Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WIP: Home Decor Items

This week I finished the piecing on my son's Monkey quilt and made the binding. The piecing went very quickly, taking less than two afternoons. I have not yet decided how to quilt it. This is the central panel section. It is from the Lollipop collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

I will save the reveal of the whole top until after I've it quilted. In this central section I think I will outline the critters and leaves. I am lukewarm about doing a meander or loops in the borders (shown in my previous post) so I'm waiting for other inspiration to strike. I set this quilt aside until I have a better sense of how I want to quilt it. In the meantime I am working on some home decor projects - napkins, a lampshade, and a couple of pillows.

I am a person who is really into color, so it is unusual that something black and white appeals. But I think if it has a quirky aspect about it and does not take itself too seriously, I like it. A good example is this set of dishes I own and love called Barnyard Toile by J. Willfred Ceramics. Here is the pig plate from the set. There is also a cow, a sheep, and a rooster.

I have a red tablecloth that I can use with these dishes, but when I want all the leaves in my dining room table, the only color I really have for the longer size is a white tablecloth. White does not display these dishes to their potential. But yellow! Yellow goes really well with white and black, so I ordered a tablecloth in lemon from the online site LinenTablecloth.com. Then I spotted this fabric. I thought it would make really cute napkins to go with those plates set against a yellow tablecloth.  I do not have a serger but I figured that hemming eight napkins would be a good way to build my skills with my hemmer specialty foot for my Pfaff. I bought 2 1/4 yards of Taxi Black Viney Stripe by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures to make eight 20" square napkins.

The last time I used my hemmer foot was for the hem of a silky chiffon dress in my post for May 20, 2013. In that post I cited a "trick" someone had told me about feeding a thread through the spiral toe of the foot to start off your hem. Well, that trick was pretty worthless. This time I watched some YouTube videos on how to use a hemmer foot and learned a few things that made my life much easier. One video stated that the hemmer foot was the most frustrating specialty foot to learn. That made me feel a bit better. Both this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdDysubNrdM and this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxoN77Vu6aI were good. First off, by looking at the underside of the hemmer foot there is an indented channel. I was unaware of this. Here is a good image of the underside I found at https://www.threadsmagazine.com/. From the size of the channel you can tell for what hem width the foot was designed.

Second, several videos concurred that to start off you fold over your hem by hand for a short distance, finger press it in place, and place it under the spiral toed foot, not coiled in the entrance funnel. Once you have sewn an inch or so, you stop, lift the foot, and then coax the raw edge over the toe and at the start of the funnel entrance. It feeds itself from there with just your finger to gently guide it. I sewed eight napkins with ease and, after starting at 32 corners, it was a piece of cake. Here is what the rolled edges look like from the right side and the wrong side.

Here is a table setting with the tablecloth I just bought. I've displayed the plate both with a folded napkin peeking out of a water goblet and an alternative napkin folded beside the plate.

Although the napkins here are all alike, I can easily see myself making a coordinated set of six or eight out of six or eight fat quarters. Next time I buy a coordinated bundle that I find hard to split up, I might just make it into napkins and enjoy the fabric as it is. Hmmm ... but then I might need to buy dishes to go with the napkins ... and then a tablecloth to go with the dishes ...

In keeping with my "I-don't-like-black-and-white" theme I set out to cover a lamp shade and make a modern looking lamp a little less severe. Here is an image of the lamp before I altered it.

This video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkrYoLPZGqY, showed me how to cut out fabric and apply it to the existing shade with spray adhesive. I also had my husband drill a hole in each finial so I could add two striped draw pulls I got from from Land of Nod. Here is the lamp after I recovered the shade with a Seuss wavy stripe and doctored the finials.

The oval shape still fits the side table for which it was intended yet, for very little effort, I think I turned what was a modern piece into a whimsical bit of fun that does not take itself so seriously.

I also sewed two pillows this week. I sewed a zipper in the bottom seam so they can be easily removed from the down pillow forms they cover. Come to think of it, it has been a long time since I have used a specialty zipper foot. I fell in love with the large scale graphic bird print. It is so cute how the mama bird is feeding her baby! Each pillow is 25" wide, so I got two pillow fronts out of one width of 54" wide upholstery wide fabric, even with generous 3/4" seams. The fabric is rated for indoor/outdoor use so hopefully the pillows will wear well. I fussy cut so that both the pillow front and back are the same. That way they will always match when side by side on the couch. I had planned ahead and decided a pillow height that would fit in well with the fabric repeat without a lot of waste. The pillows are about 16" tall.

Here are my statistics for this week's Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. I did not work on what I thought I would. Still, I enjoyed what I did do – and I felt productive.

Completed projects since 04/02/14 WIP post:
  1. Black vine stripe napkins
  2. Seuss striped lampshade
  3. Grey bird pillows
Ongoing projects:
  1. Monkey wall hanging kit (April 2, 2014 post) 
  2. Chicken quilt - awaiting FMQ
  3. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post) - need to back, quilt, and bind
  4. Grinch quilt (May 22, 2013 post) - all borders added, need to back, quilt, and bind
  5. Overlapping square wall hanging - awaiting FMQ
  6. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - hidden away awaiting inspiration for arranging hexagons
New projects since 04/02/14 WIP post:  
  1. Black vine stripe napkins
  2. Seuss striped lampshade
  3. Grey bird pillows

1 comment:

  1. I like what you did with the lamp, how creative! I'm eager to know about your "Chicken Quilt", cuz I love chickens! Please let me know when you post more info on it. Wip-ing with you....Thanks! Julie @ RunngingHen.blogspot.com