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!
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