Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do you Spade Edge?

Ever wonder what life is like off the blog? My blog focuses on sewing projects and lampshades, but while I'm not blogging here, I am a working crew member in my husbands landscaping business, Basic Landscape, yes a real worker bee!

Anyway, its that time of the year now, gardening season in suburban Chicago! August through January is pretty busy for lampshades when everyone is thinking about getting back indoors and focusing on the inside. As soon as March comes its back outside! So before I get all of the clients yards ready for Spring I do mine first. It is truly an all day workout, so you really have to start with shorter workdays and build up to 8 hours to get in shape. This year is going to be a little more difficult, I had broken my wrist at the end of last years season. So after surgery and rehab it has been 6 months since I last worked outside! Whew!

Anyway, this was my first week back and I am almost done prepping for new mulch in the beds. I have raked the leaves, cut back the remaining grasses and my favorite part spade edging! Why you ask? Its just something about the immediate gratification of that new, clean edge! Call me crazy, but I really enjoy it!

New spade edge!

Chrysanthemums....signs of life!

Xcalak, Mexico Beach Vacation February 2011......GORGEOUS!

Now its off to the Flower and Garden Show!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vintage Handkerchief Aprons

Have you ever wondered what to do with all of those vintage hankys you find at flea markets and estate sales? I have bunches of them......and decided to make aprons! What a perfect way to display all of the sweet and cute patterns.

I chose a strip piecing method used in quilting to design my fabric. First, lay out the hankys side by side matching like sizes, this will make sewing easier. Next, sew them together overlapping sides to reveal scallop or lace edges. Sew 6 or 8 in a row, then onto the next 6 or 8, continue until you have enough for the number of aprons you would like. Now, depending on the size of the hankies, cut this row of sewn hankies into strips. My strips are 2 3/4" wide, they can certainly vary though, it will just add more interest! So, now the fun part! Repiece these strips, mix it up.....lots of movement going on now! The seams were finished with a feather stitch and the scallop and lace edges on the sides. So dang CUTE! I used the leftover strips to finish off some of the bottom edges and some to make the waistband. Insert bias tape ribbon through the waistband and voila!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scrapbook Paper Lampshades

How much scrapbooking paper do you have? There are so many enticing papers available it can be quite addicting! I don't know about you, but I have stacks! So I thought, why not try making some lampshades! Since we never want to throw any scraps away, they can be easily sewn together to form one continuous piece.

The shades above are all from the gorgeous 7gypsies collections, Lille, Conservatory and Venice. The 2 in the background have been featherstitched together, and the 2 in the foreground are solid panels.

Since I didn't use an adhesive styrene because I wanted to see the other side of the double sided paper, I needed to try to make the paper a bit more sturdy. So I decided to use what I would use when making a botanical shade. I placed usiki silk over the paper and then applied a layer of usiki glue. I achieved my goal and a surprise! The affect of the silk and glue gives it the most incredible vintage feel! I was thrilled!

To complete the shades I used a variety of interesting trims, tree trunk wrap, crocheted hemp and Tim Holtz Traveler Tissue Tape.

See you soon,