Friday, February 03, 2017

Creative Space

I was in the States for three and a half months this summer, and from about the third month on I began experiencing strong, recurring urges to create something with fabric. Alas, I had another month plus of transient, though delightful, living to endure before I would be reunited with my sewing machine, and so I just let myself enjoy the ideas swimming around in my head. I had found a plastic bag of denim scraps at a thrift store, already cut for a small quilt and costing under three dollars, so though they were a little heavy, I made sure to pack them in my carry-on. I knew this was a project that could go directly under my sewing machine needle when I arrived home. And so it did.

The laying-out stage is always a bit like putting together a puzzle

I ended up with this quilt top, along with the immense satisfaction received in just creating something. I wasn't yet sure what I would do with the quilt top, but it would make a nice picnic blanket sort of quilt when I could find some coordinating flannel to back it.

Soon to begin my month long intensive CELTA course, and knowing that all sewing would soon cease,  I hurried to sew this cashmere baby blanket for a dear friend's new baby boy.

And, some felted-wool potholders for Artist Son, who is living in a real apartment and cooking real meals for himself these days.

I also made a long longed-for ottoman/pouf/footstool  to use with my favorite reading chair. I used the basic pattern found on this site, though I modified it a bit. particularly by making it about 8 cm higher.

And then, CELTA. I lived in Amman during most of this month-long course and I had not a moment to sew during this time, let alone think of what I might want to sew. When I finished my course, I promptly got sick (no surprise given the stress and sleep deprivation) and then had "just life" to catch up on. I didn't do much sewing for Christmas, but I did manage to sew up about five of these denim-pocket purses for some sweet younger friends...

...a make-it-in-10-minutes gift card holder for Tayta...

...and I finally made a recycled linen dishcloth I was thinking about since a friend told me she had re-purposed linen in this way. This was a stocking gift for Tayta. My used clothing source marked their summer wear down to about $.75 per item in the early fall, so I stocked up on all the good linen I could find. I'm plotting pillow covers next.

While home for the holidays, Tayta spied my denim quilt top and shyly asked what I planned to do with it. It had crossed my mind earlier to give it to her, but I wasn't sure she'd like the colors, and that she might want the same style of denim picnic blanket I had made for her siblings. Turns out she didn't mind having something different, and she liked the colors, so my quilt top took on a purpose. Now to back it. We headed to the used clothes market and found five flannel shirts in somewhat coordinating colors. I showed Tayta my deconstruction procedure, so she did the hard part: cutting, and layout. I just sewed it up.

I taught her how to yarn-tie the quilt and she did that too. (I just noticed her reflection in the mirror. Lol!)

I bound the quilt with left-over flannel scraps. Nice to have that one finished and out the door!

This pillow had been percolating in my mind for a few months as I had seen something kind of similar on Pinterest. Oldest Daughter has turned into a Cat Lady (of the best kind) and adores her two cats, Winter and Autumn. And her birthday was coming up.

I drew up a paper pattern for the felted wool pieces, and then appliqued them onto the red felted wool backround. This was my first attempt at wool-on-wool applique and I found it so easy and rewarding. I look forward to doing more. 

As I finished this wool project and the wheels of my creative brain began imagining my next project, and then the one after that, I became overwhelmed with what an unorganized and unworkable jumble my sewing room had become. I had about twenty plastic tubs, drawers, and cupboards stuffed with fabric, which meant that I couldn't really see what I had, except for some wool stacked on a shelf. That visual encouragement kept me going, but the rest was a mess. It was a new year and time to take action.

I told Dear Husband of my desire to purge and organize and since he was very agreeable to at least the purging part, he set out to help me. What I really wanted was to get everything out of tubs, where I could see it and keep it organized. He got on the IKEA site and figured out the most efficient and inexpensive system that would work for my space.

I absolutely love it! With such a great design upgrade, I am now referring to this room as my studio rather than my sewing room. The green table on the left is a left-over first kitchen table, which Dear Husband transformed into a changing table when Oldest Daughter was born. The children grew, we moved house, and it became a plant table. We moved again and it became a sort of catch-all table but I couldn't bare to part with it. I actually moved it out last week, but Dear Husband said he would put a small work surface on it and I can use it for cutting fabric. It is just the right height.

Cashmere on the left, cottons and linens on the right.

I just began a cashmere scarf for a friend, and it was so easy and enjoyable to consider the colors I might use as they were all right in front of me. Sometimes I stand in front of this shelf just to admire the colors and textures. And all recycled fabric.

1 comment:

Holly Newman said...

Love seeing all your lovely projects!! I desperately need to get my fabric stash organized too. You are inspiring me. I also love to see the tape marks on your Bernini, mine has the same. ��