Monday, May 30, 2011

Napkins For Home

So I have had this empty napkin holder for three years. At first it held napkins, but we used them all and then  I felt like it was a waste of money to spend on paper napkins. But my real motivation? I feel silly having it around, people didn't know what it was for! I became this ridiculous art piece in the apartment. So I decided to fill it with some cloth napkins I could just wash, iron, and replace!

By the way, my cat Neti, seen below, was not photo-oped at all. She really is this hardcore about crafts. I don't know what it is but she feels she must be a part of every step. When I'm not crafting she's sleeping on the bed or begging to play. But the minute I pull out that sewing machine she must be a part of every step. Kind of a like my overseer.
 Neti and the art piece/napkin holder

So first off, I went and got some tea cloth from Pacific Fabrics (the happiest place on earth). And realized I'm completely cheating because they were already seamed! So all I had to do was hem two sides of each napkin as opposed to four! Yay!
 For eight napkins I got four yards of fabric

So first off, I had to cut. Of the four yards I made each napkin 18 inches wide. Easy enough. Neti helped hold the fabric still. See? She's a great little helper.
 Slicing into individual napkins

Neti also made sure I had all of my tools ready to finish. She got tired of my focusing on the craft and wanted me to stop for pet break. I obliged. You've gotta take breaks, right?
 Neti sewing break

After everything was cut I headed to the iron to make sure I'd get smooth hems. I hate ironing so I usually don't iron my fabrics before I begin cutting unless it's wicked wrinkled. I'm pretty sure that's a sewing sin, but I'm ok with it.
 Ironing in the music room

I am a firm believer in pinning. Although tedious and potentially painful it's the smartest idea to get straight hems. Plus I got a really great matching of the pattern to wrap around on the hem.
 Pinned hems

And of course then it was just sewing. The tea cloth was much thicker so I used a 3.5 mm stitch so it wouldn't pucker or catch when I sew. It worked beautifully. I did have some trouble on the corners because they were so thick but I worked it out by sewing backwards to start and take care of that first corner and then moving forward again. This will really secure my corners so no unraveling is in my future!
Sewing the hems secure

After I got them all sewed they are done! So I threw them in the wash, ironed and used with my delicious dinner. I can't believe I finished the eight of them before dinner. Pretty perfect. I love them!
 They look great in action

And now I no longer have an art piece but a functional napkin holder. Well, I guess you could argue its art because I made them and they look great! A super easy project for an afternoon of rain and movies.
A home for the napkins

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Welcome to the Land of Crafts!

Welcome! Living in Seattle with family in the Midwest and on the East Coast I have spent SO much time calling my sister and saying, "Guess what I'm working on right now?!" And explaining excitedly. The next day calling my mom and saying, "Guess what I'm working on right now?!" And then calling my Grandma (the Goddess of All Crafts) and doing the same. I figured they'd much rather see what I was working on and I would much rather talk about other things, like the upcoming wedding!! I'm getting married in August and the majority of my current projects are wedding focused- the veil, the table numbers, the escort cards, etc. 

I also felt the need to document how I go about the projects. It keeps me motivated and inspired to share ideas and actually sketch out a how-to on what I'm going to do in the creation of my newest project.

I hope that not only does this blog share my projects with my family and friends but also inspires some idea sharing and gives motivation for you to tackle your newest project. I have attached some recently finished crafts to give you an idea of what we're working with here and what you're likely to continue seeing.

First off... the T-shirt Blanket. I am a "fragile-feeling" individual (also know as empathetic to n-th degree) and have collected a huge assortment of t-shirts over the years that I just can't seem to get rid of. Nostalgia, you know. How can I get rid of the t-shirt my Dad got me commemorating the last game in Busch Stadium for the Cardinals? I can't! And the Harry's Chocolate Shop shirt from Purdue's oldest and most wonderful bar? No way! So, I came up with a solution. Cut them all up and turn them in to an irresistable blanket for lounging around? Then I can wear them all at once!!! BRILLIANT! It is, if I may say so, the most comfortable blanket ever made. 
 The t-shirt blanket.

And one of the most amazing quilts, a family favorite, is the crazy quilt. A scrap user allowing delicate hand-embroidery to shine and just beautify your scraps. I used all the fabric scraps I could snag from my Grandma's scrap tubs (yes, tubs) and turned them in to my craft bag. I find I like to craft with friends best so I needed a way to bring them along. This has been my trusty craft bag for the last 6 years! So it's holding up well.
 Crazy quilt craft bag

And then of course a queen sized quilt. My first OFFICIAL giant quilt. The pattern is called Shuffle the Deck and I made it using vintage repro patterns from the 60's.
 Shuffle the Deck

And now I will leave you with some knitting wonders. Enjoy!!

 One of many dishrags to use up my junk yarn.

 A WWII patterned hat for Matt

 A crocheted rag rug made out of Mom's old sheets.

 A faux cabled hat for a co-worker on Christmas.

My first pair of socks. LOVE this yarn!!!