As I mentioned in the previous post, as of recently, I have developed a “thing” for vintage sheets. I like the colorful ones that I have seen around the blogosphere – those being used in quilts, aprons, skirts, little girl dresses… but I am also drawn to those with small flowers on white background. Especially tiny flowers… something that might be called “shabby chic”.
So I pulled some of those sheets and pillowcases (both vintage and not so vintage) and some of my stash fabric:
I also pulled out a tool I really like – the bias tape maker. I have three of those, and this is the smallest one – makes a tape 1/4 in wide (when finished). Opened, it measures 1/2 in. I made some tapes, but not bias this time.
I had a cold this this week, and when I am congested and/or coughing, I cannot sleep very well. Sometimes, if the cough is very bad (like this time) I end up sleeping on a sofa because that is the only way I can sleep “sitting up” and not cough all night. So, during one of those sleepless nights, I had an idea – idea of making some strips from the sheets, and weave them together in a grid pattern. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the strips before they were sewn, but here they are all finished, on a piece of linen – which will become a quilted cushion:
or in a closeup:
I did not use all the fabrics from the first picture… that’s what happens. I always tend to pull out more fabrics for a project, and then some get tossed out. In this case, a few were too bright, and some just did not fit in.
Then I quilted the top – I quilted inside the little squares, between the stripes, and out from the stripes to the edges of the pillow top.
For the back I used remnants of some Ikea curtains I used before – nice thicker cotton fabric. I used the edges that were already folded (a little shortcut) for the buttons:
Buttons are covered with one of the fabrics used on the front.
I like the way it turned out – it is really close to what I had in my mind. And I like the combination of linen and vintage sheets. I might be using this combination more…
I have posted pictures of this quilt as I was making progress on my flickr page, but have never written about it.So here we go…
Recently I have been… I am reluctant to say this… yes… “a bit” hooked on thrifting… vintage sheets to be more precise. A few weeks ago I found a flat sheet and a pillowcase with this beautiful butterflies, designed by Hanae Mori. I was distracted by other projects for a while, but then I just grabbed the sheet and started cutting the butterflies (unfortunately, it’s a border print, so there is only about 20 butterflies there; the good thing is that the rest of the sheet was more than enough for all the sashing – it was actually refreshing to work with fabric and not have to calculate every piece, not having to worry about miscutting, being able to rip strips…):
First I cut all squares, but then I thought some squares, some rectangles might be more fun. Then I selected 3 colors (apart form brown which appears in every butterfly) for the inner frame – yellow, blue and orange. That was not so easy as I don’t have a big stash of solids. Actually, only the blue is from a solid fabric. Red and brown (the outer frame) come from a striped fabric which looks a bit like shot cotton. And the yellow comes from another striped fabric. It took a while to cut enough stripes (luckily, the all the stripes were exactly the width I needed – 3/4 in).
After the inner frame was done, I added the background fabric around, to make a 12 in square. The size is completely random. I started with the biggest butterfly, added the “background” and cut to what looked good, which was 12×12 in. Not very scientific. I did the same with all other butterflies, placing only 3 (framed in orange) in the middle of the big square (that is approximately in the middle). Just to calm the movement a bit. I like randomness in design, but some regularity, some symmetry is always good.
Finally, when the squares were finished, and the sashing was about to be added, I felt – hmmm, that I needed something else, something… So I created these tiny squares (from the 3 inner frame colors) and made them the center of sashing in between squares in each row:
and since I had some left (the strips with tiny squares), I also put them on the border, in each corner. Hope this explanation makes sense.
I don’t have a picture of the fabric I used for the back – but it’s another vintage sheet with stripes in almost the same colors as on the front (except for the blue). I really lucked out on this one. I used the same sheet to make a bias tape for binding:
I usually don’t cut binding on the bias for quilts – there are no curves, and I really don;t want it to stretch too much. I find that binding not cut on bias gives quilt edges more firmness. But this time, just because of the stripes design on the sheet, I wanted them “slanted” on the binding.
And now the quilting….
I took pictures of a finished pillow, a finished quilt top, some new vintage sheets and planned for a long post, but I think I am going to turn in early tonight. Hubby is in bed with fever and I just now I am next. So I need rest. But just one photo of what I won from Sheree of Sheree’s Alchemy:
Beautiful, no? Thanks Sheree!
Yes, I have had one of those days. When you have things planned out. Then sh.. stuff happens. Except it lasted for two weeks. First a little one got sick. Fever, congestion, coughing. And coughing is the worst, because it almost always end in throwing up. So when he starts coughing, we run to the bathroom.
And then this week I get a call from preschool. The call I have been dreading, one I never wanted to get. Lice. Yes. I picked him up, then ran to pick Luka up, the called Hair Whisperers. It was either that, or go into the Hair Fairy salon. Excuse me? I never even new these services existed. Not before that morning. But I am grateful (even at $95/hr) because who would check my hair? My husband? I don’t think so.
The good think is that it was a very mild case. Actually Luka was clean. But I still have some laundry sitting in the garage. I am not folding today though. Because if I do, I might scream.
The best part of the week was a nice find at the thrift store: A complete twin set designed by Hanae Mori. Must admit I have never heard of her before. But I like it very much!
Here is to next week!
