Thursday, April 4, 2013

This and That

Hello all, and Happy Thursday!

This one isn't quite a refashion - more of a "taking care of loose ends" post. I was going back through my posts and I never realized that I forgot to show you something that I had teased you about! Remember this post? I had teased you with some fantastic fabric that I was in love with, but because it was an upcoming Christmas present, I couldn't tell you what it was? Well, now's the time! To remind you, this was the fabric.

What was it, you ask? It was a piece of flannel from a rag quilt that I made for my baby niece! I bought a bunch of different colors to make an interesting pattern, but in all honesty I had to make it all around that fabric. I had picked it up and couldn't put it down - I wanted to use it everywhere!

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with rag quilts I'll give you a quickie explanation. It's a quilt that you sew together with one side having all exposed seams and the other nice and clean. On the side with the exposed seams, you allow the seams and edges to fray (a la rags). And then you're done. Easy peasy, right? Well, if you read my post, you knew it didn't go easy peasy as a pair of pliers was needed to fix my sewing machine.

Now for the quickie DIY Rag quilt. First up, I cut out tons of squares of each fabric. You can make the squares any size you'd like - I think I used 6" by 6". I then doubled it up, wrong sides together, and sewed each square. Then I used my floor to put all the squares in a random design until I found something that worked. I then worked on the row's first - I pinned the sides together making a row of 6 squares. Once I had my rows, I lined each row up on the floor again to make sure I had my design still there and pinned each row to itself, making sure I kept all the seams on one side. This is how it looked when the rows were sewn and then pinned all together.

Little did I know, this was the easy part! Sewing all the rows together and trying to make sure I didn't mess up was the hard part. Also, walking on my floor ended up being a bit difficult since there were random dropped pins all over it waiting to jab you in the foot. My cats "enjoyed" it as well.

Once everything was sewn together, I then had to go over each seam and cut little slits it in. This is meant to help it fray. Now, when I say "every seam" I mean every. damn. seam. Around each little square and every single outside edge. This took me quite a while and 3 pairs of scissors, but it happened. I found the trick was to start in the corners where four points came together and then that created enough give in between to snip it down. Also, when cutting such small slits, doing one piece of flannel at a time (as opposed to all four) was way easier. This took a good amount of the seasons of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit to finish.

Once all the seams were cut, I threw it in my washing machine. The first time you wash it you can't use softener. I then threw it in my dryer - this creates a lot of lint so you have to make sure to empty your lint trap about 4 times during the first drying. Then you wash it again, this time with softener, and then dry it again. Make sure you keep checking that lint trap! All in all, you go through the washing/drying process about 4 times to make it look appropriately frayed and to not get lint coming off of it. The more you wash and use it in the future, the more frayed it'll get, but the lint shouldn't be as bad coming out of the 3rd and 4th dry.

Here's the finished project on the seam side.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the other side, but it's the same pattern, but with no frayed seams except the outer edges so it's very clean on the other side.

So you may be asking yourself - what the heck have you been doing all week if there's no new project? Well, I've been overwhelmed. First of all...

I quit my job.

That's right - I'm peacing out of the nursing home. Why? Because I got myself a new, better, more shiny job! Am I excited? Eh. It'll probably hit me when the time to change gets closer, which is around April 30th. That's the last day at the old, and the new one starts on the 6th. I'm not a "change" kind of person but this should be a good change.

I'm also overwhelmed because of all this...

That's right - this is all my scraps from previous projects. I just don't have a place to put them anymore, so I really need to start thinking of ideas for them. Of course, the first thing I did was scour Pintrest for "fabric scraps" ideas. I found a lot - most of which I'm sure I'll try out - but a lot of them needed other items such as ribbon, elastic, etc. that I just didn't have on hand, and my sweatpants were kind of dictating for me not to go out in public. So, I just whipped something up and hope it would work. First up, I decided I'd make a sunglass case.
For this, I used the leftover green flannel fabric from the above rag quilt. I'm actually quite in love with my new case. It's quite large for sunglasses (although I still use it for that) but at some point I'm also sure I could put a strap on the top and use it as a wristlet. The button I got from my huge collection that I picked up at Joann Fabrics on sale. Now, I don't own a buttonholer and have no idea how to create a button hole, but damn it don't I have the buttons to do so! This one was one of my favorites and I thought it went pretty well with the green, making it nice and summery. The latch had me confused for a bit. It was only after I added the button that I realized that the whole point of the button was to actually be able to close the pouch. I rummaged around my craft room until I found some twine leftover from the ring pillow I made my best friend for her wedding. Some sewing, hot glue and 3 burnt fingers later, I owned a sealable pouch!

Next up, I put my eyes on these babies...
That's right little shoulder pad, I'm talking to you! I'm not entirely sure what kind of crazy thoughts I had in my head when I saved the shoulder pads, but here they were, taking up space. I had to figure out something. So... I sewed it together.

What is that, you ask? (You sure are inquisitive today, aren't you, readers?) That is a homemade shoulder pad catnip toy. Once I sewed up the seams I saw that it looked a bit "mouse-like" so I decided to stuff it with catnip and sew up the edges, maybe make a make shift tail of some sort and let the cats go at it. The foil in my plan is that I had forgotten that the little jerks broke into the catnip cabinet and destroyed the bag a few weeks ago. So once I purchase catnip again, this will be filled up and stitched and ready to destroy. Boom.

Now, I had also started a project. Being the little procrastinator that I am, I started it on Wednesday afternoon. Turns out, the project ended up being a bit more confusing and difficult than I had imagined in my head (who would have thought...) and I got too frustrated to finish it. That's what I get for procrastinating and then trying to figure out something on my own that I probably should have googled.

So, I leave you with yet another teaser of the project that is started and is slowly making itself into the "fail" pile. Should be an interesting week! See you next Thursday!