Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Plan for the quilted chair

A while back, ok like January, I posted about my idea to reupholster a chair with a quilt. I have the chair and am making slow progress on getting it done. But it will get done! I'm determined because I think it is such a great idea. So here is the plan. All I've done so far is made a huge stack of four patch squares in assorted feedsack prints. I'm going to checkerboard these with white like I've shown in this picture. The tricky thing is, I don't think all this patchwork would be stable/sturdy enough because of all the seams. So, what I'm gonna do is layer it to flannel and then quilt the two pieces together. That way there won't be any stress on the patchwork seams. This makes sense, right? I would regret it if I didn't do this, right? If anyone out there sees any flaws in my logic or maybe knows a better way let me know.

I'm going to cover any exposed part of the chair with the patchwork, but I will probably use a coordinating basic fabric for the backs and underneaths of the cushions. Then I've got to figure out how to make the piping, which I think I might use a gingham for that, maybe black and white?

Here is a picture of the chair again that I'm going to recover. I think it will be good because it is all pretty flat and square shaped.
Here is a picture of a quilt top (really 2 identical quilts tops) from e-bay that I wanted to buy and then use for this project. I don't think I would have had the nerve to do that to these quilts, but that was why I was looking on e-bay. In the end they went for over $200 a piece. One thing I love about them is the colors. Vintage patchwork often looks very girly and pinky and flowery, but I don't think these are too much of any of those. I'm inspired by these old quilts to incorporate a lot of plaids and some browns into the mix.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer fun with the bugs

I cracked open this new Japanese dress book months ago to start making some summer dresses for the girls. I made some other dresses from Japanese patterns and they came together pretty easily, so I thought I'd try some more. Phooey! I tell you I had to turn my brain inside-out and spend considerable time pretending I can read Japanese in order to get this dress traced properly. Fortunately, I've made a bubble outfit before, so I kinda knew what I was looking for and what I was going to do with all the pieces. I was so frustrated I put it away for a long time thinking that the sewing would be equally as challenging. No need to have worried, the sewing part was very easy and it can be finished beautifully with all the seams enclosed. Nice. I used some nice white linen from Joann's. I stock up on this stuff whenever it is on sale. I wish they carried more colors. In the end, I like the patterns from the Japanese books, but I think they may be better for inspiration. I could probably find a pattern for a bubble dress written in English and save a lot of frustration. But on the other hand, does it do me good to take the more difficult path? Does everything need to be easy? We've been trying to fit in some family fun lately going places like this and this. Great places to visit with kids and not too annoying for the grown-ups. Look at this awesome ant. It's really huge and made out of wood. They had a bunch of different bugs like this at the Arboretum. They reminded me of how people make softies of all kinds of bugs and animals. I've been wanting to make some new stuffed animals lately, but I'm not sure yet what I want to make.
We went to the Arboretum because Betsy has had a hankering for a walk in the forest. Well much of it is really more like a well manicured golf course without the holes. But
we finally found some good looking woods to walk around in. I told Jim to drop me and the kids off on the path and then he and the baby could go wait at the end of the trail for us. He could listen to the "crosstown classic" and Tess could sleep. Off we go into the forest and toward a low swampy area. We must have been the only warm-blooded, carbon dioxide breathing mammals to pass through this section in a long time because we got absolutely swarmed with mosquitoes. We all ran as fast as we could, flinging and slapping our arms and legs. It was crazy! I've never seen so many! This was the only photo I could barely get. I'm surprised there isn't a mosquito crowding the lens. Man, that guy should have made a giant wood mosquito sculpture, that would have been fitting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

From five to six

What a difference their is between five and six. Maria, a year ago, was such a handful. She always has been and probably always will be, but sometimes she is a fun handful and sometimes not. One year ago she seemed to pick a fight with me just to have the fight. I worried about her being too impulsive. She didn't think about consequences or how she affected other people. None of these things are true of Maria today. Over the past year she has done so much growing I hardly recognize her sometimes. I'm so proud of all her hard work this year. She is such a fun handful now! She is the artsiest, craftiest, most inspired person I've ever known. Here is a link to her favorite site, Sprout. They have wonderful tutorial videos for easy craft projects. She's able to do them very independently, which is very nice. I just get asked questions like, "I don't need your help Mama, just construction paper, a bendy straw and a sponge." Or, "two paper plates, some beans and wet glue." I'm telling you she probably does two or three projects everyday off this site and they are so cute. Great site.

But, coming up right behind her is Besty! All I have to say is that we had a "Battle Royal" over a strawberry tonight and I think it was a draw. Geez! A Strawberry!