Sunday, July 26, 2009

I think I have actually run out of time

I officially do not have enough time for all of my hobbies. I used to have it all figured out:

work out before work (I work a swing shift)
read on my dinner break
knit after work while watching TV with Markles
sew on my days off

Note: this does not seem to leave time for cleaning. The one thing that seems to motivate me to clean is the threat that someone may come over. That turns me into an instant cleaning madwoman. If they don't come over, that's OK. My house is clean. So invite yourself over. Or at least threaten to.

But now I have a new hobby: embroidery. And I've been thrifting. And antiquing. And quilting. And I still want to work on my pattern drafting skills. Dear, God! I haven't the time for it all. The house work will definitely have to be dropped, company or not.

Here are my first embroidery projects. The transfers are from "The Kitchen Linens Book" by EllynAnne Geisel. See this post.


The back of the book includes a bunch of vintage iron-on transfers, reproductions from a McCalls 1945 line.


These are done on flour sack cloths purchased at Hobby Lobby in the needlework section.


They're so happy, those fruits, candies and ... uh ... whatever that thing on the right is.

I also went to thrift stores and bought a bunch of blank linens. I selected only ones that appeared to be cotton or linen. I got some napkins (which I use just on a day to day basis, so I don't need full, matching sets) and a dresser scarf and a table square. All blank canvases that I can embroider, and all 99 cents to $1.99. Can't beat that! I'm thinking of embroidering the dresser scarf for my grandma's birthday on Aug. 8.

I love the flowers on this dainty little napkin. This was so fast to do, too.


Furthermore, I discovered a Web site so wonderful, I could burst. Or spend all of my money there. Or both. It's called Sublime Stitching. And it proves that old-fashioned women's work is perfectly cool and trendy. And not old-fashioned at all. Go check out the transfer patterns. (But then come back. I'm not done.)

((tick-tock, tick-tock))

Did you go look? Aren't they the cutest things ever? I bought her book, "Sublime Stitching" by Jenny Hart, too. It's also filled with transfer patterns, albeit more generic ones than the patterns you can buy online. I ordered this one and this one off the site.


I would also like to mention another thrift store find in the fabric section (or "material," they call it. I find that only people who don't sew call it "material" instead of fabric. And considering that they priced a small piece of muslin at $6 AT A THRIFT STORE, I am fairly certain that they don't sew).

What I found was a two-yard piece of pinstriped wool. Real wool! Like what you cannot find at chain stores like JoAnn's. Or at least, I never do. Real wool! Like the kind that costs $14 a yard.

How do I know it's real wool? Well, I did a burn test. Did you know you can get at least a rough idea of a fabric's fiber content by burning it? I learned this in Fabric Science class. Pull off a few strands from the fraying end and hold them with tweezers. This is important. DO NOT use your fingers. Next, bring a flame toward it. First, note if the fibers shrink back from the flame. Wool should do this. Then it should ignite, and it should burn a little and then self-extinguish. It should smell like burning hair (no surprise). Finally, the burned residue should be slightly hard, but easily crushable between your fingers.

All fibers have different reactions. For instance, polyester sort of melts, so the bead if forms after it burns is hard, like plastic. And the smell is awful.

So, now I know it is really wool. And I know you are impressed that I got two yards of it for $5.99. Because my husband doesn't appreciate my find. He says it looks like "poor-people clothes." And like it belongs on people in an orphanage.

Bah. Maybe he should go take a closer look at his suits.


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