I recently purchased some open weave linen in a cool gray/taupe color here. I made a gauzy scarf out of it, but I didn’t like how it draped on me (wonky width and length), so I hacked it up into smaller pieces and turned it into luncheon napkins.
They are hand-stamped with my stylized tulip design in black VersaCraft fabric ink, which turned out pretty crisp looking if I do say so myself. I stitched about 1/4 inch around all four edges and frayed them for ye old rustic look.
I really like the open weave linen, though, and am planning on giving the infinity scarf another try.
If you’d told me ten, twelve, or even five years ago that one day I would lay awake at night scheming quilt patterns I would have been incredulous. Because I couldn’t stand the thought of hemming even one pant leg, and weren’t quilts for people who lived in houses with crocheted doilies and porcelain Hummel figurines?
But maybe my recent interest is a natural progression in the fondness I’ve developed for textiles since receiving that sewing machine for Christmas last year. And, of course, the result of the many, many images of art quilts and textile concoctions I’ve seen on Pinterest. I have even gone so far as to check out a book about modern quilting from the library, where I learned all about how bad-ass it really is. I like the meaning behind the traditional patterns, and the fact that they were made from recycled things. It took me forty-one years of living on this earth to understand the beauty of that.
I’d been itching to try some piecework but I wanted to start small in case I totally screwed up. So I decided to make a random design out of my stash of fabric scraps and turn it into a quilted bag.
Pas mal, n’est-ce pas?
I found a tutorial online that suggested cutting leftover fabric scraps in 2.5 wide strips of varying lengths and sewing them together end-to-end, then piecing the long, narrow strips you end up with horizontally. So that is what I did. And because I cannot resist the look of the running stitch, I also embroidered the pieces after they were all attached.
And then I made a handbag out of them. It ended up quite small, actually, what with seam allowances and the fact that I boxed the bottom. But I feel like it was practically free because it was made almost entirely out of scraps! I’m not ready to churn my own butter or go off the grid just yet, but making something out of nothing is a pretty good feeling.
I can no longer profess a distaste for resort colors because today I made this:
The fabric is from a trove of vintage housecoats I found at the thrift store. I’m new to thrifting for fabric and was mortified to present myself at the cash register with three 1960s housecoats in size women’s XXXL. But I had to have ‘em.
I stitched around the flowers with embroidery floss, then cut them out and sewed matching circles together right sides in. After turning them inside out, I finished the edges with a blanket stitch. I sewed the three flowers onto a short piece of ribbon and used jump rings and a chain from an old necklace for the part that goes around your neck.
What is that part called?
If I’d had a longer piece of ribbon, I would have just used that because I think it would go better with the whole vintage fabric vibe.
My latest obsession is embroidery on print. I recently purchased a blanket from a shop called Gypsya on Etsy that’s embroidered using the Indian Kantha running stitch. I absolutely love the look of it and wanted to try it over some of my own prints.
Of course I don’t have the patience to hand stitch a giant piece of fabric, especially on the first try, so I just freestyled a piece of linen that I’d printed with some of my hand carved rose stamps. I don’t think it technically qualifies as “kantha” because I only did a few lines of running stitches and alternated them with some arrows and diamonds.
The fabric itself turned out a little too Lily Pulitzeresque for my liking, but I was pleased with the overall effect.
I turned it into a zipper pouch. Maybe I’ll take it to high tea at the Ritz.