard when putting together the materials necessary for a project. Based on the tutorial I saw online for the rug, I now estimate that the amount of material that I have put together, I think I will probably end up with a forty foot diameter rug! I don’t know what it is that always makes me overestimate everything, but it seems that every project I work on, I do this.

DSCN4264This is the strips I’ve made… this has got to be the result of at least a hundred pairs of jeans and then some. I pick up pairs of jeans and just the denim material where ever I go, and recently procured a bunch when I picked up all that material free from CraigsList. And it was only recently that I started saving the back pockets – and I now have more than 100 pairs – so, I know that there were more pairs of jeans than those.

I made a “test” rug using 1 inch strips, that did not pan out too well. However, I think that fact that it was smaller was part of the problem. I need to fold the three inch strips into itself, so that the rough edges are hidden. I have been considering doing the folding and sewing it closed that way, but just haven’t decided.

DSCN4267

Anyway, I sat down and just started sewing the denim scraps. At first, it was just to get an idea of how well it would work, but after a while, I just got lost in it. I started watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950’s series and kept sewing. I was working with 7″ cotton squares as a starting point. On and off sewing over the past week or so, and I’ve finally made my way through the majority of the denim scraps. I didn’t want to make any squares with too many seams, the denim gets thick quickly and I know longarms don’t love to hit those seams where the material is thicker than four layers or so. I decided to make the squares as simple as possible and to keep those intersecting seams to a minimum.

IMG_6897Yesterday, I used the last really good piece of denim and stacked them and did a count.

IMG_0296That’s 422! At 10 x 10 squares – about 70″ x 70″, that would make at least four quilts! I was thinking about working with some colored denim – red, I think – as a medallion pieces and then placing the blue denim squares on point around it.I briefly considered double sided quilts, but then I would be right back to the problem of thickness and seams. And that each quilt would weigh like a hundred pounds! Ha!

Now that I’ve used up the scraps, however, leaves me with trying to finish up my other projects before surgery. Just three weeks now before the scheduled date and I’ve still a handful of projects to complete in the garage. I am making headway on them, but the temperatures in the 20’s have made it a bit cold to be working in the garage. It should be a bit warmer today though.

The dresser and the nightstands sold quickly, within a day of posting them. Yeah! My foyer is getting emptier although I still seem to have the red desk. Even before I painted it, it was one of those pieces that just doesn’t seem to appeal to anyone. It is a great little piece, and I have lowered the price to the point where I won’t make any money on it. I wish I had a place for it myself, as it is beautiful, but alas, I do not.

And I am just waiting on the pneumatic stapler that I ordered online so that I can finish up my upholstery projects. More denim! And that should clear the final pieces from the foyer and the garage. It should be simple at that point to re-arrange the final stuff in the garage to get two cars back into the space initially designed for cars!

I’ve got a couple of small project lined up to keep me busy while I am working on the last couple of big projects. Seems like it is both taking forever and time is just whizzing by while I wait for this upcoming surgery! And in the same way, I am both excited and terrified about it!

julie

Pink Ombré: Can You Stand More?

I don’t care how many times I do the pink ombré paint scheme, I still love it. And so do you, judging on how quickly the pieces sell and the comments and reviews they get!

So, in case you’re new to the blog, or haven’t been here in a while, I am in the mode of completing projects without starting any new ones. In about three weeks, I will have the first of two knee surgeries  a week apart and one thing that will be important is that I have unencumbered access around my house – be in a walker or crutches. Either way, as I completed six to eight weeks of physical therapy, I need to make sure that I can safely navigate my house. And all these projects stacked up in my dining room, my kitchen, my living room and specifically the garage do not allow safe access. So, I am working diligently to complete them all.

This weekend I was able to complete two more projects. The first is this long dresser. Originally I wanted to turn it either into two smaller individual dressers or turn it into a bench with drawer space. Sort of like this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.00.06 PM.png

However, with the completion of the pew, I no longer have the space for such a piece of furniture. Although it would sell quite easily, I may try to do this later next year.

Instead, this dresser:

00c0c_aT2b4lrh71c_300x300became this:

DSCN4282Yesterday those adorable flower petal handles finally arrived via eBay. The Kid took the time to put them on last night so that I could take photos and write about them today.

I also used those same knobs on this project:

DSCN4285These pieces actually started life as:

IMG_0163This sweet little vanity was purchased with the hope of becoming a piece for my master bedroom makeover, but, well, life got in the way here too. I think this would be a great compliment to the four poster bed I did a while back. The drawers are the same colors as each post. 🙂

DSCN4242I had primed these cabinets in white, which I think were okay with the pale pink color that it was painted, but I really do need to invest in more primer for red and the darker shades of pink. I am a firm believer in using the right tools and supplies for a superior end product.

Another project that I was able to complete since I had the painting supplies out, is this little holder. I do a lot of faux stained glass painting and find that having the bottles upside down to keep the material at the tip is handy. So, I whipped out some more paint stir sticks and just sort of roughly laid them out to where I thought I needed them around the bottles. Then I drilled the holes large enough to allow the cap to sit securely without being wobbly or too tight. Then it just got a coat of red paint.

I keep threatening, but soon I am going to write a post just about projects that I made using paint stir sticks. Dang, those are handy!

DSCN4272So, here is a view of what’s left in the garage. I had to order a new pneumatic stapler to finish the bench (forefront) with denim cover and there is the other large chest of drawers. I am going to keep this one for my guest bedroom… it is needed to hold some of the specialty fabrics that I have no room for in my sewing room. Then, that leaves only the Scrabble table and one more bench (made from a headboard). This should should pretty much clear out the garage and I will be able to get my sports car bedded down for the remainder of winter. We finally had snow here in the Kansas City area and my little red guy is covered in the white stuff.