*** the giveaway is now closed. Please check back again, there will be another giveaway soon. If you would like to purchase some of these (and other) vintage sheets FQs check my shop.
As I mentioned in the last post – I have gotten my hands on some vintage lovelies recently and I wanted to share. Finally, I have cut up the sheets and I am giving away the following:
1. 7 fat quarters cut out from lovely vintage sheets. These are oversized fat quarters, each about 20×22 in.
2. 6 buttons covered with fabrics cut out from vintage sheets and pillow cases, small print only.
3. Something you don’t see here, it is going to be a little surprise – bias tape cut out of one of the sheets with smaller print. OK, so the surprise will be the print…
How will this work? I will give you two chances: First – simply leave a comment here. Second – do you twitter, or have a blog? tweet about this giveaway, or post about it on your blog, then come back and add another comment. That’s it. Anyone can play – I will ship internationally. I will leave this giveaway open for two weeks, until Feb 7, then announce the winner Tuesday Feb 8.
I visited a few local thrift stores, oh, 5 years ago or so. Nothing. I didn’t try again until a couple of weeks ago. I came out with some great vintage sheets and even better pillow cases. Then I went back last week. Found more. Twice this week. Today I had to make myself drive away from the thrift stores. I thought to myself – this is ridiculous, I can’t go every day. I can. But it would really be silly. I’ll go next week.
I don’t know what happened. It might be a fluke – but I’ll keep looking… Let me share some pics (click on the picture to see it bigger):
even more sheets (these are all with smaller prints).
And finally my favorite find (a sheet):
.and what do you know it’s vintage marimekko. Ha! I love it!
So what am I going to do with all this. I got plans. Sewing. And sharing. I want to share. So the plan for today is to cut some fat quarters from the sheets and tomorrow I will give you the details for the giveaway. (btw I washed all the sheets and pillowcases at least once at 140 F. Most of the stains are out and the smell – no more smell.)
Yes, I finally started. I say finally, because sometimes I get a lot of ideas, draw a few sketches and then cannot decide which to do first. But after some fabric sorting, looking at fabrics and the sketches from a distance, and thinking about what I really want to cut (and how much) I decided on this:
Blues, grays and tans. I started out with 4in squares, which are then used to make half square triangles, which when trimmed will make 3in squares. I always like to start with a bit larger squares, because I learned by experience that I always need to trim the finished squares (combined from two triangles) because no matter how precise I am when sewing, there is always some wonkiness. Fabrics might be different quality, some more some less stretchy; thinner or thicker… and let’s face it – I am not the most careful cutter. And by that I mean I don’t really take a lot of time trying to align with grain. I tried some time ago, and it proved to be too tedious and it did not always work! I try, but I don’t obsess about it. Here is the progress (I have two more batches to cut; yes, I almost never cut all before sewing, I cut as I go along):
I am calling this one Plo Pillow. This is all I could come up. And I am sticking to it. So here it is:
I used 13 different floral fabrics, one of which is vintage french linen (only one square) recently bought at a thrift store. Squares are about 3 in square (I say ‘about’ because I needed to do some trimming after adding sashing), stripes about 1/2 in wide, making the pillow about 16.5 in square. It has an envelope closure, back made of off-white dec weight fabric (repurposed ikea curtains).
There is something special about this pillow… Notice the quilting?
Free motion. Oh yes. The first time for me. Actually, I did practice a bit on a coaster that will never be. But, then I had enough of practicing, and did the real thing. It took a while, but it ended up being easier than I thought. And quite enjoyable. I did have to rest a bit, and remind myself to relax, because I realized I was gripping the fabrics too tight, trying to lead it under the needle in a constant motion. It did take more then straight line quilting would have, but it was actually more fun.
It would have been a bit faster if I did the swirls s bit larger. See how quilting quilting lines are quite close? Very close. That works for a pillow sized quilt, but it would take waaay toooo long on a quilt, even throw size!
Overall I really like how it turned out. I wanted fabrics with no white, but then I could not pass on the white linen square. I think, with the pink thread, it blends more with the rest of the fabrics.
Happy New Year to everyone!
I will not write a review of last year or predictions for new year. I don’t do resolutions – I found that they never work – they just make you feel overwhelmed and then you feel bad when you cannot accomplish them..
I will say that last year was no good: we lost a dear friend earlier in the year. Only 44 years old. Two daughters. Tragic. We also had three unsuccessful attempts at fertility treatments.
Last year was also good: we had more family time then ever before. Or it just felt like that. But we went on several really good trips. I also managed to focus on creating, sewing in the second half of the year.
As I said – no resolutions. A few goals though: I started running about two months ago. And despite tendon injury I kept at it – I cannot really run right now, but I average about 9 mi/day 3-4 days a week on a stationary bike. And as soon as the injury is healed, I will be back training for that 5k. I want to reopen the shop this month. And that’s about it – just keep on doing the things I did right last year. And if an interesting project comes up – I might take it. The biggest goal: stress less!
And now for new beginnings… of a new pillow. I don’t have a name for it, but the inspiration comes from Kaffee Fassett. I might use the same fabrics for a matching quilt, except I will use a different pattern.
I just noticed it has been over a month since I wrote here last. That does not mean there has not been activity around here: I did finish a few projects (come over to my flickr page to see pictures) and traveled some. Hopefully I will update here more…