Before I get to the projects I’ve been working on, I want to mention that I’ve been accepted to the Windfall Fine Art & Handcraft Market set for this coming September! It’s listed on my Shows page as well. Their Facebook Page likely will start posting updates later in the summer. But check it out now, so you can see photos of their past shows!
PROJECTS!!! As you may have figured out by now, sometimes I spontaneously jump in to try something new in the creative artistic realm. A few weeks ago, I serendipitously came across a blog post about how to make your own sketchbook. It was so well-written and illustrated that I plunged right in to this project. The simple hand-stitching bookbinding instructions made sense to me, which made it fun; plus she made the instructions flexible by not prescribing any particular sizes for the covers or papers. I love patterns like that.
And so, I set about cutting up small squares of batik fabrics and vintage sheet fabrics with my pinking shears. I laid them all out in a diamond pattern on pieces of thick cardboard scavenged from the back of a watercolour paper tablet, then I adhered them with some gloss medium (love this new discovery!). After this dried, I sprinkled silver glitter all over the two covers and applied a finish coat of gloss medium. This made the fabrics stiff and shiny. Also, you might recognize the pink and white striped vintage sheet fabric from the lining of the tote bag in a previous post. After stitching together the signatures for the inside papers, I assembled all the parts as instructed, and VOILA! By that evening after finishing, I had written my first journal entry in it. I love it!!
And below is the second journal I made – this one for artwork, doodling, sketching, whatever. For this one, I cut flowers from my scraps of vintage rose cotton sheets – I’ve always loved those fabric scraps, but the roses were spread out….not anymore! After applying the gloss medium to these covers, the rose colours brightened right up (I made zero colour adjustments in this photo, so what you see is true!)! The yellow roses were especially faded, but you wouldn’t know it now. This just makes my heart sing to see my favourite motifs from my vintage sheet collection. Oh, and the green spine cloth is from a Wabasso vintage floral sheet!
And speaking of vintage sheets, check out this beauty made by Wabasso!! It’s the same pattern as the blue sheet flapping on a clothesline in the photo in this post. I found this pink cotton sheet and pillow case in Value Village one day. You know I scooped them up! And then on Mother’s Day last week, my lovely daughter surprised me by giving me yet another sheet that she had found (in another Value Village) in the same colour and pattern, so now I have two of these sheets plus a pillowcase! I’ve been noticing lately that people are using these sheets as bedding, which is fun. But I started off collecting these things from thrift stores maybe fifteen or so years ago before they were popular to collect and use, because I wanted quality fabric for sewing projects but couldn’t afford fabric store fabric! It’s hard to find them now, and people sell them online for high prices. I try to resist buying them. :D. Except in thrift stores. 😀
Next up, two pillow cushion covers. I backed these with envelope-style covers in black fabric. For the decorative sides I laid down old fabric, a layer of padding, and another piece of old fabric. On top of all that, I sewed down crazy patchwork pieces of batik fabric. I don’t think I will ever tire of batik patterns and vintage floral patterns. Anyway. After sewing down the scraps, I embroidered along the lines in a simple feather stitch. That seemed plain, so I added a textured layer by couching a strand of cotton yarn all over it in a big flower pattern. I wanted to add buttons, but I didn’t have time. These were a gift for a dear friend who was moving FAR away, and I wanted to be able to pack them in her stuff that a bunch of us friends were helping pack. (They arrived at her new place recently, and she will buy pillow forms soon – she seemed thrilled with the covers, which made me very happy – they looked nice sitting on her couch).
Remember my theme above, about trying new things spontaneously? These next two photos represent that again. This book intrigued me with its descriptions of how to create repeat patterns by hand. Of course, it also showed you how to do it on the computer, but I loved that the author first described the analog method. I love hands-on work. I played around with little drawings of flowers and followed the instructions for making a half-drop repeat. After I’d completed a pattern tile (first photo) (lot of drawing, cutting, retaping parts together, more drawing, more cutting, etc.), I photocopied it and laid it out in the repeat pattern (second photo). How cool is that!! I started trying to figure out how I could use this method to create cards, but I haven’t been able to think it all the way through. I do know I won’t use a computer, though. Analog all the way for this.
I have a niece who is getting married in July, so my other niece threw her a bridal shower. My contribution was these four hand-knitted striped cotton dishcloths. Who can have too many of these? And in bright colours and fun patterns, they make a sometimes dreary chore a little cheerier. She loved them.
Next, I am working on a batik patchwork quilt top. I found a wool blanket at a thrift store for $2 (take THAT, Value Village, who likes to sell wool blankets for $50 these days!!). Then I found a thick flannel sheet to use for the backing. I managed to sew together all the batik squares last weekend, after laying them all out in various configurations on the floor. I should mention that usually when I do patchwork, I don’t count how many of each fabric I’m using. My intent is usually to use up fabrics (such as these batiks I found for a big discount five years ago), so I do a loose plan of types of fabrics, and then lay them out in a perfectly imperfect way. I just like the idea of making something imperfectly beautiful. (Take note that my 1960s era turquoise Singer sewing machine is my workhorse!! Love this thing that I bought at Value Village twenty-three years ago for $6)
The last project to show you is these four jewelry bags in progress. I have so much colourful, thrifted silk fabric, and it seems suited to jewelry bags! I just love the sea creatures one and the black-with-red-polka-dot one below! I picked out four silks I wanted to create with, and paired each with a piece of cotton. I also hand-stitched glass beads to the parts that will be the ruffled edges once finished. I just need to sew the parts of each bag together, made a drawstring channel, and add drawstring (found a huge roll of some last summer…at a discount surplus store where I bought the batiks…). I will post them for sale when they are done.
Thank you for reading this update! It’s always fun for me to collect photos after every few projects I do, and come here to tell you all about them. I would love to hear in the comment section what you think of my work! Thank you!