Nov 9, 2011

Methods to madness

Hello everyone.  I've been busy helping a friend who moved her mom to a nursing home, and working on fall chores while Mark has some time off work.  I'm getting back to finishing experiments, and confusing my well-worn menobrain.  This first one was very easy.  I couldn't decide what to do with this little guy and spotted a paper mache box, which led to this.















I just folded the bottom following a linen thread for straightness, and pressed.  Then I did one of the sides, laid it on the box lid along those pressed edges and folded and pressed the other two sides, matching the lid size.  Following the fold lines, I attached
the fabric to the lid using a double sided tacky fusible web, and pressed to adhere.  Once fused, I trimmed  the excess and used Liquid Stitch glue to adhere the cut edges to the lid edges.

 





I probably should have trimmed it to the bottom of the lid's sides instead of half way down, but this was my first attempt.  I also could have been more careful and made the edge straight, but I wasn't thinking that far ahead.  The next step was to add a line of glue to the fabric and also the lid edge, and attach trim.  I used an odd shade of green grosgrain ribbon and ended by folding the raw edge diagonally.  To secure the end, I used a clip to hold it in place while the glue dried.  It looks a little bumpy in the photo but I hadn't yet smoothed over the ribbon to make good contact with the glue.

Done.  I've attached stitched pieces smaller than the lid size with frayed edges because I like a primitive look, but this was Jobelan and doesn't lend itself to that style.  The next experiment was a linen ornament, and I tried stuffing with no interfacing, and then fused the stiff facing to see the difference, if any.  Well, there wasn't much!  Without the facing, more stuffing was needed, and I don't care for that "star" appearance when the corners are out further than the fat middle.  Using the facing allowed for less stuffing and I prefer that flatter look.  I heard from several stitchers that the facing could cause a dent, being less pliable.   And here it is.
It's like the difference between plain paper and card stock.  Once it's dented or bent, the card stock won't smooth out but the lighter paper will.  Too much filling in the center first, can create side dents with the stiff facing.  I also heard from a stitcher that fused the interfacing 1/4" from the seam, and included it IN the seam which she said creates a very nice smooth edge.  That certainly makes sense.  Need to try that next!
So there are pros and cons to using the stiff facing, and it depends on the look you want.  It doesn't lend itself to primitive style, walnut shells, sawdust, beans, etc.  Smaller pieces needing structure, or creating a less puffy piece benefits the most from the stiffness.  I remember seeing a tutorial for a mattress style pincushion and her finishing technique HERE which could be adapted to a front and back piece without the middle strip.  Yet again, another finishing method!  It requires backstitching, and then hand stitching all four sides closed.  She has one of the most fabulous blogs and if you haven't seen Cote Passions, please take a look at her albums on the left side of her blog.  Such wonderful photos and projects.  You can find her entire blog HERE.
        I also finished Vonna's scissor keep, painting and distressing in a barn red.  Thank you again Vonna for such a great idea and project!
 I started BOAF's Red Santa and I'm enjoying these little designs.  I love the linen I'm using and I sure wish I knew its name!












And finally, Junior has been making more appearances.  He is a clone of his dad and wants to follow him everywhere.  Dad is always looking out for them and it's rare if he and mom aren't together.
These cat houses are the styrofoam coolers that we always have for strays providing warmth and protection.  We have a temporary shed roof to keep out the rain, and duct tape on the cut opening because junior seems to love tearing it up!  Poor little one has no siblings for playtime and is alone most of the day while the adults roam in the woods.   Junior attacks mom and dad whenever possible and hides as soon as he sees me. 
So that's it folks.  Between bleaching, dying, shrinking, gluing, ironing, fusing, sewing, and stuffing experiments, I'm not getting much stitching done.  But I think it's worth it since I have so many finishes to do, and why should I keep completing projects and putting them in a box?  Once I know what I prefer and which method is appropriate for that look, I can complete and enjoy my projects.  So I will continue trying the methods I find online, the tips I'm receiving from readers, my own made up attempts, and will hopefully learn which is most attractive and professional looking for my level of finishing.  Until then, wish me luck!  Thank you so much for reading and all your help and suggestions.  It's greatly appreciated.  Finish off your week with good days and sunshine.  Talk to you soon!

