First finished project of 2016

image

The first finished project of 2016. I am going to call this one a cheater quilt. The grey and purple fabrics are pre-quilted, double sided pieces that I salvaged from a futon cover I attempted to make ages ago(and then we got rid of the futon). The sashing strips are a green batik fabric, and I used them on the front and back and for the binding.

It ended up being approximately full bed sized. It’s a little short on the sides due to the fabric lengths I had. I’m ridiculously happy that this project is no longer sitting in my craft room closet, and is finally ready to keep us warm this winter.

Easy, Inexpensive thread identifying system

*none of these links are affiliate links. *

I have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of Connecting Threads thread. It comes in many colors, is inexpensive (even more so when they run sales which they frequently do) and the quality is fantastic.
The problem is that as I acquire more of their thread in more colors, I needed an easy way to identify the color so that I would know what I had, and what I needed.

Connecting Threads thread is identifiable only by the outer plastic wrap. Once you remove that to use the thread there is no way to identify it. image

Some of the colors are obvious, like black, white, red. Then you get into colors like Calypso and Cerulean and it gets a little harder to remember which is which. Looking online was no help as the colors don’t look exactly the same in person VS. what’s on the screen.

I had the same trouble with my Kona cotton fabrics. You can buy a Kona swatch card, but it’s $20! I don’t need to see ALL the colors which the swatch book has, so I made my own using the Kona fabric I already have in my stash.

It not only helps me plan projects without dragging out all my fabric, it also helps me keep track of what colors I have. I definitely see the usefulness of a swatch book showing the full line. If it was less expensive I would probably even order one. For $20 I would rather spend that money on more fabric.

I decided to use a similar swatch method for my thread that I used for my Kona cotton since I still had some leftover supplies from my Kona swatch identifier project.

What I used was a set of embroidery thread bobbins. I prefer the plastic ones, but I had a bunch of the cardboard ones that came with an embroidery floss case. I also had a leftover embroidery thread bobbin ring. You can find a set with the bobbins and rings at most craft stores. I got mine at Michaels with a coupon. I don’t remember what I paid, but I think it was under $3.

A quick Google search turned up many free embroidery floss bobbin patterns online. I find having the ring to put them on convenient, but you could always make your own thread bobbins and put them on a piece of yarn or ribbon to make this project even less expensive.
image

I wound some of  the thread around each card, dabbed it with plain white glue front and back, and wrote the color on the card.  I’m not a tidy writer, and I also like them separated, but you could probably do several thread colors on one card.

image

I let them dry overnight, and then put them on the ring. I love that I can pull it out before I place a thread order. I can also carry it over to my fabrics to see if I have what I need, and I can bring it into the store with me if I need to.
image

Pillowcases

Pillowcases made from flannel. Easy and fun to make. I use a pillowcase I already have as my size guide. Leave approximately 2″ more on the length and the width so that they are still the correct size after sewing. 2″ is much more than you need, but better to have a little extra you can trim off then to not have enough.

image

Pillowcase opening has been folded over and hemmed. The body is pinned and ready to be sewn.

 

 

Ebay: Leadbelly Negro Sinful Songs1939 5 Records 78 RPM

For Sale on Ebay: Leadbelly Negro Sinful Songs1939 5 Records 78 RPM

Negro Sinful Songs, sung by Lead Belly, Accompanying himself on the Twelve-String Guitar  78 RPM 

Click here to go to the Ebay Page

This came from my father in laws personal collection. He had a story he used to tell my husband about meeting Lead Belly. My late father in law was a penniless engineering student at Columbia University in New York during the Great Depression. He was 28 years old in 1939 when this recording was released. He supported himself in part by playing trumpet in dance club orchestras. His interest in music led him to study acoustics and sound engineering, and shortly before the War, he was working in a studio where Lead Belly was doing some recordings.

At some point between takes, Dad and Lead Belly crossed paths in a hallway and spoke at length.  Dad wasn’t actually involved in Lead Belly’s recording, but he was in the building at the same time. Dad said that he’d heard Lead Belly was arrested not long afterwards. That would put the date around 1939, which is when this recording was released.

 

l28l17

 

 
l27

l2 l3 l4 l5 l6 l7 l8 l9 l10 l11l1l226b l13 l14 l15 l16 l20 l21 l22 l23 l24 l25l26

Towels

I finally got around to sewing towels from terry cloth I bought for $1.00 a yard a year or so ago. It’s a thinner terry cloth similar in weight to the Ikea HÄREN towels.

I own several HÄREN bath size towels and they were the inspiration for these towels. I have found that most of the time I reach for the thinner Ikea towels over the thicker towels we own. I made two bath size towels and one HUGE bath sheet sized towel. The total cost was approximately $4.00 to make three towels.

To get the size I wanted, I put an Ikea towel on top of the terry cloth fabric and cut the terry cloth to approximately the same size. I left approx. 1″ longer on the width so that after they were hemmed they would still be the right size.

image

To hem the towels, I folded the edges down once and did a straight stitch, going around twice. You could always make your hems much nicer/fancier easily by using decorative stitches, contrasting fabric to make an edge or a border. You could also fold over the edges twice, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

image

The backside of the towel.

When I finished hemming the towels I won’t over them and trimmed off any excess fabric on the edges. The terry cloth will shed a little, this particular fabric wasn’t too bad but some terry sheds everywhere when you cut it. The finished towels also need to go through the wash to get rid of any loose bits.