Of course, that is the garage! Now, if all my pieces sell that would take care of the foyer too. But I have projects going on in my sewing room too! But that should take care of getting safely around the house anyway!

A few more photos to close out this post:

julie

 

Finally, Work Has Begun on the Denim Rag Rug

I seem to be guilty of working on many projects at once, and because of it, they seem to get completed at the same time. When that happens, there seems to be a roller coaster effect on the blog… many posts in a row, then nothing for a bit, then more posts. I wish I was better at planning or managing my work, but it is what it is.

Right now, my focus is getting things done that will be a) in my way once I have my double knee surgery and b) those projects I won’t be able to do because of the recovery. So, the garage is once again full of multiple projects being sanded and readied for priming.

Let’s see… there is one dresser, one chest of drawers, that little vanity that is about to become a pair of nightstands, my entry way pew (I can’t wait!) and headboards and foot boards waiting to become a couple more benches.

I am also determined to finish a project that I started about a hundred years ago… a table sized regulation Scrabble table!

DSCN4206This is the table base. The top is almost done, its been painted and the striped… all it needs is the special squares marked (you know, “double letter score” etc) and a finishing edge to the table. I’ve made the Scrabble tiles and the holders and then just to put it all together. I can’t wait to actually play a game on it… its going to be awesome!

I’ve been working on a couple of other small projects in between the big ones. One is for The Kid and his recent love of vinyl. As in music records. Whenever we hit the second hand shops and thrift stores, there is always at least one or two worth buying. His 45 collection is growing quite nicely and he needed somewhere to keep them, rather than in a flat pile on the desk. So, I am building this:

DSCN4207Its been primed, and I am going to finish it with a coat or two of my favorite Deep Space black high gloss paint. I made this in a day using scrap lumber (the bottom is actually paint stir sticks!!).

Whenever I get overwhelmed with how much is going on in the garage or it is a bit too cold to work in the garage (note: buy kerosene for garage space heater), I escape to my sewing room. I’ve been purchasing and prep’ing old blue jeans in anticipation of making a denim rag rug. So, after removing waist bands, pockets, zippers and seams, I have a nice pile of denim. The next step is to cut it all into 3″ strips in preparation for braiding.

So, I spent many hours tucked safely in my warm sewing room watching streaming television. I am having a difficult time estimating just how much is going to be needed to make the rug I want… or how large of a rug I can get with what I’ve got. I guess I will see when I start braiding. Saved for recovery time!

And speaking of, I am also planning on hand quilting that quilt I found some time back.

2015-02-18 16.45.07I’ve replaced the torn patches and added a new border and have a great backing material. Then I went out a purchased a hand quilt frame in anticipation (along with the wool batting) for time to hand quilt it and have been mulling over what pattern but right now, I am leaning towards just ‘stitch in the ditch’ of each and every triangle. Maybe I am overestimating how much free time I might have?

julie

P.S. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the website, mostly because the design blocks reader comments. I’ve been wanting a OMCS logo for a while, to start attaching to photos mostly – as they are popping up all over the internet, many without redirection back here. I’d love to hear from y’all… suggestions?

I think most people my age will probably remember today’s topic: paper dolls. I know when I tried to explain this phenomenon to my son, he just shook his head and gazed at me in puzzlement. Paper dolls? Just exactly how did this work?

I recently stumbled across a Pinterest board that had a zillion paper dolls. Past and present, babies to “barbie doll” types and everything in between. My heart settled on a toddler-esque aged doll, maybe a little older, like four. She came with four dressers, a coat and a hat, as well as a birthday cake and a doll. She was found on Marges8’s blog:

queen-holden-girl-to-color-11-1968

Since I picked her up online, she was already in a digital format, so I imported the image into Photoshop and made her larger. Larger allows for easier creation and management of the doll and her clothes and accessories. I printed her in a heavy card stock but even with that weight it was sufficient for her to stand. So I glued the image onto foam core board. Remembering from my youth, I added a semi-circular for her to stand.

DSCN4165She was cut out using an exacto knife and then carefully colored. I used a new set of gel pens to give her a subtle coloring. The same increase in size went for her clothing and accessories (of course). They were printed on the cardboard stock, colored and cut out. I added longer tabs, since she now had some depth of stock.

DSCN4163I am one of those people who have to have something to do at all times. I’ve recently been re-watching the nineties series “The X-Files” (since it is coming out again next year!!) and want to re-aquaint myself with the first nine original seasons. But I can’t just sit and watch television. I did some patchwork sewing earlier with denim scraps, but when I returned to to the living room, I went back to having to have something to do with my hands. Hence the paper dolls.

So I have been researching toddler and young girls’ clothing from the sixties and have been making more outfits for the doll. It has simply been fun and relaxing! Thus far, I have a snow outfit, a couple of pant outfits, some play clothes and some more dresses. Oh and I added a few more hats. Some outfits include toys and shoes or gloves. All in all, just a fun endeavor. I may scan them into the computer and clean up the lines, then print them out and color them all! I love a challenge and like when it turns out well.

DSCN4166Sorry that the photos are so hard to see, they are just pencil drawings. But wanted to give you an idea of how “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” that I really am! 🙂

As I finish, I will share with you. I’ve almost posted all of the projects that I have finished over the past few weeks, I guess I am going to have to get moving on the ones still remaining in the garage!

julie

 

%d bloggers like this: