Nov 11, 2011

Still at it!

Hi all.  I'm still experimenting and making mistakes as I go along, mostly because I am impatient, always looking for the quick way, and skipping steps.   I spent a good deal of time reviewing VONNA's BLOG dedicated to finishing.   Well worth your time if you haven't visited previously.  She stresses that taking your time and paying attention to details is key to a nice finish.  I'm like a fly with no place to land.   Reading her finishing blog made me realize that all these different methods are great choices, but without proper execution and preparation could be very frustrating.  First of all, using a measurement guide and a rotary cutter starts the project with perfect size and accuracy.  I have those tools.  Somewhere.  From now on, I plan on starting my projects as she recommends.  Today, I worked on the largest project and a medium size and am happy with the final results.

And here's the box remodel.  You knew I was going to change it didn't you?    I took the entire piece off by reheating the fusible facing which allows it to be removed, and pulled the ribbon off.  Using a fusible fleece between the box lid and the fabric gave it a little softness without bulk and it looks better.  I reglued the side edges and then ran a continuous bead along the rick rack.  I painted the box the barn red of his jacket, and the trim is a little darker than his jacket.  It looks terrible in the photo which seems brighter and bluer than the actual colors.  Cute huh? 
 But it's not my style so he's going to live with my sister.   I've tried to understand what attracts me to the colonial/primitive style that I love.  Staining samplers and quilts with coffee and walnuts, beating wood pieces with hard objects for dents, stabbing with sharp objects for holes, scraping and deliberately peeling off paint, and generally making it look dull dusty and discarded.  Is it really because I hate to dust and clean?  Beautifully waxed and smooth finishes reflect the light and show every speck of dust and pet hair the minute it lands.  Go to the home of a primitive lover and you don't know if it's dust, or a finish that took hours to create. Are they terrible housekeepers?  Or great craftsmen?  No one really knows - and that my friends is the beauty of primitive style. 

I have to mention that I used to make my own clothes, including designing and sewing both prom gowns.  One was a fitted spaghetti strap satin slip under a sheer organza long sleeved satin edged gown with large organza flowers from the knee down.  Gorgeous.  And here I am fretting over finishing these stitched pieces!  That was a very long time ago in the land of patience and youth. 
Now for the finishing of the large Santa. I fused the stiff interfacing before stitching and included it in the seam.   I used a quick press on the edges of the facing so it wouldn't be completely fused and it lifted for trimming later with no problem.  You've seen in prior posts that my fabric edges are, shall we say, random.  So this time, I found the see through ruler (but not the rotary cutter) and measured from the stitched edges about 1", and marked it with a pen on the front side.   Then I ran a line of stitches on the pen mark so I could see this guide from the back side since I can't see through the facing.   I used that line as a guide for the edge of the presser foot and it worked!  I had a centered and balanced design with straight seams.  Then I pulled the facing off in the seam allowance and clipped it very close to the seam. 

I clipped the corners and pressed the seams open, and because I used a very heavy backing fabric, I didn't line it with facing.  Once it was turned out, I thought it required more structure so I ended up fusing the Decor Bond to the backing fabric within the seam lines.  Better.  Four layers of quilt batting filled it nicely.  I glued the bottom hem closed and attached the brown cord with glue also.  Wacky Angel has the Craft Fuse on the entire piece of linen including the seam, but the backing's facing is within the seam lines only.   I think it came out great.  I'm pleased - which my husband has always claimed was impossible so there you go.  I plan on using the Craft Fuse from now on unless it's a really primitive piece or pincushion.  I like it sewn in the seam and then trimmed, and it also bonds the fabric so I don't have to worry about clipped corners fraying.  I think I've found my go-to method.  For mounting on a board with or without fleece, I've practiced mitered corners and will use this method.

It makes a nice flat corner with all raw edges covered.  The last tip I received was from Joy about using muslin as a liner instead of interfacing, and that's what I will do on the more primitive pieces.   I'm anxious to try this but all I have to complete are Santas right now.  Time to get back to stitching!!  So that's it folks.  The end of the finishing adventures, but I said that about bleaching and dyeing my linen yet I kept going, didn't I!  To everyone that sent me suggestions, their secrets, methods, and favorite tips, I thank you.  I've learned a great deal, and more importantly, that stitchers are always willing to offer help to fellow stitchers.  I'm sure there are more blogs to search for additional tips and I will find them all eventually.  For now, I'm feeling pretty confident in being able to complete my projects.  No matter how many times I change them.  The PA redware piece I completed recently and make into a pillow is now at the framer.  It's being mounted with hemmed edges on matboard which I already did, and a simple flat frame.  I almost fell over from the price of this very small job.  I planned on framing Fanny too but I'm cheap and it will take me a while to recover.  I may be going back to making my own frames.
I see that my followers have increased and I'm thrilled.  I thank you all very much and hope that you continue to find something of interest, and if not, please let me know.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Thank you again for visiting and sharing!

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