Posts Tagged ‘linen’

little linen wallets

on a whim, during a recent trip to the always-inspiring rock paper scissors I picked up the cutest pattern for a little wallet.  it’s from valori wells and the whole pattern fits on a little card called a ‘sewing card‘.  it’s a clever design and a simple project and it has completely sucked me in.  I had no real plans for making little wallets but now I can’t stop. 
detail snap on linen walletthese are the first three I made and, trust me, I have made more…I just don’t have pictures of them yet.  these three are made with the lovely hand-printed linen I received in the handprinted fabric swap at maze and vale.  these are made with fabric scraps that lamina from do a bit sent along WITH her fat quarter of handprinted fabric.  the prints are so beautiful and have a lovely quiet but lively style.   the best part is I still have an entire fat quarter of her amazing fabric left to work with!  lucky me.

wallet ducks in a row

while making these I was truly contemplating different ways to become a millionaire so that I could work exclusively with lamina’s prints.  her style is bang on…organic prints with a geometric leaning in a stunning repeat.  her color choices pop out at you but not too much and they maintain a wonderful sophistication due to being printed on linen.  it is luxurious.  I’m so happy I got exposure to her work through the fabric swap.  lamina has a great feel for color and she uses bright colors but somehow manages to keep the overall looks so soothing.  It also inspire me to keep hand printing.  nothing beats the look of hand printing, I tell you. open linen wallet

as for these wallets, they are lined with regular linen and fastened with a cowgirl snaps I got on etsy ages ago (sorry I can’t remember where.).  I kept the grey and pink kitty one for myself and gave the other two as gifts.  linen wallet

they make great gifts…one of those nice little somethings.  I’m thinking that some of the others I made are going to be great teacher’s gifts at the end of the school year.  probably with a bit of cash inside, teachers deserve a bit of extra cash, ya know.

as an aside, thanks to everyone that entered the sew mama sew giveaway.  you are all so sweet and witty.  it took great willpower to avoid replying to everyone’s comments.  I usually like to do that but I didn’t want to mess with the random number generator by throwing in my own comments.  but, I appreciated each and every comment and was warmed by how many of you thought of others!  then again, that is crafters for you, isn’t it.  we are a good crowd.

handprinted fabric swap III :: what I received

all four of my fat quarters of beautiful fabric has arrived for the handprinted fabric swap III and I am positively thrilled. the whole thing was run by the hyper-talented leslie keating at maze and vale and I am absolutely in love with everything that I received…four beautifully hand-loved prints.  I cannot wait to carve out some time to make things with my new fabric.

at the top here are whimsical circles and sticks from kelsey at lovely and enough  and the happy kids from amy at crafty shenanigans.

fabric swap collage

and these beautiful prints are woodland animals from kerry-anne at ameliorate and seedlings from the inspiring lamina at do a bit.  lamina also sent a sweet sack of fabric scraps.  isn’t it all incredible!?  these are really talented ladies and I feel so lucky to have had such a great group. be sure to check out each of their blogs.

there was something really special about this swap.  I love swapping pretty much anything handmade, I think swaps are a really wonderful way to share the creative spirit. this feeling is ten-fold when swapping printed fabric because it takes such care and thought to make it.  you are really receiving the direct output of someone’s creative process.  I love that.  and because it is fabric, it’s as if they hand it over to you with an unspoken “you take it from here”.  I feel certain that whatever I make with these prints will reverberate with the community spirit that brought them into being.

after what happened in Boston, USA yesterday this gentle, thoughtful, slow and careful giving and receiving feels really good and even healing.  thank you so much lovely swap mates.

for the love of hand printing

my hand printing is complete for the hand printed fabric swap.  but I can see, from where I am standing, this is the beginning of a long road; not the end.  it is undeniable.  there is great joy in making your own prints on fabric and there will be more of it in my future.  the design, the idea, the execution…the whole thing is wonderful.  I remember reading once that the eye is drawn to a slight amount of imperfection because just a bit of imperfection expresses something that perfection cannot and that thing that is expressed…that thing is the joy of making.  hand stamps

the imperfection inherent in a hand printed item (a smudge here, a less than perfect ink transfer there) is a message sent from maker to recipient saying…”this little bit right here.  that one.  that is when I was joyfully making.  and now, you have that joy, it’s for you.”   it makes me so happy to literally ship that off into the world (the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK, to be exact).    I had so much fun making different kinds of stamps and trying them out.  hand printed for fabric swapI have to admit a fondness for hand stamping on linen but I also liked it on pure white cotton, too.    linen trianglesin fact, I had so much fun hand printing that I started hand printing white fabric paint on little remnants of linen I had in my stash and I turned those remnants into cd cases to house a playlist of my favorite songs.   those song are, right now, destined for some of my dear, faraway friends.  I ran out of linen.