16 comments:

Theresa said...

I love your box finish!!! Thank you for sharing your process and links!!!

Your scissors keep is gorgeous!!!! And your kittens are just adorable~~

Isobel -Argante- said...

Lovely!!! I adore the scissors keeper :-) I really need much more time to read with calm all your posts!
Have a lovely day my dear

Margaret said...

Wow, your box finish is so pretty! Love how you finished it. I enjoyed the tutorial. I'll have to try that method sometime. It looks so nice! Love the pillow finish as well. Interesting about the interface vs none debate. Certainly none is easier. :D The kitten is so cute with its dad. Oh, and nice Vonna scissors keeper finish. I need to do that sometime, just haven't.

Vonna said...

First off: LOVE your box :) Very nicely done! Cute as a button.
Next, I've read your take and Inspired Stitcher's take on interfacing in an ornament finish. Are you using Steam-2-Seam for your interfacing? That would certainly make is stiff. I use on everything that I stuff, interfacing because it lends stability to the finish and it helps make the corners and sides nice and straight without dents/wrinkles. I don't use a heavy interfacing, rather I use a lighter fusible interfacing made by pellon. I sew it straight in the seam, iron after turned. If you are intersted in my technique, which may help you decide what look you like best go to my blog and look under the tab entitle "My Tutorials" and then click the link to "Learn to Finish with the Twisted Stitcher" its in there under multiple tutorials that I have, what type of interfacing I use for each finish. Good Luck in finding what works best for you!

Siobhan said...

Bless you!! I am woefully behind on blog commenting as usual, but this time it worked out for my benefit because oh my gosh!! You have helped with my finishing phobia more than you know. I was wondering if interfacing would work with ornaments and I definitely plan to try that when I drag out my stuff--I prefer the flatter look, too. I've tried to do the 'adhere to foam core' thing and it turned out so bad that I had to send it to a finisher for her to rescue it. Your box finish and the pear finish and the redware finish--all fantabulous! Thanks again.

mainely stitching said...

Wonderful post - cool box!! And your cat houses are so clever! But Junior ... he just steals the show!

Carol said...

What a great idea to finish your box that way, Marly--I really enjoy your tutorials... Always well done :)

Your scissors keep is perfect--I'm sure it will look great in your beautiful home!

Penny said...

I love the way you finished the box, and will have to try that one of these days.... I will often go out on my own a bit and add things to my cross-stitch piece that were not in the pattern -- and then have trouble finding a frame to fit. This would be a perfect solution!
Your little furry friends are so cute, and the houses you made for them are ingenious!
Have a happy Thursday!

Joy said...

Love all your finishing and tips. Interesting how we all have different "tricks"...I prefer to line everything with muslin. Adds a little body without the stiffness.

Vickie Niggemann said...

I have been a lurker for a long time. Just became a follower. I have wanted to tell you, your house is gorgeous. You do great jobs explaining things. Thank you. :)

Mouse said...

ooo thanks for sharing your tips and links .. the box is lovely :) love that scissor keeper too ... and the furbaby is gorgeous too :) love mouse xxx

Joanie said...

Your box finish is adorable! Thanks for experimenting cuz I'm going to use some them when I go to finish some ornaments. Oh, can you tell me how you made the hoop scissor keep? Thanks, Marly!

Penny said...

I really appreciate your finishing experiments! I think you explain things very well and it makes me want to try them. Your box looks great and you did a lovely job on the scissor keep too!
Junior is just so sweet ~ it seems very unusual for the father to hang around. I love the houses that you've made for them. :)

Patty C. said...

The box is just wonderful - You are so creative with your finishing !!!

Becky K in OK said...

I think your box looks fantastic. I live the idea of using an eraser and clip to secure the edge seam for drying. Now, why haven't I thought of that. YOur cat houses, hehe, are great ideas too. Thanks for sharing.

Suzanne said...

Love your box finish and the scissot keeper, what a fantastic job you did!

I am having no end of problems with stuffing my pillows, they always look lumpy and I can't get the filling into the corners.

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