and that is how the last of my own linen filled with my favorite music was shipped out into the world from Los Angeles to Malta.  not a bad adventure for the beginnings of a humble hand-printing journey.

spotty table runner

I have my preferences…I like linen, I like red and teal together, I like a touch of modern embroidery, and I like spots.  I’m sticking to it.  it’s working for me.  that is why I am not feeling shy about proudly displaying our new table runner.  I love it.  this is a little embarrassing but I sometimes walk by the dining room and just smile at it…as if it were a very well-behaved and cute child.  I am indeed in love. did I mention that?

as soon as I saw the pillow case in this book by the amazing ellen luckett baker I knew that I wanted to use the reverse applique technique for a table runner.  I love the way the right runner makes a table look pretty and inviting.

but that is enough gushing.  time to get down to brass tacks.

to make this I cut a strip of linen 17″ wide and just long enough that about three inches hang over both ends of the table.  then I cut circles out of card stock in two different sizes and used them to decide where I wanted to place the circles.  once I had the paper circles in locations that I liked, I traced around them onto the linen with a marking tool.  next I prepared the patterned fabric by cutting circles out of them using a fabric circle cutter being sure to cut my fabric circles 1.5″ larger than their respective paper circles.

with careful placement and using fusible hemming tape I ironed the fabric circles onto the wrong side of the linen (translation: it took me forever to get the circles secured in the right position).  because I had already drawn with a marking tool around the card stock I was able to machine sew along the lines I had drawn to complete the circles and really secure them in place.  of course, at this point, all I had was a strip of linen with sewn circles on it, I couldn’t see the patterned fabric.  so, using my sharp little ‘could never live without you’ scissors I cut the linen inside of my sewn circles without cutting the patterned fabric.  and voila, the patterned fabric pops out! next, I simply used embroidery floss to make even little stitches around every circle.  once that was done all I had to do was sew a muslin fabric on the back.

the patterned fabric I used was almost entirely vintage…some from vintage sheets (the dark navy and the blue and gold flowers).  but, the most special fabric in this runner is just peeking out of the corner in the picture above.  it came to me as a gift from my lovely aunt who appreciates both beautiful things as well as the way that things hold onto history and memory.  the fabric is actual flour sack fabric from the flour mill owned by her husband’s family, my awesome uncle.  starting in the great depression all the way to the 50s flour would come in printed fabric that was then reused to make everything from clothes and wash towels.  flour mills apparently printed lots of different patterns to encourage people to buy lots of flour.  to have the real thing and with a family connection is a real treat! I was so touched to receive it (really, I am just lucky my aunt doesn’t have any girls!).

I’ve been holding onto this fabric for a long time, afraid to chop it up but this seemed like the right project for it.  it was a flour mill in rural Minnesota so it’s got a bit of me in it.  seemed a good thing to have at my table, right? right.

and, by now it has hosted many of our meals but the first one was this tomato salad (chopped up with basil, garlic and olive oil) from our abundant garden.

handmade holidays :: gifts for family

this was my surprise gift for family members (and one friend, too). rice packs, sprinkled with a bit of lavender oil.  the rice itself is in its own separate sack.  the linen shell is to make it all look nice.  it closes neatly with velcro.  in the microwave for half a minute or so and they transform into an aromatic, cozy heat source. imagine one of these in the bed before you crawl in…mmm, warm toes! now that is what winter is about.  i got the idea from this tutorial at the ever-inspiring sew mama sew.

I have been crazy about linen lately. I love, love, love the way it feels and how it creases so easily…makes it easy to work with. it’s got such fluidity and softness. also, it’s made from flax. and, that is just neat. check out this incredible site with one of a kind linens. oh, so hard to steer clear from needless fabric shopping!

I will admit it was a little hard to let these go because, of course, I didn’t get around to making one for our family.  but, that is one of the best things about January.  it’s a big strip of time, energy and efficiency stretching out in front of me. so much that can be done! and, it will be done well! and cleanly!  and I will be fitter! I promise to keep you abreast of how that all works out.

in the meantime, watch for more handmade holiday gifts to come. and, happy new year!

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